Rant Cast 142 – que viva Ronaldo

February 8, 2013 Tags: Rant Cast 13 comments

ON this week’s packed Rant Cast we look back on Manchester United’s narrow victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage in the Premier League. Wayne Rooney’s goal, coupled with Manchester City’s failure to beat Liverpool leaves Sir Alex Ferguson’s side nine points clear.

We look ahead to United’s fixture with Everton at the weekend – a game which tormentor-in-chief Marouane Fellaini may miss through injury. Big relief all round.

Also on this week’s show: We take your questions, discuss nicknames, Paul Gascoigne, Fergie’s FA charge, Ronaldinho, Matt Jansen, United’s Asian tour and match fixing.

Finally, we talk Real Madrid – United’s Champions League Round of 16 to the Bernabeu next week in the biggest match of the season to date.

Hit us up with any feedback below or follow the pod on Twitter: Paul – @UtdRantCast, Ed – @UnitedRant.

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RobDiablo - February 8, 2013 Reply

Just before I listened to this episode of the Rantcast, I had been surfing different football sites and was dumfounded by the number of fuckwits writing about United winning another treble this season (as if that were a realistic likelihood). Several of these fuckwits went so far as to set out their lineups for the matches against Everton and Real, and in every instance they chose a weakened side against Everton, citing the need to rest the best players for the UCL clash. Do none of these so-called supporters actually watch the matches? Have they not seen United struggle to close out games against mid-table and relegation threatened sides? Where does this unbridled optimism come from? In my opinion, should this kind of thinking be taken up by the manager, it could cost United the league.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I begin to listen to the Rantcast, expecting to hear some sense, and find that, aside from mentioning the possible absence of Felaini as well as your scoreline predictions, there was no talk of the Everton match at all. It was all: ‘who will we/they play and how will we/they line up in Madrid’. Sound-bites such as “two of the top five clubs in the world” (by earnings, yes, in quality, no) and the ones trumpeting the number of world class players on the pitch (no mention that it would be two for United and five or six for Real) are more than a little misleading.
I would also point out that United is not running into a bit of form. As I mentioned in another post: from the beginning of the season until now, United has maintained a remarkably consistent 80% winning percentage in the league by winning four out of every five matches. The only improvement has been that, in the last ten matches, United has drawn rather than lost the fifth match. United has also remained consistent in failing to produce two halves of quality football in virtually every match. So, I think Sir Alex would do well to keep his eye on the prize that can be won by prioritizing the 20th league title.

Paul - February 8, 2013 Reply

Well Rob, we did have a bit of a chat about Everton, albeit a brief one, and my point about the Real game was just that it’s super exciting. I’d say United have more than two of the top, say, 55, players in the world. And I think that we’re in with a shout for being in the best 5 club sides in world football. And seriously, if you don’t think that a European Cup tie against Real Madrid deserves to dominate the agenda on a United fan podcast, then I’m afraid I’ll have to respectfully disagree. We play Everton twice a year, we don’t play Madrid quite so often. It’s a hugely glamorous and exciting tie, to me.

Also, we have almost never been accused of being overly optimistic about United 🙂

RobDiablo - February 8, 2013 Reply

Hey Paul, interesting choice of number, 55; is that because United’s third best player would not make the top 50?
This got me to thinking about the identity of United’s third best player. My short list would include Rio, Vidic, Evra, Chicharito, and de Gea, but I’m not certain that Rio and/or Vidic are or ever will return to being the force they once were, while de Gea is still more about potential than accomplishment, and, if you chose the number 55 to allow for five players at each position, I’d have to say that Chicharito does not belong on the list of the top five strikers in the world, so that leaves Evra, who, if he were playing in a side with a decent midfield might not get hung out to dry quite so often. I’d be interested in reading your thoughts on the subject.
Also, I’d be more excited about playing Real Madrid if I thought it was a contest between relative equals, but I don’t.

