On Sunday, Rant Cast regulars Ed & Paul will be live blogging the FA Cup third round tie with Manchester City at Eastlands. It’s the first time we have done this on United Rant. Join in on the comments section below, email or Tweet Paul – @UtdRantCast and Ed – @unitedrant.
It all kicks off at Eastlands Sunday, 8 January 2012, 1pm GMT. We’ll be with you around 30 minutes before the whistle!
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Paul - Sunday 15:07
Well, as Ed said, that was one of the most game of two halfiest games of two halves I can remember. It’s been a lot of fun liveblogging it – let us know in the comments below and over on twitter whether you enjoyed it and would like to see it again. An extraordinary occasion to try this out for the first time – not exactly a shortage of talking points!
(Wayne’s just said the dressing room beforehand was when the team found out Scholes was signed up. We live in strange times.)
A lot will be said about City’s “fightback” and they do deserve *some* credit for it, but in our pomp, don’t remember too many of our brave fight backs ending with a loss. Roy’s just said “We can give some credit to Man City, but they’re out of the cup”. That’s exactly what I was trying to say – good stuff!
Of all the implications of this result, still being in the pot for the FA Cup draw. Hope we can get a home draw against someone rubbish, so we can play some kids. And Paul Scholes.
So, we’re signing off for the day – thank you for your company, and see you the next time we do one of these!
Ed - Sunday 14:56
We’ll take that – what a game
A game of two halves or what? Fantastic from United in the first half, not great at all in the second. City deserve credit for putting in a fine performance in the second period. Had more passion and intensity, which is saying something in a derby. Excellent from Rooney, Welbeck and Carrick today. But once again questions will be asked about United’s back four and goalkeeper. Really need to keep a clean sheet.
But the fact is UNITED WON 2-3 in City’s own back yard. I can’t underestimate how important that is for the rest of the season. A boost to morale, some pain inflicted on City. The Blues performed well, but will a little seed of doubt have been sewn. Maybe, just maybe.
Paul - Sunday 14:54
I know we made it way more difficult that we had to, and for absolute sure we haven’t done the damage to their season it looked like we would, but we were significantly second favourites in that one and we just beat them at their place. GET IN THERE.
Paul - Sunday 14:53
GOOD LAD ANDERS!
Ed - Sunday 14:52
United need to keep the ball. The Reds needed to do that 30 minutes ago. City have been very good on the break today, moving United’s back four around in the second period. United wasted possession far too often, even with the extra man.
Paul - Sunday 14:52
Brilliant possession (oh no, spoke too soon)
This is wonderful from us. Aargh - given it away finally. And they get an incredibly dangerous freekick.
Ed - Sunday 14:51
Rooney the ‘Budweiser’ Man of the Match
Don’t tell Fergie he’s had a beer though – that’ll be another spell on the sidelines and a £200,000 fine! Very good first half performance from young Wayne. Not so great in the second, in common with his team-mates.
Paul - Sunday 14:50
Not had a good game, at all. Given the ball away way too often. He’ll be back though.
Ed - Sunday 14:48
The big Dane is looking anything but certain at the moment. Questions have been asked about the player’s quality in the past – especially by Peter Schmeichel. I’m still not convinced he’s good enough, even if the player’s (moderately) greater experience and less error-prone performances have earned a shot at the #1 shirt. De Gea is surely United’s ‘long-term’ ‘keeper. The worst of both world’s is if the young man loses confidence and Lindegaard’s performances don’t justify the shirt.
Paul - Sunday 14:48
Harsh from Rio
He’s bawling out Patrice who presumably can’t even really see after that whack on the ‘ead.
Paul - Sunday 14:46
Fergie has done very well to build a team out of the ashes of the Djemba-Djemba era, but he has absolutely not been able to pass the psychological strength of his first two great teams onto this one. Times have changed, no doubt, and the money and adulation these players receive has changed the game, but it’s worth noting none-the-less, I think.
Ed - Sunday 14:46
Fantastic effort from City
Apart from all the complaints about United’s performance in the second half (there have been many), you have to praise City’s work ethic in this second period. The men in Blue have worked harder and with more intensity than United in this second period. They have earned their two goals. He says through gritted teeth
Ed - Sunday 14:44
Now he gets himself fit and comes on against United in the Cup! The Old Trafford collective will surely go apoplectic if the Canadian-Englishman scores an equaliser here with about seven minutes to go. But then again, we let him leave on a free, so there wouldn’t be much to complain about.
