Champions League final 2011: tactical preview

Alex Ferguson

With the Champions League final approaching, Sir Alex Ferguson must find answers to several key tactical questions ahead of the game at Wembley next weekend – from Manchester United’s formation, to dealing with Barcelona’s plethora of attacking options. In the first of a week-long series of build up articles, Rant’s Jay Shon looks at the […]

Champions League Final 2009: a tactical retrospective

Figure 1

Barcelona vs Manchester United, Stadio Olimpico, Rome. 27 May 2009. The 2009 Champions League final, which will be repeated at Wembley in 22 days time, resulted in a hugely disappointing loss to Barcelona in the final. Rant looks back on that final and wonders whether Manchester United will make the same tactical mistakes again? Both […]

Poll: will United beat Barcelona?

Manchester United V Barcelona 2009

Manchester United’s progression to the Champions League final, to be held at Wembley on 28 May, has surprised many; perhaps even some of Sir Alex Ferguson’s players. Despite the relative lack of ‘stardust’ in the United squad, in a season of turmoil surrounding star player Wayne Rooney, United has exceeded many expectations, including those of […]

Barça 0 – 1 Market

FC Barcelona

Some things in football are sacrosanct. Michael Owen has no place in a Manchester United team. The Football Association is populated by bumbling idiots. FIFA’s executive committee follows the money. And FC Barcelona will not take cash for shirt sponsorship. Until now. Hang up the wreaths. Pay your respects. Football. R.I.P. One of those tenets […]

Fergie praises Barça but misses the point

Camp Nou Barcelona

Sir Alex Ferguson says that Barcelona’s model is the one to aspire to and that his dream was once to coach the Catalan side. Ideologically and perhaps most importantly – the ownership model – means Barça is a club that many Manchester United supporters admire. The clubs share a common history but a diverged present. Many aspects […]

Barcelona plans huge bid for Rooney

Wayne Rooney Lionel Messi Michael Carrick

Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s “come and join us” plea to entice Wayne Rooney to Real Madrid last week, the News of the World this morning reports that Barcelona is lining up an £85 million summer swoop to make Wayne Rooney the world’s most expensive footballer. The Spanish club, current European Champions, believes that United’s massive £700 […]

Champions League final: key battles

Champions League Final

Top matches are decided in the details. Forget tactics and coaching – it will be the one-on-one battles that will decide the Champions League final this coming Wednesday. Win most of these and United take home the cup once again. Lionel Messi versus Patrice Evra Messi is the planet’s most in-form player, with 37 goals […]