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Deja vu from the Estadio da Luz

Haven’t we seen this before?  I knew it wouldn’t last. I mean Fergie could never let things just be. It was asking too much for us to carry our youth movement, scintillating pace and form over the Channel and into the continent and expect a similar starting squad and the tactics that have wowed us for last month. Instead Fergie called on the old guard and decided to go back to his proven cautious and pragmatic approach, which mixes one part boredom, one part sloth-like pace, and two parts cowardice into a cocktail that chokes the lifeblood out of all Manchester United supporters.

Times. They are a Not Changing

The first thing I take from this game is that after so many years and so many failures in Europe Fergie does not change his tactics if they seem to get him the result. Style and entertainment go out the window and he is just happy to go on the road and grab a point if not steal a win with a show of drudgingly boring and uninspiring football that chokes the life out of any spectacle as well as most optimistic and excited supporters who were expecting much the same as we have become accustomed to this early in the new season.

It seems that what we have to become comfortable with and expect more often than not is Fergie’s Catenaccio, known from here on as “Fergienaccio”. A play on the original, which defined means;

Catenaccio (Italian pronunciation:  [kate?natt?o]) is a tactical system in football with an emphasis on defence. In Italian, catenaccio means “door-bolt, implying a highly organized and effective backline defense which is intended to prevent goals.”

Well Fergienaccio works a little different it seems. Instead of a backline that might equip itself with a sweeper, Fergie creates a Catenaccio in the midfield by polluting it with the likes of JS Park or Darren Fletcher and strangles the game by keeping the midfield congested. And yet Benfica still found at least a half dozen good chances to score simply because the players we employed in the midfield were either too old, not good enough or both. My vote is for both.

One thing we can learn form this game is that nothing beats speed. Benfica were a constant threat despite the congested midfield and our play in the EPL this season is more proof positive that speed kills. Experience and maturity is a nice thing to have but is it really necessary when the opponent is not as good as we are?  Why utilize slower and albeit more experienced players if they are going to be constantly on their heels defending and trying to keep up with their faster and younger opponents.

There are several sayings that I like to use at times like these so please forgive me and indulge me this one time; 

  1.   Learn from the past
  2.   If you’re attacking, you don’t get as tired as when you’re chasing
  3.   Nothing is worse than playing not to lose
  4.   Pick the right horse for the course


Group Stage Philosophy

Base my indulgent sentiments on what we saw in this game. One thing I get from these games in Europe is a real understanding of Fergie and his grand ambition to win in Europe. But when he manages a game in Europe, what does he really bring out of the game that improves him and his team for the future?  The whole theory behind football is to outscore the opponent. Modern football however redefines the theory and tells the team to protect from giving up goals. Which emphasizes what Italians value more than a 4-2 win is a 1-0 or even scoreless draw. NUTS!!!!  And nowhere outside of Italy is this more prevalent than in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

To be honest there is nothing I look forward to less these days than and opening group match or any group match for that matter. Boring, drudgingly antiseptic affairs designed to prevent catastrophe rather than advancing forward with grander ambitions. “Nothing is worse than playing not to lose”. I think that quote says it all really. But that is what it’s all about in the Champions League, at least until the knockout stages when winning has to be the first priority and thus teams attack more and take more offensive initiative.

I may disagree with what Fergie is doing in Europe but seriously one cannot knock the methodology or tactics too much because based on the system in place as it gets us far into the tournament every season it seems. Bottom line is it may not be pretty but it seems to work. It kind of reminds of people who settle for plain looking spouses just so they can say they are not lonely and can brag that they are married.

Intense Competition for Places

So did we learn anything from this game that we can take with us, use or discard for the future?  Well first of all it is safe to say that our backup goalkeeper is outstanding and right now may be better than are high priced starter. Expect a real competition for the starting role over the next few months. I think we can all agree that Ryan Giggs is timeless and as great a United legend as there ever has been. The real Jonny Evans is back. If it’s not a late tackle or a missed hand ball, it’s blowing his cover and allowing the Benfica goal without putting up much of a fight. And for me the most noticeable thing I got from last night is that this group we are in will be oh so boring to watch and sit through.

