Dec 07

Swiss chocolate hard to stomach for United

Manchester United failed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since the 2005-06 season, after losing 2-1 in Basel on a disappointing night.

Last year’s finalist paid the price for making a mess of what was widely regarded to be the easiest group in the competition and stumbled to a defeat, when a draw would have been enough to progress.

An Alexander Frei goal six minutes from time sealed the fate for Fergie’s men who now face the unappealing prospect of spending their Thursdays in the less noble of European competitions but, for what they’ve produced in the Champions League this season, is probably the right verdict.

United traveled to Basel with the comfort of an astonishing record on the road, 3 defeat in the last 25 away games in Europe, 2 of them coming against Barcelona in the 2009 and 2011 finals.

With Berbatov and Hernandez injured, Rooney was deployed alone upfront with Young and Nani in support while Phil Jones retained his spot as defensive midfielder, flanked by Giggs and Park in what was a strangely looking midfield trio, given the absence of the suspended Michael Carrick.

DeGea was back between the posts behind an unchanged back four.

United started brightly, controlling possession and committing men forward but Basel struck with their first attack.

Smalling went down injured after having been struck by Vidic’s left arm following a cross, Shaqiri found himself in acres of space and delivered a teasing ball in which DeGea could only deflect away with his leg offering Streller the simplest of tap-ins to put Basel ahead with barely 9 minutes gone.

United were soon back in control and actually played some of their best football in Europe this season, creating a couple of chances around the half hour mark.

Rooney and Park couldn’t direct the ball home from two yards out then Nani had his shot blocked before Rooney appeared to be brought down in the box, but the ref waved play on.

United’s night went from bad to worse as they lost Vidic to injury just before half time, to what looked to be a serious knee problem.

Evans came on to replace the United captain, but the last thing United want at this point of the season is another injury to add to their already long list of players in the treatment room.

Rooney went close just after the break when he saw his shot across the goal ending agonizingly wide of the post but, despite Welbeck and Macheda coming on for Young and Park, United couldn’t produce a clear cut chance.

Then, with 6 minutes to go, Frei was left unmarked at the back post by Smalling and headed in to make it 2-0 and send Basel through while United starred down the barrel of elimination. 

There was just enough time for Jones to get his second United’s goal in less than 5 days, as he nodded home following a scramble in Basel’s box.

It could have set the stage for another dramatic United comeback but, this time, it wasn’t to be.

Daniele


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Tags: Match Reports · UEFA Champions' League

76 Responses to “Swiss chocolate hard to stomach for United”

  • Moscow is my heaven

    Sneijder doesn’t fit our system.

    • Do we have a system? :lol:

      • Moscow is my heaven

        If you want to sign someone like Sneijder, you have to be able to offer him a regular starting place. Now looking at tonight’s lineup for our crunch game in Europe, there is nowhere that Sneijder would fit in. A 19 year old centre back and a 38 year old winger form a mesmerising parntership that mediocre midfielders like Sneijder simply can’t displace. Now you may ask why don’t we play him behind Rooney? I’ll tell you why, it’s because we have Park who simply glides around the pitch with composed passing and immense authority.

        We don’t need Sneijder anyway, we have Rooney, our midfield general!

  • Moscow is my heaven

    “I could easily have spent the Ronaldo money but I didn’t want to because I couldn’t see any value in the market.”

    Sir Alex Ferguson

  • Horrible experience, but if our players don’t learn anything from this they’ll never learn anything in their life. They need to get their heads sorted.

  • Moscow is my heaven

    “Sometimes you have to go on instinct and sometimes you have to trust your staff as well… this was a first for me, but we rate our scouting department very highly and our scout in Portugal was adamant we needed to do something, and quickly.”

    Sir Alex Ferguson on signing Bebe and our elite scouting network

  • Moscow is my heaven

    Sir Alex Ferguson laughs off suggestions that United might be struggling in Europe.

  • Moscow is my heaven

    “I am very aware of the Premier League, and in recent years it has been the stand-out league in the world. If it came calling, especially if it was a club like Manchester United, it would be very hard to resist.”

