Blogs & Opinion


Talking points

Ed blogs on Moyes, McCoy and Man United's big week

Ed Chamberlin - Ed Chamberlin Posted 14th February 2013 view comments

"United had their title heads on".

That was how Gary Neville summed up Manchester United's performance against Everton on Super Sunday.

From the moment we got Sir Alex Ferguson's team-sheet it was obvious he meant business and wasn't going to let David Moyes de-rail their title charge again.

Moyes: dropped into the Monday Night Football studio

Moyes: dropped into the Monday Night Football studio

This is a Man United team still hurting from what happened last season and determined not to let it happen again.

You also sense the manager is keen to put the title to bed as soon as possible. Sky Bet certainly think it's all over as after the game they went 1/33 Man Utd (14/1 City) but remember that is the same price United were with eight games to go last season.

I was particularly interested in Moyes' views on what he looks for in a player when entering the transfer market, with personality and character such a major consideration.

Ed Chamberlin
Quotes of the week

Free £10 bet
New to Sky Bet? We're offering all new customers a free £10 bet. Claim now

Ray Wilkins said after the match that the Premier League crown is the one Ferguson wants most this season but the Champions League must be a very close second.

And Wednesday night's game in Madrid was as intense a game of football as you will see.

Compelling from start to finish, it was a tie with two great managers, two high-quality sides and is now a clash right in the balance after the 1-1 draw in the Bernabeu.

Sky Bet are struggling to split the sides as they have Manchester United at 6/4 to win the second leg at Old Trafford with Real Madrid at 11/8 and the draw a 13/5 chance. United are 10/11 to qualify with Real Madrid at 4/5.

Roll on Tuesday March 5.

I was at St Mary's on Saturday to see Southampton put a large and possibly final nail in Manchester City's championship coffin. Saints played with the energy and pressing game that I talked about last week and yet again Morgan Schneiderlin and Jack Cork were the orchestrators in central midfield. They are a combination that's getting better and better.

City were never at the races. Individual errors cost them but there were plenty of other issues at play. Most telling was that during the interval Southampton fans were predicting and expecting an onslaught from the champions in the second half. It never came.

Guests

It was very enjoyable to have Everton manager David Moyes as our guest on the Monday Night Football and pick his brains about Premier League football.

I was particularly interested in his views on Gareth Bale and what he looks for in a player when entering the transfer market, with personality and character such a major consideration along with ability.

We had another special visitor, too, as after the race meeting at Plumpton was abandoned AP McCoy came to see us in the MNF studio. We chatted about football and Arsenal for a while, rather than his traumatic few days on the racecourse.

He'd had a roller coaster of a week beginning with the shocking low of losing Darlan but finishing with the high of My Tent Or Yours stunning win at Newbury.

Some people say that McCoy has mellowed these days. He might have done so away from racing but on the racecourse - not a bit of it. The fire and passion inside the 17-time champion jockey still burns as ferociously as ever.

He was devastated by what happened to Darlan, and especially for his boss JP McManus who also lost his beloved mare Like-A-Butterfly last week, but he's older and wiser than the AP McCoy who was fiercely criticised from the way he dealt with the loss of Valiramix in the 2002 Champion Hurdle.

Surreal

Rather than mellow, he's just got better at acting and hiding his emotions plus dealing with the media.

He had an armchair ride on My Tent Or Yours in what's meant to be the most competitive handicap hurdle of the year. It was a strange race as they went so slow early on and I thought it would develop in to a sprint in the straight with a stack of contenders in the air together over the last. It felt surreal to watch My Tent Or Yours saunter home.

I said last week that I thought the handicapper had made life hard for him off 149 but he made a mockery of that mark. Personally, I'd love My Tent Or Yours to have a crack at the Champion Hurdle as Binocular is hard to fancy, and Jezki has a great chance in the Supreme.

As things stand, I've only gone and backed Un Atout in what's shaping up as the hottest renewal of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle for years. I've also managed to curse the Champion Hurdle.

I was a paid up member of the Darlan fan club but also fancied Grandouet, who has had a setback. Thank goodness Sky Bet are non-runner money back on the race.

There is so much uncertainty about running plans and the state of the ground at the moment that I will be keeping my ante-post powder dry. Well, for a few days at least!

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Sky Sports Today

Join our blog for updates on the Italian Super Cup final between Juventus and Napoli, plus Monday Night Football build-up.

Live transfer updates

Follow our blog for the latest news as Harry Redknapp hints that he is interested in bringing Ravel Morrison to QPR.

Hyypia quits as Brighton boss

Sami Hyypia has left Brighton after the club accepted his resignation as manager.

Stoke v Chelsea preview

Stoke City will be hoping for a repeat of their last performance at the Britannia when they host Chelsea.

Board heckled at Rangers AGM

Rangers chairman David Somers struggled to make himself heard amid boos and heckles as he addressed the club's AGM.

Features

Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal: Five talking points from Anfield

Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal: Five talking points from Anfield

"It was a bizarre game and lots of unusual things happened." That was how Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith summed up Liverpool and Arsenal's thrilling 2-2 draw on Super Sunday.

Premier League: Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic settling at Stoke and ready for fresh clash with Chelsea

Premier League: Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic settling at Stoke and ready for fresh clash with Chelsea

Bojan Krkic made his name at Barcelona but is now hoping to build a career at Stoke City, writes Adam Bate.

Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland: Reshuffled defence stand firm for visitors at St James' Park

Newcastle 0-1 Sunderland: Reshuffled defence stand firm for visitors at St James' Park

Adam Johnson once again grabbed the headlines in the Tyne-Wear derby, finding the net at St James’ Park for the third season in a row to help Sunderland to a record fourth-straight victory over arch rivals Newcastle in the Premier League.