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Will Cristiano Ronaldo return to help Manchester United kids and Louis Van Gaal make Red Devils great again?

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By JOHN GUBBA

Maybe the media have got it right? Maybe Jose Mourinho WILL be manager at Manchester United next season. Or maybe they’ve got it totally wrong. I hope they have got it wrong. Because recent events have shown the Louis Van Gaal is finally on the right track – giving home grown talent their chance.

In my opinion, it would be criminal to destroy the exciting foundations ‪United have laid for the future.Van Gaal has consistently trusted the young stars served up by the Academy and under 21 boss Warren Joyce.

How many managers have the courage and forsight van Gaal has shown, when he could have packed his squad with more senior players?

The dream for United fans is creating a new dynasty like we did on the back of the ‪‎Class of 92‬ – not a short term boom and bust gamble, with Jose Mourinho.

I do have a soft spot for the self-appointed Special One. He is a great manager. Of that there is no doubt. But I can’t get away from the gut feeling that this club is built on turning home grown talent into the best players in the world.

Personally, I love the way Van Gaal has survived his fight with the media. His philosophy of giving kids a chance has been totally under-estimated.

Louis Van Gaal kids.

I can’t imagine Mourinho ever choosing youth ahead of established stars and big money signings.
The cynics will tell you that Marcus Rashford only got his dream debut and 4 goals in his first 2 matches because of United’s unbelievable injury list. But that is just media propaganda from journalists who’ve consistently made up stories about LVG. Because, their agenda is not what’s good for Manchester United.

Rashford runs riot with double on 3-2 Premier League debut win over Arsenal

What we’ve seen this past 10 days is exactly why Jose Mourinho is not the right man to lead this great football club.

Playing entertaining football is United’s DNA. But so is bringing through the kids. Just as Sir Alex did with Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, Butt & the Neville brothers when United’s academy discovered the Class of 92.

Just as Sir Matt did with the Busby Babes. Pre-Munich . . . and then to win the European Cup in 1968.

This year Sir Bobby Charlton celebrates the 60th anniversary of his United debut. Meantime, Ryan Giggs this week celebrated the 25th anniversary of his United debut. And 22 years ago Paul Scholes scored his 1st Premier League goal for the Reds in a team of kids who flourished alongside the iconic Eric Cantona.

My bet is that many years from now we’ll be talking about the current crop of kids. Whether that be the likes of Academy youngsters Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard. Or young signings like Anthony Martial & Luke Shaw. The point is, Louis van Gaal’s role is to lay the foundations for the next generation of United heroes. And for the next manager, who LVG has already told us will be Ryan Giggs.

I must admit I was worried when United were playing boring football before Christmas. And I was initially disappointed United allowed Guardiola to choose City.

But LVG is living up to his reputation of bringing the best out of the kids. As he’s done ever since he won the European Cup with Ajax back in 1995. Van Gaal’s home grown squad that year remains the youngest ever to be champions of Europe. And they did it playing Total Football, with a team of youngsters – most of whom became superstars.
The team that lined up against Milan in that Final a who’s who of Dutch football.

Ajax: 1995 European Cup winners still the youngest team ever to be champions of Europe

Let him complete his 3-year contract and LVG will deliver. His apprentice Ryan Giggs will take United forward to the next level. And the production line will continue to flourish, with old boy Nicky Butt a great addition as the new Academy boss – because Butt understands what makes United great.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither was the Theatre of Dreams. United’s spirit will never die. And neither will the magic that makes Manchester United the most special club on the planet. . . a Special Club that doesn’t need the self-appointed Special one.

Not when we have an eccentric Dutchman who can make United’s current crop of Kids our next generation of heroes.

Personally I’d love to see one inspirational, marque signing added to the current mix of young stars – just as Sir Alex did with Cantona . . . Imagine the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo leading by example, just as Eric did 20 years ago.

Meantime, injured skipper Wayne Rooney is a great role model for the kids. I hope to see Rooney and Van Gaal at Old Trafford for one more season.

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ROONEY’S RANT HAD TO BE PUNISHED – BUT MEDIA MUST SHARE BLAME FOR OBSESSION WITH BAITING OUR SPORTING HEROES

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Wayne Rooney's rant had to be punished - but media are the only winners

Wayne Rooney's rant had to be punished - but media are the only winners

BY JOHN GUBBA

WITHOUT doubt Wayne Rooney’s rant into the TV cameras after scoring his match-winning hat-trick at Upton Park was a big mistake. And he deserves to be punished. The Football Association had no option other than a suspension. But there is another aspect of this story that needs to be aired.

Rooney, everyone’s footballer of the year last season when he was universally paraded as England’s finest, has been subjected to levels of criticism from the media since last summer’s World Cup that have been destructive and deliberately provocative.

To put it bluntly the media are guilty of baiting the Manchester United star – and must share the blame for bringing the game into disrepute. There is an unsavoury cynicism in the way all sections of the media revel in building up sporting stars and then take great pleasure in knocking them down. It has been that way ever since George Best was hounded all the way to his self-destruction.

It is true that Best’s Old Trafford team-mate Sir Bobby Charlton would never have dreamed of any inappropriate behaviour when he scored a goal, or on any other occasion. England’s 1966 World Cup winner is a true gentleman who was never even booked or sent off, a feat that is almost impossible to comprehend in the modern era.

Charlton was the ultimate role model from a by-gone era when there was no malice in football.

I do not doubt that Sir Bobby would have stood tall above all the abuse that footballers are subjected to if he was playing these days. Yet that does not negate my argument. These are different times. Sir Bobby was a saint in the world of football greats the likes of which only United’s current role-model Ryan Giggs has remotely come close to emulating.

The truth is the game has changed beyond all recognition, along with the whole atmosphere that surrounds it. The appreciation of what was once called the beautiful game with genuine pride has been replaced by the negativity of the critical fans who queue up to fuel the media’s craving for confrontation on radio phone-ins.

The media have turned their pursuit of football heroes to new levels of intrusion, turning character assassinations into a public sport and whipping up an air of malice and hatred among rival fans that is unhealthy for the game and society at large.

Eric Cantona was only half-joking when he jests about the satisfaction he experienced when he lashed out at an abusive fan with his famous kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park back in the 90s.

The vile abuse dished out by fans grows worse every year and it is the media’s unrelenting desire to stoke up the atmosphere of confrontation and criticism that makes it forever worse.

Didier Drogba famously snapped when Chelsea were beaten in the 2008 Champions League Final by Manchester United and directed a tirade of abuse into a TV camera. The difference on that occasion was that he was criticising the integrity of the match officials. But there is no escape from the glare of the media and the blame culture that pollutes our society when things go wrong.

What do the public expect when the media puts these sporting stars onto a pedestal, then takes great pleasure in attempting to knock them off their perch, baiting them at every twist and turn and then putting a TV camera in their face when passions are at fever pitch.

As I said at the start Rooney’s rant was wrong – and rightly or wrongly Manchester United will be handicapped by his enforced absence. But do not make the mistake of thinking the problem is solved by the punishment dished out.

The only winners are the media who thrive on the feeding frenzy created by the never ending negative headlines.

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