Fergie seemed quite upbeat about the performance and had a few interesting comments after the match to offer which I found interesting. I found the performance of Anders Lindegaard to be outstanding. His reflexes and range were great but what I found in his game that really excites me is his footwork and positioning. Still, Fergie is not about to make big spending on David De Gea look unjustified as he had the following things to say about the now heated up keeper controversy. Regarding his selection dilemma for the Chelsea match at Old Trafford this Sunday he replied to the reporter in his typical intolerant and rude manner;

“Not at all. David de Gea will play on Sunday. That’s the understanding we had before the game and it doesn’t change. I don’t know why you ask these questions. You are just looking for stupid little things.”  “We’ve got two great goalkeepers in Anders and David”

Relax Boss, the lady from ITV (Kenny Dalglish’s daughter it seems) just asked a valid question. Then Fergie went on to explain further;

“We were always getting to the moment when we were going to share that. David will play against Chelsea on Sunday and possibly Anders will play against Leeds on Tuesday, depending on how I see the situation in terms of Ben Amos, who needs some game time also. There are opportunities to spread that load because coming over to the English game, it’s such a competitive intense league for a young goalkeeper. There will come a time when I need to give him a break. This was a good moment because he had a fantastic game on Saturday, so this was a nice time to give him a break.”

One thing you got to love from Lindegaard is that he wants the starting role and he is determined to get it. I love his quotes where he just simply puts it in proper perspective.

“I’ve said a thousand times before I’m not here to pick my nose.”
“I enjoyed it very much, it was a great night. It’s a great stadium to play at, a very loud audience. This is why I came to United, to play these kind of games. ‘There’s always a bit of nerves and if there isn’t then it’s not that enjoyable. It makes me feel alive. I’m satisfied with my performance, just a bit sad that I didn’t save the first goal.”

Fergie then went on to pay tribute to Ryan Giggs for scoring that brilliant cracker of a goal;

“It was a great goal, very good. I felt in the early part of the match he perhaps sat too deep in midfield but, when he got in behind them, in their central-midfield area, he was a real threat to them. It was terrific quality. I thought both goals were terrific. The boy Cardozo took his goal fantastically well, a fantastic turn and hit.”

One noticeable absentee for me again was none other than Dimitar Berbatov. Honestly folks, has it come that 21 goals last season and a great professional attitude gets you zero respect or gratitude yet alone playing time from this manager anymore?  When asked about his omission again he offered up his typical lame answer;

“It’s hard because of the number of strikers we have,” Fergie uttered from the side of his mouth “Michael Owen is there and we’ve got Federico Macheda and Mame Biram Diouf too. It’s not easy. Danny Welbeck will be back the week after next and it’s not easy. Dimitar has been training really well, his attitude has been spot-on, brilliant, really good, and he’ll get his game time, there’s no question about that, as the season goes on because we’re into European football, the League Cup, the league games. There are plenty of occasions.”

Well gag me with a forklift and excuse me while I vomit. The man is a classy and gifted star player that delivered in spades last season and he has been left out in the cold like the dirty wet dog on a rainy day. Call me wrong but my anger over this is about respecting a player and treating him right. The last time I looked Dimitar did nothing to play himself on to the bench. The problem here as I see it is twofold. First, Fergie never gives his golden child Rooney a rest and secondly, Berbatov is an extravagance that we should have sold this past summer but didn’t.

