Quintet missing for French trip

Sir Alex Ferguson must do without injured quintet Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Jonny Evans, Michael Owen and Anderson for Manchester United’s match with Marseille at Stade Vélodrome tonight. The 69-year-old Scot is also without long-term injured pair Owen Hargreaves and Antonio Valencia for the Round of 16 Champions League tie with the French League 1 winners.

The rash of injuries, together with Marseille’s improving recent form, make for a challenging away tie. That United has scored just nine times in the club’s last eight Champions League matches away from Old Trafford is instructive of Ferguson’s seemingly negative approach to these games, although it’s an outlook that works: the Reds have won nine of the last 10 European games on the road.

Indeed, Ferguson is almost certain to retain the 4-5-1 shape the Scot adopted against non-League Crawley Town at the weekend, with either Wayne Rooney or Dimitar Berbatov spearheading United’s attack.

The match marks the first of four away trips in a row that are likely to define United’s season. Next weekend United go to Wigan Athletic, followed by trips to Anfield and Stamford Bridge in March.

“We have an important few weeks coming, there is no question about that,” said Ferguson.

“We are just starting four away games on the run, which is a great challenge for us. They are all fantastic matches but it is a time we should enjoy. They are big games and in that situation, the players don’t let us down often.”

Still, with the Champions League of primary focus Ferguson is confident that United can progress, despite the passionate atmosphere that awaits United in France.

“The Champions League this season is very open. There are a number of teams that can win it. The opportunity is there for anyone in the last 16,” added the Scot.

“But tomorrow [Wednesday] is when the competition really starts for us. They’re a very powerful team, very athletic, strong defenders.

“Marseille isn’t the easiest place to get a result. There is an atmosphere, an emotion at the Stade Vélodrome that is unique. I’ve often been to matches here and the fans have a genuine power over their players.”

With Ferdinand remaining on the sidelines and Evans suffering with an ankle problem, Chris Smalling is likely to partner Nemanja Vidic at the heart of United’s back-four. Rafael and Fabio da Silva will also be available despite coming off against Crawley last weekend.

Chalkboard versus MarseilleAside from United’s defensive combination, Ferguson must also choose between top-goalscorer Berbatov and Rooney to lead the forward line. History suggests the Scot will deploy Rooney in a loose left-side role, with Nani on United’s right and Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Paul Scholes anchoring the midfield.

The match will also reunite the Reds with Argentinian defender Gabriel Heinze who left Old Trafford in 2007 following a much-publicised fallout with Ferguson. Heinze joined Marseille two years ago following a spell at Real Madrid.

“It wasn’t easy at first with him being a former Paris Saint-Germain player. There is a big rivalry with Marseille,” said United’s French full-back Patrice Evra, who replaced Heinze at Old Trafford.

“I am happy to see him doing well and he will get a big ovation when he comes back to Old Trafford because he played so well for United.”

Meanwhile, Marseille could be without a trio of forwards, with Andre-Pierre Gignac out for a fortnight, and Loic Remy and Brandao facing late fitness tests. César Azpilicueta will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured knee ligament.

But Didier Deschamps side is in improving form, having begun the season in an inconsistent vein. Now three points adrift of surprise leaders Lille, L’OM has won five of its last six fixtures.

“I’ve watched some of their games this season and you can see they are a good team and they have a great manager in Didier Deschamps, who was my coach at Monaco,” said Evra.

“He is not afraid of any team and I know he will get his players motivated before the game so they play with no fear. It’s a dangerous game for us because we are favourites so in a way Marseille have nothing to lose.”

It was also the case in 1999 when the sides last met. United, then European Champions, lost 1-0 in France.

Opposition
Marseille – 433 – Mandanda; Kaboré, Diawara, Heinze, Taiwo; González, Cissé, Valbuena; Rémy, Brandão, André Ayew. Subs from: Jordan Ayew, Cheyrou, Andrade, Mango, N’Diaye, Fanni, Sabo, Lowinsky, Kaboré, Abriel, Moulet Abbes.

United
United – 451 – van der Sar; Rafael da Silva, Vidic, Smalling, Evra; Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Carrick, Rooney; Berbatov. Subs from: Kuzszazk, Brown, Gibson, Bébé, Lindegaard, Fabio da Silva, O’Shea, Obertan, Hernández, Tunnicliffe, King.

