Preview: United v Chelsea

Another game, another cup to chase, just five days after Manchester United’s devastating loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League last Tuesday. Chelsea, stumbling from one crisis to another, will hope that it is it a good time to face United; Sir Alex Ferguson has demanded that his team responds to the heaviest set-back in the season to date.

There is no love lost between the managers, of course, with Rafa Benitez boasting the happy knack of irking Ferguson over the past five years. The Scot, meanwhile, insists he takes no pleasure in kicking Benitez “when he is down.” Yeah, right, as the kids might say.

Still, any tension between the coaches on the touchline may help, with the inevitable ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ atmosphere likely on Sunday; from the biggest game at Old Trafford in five years, to the postpartum blues.

And if United’s supporters feel down after the Reds’ unfortunate exit to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real on Tuesday, then the manager also has a job to lift his players. After all, the FA Cup remains important, with United not lifting the trophy in the best part of a decade.

“It is my job to galvanise the troops, who were fantastic on Tuesday and so were the fans,” admitted Ferguson on Friday.

“We owe them a good performance on Sunday. One thing we don’t do is give in. We’ll get up off our backsides and make sure we’re ready for Sunday. A big game’s probably the best thing for us and a home tie as well.

“We have a hard game against good opponents who have a good record in the FA Cup – probably the best in the last decade. We haven’t won it for a while so there’s a good incentive for us. Chelsea, it’s a home draw and I always say that if you get a home draw you’re happy. Hopefully we can navigate that and get through.”

Ferguson is likely to make changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Real on Tuesday. Not least a return to a more recognisable formation, with striker Wayne Rooney almost certain to start despite a week of paper speculation linking the 28-year-old with a move away from Old Trafford.

Doubt’s about Rooney’s Old Trafford future was emphatically rejected by Ferguson on Friday, although cynics will point to similar denials about David Beckham and Ronaldo in recent years. Behind the scenes it is recognised that United could accept a sizeable bid for the former Evertonian in the summer.

Still, with a double to chase, Ferguson is in no mood to ostracise Rooney, who has scored 195 goals in 394 games for the club.

“Wayne will be involved on Sunday,” said the manager.

“He will be here next year, you have my word on that. There is no issue between myself and Wayne Rooney. To suggest we don’t talk is nonsense. He understood the reasons completely. Tactically we got it right. We don’t always get it right, but we definitely did on Tuesday. There are no issues with the player and he will be involved on Sunday.”

Manchester United v Chelsea - FA Cup, Old Trafford - 4.30pm 10 March 2013Meanwhile, Ferguson will rest Ryan Giggs, who played in his 1000th professional game against Real last week. The Welshman drops to the bench, with both Shinji Kagawa and Antonio Valencia in line for a return.

Robin van Persie, who has looked tired in recent weeks, could earn an over-due rest, with Javier Hernández waiting for an opportunity.

In defence Rio Ferdinand is likely to sit out the game, with Ferguson keen to counter Chelsea striker Demba Ba’s physical presence by retaining captain Nemanja Vidić alongside Jonny Evans.

“Giggs won’t play because he was the best player on the pitch on Tuesday. He’s done his bit for us this week. Now we’ll rest him and prepare him for next week. For certain games and now he won’t play on Sunday. He’s done his bit for us. Next week is a different game. He’ll get more rest and then we can prepare him for that one.”

In the meantime the incentive for victory couldn’t be greater, with nine years having past since United’s last triumph in the world’s oldest competition. Victory over Millwall in 2004 was followed by defeat to Arsenal a year later and Chelsea in 2007.

Arsenal’s penalty shoot-out win against United is now widely regarded as one of the least just cup victories, with the Londoners achieving just one shot on target in 120 minutes of action. It was Arsenal’s last trophy – some form of karma, fans might add.

Two years later and Ferguson’s side was beaten in the last minute of extra time by Didier Drogba’s winner for Chelsea, leaving United on 11 cup victories in 141 years.

“I felt we were very unlucky to lose the 2007 final,” Ferguson told Inside United.