A Tale of Two Leagues

We learned a lot from what we can expect from this club this season in England as well as in Europe. It appears we will go with our youth and pace in England while resorting to slow boring Fergienaccio with old slow and seasoned players and an overdose of JS Park on the continent. Expect Berbatov and Kuszczak to be sold in January because frankly keeping that kind of payroll around to rot on the bench seems like poor business. I cannot help but wonder about the wages being wasted on two players not being used when that money could have gone towards a player like Wesley Sneijder who would have ensured a easier and smoother if not more entertaining tour of Europe this winter. Personally I think that is a valid gripe. After all, Fergie all but admitted that he has too many forwards. Well then sell one or two and buy a midfielder I say. We can never have too many world class midfielders pulling the strings around Old Trafford.

Finally if we learned anything from yesterday, it’s that Fergie is a stubborn old cuss who will do it his way and to hell with criticism, lack of entertainment value and positive football. When it comes to Europe it will be the same old same old until we meet Barcelona and get raped and brutalized again because he learns nothing from his games in Europe and he brings the same old nags to the race time after time. And for those people who were wondering where the old Grognard was?  A game like this brings him out with his fangs out and his nails sharpened. And right now I’m hungry for Haggis.





  1. Danny Salford Red

    September 15, 2011 at 11:30 am

    If you genuinley find it that offensive go and support and watch another team you bell end.

    • Craig Mc

      September 15, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      @Dannysalfordred – Danny I am a salford red too, and I agree with Grog in the style of football we played last night, and felt for the United faithful who travelled to Portugal and watched a poor performance by our team. You can’t always keep telling people who have genuine opinions on that type of football which in Fergie’s own words “isn’t football the United way,” by telling them to go watch some other team. Especially as our football has been spectacular this season and pre season, and used to be the norm for us in every game – home or away.

      Grog – I agree with you about the type of football we play in our CL away games. I personally felt the problem for us last night was that we had like 6-7 players suddenly thrust into the team who had had too little or no football this season. It is this kind of wholesale changes that brings the kind of below par performance we saw last night – to which Fergie agreed in post game interviews, because he said that our lads didn’t get up any head of steam.

      Regarding the GK position, I personally prefer Anders Lindegaard – but the way Fergie chewed up Kelly Cates for asking him about the GK position, well it is obvious Fergie feels threatened regarding his choices. He is going to play David De Gea whether it costs us or not in the PL this season. Fergie doesn’t believe he is ever wrong, because he seldom is.

      Best thing for me besides loving Lindegaard was the performance of Smalling which thank GOD was immense for us, because if not we would have got truly done last night as rest of the defence was well you all saw!

      Lastly – if Fergie wants to prove his boast that Rooney is supposedly the ‘white Pele’ then he needs to find the right position to play Rooney in, and right partnership in CL games, because any UNBIASED football fan knows that as he did last night – Rooney does not do it at CL or international level as Pele did. Pele made a huge difference and won major games for club and country. Rooney may be among the best in PL and I heartily give him that, but more often than not he does not impact in CL and international games – WHY?

      • RMJ

        September 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm

        i think Rooney plays well in Europe but he is not the game changer he is in the EPL which is a pity..we play a more team game in Europe..i agree with traverse who mentioned lineups based on defensive and offensive outlooks and i am pretty sure we will see something like this more often away in keeps our squad rotated and us from conceding too many away goals..its fergie tried and tested true European formula

      • jos

        September 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm

        Pele also played with other world class players in Garricha & Co and not with absolute dross in Lampard&Co as Rooney has to! At club level Pele never ventured outside Brazil (I think he played at Santos all his life) and honestly does that qualify? Did he expose himself week-in week-out to world class defenses and world class goal keepers??? Its appaling to malign Rooney like that.

        You seem to have a major problem with Rooney. He is the best player we have at Man Utd right now (and for years now). Deal with it.

      • Stephen

        September 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

        Rooney has scored 25 goals in 64 Champions league which isn’t immense but certainly not bad. We also have to understand he has been played on the left side on midfield in many of those games.
        His International record is 28 in 72, which again isn’t amazing but far from poor. Messi in Champions league has 11 in 37 and at International level 17 in 61.
        Ronaldo has 29 in 83 at International level and 29 in 77.
        Rooney is hardly disgracing himself is he bro?

