There has been much made about our premier defender’s contract situation since yesterday. Rio Ferdinand, according to earlier reports, was to hold off contract negotiations till summer. The reports attributed his agent, the scheming Pini Zahavi, to have said that.
Lot’s of blogs and forums have immediately reacted to the news.
An extremely slow day today. In fact, slow would be Concorde in its glory, ear-splitting, window-shattering days whizzing past another shuddering skyscraper, in comparison to news today. No actually that would be fast, wouldn’t it? Hmmm…
So I will just link you to articles on this snoozefest of a day. Be prepared for a few articles that have already been talked about earlier.
1. SAF hails Anderson as the heir to Scholes. It seems the manager has been reading the comment threads on RR over last few days. So here’s to our midfield dilemma, in the long term at least.
2. This season’s media representative-cum-in-form-midfielder, Michael Carrick talks about his place in the team and his form.
3. Bosingwa linked with us — again. Groan! Although nothing in the article really points to that directly.
4. Some decent talk from Owen Hargreaves, who is ready to bide his time and wait for his turn to play a part in the side.
5. Last but not the least, Neville plays an hour against ‘dipper reserves. He must be disappointed to end up losing, though. Anyone willing to bet on when he’ll be back?
Anyway, I must be off now. Sorry about the short one for today, but the news didn’t warrant a long post anyway.
Pick up a piece of paper, and write down United’s best XI. Picks itself, mostly, doesn’t it? You might be in the Giggs or the Nani camp for the left wing, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that 8 of the names down will appear on everyone’s list. The remaining two? Only the small matter of our central midfield partnership.
This is something that has elicited a lot of discussion in the comment sections recently. I don’t pretend to have the answer or anything approaching it, but what I’d like to do is present my take on the conflicting views and then give you my opinion. Which you can then rip apart (or try to!) in the comments.
As I see it, there are four players (despite Fletcher’s valiant performances recently, he’s never going to be a regular first choice), two general approaches and one big complicating factor. Let’s look at each in turn, and then try to draw the strands together.
Was that headline an exaggeration? I didn’t think so. However, yesterday’s win was achieved with minimum fuss, for most part, as a poor Newcastle side was run over by a team that had enough incentive to close the gap on league leaders, Arsenal. Arsenal were surprisingly held to a draw by Birmingham, with a last gap penalty from James McFadden. Although, it must be said that a horrible, horrible injury to Eduardo — something that, I pray, must never happen again to a footballer, ever — would have left the players in a state of shock throughout the game. Players need protection, and that’s what SAF was very concerned about a few weeks ago, bemoaning the fact that Ronaldo gets kicked about for fun and hardly gets much protection.
Back to the match report, though.
A familiar foe awaits us at St. James’ Park. The mad Geordies have done enough to get their manager, Sam Allardyce, sacked without giving him enough time. Their messiah, and said familiar foe, Kevin Keegan hasn’t exactly had the messianic influence the fans have come to expect from him. Give him more time is their call now, apparently. Oh the irony!
But despite their horrendous season and poor recent form, we would be well advised to go and do the job to keep the pressure on Arsenal and, of course, hope they drop points. Really, we have to be doing the job of winning every game from now on if we have to entertain hopes of retaining the title.
We are finally past our Lyon hangover, or so I would like to believe, and we can now look forward to our game against Newcastle in the weekend. We will get a preview in, prior to the match, but till then we will fill you with your daily dose of United related news, and a little commentary of our own.
As mentioned yesterday, I am not in a position to write a match report, so here is a collection of reports I found on the mainstream media as well as some from our comments yesterday.
Finally, some much needed Champions’ League action as United take on Lyon in the round of 16, first leg. It would be worth noting that Ryan Giggs, if selected, would make his 100th Champions’ League appearance — which would be quite an achievement.