21st October – Nemanja Vidic

Manchester United have been inconsistent so far this season and major reason for this is because they have struggled at the back and many believe that they should have kept Nemanja Vidic.

The central defender was a huge success at Old Trafford and formed an impressive partnership with Rio Ferdinand that helped the club win a lot of trophies. He turns 33 today and that is still young for a centre back, especially when pace was never one of his greatest attributes. Vidic felt it was time to leave after last season but he will still be considered a Manchester United legend.

Vidic started his career at Red Star Belgrade but had his first taste of professional football on loan at Serbian side Spartak Subotica in 2000 and had a very good goalscoring record for a defender, scoring six league goals in 26 games. This form convinced Red Star manager Zoran Filipovic to put him into the team for the 2001-02 season. In his first season he won the Yugoslav Cup and was named club captain and would help the club onto better things, winning the domestic double in 2004. After 16 goals in 95 games, the defender joined Russian side Spartak Moscow in July 2004.
Vidic RSB
He spent two years at the Russian side and his reputation grew and was being watched by other clubs and on the 5th January 2006 he joined Manchester United. He had to wait until the 26th January to make his debut in the semi final of the League Cup against Blackburn Rovers. They would go onto win the competition and Vidic came on as a substitute in the final, which meant he received a winners medal, however he gave it to Giuseppe Rossi in recognition of the Italian’s contribution.
Vidic SM
During the 2006-07 season he finally became a first team regular and played 25 times in the Premier League as the club went on to lift the title and was rewarded with a five year contract in the following campaign. The club would go onto retain the title and also won the Champions League after beating Chelsea. The 2008-09 season was arguably his best as he was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award as well as winning the fans and players’ Player of the Year awards. This is an even better achievement considering that the club the defence was never settled. He would also start every match in their record breaking 14 consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League.

The next important moment during his career at Manchester United was in the 2010-11 season when he was named club captain. On the 30th October 2010, Vidic scored against Tottenham Hotspur in a 2-0 win and he has the honour of scoring the 1000th Premier League goal at Old Trafford. At the end of the season he would lift another Premier League trophy and Manchester United’s record breaking 19th.
Vidic MU
The 2011-12 season was frustrating for the defender as he suffered injuries and it was ended on the 7th December after he twisted his knee in a Champions League game against Basel. He finally returned in a 1-0 defeat against Everton on the 20th August 2012 but after suffering more injuries he would only play 22 games, however he did pick up his final Premier League winners medal at the end of the season. His final year at the club was very disappointing and he announced that he would be leaving the club and after 300 appearances he joined Inter Milan. He has not had the greatest of starts as he gave away a penalty on his debut and was sent off against Torino. Then against Palermo he made an error which allowed Franco Vazquez to score in a 1-1 draw.

The final word can go to Alex Ferguson. “Nemanja is a warrior, he’s a natural defender and he loves defending. There have been few defenders like him over the years. Nemanja is so powerful and positive in everything. He has been a great signing.”

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24th August – Kim Kallstrom

Kim Kallstrom has been well know to those who play Championship Manager and for years they have wanted the midfielder to come over to the Premier League.

Unfortunately, when he did eventually come over to England he did not quite live up to his reputation, however it was not entirely his fault that it didn’t work out. His move to Arsenal was a very strange one from the beginning but still he does have the distinction of a player that was predicted to be brilliantly on a computer game and actually went on to have a very good career.