    David Silva

    “I could never play for another club in Spain and the truth is that if you are leaving Real Madrid, there is only one club you can join that is not a step down – and that’s Manchester United… They are a huge club and if the reported interest they have in me turns out to be true, then I would really have to sit down and listen. If Manchester United could offer me first-team football with the situation as it is at Madrid, it would be very hard to turn down. Alex Ferguson is a great coach and I would never think about joining a team where I didn’t believe I could win things, so all of a sudden that limits your choices. At Manchester United you know success is likely and that’s a big factor for me at this stage of my career.”

    Rafael van der Vaart (who cost £0.6 million more than Bebe)

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      VdV is not exactly playing very well this season…

      Sneijder is the only one I want to pay top money for… Goetze is next.

    • Fletcher, Park and even Carrick are not world class players. They are decent pros, seven out of ten men who dont have the abilty to be any better. Thats OK for a club like Everton or Villa, not United. In the last three years Sniejder, Van Der Vaart, Silva and Mata have been transferd for a combined total of in and around 65 million. Thats four world class players that United have been crying out for. And to cap it all off, three of them joined English clubs that added together would fail to match Uniteds history or tradition. I hope I am wrong, but a manager who fails to see the limitations of certain players who have been getting regular starts at Old Trafford and have proved themselves to be just decent, does not fill me with confidence that he will remedy the situation. Like I said, I hope Im wrong.

    • In fairness, every time we were linked with Silva it was £35mil+. City then go and get him for £25mil.

      Club with little money – EXPENSIVE PRICE. Massively rich spoilt brat football team to which money is no object – HAVE OUR BEST PLAYER CHEAP PLEASE.

      Work that logic out.

  • I think it’s time to start bench Rooney, he seems careless every time he plays these days… I don’t doubt his quality, but his focus seems to be everywhere else than the pitch. And it has been that way ever since his dad got arrested/the England red card. Should get a reminder that he has to work for his place in the team.

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      agree. I am surprised he has not broken tonight’s team silence and stated his intent to go to ManCity… I mean Real Madrid. That one’s for Stephen :wink:

      Seriously, if it wasn’t for injuries I would bench him.

      • I know Welbeck hasn’t impressed a lot of people on here, but he’s showed more intent and desire to score a goal or get the team playing in the last two games as a substitute than Wayne has done ever since the Bolton game in September. Won’t even count the Chelsea game where he scored, he was dissapointing throughout even then.

  • Moscow is my heaven

    BBC sports news correspondent Dan Roan: “Manchester United players look shell-shocked as they board team coach at St Jakob Park following CL exit – all refusing to talk to media.”

    Cowards.

  • On another note I’ve been an admirer of Shaqiri for a while now. I hope he impressed Fergie after today’s game. I was secretely hoping he had a good game before the match started so we would seriouisly look to sign him. Please don’t let him slip away like we we did on several occasions with Alexis Sanchez whilst his value increases beyond our means Fergie. Not a priority by any means, but the makings of a top player for one of the big european teams he ends up at eventually.

  • Rooney= the richest waste of space footballer at the moment- how dare he be on the same wages as ronaldo and messi
    he is an over rated pikey that held our club to ransom and yet now that he is still here he hasnt even come close to paying us back and the only thing I see him do is berate poor nani for EVERY LITTLE THING the poor boy does. Take a look in the mirror rooney!!!!!
    And if your ban is held up tomorrow for 3 games I hope cappello has the balls to drop you from the squad beacuse quite frankly we wont miss you

  • Don’t all jump on me ok – but does anybody among you think that the clubs purchases and amounts paid for players who are unproven, but we are told our top scouts have said we should grab – that people at the club ought to be accountable for the amounts of money paid – when we could have used said amounts to pay for at least 2 or 3 top class players or much better than ordinary players anyway. I believe there should be accountability – truly I do.

    • Craig, its not just the scouting system, the whole set up needs a shake up.The chief scout is the managers brother, the guy who runs the Academy team is the son of an ex player. The coaching staff consists of three ex players, Scholes, McClair and Phelan. Its all just a little too cosy. Just because you were an ex player does not mean you will be a great coach. SAF likes to have his men around him, maybe a few outsiders could be better and bring fresh impetus.