Officials
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant referees: Thorsten Schiffner (GER), Mark Borsch (GER)
Additional assistant referees: Peter Sippel (GER), Babak Rafati (GER)
Fourth official: Knut Kircher (GER)

Form
Marseille – WWDWWW
United – WWWLWW

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Comments

  1. sheesh says

    I will be delighted if:

    1) We don’t suffer any more injuries; and
    2) We’re still in the tie at the end of the 90 mins tonight.

    Not arsed about a performance tonight, either. We won’t win the Champions League. Let’s at least try not to fuck up winning the Premier League whilst we’re top of the table and in control of the destiny of the title.

  2. sheesh says

    Tonight’s confirmed line-up:
    Van der Sar, O’Shea, Vidic, Smalling, Evra; Fletcher, Gibson, Carrick; Nani, Rooney, Berbatov
    Bench: PIG, Rafael, Brown, Scholes, Obertan, Chicharito, Fabio
    So much for a good performance, Alf, eh? It’s all about managing expectations these days.

  3. ltel says

    not to happy with the team but it can be done, i have faith in fergies know how

    backed united 2-1 berbs to score last and inter 2-1 gomez to score last

  4. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    I don’t know Sheeshy… I suppose that kind of line up was expected… with our injuries and our limitations… what else was there?

    At home, Fergie may have started Scholes… and that’s probably the best defence we’ve got available… why O’Shea ahead of Brown though?

    Is Fergie playing 4-4-2, or is he shunting Rooney out left?… Probably the latter… I suppose it depends how the game’s going…

  5. bman says

    I suspect Gibson’s going out left, since Ferg’s tried him out there a couple of times recently. TBF I think he was alright there in a recent match, I can’t remember which one now.

    I suppose the good news is that this means Roo and Berba might be together up top? Anyway, come on the lads!

  6. Dinkinflicker says

    That midfield is bobbins. This is going to be painful to watch and I can seriously see us getting dicked tonight.

  7. Sidsidney says

    Gibson, Carrick, Fletcher

    Is it 442 with Fletch on the right and Rooney & Berba up top, or Rooney sat in front of a diamond or summat

  8. Mongoletsi says

    Have finally lost faith in Taggart. Claims he wants a win tonight, but O’Shite and Gibson? Wtf? At least Berba and Shrek are on. Hrm. Hope I’m proven wrong but shitting myself now…

  9. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Nani’s got Heinze beat any time he wants… I can see Heinze either injuring Nani, or getting sent off, before the games done.

  10. Dinkinflicker says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Nani’s got Heinze beat any time he wants… I can see Heinze either injuring Nani, or getting sent off, before the games done.

    Can’t see Rooney gettiing as much out of the other full back. But then, you can’t beat a bit of Fanni…..

  11. Sidsidney says

    The passing is poor, that’s why our away form is shit
    Fletcher, Gibson & Carrick have very few ideas between ‘em
    They’re trying too many optimistic long balls that come to nothing
    And there is little movement from those 3 cunts when we’re in possession
    So, typical away performance

  12. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    han said:
    why is shrek playing so far back?

    Because our midfield is so fuckin shit… it’s the only way he can get the fuckin ball… Berbatov is completely isolated again… and it’s the same fuckin story week after week… I’m getting well sick of this… open your fuckin eyes Ferguson… your team needs an upgrade.

  13. Dinkinflicker says

    Nani has tackled himself more times than Heinze has. Not a bad performance so far but some wasteful passing by Carrick in particular.

  14. han says

    wow
    looks like gibson had a good half compared to carrick
    marseille should be prised open and rammed
    this fingering and pussyfooting is not working
    berbs hasnt had much service and im sure he can penetrate if he had a decent ball thru to him
    smalling is effective and in control when called upon

  15. sheesh says

    In some respects, we’ve played collectively a bit better than I expected.
    OK, our midfield is shit, which is why we are under the cosh at times. You look at the slo-mo replays and see Marseille players waltzing past Carrick as if he isn’t there. He really is a complete waste of space. Fletcher hasn’t done a great deal. Gibson hasn’t put many tackles in put he has played a couple of blinding balls to Nani. Nani has been frustrating at times. He is either too selfish/blind to spot a pass but you just know he can put a decent ball in. Hit the ball first time FFS.
    Defensively, however, we have looked fairly decent. Smalling has been immense, O’Shea has put in some really good blocks but his distribution of the ball is shit, Vidic has been Vidic and Evra has been OK.
    Game has been shit as a spectacle. Looks like a 0-0 or a sneaky 1-0 to either side is in the offing.