Kallstrom started his career at second division Swedish side BK Hacken and in his first year as a professional he helped the team get promoted to the top flight. Despite eight goals he could not help them avoid relegation but his performances earned him a transfer to Djurgardens in 2001. He quickly became one of the first names on the team sheet and ended the first year as their top goal scorer in the league with 12 goals as the club won the league and also the Swedish Cup. In the following year they defended the league title and scored a further 14 goals. After 26 goals in 48 league games Kallstrom was being linked with moves to other European clubs.
Kallstrom BKH
In January 2004 he joined French club Stade Rennais and made his first Ligue 1 appearance away to Toulouse in a 2-0 defeat. A week later he scored his first goal in a 4-0 win over Sochaux and ended the season with seven goals in 18 appearances, including two in a 4-1 win away to Monaco. Although his goalscoring suffered in the following season he was still a key player in helping Rennes finish fourth and qualify for the UEFA Cup. The 2005-06 season would be his last at the club and he scored a career high in France with eight goals in Ligue 1.
Kallstrom Rennes
He ended his time at Rennes with 20 goals in 83 league games before joining Lyon in June 2006. The midfielder scored on his debut against PSG and this would be the start of a great season for both him and the club as they won the league title and reached the round of 16 in the Champions League. In the following season he scored on the final day to secure the title and then a few days later he started in the final of the Coupe de France which they won 1-0.
Kallstrom Lyon
After six years at Lyon, Kallstrom left Lyon in August 2012 after 283 appearances for the club and signed for Russian club Spartak Moscow. He is still at the club now but did have a loan spell away to Arsenal and despite a back injury that would keep him out for several weeks Arsene Wenger still decided to sign the midfielder.

He eventually made his debut on the 25th March against Swansea City in the Premier League. But he played an important part in Arsenal’s FA Cup semi final match where he scored in the penalty shootout win over Wigan Athletic. After making four appearances he returned to Spartak Moscow.

The final word can go to Arsene Wenger. “Kim Kallstrom is a hugely experienced player. He is a midfielder with proven quality at both club and international level. We could have gone without, but first of all you must identify a player who has the quality to play for us. So to find a player on a free loan, of that quality, is not easy.”

21st August – Scott McDonald

Scott McDonald was a prolifc scorer in Scotland but since coming to England he has modified his game slightly and became a different threat to the opposition.

The Australian international has been involved in every Millwall game so far this season and despite not scoring he has played a big part in helping them to third in the Championship table after two wins and a draw in the early weeks of the season. Many expected Millwall to struggle but under Ian Holloway anything is possible as has been proven in the past and if he can get the 31 year old to start scoring regularly they will be in with a chance of reaching the playoffs.

McDonald started his career in Australia and became the youngest ever player to play in the National Soccer after he made his debut at the age of just 15. He soon made the move to Europe and signed for Southampton and stayed for two years and had loan spells at Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth in 2002. After being released by Southampton he signed for Wimbledon on a rolling contract, however after just two league games he moved to Motherwell in January 2004.

Despite some impressive performances he only managed one goal in his first half a season at the club but he followed this up with 15 goals in the next campaign, including two late goals against Celtic which denied them the title. Over the next few seasons he continued to be a regular goalscorer for Motherwell, hitting 11 in 35 and then 15 in 32 and also went down as the man that scored the 5000th goal in SPL history when he scored against Falkirk on the 25th November 2006.
McDonald Motherwell
After 45 goals in 108 appearances, Celtic signed the striker for £700,000 and he moved to the club at the start of the 2007-08 season. He made his debut in the third round Champions League qualifier against Spartak Moscow and scored his first goal in the return leg and a few days later he scored his first league goal against St Mirren. In his first season he scored 25 goals in 36 league appearances but his best moment was when he scored the winner against AC Milan in the final minute.

After changing his number at Celtic he got off to a slow start the next season but did manage to score in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United and he also scored the only goal in a 1-0 win in the Old Firm Derby against Rangers. On the 2nd May he scored his 49th and 50th Celtic goals against Aberdeen to cap off two extraordinary seasons.
McDonald Celtic
After an impressive start to the 2009-10 season he was being linked with moves to England and eventually on the 1st February 2010 he joined Middlesbrough and scored his first goal against Newcastle United and finished the campaign with four goals in 13 games. The next season started better but tailed off slightly but towards the end of the season he did manage to score a hatrick against Hull City in a 4-2 win. For the rest of his time at Boro he had a decent goal return but he seemed to spend a lot of time on the bench. His time at the club ended with 40 goals in 124 appearances which is not a bad return and was the reason why Millwall signed the player.
McDonald Boro
He had a tough first season at the club only getting three goals in 30 games but his performances so far this season suggest that he will play a big part in helping the team reach their objectives.

The final word can go to the manager that signed him at Millwall Steve Lomas. “I’ve watched Scott throughout his career and he has a proven track record, scoring at better than one in three games over a long period. He works hard for the team, links play well and can operate in different formations.”