      • I know Fred, but I was talking about Fergie and Gill etc who sanction what the scouts say – they should all be held accountable, and I don’t think our scouts are all that from what I have seen lately. There has ben a lot of ill judgement where incoming players are concerned, and I don’t agree with jobs for the boys which is too prevelent at United. We should be bringing in top coaches, because Fred most of our 1st team have very limited technical skills – lack 1st touch to bring ball down and stop it dead – to not let the ball run away from them, and to actually dribble and beat defenders seems to be becoming a lost art at OT for a good few. Rooney put Macheda thru and he pushed the ball too far forward and lost the opportunity. Why don’t our players hit the damned thing towards goal instead of wanting that extra touch in the box all the time and making a total bollocks of it. We need someone who can teach them these basic technical skills starting in the academy, because Macheda Welbeck etc have come thru the academy and they lose the ball far to often because their touch and feel is so poor. Get the top class/best coaches in the world in. Our football is mothballing Fred – such old hat. Our systems dated. I am not happy with scholesy, Nev and next giggsy no doubt just getting jobs for life! Fergie is obviously going to retire at some point, and whoever comes in will go thru the whole club from ground level upwards – if it is not one of the old boys that gets the job that is.

        • When it comes to Sir Alex I have mixed feelings Craig. What he has done for United is brilliant. He instills that winning mentality in his teams and has overseen three or four changes of teams successfully. He will go down a legend and the best all round managers of all time, and rightly so. But I would be lying if I said that part of me doesnt look forward to the day when some one with a truly modern philosophy takes over and changes things. SAFs loyalty down the years to average players that he signed or brought through the ranks has prevented United from being as good as they could have been. Some might say his loyalty was a good thing and I can understand where they are coming from, but I think at times it has been a weakness. United are quite rightly regarded as one of the elite clubs, arguably the biggest in the world. But whenever I look at teams like Real, Barca, Bayern and formerly the Italian clubs, they strive to get the worlds best players and to have top class players on the bench, at times this does not happen at United. Its good that they have competed against those teams and have held thier own at times. But United never dominated in Europe the way they could have and I doubt they will with SAF in charge. He has lifted United to the top table and they have stayed there, but for me they could have done a wee bit better. Sounds ungrateful, and it probably is, but sometimes I want that little bit more because I think a club like United are capable.

        • I wasn’t talking about Fergie’s record and winning mentality Fred – his record is indisputable. He has been heart and soul of United for all these years. I was talking about accountability for SPENDING precious money from the little we have these days on players that our doubtful of making it for us. In a sense maybe that’s why he keeps them around – perhaps he has to justify the amounts spent and so will give them so much more time than warranted – I don’t know Fred! :-D

        • Welbeck has a poor touch? Are you serious? :-?

        • Very serious – and I stand by that! :-D

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      Not sure I agree here. I think out scouting department is just fine.

      Ronaldo, Nani, Chicharito, Smalling, Jones, Evra, Heinze, Pogba, and Vidic are some of the rel. unknown players we found in the last 10 years who turned out to become fabulous footballers… that is a pretty impressive collection of players.

      Sure there was a Bebe and Diouf in there, but that not proof that our scouting department sucks. Sometimes you take chances… even Real Madrid was looking at Bebe — and are probably laughing now

    • tonymontanna4united

      Says it all really craig, when just last week fergie came out with the most pathetic line i think i ever heard from him when he said theres only 2 or 3 midfielders out there who could improve the side.
      Really? Only 2 or 3 players better therefore than a 19 year old defender filling in in midfield, a 38 year old winger, or rooney whose actually a striker (or supposed to be anyway)?
      Gary neville last night was saying how he knew for a fact that in the summer we were after nasri, modric and sneijder, none of whom came off for a variety of reasons, and we left it at that because we werent interested in going for 4th/5th best.
      An admirable philosophy, if your midfield isnt total fucking manure to begin with, where even a 9th/10th choice target, would still be a damn sight better than what we got.
      Fergies not blameless, obviously he knows theres more than 2/3 players out there who would be an improvement on what weve got, but i guess when you’ve got scouts who are telling you that, aren’t giving you glowing reports on the excellent javi martinez, the potential of young mario gotze or jack rodwell, the likes of parker, vidal etc available and going for a song, well i think that tells you that yes, the scouts deserve a large portion of the blame.