      • Grognard

        September 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm

        Thanks for the backup there mate. I love it when newbies show up to trash my efforts. Nobody gets that around here but me and after a while it only makes me laugh that people should tell me to go support another team just because I do not conform to their demands like some weak minded child in search of friends.

        I agree with your theories as to why we played poorly. Anytime you make six or seven changes and cold changes at that, you are asking for trouble. None of these player have had much or any action this season and to thrust them in to a match in Europe was asking a a lot. Speaks a lot about Fergie’s fear of European competition as well as his priority as he plays his veterans in places where he fears a loss. Note to Fergie. If you want to win the European Cup fear nobody and put out your best eleven the way Barcelona and Madrid do every week. Do Barca ever break from their 4-3-3 and ever bench Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and Villa all in a the same match? The answer is no. They attack and they play with sheer confidence no matter who the opponent is and where the game is played.

        Wasting Rooney on one of his lone expeditions is just another way to burn out a player by overworking him. He makes the lad basically useless playing him alone up front and so would it have made a difference starting Berbatov who at least can hold up play and distribute? And as for Lindegaard, yes he is quite a keeper but you are right, Fergie is a stubborn old mule who never admits a mistake and he has made a fair share of them, especially at keeper. Still, I think De Gea is the real deal. He needs time and he should be given a fair chance to prove he is better. Even with his mistakes, he has not cost us a match yet.

  2. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 11:47 am

    It sound like your dick touched your asshole too, can we be friends? 😀

  3. Traverse

    September 15, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Last nights game was always going to be a dog with fleas. It’s our hardest game of the group stage. The team from pot 2, away from home. A point in this game GUARANTEES our progression.

    I’m looking at our team this season like an American Football team.

    Our ‘Defence’ midfield is Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Giggs, Park w/ Rooney
    Our ‘Offence’ midfield is Nani, Anderson, Cleverley, Young w/ Rooney & Hernandez/Welbeck

    Away from home in Europe in our hardest game, playing Defence is fair enough. What it means, however, is that we’ll be starting our Offence team against Chelsea at OT on Sunday. Good.

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      September 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      Benfica game is meaningless. If 10 pts guarantees progression, why bother with this game when Chelsea game is FAR MORE IMPORTANT.

      Groggy, I feel like you write things too quickly before settling and calming yourself.

    • Grognard

      September 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      Our group is not a hard one and certainly a team as good as ours does not need to proceed with such caution that it affects the club’s momentum and confidence. Putting out Park and the walker brigade did nothing for elevating our image and instilling fear in our European opponents. And changing styles from one week to another is also confusing and depressing for players and fans alike. Stay consistent and maintain the style that has made every team in England fear us.

  4. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 12:26 pm

  5. jos

    September 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I think you are forgetting that we have a game against Chelsea this weekend winning which is absolutely crucial. Fergie has effectively given rest to Ando, Nani and Young for the Chelsea game. He has also played Fletcher to up his fitness and get him running as he will be required as season progresses.

    I think it was a good point won, though at times we were frustratingly losing the ball. One other gain is we now know we have 2 really good gks, so if de gea is injured or out of form, we can rely on lindegaard (compare it to Chelsea or Man City – who are their 2nd or 3rd GKs?). There will be many such games, for no team wins them all – Inter lost yesterday, Barca only drew at home, Real only won a scrappy 1-0, City just drew, Arse just drew! Only Bayern and Chelsea had comfortable wins.

    The season is long, and Fergie was right to “use” other players at the club. Just imagine if, on this meaningless night, Ando was used and he got injured! That would have been a big loss going to Chelsea game. Instead, we have all fit players and a point to boot from Europe. There will be plenty of games to show bravado. RIght now focus should be the coming tough games in the league (Chelsea, Stoke, Man City).

