Fergie seeks rhythm for Benfica clash



Sir Alex Ferguson has blamed injuries for disrupting Manchester United’s rhythm this season. His side began the campaign in fine form, but inconsistent performances in recent weeks, including heavy defeat to Manchester City, have taken the gloss off the Reds’ season. The Scot’s side, which is five points behind City in the Premier League, has achieved five clean sheets in a row since derby defeat, but has sacrificed attacking fluidity in the process. But, says Ferguson, United will hit top gear as the winter sets in and players return to the first team.

Injury to Tom Cleverley, in particular, has unsettled United’s balance, with Wayne Rooney moved from attack to midfield to compensate for the 22-year-old’s loss. Indeed, United has failed to score more than once in any Premier League game since City hit six at Old Trafford in October, with Rooney deployed deeper as Ferguson has sought greater midfield protection for his back four.

The lack of penetration in recent weeks is surely worrying the Scot, whose side faces a crucial tie with Benfica at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. Defeat to the Portuguese giants is unthinkable, but could place United’s progress from the group stages of the Champions League in doubt for the first time since 2005.

“I think we’ve made some changes to the team at the start of the season,” explained 69-year-old Ferguson.

“Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling got injured and Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were injured in the first game. So there were quite a few changes you don’t envisage. You see everyone fit and fresh in pre-season and, going through the tour of the States, there was not one injury and then you’re hit with a whole host [of them]. It doesn’t disrupt us to a great degree but it does unsettle the balance of the team at times.

“Sometimes we have to rethink which team we need to win a match and sometimes, when the team is in full flow, you don’t need to worry about that. We’ve had a few issues but hopefully we’re gradually getting over them and, once we get the players back in again, we’ll be okay.”

Manchester United versus Benfica, Champions League, Old Trafford, Tuesday 22 November 2011, 7.45pmFerguson’s side will be without long-term injury victims Cleverley, Michael Owen and Chris Smalling, although the latter trained separately from the main group on Monday. Danny Welbeck also returned to training, but the youngster is highly unlikely to make the European fixture. Meanwhile, kids Ravel Morrison, Ezekiel Fryers and Davide Petrucci joined the first team group, with speculation rife that one or more could make Ferguson’s side on Tuesday night.

However, Rooney sat out Monday’s training session following “a couple of knocks” suffered during United’s 1-0 victory over Swansea City at the weekend. The 26-year-old Scouser is likely to make the tie though and, with victory essential, could be pushed into a forward position.

In defence captain Nemanja Vidic sits out the second of a two match ban, while Jonny Evans could come back into the team if the Northern Irishman is declared fit.

Meanwhile, Ferguson offered praise for Nani, the former Sporting Lisbon winger, who has become a key plank of United’s attack. The 25-year-old has taken time to generate a greater level of consistency, and can still frustrate at times, but with a growing goal output and an outstanding assists record, Nani is slowly moving out of Cristiano Ronaldo’s lengthy shadow.

“Nani has always had potential,” added Ferguson.

“Some of those who come to our club from abroad do it quickly, others gradually grow into it. Nani is one of those. Even Cristiano took two or three years to get the maturity in his game. That is what we are seeing with Nani now. The goals have been fine but his assists are very high. He is progressing really well.”

Benfica beat United 2-1 in Lisbon in December 2005, and eliminated Ferguson’s team at the group stage for the first time since 1994. Rio Ferdinand, Park Ji-Sung, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher remain for United from that fixture. However, a repeat scenario is one that nobody at Old Trafford is contemplating six years later. Victory for United over Jorge Jesus’ side, coupled with defeat for FC Basel, will guarantee the Reds’ progress to the knock-out stages.

“You do want to finish top as it give you little perks like having the second leg at home,” added Fletcher.

“There are a few aspects to topping the group which benefit you in the long run. First and foremost you look to qualify for the knockout stages but we saw Arsenal finish second last season and end up with Barcelona in the first knockout round. Although people say you have to beat these teams if you want to win the competition, it is good to avoid them until later on.”

Meanwhile, Benfica can boast two of the tournament’s leading strikers in Rodrigo and Óscar Cardozo. Rodrigo, 20, spent a year on loan with Bolton Wanderers last season, but has bloomed in the current campaign, scoring in each of Benfica’s last five matches. However, the youngster could be sacrificed if Jesus deploys an extra man in midfield.

Cardozo, Benfica’s goalscorer against United on matchday one, has a knack of finding the net against English clubs having scored six times in four matches against Everton and Liverpool in 2009/10, although the striker only has two in the past 10 matches. Reported United midfield target Nicolás Gaitán has provided four assists to date, the highest total in the competition.

“It`s a big game, a game we recognise as a real European game in the history of Benfica and ourselves,” concluded Ferguson.

“There’ve been loads of great games between the sides that always stick in the memory, such as one we lost 2-1 over there. In the first match over there [this season] we did well and our possession was good. We deserved the result except for maybe the last 15 minutes, when they had a few chances. It should be an open match, both teams want to win.”

That, at least, will make a change from United’s recent negative performances, despite yielding five victories in a row since the loss to City.