“Didier Drogba scored in [almost] the last minute of extra time after we had a very strong penalty shout turned down. I think Ryan Giggs may have forced the ball over the line as well for a goal that wasn’t given. That was tough to take, but that’s football – you win some, you lose some.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea arrives in Manchester having lost to Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League on Thursday night. Raul Rusescu’s penalty gave the Romanians a narrow first-leg lead, heaping further pressure on Benitez. While Europe’s second tier competition is hardly Roman Abramovich’s dream, Chelsea’s inability to challenge on any front this season ensures that the Spanish manager will leave Stamford Bridge in the summer.

No sympathy from Old Trafford for the former Liverpool coach, of course, with Ferguson wryly promising not to take advantage of Benetez’ difficult situation. The Spaniard courted further criticism last week by telling Chelsea supporters that they are “wasting their time” making anti-Benitez banners and worse, that the Stamford Bridge faithful have affected the team’s performances.

Ferguson, meanwhile, will love nothing more than to get Real out of the system quickly, progressing to an FA Cup semi-final draw that includes Wigan Athletic, Manchester City and Millwall or Blackburn Rovers. City aside, United will fancy a shot at the FA Cup final whatever the semi draw.

“In the cold light of day, we’re Manchester United and we have to get on with it,” concludes Ferguson.

“There’s nothing that can be done now. We have an important issue of a quarter-final on Sunday. I’ve cleared my mind. It’s just another day in the history of our club. Not a good day, but another day.”

Match details
Manchester United v Chelsea – FA Cup, Old Trafford – 4.30pm, 10 March 2013.

Possible teams
United (4-2-3-1): de Gea, Rafael, Vidić Evans, Evra; Cleverley, Carrick; Valencia, Rooney, Kagawa; Hernández. Subs from: Lindegaard, Smalling, Ferdinand, Büttner, Nani, Powell, Anderson, Giggs, Young, Welbeck, van Persie

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovich, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Mikel; Oscar, Mata, Hazard; Ba. Subs from: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Ferreira, Terry, Ake, Bertrand, Marin, Moses, Benayoun, Torres

Match officials
Referee: Howard Webb
Assistant Referees: Michael Mullarkey, Darren Cann
Fourth Official: Phil Dowd

United: WDWWWL
Chelsea: WDsLWWL

Head to Head
Last 10: United 6, Chelsea 3, Draw 1
Overall: United 72, Chelsea 45, Draw 48


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  1. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    No excuses really… Benitez is on a hiding to nowt, and the players don’t seem to be arsed… they’ll try and get up for a game like this against United, but if we score first, I don’t think they’ll put up much of a fight.

  2. AnantaxAnantax says

    sheesh said:
    We will shit on them.

    I really really do hope that happens. We need a reaction

    The season can really turn ugly momentum-wise if we lose Sunday…

  3. marlon says

    Hernandez definitely deserves a start, but I’d like to see Rooney given a chance up front as well. van Persie can play as a no. 10 too, so if he’s not scoring (and you don’t want to drop him) you can just play him deeper.

    Can’t see Vidic play 3 games in a week. We’re supposed to be managing his return from injury. He wouldn’t have played vs. Madrid if Evans was fully fit. Evra also picked up a knock vs. Madrid so could miss out.

  4. Sidsidney says

    He said bollocks again
    I like his dig at the FA. Is he suggesting that Rooney pulls out of the England team I wonder, or just all the sponsorship shite they make him do
    It would be funny if he retired from international duty at 29 Scholes style
    Just imagine that, if he called it a day after the World Cup. He might as well, we’re not getting beyond the quaters any time soon.

  5. Mongoletsi says

    // Behind the scenes it is recognised that United could accept a sizeable bid for the former Evertonian in the summer. //

    For sure?

  6. Denton Davey says

    I’d like to see SAF give Nani a vote of confidence and start him on the right. THAT would be a real “pat-on-the-back”, “it-wasn’t-your-fault”, and “that-Turkish-referee-was awful”.

    I’d also like to see KagawaBunga, TheWayneBoy and Chicharito as the other three attacking players. The RentBoyz are vulnerable to speed – especially if Cahill and Ivanovic (or EBJT) are their central defenders.

