Fergie urges Reds to ‘wake up’ for Bilbao clash

March 8, 2012 Tags: , Matches 203 comments

Sir Alex Ferguson has called on his troops to “waken up” if Manchester United is to progress to the Europa League quarter-final. Beaten at home by Ajax in the previous round, Untied has now clocked up eight sub-par performances in succession in European competition this season – a trend varyingly blamed on poor form, injury, complacency and the manager’s propensity to tinker.

No more, says the United manager, with the Scot promising to field a full strength side against Athletic Bilbao at Old Trafford on Thursday night. The United manager may need to, with the Basque side lying fifth in La Liga and deploying a committed attacking style. Led by in-demand 13-goal leading scorer Ferdnando Llorente, Bilbao is just a single point off Champions League qualification.

It is no mean feat for a supporter-owned club that still largely employs the candera system of recruiting only players of Basque origin. One of Spain’s oldest club’s Athletic – note the English demarcation, initiated by the club’s Southampton-based founders – operates on a fraction of United’s budget, from its atmospheric San Mamés base.

But the self-imposed restrictions are unlikely to fool Ferguson, even if complacency in European competition has been a genuine problem for United’s players this season. The Basque side is likely to offer every bit as stiff a test as FC Basel, Benfica and Ajax have in the campaign.

With United facing successive home ties against Ahtletic and then West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday, Ferguson is set to select a strong side against the Basque visitors.

“It’s a very difficult tie,” said Ferguson on Wednesday.

“From what we’ve seen, Bilbao are a very progressive team in Spain at the moment and it’s going to be a difficult game for us. It’s a game in which we need to waken up, there’s no question about that. Some of our European form this season has been disappointing but it’s an opportunity to progress and we have to take that opportunity. But it will need a very good performance.

“I don’t know if we’re making too many changes in these games. Certainly in the second leg against Ajax we did that, and in the Champions League group stage we made some changes. But we made mistakes in the group stage too, so it’s our own fault. But we’ll play a strong side against Bilbao and hopefully that makes a difference.”

It is just United’s second fixture with the Basque side, after Sir Matt Busby’s ‘Babes’ played, and beat, Bilbao in the European Cup quarter-final in early 1957. Losing the away fixture 5-3, Busby’s young side turned the tie around with a 3-0 at Maine Road to qualify for the semi-final. It provides an excersice in nostalgia, with United’s 11 a who’s who of the Babes: Wood, Foulkes, Byrne, Colman, Jones, Edwards, Berry, Whelan, Taylor, Viollet, Pegg.

Bilbao is no longer at the top table of European football, having won the last of the club’s eight La Liga titles in the mid-1980s. But under Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa, Bilbao has successfully married the traditional attacking Basque approach, to the one and two-touch close passing game the former national team manager prefers.

“They’ve got different qualities from a lot of Spanish teams,” Ferguson added.

“They press the ball very well and they’re not afraid to flood players forward in attack. They’re very positive and have no hesitation in committing themselves to attack at any point, with a number of players. It’s the best Athletic Bilbao team I’ve seen for some years.

“I’ve not met Marcelo Bielsa but I admire his work. He’s overseen the emergence of a very good, determined, organised Bilbao side with great belief. He’s instilled those qualities in his team. We’ll have to be strong at the back; if you offered me a 1-0 tomorrow I’d take it, as it’s much better than a 2-1 or 3-2.”

Manchester United v Athletic Bilbao, Europa League, Old Trafford, 8 March 2012Ferguson will counter the threat by deploying a strong starting side, although there are bound to be changes to the team that beat Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane last weekend. Indeed, Ferguson has largely used European competition to offer minutes to second-string players this term, and the strategy may not change at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Brazilian midfielder Anderson, Dimitar Berbatov, Javier Hernández, Park Ji-Sung and Ryan Giggs are all in line to play some part in the fixture. However, having deployed a callow back-four and goalkeeper – to disastrous effect – against Ajax at Old Trafford last month, the Scot is likely to field the same rearguard that saw off Spurs on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Bilbao arrive with one of Europe’s most sought after strikers in Llorente, who has scored 13 goals in 22 La Liga appearances this season. The 6’5″ striker provides an obvious aerial threat, but has proven a consistent goalscorer at both domestic and international level.

“Manchester are obviously the favourites. They always play Champions League and compete with teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid,” Llorente told the Europa Press Association.

“They are one of the big teams in Europe and we’re novices. Rooney is a real killer. He has a great mentality and is a great inspiration for his team-mates. I expect a very exciting game. We are really looking forward to the game, and will do our utmost to get a good result. We have been doing quite well and might cause an upset.

“This round against Manchester United will be a key moment in my sporting career so far. After the World Cup in 2010 and the Copa del Rey final coming up, this is the most important match ever for me. To play at Old Trafford is a dream challenge for any footballer and now I am dreaming of success on that pitch. Matches like this are a special test of my ability.”

Bielsa has more than a single weapon in his locker though, with Markel Susaeta and outstanding youngster Iker Muniain offering Llorente support from the flanks. Pamplona-born Muniain, who has forced his way into the full Spain squad this season, is likely to attract big-money summer offers, with the 19-year-old being compared in style to Lionel Messi. Certainly Munaian’s diminutive build and pacey dribbling style could offer United’s right-back a genuine challenge.