Match Facts
Manchester United versus Benfica, Champions League, Old Trafford, Tuesday 22 November 2011, 7.45pm

Likely Line-ups
United (4-4-1-1): De Gea; Jones, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani; Rooney; Hernandez. Subs from: Lindegaard, Fabio, Pogba, Fryers, Park, Morrison, Gibson, Petrucci, Young, Berbatov, Diouf.

Benfica (4-4-1-1): Artur; Pereira, Luisao, Garay, Emerson; Garcia, Witsel, Cesar, Gaitan; Aimar; Cardozo. Subs from: Eduardo, Peixoto, Vítor, Jardel, Amorim, Nolito, Matić, Simão, Peréz, Oliveira, Rodrigo, Saviola

Form
United: LWWWWW
Benfica: WDWWWD

Officials
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant referees: Bahattin Duran, Tarik Ongun
Additional assistant referees: Tolga Özkalfa, Süleyman Abay

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Comments

  1. Hope SAF plays carrick and jones in midfield with carrick taking a more offensive role. He is the best passer of the ball and a natural playmaker for spurs and england before joining united. It might just work!

    • An interesting idea: in theory it sounds like an ideal match of complementary skills and styles. Least Fergie could do would be to try it and see if it works, because most of the options we have tried have not set the world alight so far.

  2. De Gea
    Fabio Jones Ferdinand Evra
    Valencia Fletcher Carrick Nani
    Rooney
    Chicharito

  3. Another boring game where we’ll have to accept a rubbish performance for a win.

  4. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Commenter said:
    De Gea
    Fabio Jones Ferdinand Evra
    Valencia Fletcher Carrick Nani
    Rooney
    Chicharito

    this^^

  5. Oh dear: look at the picture: it doesn’t say `rhythm’ at all, JS Park looks like his playing with a yellow frisbee, Evra looks like he’s just had a very embarrassing slip which left him on his arse, the player with his back to the camera facing Evans looks like he is about to nutmeg himself, Fletcher looks like he’s just been stunned (`set phasers to stun Mr Sulu’) and if you draw lines for the players’ repective lines of sight, I don’t think more than 2 of them will connect.

    Ed: next time find a photo that SAYS rhythm, rhythm, these white boys (and the Black Frenchman) all got rhythm.

  6. Apparently Gaitan is going to be a top class midfielder in the years to come…and Fergie will get to see him in action against us tonight.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/15810921.stm

    Get the cheque book out FFS.

    • This poses an interesting question: how well would we want him to play tonight to convince Sir No-midfielder-worth-the-price that we must sign him in the Jan window?

      Think about this: if Cristiano Ronaldo had not taken us to the cleaners in the match that United played against Sporting Lisbon that led to the United players begging Ferg to sign him, would we have signed him, and experienced the bliss that was him demolishing other teams? Or would it have been Arsenal that he plied his trade for before heading to Madrid?

      Let’s hope for a victory tonight, despite the fact that Gaitan caused us so much agony that Ferg decides we just have to have him.

  7. Would we have signed Ronaldo if the players hadn’t begged? Probably not.

    I saw a few Benfica fans walking around town earlier looking bored to death. Poor sods.

  8. Who is it in stockings and bra?

  9. boring euro group stage bollocks

  10. Violent Banana says:

    No Rooney at all, Chicha on the bench, Berbatov starts

  11. Violent Banana says:

    Voila:

    De Gea, Fabio, Jones, Rio, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Carrick, Nani, Young, Berbatov

    Looks like Young has a more advanced role today

  12. It’s finally happened.. Young in midfield

  13. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Is Rooney injured.

  14. berba starts
    hope he plays a blinder to shut knobcheese up

  15. madredmonkey said:
    Is Rooney injured.

    Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson: “Wayne Rooney got a knock on his hip on Saturday, it was quite painful and he didn’t have enough time to recover. These nights are the special ones, the crowd are lifted and are right behind the players, so hopefully we don’t let them down. Benfica have some very talented players. I think they will have a go and so will we, so I think it will be an open game.”

  16. oh ffs
    no commentary on radio 5
    bollox

  17. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Another 1-0?

  18. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    A good win would be nice.

  19. 0-1
    ffs

  20. Was that Evra’s fault?

  21. this is going to be 1 long night now
    come on you reds

  22. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Anyone what channel Man Cunty are on……. I fancy some quality football!

    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits…..

  23. Their manager’s hair, cor

  24. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    this is great news for rant

  25. Violent Banana says:

    Basel have scored

  26. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Commenter said:
    Basel have scored

    2-0

  27. Violent Banana says:

    Amazing run by Nani

  28. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Go on Nani!!

  29. Great tackle again, Carrick

  30. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    brianofnazareth said:
    Anyone what channel Man Cunty are on……. I fancy some quality football!

    They’re losing as well…

  31. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    evra is fucking shit tbf

  32. Violent Banana says:

    Final ball again donk

  33. anyone got a decent link?

  34. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    1-1 berba

  35. berbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbba

  36. Violent Banana says:

    You’re welcome for tempting fate. BERBA

  37. Was that Berba’s first touch

  38. young should have scored just after as well

  39. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    us losing this game would be for the greater good

    rant + signings

  40. uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    us losing this game would be for the greater good

    rant + signings

    go shove your utilitarianist bollocks up ur arse please

  41. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Basel 3-0

  42. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    us losing this game would be for the greater good

    rant + signings

    Signings?

