IT'LL BE PLAIN SAILING WITH SPANISH ARMADA ; United's New Influx Has a Latin Feel but Manager Insists English Will Be the Main Language

By Mathieson, Stuart | Manchester Evening News, September 17, 2014 | Go to article overview

IT'LL BE PLAIN SAILING WITH SPANISH ARMADA ; United's New Influx Has a Latin Feel but Manager Insists English Will Be the Main Language


Mathieson, Stuart, Manchester Evening News


UNITED may have evolved from local to Latin in the Reds dressing room but manager Louis van Gaal is insistent that Old Trafford won't become the El Teatro de los Suenos.

That's Spanish for the Theatre of Dreams and with so many Spaniards, Argentines and other South Americans forming the core of van Gaal's first team squad there is the danger that United might become Los diablos rojos (the red devils).

In Sir Alex Ferguson's era, once the trickle of foreign imports into the English game became more of a flood, United bucked the trend somewhat with the heart of seniors also providing the England national side with a backbone from Old Trafford.

The Treble-winning squad provided the Three Lions with David Beck- Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Teddy Sheringham, Wes Brown and Andrew Cole over a long period of time with a nucleus of Reds.

In Fergie's final season in 2012-13 there were Englishmen in Michael Carrick, Scholes, Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young, Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all contributing to the 20th title.

Last Saturday there was only Mancunian Tyler Blackett and Liverpudlian Wayne Rooney in the starting XI against QPR from this country.

Instead of biogs that used to reveal birthplaces like Longsight, Levenshulme, Gorton, Salford and Middleton, it is now Madrid, Rosario and La Plata (Argentina), Villa Montes de Oca (Spain) and Santa Marta (Colombia). The mother tongue in the Reds dressing room before the QPR match was Spanish with the likes of David de Gea, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Radamel Falcao all chatting away.

In fairness, many of them can speak English and Falcao was praised by van Gaal at his press conference unveiling that he conducted it all in English, with only occasional help from an interpreter. …

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