  7. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    de Gea
    Rafael / Evans / Ferdinand / Evra
    Nani / Carrick / Cleverley / Kagawa
    Rooney / Hernandez
    Subs: Amos, Valencia, Anderson, Vidic, Young, Welbeck, van Persie.

  8. AnantaxAnantax says

    RobDiablo said:
    De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Cleverley, Young; Rooney, Hernandez

    Subs: Amos, Valencia, Anderson, Vidic, Young, Welbeck, van Persie.

    Good team….my only concern is no Kagawa…is he injured?

    • Dean Jackson says

      Kagawa starts on the left fella. Young’s in twice there… may raise a few eyebrows on here. Have United cloned him?

  9. AnantaxAnantax says

    RobDiablo said:
    de Gea
    Rafael / Evans / Ferdinand / Evra
    Nani / Carrick / Cleverley / Young
    Rooney / Hernandez
    Subs: Amos, Valencia, Anderson, Vidic, Young, Welbeck, van Persie.

    Copy paste from Skysports
    Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Cleverley, Kagawa, Rooney, Hernandez. Subs: Amos, van Persie, Valencia, Anderson, Vidic, Young, Welbeck.
    Hope you mistyped Kagawa with Young in your earlier post…no offense to Young but I’d rather Kagawa any day!

  10. AnantaxAnantax says

    Commenter said:
    Kagawa starts on the left fella. Young’s in twice there… may raise a few eyebrows on here. Have United cloned him?

    Of all the players to clone….

  11. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    Anantax said:
    Hope you mistyped Kagawa with Young in your earlier post…no offense to Young but I’d rather Kagawa any day!

    I cut and pasted from the official site; you’d think they could get it right. Oh well, very happy to see Kagawa rather than Young.

  12. Violent Banana says

    Of course we need to keep Hernandez. Who says otherwise?

    Scrappy now, keep giving it away in dangerous areas and we’re asking for trouble

  13. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Nani off injured, that’s a bit of a shame, now that he was finally given a chance to prove himself.

  14. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    This is why I don’t believe this side is as good as the Treble Winners: we need someone to come on for Cleverley, but we don’t have anyone.

  15. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    I’m loving fergies tactics of telling cleverley to give the ball away every time he gets it.


  16. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    brianofnazareth said:
    Only a matter of time. Very lazy!

    Yeah, I was just thinking that, United have spent the whole second half dawdling so far. To be fair it was a good goal, but we really need to put this game to bed once and for all.

    • ForeverRed says

      Chico disappeared because our midfield is being bossed – too lightweight and terrible retaining possession.

  17. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Ok, someone tell me how the fuck this is possible. I must’ve passed out at half-time because this has gotta be a bad dream!

  18. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Given that we were in Europe, and Chelsea still are, does that mean it’ll go to extra time and then penalties rather than a replay?

  19. Minus The Bear says

    It’s just like when Nani got sent off and they forgot how to pass how the ball, except it’s been 80 minutes of it

  20. Coach Herbie says

    The midfield problems were never sorted out thats why Iam still trying to figure out how we are 12 points ahead in the premier division. I would think it is because of all the goals scored by Van Persie and the inconsistantcy of the other teams. Our defence has also been suspect at times. Chelsea are in control now, we don’t need to go to Chelsea for a reply.

  21. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    captainhormone said:
    Replay isn’t it

    Could be, but I thought they’d introduced a rule a couple of years ago that games involving teams still in Europe wouldn’t go to replays to prevent further fixture congestion, or maybe that was a one-season deal.

    To be honest though, unless we pull our fingers out of our arses fairly soon it’ll probably be academic anyway.

  22. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    In the end, we can’t complain about a draw… should have been 4 up, and all over at half time, but they were easily the better team second half.

  23. Sidsidney says

    Absolutely fucking shit

    Maybe we are emotionally and phsyically fucked from the Madrid game in which case it’s somewhat understandable

    But I thought we had more balls than that

  24. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    That was a pile of fucking shit. Fergie needs to sort some of these average fuckers out, no where near good enough for Manchester United. Valencia… There are no words, he’s not a footballer.