    Don’t talk shite!

  43. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Real are showing how it’s done… 4-0 at half time.

    Wonder what that’s like…

  44. Carrick carrying on his good form
    Brilliant pass for Berba

  45. Carrick suddenly grew a pair in that half

  46. Entertaining

    They have a classy midfield

  47. stick sweet pea on
    he’ll grab the winner

  48. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    fletcher makes me ill

  49. pea time
    come on united

  50. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    fletcher makes me ill

    whoops

  51. uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    fletcher makes me ill

    fletcherrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    carry on uncle fuckhead

  52. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    2-1 fletcher.

  53. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    us losing this game would be for the greater good

    rant + signings

    KNOBCAP

    FFS

  54. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    2-2 ffs

  55. 2-2
    cocks

  56. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    I SAW AIMAR MAKE HIS DEBUT FOR VALENCIA AGAINST US YEARS AGO

    THE CUNT

  57. captainhormone said:
    I SAW AIMAR MAKE HIS DEBUT FOR VALENCIA AGAINST US YEARS AGO

    THE CUNT

    why the caps cap?

  58. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    anger and frustration Han

  59. Violent Banana says:

    GALATI HAVE SCORED

  60. sweet pea on with 10 mins left
    ffs what the fuck is he going to do in that time?

  61. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Commenter said:
    GALATI HAVE SCORED

    2-3

  62. Violent Banana says:

    Galati have scored again!

  63. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    just dropped my bastard tin of lager on the floor

    ffs

  64. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    oh..sorry…thought that niblet of info would be more interesting than watching us at the moment…

  65. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    captainhormone said:
    tin

    ** Sniggers **

  66. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    old skool

  67. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    brianofnazareth said:
    ** Sniggers **

    lol.

  68. Violent Banana says:

    Do away goals count in the head to head fixtures if you’re level on points?

  69. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    We are light years away from winning the Champions league!!

  70. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    We have fucking piss poor quality!!

  71. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    not even that close

  72. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    wank

  73. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    PUMP THE BALL IN THERE YOU FUCKING CUNTS!!!

    This United side is the worst I have seen in 20 years!!

  74. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Pfft…

  75. Violent Banana says:

    FT – three draws against Benfica and Basle, pretty poor

  76. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    not good.

  77. we are well and truly screwed now
    best we can do is come 2nd if we don’t lose to the swiss
    and then get arse raped next year in feb
    ffs what a pot of piss

  78. Violent Banana says:

    Basel win 3-2

  79. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    young has been shit for ages

  80. uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    young has been shit for ages

    why the fuck do u bother following united if all u can fucking do is slag everyone off

  81. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    han said:
    why the fuck do u bother following united if all u can fucking do is slag everyone off

    I thought everyone knew Knobhead was a closet Scouse??

  82. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    young has been shit for ages

    tbf,, he hasn’t played for ages

  83. brianofnazareth said:
    I thought everyone knew Knobhead was a closet Scouse??

    well that explains why he is on here on euro nites at least
    but i dont buy that
    he is galway in disguise

  84. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    brianofnazareth said:
    I thought everyone knew Knobhead was a closet Scouse??

    outrageous

  85. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    han said:
    well that explains why he is on here on euro nites at least
    but i dont buy that
    he is galway in disguise

    ridiculous comment

    galway rip

  86. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    barca will beat us 10-1 on agg

    unless we get real, 9-1

  87. galway dead?????????????

  88. We struggle to make simple passes at times

    It’s nowt to do with formations, it’s just shitness; not concentrating

    We’re probably looking at second now, so a big team next FFS…

  89. Violent Banana says:

    So IF we get a result in Basel, and assuming Benfica beat Golati, we’ll either be drawn against Madrid, Bayern, Barcelona, Inter and Apoel/Zenit/Porto (and potentially also Marseille and Leverkusen if Arsenal and Chelsea don’t top their groups.)

  90. At least City are fucked

  91. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    I was here before taggart turned up

    that means I have cart blanche to slaughter him and aall the shitehouses he signs

  92. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    han said:
    galway dead?????????????

    to you clearly

  93. uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    barca will beat us 10-1 on agg

    unless we get real, 9-1

    thats assuming we get past the swiss first
    the way united have played in the group stages, its not a done deal
    they will be rampant in 2 weeks and we will poo it
    still vidic will be back for that game

  94. What exactly is the point of those people around our manager? We were so ordinary. So predictable. So NOTHING. I am just too annoyed this night.

  95. sidney said:
    At least City are fucked

    and so are we regardless of what happens in cheese and yodel land
    we come 2nd at best and unless we draw the cypriots, any other half decent side will be licking their lips at the prospect of raping us over 2 legs
    no balls
    no guts
    no faith

  96. uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    I was here before taggart turned up

    that means I have cart blanche to slaughter him and aall the shitehouses he signs

    oh fuck off u were
    if u remember the days of atkinson, you are an old cunt to be sure

  97. Violent Banana says:

    I couldn’t take us playing in the Europa League. It’d be too humiliating

  98. Commenter said:
    I couldn’t take us playing in the Europa League. It’d be too humiliating

    im sure gill and co would put a gloss over it though

    • Violent Banana says:

      I couldn’t take us playing in the Europa League. It’d be too humiliating

      im sure gill and co would put a gloss over it though

      It’s the only European competition we have a realistic chance of winning. And that’s far from guaranteed – the only team in Europe we’ve beaten so far is Galati.