The outstanding Javi Martinez, a defensive midfielder whom many home supporters would like to see in United red, will anchor Athletic’s engine room.

“We’re very proud and full of hope and excitement,” said Argentinian Bielsa, who managed the national team from 1998 to 2004.

“Taking on this Manchester United side, with what they’ve achieved, the great players they have, and the man responsible for getting them where they are, represents the highest level of competition for us.”

Should Bilbao pull off a result at Old Trafford, which is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility given the hosts’ European form this season, Bielsa may readjust his ambition. History does not bode well for the visitors, with Athletic having lost half of the club’s 14 games against English sides. But make no mistake, Bilbao is close to the best sides United has faced in any European competition this season, even if the Basque side has lost its past two European away fixtures.

Match Facts
Manchester United versus Atletic Bilbao, Old Trafford, Europa League, Thursday 8 March 2012, 8.05pm

Potential Line-ups
United (4-4-2): de Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Smalling, Fabio; Valencia, Giggs, Carrick, Young; Berbatov, Hernández. Subs from: Amos, Rafael, Evra, Evans, Fryers, Scholes, Park, Nani, Welbeck, Rooney, Owen.

Bilbao (4-3-3): Iraizoz; Iraola, Amorebieta, San Jose, Aurtenetxe; , Martínez, Herrera, Oscar; Susaeta, Llorente, Muniaín. Subs from: López, Del Campo, Raúl, Toquero, Pérez, Gomez, Ekiza

Form
United: WDWLWW
Bilbao: WDLWDW

Officials
Referee: Florian Meyer (GER)
Assistant referees: Holger Henschel, Jan-Hendrik Salver
Additional assistant referees: Deniz Aytekin, Markus Wingenbach
Fourth official: Michael Weiner

203 comments

Matt - March 8, 2012 Reply

I know Jones is good but can he play CM & RB at the same time?!

Ed - March 8, 2012 Reply

Matt – sarcastic troll alert. So brave he didn’t bother entering a real email address. Yawn.

Tom - March 8, 2012 Reply

You have Jones playing RB and CM in your line up. Otherwise I think your team selection I fairly accurate.

Personally I’d rather rest Rio than Evans, and I’s like to see Rooney play with Hernandez, as they have had little chance this season to pair up from the start.

It’s a tough one as Berba needs and deserves games, but it’s squeeky bum time in the league, and I think we need to get Rooney and Hernandez playing together.

Ando in definite need for a game, so hopefully he will get the nod from the start. Cleverly still injured I imagine?

uncleknobheadforfucksake - March 8, 2012 Reply

tbf park is clearly gonna play, so its either 443 or a park anderson cm botch job

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

giggs, rooney and sweet pea all starters

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

intelligent interview from de gea on c5 just now
and he has such nice eyes too……

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

Come on united, need a good win tonight.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

so much for a full strength team: park and jones in central midfield. Or maybe Park’s on the left. We’ll probably get done. Still, i don’t mind Fergie treating this like a high quality Carling Cup, it’s entertaining.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Great open start to the game… could be a cracker, this.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

han said:
intelligent interview from de gea on c5 just now
and he has such nice eyes too……

What did he say?

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

bman said:
What did he say?

dunno
it was in spanish
i was too busy looking at his eyes….

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
Great open start to the game… could be a cracker, this.

Yeah it’s pretty manic already. I expect to see some real Roy of the Rovers stuff from Jones.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

they are really going for it

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

our passing needs to sharpen up or we will be screwed

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

Bilbao can play, and defend

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

rooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnneyyyyyyyyy

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Just as I was about to say, we’re second best here.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

NIce one – that came from nowhere. Good old Giggs – he made that happen, after Bilbao being on top for a while

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

Rooney 1-0

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

There you go, bit of quality

Woeful finish from Hernandez

dozer - March 8, 2012 Reply

Hernandez cant dribble eh? He’ll be a world class player in a few years barring injury.

brianofnazareth - March 8, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
There you go, bit of quality

Woeful finish from Hernandez

Great turn though…

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

young doing a fine cameo of nani with his crossing

JayJ - March 8, 2012 Reply

Quality turn by Hernandez he made the goal by forcing the save so not really a woeful finish……they look dangerous going forward.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

I like watching this side, they’re like a baby Barca. They really look like scoring at some point. I really like the look of that Martinez lad — classy on the ball, gets about, nice passer, and has enough defensive bollocks that they play him in central defence. Just what we need for midfield.

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

we are shite.. how we are ahead ill never know..

brianofnazareth - March 8, 2012 Reply

We’re getting bossed by the 5th best team in Spain!

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

fuck that was close

brianofnazareth - March 8, 2012 Reply

We need a few goals tonight as at their ground they’ll put a couple on us!!

FFS how far has the quality of a squad dropped!! Should have been 1-1then…..