  • In all honesty I think Ferguson screwed up not letting Rooney go last January. Rooney is my favorite player but he does not seem particularly happy at the club. He is a fantastic footballer but mentally I do not think he is that strong. OK he got his super duper salary but the Rooney I fell in love with was never that interested in the money and played football for the sheer joy of it. And that is what is missing from his football.

    As Messi once said “We all know football players at the top level are blessed with high wages, it’s no secret. But Rooney would play for 100 euros-a-week. You can see the fire in his eyes. It’s that fire which makes him the best of the best”

    It is my opinion that Rooney has lost his fire and without that he is a shadow of the player he once was. And I do not really see him regaining it for us.

    To me he always seemed his happiest playing a supporting role to Ronaldo. I don’t think he is able to keep carrying us and England.

    It seems unthinkable. But if we got a £50 million offer for Rooney it might be best for the future of the club if we accepted it. He isn’t getting any younger and I don’t think he has the ability to reinvent himself that Scholes and Giggs both showed.

    We’ve been top-heavy on strikers for too long while our midfield has been neglected. With £50 million from Rooney as well as our usual budget we could easily afford an attacking creative midfielder (the usual argument that Rooney gets in the way of a Sneijder type no longer applies) as well as a box to box midfielder such as Tiote or Rodwell to play alongside Cleverley or Carrick. Midfield sorted.

    Hernandez or Welbeck are more than capable of leading the line, as is Berbatov if supported by a good midfield. So we wouldn’t miss Rooney that much.

    We can transition to a more modern system such as a 4-2-3-1 which is much needed as we have been a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-2 for too long.

    EG

    De Gea-Fabio, Smalling, Vidic, Evra-Cleverley, Rodwell-Nani, Goetze, Young-Hernandez/Welbeck

    • Rooney to me looks like a player who realises the team is not good enough. Im not saying he should just surrender and not fight for the team but in all honesty, if I had played with some of the players that he has in his United career and then looked at what the midfield was serving up now Id be deflated too.. If he doesnt buy at least two quality midfielders either January or the summer then it could be the end of an era. And I dont mean old fashioned English type midfielders, I mean modern players who can manipulate the ball in tight spaces and create in the last third.

  • I think our signings this summer were badly thought out. Jones is promising but it is difficult to see where he is going to fit in and £18 million is an awful lot for a player as inexperienced as he is-especially when a seasoned international like Mertesacker is going for £10 million. So what if other clubs were after him? I’m happy we have him but if given a choice between Jones and a quality central midfielder I’d have chosen the central midfielder every time. Same with Young. A good player but not as good as Valencia and Nani and surely far less of a priority than a central midfielder.

    Honestly I despair of any meaningful change so long as Ferguson is at the club.

    • Jones is a future United and England Captain. He would have been worth double the money in the long run. Mertesacker has the turning circle of the moon.

  • Team is way too inexperience, Not this one game, whole CL campaign were plagued with silly conceding goals which is needless. I understand young players need time to mature so I cannot blame Fergie to use young guns.

    Whole team need to share responsibility. Players fail manager, Rooney, Park, Rio and co should rescue the team. Fergie was not spent wisely in some cases. Young player kept making silly mistakes.

    Football is a cruel thing. I hope players learn from mistakes. Keep trying you will learn eventually. Fergie need to sign one or two players. Senior player need to wake up too.

    • tonymontanna4united

      Inexperience wasnt the problem imo, rio, vidic, evra, park, giggs, rooney and nani is enough experience.
      I actually think its more a case of the opposite, that the young players (ie smalling, jones, de gea, welbeck, clevs) have held their own on the most part, and its the experienced players (valencia, park, giggs, rooney rio, and evra in particular) who have been the ones responsible for a number of dropped points, poor performances.
      Players who to me, look like they think their place in the first 11 is a guarantee, who can do what they want and still expect to start next week, who in my opinion, have lost some of their hunger and look at times, as if they really couldnt give a shit.
      Fergie would always say in the past, before every season he’d look in the eyes of his players, and determine which of them were still hungry for more glory and get rid where needed.
      Seems hes not been doing that lately, judging by the number of so called big name players in this squad, whose performances have been below par for a long time now.

