Man United News: Rooney, Mata, Martial, Rashford

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The coronavirus pandemic has brought all of world football down for the foreseeable future. The Premier League announced suspension of play until April 30, and at that point they will re-evaluate again. That said, there is still plenty of interesting Manchester United related news and notes to go over.

Let’s take a look at some of the news items trending in cyberspace right now during these very strange days and extremely uncertain times. (For today’s MUFC transfer rumors, go here) We start with the club’s all-time leading scorer, Wayne Rooney, giving Liverpool their due.

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“Liverpool will win the Premier League,” Rooney wrote in his column for The Times of London.

“Now, as you can imagine, I have Everton fans phoning me up saying: ‘The season has to be canceled!’ And, of course, as an Evertonian and someone who played for Manchester United for 13 years, there’s a bit in me that thinks that would be good. But no. Liverpool have been fantastic. They have put so much work in.”

“They deserve this title. Can you imagine waiting 30 years and then having it taken away like this? The right decision has been made.”

”It’s also right in terms of promotion and relegation and Champions League places. These issues are so big for the clubs involved that I imagine there would be a lot of legal fights if the season was just abandoned. The fair thing is to finish 2019-20 – even if we have to lose next season in the process.”

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“It wouldn’t surprise me if finishing the season takes until the end of 2020. Football, like every other industry, is in unknown territory and, just like every other industry, has to listen to the advice and take all necessary precautions. For me, that rules out finishing the season behind closed doors.”

As Rooney pointed out, the two teams he played for in the Premier League are Liverpool’s two biggest rivals. However, in these extreme times, all rivalries are put aside. Pretty much everyone agrees that Liverpool deserve the title, and there had been previous reports indicating they would be awarded it, should the season be suspended.

Elsewhere, Juan Mata, 31, has said that his role with the club includes mentoring the younger players. An elder statesman so to speak, Mata arrived in the January transfer window for an amount that broke the club transfer fee record at the time.

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“I have been playing in a club, and in English football and professionally for 12, 13 years now so that gives me experience, especially in difficult situations, to behave in a certain way or give advice to the young players,” Mata, who has been with the club six years, told the club’s official podcast.

“I think he [Solskjaer] values that also.”

“Me as a player, what I can give on the pitch, but also that I will try my best off the pitch for the new players that come, like right now Bruno [Fernandes] and Odion [Ighalo] and for the youngsters that come through the academy like, Brandon [Williams], Chongy [Tahith Chong], Angel [Gomes] and Jimmy [Garner].”

Finally, it’s time for an update on the Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford bromance. The club’s official account made an uplifting tweet featuring a photo of the pair today (it’s embedded below).

United’s two primary scorers have a very fun and healthy relationship, evident by their training ground competitions.

“At the training, we have this competition between us about scoring goals,” Martial said earlier this season (hat tip Daily Express).

“We measure who does the best finishing and who scores the most. Who’s winning? Well, that depends… Sometimes it’s him, sometimes it’s me.

“In games, Marcus likes to play in the middle, like me. I don’t mind dropping off, dropping out, we interchange during games.”

“It doesn’t bother me to let him take the lead occasionally. It helps us to terrorize opposition defenses and I hope we can keep it up over the course of the season.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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