JayJ - March 8, 2012 Reply

Fuck Pogba, half these young players are Prima Donnas, too much money and all over twitter. Ooooh Evans just got bum raped for pace, Ferdinand esc.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

Evans done for pace, and he had a head start

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

need to change midfield around at half time.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Giggs and Evans by far our best players so far. Roo’s doing well, but this is a match he should grab by the scruff.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

They get shitloads in the box

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

I don’t care what anyone says… I don’t think Hernandez is a very good player…

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

6-7 of their players in our box for that cross in… confident arent they…

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

dozer said:
Hernandez cant dribble eh? He’ll be a world class player in a few years barring injury.

Bollocks!

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Nice save by De Gea. Park’s shite, need to replace him. And I say that as someone who’s usually in the position of defending him. Put Nani and Carrick on for the second half and we’ll take this lot out behind the woodshed.

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

balls we will.. all over us like stink on a monkey

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
I don’t care what anyone says… I don’t think Hernandez is a very good player…

He’s fine, he’s a role-player, excellent player to have on the bench. He’s never going to be the top-class player we should have starting in his position.

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

ltel said:
balls we will.. all over us like stink on a monkey

i dont stink

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

ltel said:
balls we will.. all over us like stink on a monkey

Yeah they are, but they leave themselves so open. If we had Scholesy and Carrick in the middle, we’d cut them open like Hannibal Lector when their attack breaks down.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

They’ll be knackered after an hour or so

JayJ - March 8, 2012 Reply

They look much better than 5th in la liga. Rio having bib trouble lol. Fuck me what a catch by there keeper.

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

we hope.. im sick of this scrappy scraping wins.. where is the flowing football we crave..THIS IS NOT THE UNITED WAY….may aswel have maureen as manager next.. serves up the same shite

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
They look much better than 5th in la liga. Rio having bib trouble lol. Fuck me what a catch by there keeper.

I think they’re only fifth because they had a very poor start to the season as the new manager was still adjusting the team to play the way they do now. Apparently their results for the past 15 games or so are excellent.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Well that was extremely inevitable.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

That’s it Jones, don’t bother tracking the run

JayJ - March 8, 2012 Reply

They deserve that, Evans left his man ball watching!

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

need to score an arse full now

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Listen to the crowd… who’s the fuckin home team, ffs…

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

fucking jokers.. cut the shit out.. disgrace

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

I’d have Llorente and Martinez in a heartbeat. They’d both be starters for us, and hugely improve on Hernandez/Welbeck and Ando/no one.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

Giving Athletico those extra 2000 + seats doesn’t look like such a good idea now

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

thast it jones.. let one of the best strikers around jog on past.. no problem… fucking spastic

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
They deserve that, Evans left his man ball watching!

Nothing to do with Evans, Jones should have followed him or Smalling should have picked him up. Jones is a bit shit defending for a supposed defender.

JayJ - March 8, 2012 Reply

Watch the replay, Evans was in front of Llorente, when he passed Evans followed the man when he was already picked up. He is the centre back he should have been there to pick him up, not saying jones didn’t track the run. But he wouldnt of had to if Evans was in his position.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
Giving Athletico those extra 2000 + seats doesn’t look like such a good idea now

don’t think it makes any difference
even with 2000 less away fans, they would still out sing/shout the OT masses

brianofnazareth - March 8, 2012 Reply

The decline continues!

I won’t give a fuck if we go out of this cunting competition. Fergie will have no hiding place.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

brianofnazareth said:
The decline continues!

I won’t give a fuck if we go out of this cunting competition. Fergie will have no hiding place.

i can feel him quaking in his ribbed top

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

With them only playing three at the back, surely the right approach to take is to put an extra body in the middle and go for a real attacking threat on both flanks? Take Hernandez off for Carrick, giving us better defending and better distribution in the middle, take Park off for Nani, and then have Roo, Nani, and Young coming at their three defenders at pace. someone text Fergie.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

time for this team to grow a pair of gonads and stand up for the red shirt

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

why don’t we start a match with our best team instead of a these strange teams.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

madredmonkey said:
why don’t we start a match with our best team instead of a these strange teams.

the side SAF has put out should be good enough instead of being outplayed, outpassed and out thought by the opposition – if they are 5th in la liga, they are in the wrong position

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
Watch the replay, Evans was in front of Llorente, when he passed Evans followed the man when he was already picked up. He is the centre back he should have been there to pick him up, not saying jones didn’t track the run. But he wouldnt of had to if Evans was in his position.

You’re just wrong. Evans moved to cut out someone running in to meet the cross at the near side, as he is supposed to, while Evra moved out to the crosser. Whether Smalling or Jones should have moved to meet Llorente I don’t know, but Jones doesn’t seem to be doing a whole lot once Llorente saunters past him at speed.

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

han said:
the side SAF has put out should be good enough instead of being outplayed, outpassed and out thought by the opposition – if they are 5th in la liga, they are in the wrong position

we are second in the league.. maybe thats the wrong position

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

Jones has lost his initial oomph from midfield and now he looks average and a lump

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

great save. we have started sloppy again.

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

de gea keeps us in europe

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

What the fuck is Fergie thinking? We are providing zero cover for the defence from midfield. Get fucking Carrick on ASAP.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

De Gea’s lightweight frame means he can fly through the air like a superhero

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

what is jones’ job here.. holy fuck we are awful

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

they are fingering our fanny

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
Jones has lost his initial oomph from midfield and now he looks average and a lump

I think the problem is that he’s been told not to run forward so recklessly, but he still doesn’t really know how to position himself and provide a defensive shield, so he’s not really attacking or defending, he’s just lumbering about while Bilbao players attack all around him.