    • Grognard

      September 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      So what? This early in the season we should be able to handle two games in a week and further more, it never stopped Bayern or Madrid or Barcelona from putting out their best teams knowing they to have games this weekend. Fergie has got Rafanitis I think and I just am not a big proponent of picking my starting lineups out of two hats and alternating each week.

      • RedDevilEddy

        September 15, 2011 at 6:43 pm

        If Fergie has got rafatitis you have a period.

        Give it a break mate. We’ve been using the early rounds of the Champions League as an arena to field our “second string” for years now! Last season we started off with the INCREDIBLY dull 0-0 draw with Rangers. Valencia broke his leg there, remember? What if that had happend again, but instead to Nani, Young or Ando. Can you imagine us playing 4-5 months without one of them in the team? Then you can talk about some fucking depression. 🙄 I’m not delighted with a 1-1 draw either, but it was seriously expected. Fletch with his first game since March, and Valencia just returning from injury. Carrick needs game time as well so he’s fit for fight on Sunday. Thankfully everyone is fit, we stopped Benfica from winning, and our lads got a great workout! Roll of Sunday!

  6. Vignesh

    September 15, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    From watching the champions league match yesterday i am very skeptical that united will go any further than QF stage this time …..

    • RedDevilEddy

      September 15, 2011 at 3:13 pm

      Lol 😆 😆 😆

    • Stephen

      September 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      You have come to that conclusion from watching that? You should be a professional gambler mate…. 😉

  7. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I can totally relate to Ronaldo, it’s really difficult being handsome, rich and talented…

  8. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm

  9. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I made this panekake last night, out of pure random, creativity inspired boredom…

    • Eddie Griffin

      September 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      Saw that one and the other snazzy creatons on your FB – I had a good laugh at that one, and so did the wife! You should market those artistic delights. Do they taste good too?

      • RedDevilEddy

        September 15, 2011 at 6:33 pm

        They tasted shit, only reason I played with my food is because it tasted like Grog’s beard. 😆 Think I threw the “Me Gusta” face away, but ate the one with the awkward face… Had a resisting face which begged me not to do anything with it.

        So I did.

        I’m cool. 8)

        • Grognard

          September 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

          Grog doesn’t have a beard.

        • RedDevilEddy

          September 16, 2011 at 8:09 am

          He should

  10. ash is the man

    September 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    great report, but i wouldnt get carried away with the line up last night, i mean the reason there were so many changes was the FACT we have chelsea on sunday and that is an immediete importance where as we will qualify from our group, so in reality it was just priority over entertainment.

    • Grognard

      September 16, 2011 at 1:04 am

      Ask yourself this, how many first stringers did Chelsea sit down last night? If they don’t rest their “A” Team, then why do we? The season just started. If this was the Christmas time schedule where everything is congested and players are tired I would understand. Still, I believe in entertaining football all the time, no excuses.

      • jos

        September 16, 2011 at 10:09 am

        They “rested” Terry and Lampard for the sunday game!!!

        So there goes your …

  11. black man u fan

    September 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    1. Stop hating on Fergie. We got the result right? That’s what matters. Fergie has 38 prem games to let the boys play free flowing football. Benfica away is our toughest match and we just got an important point. Be happy the boys didn’t get slaughtered.

    2. I am as disappointed as the rest of you that Phil Jones didn’t start but we seem to have forgotten that we have Chelsea this weekend. We beat Chelsea and we go 5 points clear of them and send Man City another warning. Let’s look at the big picture.

    3. Fergie has always said that in CL you win your home games and draw your away games. 10 points will get us into the next round and 11 points will win us the group. Guess what? We are 10 points away from topping the group. Yes it was not a virtuoso performance but remember most of last year was worse and we should be happy with a point. This is the CL, we cannot steam roll everyone.