  25. AnantaxAnantax says

    Valencia saved our asses with thatlast gasp tackle…

    He was bad tonight, but EVERYONE was awful.

    Kagawa shite, Rooney shite, Cleverly shite, RVP no impact, Valencia horrible.Evem DDG was culpable for the 2nd goal, though he redeemed himself with a couple of good saves

    We were simply way too lazy and complacent. And when Carrick is harried, we dont have an outlet.

  26. Coach Herbie says

    Lucky to get a replay and Van Persie goals has dried up!
    Team looked mentally and physically tired in the second half.
    Will need to regroup quickly and get back on the winning foot.

  27. Violent Banana says

    DDG should have done better with their second, but a great save at the end.

    We let them back in it and were lucky to hold on. We’ve gone from 2-0 up to underdogs in the tie.

  28. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    sidney said:
    Maybe we are emotionally and phsyically fucked from the Madrid game in which case it’s somewhat understandable

    I think probably more emotionally than physically. The way we played the first half was exactly how it should’ve been, putting out a message to the rest the world that we’re down but not out, but yet again complacency has cost us. I do worry about the replay too, our record at Stamford Bridge isn’t exactly sparkling!

  29. Philip says

    I just can’t believe how bad that was from United. We passed the ball like a pub team from about 20 minutes onwards. There were some shocking performances out there but I would single out Cleverly as the worst. He can’t pass a ball to save his life. Very, very lucky to get away with a replay. Horrible performance. Apart from the first 11 minutes I didn’t enjoy that one bit.

  30. AnantaxAnantax says

    The players need a good walloping. Sorry but I am not at all impressed with Rooney’s performAnce. Besides the goal, which hada whiff of luck in it, did he have ONE good touch throughiut the game?? To be fair to him many other players also horrible

    But I also have questions on Fergie. Like in the Madrid game, I think he makes his substitution too late. Wellbeck/Young for Kagawa wouldve injected more energy sooner…

  31. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    Spudiator said:
    The way we played the first half was exactly how it should’ve been…

    I disagree. Two gifts from Cech put United up 2-0 inside 12 minutes. After that, United downshifted and were lucky not to get punished on several occasions.

  32. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    han said:
    now all we need is a draw at wembley against the bitter cunts to round off a miserable week

    And so it is! To be honest, I think we all saw it coming!

  33. Sidsidney says

    Surprise surprise, City in the semis for the love of fucking christ

    All premier leauge ties again

    We won’t win at Stamford Bridge, we’re intimidated by City

  34. han says

    so the cup will either go to city or chelsea
    we fucked up yet again from a commanding position
    ffs SAF needs to give a good hiding to some of those overpaid pussies in our team
    we are as good as out of 2 competitions in the space of 5 days

  35. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Nope, even the FA probably don’t know. They’re gonna have a hell of a job finding a window for it.

  36. marlon says

    We have to make room for the standard 2/3 signings in the summer. Lots of deadwood – Valencia for sure. Anderson too. Probably only Scholes retiring.
    Cleverley not good enough right now. He’s little more than a passenger in most games – chips in with a little defence and a little offence but not much more. Fergie has given him and Anderson this whole season to prove themselves and they have failed. Time to buy a proper player.

  37. sheesh says

    sheesh said:
    We will shit on them.

    In the end, we shat all over ourselves. We can’t really use tiredness as an excuse given that we had longer to recover from our European game than Chelsea did, didn’t have to travel away from home whereas they did and they played a pretty strong side v Bucharest.
    It was so frustrating to see us constantly giving the ball away and sitting deeper and deeper not putting in any challenges and allowing Chelsea to run towards our box. Up front, we looked toothless in the second half. Valencia has to go in the summer.
    It’s quite worrying how shit we look offensively without Nani in the side. Rooney scored but did fuck all else for most of the match. Cleverley has yet to grow a pair of bollocks and prove to the world that he has the talent we know he has. Carrick set up one of the goals but went missing in the second half. Kagawa ran around a lot but was otherwise shit.
    Chelsea will go into the replay as favourites. We were so bad that we enabled them to look like a team. Our shitness rejuvenated them.
    I felt really sorry for Hernandez. Got bugger all service, scored a good goal when he did get a decent ball, he desperately needs games and he got replaced by Van Persie for no reason whatsoever, when the problem was the shitness of our whole midfield.