He’s got bags of potential, but he does not know how to be a midfielder yet.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

This is awful

We can’t get iut of our own half

We have no midfield

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

they are all over us again , this is shit.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Fuck me…De gea is a great keeper… just needs to command his area for crosses and corners.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Finally here comes Carrick.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

ltel said:
we are second in the league.. maybe thats the wrong position

This!

brianofnazareth - March 8, 2012 Reply

We’d need a £300 million overall to become a top side again at this rate!

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

Jones moving to defence

They will press Carrick like fuck and he’ll probably be a bit shit because of it

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Let Young take the free kick ffs.

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

whens the last time we scored a freekick… may aswell kick it out for a throw

JayJ - March 8, 2012 Reply

Here comes the carrick, sit and mop it up please. Already getting more possession.

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

i fucking hate ashley young!!!!

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Chico, you fuckin Wally!

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

fucking hell Rooney gave that to Hernandez on a platter.

JayJ - March 8, 2012 Reply

Hernandez should have scored there.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

return of the wimpy kid

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Was that Chico who just threw away possession? He’s getting on my nerves.

JayJ - March 8, 2012 Reply

Hernandez should have scored there

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

Anderson on.

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

looking a little better.. settled after 64 minutes

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

I was about to say that we can already see the difference Carrick makes, because they’re not just blitzkrieging constantly into our box anymore. But then Fergie put Fat “misplaced pass” Ando on, to counteract any stability Carrick brings to the midfield.

Damian Garside - March 9, 2012 Reply

and you know that Steven Segal wasn’t going to lose at home 3-2 to a bunch of Basque baddies.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

De Gea saves our ass BIG TIME. AGAIN.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

Another class save

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

our keeper is amazing.. who would have thought it…

JayJ - March 8, 2012 Reply

This is embarrassing, de Gea is playin out of his skin.

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

our keeper has saved us tonight.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Rubbish.

World class… my ass!

brianofnazareth - March 8, 2012 Reply

** Not at you Alf **

Anyone….name me a WORLD CLASS PLAYER we have…… maybe Rooney ? Who else….

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Fucking hell, according to the Soccernet game tracking thing, Bilbao have 60% possession, more than twice as money shots as us, and 7 corners to our 1. The are making fucking tits out of us. This is not that much better than when we play Barca.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

What a great goal, they deserve it

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

we are shit.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Great goal.

Deserved lead.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

I don’t care so much about this competition, but this is an embarrassment. We are being humiliated in front of the whole continent ffs. You can’t even hear our supporters.

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

out.. disgrace…..fucking shocking

brianofnazareth - March 8, 2012 Reply

We’ll lose another before the 90….

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

We’re not coming back from this. Bilbao have worked too hard to give this up now.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Ferguson will no doubt have a very logical explanation for this… nothing to do with our lack of quality, of course.

ltel - March 8, 2012 Reply

his speech is already written….

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

come on reds
score

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

Having no proper midfielder in the middle didn’t help

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

ltel said:
his speech is already written….

If I was Pogba, I’d leave as well.

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

we have been totally rubbish in this competition so far.

JayJ - March 8, 2012 Reply

Fuck me we have had 3 great crossing positions in this match and we have under hit them all.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

madredmonkey said:
we have been totally rubbish in this competition so far.

Europe in general

This team can’t get to grips with it

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Bilbao is owned by its supporters, plays tireless entertaining skilful attacking football, and its fans can ousting the home crowd in a 75k capacity stadium.

sheesh - March 8, 2012 Reply

I hope fergie plays the kids in the second leg. We can focus on the league.

Bilbao are very very good. The premier league has gone down in quality imo.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

didn’t realise prunier played for them

Ichiro - March 8, 2012 Reply

De Gea is looking world class tbf

sheesh - March 8, 2012 Reply

Can we buy their midfield? I may have a fiver in my wallet.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
I hope fergie plays the kids in the second leg. We can focus on the league.
Bilbao are very very good. The premier league has gone down in quality imo.

I don’t think they’re THAT good… but they press like maniacs, and that has exposed our less skilful players… you have got to be able to pass very quickly and accurately to keep the ball against this team… we didn’t have enough quality across the pitch to do that.
Had we started with our strongest 11, Scholes, Carrick, Nani… I think we win this game… and because they come at you so aggressively… perhaps quite comfortably as well.

“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.”

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

We’ve got fucking nothing, do we. it’s just sad watching this. We should put in bids for Martinez and that Muniain lad straight away, and Llorente would be great too.

Ichiro - March 8, 2012 Reply

wtf was rafael playing at

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

That’s it. They’d already fucked us in the arse while the whole prison watched. Now they’ve given us the Dirty Sanchez as the grand finale.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

That goal was fucking horrific

Outrageous, bullshit, a long ball

Raf…

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

game over.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

We’ve been done like a fuckin kipper here…

But what the fuck was that ref doing, giving away the free kick against us?