      • I disagree.

        We do not need to win this game only need draw. I do not want to blame young player but it was smalling’s individual mistake.

        I do not expect young player perform to perfect but if he made mistake, he made mistake. I am not talking about just one game. CL qualify is littered with silly mistakes.

        Of course, senior player must take blame but as Keane state is was mainly due to defensive errors force team out.

        • Also the keeper mate a big mistake for the first goal.

        • tonymontanna4united

          Smalling went down with a head injury that 9 times out of 10, would have resulted in play being stopped (not that im excusing him). Apart from the first goal i thought he was relatively solid, in a position remember, that isnt natural to him. Unlike paddy on the other side who was skinned by the
          excellent shaqiri time and time again.
          Its not about 1 game though, as you said. But my point is, over the course of the season, you’d have expected the experienced players, the ones who have been there and been in these situations before, to lead by example.
          But rio has been shite for much of the season, evra has been horrific for nigh on 3 years, giggs is hit and miss, park has been pathetic, and rooney well, what can you say about him.
          The young lads on the whole, over the course of the season have been sound as far as im concerned.
          Apart from 1 or 2 mistakes in recent weeks, de gea has been solid, smalling has been fantastic in a new position for him, jones whilst naive at times, has been excellent at full back, and welbeck and cleverley have both come in and done a stellar job.
          The problem, as far as im concerned, is nothing to do with the young lads, and everything to do with the older more experienced players, who take their places for granted.
          Evra mouthing off week in week out about stepping up performances when his own good performances the last 3 years could be counted on 1 hand.
          Ferdinand on twatter all the time mouthing off about every topic there is, spending half his time with his off field/celebrity influences etc.
          Rooney playing half assed week in week out, park becoming lazy and showing very little of the so called excellent work rate, that is the only real reason he gets in the team imo.
          Theyre the problem, not the young lads as far as im concerned.

  • The only thing lacking is 1 good central midfielder.. This is what has caused us loose so many crunch games… As for Rooney… He is being deployed in far to many different positions.. Central Midfield, Lone Striker, behind Hernandez, along side Hernandez.. This might have unsettled him.. Use him in a fixed position for some time.. If still he doesnt perform.. offload him… United has a history of going by players performance and not by the big names… frankly I dont know why suddenly from few seasons the Team has become a slave of a few players.. its annoying and depressing…

  • Gotta say, I don’t think our midfield is the biggest issue. They haven’t done too badly, of course they are no world beaters but I don’t think they can be faulted too much. Movement and skill up front is practically non existant, you could have put Gøtze or Sneijder, even Zidane in his prime in there and we wouldn’t have played better. When Rooney is off form, we haven’t really got a real threat up there when given the ball.

    Berbatov has the skill, but doesn’t really do anything unless given the ball straight at his feet. He never challenges defenders, rather the simple/beautiful solution.
    Chicharito is probably the worst footballer at this club after Kiko and Diouf, but the best goalscorer on the planet. His movement is brilliant, but give him the ball anywhere outside the box and the move will slow down/we’ll lose the ball.
    Rooney is brilliant when on form and does everything you want from a centre forward. But when his confidence statters, his touch becomes heavy, his passing predictable, and he runs at opponents. He’s been like that for 3 months now, something is seriously wrong…
    Then we have Welbeck, who for all his brilliance doesn’t really ghost past opponents. His skill and touch is great, but it’s too deep and he doesn’t really attack defenders. He runs past them, but he runs where they want him to, which isn’t really effective. Much better like a supporting striker when he can come deep and play quick passing to build up play. Soft as fuck too.