Paul - Sunday 14:43
Very very lucky
Not a pen, probably, but incredibly lucky it wasn’t given.
Ed - Sunday 14:42
I told you so
United simply do not perform in the second half of matches. This half, even with an extra man, has been pretty average from United. The passion seemed to die a little, as did the intensity. Looking for a really strong last 10 minutes. If City equalise a lot of United players will need to look at their performances this second half.
The decision to bring on Scholes is looking like an error right now. But if the Reds hold out for a win nobody in Red will care.
Paul - Sunday 14:41
And just as I say that, Rio gives possession away really cheaply. Keeeeeeep it!
Paul - Sunday 14:40
Giving the ball away right now is an absolute crime. Keep it lads. Just keep it.
Paul - Sunday 14:39
Tweet of the day
@fresher_mike says “we have 3 central midfielders on the pitch. Like buses!”
Ed - Sunday 14:38
This is better
Use the ball and space. Make City shuffle about and lose their shape. Retrenching into our half is playing in City’s hands. We now need to play with the ball a lot more than over the past 20 minutes. Control, control, control lads.
Paul - Sunday 14:36
Very good performance. Looked gutted to come off. Not sure how I feel about seeing Anderson come on – *should* give us some solidity in the middle, but our chances of nicking a fourth must have dipped with that sub.
Ed - Sunday 14:36
At this point, Scholes is looking at being subbed off
He’s looking well off the pace, despite the low shot and some decent passes. But too many have missed their target and he’s significantly slower than everbody else in midfield.
Anderson coming on to give some energy in midfield. Need – Scholes, Giggs and Carrick just about the least mobile midfield United has ever had.
Paul - Sunday 14:35
Ok, moving a bit more freely now, and a couple of good passes. That shot was pretty tasty too.
Ed - Sunday 14:34
Where’s the ambition?
And not the Wayne Rooney style ambition. I mean on the pitch, with United retreating into their own half at the moment. It’s a very risky game to play. Need to push 15 yards further up the pitch and make use of the extra space. After all, United has the extra man here. The players might need reminding of that from the touchline.
Paul - Sunday 14:34
City playing very intelligently – not chasing the game and leaving space for us to exploit. You can see why they’re doing so well this season. Hopefully we’ll be able to avoid them getting a proper chance.
Ed - Sunday 14:31
Could that penalty shout cost United?
Chris Foy’s decision to not award Antonio Valencia a penalty around 10 minutes ago could well cost United if City get an equaliser here. We’ll certainly hear from Sir Alex Ferguson on the matter if City get a third. And as the game’s going, they could well do so… even match at the moment.
Paul - Sunday 14:28
He’s not actually looking very mobile, is he?
Ed - Sunday 14:28
Now we hear them sing
I couldn’t hear a f*cking thing early. Now the Blues spring into life and there’s an atmosphere around Eastlands at last. Game is genuinely on now. You wouldn’t have thought it was United with the 11 and City with 10 the way the game is going at the moment. Could go either way.
Paul - Sunday 14:26
This is getting horrible. Scholes gave the ball away in the build up too. Lindegaard probably should have done better, but our defense was ripped apart by 10 men. They seem to be getting more space than they should be.
Ed - Sunday 14:25
Loose from Scholes
Oh dear Scholesy. Maybe you should have remained in comfortable retirement! Game on now after Aguero pokes home from close range. Have to say that perhaps Lindegaard could have done better too. That’s one at St. James’ Park, and perhaps two today that aren’t horrendous errors but the big Dane might be disapointed with himself.
Ed - Sunday 14:24
There’s no doubt about that. Valencia taken out by Kolarov inside the boz. What was Chris Foy thinking – it looked like he had a decent view of the incident. Kolarov clearly didn’t get the ball, so why didn’t Foy book Valencia if he thinks the Ecuadorian dived. Why – because Foy bottled it. Didn’t want to give another decision to the Reds. Probably had a word from Mancini at half time.
Paul - Sunday 14:21
It’s a BAD thing
I know, I know, it’s a bad thing. It’s because we’re terminally shackled by the financial situation – it’s indicative of a serious malaise at the club.
But my goodness, Paul Scholes just came on. I’m going to have to be reminded why it’s bad more than once to wipe the grin off my face.