Paul - February 9, 2013 Reply

Just picked 55 because it’s five starting 11s. Rio, Carrick, Evra, Evans, Rafael all in with a shout on current form. I really think Rio is underrated, might not be at his peak, but he’s adapted incredibly well to his change in pace to become a different, but still brilliant, player.

Well, I don’t really care that we’re second favourites, it’s still a tie I think is brilliant 🙂

marlon - February 8, 2013 Reply

In ability, Carrick, surely. If you’re doing a top 5 in each position then Evra and Rafael have the best shot.

marlon - February 8, 2013 Reply

I think Spurs away was intended as a dress rehearsal for the Madrid game, with Jones at CM to monitor Bale (Ronaldo). Vidic/Rio will only work if we intend to surrender possession and sit deep or they’ll be destroyed by Madrid’s pace. Evans would be much better. Hopefully Jones’ injury will force us to attack – now Fletcher is out, the only other defensive move we can make is playing three in the middle, which with our personnel isn’t all that defensive. Only way we can really throw this game away (with team selection) would be Giggs or Scholes in a 2 man CM.

RobDiablo - February 8, 2013 Reply

marlon said:
In ability, Carrick, surely. If you’re doing a top 5 in each position then Evra and Rafael have the best shot.

I can see Carrick as a contender for United’s third best player, but I didn’t include him because I don’t believe he could be included among the ten best CMs in the world. Rafael, like de Gea, is another good shout for the future, but he’s not there yet.

Twisted Blood - February 9, 2013 Reply

Please put the latest ep on Itunes. Maybe?

Ed - February 9, 2013 Reply

Twisted – I do not control iTunes at all. They take the RSS feed, which is working, and then it’s up to Apple. Sometimes they take minutes… sometimes hours … sometimes longer. There’s also no longer any way to ‘ping’ iTunes with a new podcast. They removed that option last year.

Twisted Blood - February 9, 2013 Reply


Any way you could pull off a hostile takeover of Apple by next week then? Since the latest ep was not up,
I had to listen to Kicking Off With Colin Murray while driving in rush hour today instead of the Rant. I think my ears are bleeding…

Ed - February 9, 2013 Reply

With Apple’s quarterly profit falling to $13bn Rant is just a few pennies short of mounting that takeover. No question about that.

RedDevilInAz - February 9, 2013 Reply

Over the last couple of season I think Rio is as good a defender as he ever was, he is a totally different defender and he cannot get forward like he used to in his youth or make the spectacular 50 yard pass to open up oppositions. He now plays much more with his head and positioning than his physical skills and can get fatigued by the 75 – 80 minute, but he may be just what is needed to come on for the last 30 minutes of the game especially in Madrid.

If United and Real are not two of the top five teams then who is? Admittedly Madrid are not having a great season and by the table are third best in La Liga, the table does not lie, but they still have enough talent all over the pitch to put any team to the sword. As United fans we become somewhat complacent, if we are not winning by big scores and make the opposition look like a pub team then we are shit and massive changes need to be made before the next game/season. The reality is that over the last couple of season we have score point at record pace, we are leading the league by 9 points, are still in the Champions and FA Cups and IMO still have another gear to shift into.

The glasses I wear are very RED, always have been always will be, but I really believe that as long as we are in any competition we have a chance of winning it; we are the only team left in England that has a chance to win the triple – AGAIN. If I cannot get excited about Manchester United playing Real Madrid, anytime, anyplace whatever the occasion then what game is going to get me excited?

RobDiablo - February 9, 2013 Reply

RedDevilInAz said:
…If I cannot get excited about Manchester United playing Real Madrid, anytime, anyplace whatever the occasion then what game is going to get me excited?

I can understand your point of view, but I don’t share it. I DESPISE Real Madrid. Playing against them is like being invited to compete in a bicycle race against Lance Armstrong or a home run derby against Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, and Mark McGwire (massive cheats, every one). The only joy to be had in such situations would come from soundly beating the cheats, but that is unlikely to happen.

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