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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Testimonial for Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set for a bumper United testimonial match as part of next August's pre-season programme. The Reds' legend retired in August at the age of 34 following a losing battle with knee problems but the club will agree to a benefit match for the Norwegian. United have to wait until approached by a committee who are willing to organise the event. It is understood a team has been formed to arrange the match for Solskjaer and will in due course approach the club and ask for the free loan of Old Trafford, which will be a formality. United are flying out for a three-match tour of South Africa next July but a date on their return in the run-up to the new Premiership campaign would be the most likely available gap in the warm-up schedule. No opponents have yet been discussed.
Stuart Mathieson, Manchester Evening News

Still a four-way fight

Cristiano Ronaldo believes Chelsea and Liverpool will still have a big say in this season's title race, despite losing out in the battle of the big four last weekend.

United left Anfield with all three points thanks to Carlos Tevez's first half winner, while William Gallas' goal gave Arsenal victory over Chelsea at The Emirates.

Avram Grant's side are six points adrift of leaders Arsenal, while Liverpool lie ten points behind. United are currently second in the table, one point behind the Gunners.

Despite the points gap, Ronaldo remains convinced it is still a four-horse race.

"We have a good chance — we are at the top of the league, Arsenal and ourselves," he said. "But I don't think it is just between the two teams. Chelsea and Liverpool are still there and are strong.

"Arsenal play fantastic football but I think we have a better team this season that we had last year. We have good players, a good spirit and we have to do the same as last season." Read more...

Rooney: Capello is just fab

Wayne Rooney believes Fabio Capello is the perfect choice to lead England over the next four years.

The Italian has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with the FA following Steve McClaren's exit last month.

Rooney is looking forward to working with his new manager and hopes Capello can transfer his phenomenal success at club level onto the international stage.

“His record at club level is brilliant so I’m sure he can bring something extra to England as well," explained the 22-year-old. "I was pleased when he was appointed because his record is the main thing.

"It’s always exciting when you get a new manager and I'm very interested to meet him and work under him.

“As an Englishman you want the best man for the job, who is going to try and help us win trophies. And, personally, I think he is the best man.”

Rooney insists Capello will have the full backing of the squad when he takes charge of his first game against Switzerland in February.

“Hopefully, we can win something for him and help him become a legend for England," declared Rooney.

“The main thing is to win your games. Hopefully we can do that as a team and I’m sure we’ll be giving 110 per cent for the new manager." Read more...

Neville itching to return

Gary Neville says he is itching to return to first team action after spending the last nine months on the sidelines.

The United skipper has been beset by injuries since suffering ankle ligament damage back in March during the Reds' win over Bolton Wanderers.

But after receiving some positive feedback from a specialist last week, Neville says there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

"I'd love to be back playing. I've already started training again and I'll be in over Christmas," he is quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror.

"It's been really frustrating for me, but the inspiration is watching the lads play. When I watch them out on the pitch that's where I want to be and I can't wait to get back." Read more...