Ed - Sunday 14:21
Sir Royston of Keane
Wouldn’t you just love the old bruiser to take to the field one last time? I’ll hazzard to say that Beckham, Scholes, Keane, Giggs is the finest four across midfield that United has ever had. And that includes the Charlton, Stiles, Best, Crerand era…
Ed - Sunday 14:20
Value in the market
Much like Jesus and the clitoris, finding ‘value’ is an ephemeral thing. When it comes to the transfer market and Sir Alex Ferguson’s mind that is. Yet, Fergie’s found it and we’ll be seeing it now… Paul Scholes.
Glazernomics, sensisble, or desperation. You decide.
Paul - Sunday 14:17
Yep. There’s Paul Scholes. Just coming on as a sub in the derby like it ain’t no thing.
Paul - Sunday 14:17
Carrick’s having such a good season. When City broke there Carrick absolutely tore back, put in a great tackle and managed to steer the ball into Valencia’s path. Playing with such consistency over the past few months.
Ed - Sunday 14:16
Jones: a force of nature
Hands up if you don’t want Phil Jones to piledrive one into City’s top corner today. He has received some criticism for his defending in recent weeks (fair criticism I’d say) but he’s still a real powerhouse going forward. Plays with passion, commitment and energy for the full 90 minutes. Can’t ask for lots more than that (aside from a bit of quality too, of course).
Ed - Sunday 14:15
There’s more goals in this
Attack, attack, attack, attack, attack. The more open this game the better. United want the space, City need to close it down and try and hit United on the break.
Certainly be interesting if City brought this back to 2-3 wouldn’t it. And when I say interesting what I really mean is SQUEAKY BUM TIME.
Not yet though. Not yet.
Paul - Sunday 14:14
Great pressing from United – forcing mistakes, keeping the ball in City’s half. Good stuff.
Paul - Sunday 14:12
Proof, if proof were needed , that Fergie listens to the Rant Cast, as Giggs takes his corner short.
Paul - Sunday 14:12
So pleased with our response to the goal – calm, kept the ball, just knocking it around, taking the sting out of the game.
Then Phil Jones had a bit of an ol’ maraud, because, why not?
Ed - Sunday 14:11
Abuse “just goes on”
According to Clive Tyldsley on ITV that is. That’s not too far off from saying ‘turn the other cheek’ or ‘ just shake on it’. No Clive, it’s not ok to take the abuse, especially if its turns personal and racial. What’s the betting that something was said to Patrice Evra when he was taking the throw in just now?
Ed - Sunday 14:09
Fine strike from the defender. That’s seven goals Lindegaard has conceded in the last three matches. Not that I’m blaming the ‘keeper at all. Now lads, don’t lose your heads… it’s only one. Reds still well in control of this. Maybe City will open up, just like United did at Old Trafford, and we’ll score six… hmmm.
Paul - Sunday 14:09
Felt that one coming. Fantastic hit – the next 10 minutes are so crucial.
Paul - Sunday 14:08
Takes the entire force of Evra’s bodyweight to bring him down. The man is an absolute tank.
Ed - Sunday 14:07
Empty Blue Seats
When a City fans tells you that there are no Reds in Manchester they’re lying. We know that of course. But here’s a team that has had more than £500 million lavished on it. New stadium, cheap tickets, world class players, entertainment and challenging for the Premier League title. Yet City fans can’t be bothered to turn up for games, including the derby. It’s an absolute disgrace. Empty seats all over the place at Wastelands.
Paul - Sunday 14:06
Johnson too – Mancini’s conceded this one, then, I guess. However, we’ve seen what complacency can do to United. We haven’t won yet.
Ed - Sunday 14:05
Silva and Johnson off
Well that’s just negative. It’s all about not conceding six or seven. Silva’s an absolutely brilliant player. Only just behind Xavi and Iniesta in my opinion. If City don’t want him, we’ll have him thanks! To think Mancini didn’t even play the little magician at Sunderland.
Paul - Sunday 14:03
No, not a worry about our second half performance, I’ll leave that to Ed. Mine’s a concern for ITV’s viewing figures. Not sure Peterborough Sunderland is going to have quite the same appeal.
Ed - Sunday 14:00
To Scholes or not to Scholes that is the question
If United are still three or more up when it gets past the hour I’m sure we’ll see Scholes just sitting in there with Carrick. It’s debatable whether the little Ginger Prince’s fitness is up to more than 20 or 30 minutes (it won’t be). But for sentimental reasons I think Fergie will give him a kick.