    4. With Tom and Danny out we couldn’t field the same team anyway. If Sneijder was bought who knows what would happen to Tom or Anderson? They are the reason everyone is so optimistic about this season. Fergie was right not to succumb to Wesley’s demands. They were ludicrous and a slap in the face to those who have been here for so long. If anything he should’ve gone after Juan Mata. But that is a discussion for another day.

    • Grognard

      September 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      I donb’t hate Fergie and if you had bothered to be around and read the comments I have made about Fergie for the last month especially, you wouldn’t accuse me of that. But as a fan I can gripe and bitch and let everyone know that what we are seeing in Europe is not fun and not satisfactory. I thank the lord I am not one of those poor souls who pays to fly to these games. I’d demand my money back not because of the result but the lack of respect for me and my efforts by refusing to offer up anything resembling entertaining football. And to not start Nani in Portugal still gets me and you wonder why players might want to leave the club out of frustration with the man.

      • jos

        September 15, 2011 at 6:49 pm

        what if Nani got injured?

        how would that help with the chelsea and stoke and man chity games that are coming up?

        Also we need to involve our other wingers (park and valencia). They are not here to just sit and do nothing. what would that do to their confidence and fitness.

        You are just over reacting. 1 point away from home against our toughest opponent was perfectly ok. You talk about Barca/Real/Bayern but Barca also got only 1 point aginst their toughest opponent (playing crap footy as usual), Real scrapped to a 1-0 win against god knows who and Bayern basically have little opposition in Germany (are there any teams as strong as chelsea, city etc in germany?)

        • tonymontanna4united

          September 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm

          What if rooney got injured, we started with him remember.

        • RedDevilEddy

          September 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm

          Yeah, but Rooney never touched the ball, so how the fuck was he gonna get injured!?


          Think we just found out why Wazza never did anything last night 😛

        • Abu

          September 15, 2011 at 10:32 pm

          Injuries happen in training as well…. Players play regardless of occasion

        • Grognard

          September 16, 2011 at 1:07 am

          Nani should have been granted the privilege of starting against a team in his home country. Just the way Fergie always plays Darren Fletcher against Rangers or Celtic. I f I were Nani I’d feel royally pissed off and to hell with Chelsea.

      • ash is the man

        September 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm

        why cant you just accept last nights game wasnt anywhere near as important as chelsea on sunday. COME ON what sense at all would if of made if young nani chico and ando played and we won 5nil but lost one to injury or fatigue on sunday. YOU need to chill because fergie knows EXCATLY what hes doing, just like he excatly knew TC was going to be a special player and sneijder was not needed

        • tonymontanna4united

          September 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm

          Was that directed at me ash? Because angry as i might have been about the performance, i never actually said we shouldnt have changed things up, nor did i ever insinuate this game was more important than the chelski game on sunday.
          My only gripe was how poor the performance was, because i believe, no matter who we put out there in that team, we should never resort to playing long ball, england/stoke style hoof football. Its just not the united way, and never has been for the best part of 60 years.
          You play to your strengths at the end of the day, and 1 striker up top, and the introdcution of the likes of carrick, fletcher, park, giggs and valencia in the same team, is definitely not it. Not all at once anyway, not when its been proven that quick, one touch, attacking football is the way for this team, so i dont know how many times fergie needs to see these kind of performances to know they dont work.
          That was my only problem with last nights game, at the end of the day it was a decent point, and shows we’ll most definitely end up topping the group. But after our great start to the season so far, where our entire ethos have undoubtedly changed, im just a little pissed we went back to last seasons worst, thats all.

        • ash is the man

          September 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm

          no dude it was at GROG

        • Grognard

          September 16, 2011 at 1:09 am

          Four bloody games into the season and the Chelsea game is looked upon like do or die? Give me a break. One loss in the group stages of the Champions League means a lot more at this stage of the season I think. And sorry but Fergie doesn’t always get it right.

