UNITED_RANT_

UNITEDRANT

Reds’ rallying cry for Stoke clash

January 31, 2012 Tags: , Matches 110 comments

Sir Alex Ferguson has backed his squad to recover from FA Cup defeat at Anfield just three days ago, with the Scot’s Manchester United side facing Stoke City at Old Trafford on Tuesday night. The fixture offers Ferguson’s side a rapid opportunity to put the loss in Liverpool to one side and continue the pursuit of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. Yet, with 11 players likely to be on the sidelines for Tuesday’s fixture, Ferguson’s side must recover the hard way against a typically committed Stoke outfit.

United’s record against Stoke at Old Trafford – eight wins in a row dating back to 1981 – suggests a routine three points. But with Ferguson’s players once again bruised by crushing defeat at the weekend, the Scot will do well to raise his troop’s spirits. Indeed, it is a season in which ‘recovery’ has been discussed far too often for some supporters’ liking: after heavy defeat to Manchester City in the league, when United crashed out of Europe, and now FA Cup disappointment.

Yet, Stoke, says Ferguson are unlikely to give United an easy ride at Old Trafford despite the poor record over the past 30 years in the Reds’ back yard.

“You know what Tony Pulis’ teams are like, they’re always the same with one hundred per cent commitment,” Ferguson told ManUtd.com.

“They all get stuck in and you have to cope with that. I quite enjoy that. When we used to play Wimbledon, at the beginning when they first came into our division, nobody enjoyed playing against them. But then I started and my team started to enjoy it because it was a challenge, a physical challenge in the way they played and a physical challenge in terms of trying to take control of the possessions and play your football.

“Stoke are a different team altogether from Wimbledon, obviously, but they still have the same quality of never giving in; they keep going, so it’s a good challenge for us.”

Manchester United versus Stoke City, Premier League, Old Trafford, Tuesday 31 January 2012, 8pm.Ferguson is again without half a squad’s worth of injured players. Long-term injury victims Tom Cleverley, Michael Owen, Darren Fletcher, Fábio da Silva and Nemanja Vidic are definitely out. Meanwhile, United will also be missing Ashley Young, Nani, and Rio Ferdinand, while Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones are unlikely to be risked.

Uncertainty also surrounds Ferguson’s choice of goalkeeper. While the much criticised David de Gea phoned in sick this week, Anders Lindegaard left training  in a protective boot on Monday. The crisis may mean a recall to the squad for the long forgotten Pole Tomasz Kuszazck, who had been widely expected to leave the club this transfer window. Reserve Ben Amos could start.

Despite the ongoing injury crisis Ferguson maintained an upbeat mood this week, backing his players – especially the club’s much maligned midfield – to drive United towards a 20th domestic title come May. Indeed, in Tom Cleverley significant strategic hope is being placed, with United having failed to sign a midfielder of note for the past four seasons.

“Cleverley is doing a lot of running. He’s nowhere near the first team at the moment but he’s doing a lot of running,” confirmed Ferguson of the midfielder who has played just 58 minutes football since 10 September.

“Michael Carrick’s form has been unbelievable – he’s been playing fantastic – and we’ll also have Giggs, Scholes, Cleverley and Anderson, so that’s a great group of midfield players that will definitely help us. He’ll be a terrific boost. It will be great to get the boy back because I think he’s special.

“I expect (Young) to start training in the middle of the week, so he’s on his way back. Cleverley is two weeks behind that. Anderson will be ready this week, too. He’ll start training with us on Monday or Tuesday and then it gives me a collection of midfield players that should cope with anything that happens in the run-in.”

Meanwhile, Stoke arrive in decent form, some 12 points beyond the relegation zone, safety already assured for another season. But Pullis may be without winger Matthew Etherington who has a groin injury. Cameron Jerome could make his first start of the year after scoring last week.

Yet, for all Stoke’s progress the focus is squarely on whether United can remain in touch at the top of the Premier League. With Manchester City away at Everton there is a realistic chance that Ferguson’s men will gained ground on the Blues. But to do that, United must overcome both mass injury and the obvious disappointment of the past week.

“Every player at this club knows what’s expected. When you’re at Manchester United you know defeats like that aren’t acceptable. We don’t need anybody else to tell us that. We know it deep down,” adds defender Jonny Evans.

“We’ve played really well against Stoke in the last few games, both at home and away. I think we’ve dealt particularly well with their long throw-ins. There isn’t much of a run-up at Old Trafford on the side of the pitch, which will probably help us. We’ve beaten them comfortably over the last few seasons but they’re improving all the time and nobody ever looks forward to playing against Stoke.