Paul - Sunday 13:51
What a half
Stunning stuff from United – an absolute shellacking. I think the red card was on the harsh side, but the way we’ve responded to our advantage has been stunning. More than anything else, the form our attacking players are in seems to be (along with midfield) the dominant fact0r in how we do. Great to see Rooney looking fiercely up for it, and Nani and Valencia looking effective. Poor halves from Giggs and Jones, but otherwise, triffic.
Ed - Sunday 13:51
Foot off the gas?
Brilliant first half from United. Just about everything went right for the Reds. I think the dismissal was fine ‘by the letter of the law’, but I’m expecting the pundits to disagree. Certainly penalty and I couldn’t care less what Roberto Mancini thinks about either decision.
But the risk here is obvious. United will take it easy in the second period. In fact, United haven’t been as good in the second half of most games this season. And, with the lads 3-0 up, the temptation will certainly be to take the foot off the gas. Off course, we don’t want that. We want 7-0. The bigger the better as far as I’m concerned. Great for the morale and the more damage we do to City’s belief the better. I said on the pod this week that we couldn’t understate just how important this match is. Vital
Paul - Sunday 13:49
I know it’s a rule that you have to say the Poznan’s rubbish, but I bet it’s fun. United fans, whilst doing it ironically, will probably be feeling guilty for enjoying it.
Paul - Sunday 13:45
For the superstitious amongst you, I must apologise – logistically it’s going to be very difficult for Ed and I to do this for every game…
Paul - Sunday 13:44
I stand corrected
Apparently we want 7. Fine by me!
Ed - Sunday 13:43
We don’t want six Paul! United always ALWAYS goes one better than City…. seven is the magic number today.
Paul - Sunday 13:42
Kept his head brilliantly there to put in the rebound.
(Poor ball from Valencia there in that break afterwards.)
Ed - Sunday 13:41
Wayne Rooney from the spot
He’s missed a few in the past hasn’t he? Luckily the boy was sharp enough to follow in with the header. Very unlucky the ‘keeper there, although his coach will be telling him to push it to the side. I’d try and write down the City ‘keeper’s name but there’s no chance I’d spell it correctly!
Paul - Sunday 13:40
WE WANT SIX
Me and Ed are BRILLIANT at predicting.
Ed - Sunday 13:39
Well it’s obvious isn’t it, but the temptation will be for Chris Foy to even things up. The pressure will certainly be on him to do so. Vital that no United player gives him an excuse and allows City back into the game. Control is the word – on the pitch and in the head.
Paul - Sunday 13:39
Becks’ kid is absolutely festooned in United gear. Get him a green and gold scarf, and he’s all set. Nice to see, anyway. Apparently one of his other kids is an Arsenal fan. Not sure how that happened!
Paul - Sunday 13:36
@Beardedgenius is a genius
http://twitpic.com/7xep6h - magic stuff from one of the greats of United social media using fans.
Paul - Sunday 13:34
Loving the kind words over on twitter – this is fun!
Camera just cut to a close shot of about 10 worried looking City fans. Statistically, at least one of them must have been a red pretending to look worried.
Ed - Sunday 13:34
Three in a row?
United were never going to lose three games in a row were they? I didn’t doubt it for a second. Honest. The 2-1 (City) podcast prediction was simply to ensure that the ‘Curse of the Rant Cast’ struck. Never fails. Never!
Paul - Sunday 13:32
WHAT A GOAL
Super Danny Welbeck – MAGICAL. Fantastic stuff. I love that kid so much. He’s gonna be an absolute megastar.
Stunning. Good build up from Nani and Evra too, but that was all about a moment of fantastic improvisation.
Right, we’re definitely favourites now. Still not over though.
Ed - Sunday 13:32
Well I told you so. Didn’t I. Didn’t I!!!
Fantastic finish from Welbeck. They boy is a bit special. And to think two years ago many United fans didn’t think he would make it. Praise for Ferguson and his patience with the player while he (literally) grew up.
Ed - Sunday 13:31
Was just tryping this as the Frenchman shanked a ball out of play. But credit where it’s due, Evra’s having a good game today. There’s been a lot said about his form – it has dropped – but Adam Johnson isn’t getting a kick today. More of the same please.
Paul - Sunday 13:29
Thinking about those half time jaffas, Rio? Shocking ball.