  16. Ted says

    Gibbo’s not done bad. And Smalling. Fletchers trying but Carrick is absolutely anonimous again, what a fuckin passenger he is. Service to Berby none existent, Nani flattering to decieve again. Amazed how negative and devoid of ideas Marseille are.

  17. Ted says

    !ABSOLUTELY BOLLOCKLESS THIS MIDFIELD, TOTALLY BOLLOCKLESS” WHEN THE FUCK IS FUNGUS GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? OR MORE TO THE POINT, WHEN IS FUNGUS GOING?

    gET THE TITLE WON AND LEAVE. THANKS.

  18. Ted says

    danniitronix said:
    Have gibbo, fletch and Carrick got a bollock between them.
    A bet Carrick is a virgin.

    That negative prick squats to take a piss. What a fuckin charmed life that bollockless twat has lead. Bit part player at Spurs, bit part player at West Ham. I’ll bet Robbo Incey and Keano are squirming in their armcharis watching this useless passenger.
    Christ this Superbock is going down a treat.

    Don’t kiss your granny when she’s shaving!

  19. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Look at the difference… Scholes has probably had more successful touches and passes, in 6 minutes, than Fletcher/Gibson/Carrick, combined in 60… ridiculous.

  20. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    han said:
    the difference is scholes wants the damn ball
    those other cunts are afraid of it

    Not only that… but our players actually look to give it to Scholes… trust him to do summat decent with it.

  21. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    To be fair though… I’m not sure why Ferguson chose Gibson to sub for Scholes… he was better by half, than Carrick.

  22. Ted says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    0-0 is not a good result… I’d rather a 1-1…

    We could regret not scoring…

    Another awful Nani performance. Dont you just know they’ll score here!

  23. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Rubbish!… Total rubbish!

    Smalling was MotM for me… what does that tell you?

    Where is Ferguson fuckin ambition?… off sucking cock with our midfield… that’s where!

  24. han says

    i have to say i was wrong about smalling earlier this season
    he was pretty superb and a fitting replacement for rio – still time for him to learn
    carrick should be put down before the plane home

  25. han says

    hey mad red
    shite match
    still, a draw away isnt the worst result
    the frog fuckers don’t look as though they will come to attack at OT in 3 weeks time

  26. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    danniitronix said:

    A bet Carrick is a virgin.

    You’re kidding right?? He’s been fucked by most of the premiership midfield players!!

  27. Bill says

    Smalling was immense. Gibson did ok, 0-0 is just about par all things considered. Some tough choices to be made for Saturday, formation and selection wise.

  28. Sidsidney says

    We were unable to pass the ball from defence, to midfield, to attack because of the uselessness of Carrick, Gibson and Fletcher on the ball
    So the defenders were constantly hitting long balls to the forwards, down the line to nowhere, or back to the keeper. Smalling played 4 balls back to Van Der Sar during one passage of play.
    The trio of cunts are fine without the ball – we are solid, strong, resolute
    But they’ve no ideas and no movement when in possession
    When Scholes came on we kept it for about a minute, and we got inbehind down the left with Evra
    We also played more football further up the pitch
    Without him on the pitch I can’t see how we’re gonna win a single game away from home from now ’til summer when we buy a midfielder who can play

  29. says

    captainhormone said:
    carrick and gibson are both radio controlled via mongs

    Gibson was better than Carrick tonight. And even Fletcher. However, our front two of rooney and berbatov were by far worse than the rest of the team. They hardly broke sweat and when they had the ball their decision making was poor. At least Nani runs at the defenders and commits the opposition. I struggle to like the bulgarian and I believe his PL goal stats are misleading. It is the inthing here – where many like to go with the flow – to criticise our midfielders but even Scholes struggled to make a meaningful forward pass. Only Nani and Evra offered forward movements.

  30. Mongoletsi says

    Carrick: “Our passing wasn’t great”.

    OUR??? Fucksake he was easily our worst player and that’s in a team with O’Shite and Gibson!!!

  31. sheesh says

    Ted said:
    Another awful Nani performance. Dont you just know they’ll score here!