“They have a different approach to the way most teams play. People have this preconception of them and think that because they’re a big side they’re a dirty side. But that’s not the case at all. I think they’re hard but fair and Tony Pulis goes out of his way to make sure they don’t cross that line.”

And that may well be a relief to the few remaining United players not yet injured! Yet, there is no doubt the fixture is pivotal to United’s hopes of silverware this season. Indeed, it is the first time in the Premier League era that United has been out of the Champions League and FA Cup by this stage of the season. Anything less than a comfortable win tonight is unthinkable.

Match Facts
Manchester United versus Stoke City, Premier League, Old Trafford, Tuesday 31 January 2012, 8pm.

Potential Line-ups
United (4-4-1-1): Amos; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Scholes, Carrick, Park; Hernández, Welbeck. Subs from: Kuszazck, Fryers, Cole, Giggs, Lingard, Pogba, Keane, Berbatov.

Stoke (4-5-1): Sorensen; Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson; Pennant, Palacios , Whitehead, Delap, Walters; Crouch. Subs from: Begovic, Wilkinson, Whelan, Jones, Fuller, Etherington, Jerome.

Performance Stats

  • United kept pace with league leaders City with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the last Premier League game at the Emirates;
  • Michael Carrick covered the most ground for United in that game with 6.06 miles, while Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck scored for the Reds;
  • Valencia’s goal was just his second of the season, but the winger has also contributed an impressive eight assists;
  • Valencia has the joint second highest number of assists and the fourth best minutes per assist in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with one every 139 minutes;
  • Ryan Giggs has the best minutes per assist rate in the league, with an assist every 117 minutes (seven in total);
  • Welbeck’s goal was his sixth of the season in the Premier League from 34 attempts. He has achieved 74 per cent of shots on target, the third best percentage on target (among players who have had more than twenty efforts at goal);
  • Nani has now delivered over 100 crosses for United (105), topping the Index, 28 crosses ahead of second place Sebastian Larsson;
  • Meanwhile, Stoke’s last Premier League outing was a 2-1 defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion;
  • Peter Crouch covered the most ground for Stoke in that game with 5.8 miles;
  • Cameron Jerome scored Stoke’s goal in that game – just his second Premier League strike of the campaign.

Form
United: LLWWWL
Stoke: DWWDLW

Officials
Referee: Mike Jones (Chester)
Assistants: P Kirkup, A Garratt
Fourth Official: C Foy

110 comments

sheesh - January 31, 2012 Reply

I wonder if De Gea will start. We can’t afford any more fuck-ups.

madredmonkey - January 31, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
I wonder if De Gea will start. We can’t afford any more fuck-ups.

according to the paper he will lingard has a knock, will have to see. AMOS?

uncleknobheadforfucksake - January 31, 2012 Reply

looking at that front four berbashite should probably start

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

you started taking the happy pills haven’t you unc?
berbs will not start a game this season even against shite like stoke
he must have run over SAF’s dog pre season for his arse to stay on the bench so often this term
SAF will bring him on in the 86th minute, you wait and see

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

oops
berbs in the starting 11 along with rio

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Amos

Smalling
Ferdinand
Evans
Evra

Valencia
Carrick
Scholes
Park

Berbatov
Hernandez

SUBS: Kuszczak, Rafael, Fabio, Giggs, Pogba, W Keane, Welbeck

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

De Gea either fucked, a bottlejob, or is being punished

I hope Pogba comes on for Scholes after 60 minutes. Unlikely though, unless we’re 3-0 up

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

stoke will hoof it up to jones and crouch and work on their corners
amos is going to need protecting from those twats

madredmonkey - January 31, 2012 Reply

Hi HAN, could be a long night.

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

hi mad red
hows tricks?

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

de gea is ill? then why isn’t he at home instead of sitting in the freezing cold at OT?
smells fishy me thinks

madredmonkey - January 31, 2012 Reply

han said:
hi mad red
hows tricks?

still trying to get over saturday, but 3 points will help .

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Scholes wins the ball with a clean tackle

Anything is possible

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

started slowly again ffs

brianofnazareth - January 31, 2012 Reply

Any working soapcast?

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Scholes is ace

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

brianofnazareth said:
Any working soapcast?