  99. tbf it was de gea’s 1st error in ages for their second goal

  100. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Jones was unlucky for first, in fact I thought defence was decent.

    It’s that fucking midfield…

  101. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Before any of you cunts start slaggin off Ferguson…

    If not for the Glazers we’d have more money… and Ferguson would be able to improve the team… better team… better players… means Ferguson doesn’t have to use players out of position… means we have a strong team of players playing where they’re supposed to… enjoying themselves… entertaining the fans… winning more… scoring more… and ultimately…

    …Ferguson wouldn’t have to continuously talk a load of complete shite to try and convince us that all is well…

    May the Glazers all catch syphilis…

  102. If we finish second and we get a big team then the cunts will just have to raise their game earlier than usual, and Fergie will just have to buy a quality midfielder in Jan

  103. Violent Banana says:

    Hard to find a quality midfielder in Jan who isn’t already cup-tied in Europe Sid.

  104. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    yeah alf poor taggart

    he’s basically a slave

  105. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Before any of you cunts start slaggin off Ferguson…

    If not for the Glazers we’d have more money… and Ferguson would be able to improve the team… better team… better players… means Ferguson doesn’t have to use players out of position… means we have a strong team of players playing where they’re supposed to… enjoying themselves… entertaining the fans… winning more… scoring more… and ultimately…

    …Ferguson wouldn’t have to continuously talk a load of complete shite to try and convince us that all is well…

    May the Glazers all catch syphilis…

    i agree with your point alf
    they have leached £480 million already
    but SAF has to take his share of the blame by falling out with the irish bumpkins over a horse and jerking 8 million on the likes of bebe when he could have got real value in the middle

  106. He spent £18m on a keeper who proceeds to gift the ball to an opponent just after we had worked hard to take the lead. And they equalise.

    he spent £30m on a striker who was alone in front of goal but skied his effort.

    However, I believe the Glazers are all to blame.

    The most annoying thing in the whole game is that despite all the huffing and puffing of Benfica, de Gea did not have to dive all over the place to keep us in the game. We just did not look like creating much. We seemed so ill at ease. Little flow. We do need another proper left sided player as we rely far too much on Evra. Young had his worst game in a Utd shirt to date.

  107. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Before any of you cunts start slaggin off Ferguson…
    If not for the Glazers we’d have more money… and Ferguson would be able to improve the team… better team… better players… means Ferguson doesn’t have to use players out of position… means we have a strong team of players playing where they’re supposed to… enjoying themselves… entertaining the fans… winning more… scoring more… and ultimately…
    …Ferguson wouldn’t have to continuously talk a load of complete shite to try and convince us that all is well…
    May the Glazers all catch syphilis…

    FFS we’ve been all over this a million times before. Sure we would have had more money but look at what Fergie has purchased with the money he had: Kleberson, Djemba-Djemba, Bellion, Dong, Manucho, Tosic, Alan Smith etc
    There are players out there who cost £40 million odd now when they would have cost much less had we gone out and bought them. Gaitan played against us tonight. Napoli have Marek Hamsik. Eden Hazard is another decent player. Oh and don’t come out with this “they’re no better than what we’ve got” bollocks when they are. Why haven’t we signed someone like Scott Parker? Isn’t he better than the shite we have? You still haven’t answered why we didn’t sign Mascherano when he was at West Ham or even before. Madrid are shitting on everyone and not only because of Ronaldo but also because they’ve got a decent midfield. Fucking hell, we were linked with Yaya Toure long before he even went to Barcelona let alone City.
    You mean to tell me, Alf, that with all the money we pissed away on shite, we couldn’t find even one decent midfielder? Bollocks.
    Edit – I forgot to add Anderson, Hargreaves and Bebe to the list of players we have wasted money on.
    What makes you so certain that, if we had extra money, we wouldn’t have bought another player that would have cost the same as Anderson? What makes you think that Fergie is a stranger to expensive flops?

  108. sidney said:
    If we finish second and we get a big team then the cunts will just have to raise their game earlier than usual, and Fergie will just have to buy a quality midfielder in Jan

    I hope we land a big team. If us getting through to the next round and then getting dumped on our arses by a decent side makes Fergie wake up, maybe it will be a blessing in disguise.

  109. Commenter said:
    Hard to find a quality midfielder in Jan who isn’t already cup-tied in Europe Sid.

    I thought players had to be re-registered for the knock out stages

  110. sheesh said:
    I hope we land a big team. If us getting through to the next round and then getting dumped on our arses by a decent side makes Fergie wake up, maybe it will be a blessing in disguise.

    sheesh
    we got arse fucked at wembley in front of a billion in may
    if he couldn’t see it then, i doubt anything will open his eyes
    and no Alf, i am not slagging him off – just making the point that maybe, just maybe, he is getting too old in the tooth for this game now

  111. han, you are probably too right.