    We don’t really have a striker with a good touch, good passning, and enough pace and skill to ghost past opponents. If off-the ball movement is good as well, you don’t really have to be Peter Crouch to score headers as well. Chicha is proof of that. Looking around us, we’re probably the only “title-challenging” team not to have that. Arsenal have Van Persie, City have Aguero, Liverpool have Suarez, Chelsea have Sturridge and Drogba(when on form), Spurs have Adebayor and Bale(who seem to play much more like a left forward this season rather than on the wing). Even Newcastle have Demba Ba! It doesn’t necessarily have to be a striker, can also be a wide player, but when Nani plays as wide as he does we can’t really use him that way. Or, we could, but we never do. :-? We used to have Ronny doing that, but we’ve faltered since then…

    I really think we missed a trick not going for Sturridge this summer. He was available, and exactly what this team needs. We won the League gaining 90 points, getting the the Champions League final using Fletcher and Carrick as our central midfielders in 2008/09, so getting a central midfielder isn’t exactly priority for this club despite what many fans think. At least I don’t think so. We win the ball, we play it well, and we get to areas where we can score every game. We’ve done that for quite some time! But our movement up front is ridiculous, exeptionally bad. Whenever Chicharito doesn’t play opposing defenders have a field day, our strikers are easily dealt with and contained!

    It’s too bad Sturridge is doing so well at Chelsea, I would have loved for us to go for him in the next transfer window. Chelsea would never sell now though. Morrison could be that player for us, but he’s just too reliable. No-one knows what’s going to happen with him! I don’t really see many other targets out there, meaning attacking players who you know will produce something special whenever given the ball.

    Attackers that give defenders nightmare, and make them wet their bed before gametime. Swagger, along with skill.

    We don’t have that now. But we desperately need it.

    • I won’t really say we destroy players, but I really wonder what’s happening to some of our players.

      Remember Kiko’s debut goal against Villa? He was in the exact same position, and situation today, where he could have turned and shot, but instead he makes a heavy touch giving away a goal kick. Rooney at Everton, and generally Rooney up until 2008 was like that as well. Berba at Spurs looked like the best striker in the World! What on earth is going on?

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        coaches, coaches, coaches….

        Also, remember how we did last year in group stage with Macheda, Obertan, Chicharito, and Diouf starting away at Valencia… we WON! Last year, we won our group with a weaker team than this year.

        What happened?

        • Wasn’t it Nani piece of brilliance and Chicharito coming on from bench and snatching a goal very late in that game Opti, or am I thinking of some other game – my head is so spinning and so I can’t think straight, and NO I was very sober last night :lol: . I only have a few jars at the weekend now!

        • [OPTI]Madschester United

          but that was Chicharito’s first ECL campaign. Obertan and Bebe played along with Macheda last year in ECL… :lol:

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        Kiko’s debut goal was 90% adrenaline 10% skill… now he is nervous because he has expectations on his shoulder.

    • Central midfielder has been a problem for 2-3 seasons, we allow space to opposition way too easily and passing/keeping ball from central mid is quite below par. I know United not pressing high and we use wide area to attack but you need reasonable level at CM part for effectiveness of offense and defence.

      If you cannot match opposition at certain area, the effect spread to other areas too.

      Chica is fine finisher, I know he is not great all rounder but so did Ruud. Poacher is not a problem. Rooney is not a reliable scorer and Fergie know that so he didn’t use Rooney as a main striker.

      It is really one of those day injury hit and Rooney is in annual shite form streak. The problem is the team allow too many stupid goals. In fact, We didn’t need to score at all if we can defend well but somehow we keep conceding for whole CL games.

      We do have so many young defender, central mid and even striker position. CL is quite nerve breaking game so experience is necessary
      We only made couple of mistakes but we are out already.

    • Errrr what about Neymar? He would cost the earth but I believe he is sensational. Fergie has ALWAYS had great strikers in most of his teams – so we need to look around, but everyone knows we are so desperate so it will cost us! With Vidic out now – I am worried about the wolves game – their big strikers will have a go for certain. I think we need to stop mucking around playing players out of position and to play an etsablished team for a while until we get some kind of rythm and scoring going again. We have so many changes almost every game. You don’t see that at City and Real or Barca – they stick with mainly same players and a lot of great players have to be content with splintered arses! Fergie wants to be fair to everybody – why when they are not performing for him. It is definately our strikers that are not finding their form for some time this season. We have had so many chances go begging for ages!