  38. marlon says

    Tiredness was clearly an issue, if not an excuse. We did almost play a half with 10 men. No excuse for Evans although I’m pretty sure he was carrying a knock (has been for a while now). Problem with the team today is with the short passing game we play we need the back 4 to move up – especially the fullbacks – to support the attackers. Every time the forwards received the ball, they were easily crowded out, and as Carrick is our only player who has any range with his passing, they didn’t have to worry about over committing when pressing, as long as they kept an eye on him. The back 4 sat very deep as they were scared of the runs from Chelsea’s leaving Carrick and Cleverley to cover too much ground. When Nani went off, we lost the only player who can thrive in our attack without passing the ball.

    Haven’t been that bad since the end of last season. Hopefully no more than a blip.

  39. Bill says

    Does anyone know what formation we are actually playing at the moment? We seem to be throwing out a back four with Carrick in front of it and the rest could be playing anywhere. The result is disjointed play with no rhythm heavily relying on RVP or general incompetence from the oppo to score.
    We seem to be playing with one winger at times which leaves us with no balance. Valencia especially seems to be getting affected by it all in particular, as is Kagawa. They are the type of players who thrive on being given a role and instruction. Both have a high level of skill, energy, discipline and tactical awareness. Fergies chaos theory doesn’t suit them.
    Rooney again was off his game today. I’d much rather get rid of the likes of him and Nani who promise so much but are erratic in their performances. That in turns makes it very hard to establish a consistent gameplan with them in the XI.

  40. Denton Davey says

    Sheesh @ 8:30: “Cleverley has yet to grow a pair of bollocks and prove to the world that he has the talent we know he has.”

    Gotta disagree, mate. I’ve never been convinced by YoungTom. I reckon that he will be demoted next season when TheWayneBoy is moved into TheScholesRole so that he can be played regularly as the first choice alongside MC16.

    Not a good result after such a promising start – for me, the substitutions were actually “subtraction-by-addition”.

    Nani hadn’t been up-to-much BUT I was happy to seem him get the start because he adds a kind of skill and unpredictability that AV7 just doesn’t provide.

    Switching RVP for Chicharito was getting nothing-for-something.

    Bringing on DannyTheLad was another slow reaction to the game situation – he was brought on too late, after the momentum had shifted.

    I would have brought on Welbeck when Nani had to leave the game, kept playing KagawaBunga and Chicharito and looked to continue pressing TheRentBoyz.

    For my seat in front of the telly in Toronto, RVP and AV7 were really, really disappointing. Valencia adds “muscularity” but no finesse whatsoever; Van Persie just seems lost.

    Oh, well, a replay – another high stakes match; let’s hope for more of what happened in the first half – not what we had to endure in the second 45 minutes.

  41. sheesh says

    I wonder when the replay will take place. As it stands, these are our current fixtures (and any semi final v City will be played on 13 or 14 April):
    Man Utd v Reading Sat 16 Mar 17:30
    Sunderland v Man Utd Sat 30 Mar 12:45
    Man Utd v Man City Mon 8 Apr 20:00
    We were due to play Stoke away on 14 April. There is a break for international matches between the Reading and Sunderland games. West Ham away still hasn’t been rescheduled.

  42. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    It’s gonna be a chaotic season-end, West Ham away and the Chelsea replay to be squeezed in somewhere, Stoke away too if we get past Chelsea (as Sheesh said), and if by some miracle we make the final, we’ll have our home game against Swansea to be rescheduled too. Can you imagine the fixture chaos if we hadn’t been knocked out of the Champions League already?

  43. Violent Banana says

    In all our games against City and Chelsea this season, we’ve gone 2-0 up and been pegged back to 2-2 every time.

    Against Liverpool and (ten man) Arsenal at OT we took a comfortable 2-0 lead; but then conspired to concede the next goal.