  112. Calvino said:
    han, you are probably too right.

    too right? “Discuss…”

  113. han said:
    sheesh
    we got arse fucked at wembley in front of a billion in may
    if he couldn’t see it then, i doubt anything will open his eyes
    and no Alf, i am not slagging him off – just making the point that maybe, just maybe, he is getting too old in the tooth for this game now

    Balls

    I reckon the club know the midfield is shit (they are scouting centre mids after all) but they don’t think it’s as much of a problem as we do because we play through the flanks and we dominated City until the sending off and all that bollocks

  114. sidney said:
    Balls

    I reckon the club know the midfield is shit (they are scouting centre mids after all) but they don’t think it’s as much of a problem as we do because we play through the flanks and we dominated City until the sending off and all that bollocks

    u smoking knobheads wacky baccy again sid?
    ffs he is a stubborn mule at times is SAF (and no, i wouldn’t change that for all the many splendid things he has achieved) but we have seen time and time again that we need quality in the middle and yet he refuses to buy that even when its available citing the usual no need etc lack of value jizzm etc

  115. Manchester United in the Europa League. Doesn’t even bear thinking about. Still, Fergie will think that everything is fine. Nobody else’s fault but the pesky Glazers’.

  116. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Before any of you cunts start slaggin off Ferguson…

    If not for the Glazers we’d have more money… and Ferguson would be able to improve the team… better team… better players… means Ferguson doesn’t have to use players out of position… means we have a strong team of players playing where they’re supposed to… enjoying themselves… entertaining the fans… winning more… scoring more… and ultimately…

    …Ferguson wouldn’t have to continuously talk a load of complete shite to try and convince us that all is well…

    May the Glazers all catch syphilis…

    Blaming the Glazers is like blaming everything on one problem. Fergie could have bought at least one midfielder. Jones was a player for the future, Fergie himself said that he’s attempted to buy him since Jan because of competition.

    Scott Parker was available for £5m + United tax. Not the best but he’s very effective and would have helped us in a 4-3-3.

    Regarding this game, I thought United were a bit unlucky. The team played well, but sometimes these things happen.

  117. han said:
    u smoking knobheads wacky baccy again sid?
    ffs he is a stubborn mule at times is SAF (and no, i wouldn’t change that for all the many splendid things he has achieved) but we have seen time and time again that we need quality in the middle and yet he refuses to buy that even when its available citing the usual no need etc lack of value jizzm etc

    We’ve missed out on some top players, aye. But all is not lost because we’re definitely signing a midfielder in Jan

    Fergie’s post match interview does nothing to quell the midfield rage. He says the team played well and that he can’t fault them. He came out with the old cliche ‘football is a cruel game at times.’ He must have missed us needlessly giving the ball away

  118. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    sheesh said:
    FFS we’ve been all over this a million times before. Sure we would have had more money but look at what Fergie has purchased with the money he had: Kleberson, Djemba-Djemba, Bellion, Dong, Manucho, Tosic, Alan Smith etc
    There are players out there who cost £40 million odd now when they would have cost much less had we gone out and bought them. Gaitan played against us tonight. Napoli have Marek Hamsik. Eden Hazard is another decent player. Oh and don’t come out with this “they’re no better than what we’ve got” bollocks when they are. Why haven’t we signed someone like Scott Parker? Isn’t he better than the shite we have? You still haven’t answered why we didn’t sign Mascherano when he was at West Ham or even before. Madrid are shitting on everyone and not only because of Ronaldo but also because they’ve got a decent midfield. Fucking hell, we were linked with Yaya Toure long before he even went to Barcelona let alone City.
    You mean to tell me, Alf, that with all the money we pissed away on shite, we couldn’t find even one decent midfielder? Bollocks.
    Edit – I forgot to add Anderson, Hargreaves and Bebe to the list of players we have wasted money on.
    What makes you so certain that, if we had extra money, we wouldn’t have bought another player that would have cost the same as Anderson? What makes you think that Fergie is a stranger to expensive flops?

    The fact that Ferguson has amazed us all with so many expensive flops partially proves my point… he’d never been financially restricted before… if he wanted a player… he bought a player.
    In fact… there was a time when he was King Shit in the transfer market, at least in England… breaking transfer records one after another…
    Fair enough, the competition for the best players now is heavy weight… but considering what the Glazers have pissed away in the past 5 years… I don’t think it’s a long stretch to think we’d have a much better midfield right now…
    Does anyone here doubt that just 2 proper centre mids would greatly improve our team and the football we play?
    Everyone knows our midfield is rubbish… we know it… the other teams know it… even the press gobshites know it… they bang on about it nearly as much as we do… and Ferguson knows it… obviously he can’t say so… but it’s obvious he knows… it’s why he keeps fuckin about with it…
    So why doesn’t he spend what’s needed to fix it? Why was Sneijder apparently in the bag, except for financial quibbling?
    Manchester United is SUPPOSED to be a world class team… with a world class midfield… and Ferguson was never shy about spending money, until the Glazers took over…
    …and here’s a fact…
    Only our midfield keeps us from being an excellent team again… and if we had the midfield we SHOULD have… no one here would give a fuck about the shitty signings Ferguson has made.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  119. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    dozer said:
    Blaming the Glazers is like blaming everything on one problem. Fergie could have bought at least one midfielder. Jones was a player for the future, Fergie himself said that he’s attempted to buy him since Jan because of competition.
    Scott Parker was available for £5m + United tax. Not the best but he’s very effective and would have helped us in a 4-3-3.
    Regarding this game, I thought United were a bit unlucky. The team played well, but sometimes these things happen.