Ed - Sunday 13:28
Exploit the space
Any coach will tell you, when you have an extra man the left-to-right or right-to-left ball becomes really important as you try and shift the opposition out of there entrenched formation. United need to be smart with the and not try and rush it now. Sloppy passing doesn’t help… (note to Rio Ferdinand). City have enough talent to still get something out of this.
Paul - Sunday 13:27
As always, his name should be capitalised. He’s not having a very good game though – good ball into the box just now, but a woeful cross earlier and a couple of defensive errors. It’s natural that he’s going to have less impressive games, given his amazing start at United. Limping a bit too, it looks like, which is more of a worry.
Paul - Sunday 13:24
This is all going very well. Server’s taking a bit of a pounding as we iron out some live blog tweaks, but it’s lovely that we’re 1-0 up against 10 men!
Really not sure that the red was fully deserved, but if you come off your feet like that you’re asking for trouble. Pretty sure the ref will want to do something to even it up later on – we need to be really careful about challenges in the box, or anything borderline.
Ed - Sunday 13:22
@RyansYoung asks on Twitter: “When was the last time a player came out of retirement to start for Utd?”
I have absolutely no idea!! Stumped me with that one. Anybody?
@ManUtdUpdate asks on Twitter: “Do you think Scholes will play?”
Only if a) United are desperately chasing a goal or; b) We’re miles ahead!
@Seanelius21 asks on Twitter: “What are your thoughts on the rumours Bobby Charlton has been training with the first team squad???”
It wouldn’t surprise me Sean I mean that’s what this club is all about. Youth. NQAT!!
@lingodave asks on Twitter: “Isn’t Scholes signing an indication of the problems United have got in midfield. Where are the world class players in there?”
Spot on Dave. Spot on…
Ed - Sunday 13:20
The City is there’s?
Don’t bet on it. The stadium isn’t City’s at the moment. Can’t hear a thing from the men in blue. As always the Red Army is in full voice. There’s nothing quite like an away day trip to the Blue Noses.
Paul - Sunday 13:17
Awful tracking by the City defense – Rooney given the freedom of Manchester. Great header though.
Ed - Sunday 13:17
Townsend gets it wrong (as usual)
Referees have been given very clear instructions about the ‘scissor’ tackle. It’s dangerous and the height of the foot does not play a part. More to the point “getting the ball” has absolutely nothing to do with the decision. When will ITV, who pay a lot to show these matches, hire somebody who actually knows something about the game? FAIL.
As usual with ITV’s commentary team facts don’t seem to play a part in telling a good story.
Paul - Sunday 13:15
Not totally sure about that red. Must be open to some debate…
Ed - Sunday 13:13
Early bath son. Two footed challenge from Vincent Kompany. City’s captain sees Red and I don’t see how he can have any complaints about that.
Paul - Sunday 13:13
MANCHESTER IS RED
AND SO ARE THE CARDS!!!!!!
1-0 up and 10 men. I think we’re just about favourites now…
Paul - Sunday 13:13
You show ‘em that badge, sunshine
When Rooney’s ball was passed out wide to Valencia I thought “hmm, that’s really pleasing – perfect weighting on the pass is so often a sign that Rooney’s in form. A stunning ball from Valencia and a fantastic header. Not normally a big fan of badge related displays for goal celebrations, but in this case it was great to see him be all “I PLAY FOR MAN UNITED, LA” about it.
Fantastic goal. Interested to see what that does to their heads.
Ed - Sunday 13:12
Is like making love to a beautiful woman. Well no, but it certainly takes some practice. But it seems as if Paul and I have a bit of yin and yang going on. He commentates, I pipe up with sarcastic quips. As ever.
Ed - Sunday 13:11
It had to be him didn’t it. Just had to be him. Kisses the badge on his chest. Puts in a transfer request? We’ll see this summer.
Fantastic header from Rooney. Brilliant!
Paul - Sunday 13:09
Lindegaard dallies in possession and Aguero absolutely pounces on him. This is all starting a bit worryingly. In fairness, though, it’s been worrying since the balls came out of the draw, so nothing new.
Paul - Sunday 13:08
Rooney clearly playing in midfield. So our midfield three consists on one central midfielder. No, no, the Scholes move isn’t guided by desperation.
Ed - Sunday 13:06
Have to say I’ve been really impressed with Welbeck this season. He’s developing into a very high quality all round forward. Critics might say he needs to add more goals to his game, but it’s certainly more of a rounded game than, say, Hernandez’ is at the moment.