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

Why the fuck was that a freekick

brianofnazareth - March 8, 2012 Reply

What the FUCK was Da Silva doing ball watching? the Ref just gave them a goal.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

That peno’s given us a slim lifeline we don’t deserve, not in the slightest.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Pass the fuckin ball Nani, you dick head!

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

They were class

Stronger, quicker, higher tempo, more energy, more skillful

They deserve it

brianofnazareth - March 8, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
They were class

Stronger, quicker, higher tempo, more energy, more skillful

They deserve it

Spot on!!

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

We can still get through… we’ve got to win on their patch… but this has shown up our midfield weakness once again.

I doubt Ferguson will acknowledge that though.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

oh well all the cocksuckers who didn’t want us to progress got their wet dreams
they are a very good side, probably the best this season to come to OT so credit to them

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

They had 22 shots on goal, 14 on target. Those are the kind of numbers we get when we put some bottom feeding club to the sword. Rafael should never play for us again, worthless dozy sack of shit. Ando’s just not good enough, not even close. Jones I can forgive for being so young and having shown plenty of potential in the past, but he was a massive liability today who arguably caused all three goals. Park was a nonentity. Chico is not good enough, a handy sub at best. Only Rooney, Giggs, Evans, and De Gea showed up for us.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
We can still get through… we’ve got to win on their patch… but this has shown up our midfield weakness once again.

I doubt Ferguson will acknowledge that though.

not going to happen – on both counts

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
They were class

Stronger, quicker, higher tempo, more energy, more skillful

They deserve it

Nope… I’m not having that.

They were good… better than us… but we were shit… absolute dreck…

On our day, we beat them every time.

But our midfield is rubbish and it’s about fuckin time Ferguson admits that.

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
We can still get through… we’ve got to win on their patch… but this has shown up our midfield weakness once again.

I doubt Ferguson will acknowledge that though.

Our away form is class so we definitely have a chance

But we’re going to need a midfield if we’re going to win, not a 38 year old and an overrated lump

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

our keeper saved us, it could have been six,
they really wanted to win this and were really up for it , we looked like we didn’t really care, were supposed to be MANCHESTER UNITED, but looked like southend united.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

de gea played a blinder
raphael screwed him for their 3rd definitely
pretty piss poor on the whole
doubt we can turn it around next week but will still believe the improbable especially with the away form we have

Ichiro - March 8, 2012 Reply

Seeing it again I still cannot believe Rafael just stood off

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

Anderson is he united class.

sheesh - March 8, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
I don’t think they’re THAT good… but they press like maniacs, and that has exposed our less skilful players… you have got to be able to pass very quickly and accurately to keep the ball against this team… we didn’t have enough quality across the pitch to do that.
Had we started with our strongest 11, Scholes, Carrick, Nani… I think we win this game… and because they come at you so aggressively… perhaps quite comfortably as well.

They have a far superior midfield to ours. We have shit like Park, one-legged Young and Anderson. Their midfielders are quicker, younger and technically better. Llorente had a good game up front.
I fail to understand how it is that Bilbao can find class midfielders like Munain and Martinez and we have to put up with the rubbish in our ranks that we’ve got? Martinez came from Osasuna FFS.
Our midfield is fine for the Premier League but in Europe the gulf in quality has been exposed again.
All this talk about value is complete rubbish.
Edit – Had Scholes played, the game would have passed him by totally. Bilbao are far too quick and work hard to win the ball back. They didn’t allow us time to enjoy possession. Carrick did quite well when he came on but can’t do everything on his own. Nani is a brainless fuck head.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

madredmonkey said:
our keeper saved us, it could have been six,
they really wanted to win this and were really up for it , we looked like we didn’t really care, were supposed to be MANCHESTER UNITED, but looked like southend united.

sorry monkey but got to disagree with the care comment, just were not good enough against a technically gifted side who out passed us and made us look like a championship side

sheesh - March 8, 2012 Reply

What I liked about Bilbao’s performance is that they didn’t mess about when they got the ball. They passed quickly and with purpose.

squigs - March 8, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
They have a far superior midfield to ours. We have shit like Park, one-legged Young and Anderson. Their midfielders are quicker, younger and technically better. Llorente had a good game up front.

I fail to understand how it is that Bilbao can find class midfielders like Munain and Martinez and we have to put up with the rubbish in our ranks that we’ve got? Martinez came from Osasuna FFS.

Bilbao can’t really sign players,as it’s a Basques only policy. Whoever the best Basque players happen to be are likely to find their way to Athletic weather good or shit. Munian in fairness is an exceptional talent.

Our midfield is fine for the Premier League but in Europe the gulf in quality has been exposed again.

All this talk about value is complete rubbish.

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
What I liked about Bilbao’s performance is that they didn’t mess about when they got the ball. They passed quickly and with purpose.

agree, we looked slow and laboured.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
What I liked about Bilbao’s performance is that they didn’t mess about when they got the ball. They passed quickly and with purpose.

Sounds like a team I used to support…

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
Nope… I’m not having that.

They were good… better than us… but we were shit… absolute dreck…

On our day, we beat them every time.

But our midfield is rubbish and it’s about fuckin time Ferguson admits that.