    Parker?
    Come on ffs… I concede he’s been good for Spurs so far, but he’s not the first name that comes to mind when you’re talking world class… is he?
    Parker is good… above average even… but we’ve got plenty of “good”… what we need is great!… “good” is what mid table teams have.
    There are plenty of mids out there we could have bought, but the question is, would they have been that much better than what we’ve got?
    Our midfield is shit… but £15/20 million wouldn’t make much difference… the quality we need is… Schweinsteiger, Sneijder, Essien, Toure, Iniesta, Keane, Scholes, Gerrard… these player cost a fuck of a lot more than 15/20 mill.
    Ten years ago, we’d have paid what it cost, had the rest of the league pissing and moaning that we’ve got too much money to spend and been telling them all to fuck off.
    Now we’ve got to try and make do, with Anderson, Fletcher and Carrick… make do…how the fuck did that happen?

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  120. poor result, but i enjoyed the game. far better than the shit that’s been served up recently.

  121. oh, and how good is pablo aimar? always liked him, and it was fucking great to watch him again. hope he does well.

  122. Alf you haven’t really addressed my above points. The likes of gotze could have been purchased a couple of years ago if we’d had our fingers on the pulse. Now he will cost over 40 million. We could have had sneijder on the relative cheap when he was wasting away at real madrid. Fergie has been complacent about our midfield for too long. I fear that we are heading for an eventual decline.

  123. You talk about toure alf but you still haven’t addressed the point i made about him. We were linked with him long before he went to barcelona.

  124. What Sir A needs to do is to (a) identify the midfielder(s) he can get and who will do the job (b) set up the transaction so that it happens in January (c) think of team formations and configurations where these players could just slot in and play without any teething issues (d) start to play these formations and configurations but with players from the current squad who will be backups when they arrive to stand in for them. We might lose a few games and thus fall too far behind City and out of the CL — but when the formations start to work and the new guys come and are slotted in, then we can start to play some killer football.

    I don’t see us rediscovering the killer football that we played at the beginning of the season without changing things and trying out new options — but that always comes with a risk. But what we do know is that unless we come up with an unexpected miracle central midfield combination that works, we are addled with a range of tried and trusted combinations: trusted in the bad sense that we know they are doomed to fail. In any event — we have to buy. If Fergie doesn’t know after this how crucial CM is, then he is clearly losing his mental powers at an astonishing rate.

  125. I do not like Sneijder never have. Ditto on Toure. Alex Ferguson teams play through the wings. So what we actually need is a tenacious and athletic midfield that will give the ball wide as quickly as possible and press the opposition when they have possession. carrick played very well yesterday in his passing.

    If Welbeck even had been the lone striker yesterday we would have stretched Benfica better and more. They pushed up knowing that Berbatov will not run behind them. People underestimate what that does to the entire team dynamics and we always pay this price when that fellow plays.

    The day after I can see that we were not as bad as I thought. Their early goal gave them the impetus and our gifting them a second made life a lot easier for them. if we had held on to that lead longer we would have exposed them more on the break. In reality only once – after we equalised – did de Gea have to make a save worthy of note when Aimar went through.

    The kind of midfielders a lot of you are asking for are those that will alter the team shape considerably and I do not see Sir Alex doing that. He will always start with his proper wide men. When people mention Scott Parker they mean he will win a lot of tackles for us and will give the offensive players the platform to go and play. Very true. And, if he is good enough to play for England then he is good enough to play for Manchester United. I would not have bought him if I was buying. Will ask for Sandro.

    • I would agree about our game being dependent on wide players (its our style) and needing a midfioeld that can win the ball and create a platform for attacks wide. However, I would be worried if this is thought to imply that we stick to a 4:4:2 that tends to lead to us becoming outnumbered in central midfield and losing the midfield battle there.

  126. Benfica are a decent side, lest we forget. This United side isn’t at all bad, but it isn’t awe-inspiring either.

  127. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    that’s two good games in a row from carrick tbf

  128. Commenter said:
    I would agree about our game being dependent on wide players (its our style) and needing a midfioeld that can win the ball and create a platform for attacks wide. However, I would be worried if this is thought to imply that we stick to a 4:4:2 that tends to lead to us becoming outnumbered in central midfield and losing the midfield battle there.

    Certainly not what I am proposing either. what I wish we could do is have Carrick deep passing all over the pitch with his fantastic range; Fletcher running and hounding people all over the place; Young in the hole behind Rooney BUT knowing also that he is part of a midfield trio. If Welbeck is fit then he plays as the sole striker with Rooney in the hole. The key is that whoever is in that hole must understand that he is part of a midfield trio and not a strike partner for the striker. That way we do not get overrun in midfield. Chicharito can come off the bench. 442 the way our manager knows it and has played it for years is long dead. See my signature.

    Dear Sir Alex Ferguson, the 4-4-2 formation with two strikers and two central midfielders is DEAD. Please stop playing this. Thank you very much sir. Regards,
    A Loyal Fan.