Sopcast… 125505

Working well

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
Scholes is ace

aye he is but a sad fact that we have to rely on a 67 year old

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Shut the fuck up Tony Pulis ruining my stream with your gobbing off FFS

brianofnazareth - January 31, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
Sopcast… 125505

Working well

Thanks mate!

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

stoke taking the game to us thus far
we don’t look very interested at the moment

uncleknobheadforfucksake - January 31, 2012 Reply

part one sign teenage keeper for megaprice and throw in at the deep end when not ready, part two destroy his confidence at the first signs of difficulty, part three slowly and delibrately publically humiliate, part four sell at a substantial loss, part five watch as he becomes top draw spanish number one, part six sign given on free transfer

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

preferred it when you were a miserable bastard

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

brianofnazareth said:
Thanks mate!

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

brianofnazareth said:
Thanks mate!

bender

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

oooooooooo Scholsey…

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

shite hart laners 2-0 up already

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

They’re a cunt to break down

It’s going to have to come from a belter or a class move

madredmonkey - January 31, 2012 Reply

swansea 1-0

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

someone kick their arses

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Lots of scouse bashing from United fans

Another rendition of murderers

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

sweet pea is playing poorly
swap him for welbeck at h/t

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

Swansea up 1-0…

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Pulis, fucking hell, he’s telling each player what to do

Let them get on with it FFS

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

ah carrick you fanny

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

That’s what Berbatov is brilliant at.

brianofnazareth - January 31, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
Pulis, fucking hell, he’s telling each player what to do

Let them get on with it FFS

I’ve got a commentator with a fucking speech impediment!! FFS

madredmonkey - January 31, 2012 Reply

pen.

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Clear pen

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

pen…yessssssssssss
sweeeeeeeeeeeeet peaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

madredmonkey - January 31, 2012 Reply

sweet pea.

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Scholes senses the run, plays a nice ball n all

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

Nice one. Clever pass by Scholesy, clever movement by Park.

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

Well taken.

brianofnazareth - January 31, 2012 Reply

That’s fucks Stoke’s plans!

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Theres a bloke handcuffed to the goal at Goodison Park.

The fuck???

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
Theres a bloke handcuffed to the goal at Goodison Park.

The fuck???

saha doesnt want to move to spurs

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

Fuckin hell Scholesy…

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

Let’s put the Pog on in the second half.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - January 31, 2012 Reply

that goal was all hernandez, the pass by scholes, the run from park, the decision from the ref, the goal, all proof that hernandez is better than welbeck

DeadRevel - January 31, 2012 Reply

… that was sarcasm right?

Because Hernandez has done nothing in this game. his half sums him up… great finisher, average all round play.

Berba has been good though.

Calvino - January 31, 2012 Reply

At work so not watching. People just keep the updates coming.

Oh, ignore Knobby. He is just being silly as usual.

Knobby, behave yourself please!!

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

carroll scores at wolves for the KKK

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
… that was sarcasm right?

Because Hernandez has done nothing in this game. his half sums him up… great finisher, average all round play.

Berba has been good though.

now you really have set unc’s arse on fire with that comment on berbs

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

han said:
carroll scores at wolves for the KKK

2-0 to the racists
Bellamy

uncleknobheadforfucksake - January 31, 2012 Reply

I will soon be patronised and called a welbeck fanboy extraordinnaire for defending welbeck by individuals who defend hernandez no less vehemently yet with increasingly less credibility judging by what we’re seeing this season

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
I will soon be patronised and called a welbeck fanboy extraordinnaire for defending welbeck by individuals who defend hernandez no less vehemently yet with increasingly less credibility judging by what we’re seeing this season

zzzzzzzz
zzzzz
zzzzzzz
zzzzz

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

Morrison’s transfer is official btw.

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

Nice work Tony V.

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

pen….berbssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

DeadRevel - January 31, 2012 Reply

great pen from Berba.
LEGEND.

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

First gear this

Stoke are shite away from home

They only give it the big un at home

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

lets improve the goal difference now

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

That’s 7 goals in 5 league starts for Berba. just sayin’…

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

We might see the Pog now we’re comfortable

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

bman said:
That’s 7 goals in 5 league starts for Berba. just sayin’…

whisper it man
very quietly

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

Berba, what a battler.