I agree with that. Scholes and Carrick in midfield would handle this bunch. Our only good spell was when we had both Giggs and Carrick in the middle, but then Fergie put useless Ando on for Giggs. Giggs, Scholes, and Carrick are probably our only potential midfield players with the skill and class to keep possession when being pressed hard like that. Nani has the skill to beat the press, but not the brains, he always overcomplicates things and ends up surrounded by three opposing players.

Smalling Rio Evans Evra
Tony V Scholes Carrick Nani
Roo Welbeck

Should be enough to beat them by two goals.

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

we have to invest in midfielders for next season, how many times have we been exposed this season, even in the prem, but have managed to get away with it, come on Alex sort it out.

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
What I liked about Bilbao’s performance is that they didn’t mess about when they got the ball. They passed quickly and with purpose.
Sounds like a team I used to support…
its how we usted to be.

MANCHESTER IS MY HEAVEN- SIR MATT BUSBY

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

What do we do with Phil Jones if he’s shite in midfield and a liability in defence
Bench him, and play him here & there

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

If Ferguson is true to his word and really wants to win this, then the away game could be a real classic.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
What do we do with Phil Jones if he’s shite in midfield and a liability in defence

Bench him, and pla him here & there

Teach him to be a midfielder, or stick in right back?

madredmonkey - March 8, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
What do we do with Phil Jones if he’s shite in midfield and a liability in defence

Bench him, and pla him here & there

yes he makes errors but he is young, his first full season with us, i say give more time.

DeadRevel - March 8, 2012 Reply

Our midfield is poor, but I don’t understand why everyone is saying tonight means we need new signings. The problem was playing Park, Jones and Giggs in midfield when none of them are proper midfielders. Carrick, Ando and Clev would have been a completely difference proposition.

Young, Rooney, Hernandez and Park were poor. Rafael good except last goal. Smalling and Evans very good, De Gea CLASS.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
What do we do with Phil Jones if he’s shite in midfield and a liability in defence

Bench him, and pla him here & there

If he was a striker, he’d be incredible… strikers can be reckless and not get punished when their concentration lapses… but as a defender, he’s got be disciplined… he’s not.

He needs time, and experience… but he’ll get there.

I still think box to box savage suits his natural game, but it’s the mental/tactical side he’s got to learn… too bad he doesn’t have someone like Keane to learn from.

chocolatteballs - March 8, 2012 Reply

Spanish teams buy Spanish and South American players who are technically good , look at Barca’s team sheet for eg.

Here we concentrate on mainly northern European players who’s qualities are mainly pace and power.

Liam Brady made this point on tv last night and he’s right.

There are exceptions like Scholes of old and Wilshire and we badly need to sell the current rabble we have in centre midfield and start again.

brianofnazareth - March 8, 2012 Reply

madredmonkey said:
agree, we looked slow and laboured.

Yeah…like we USED to.

sheesh - March 8, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
Our midfield is poor, but I don’t understand why everyone is saying tonight means we need new signings. The problem was playing Park, Jones and Giggs in midfield when none of them are proper midfielders. Carrick, Ando and Clev would have been a completely difference proposition.

Young, Rooney, Hernandez and Park were poor. Rafael good except last goal. Smalling and Evans very good, De Gea CLASS.

We’ve been saying since the beginning of time that we need midfielders.

De Gea was one of the few positives tonight. He showed that he’s progressed a lot. Some of his saves were sublime.

DeadRevel - March 8, 2012 Reply

I know, and I agree. But people are suggesting tonight is evidence of that, which it wasn’t. Just bad decisions by Ferguson. Or perhaps ‘unambitious’ decisions given the competition.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

aye sheesh
nani is a complete fuckhead
who is going to be on 160k a week very soon
if i was SAF, i’d send the scouts out to look at the la liga players who are obviously a cut above the dross we have

DeadRevel - March 8, 2012 Reply

Christ some of you are unbelievable.

‘Jones is shite’?

He is a CB who is barely 20 and hasn’t had a run of games yet in that position. Fucks sake…

Oh and Ferguson blaming the defence again?

FUCKING HELL. HE is really starting to piss me off

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Left midfield: Muniain from Bilbao or James Rodriguez from Porto.
Classy DM: Martinez from Bilbao or Garcia from Benfica, or M’Vila from Rennes.

These aren’t even big names like Gotze or Hazard everyone’s talking about. They are young, offer qualities we don’t have, come from definite selling clubs, and ought to be at maximum as expensive as fucking Ashley Young.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
Christ some of you are unbelievable.

‘Jones is shite’?

He is a CB who is barely 20 and hasn’t had a run of games yet in that position. Fucks sake…

Oh and Ferguson blaming the defence again?

FUCKING HELL. HE is really starting to piss me off

I don’t think anyone’s saying Jones should be fired — he’s very young and has shown lots of potential. But it’s just an objective fact that he was a catastrophe in midfield and then in central defence tonight.

Dean - March 8, 2012 Reply

I’d just like to point to a shinning light in the darkness. Johnny Evans… fantastic game tonight.

DeadRevel - March 8, 2012 Reply

Evans and De Gea both brilliant. Ando good when he came on.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
Our midfield is poor, but I don’t understand why everyone is saying tonight means we need new signings. The problem was playing Park, Jones and Giggs in midfield when none of them are proper midfielders. Carrick, Ando and Clev would have been a completely difference proposition.