  129. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    if its dead why are we winning trophies with it

  130. denton davey says:

    “Hard to find a quality midfielder in Jan who isn’t already cup-tied in Europe.”

    Daniele de Rossi of AS Roma

  131. uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    if its dead why are we winning trophies with it

    It is still amazing that we won anything last season. Our best seasons of the last six have been when we have played a three man midfield more often than not. You know it too.

    • Uncle has a problem with tenses. He should have asked you `why have we been winning trophies with it” and you would need to explain to him that we won previously because we had a killer, fluid atack : Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney — or because when 2/3 of this trio disappeared we still had a very strong defence and ground out enough points to win the title when our rivals were not as consistent as we were and all went through serious slumps.

      As I said above: it doesn’t look like we are playing in a `winning’ way this year so far, and we are certainly not odds-on favourites for the league or CL.

  132. Commenter said:
    “Hard to find a quality midfielder in Jan who isn’t already cup-tied in Europe.”

    Daniele de Rossi of AS Roma

    de Rossi will not leave Roma. He is the next talisman after Totti quits. It will take a huge effort to bring him and January will not be a good time.

  133. Commenter said:
    “Hard to find a quality midfielder in Jan who isn’t already cup-tied in Europe.”

    Whether or not the players are cup-tied is irrelevant; United have no chance to win the UCL, but with a quality central midfield, they could still win the Premiership and give the youngsters some more time to be brought along properly as well as being examples and mentors for them everyday in training.

  134. I personally think that we are far too dependent on our wide players to create anything to make up for the lack of quality in the centre of the park. It’s all very well saying that we play our centre midfielders to give the ball to the wide men but look what happened against City when we were dominating possession in the first half. We simply weren’t hurting them enough and the keeper didn’t have a huge amount to do.

    We are so one-dimensional in our play, it’s unbelievable. Give the ball to the wingers and/or Rooney and let them hurt the opposition. I can’t believe this is what we have been reduced to.

    We need, at a minimum, one top quality ball winner and one top quality creative player.

  135. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    and the wingers tactic is redundant if nanis not flying, the rest are crap

  136. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    and the wingers tactic is redundant if nanis not flying, the rest are crap

    Park>>>>>>Pele>>>>>>Messi>>>>>Nani

  137. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    all playing park does is give hope to people with downs

  138. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    all playing park does is give hope to people with downs

    LOOOOOOL!!!!!!!

  139. the most uninspiring united midfield of Fergal’s 25 year reign. i’m gonna committ sui soon

  140. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Cal’s signature has convinced me that there an awful lot of retarded folk on the internet

  141. Pikey McScum said:
    Cal’s signature has convinced me that there an awful lot of retarded folk on the internet

    Finally your Eureka moment.

  142. Anderson out until Feb – knee injury – the crisis deepens.

    I’m with Sid on this – we fucking have to get some new stock in Jan. As much as I think Anderson is a useless CUNT – and no player should deserve an injury for sake of it, this shld spur the pissed head into action – either promote the young guns or get some proven fucking midfield power.

  143. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    danniitronix said:
    Anderson out until Feb – knee injury – the crisis deepens.

    I’m with Sid on this – we fucking have to get some new stock in Jan. As much as I think Anderson is a useless CUNT – and no player should deserve an injury for sake of it, this shld spur the pissed head into action – either promote the young guns or get some proven fucking midfield power.

    We all thought the fisting from Barcelona would spur Ferguson into action… it even seemed that Ferguson himself finally got the message. He made all the right noises… and we were all certain he was going to bring in some real quality.

    We got Young…

    Barcelona got Sanchez and Fabregas!

    They’re clearly terrified of us now.

  144. Well done fergie. You had at least 5 years to do sonething about our midfield. For someone who has won us so much he has been clueless about the midfield for far too long.

  145. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:
  146. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Fergie rules out January deals
    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11667/7332193/Fergie-rules-out-January-deals

    HOW THE FUCK. I MEAN WHAT FUCKING PLANET ARE GILL AND FERGUS ON.
    THIS HAS FUCK ALL TO DO WITH MONEY, ITS FERGUS TAKING A LEAF OUT OF WENGERS BOOK – IT’S MY WAY OR THE HIGH WAY – WHEN IS HE GONNA REALISE THIS SHIT MIDFIELD CAN JUST ABOUT KEEP UP WITH THE PACE.

    Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
    Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice – Steven Jobs

  147. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    terrible…..its a mixture of what alf and sheesh say..

  148. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    even if all our midfielders were killed in a freak yachting accident fergie would still deem it smalltime to buy big in january

  149. danniitronix said:
    HOW THE FUCK. I MEAN WHAT FUCKING PLANET ARE GILL AND FERGUS ON.

    Planet Poverty; it’s a negligible piece-of-shit planet on the edge of a downward spiral galaxy.

  150. Did you guys listen to the interview at all? He said the two or so players he would like to bring to the club will not be available so that there is no point going there. It looks like you guys want him to go and buy just for buying sake. Right? Well, am not sure the man is going to do that.

