While Red Ranter drowns his sorrows in a skanky C-list celebrity (his excuse), Stephen Darwin, who hosts the Soccerlens podcast and the Manchester United podcast for Football FanCast steps, into the breach with a look at what Manchester United’s finest did during the international break.
An international break tends to frustrate me something chronic. Especially when key players are involved in meaningless friendlies against little-known nations with absolutely no chance of getting anything from the game (bar the match-day shirt of one of their prestigious opponents).
Although after two consecutive defeats (need I remind you), this international break may have actually arrived at just the right time. The lads can now go away with their respective nations, clear their heads somewhat and return with that burning desire to compete on all fronts once again.
So with much of the United squad involved in international matches over the weekend, here’s a brief round-up of who, what, when, where, why and how.
My twitter followers may have been aware, but I was away for the weekend on an important trip, which resulted in me being cut off entirely from the telly, as well as having only brief shots at the internets. The upside from all that was I got to sidestep another rubbish result that somehow contrived to turn, what seemed like another title at a canter, to a sack race that entails much huffing and puffing from here on.
Despite the gloomy nature of losing to Fulham (I can’t believe I’d be writing this after we pummelled them into submission in the cup), I had to see the recorded game at least to see what the boys were upto. I really don’t have much to say on the game though. It seems as inexplicable now as it was when I first rubbed my eyes upon looking at the scoreline.
United perhaps have the better draw than some of the other big favorites for the Champions’ League. They’ve drawn with Porto, who are a far cry from the side that sneaked past us last time round, whilst, we get to face either Villarreal or Arsenal in the semis. The other end of the draw makes for exciting viewing; well, at least Bayern-Barca will be mouthwatering, can’t say much about Liverpool-Chelsea.
All your thoughts, predictions, etc go here. I’ll try to put up an early preview of the Fulham away game, as I’ll have to catch a flight.
Here’s the draw, if you’ve not seen it yet:
Barça – Bayern
Liverpool – Chelsea
Man Utd – Porto
Villarreal – Arsenal
Barca/Bayern v Liverpool/Chelsea
Man Utd/Porto v Arsenal/Villarreal
Over to you folks.
Rafael da Silva, one of the Brazilian twins United signed has given an excellent account of himself this season. His tenacity, ability to dribble and pace belies his tender years and has caught many eyes world over. But the much touted of the two, however, was Fabio. He captained the Brazilian U-17 team and was the more impressive of the two during the U-17 World Cup.
This is not going to be about Saturday’s game, per se. I won’t dwell on the performance beyond what I’ve already written about yesterday. But I forgot to touch on one aspect that stuck out for me. I can’t help but shake the sense of confusion that’s descended, and hence, consider this to be a question posed to you to clear my head.
[Note to Liverpool fans stumbling onto this site through Newsnow: You lot are among the best fans ever and you will win the treble this season. Now go away and leave us in peace.]
Saturday was a terrible day. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this bad after a game. Even Chelsea away in the 05/06 season wasn’t quite as bad because, 1. we were playing away from home against a rather good team and, 2. we were a shite team in comparison then anyway, and 3. they weren’t Liverpool.
But rather than going about blasting every player that made it to the pitch it’s a far more constructive exercise to think about areas we could improve upon.
Lot of trash talk has happened over the past few days. Mourinho, as always, deflects attention from his players to himself. Despite his side’s patched up injury situation, nothing can be ruled out of today’s fixture. But on this one occasion, I am convinced I have cause to feel optimistic.
There is only so much delusions of grandeur a human being can take in a day. In reference to this from the ‘Special One’:
“If you want me to rule out ever being Manchester United manager I can’t. “Special clubs need special managers so in theory it could work, but nobody knows what the future is in football.
That was the first part. Then this: