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Stephanie Roche: Manchester United fans need to get real - world football has changed


Pedro and Ed Woodward

Have Manchester United lost their lustre? Is Ed Woodward to blame for their transfer woes? I'm not convinced.

It's been an interesting few days for fans of the Red Devils with many voicing their frustrations at seeing Pedro training with Fabregas and co at Cobham and Nicolas Otamendi heading for the noisy neighbours.

Stories of United targets being nabbed, hijacked or pinched clearly don't make for good reading but you would wonder whether Louis van Gaal is perturbed.

Big sides like United are linked with everyone and the level of papertalk seems to have been ramped up this summer to the point where anyone pulling on a pair of boots could be on their way.

United supporters have to adjust to the changed reality that world football is changed and it's becoming increasingly difficult to get every player you want to the club.

Stoke signing Xherdan Shaqiri, West Ham's capture of Dmitri Payet and Crystal Palace securing Yohan Cabaye illustrates how middle ranking clubs in the league can seriously compete for big names in the window.

They continue to be one of the richest clubs in the world but other clubs are generating funds for their exploits on the pitch rather than off.

Stories that Fabregas' wife and Pedro's partner and good friends and that, along with the shopping in London, were factors doesn't wash with me.

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We are human and we like these things but Pedro is a World cup winner and an ambitious footballer who knows how short his career is... football will always be his primary concern.

Some analysts have suggested that the spectre of working alongside Louis van Gaal may be putting targets off.

He's a tough coach but personally I like the manager to be tough and I think his approach is continuing to reap dividends.

Marouane Fellaini's late winner and the reaction at Old Trafford was like 'Fergie time' all over again.

United showed the ambition that has maybe has been lacking in recent seasons on the pitch and the ball is starting to bounce their way.

Memphis Depay looks like he could be the real deal and could be the gamebreaker that United have been crying out for.

Away from matters at Old Trafford, Damian Delaney's honest and thoughtful statement was nice to read.

He was respectful in what he said but also showed a real interest in the progress of Irish football. I think he's right in saying that we do need to create our own philosophy and way of playing to the strengths we have as a football team.

It's going to be hard to please every fan, but I believe Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane will get the best from our current squad.

Read more: Video: Louis van Gaal loses his cool with media when asked about transfer situation

Read more: Video: Sadio Mane promises young fan he will not be leaving for Manchester United

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