Paul Ince was a top player for Manchester United, and he’s decent company too. History has been rewritten by the victors like Sir Alex Ferguson to cast him as the bad guy since he played for Liverpool and celebrated by cupping his ear to United fans after a goal.
Marcus Rashford’s performances for England might be quite telling over the next week. Despite Jadon Sancho's incendiary form for Borussia Dortmund, Gareth Southgate has largely remained loyal to Rashford and, truth be told, he has always looked like a slightly better player for his country than club.
Coleen Rooney has accused Rebekah Vardy of selling her private stories to the media via Instagram, and Twitter has stepped up to do what it does best.
At least one man with Manchester United affiliations offered passionate entertainment on Sunday. A serial winner probably pleased his employers, as a ranting Gary Neville made for compelling television on Sky Sports. Even a selection of the words he used – woeful, painful, suffering, mess – shows he brought more incision than a beleaguered team did in a wretched defeat to Newcastle. Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward went unnamed but was nonetheless the target of a brutal, clinical assault.
This Sunday sees two teams with managers who have emotional attachment to their clubs, but whose fans have increasingly less emotional attachment towards their managers.
The dream job can take on nightmarish proportions. Steve Bruce is the lifelong Newcastle fan who served 12 other clubs in four decades as player or manager before gravitating back to his home town. He spoke of “complete surrender” after his players lost 5-0 at Leicester on Sunday.
Andy Mitten column: Inside Manchester United’s youth setup – Old Trafford’s quietly flourishing success...
Manchester United’s under-23s team – which is full of 17-year-olds – have won seven, drawn one and lost one of their nine games so far this season. Granted they’re playing in the second tier after relegation last season (and results can be misleading at this level), but it is obvious the recent investment in the youth system is starting to pay dividends.
The Europa League gets a bit of a bad rep. It’s hard to get excited about a competition that plays on Thursdays (especially when it’s immediately after the other Europe-wide cup has its matches). It doesn’t even seem to believe in itself; the prize for winning it is not having to be in it for the next year. Nor does it help that as it progresses, Champions League rejects get parachuted in. The prospect of an even less appealing European competition somehow isn’t helping the poor Europa League’s glamour.
Seb Stafford-Bloor will be writing a daily column on FourFourTwo.com. This is his second of the week...
Fisticuffs, fines, penalty shootouts, extra-time winners: fixtures between Arsenal and Manchester United have been heavy on needle for nearly 30 years.