  151. Cal, fergie always comes out with this bollocks around transfer window time just to keep the fans excited. He talks bollocks just like when he gave everyone the idea that we weren’t going to sign sneijder so that we could give pogba et al games…otherwise they would leave. The man is a shameless liar.

  152. We only have two fit centre mids til Jan. That’s totally massively outrageous

    We will sign someone, telling ya. I had a vision

  153. Fergie answers midfield critics http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2011/Nov/sir-alex-ferguson-hits-back-over-midfield.aspx?newsid=C458F5FC-FD77-481A-B5C8-8230A1AFB7BB
    He just bigs up the dross and excuses their inexcusable performances, then says there aren’t any proper United midfielders available
    He’s aware of the midfield debate then

  154. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Of course he’s aware of the problem… but there’s fuck all he can do about it.

    We can’t afford the quality of player neccessary to make a real difference.

    It’s not just the transfer fee… it’s the wages… players such as, Sneijder, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Nasri, etc… can get £200+ a week at richer clubs.

    The Glazers just won’t sanction that… the talent that we CAN afford isn’t really that much better than what we’ve got in Carrick and Fletcher.

    It’s all about money, and for that, I don’t blame Ferguson.

    What I DO blame Ferguson for, is the lies and bullshit, that he feeds the fans that support the Glazers plans.

    He’s burning his own legend.

  155. I think its at the point where we do need to buy for buyings sake, purely due to the injuries. Even a loan signing in January might give us the boost to see us through.

  156. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Of course he’s aware of the problem… but there’s fuck all he can do about it.
    We can’t afford the quality of player neccessary to make a real difference.
    It’s not just the transfer fee… it’s the wages… players such as, Sneijder, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Nasri, etc… can get £200+ a week at richer clubs.
    The Glazers just won’t sanction that… the talent that we CAN afford isn’t really that much better than what we’ve got in Carrick and Fletcher.
    It’s all about money, and for that, I don’t blame Ferguson.
    What I DO blame Ferguson for, is the lies and bullshit, that he feeds the fans that support the Glazers plans.
    He’s burning his own legend.

    United have the 3rd highest wage bill in the Premier League behind Chelsea and City:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/may/19/premier-league-finances-black-hole
    Alf, you talk about money but on every single occasion I have mentioned this, you have ignored all the players I have listed that Fergie wasted money on. You have also ignored those circumstances when a player needn’t have costed top whack but we either did nothing or acted far too late (Mascherano before joining West Ham and whilst with them, Toure before joining Barcelona are 2 examples). Modric cost Spurs £15.8 million.
    Instead of spending money on crap, Fergie could have purchased 1, if not 2, proven top-class midfielders. This has been a priority since Keane left. I blame Fergie for not sorting this out sooner.

  157. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    so the money spent on bebe and tosic couldve bought modric

    doesn’t look good

  158. Fergie “If we’d seen a young Bryan Robson or Roy Keane, we’d have been the first there”
    Those kind of ballsy captain material bite-yer-leg types aren’t being produced anymore
    It’s all gangly cunts and small technical cunts
    We have neither

  159. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    by fergies logic of what a utd midfielder is why the fuck did we sign carrick

  160. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    what a fucking cunt that ginsoak horse rimming jock twat is

  161. Alf, Rob – I’m with sheesh on this, you can’t deny money is an issue but its his failure to acknowledge a problem for 5 years and constant media gobshite. Like wenger refusing to spend cash that he has – if we can afford 250k for rooney we can afford 125k for a solid prospect at least.

    He’s deluded – I’d be less pissed off if he said yep we need investment but he keeps bumming up the bench players.

    I have a lot of respect for park and fletcher but they are not on current form first team material and given their age will only get worse. Same for carrick.

    Its the gill fergal pantomine – you can’t make this up!!!

  162. It looks like Fergie thinks the Carrick, Fletcher, Anderson, Cleverley, Gibson and Giggs are better players than those at level below the big money names like Sneijder, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Nasri etc who will command £150,000+ wages and a 25 million pound transfer fee.

    Let’s be fair are the likes of Martinez, Goetze, Rodwell, who are in that secondary bracket, any better than the United players above? Bear in mind that all the above are settled at United, have big game experience and won lots of silverware. In the long term Rodwell would be a good bet to replace Carrick, is versatile and will settle in pretty easily.

    Between the Glazers drain of the club and perhaps Fergie not wanting to spend big money and then see if backfire – ie. Veron, Hargreaves, Berbatov – this is perhaps why he hasn’t spent big on a cm yet. However if Anderson and Cleverley don’t shape up by the end of the season then he might go big in the summer. Then again we might get Rodwell and nobody else.

    Purchases in the January have generally been on younger players to develop in the future ie. Tosic, Diouf, Lindegaard, not big names, so I would be very very surprised if they went big in Jan.

  163. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    sidney said:
    Fergie answers midfield critics http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2011/Nov/sir-alex-ferguson-hits-back-over-midfield.aspx?newsid=C458F5FC-FD77-481A-B5C8-8230A1AFB7BB

    He just bigs up the dross and excuses their inexcusable performances, then says there aren’t any proper United midfielders available

    He’s aware of the midfield debate then

    To me this suggests that, regardless of big name signings or no signings in midfield at all, Cleverley is going to be the main man.

    Happy with that?

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