  • on the plus side… maybe some young guns get a run out for the uefa games? i cant imagine the first team being too keen to play those

    • Mate too bad if they are not too keen – it is down to them they are where they are. If they feel humiliation all good and fitting, and that’s exactly what Fergie said himself – that they brought it on themselves, and they MUST pay the penalty. Fergie WILL make the seniors and those responsible play . Do you want the young players alone to suffer the consequences of playing in europa Carling Cup – maybe one or two – but it should be the players that have not been performing, because they need the practice!

    • tonymontanna4united

      Id definitely like to see the likes of ravel, pogba and fryers, getting some serious game time, but i do agree with craig somewhat, the experienced players got us in this situation, so let them suffer the embarrassment of playing away to FC Utrecht, Grasshoppers or the like.
      Most likely though we’ll see the return of the gibsons, machedas, dioufs of this world unfortunately.

      • And therefore be eliminated 1st round – which won’t be a bad thing in my opinion – I don’t want to suffer sitting thru it anymore :lol:

  • There isn’t much of a first team left after all these injuries anyways.

    If anyone had told us last year that we would do Europa league this term, we would have laughed silly at them. I can’t take this. I’m gonna go and drink.

  • Well at least now Sir Alex can lay hands on the only elusive trophy he has “failed” to even compete for in his lifetime ie. Europa.

  • Evra puts it best:

    Basel vs United = Men against boys.

    Utd are in a pile now;)

    Best wishes from Arsenal.

  • fahime shuhaime

    The least thing that Fergie can do to prove that he admitted his mistakes and wanted to bounce back from this humiliation is by recruiting world class midfielder in January Transfer. If he can do that at least we all can move on and hopefully there’s the light at the end of the tunnel. Rather than repeatedly discussing the same thing over and over again. :-|

  • Well that is Thursday nights now sorted……

    That was singularly the most embarrassing night of my United supporting life, even worse than the City result. Not qualifying from a group with a Portuguese, Swiss and a Romanian side is beyond comprehension. There are players in the squad who like Ashley Young, good but a level below the standard required, players who will never be Welbeck I guarantee you will never be a World Class striker and Macheda. Smalling, Jones and De Gea I believe have what it takes, Nani in the first half was exceptional and Rooney looks like a player who doesn’t who what position he fancies playing in.
    The most obvious things on the planet are we need two centre mids, we need to sell, Kuz, Berba, Anderson, Diouf, Macheda, arguably the Twins and more controversially Rooney. We need to look at the system we are playing which is archaic, all sides which are successful bar Barca play with a big number 9 which who is physical. Rooney is either an off striker or a inside left or right, for us to be successful from now on we need to play 4-5-1 or if you like 4-3-3- which essentially is the something, where does he fit in that system? Maybe I am knee jerking but for me the side yesterday looked like watching England, no ideas no quality, bar Nani.
    By the way is our midfeild still Ok? By the way Fergie, when you have a midfield player on the bench, don’t play a Left/Right midfeild player in the centre, Park, who was useless by the way, a 38 year old winger and 19 year defender. I am no Matt Busby but really….

  • Fergie has become either too lazy or too reliant on scouts who have their noses in the United trough. Signings like Ashley Young, Carrick, Rooney, Jones and Smaling were right under his nose. De Gea was a recommendation from Eric Steele, Bebe, Manucho, Nani, Anderson were GQ’s offerings. He didn’t even see Bebe and probably Manucho feckin play! Lately he has for me lost what made him great, control he has become reliant on his lackies who have jobs for the boys. Why did we not go for Mata, and Romeu, Spain is where all the talent is comig from at the moment and we have to rely on make do’s, this is very sad.

  • We are a side without any star quality, wasted money on Manucho, Bebe, Tosic, Diouf, all have cost nearly £20m. This could have secured us at least one World Class centre midfield player, Fergie is accountable. We have lost this season at home 1-6, knocked out at home to Palace in the Carling Cup and now been expelled form the Champions League. We have no leadership, Evra vice captain is a joke, we will unlikely sign anyone in the window and most likely be knocked out of the FA Cup……..Fergie we are looking at you.
    What other side would start, Jones, Park and Giggs in the centre and leave Fletcher on the bench baffling!

