The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Hold back the obituaries
When it was announced in Nyon yesterday that Wayne Rooney would have to work on a Uefa community project, the temptation was to shout back that the poor boy was already in the Europa League. Manchester United’s descent into the second tier of European football is one of the surprises of the season, sparking mockery and incredulity in equal measure. Such emotions deepened with the champions being joined downstairs by the leaders of the Premier League, Manchester City. How the mighty have fallen came the response from mainland Europe. How embarrassing. A “blip”, according to the Premier League. A power shift, according to their Continental counterparts. A Christmas come early, according to Londoners. Major verdicts are hastily being ventured on the state of English football when it is too premature. Depicting the Premier League as an entity engulfed in calamity ignores the reality that United and City possess the resources to come back strong next season in the Champions League. City have the money. United have the manager. Writing them off is madness. They will be back, hungrier and wiser.
Most papers run the news, confirmed by Sir Alex on Friday morning, that Nemanja Vidic is out for the season with a knee injury.
The Daily Express and the Daily Star carry quotes from Rio Ferdinand, which first appeared on ManUtd.com on Wednesday, in which the defender declares United will bounce back from the Champions League exit. “I’ve no qualms or worries about the games ahead. We’ll be up for it,” Rio says.
The Guardian reports England boss Fabio Capello has taken the blame for Wayne Rooney’s two-game international ban, because he felt he should have taken the striker off earlier against Montenegro.