Paul - Sunday 13:05
Giggs just takes the ball and runs straight into De Jong – that’s the type of thing I’m worried about.
Paul - Sunday 13:05
Good to see that ITV got it wrong and Smalling’s at Centre Back – makes so much more sense.
Ed - Sunday 13:04
Very much a straight 4-4-2 today, with Jones at right back and Smalling in the centre. That makes an awful lot of sense given’t Jones’ mistakes in recent games. Valencia and Nani wide, Rooney dropping into the hole. Welbeck the target man.
All positive form United today. But the real issue is in central midfield. Can Carrick and Giggs get enough of the ball. If not this game will be City’s.
Paul - Sunday 13:04
He’s a good “bad guy”. Has a real James Bond villain quality. But City’s song about him is, for my tastes is a bit too literal ”Mancini, he came from Italy, to manage Man City”. It’s a companion piece to their earlier work “David Silva, he is a midfielder, he came to us from Spain, he travelled on a plane.
Ed - Sunday 13:00
Here we go….
I’d be more nervous, but somehow being the underdog helps. It’s an unusual feeling that’s for sure. After the past two games the momentum is with City. Yet, there’s still plenty of big players in the United side despite all the problems this season (and structurally) at the club.
And remember. While City has all the money…
Paul - Sunday 12:59
Here goes nothin’
Also “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”.
If we can pull out a performance I’ll be absolutely delighted, but also pretty surprised. That just doesn’t look like a fair fight in midfield, to me.
Ed - Sunday 12:51
Police seize 29 bags of ‘cannabis’ in raid on Ferdinand’s restaurant
Now, I wouldn’t be so cruel as to say that Ferdinand has form when it comes to the wacky backy but…
Let’s hope Rio is a little sharper on the pitch than at St. James’ Park, hey?
Paul - Sunday 12:49
Keano in the booth
It must be hard for him – the other pundits just don’t have the same drive and commitment that he does.
Ed - Sunday 12:48
Dimitar’s away day blues
Scoring goals is no longer a guarantee of getting into the United team it seems. For Dimitar Berbatov, its not enough to get in the matchday squad. The word on the street is that Berbatov is fit, but Sir Alex doesn’t fancy him in away games. Speculation perhaps, but with Wellbeck, Rooney, and Hernandez all in the squad, Berbatov’s hardly likely to be an ‘impact sub’…
Paul - Sunday 12:40
Keano participates in Adrian Chiles’ banter
“We got you into the ground, that’s a major achievement”
“We’ve been here since 7 O’Clock, so…”
Paul - Sunday 12:39
Starting line up
Looks like a straight 442 – not sure about Giggs in CM – did not work AT ALL against Newcastle, not sure why it’ll work here. Also really unclear about why you would play Jones at CB and Smalling at RB. Seems odd from Fergie. Not as odd as having Paul Scholes on the bench, but still…
Ed - Sunday 12:38
George Foreman scenario?
So, Ferguson says that Scholesy came to him and said he was “missing it to much.” Marriage of convenience then, with United desperately short in central midfield. But beware the old boxer making a comeback. It rarely works out for the best. Scholes has been training over the past few months, but the very same reasons the United legend quit eight months ago, is why it will be hard for the Ginger Prince to contribute today. The legs have gone.
But, Scholes loves a late goal against City doesn’t he? Could you write the script…
Paul - Sunday 12:36
Keano does not participate in Adrian Chiles’ banter.
“Have you got your boots with you, Roy?”
Paul - Sunday 12:29
No, not Fergie playing Roulette with his legacy and the legacy of one of our true greats. I’ve just decided to risk watching the game on ITV HD. Live coverage of our goals as they fly in, or adverts for Butlins – WHO KNOWS???
Paul - Sunday 12:14
De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Anderson, Park, Chicharito, Scholes.
Apparently. That last word there – not a joke.
Paul - Sunday 12:12
Team sheet going around – not sure if it’s confirmed:
Lindegaard, Evra, Jones, Ferdinand, Smalling, Valencia, Carrick, Nani, Giggs, Welbeck, Rooney.
(Scholes is number 22 on the bench.)
Paul - Sunday 12:10
Sitting here in a state of complete disbelief. On one hand, it couldn’t be more of a move of absolute desperation, we’ve quite literally brought a player out of retirement. In fairness to Fergie, you can’t deny the value proposition of this particular signing – one of the best players of all time for free? Of course, it’s completely ridiculous, and shows what a state we’re in, but on the other hand, he’s Paul Scholes and I love him and I hope he does at least one thing of significant note before the end of the season.