Who says?

Carrick I’ll give you… but Anderson showed his worth as soon as he came on for “Old Father Time”… and made no impact… at all.

And everyone is getting well carried away about Cleverly… we had a good start to the season, and Cleverly was a part of that… but that doesn’t mean he was the reason for it.

I’m still not convinced about Cleverly… I don’t think he’s rubbish… but I’m not sure he’s the successor to Scholes… and that’s what we really need… but you don’t replace Scholes or Giggs for £10/15 mill.

Everything is relative… if you accept that United is financially second class now, then I guess we should be grateful that we’re doing as well as we are…

DeadRevel - March 8, 2012 Reply

Well no. Ando did play well when he came on. Only midfielder prepared to get the ball forward in a otherwise dire performance. And it’s not a coincidence that when we lost Ando and Clev in the middle our intensity was gone. And that’s been the problem ever since, no intensity. Except when we’re losing.

If you are actually suggesting having those 3 I mentioned in CM tonight instead of Giggs, Park and Jones wouldn’t have made a difference you are clueless.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
If he was a striker, he’d be incredible… strikers can be reckless and not get punished when their concentration lapses… but as a defender, he’s got to be disciplined… he’s not.
He needs time, and experience… but he’ll get there.
I still think box to box savage suits his natural game, but it’s the mental/tactical side he’s got to learn… too bad he doesn’t have someone like Keane to learn from.

“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.”

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

We should get that Bielsa guy to take over from Fergie too. Gets his teams to play united-style football (or at least what is supposed to be our style). Also seems like a likeable eccentric total weirdo. I like that.

DeadRevel - March 8, 2012 Reply

I agree. I think he’s the guy who mssterminded the sensational Chile side in 2010. They were unbelievable. Outplayed Spain for half the game and didn’t deserve to lose.

sheesh - March 8, 2012 Reply

bman said:
We should get that Bielsa guy to take over from Fergie too. Gets his teams to play united-style football (or at least what is supposed to be our style). Also seems like a likeable eccentric total weirdo. I like that.

He seems to have gone under the radar in club football. I wonder if he’ll ever manage in England.

Here’s an interesting article from the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/mar/07/marcelo-bielsa-athletic-bilbao-manchester-united?newsfeed=true

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

that lump of lard couldn’t even track back properly when they scored their 3rd goal
how many more opportunities must SAF give that fat fuck? one half decent performance some months ago followed by absolute wank
sell the fucker to be pin up for macs new poster campaign

DeadRevel - March 8, 2012 Reply

He was injured. And he has only just come back from injury.

And he was one of our better players when he came on, not his fault the rest of them were shite.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
Evans and De Gea both brilliant. Ando good when he came on.

What?

Anderson did fuck all… how is that good?

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
What?

Anderson did fuck all… how is that good?

ando good ie he ran a little, tried to tackle and track a player or 2 before drifting into beefburger dreamland
fucking cock

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
Well no. Ando did play well when he came on. Only midfielder prepared to get the ball forward in a otherwise dire performance. And it’s not a coincidence that when we lost Ando and Clev in the middle our intensity was gone. And that’s been the problem ever since, no intensity. Except when we’re losing.

If you are actually suggesting having those 3 I mentioned in CM tonight instead of Giggs, Park and Jones wouldn’t have made a difference you are clueless.

You are putting Anderson… and intensity… in the same sentence.

And you call me clueless.

What’s the ice cream like on your planet?

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

The only reason Ando came on is because Giggs was knackered and there was no one else to put on. Ando is inferior to Giggs in every way except as a brother, so far as we know. Ando excels at nothing as far as I can tell. He’s not the worst player we’ve ever had, but I just don’t see any reason to keep him around. He’s a mediocre passer, unexceptional dribbler, decent tackler, and never scores goals. He’s a midtable journeyman.

Alfonso Bedoya - March 8, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
He was injured. And he has only just come back from injury.

And he was one of our better players when he came on, not his fault the rest of them were shite.

For fuck sake Mate… how long has he been at United?

He’s had twice as many rubbish games as good ones… and only a handful of really good ones.

Anderson has yet to show anyone that he really belongs at United… A decent game once in a while doesn’t cut it.

bman - March 8, 2012 Reply

Why not tell Pogba he can have Ando’s place in the squad? He can’t really be any worse than Ando, so what does it cost us? Realistically if we sold Ando now, what would we get for him? a few million?

sidney - March 8, 2012 Reply

Having a recognised midfielder in the team is always better than having someone who is bodging
Jones is young, still earning his position & the game, and we’re expecting him to be a United midfielder. He can’t even defend at a consistently high level at centreback, let alone play in midfield.
When he’s aving it and being all crash, bang, wallop, he gets away with the mistakes, like the Twins do. But its impossible to keep that up for a season. So he should be used more occasionally. He should be used the way we would normally use a 20 year old. But because we have no grit in midfield, and he’s willing, they’re playing him there.
Giggs… He is the creative one in the middle and plays great killer balls, but he has no tempo to his game. They were all over him. Not the game for him at all.
Sitting off them and inviting pressure wasn’t a good idea either because the cunts can play.

sheesh - March 8, 2012 Reply

Some people are saying this Munain player is the next Messi, he is supposedly that good. He is only 19.

