West Brom v Man Utd: Match Thread


A depleted defence heads off to face the Baggies as United look to maintain it’s position at the top of the table. Everton earning an FA Cup replay against Liverpool hasn’t helped matters for us as we will now have an extra game in January with an already hectic schedule.

Paul Scholes came up with his first XI and, I have to say, I’m surprised Cantona hasn’t even made the bench. Of course, Vida or Jaap Stam losing out to Brown doesn’t make sense to me. But I wouldn’t argue about best United XI’s; it’s someone’s opinion based on the players he’s played with, and he’s certainly in a better position than me to judge. Here’s his first XI:

Schmeichel; G Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Irwin; Beckham, Keane, Robson (capt), Giggs; Van Nistelrooy, Sheringham.

Substitutes: Ronaldo, Rooney, Tevez, Carrick, Butt, P Neville, Stam.

I also agree with Rob Smyth’s take on it in the Guardian.

Back to today’s game the lads have a good chance of beating Chelsea’s record of going 10 games without conceding. Records always make me happy, but it’s not what I really want today. All I need is a win. And I don’t expect us to waltz through the game either. Considering the injury situation I’d be happy if we can get a goal off Gary Neville’s left ear and win.

But a win is all I ask for. If we break the clean sheet record, great. But it should be only incidental. Reflecting the hunger to win is Paul Scholes:

“It’s great to still be here at this stage of my career. I know the end isn’t far away, but my desire to win things is as strong as ever. I’m at a massive club that demands you win trophies and we’re in a great position to be successful again this season. Hopefully we can see it through.”

Meanwhile Vidic will find out on Friday if he’ll play any part in United’s clash against Inter. His ban could extend upto three matches which beats me because, regardless of what the rules say, the Club World Cup is under the jurisdiction of FIFA and so it must apply to matches that directly come under the purview of FIFA; like Sebia vs Angola, for example.

Anyway, my prediction for today is 1-0 to United. Feel free to add yours below.



  1. @Drew Vader: Not quite right, masch was subbed on 78 with crouch coming in to give kaka his only assist on the 80th…

    but yes, i too do rate masch as the top 3 DMs in todays game

  2. @Drew Vader: Van Bommel is the player and I did see it. But did you catch the elbow thrown by Hamburg’s keeper on Lell just before a corner kick? Tit for tat I say. Also, Toni got absolutely robbed of a legit goal. Referee is an idiot. The EPL should hire him.

  3. @Stephen: You didn’t. I was ranting to everyone but it happened to come in a reply to you. I was just stating that Ronny does far worse and gets away with it. Nothing to do with you mate. 😀

  4. @Grognard: I don’t know man….the one on the corner seemed like handbags to me but that Van Bommel elbow was common assault. That could have done some major damage there.

    Agree about the ref though. He should be banned or fined just for the fact that he was standing right f’ing there when the assault occurred and he didn’t even produce a yellow!!

  5. @Drew Vader: What about Toni’s disallowed goal? That was criminal and cost Bayern a point. What also cost Bayern was the diabolical missed header that Toni had in the second half? It was just as bad as the Bent miss that Harry Redknapp went on and on about. I doubt however if Klinsmann is going to lay into Luca Toni like that. 😀

    As for van Bommel, he plays for my team so I am blind to his crimes 😀 He’s just the kind of muscle and meanness we need in the center of United’s midfield too. Although he would miss the odd game due to suspension.

  6. Vidic is out just for the one game. Hopefully we will have two of Brown, Rio and Evans to play in the middle. If we shut Inter out defensively, we have the attacking quality to score at least one goal over the two legs.

  7. Grognard, isnt van bommel available on a free in the summer? Dont know why bayern wouldnt offer him a new contract if its true, he is a great player, although we have an already over packed midfield and i would only like a genuine world beater if we were buying. No offense to van bommel but he isnt exactly the worlds best although a good player. Would much prefer a diego, palacios, de rossi, type player if we were buying there.

  8. @Matthew: He’s over 30 and they have their minds said on the Ukrainian Tymoschuk who is also an exceptional DMF and much younger. van Bommel is just too old in their eyes and he’s incredibly unpopular within the league as he is very much the Roy Keane of the Bundesliga. I wouldn’t mind having him for games where we need a physical presence but Fergie will never go for him. He’s all about youth and Hargo is coming back too.

  9. @colver: It sucks to not have Vidic back there with the form he’s in right now, but I will rest easy with a partnership of Rio and Wes. They handled Barca reasonably well for 120 minutes.

  10. @Drew Vader: He’s the center piece of Zenit St. Petersburg’s midfield. I originally thought he was younger but he is 29 so I am not sure why Bayern just doesn’t stick with van Bommel?

  11. On Beckham: My best years were with United. I decided my Dog & Pony show was bigger than the damp and chilly confines of OT. So off to Madrid I went; only to find their D&PS was larger than mine. Oh my!! what to do, especially seeing that my waning “Bend-It” skills were now the only thing that could grab me the headlines I so dearly craved. I know, lets go to LA. They’ll pay me a fricking fortune and they really won’t be able to tell if I can still play or not!! Whoops!, forgot that if I do that, I probably won’t get selected for England, and my name won’t be on the back page of the Sun anymore. Shit, I better get back on that side of the Pond again before me hair starts to thin and then they’ll kick me out of LA. Haven’t burned my bridges in Italy yet, oh and they tend to like the trendy types, shiit I think I’ll go there!!

    If anybody can defend this approach to a Football career, I have two very influential proponents in my corner…. Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

    Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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