        • jos

          September 16, 2011 at 10:12 am

          After Chelsea we have another fiesty one with Leeds midweek and then Stoke city.
          Then again another CL midweek game and then another league game to contend with. So in next 15 days its 5 games, 3 of them extremely tough (Chelsea, Stoke and Leeds are not going to be easy – all very physical)

        • black man u fan

          September 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm

          Fergie doesn’t always get it right. I agree with you there. But if I’m Nani the only team I would want to play against from Portugal is Sporting. I would be honoured if Fergie came to me and said ‘we’re saving you for the weekend’.

          Also, I read everything you right. I know that you lavished praise on Fergie. I did not mean you hate Fergie. What I was trying to say is give him a pass in Europe. Its not about playing pretty. Its about getting a result from a hostile environment in a foreign country. We did that. Let’s not disrespect Benfica. They are a good team. Plus, I love catenaccio. Milan has a special place in my heart. Italian football is fascinating to me. Call me crazy but it works.

  12. Lars

    September 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Groggy, you must be bonkers…This was the first (of six) Champions League group stage games against our (on paper) hardest opponent. I could have predicted this line-up from miles away considering that we have the Chelsea game on Sunday.
    Chelsea game >>>>>> 1st away CL game…Sometimes you have to take things into perspective and, as Opti said, take a few days to calm down after such a “horrible” performance before you write your analysis of why you think Fergie is tactically inept.

    • Grognard

      September 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      A day has passed and I am still pissed o0ff not because of the result but because I feel it was a warning shot and a precursor of what to expect the rest of the way in Europe. I do not want to see a midfield of Carrick, Park and Fletcher again. They destroy the game and the style of football we should be playing. I could care less about Europe if we go there to sully our reputation and name by playing Italian football, and playing it poorly.

      Everybody was wondering where the old Grognard was because for two months I have been very positive and joyful about our team. This anti-football display is all I needed to get back my dark mojo. I expect more, hell I demand more as a supporter.

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        September 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm

        Do you demand we play at full-speed for 75% of season and then pull a Chelsea/Arsenal drop in form towards the end after burning ourselves out?

        The season is a marathon, not a sprint!

        Rimmerstweet, make a poll about last nights game to gauge how people found it. I will bet 90% of people found us underwhelming/boring/poor, but I am sure most people don’t care about this game, if we win against Chelsea with a rested line-up [Nani, Young, Chicharito, Anderson, Jones, De Gea].

        Surely you would agree that losing to benfica would be a tiny prize to pay if it helps beat Chelsea???

        • RedDevilEddy

          September 15, 2011 at 7:04 pm

          Here is the difference:

          Draw with Benfica, and you’ll stop them from getting a 3 points advantage. You’ll stay level. And you know that if you beat the other team which have 3 points, in this case Basel, you’ll be in top spot again. No biggie really, as six games is very little.

          Then there’s this. Draw with Chelsea, and although you have stopped them from getting an advantage of you there are 18 other team who are ready to pounce. City, Arsenal , Liverpool… Every team will be taking advantage of that, and you don’t have enough time to make it all up in just one game. It may take 5-6, maybe 10 games. Getting a win here is vital! As you said it, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, but it’s always important to win games and get your priorities set. I’d take a win against Chelsea over a win against Chelsea, if anybody disagrees I’ll find you picture in the dictionary besides the word “Crazy loon”.

    • Grognard

      September 16, 2011 at 1:11 am

      Just how bonkers would I have been if we had lost that game like we deserved too? Losing a group game makes things very iffy because no game in Europe is a given anymore. And I am very calm thank you, how are you? 🙄

  13. Don

    September 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I haven’t watched the game but from this report it sounds like we regressed to our dull football from last year…i will watch it tonight but i suspect I will see Carrick playing a lot of sideways-backwards passes, Fletcher running around with a lot of endeavour but not doing anything great offensively, Giggs looking lively but getting caught out defanesively occasionally because he doens’t have the legs to go 90 and Jonny Evans doing things that would make a schoolboy center back look like an International….the main probelm with our side is depth in the middle…unless we get some people step up their games we will be in trouble if all we are relying on is Anderson and Celverly to keep up our fast tempo…i do think that man Ashley Young though is huge so given his absence its not surprising the reported performance…

  14. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    When Fletch was replaced with Chicharito, our front 6 was the same as the one we started against Barcelona in last seasons final.