We the fans can only dream of our club signing such players. We seem to favour players with pace and power nowadays – as opposed to technical ability and footballing intelligence.

han - March 8, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
Some people are saying this Munain player is the next Messi, he is supposedly that good. He is only 19.

We the fans can only dream of our club signing such players. We seem to favour players with pace and power nowadays – as opposed to technical ability and footballing intelligence.

so why the fuck do we still have that fat cock anderson who has nowt of the 4 traits?

Ed - March 8, 2012 Reply

han – you should see Anderson when they bring out the Sausage & Egg McMuffins in the morning… got a turn of pace then.

DamnedUnited - March 8, 2012 Reply

You all should really quit bitching. Bilbao aren’t some Spanish Stoke side. Bielsa’s got them playing well, fast and at a high intensity without the cynical van Bommell side. This is a manager who almost outclassed Spain in the WC when he was in charge of Chile and Bilbao matched Barcelona strength for strength earlier in the season. They might even win the Copa del Rey.
I didn’t see the game, but that’s because Icouldn’t careless about the Europaleague.So give credit where its due.Bilbao are just good at their gameplan.

Ed - March 8, 2012 Reply

DamnedUnited – and without seeing it you got it right. This is a very good side. Better than 5th in La Liga. They showed United up tonight. Few players could learn a thing or too about intensity of play from the visitors. We were lucky to get the second tonight. Very lucky.

chocolatteballs - March 8, 2012 Reply

he he

uncleknobheadforfucksake - March 9, 2012 Reply

what about when taggart took park off and then put rooney on the wing

so we could put anderson in rooneys position, that was brilliant

jones has been oshea’d, I thought it would take longer than this for taggart to destroy him, about as long as it took to turn rooney into kevin davies

hernandez is fucking cringeworthy in possesion, I actually cringe watching him when he’s got the ball and he’s not in the box

uncleknobheadforfucksake - March 9, 2012 Reply

was great when 5 cut off taggarts interview cause they had a steven seagal film about to start

uncleknobheadforfucksake - March 9, 2012 Reply

and it was great when we were treated to an extended viewing of that cunt doing up his coat

Herbie Simms - March 9, 2012 Reply

Interesting. Fergie urged his Reds to wake up for the Bilbao clash. Fergie needs to wake up and retire at the end of the season. If we do win the Premier Division, he will go out on a high like he said. Pepe Guardiola has already stated that he would be interested in the job. But money talks and Chelsea are trying to get him there but I don’t think he is interested in Chelsea because if he does not deliver, he will be fired like all the others. At least he will get rid of all our misfits and we will have a first class midfield and defence. This present team, if they do win the league, do not deserve to be champions unless they can show me some fantastic football between now and the end of the season. Has Berbatov been left out to rot on the bench? What a wasted talent!

Gabagool - March 9, 2012 Reply

We got arse raped for sure, could have/should have been more. BUT their second goal was offside and the third came from a ridiculous free kick given cos evras boot fell off? (plus Rafael’s shit defending)
Just saying…

Bill - March 9, 2012 Reply

“We the fans can only dream of our club signing such players. We seem to favour players with pace and power nowadays – as opposed to technical ability and footballing intelligence.”

Exactly right that style of play has no place in top level European football. A higher level of class and sophistication. We have to go 3 in the middle against these sides with Scholes, Carrick plus one. Otherwise we will get results like that everytime. We need Goetze, Eriksen or somebody similar in the next window.

“We got arse raped for sure, could have/should have been more. BUT their second goal was offside and the third came from a ridiculous free kick given cos evras boot fell off? (plus Rafael’s shit defending)
Just saying…”

We were totally outplayed, end of.

Brown man - March 9, 2012 Reply

English club football is at its lowest ebb in years.
Utd are in decline since ’08, last year’s title was won because someone had to win it and you just knew that this year’s good start was a bubble.
Liverpool ( for now ) look like picking up cups fairly regularly without giving the title a go.
Chelsea have an old squad and Henry VIII as chairman – I’d have given AVB more time, Ferguson won his first trophy 3 1/2 years in.
Have we seen Wenger’s last great Arsenal team, is he there too long ?
City are a greater sum-of-parts than total. Chelsea delivered as soon as they got rich, how muchtime will Mancini be given ?
Spurs – can’t take them or their DelBoy manager seriously.

19 and Counting - March 9, 2012 Reply

3-3 Basel draw at OT
6-1 City win at OT
2-2 draw Benfica at OT
2-1 Palace win at OT
3-2 Rovers win at OT
2-1 Ajax win at OT
3-2 Bilbao win at OT

See a pattern here? And SAF thinks we are getting closer to Barcelona – maybe the Barca B team in the lower division at this pace.

19 and Counting - March 10, 2012 Reply

Bilbao played well and we were shyte – they deserved the win. But let’s put things into perspective here…

Bilbao only have 9 wins in La Liga this season and are 30 points behind Real Madrid.

Ed - March 10, 2012 Reply

19 and Counting – the perspective being we are even worse than we feared?

19 and Counting - March 11, 2012 Reply

Ed said:
19 and Counting – the perspective being we are even worse than we feared?

I’m afraid so Ed.

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