    We conceded the equaliser against Spurs with seconds to spare.

    We do it the hard way.

  44. Damian Garside says

    We need to forget the Cup now and focus on the League. City suddenly playing really well means we cannot slide here.

  45. AnantaxAnantax says

    I think many of you are completely unfair to the RVP substitution while not critical enough of Nani

    Before he was subbed, he also didnt make much of an impact to the game, and that was when the WHOLE team was playing well…

    As for RVP, he was bad last night yes. But to me he still added something else than Chico…some of our best attacking moves in the 2nd half were after he came on….which unfortunately was invariably bogged down by the poor passes or poor touches of Kagawa and Rononey

    Add that to the fact that RVP is generally better at hold up plays and much much better at set pieces (unfortunately we didnt really get that many after he was subbed) and you can see why SAF made the sub

    I thought both wellbeck and RVp were good subs. But it was just way too late, and we needed Clev and Roo to be subbed as well…

  46. AnantaxAnantax says

    Btw, criticism of Nani aside, i do agree with the general sentiment that without someone to run at defences, we really looks average in our attack. RVP saved us in the early part of the season by his scintillating form, but now that he’s in a dip we’re in trouble

    Not good enough for tiki taka, not good enough for incisive passing. Carrick, good player that he is, is not quite yet as accurate in his passing as some of the top midfielders. Also needs lots of help from fellow midfielder, which he’s not getting

    I still rue the day we didnt buy Dembele. He’s doing well for Tottenham…

  47. Sidsidney says

    It’s shit from Chelsea that they only managed a replay when we were there for the taking

    We won’t play that badly against them for years, probably

  48. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    sidney said:
    Fergie has put the shit performance down to the players being knackered

    He might start tinkering now

    That has to be a windup aimed at Benitez. How could United playing at home on Tuesday possibly make the players more tired than the Cheatski players who played in Romania Thursday night?

    Sir Alex can tinker all he likes, but, ultimately, nothing is going to disguise the fact that, from one wing across to the other, his midfield isn’t good enough. Cleverley was rubbish today and needed to be subbed, but there was no one to bring on.

  49. Leif Sward says

    I’m getting pretty sick of the stock substitutions being bring on the other forwards. It was clear that we were losing possession in the midfield (more often than not by giving the ball away), but there is never any thought to tightening up there. If we don’t have the players to do that then we need to find some.

  50. says

    Anyone still making excuses for Rooney again? Rooney has played well in at most 3 games the whole season – Chelsea and City away and then the second half against Spurs at home. He was diabolical yesterday it was embarrassing. First touch gone again. He can not outrun anyone anymore it seems. We can fizz the ball to his feet and he will gather it. What the heck!?

    Chelsea should have won. They have blown their chance. I honestly was expecting Smalling and Buttner to start since we were at home. When is Jones gointo be fit so he can run all over the place alongside Carrick. Kagawa wide is foolishness to the extreme to be honest.

  51. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    You could say Chelsea should have won… but really, we should have been gone and out of sight by half time.

    And not making excuses for Wayne, but he’s only been poor by his own standards… he’s still one of the best players in he league, and his stats prove that… and while you’re singling out Rooney, it should be noted that Valencia has turned to complete shit by anyones standards, and Van Persie has gone missing too.

    And doesn’t it just figure, that for the first time all year Nani has started to play good football, and now he’s knacked his hamstring.

  52. says

    Rooney has been poor by anyone’s standards please. When should we have been out of sight in this match? Not from the bit I saw. All I kept seeing was the ball getting to Rooney’s feet and he will promptly give it away. And then make a half hearted attempt to win the ball back.

    Valencia does not have Rooney’s pedigree and we have all agreed that there must be something fundamentally wrong that the crew have not found ways to address.

    To be honest with you guys here and challenge people to look back at when we signed him, I have not thought so highly about van Persie to be saddened by his current slump. I half expected it since he had become used to it from his Arsenal days. However, that is the more reason Rooney’s abject displays are so annoying.

  53. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    Commenter said:
    DaveyTheDickhead strikes again.