This is crazy.
Paul - Sunday 12:01
I guess Scholesey can get that last minute winner after all.
Paul - Sunday 11:50
Long time, no win.
In his autobiography, “Red”, Gary Neville described the period since 2007 as the most successful in Fergie’s tenure. It’s not something that many Reds would argue with, I guess, given 4 out of 5 league championships, a Champions League win and two finals, but the FA Cup has eluded us since 2004. Would be nice to have it back again, since we have won it more than anyone else, ever.
Ed - Sunday 11:37
Need some quality reading before kick off? Rant Monthly is out here!
Paul - Sunday 11:17
One David Beckham
Apparently Becks is going to be there today. We’re 100% sure we’re not allowed to have him take our corners, right?
Ed - Sunday 10:56
Rooney to City for £60m?
So says the Sunday Mirror. That should add some spice to the day:
“Manchester City will make another swoop for Wayne Rooney if the Manchester United star’s truce with Sir Alex Ferguson fails to hold.
United joined forces with the Rooney camp on Friday night to rapidly dismiss claims that the player’s relationship with his illustrious manager has been damaged beyond repair.
But Sunday Mirror Sport understands that tensions continue to simmer between the two biggest personalities at Old Trafford.
If the peace pact agreed by United and Rooney’s advisers fails to hold, Roberto Mancini will ask Sheikh Mansour to bankroll a £60million transfer that will stun football.”
Paul - Sunday 10:56
Derby day is upon us and the atmosphere (in my house) is electric. After two abject performances it would be very nice if United could find a higher gear for this one.
Without Scholesey to nick a last minute winner, the honour’s going to have to go to someone else. If you could pick one United player to score a last minute winner today, who’d you go with? I’d love to see an insanely technical piece of brilliance from Berbatov to win the game.
Comments welcome below the post, or hit us up on twitter – @unitedrant for Ed and @utdrantcast for me.
Ed - Sunday 09:22
Ferguson to rotate ‘keepers again?
“De Gea is the long-term prospect, there is no question about that. Anders has done very well. He has provided tremendous opposition to David. But the potential of David is obvious.
“We have been leaving him (De Gea) out of games quite regularly. There has been a nice mix of opportunities for Anders Lindegaard, playing in Europe and some of the league games.
“Just because he (De Gea) has lost two bad goals against Blackburn doesn’t mean that all of a sudden we are neglecting that part of both of them playing.”
Ed - Saturday 19:24
“People can say what they like and fancy who they want. We know what we can do. We know the players we have got in the dressing room. We just want to be back to top form and winning the game, regardless of the situation in the League really. Nothing has been handed out. No trophies have been awarded. We just want to be in there and there at the end. The cup is different. We want to produce that now. It would be nice to knock them out. More importantly, it would be nice to progress.”
Ed - Saturday 16:08
Well on this week’s podcast I predicted 2-1 to City, so I’ll have to go with that in print. Hoping that I’m desperately wrong (it certainly wouldn’t be the first time).
Paul - Saturday 15:54
Right then Ed, I guess we should commit our predictions to print. Sadly, in a head vs heart situation, I’ve predicted a City win. This does not come easy, but given our injuries and poor form, it’s not going to be tough. So, 2-1 to them. Boooo!
Ed - Saturday 14:58
Will the Tourés play?
Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got in for me! Is there a conspiracy over at Eastlands regarding the Touré brothers? Sir Alex Ferguson believes the pair will play tomorrow, despite being required to report for international duty with the Ivory Coast on Monday. Meanwhile, Telegraph journalist Rory Smith claims they were at the airport with him heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations.
We’ll know for sure around 12.30pm on Sunday!
Ed - Saturday 14:52
Manchester City and Manchester United meet for the 161st time in competitive football, and for the tenth time in the FA Cup. United leads that particular contest five games to four. Overall United has won 66, to City’s 44, with 50 drawn.
Whose likely to start? Well for Rant’s full preview head over here. In the meantime here’s our guess at the teams, just under 24 hours before kick off:
City (4-4-2): Hart; Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Zabaleta; Silva, De Jong, Milner, Nasri; Džeko, Aguero.
United (4-5-1): Lindegaard; Rafael, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Giggs, Park; Rooney.
And while you’re waiting why not listen to the latest edition of our weekly podcast Rant Cast.