    He really was clueless with the ball. Such a thick, selfish bastard. How many times did he fuck up our attacks with his appalling decision-making? He seems to have forgotten when to run towards the box and when to hit the ball first time.
    Carrick was the shittest player by a country mile.

  32. ltel says

    that was brutal.. between carrick passing every way but foward osheas abiity fo fuck up every attackin option on the right(rafael would have had much more success there) and gibson being his usual invisable act. at least our home form will dig us out.

  33. says

    han said:
    tbf gibson had a better game than usual
    maybe he is improving

    He was played in his best position and alongside better players. Tonight he made some brilliant passes to Nani, O’Shea twice that should have led to better. If he had Rafael instead of Oshea we would have been more dangerous on our right. We really should have played with only Rooney upfront for all the threat and movement offered up by Berbatov.

    At one point Scholes had the ball, looked up, spread his hands and was wondering where the movement was going to come from. I have no idea why we still have to continue playing Michael Carrick.

  34. says

    Sheesh, be fair to Nani, he lost his footing twice in great positions but only after he had bamboozled the defender. However, sometimes do have a look in the box when Nani is haring in on goal. You will see the ‘strikers’ strolling into the box and making no movement whatsoever!

    Ltel is still annoyed that Gibson chose the Republic so he can never be objective about the lad’s performances.

  35. Ted says

    Calvino said:
    He was played in his best position and alongside better players. Tonight he made some brilliant passes to Nani, O’Shea twice that should have led to better. If he had Rafael instead of Oshea we would have been more dangerous on our right. We really should have played with only Rooney upfront for all the threat and movement offered up by Berbatov.

    At one point Scholes had the ball, looked up, spread his hands and was wondering where the movement was going to come from. I have no idea why we still have to continue playing Michael Carrick.

    Cozz he cost £18 million fuckin quid? and no cunt else wanted him and he was Fergies choice, thats why he keeps getting games. At least he’s kind of admitted fucking up with paying 7 Million for Bebe off Youtube by not selecting him unless its a charity game against the local M.E. sufferers.

  36. ltel says

    hes a cunt…. good enough to play for the mighty northern ireland, defo not good enough to be in a midfield challanging for league and european trophies, he is a birmingham player and scholes is still twice the player he is!

  37. sheesh says

    Calvino said:
    Sheesh, be fair to Nani, he lost his footing twice in great positions but only after he had bamboozled the defender. However, sometimes do have a look in the box when Nani is haring in on goal. You will see the ‘strikers’ strolling into the box and making no movement whatsoever!
    Ltel is still annoyed that Gibson chose the Republic so he can never be objective about the lad’s performances.

    You’re talking about Nani dicking about with the ball in the first half when the simple and common sense thing to do was get the ball in the box. The number of times he ran blindly at 2 or 3 players when there was another player literally there next to his side completely unmarked was incredibly frustrating. He is such a selfish twat. I was screaming at the telly, he pissed me off so much.
    We’d be so much more effective offensively if he knew when to make a pass.

  38. Bill says

    Nani didn’t have his best game, but him and Rooney were the only players with an spark going forward.

    0-0 is a solid result. I think its going to be like this for the next few weeks, 4-5-1 and hope that Rooney or Nani do something special.

    Whenever we go 4-5-1 we rarely conceed, and if we do its only 1. Fergie shows European games more respect, in the PL we have gone 4-4-2 and that is when we have shipped goals.

    I would accept 0-0 against Lpool and Chelsea, against Wigan we have to win. I would expect at least Rafael to come in for that one.

    Will be interesting to see what happens to Scholes Saturday, we will miss him vs Lpool & Chelsea if he doesn’t start.

  39. sheesh says

    Draws will not do at this stage of the season. We must win every match including those at our rivals if we are to win the title.

  40. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Calvino said:
    He was played in his best position and alongside better players. Tonight he made some brilliant passes to Nani, O’Shea twice that should have led to better. If he had Rafael instead of Oshea we would have been more dangerous on our right. We really should have played with only Rooney upfront for all the threat and movement offered up by Berbatov.
    At one point Scholes had the ball, looked up, spread his hands and was wondering where the movement was going to come from. I have no idea why we still have to continue playing Michael Carrick.