    He loves all this you know; by acknowledging what a retard he is we simply add fuel to his inbred fire

  54. steggo says

    Yesterdays result was the usual post European game. Have we really played well following a Champions League match, no matter what stage? I think not.
    As to Rooney and Valencia, neither of them are in top form. As stated above, Rooney’s first touch is abysmal and his ability to take a man on seems to be a thing of the past. Valencias great asset last year was his ability to beat his man and get a quick cross in.Not anymore.He looks half the player he was.

  55. marlon says

    Rooney’s been one of our best for years now, so obviously the expectation on him is higher than everyone else. He misplaced 7 passes, was tackled twice and gave the ball away due to poor control once. He had a pass completion of 88%, led the team in shots and shots on target and made 3 interceptions. He didn’t have a great game, but there is some huge scapegoating going on here.

    Rafael and Kagawa played worse. Hernandez did fuck all after his goal. Valencia is just getting worse.

    Valencia aside, this was one game. It was shit, but we got away with it. Fergie sent out a team to prove a point after Tuesday and it backfired when they tired early and didn’t take the chances they had.

  56. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    “He didn’t have a great game, but there is some huge scapegoating going on here.”

    Allways is from some here… not satisfied unless they can lay the blame squarely on someone…

    Ferguson is our biggest problem… his stubborn refusal to acknowledge our midfield weaknesses…

  57. AnantaxAnantax says

    Yes Rooney has been our most important player for years. But this is football and while some loyalty is important, how far back should memory and loyalty go?
    Yes there is possibility that he was perhaps marginally better than some other player on the night (despite Marlon’s stats I just dont remember him performing anywhere as well as the stats suggest – microcosm of the season)
    And no, I am not trying to lay blame on one person, as I’ve stated before pretty much everyone sucked.
    But Rooney is our star player. And he is paid accordingly.
    Surely we should expect a higher standard from our star player who is one of the if not the highest paid player in the squad? Perhaps this is my ingtained flaw in being a businessman, but I always look at both the cost and benefit that a player brings….

  58. marlon says

    The way our midfield depth has evaporated has been incredible (and predictable). We started the season with Carrick, Cleverley, Scholes, Anderson, Fletcher, Giggs and Powell.
    It soon became clear that Powell wasn’t ready for the 1st team, Giggs only found form on the wing, Fletcher suffered a relapse and Scholes seems to be unable to recover from a knee injury. Anderson has miraculously remained fit for much of the season, but made up for it by being unplayable.

  59. bman says

    Carrick has been boss though, arguably our player of the season. I hope we get someone class in to partner him in the middle, easily the single biggest improvement you can make to our team.

  60. Sidsidney says

    Carrick has had a great season when you consider the pressure on him to play and perform. Sometimes he’s doing 2 or 3 jobs at once.

    He protects the back 4, mops up, and also keeps us ticking over and starts moves from deep ala Scholes, and also hits stunning forward passes that have resulted in goals, like the Chico winner against Newcastle.

  61. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    As I watched this match, and the possibility of a draw became increasingly likely, I was sure that the match would go into extra time and penalties if necessary. Boy, was I surprised. Seems the fuckwits at the FA didn’t take a draw at OT into consideration and may now have to reschedule the Stamford Bridge replay for after the FA Cup final.
    So, it’s City v (Millwall/Blackburn)/Wigan in the final, the Cheatski/United quarterfinal the next day, then City v United/Cheatski in the semifinal a week later. If City win the final but lose the semifinal, the semifinal winner gets the cup, but if City lose the final and the semifinal, the FA Cup final will be replayed in place of next season’s Community Shield, unless United or City win the league. In that case…

  62. Sidsidney says

    So are we playing away at Sunderland on saturday then down to London on monday to play Chelsa

    Then it’s City


  63. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Fuck the FA, and their shite cup… send out a second string team against the Renties… still might win anyway.

  64. dozer says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Fuck the FA, and their shite cup… send out a second string team against the Renties… still might win anyway.

    United have a good second string team or rather they don’t have a first 11 that picks itself.
    Rest Rooney, RVP, Carrick and Evra for the FA game. The others are being rotated as is anyway.

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