    • yOU ARE RIGHT stephan of course fergie has to take a majority of the blame because our players are not looking motivated

      • He has been amazing but lately there are cracks starting to show. Out of the Carling Cup to Palace, Out of the Champions League at the Group stages, very tough FA Cup game. We need quality NOT quantity…

      • Not sure I agree with that Ash – I believe some of our players fight very hard when they get on the pitch for us – Rio Jonesy Smalling Nani Vida Da Silvas when fit fight like fook for us, Fletch puts in a shift and Carrick has brought it of late. It is the strikers who have frittered away so very many chances – we just can’t seem to get the team performing together. The defence goes off then comes good, the MF goes off then comes good and the strikers go off then come good – but all at different times if you know what I mean. If they all came good at the same time – we would still be in the CL, and just need team tweaking here and there! If you see what I mean :lol: .

        Someone commented in the last thread that Nani had a fantastic 1st half in the game last night, but not so in the 2nd – yeah because he was our only threat and he was murdering them up the right side of the field – so guess what they not doubled up on him because he was beating their doubling up – BUT TRIPPLED up on him, they were scared shitless of him. If he does leave OT we will be fooked for sure! But then you will all say it is my biased-ness again – but it is plain for everyone to see he has skill in abundance.

  • like how many chances does a man who earns 250,000 pounds a week need!!! Its time all the rooney lovers with their drooling tongues to realise he just aint all that, and dont bother coming at me with stats ans the fact he has scored as many goals because quite frankly he just doesnt produce when we REALLY NEED IT!!!!

    • We don’t have enough match winners in our side, out build up is far too pedestrian and then we try intricate one, two’s at the edge of the box. We need players who take on responsibilities and shoot, this is surely now the biggest wake up call of them all.

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      he is just not consistent. Rooney lacks dedication. He “made it” at age 16 with Everton, moved to United at 18 and has been handed the starting spot since then — no need for hard work.

      I would bench Rooney and Evra in next game to send a message to senior players…

      • I am now falling for your seductive views mate :) , My conern is for whom? We are desperatly short up front and at left fullback, if we drop more points, we be fucked….

        • [OPTI]Madschester United

          I think the message is worth more than 3 pts. Lose 3 pts tomorrow and fix team mentality or lose 1 pt every two weeks…. good to see you came around… :wink:

          Let’s hope Rooney sorts out his shortcomings… it is also possible the Euro2012 ban was weighing on his shoulders and now that the ban was reduced to 2 games, he is definitely going to Euro2012 and will play in the last group game…

          Who know what really happens behind the scene of the Theatre of Dreams?

        • :lol: :lol: :lol: How long is Berba out for?

        • Oh I thought I heard that our stadium had been changed from theatre of dreams to theatre of HOWLS!

        • [OPTI]Madschester United

          On left back, Ezekiel Fryers will suffice.

          Put some fear in Evra’s boots :D

        • Great idea, I would certainly give him a run of five games, he surely cannot be any worse.

        • tonymontanna4united

          Hope so, fryers has impressed me immensly every time hes taken to the field. Should have come in and taken evras place weeks ago, like back after the city defeat. Was the perfect time to drop players who werent pulling their weight.
          I suppose after yesterday though, weve got good reason if we wish to see the likes of rio, evra, young and rooney relegated to the bench, for the forseeable future.

  • its time to start playing kiko and wellvek up front, for one they the desire to acheive and kiko is a beast plus I think he knows where the box is :wink:
    play nani in a free role on the left and if we are going it insist on young and get the best from him we have to stick him on the right, tell dont move from there and use his pace to beat men and get those balls in the box, when he is on the left he is so damn predictable- which is fergies fault as using young on the right is using his strengths.

    • Young should not have been bought – he never performs away from home – and Valencia is far better at tracking back than Young. Where Valencia needs to improve is getting past very good fullbacks when playing against top teams!

      • Agreed, he was a want not a need. We were in need of at lease one centre midfield player. Fergie was wrong this Summer, Jones will be a terrific player, De Gea the jury is out and Young looks a grade below what is required.

  • Guys we all can fight and comment till our death… but the bottom line is that come january SAF wont buy any1 in the market… half of our team is injured… Havent injuries become far to many for the past few seasons.. M not sure but maybe HARGO had a point when he critisized united’s med team.. More than the players it is our system which needs to be shaked around… Players appear lazy and unmotivated on the field…

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