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

Uh oh, Stoke have suddenly had the bright idea of testing our shite defence, this could turn things around for them…

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

bman said:
Uh oh, Stoke have suddenly had the bright idea of testing our shite defence, this could turn things around for them…

Much easier to be adventurous when the game is already lost

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

gibson scores for the toffees
ffs lol

uncleknobheadforfucksake - January 31, 2012 Reply

what’s wrong with rooney then

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

Gibsssooooooooooonnnnnnn

shauno - January 31, 2012 Reply

The G-bomb!!!!

uncleknobheadforfucksake - January 31, 2012 Reply

hehe fat irish gibastard

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

There’s only one Darron Gibson, haha

Mr and Mrs Charlton enjoyed that

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

bman said:
Morrison’s transfer is official btw.

What a dumb fuck…

Oh well… if he’s that stupid… good riddance.

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

We love you Everton

That’s going too far

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
what’s wrong with rooney then

Sprained his hair.

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

That was a pen

Ref bottled it

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

POGBA

THE MAN, THE HYPE

shauno - January 31, 2012 Reply

Cole sent off

DeadRevel - January 31, 2012 Reply

THERE’S ONLY ONEEEEEEE DARRON GIBSON!!!!!!!

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

Jaysus Park’s footballing quality really showed there with that “shot”.

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

Pog’s shown a bit of quality actually. Two decent crosses put in.

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

Swarming…

Goal coming…

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

stoke have played 100 games already this season since they started in may
should really be ramming the goals in against them

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Pog looks less Crouch like then the last time I saw him
He looks quite agile, quick off the mark and a decent turn for a lanky streak o’ nowt

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Top ball from Scholes

Got it to hold up when it hit the turf

shauno - January 31, 2012 Reply

Can cross a ball Pogba!

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

fucking hell, Berba

bman - January 31, 2012 Reply

OK, c’mon Everton hold on.

han - January 31, 2012 Reply

quality play by valencia
getting better by the game
shame we couldn’t improve the goal difference against shit stoke
but never looked to get out of 2nd gear

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

Job done

I like Pogba

Amos did well n all

Alfonso Bedoya - January 31, 2012 Reply

Fuck off Berbs… Valencias play deserved a goal.

madredmonkey - January 31, 2012 Reply

well done United.

madredmonkey - January 31, 2012 Reply

yes everton won.

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

FT, Everton 1-0 City

DeadRevel - January 31, 2012 Reply

Pogba’s looked very good.. impressive performance from the team. Should have been more. But can’t complain, Stoke never got a look in.

EX REDS DO IT AGAIN! Fergie masterplan…. you know it. Only thing better than having United in the league is having two of them. 🙂

sheesh - January 31, 2012 Reply

I can’t believe I sat in the freezing cold just to watch us score 2 penalties. Shite game. We didn’t play particularly brilliantly, Stoke turned up to spread their cheeks and allowed us to slip a length in.

FFS. At least we won.

sidney - January 31, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
I can’t believe I sat in the freezing cold just to watch us score 2 penalties. Shite game. We didn’t play particularly brilliantly, Stoke turned up to spread their cheeks and allowed us to slip a length in.

FFS. At least we won.

Talk about ungrateful

Give me your ticket

sheesh - January 31, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
Talk about ungrateful
Give me your ticket

No, ungrateful is having a ticket and choosing not to go. There were a few empty seats near where I was sat.
I had a spare for tonight as well tbf.

Pikey McScum - January 31, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
No, ungrateful is having a ticket and choosing not to go. There were a few empty seats near where I was sat..

Doesn’t that tell you something?

sheesh - January 31, 2012 Reply

Pikey McScum said:
Doesn’t that tell you something?

I showered before leaving the house!

sidney - February 1, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
No, ungrateful is having a ticket and choosing not to go. There were a few empty seats near where I was sat.

I had a spare for tonight as well tbf.

Dammit, why didn’t you tell me?! We could have sat and talked about the Tory’s during the boring bits of the match

Alfonso Bedoya - February 1, 2012 Reply

sheesh - February 1, 2012 Reply

I could have done with the hot air last night

sheesh - February 1, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
Job done

I like Pogba

Amos did well n all

Pogba looked silky. Keeper doesn’t convince me at all. He had little to do but still fumbled a simple stop in the second half. I remember him not playing well against wolves in a carling cup game. Can’t remember when it was.

I would worry if amos gets the nod against rent boys.

Dinkinflicker - February 1, 2012 Reply

It feels like a fucking long time since we had Edwin between the sticks.

Bill - February 1, 2012 Reply

The pig is playing for the reserves today. Match practice possibly for Sunday. Generally he hasn’t let us down when he’s come in.

han - February 1, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
I showered before leaving the house!

aye but you forgot to put your kegs on

Add your comment