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United’s Dutch connection

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Piers Barber

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And so the inevitable finally becomes a reality. Louis van Gaal is the new Manchester United manager, an unsurprising but highly important piece of news which will prove vital to the future of the Old Trafford club. He will leave his current job – as boss of his national side, the Netherlands – following the conclusion of his team’s involvement in this summer’s World Cup.

Yet the Netherlands – the home of legal weed, Total Football and a loads and loads of flat land – has produced surprisingly few players who have gone on to star for Manchester United. Only eight, in fact, one of whom is Alexander ttner, a player so raw, excitable and defensively shaky it seems likely he won some sort of scarcely publicised competition to win brief ownership of the No.28 shirt at Old Trafford. Read the full story

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Troubled legacy of David Moyes lives on in form of disruptive Rooney

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Manchester City - Old Trafford

Piers Barber

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David Moyes has been put out of his misery at Old Trafford, yet the legacy of his doomed ten months in charge look set to linger on at Manchester United for many years to come.

The club are reported to already be far down the road in securing Moyes’ identified transfer targets, a list of players so unimaginative, obvious and overpriced that it makes Sir Alex Ferguson pursuit of Juan Sebastian Verón look like the identification of a 16 year old starlet from deep rural Africa. Elsewhere, Moyes has reportedly implemented substantial changes to the club’s academy, shifting the focus of its work from technical skill towards the development of athleticism. Read the full story

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The ones who got away

Atletico Madrid's Forlan celebrates after scoring against Fulham during their Europa League final match in Hamburg

Piers Barber

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“The only way after United is down,” is the oft-heard warning when a big-name player at Old Trafford is tempted by a move away from the club.

Yet history has proved that it’s not always downhill for those sent packing from Old Trafford.

To prove it, here’s an XI of the most prominent former reds who have left the club, but still managed to go from strength to strength elsewhere. Clearly, it’s a side which could certainly hold its own against the very best. Read the full story

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