    Unfuckingbelievable… Gibson was only slightly better than Carrick who was complete gash… that is not any kind endorsement!
    And between Carrick, Fletcher, and your beloved Gibson, they mangaed to get the ball to Berbatov maybe twice… what was he, or Rooney, or anyone else supposed to do with that kind of service?
    You know what’s funny, is the many lengthy paragraphs you will write, trying trying to show how much you know about football and tactics… and then with one paragraph like the one above, you go and prove that you actually know fuck all.

    “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.”

  41. says

    If we draw vs. Chelsea (A), Lpool (A), Arse (A) and win the other games we will win the league, as Arsenal are bound to drop silly points somewhere.

    On the subject of Gibson & Carrick, I’m sorry to say that they will be staying. SAF clearly has enough faith in them, and that is why he continues to play them in the big games.

    Further to that Hargreaves is off at the end of the season, and Scholes has one more year max. Fergie won’t want to destroy the dressing room balance, and with GN/VDS/TK all gone from this years squad then selling Gibson + Carrick will leave even more holes.

    There are two games here, one stating what you would do, the other what SAF will actually do! Both are fun

  42. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Gibson and Fletcher can both stay as useful squadies… Carling cup, early rounds of the FA cup, pointless rubbers in the Champs league… or in dire emergencies cause one of our fist teamers is crocked… but we need proper, top class, performers… to replace Scholes and Giggs, and shunt those two turnips above, to the bench.
    Carrick can…
    … fuck off…
    to anywhere but where United play.

    “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.”

  43. sheesh says

    I look at our other fixtures: Newcastle away, West Ham away..even Blackburn (where we drew last season). Those are not bankers for us.
    Assuming their main players stay fit, I just don’t see Arsenal dropping as many points as everyone expects them to.

  44. Bill says

    Yep there will be twists and turns for sure. We probably will drop other points, but so will Arsenal.

    The formula for the rest of the seaosn won’t be pretty. Pack the midfield and hope Rooney or Nani nick one.

  45. Ted says

    Stage 1. Win 19th title.

    Stage 2. Jose dumps Fergies picture of Fletcher in the bin, puts feet up on desk.

    Stage 3. Carrick, Fletch, Bebe, Obertan “on sale now”.

    Stage 4. Uncle Malc sends Jose a £90 million war chest.

    Stage 5. Kenny Dogleash contracts HIV.

    Stage 5. Madrid accept £40 million for Ronny.

    God i love Superbock.

  46. herbie simms says

    The team played to plan, don’t push too much, keep from getting injured,don’t let them score,come away with a scoreless draw and then beat them at Old Trafford because this same team has to play against Chelsea Tuesday night.
    These players will be rested for the away game against Wigan and SAF will put the same team out that played against Crawley for the Wigan game which will be your favorite players, Bebe, Obertan and the other misfits.
    SAF is going to make the big mistake of looking past Wigan who are fighting relegation and concentrate on Chelsea and Liverpool. He will tell the media that because his players were tired from traveling, he had to make nine changes to the team for the Wigan game and that will be his excuse if United lose to Wigan. But the truth is, he will be resting 90% of the team that played against Marseille because he wants them fresh for the Chelsea game.

    • mongoletsi says

      I don’t think he’s that stupid Herbs. In fact, if he’s anything like the genius he’s alleged to be, he’ll focus on the Wigan game. That’s the easier of the two to win, and Chelski are no threat to our title challenge.

  47. madredmonkeymadredmonkey says

    han said:
    hey mad red
    shite match
    still, a draw away isnt the worst result
    the frog fuckers don’t look as though they will come to attack at OT in 3 weeks time

    Yes Han , boring game, they will try and win on away goals, need to take our chances.

  48. sheesh says

    han said:
    lose against wigan and that will be potentially fatal

    I will be worried if we even draw against Wigan, simply because we’ll only be 2 points ahead and then all of a sudden we’re under massive pressure against Chelsea and Liverpool.

  49. says

    Herbie, I think that you are spot on. Despite what most of you lot think a fairly comfortable draw with no goals conceeded was not a bad result for ANY United team. We all know that ALL of the starting midfield are shit but they did make it difficult for the French; unfortunately they also made it difficult for Nani, Berba & the Scouser. There was one massive bonus. The development of Smalling this season has been astonishing. He is not only a class defender, he is a class player. I am convinced that SAF was not willing to let any of us, or the media, second guess him about the starting line up; so he started with Gibson not Scholes.

  50. herbie simms says

    Yes, and I just read Fergie’s comments and he is very happy with the result and the way the team played. He claims that it was always going to be difficult to win at Marseille. But he says that everytime United draw away from home against the bottom clubs! I.m sorry but I cannot accept that. United should be able to beat Wigan, Wolves, West Ham, Blackpool on any field anywhere in the world, even in a cow pasture without having to work hard to do so. Fergie is babying the team too much. He needs to jump all over these players and let them know that if they continue to play like non-leaguers, his going to put them all up for sale. My friend is telling me that he is not even going to watch the Wigan game because he does not want to have to throw his brand new TV out the window.

  51. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    There is no way we’ll beat Chelski…

    No way we’ll beat a “pumped” up Liverpool

    We’ll also drop shit points away from home… why we are favs for the title is beyond me!

  52. Bill says

    We lost 1-0 with Keane, Scholes, Giggs and Beckham in midfield. I know we packed the midfield but the 3 amigos got us a 0-0 draw. These are facts. I’m not impressed with them either but there we go.

  53. says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Unfuckingbelievable… Gibson was only slightly better than Carrick who was complete gash… that is not any kind endorsement!

    And between Carrick, Fletcher, and your beloved Gibson, they mangaed to get the ball to Berbatov maybe twice… what was he, or Rooney, or anyone else supposed to do with that kind of service?

    You know what’s funny, is the many lengthy paragraphs you will write, trying trying to show how much you know about football and tactics… and then with one paragraph like the one above, you go and prove that you actually know fuck all.

    Your point is what? So, with your fantastic knowledge of football strikers are not supposed to give the midfielders options? One of the main advantages of playing Rooney alone is that you know he will run the channels so that he can be hit early. Which was what Ronaldo gave us. Your beloved Scholes did not improve anything yesterday BECAUSE of the movement ahead of him. Yes, bollockless Carrick was happy to pass the ball sideways to him all the time but the wee man still could not thread anything forward. His most forward passes were to our LB Evra and Nani ahead.

    As bad as Chelsea might be, they know that with Torres and Anelka they have outballs and so they use them often. We had only Nani in the first half – Gibson did find him with one peach of a pass from the edge of our box which he duly wasted. Rooney marooned on the left played with a frown and was deeply unhappy about it so he offered very little. It is SO EASY to blame the midfielders. ALL the time too. Anyway, Alf, am done arguing with you to be honest.

  54. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    theyre a team of fucking six foot african lumps, itll be tough for scholes at ot, but without him we wont win, 1-1

  55. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Calvino said:
    Your point is what? So, with your fantastic knowledge of football strikers are not supposed to give the midfielders options? One of the main advantages of playing Rooney alone is that you know he will run the channels so that he can be hit early. Which was what Ronaldo gave us. Your beloved Scholes did not improve anything yesterday BECAUSE of the movement ahead of him. Yes, bollockless Carrick was happy to pass the ball sideways to him all the time but the wee man still could not thread anything forward. His most forward passes were to our LB Evra and Nani ahead.

    As bad as Chelsea might be, they know that with Torres and Anelka they have outballs and so they use them often. We had only Nani in the first half – Gibson did find him with one peach of a pass from the edge of our box which he duly wasted. Rooney marooned on the left played with a frown and was deeply unhappy about it so he offered very little. It is SO EASY to blame the midfielders. ALL the time too. Anyway, Alf, am done arguing with you to be honest.

    You just made my point for me…

  56. says

    Calvino said:
    Your point is what? So, with your fantastic knowledge of football strikers are not supposed to give the midfielders options? One of the main advantages of playing Rooney alone is that you know he will run the channels so that he can be hit early. Which was what Ronaldo gave us. Your beloved Scholes did not improve anything yesterday BECAUSE of the movement ahead of him. Yes, bollockless Carrick was happy to pass the ball sideways to him all the time but the wee man still could not thread anything forward. His most forward passes were to our LB Evra and Nani ahead.
    As bad as Chelsea might be, they know that with Torres and Anelka they have outballs and so they use them often. We had only Nani in the first half – Gibson did find him with one peach of a pass from the edge of our box which he duly wasted. Rooney marooned on the left played with a frown and was deeply unhappy about it so he offered very little. It is SO EASY to blame the midfielders. ALL the time too.
    Anyway, Alf, am done arguing with you to be honest.

    <b>
    Anyway, Alf, am done arguing with you to be honest.</b>
    How often have we heard that one before

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