    Just sayin

    • Abu

      September 15, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      If I could retweet this to the page, I would. You get a like instead, that being said the midfield is still too light. Who steps in for Cleverley? What happens if they don’t perform? It’s early days remember Chelsea last year?

  15. Eddie Griffin

    September 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Last night didn’t make for great viewing, especially considering what we had seen this season up to that point, so it’s understandable that there’s some frustration.

    But it’s just one game and it’s not at all indicative of how the team will line up and perform in Europe. Had our strongest lineup been out there, we more than likely would have won, but an away draw is a solid enough result all things considered. Benfica are a dangerous team, as they showed, so not getting all three points isn’t the end of the world by any means.

    And not every Champions League match will be preceded or followed by a big match like we have on Sunday, which is something that plays into selections. With some players no doubt still getting back to peak fitness (and others in need of a runout), injuries already an issue, and Chelsea coming up, I’m not going to get up in arms about last night.

    • RedDevilEddy

      September 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm

      Considering our previous “Champions League group-stage Players” have been Obertan, Gibson, Macheda and Bebe, I don’t have too much to complain about really. We seem to take the group stage as not bothering to do more than needed, and have full focus on the Premier League. When it starts again in March we will switch attention to over there, unless of course we meet a team like Schalke or Lille. That’s when the strength of our squad really matters, and we’ll see the obvious results!

      By the way, I think it’s very knee jerk to critisize last night’s performance for being shocking. Although it was a bore-feast, we showed that we could up the tempo when we wanted to, and it was rather a lack of effort rather than quality which stopped us from winning. Compare this game to the 0-0 game at Marseille, and Rangers, then the dull 1-0 wins against Bursaspor and Valencia last season, this game wasn’t too shabby! We had two incredibly boring 0-0 draws against Villareal in 2008, lost at home to Besiktas in 2009, and who the fuck can forget our horrifying games against Celtic and FCK in 2007 which led to two 1-0 losses.

      Compared to the usual United, last night’s draw was rather good. Compared to this season’s United, it was horrifying. Depends on the perspective really, if you have a broad mind and manage to look at the wider picture then you won’t be too surprised or critical of last night’s game. Just give me a great performance on Sunday and I’ll be fucking buzzing again! 😀

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        September 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm

        give this boy a soapbox, please 😀

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      September 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm

      hear hear!!!

      • tonymontanna4united

        September 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm

        Thats all true mate, but regardless of what team we put out, this club should never be bringing itself down to the level of the likes of bolton, west ham, stoke etc in playing pathetic long ball/hoof ball football. Im sorry, but that kind of football makes a mockery of the history and traditions of this club, and all we stand for.
        The fact is, this club has evolved this season, gone from looking rather old and stale, to becoming new, fresh and imaginative. If the likes of carrick, fletcher, park and valencia cant evolve too, then they have no business being in this side any longer. Fergie owes it to this team and its supporters, to realise that the sort of performances weve seen so far this season in the PL, is the sort of performances this club needs to give in the PL and in the europe, as well as the other domestic cups, every damn week.
        So call this a knee jerk reaction if you wish, but i just thought, maybe rather naively, that this sort of performance would now be a distant memory. Maybe though, its left me with more questions than answers, as i now start to worry about what it means for this team when the inevitable comes, and the likes of carrick, park, fletcher and 4-5-1, become more frequently used, later on in the season.

        • Grognard

          September 16, 2011 at 1:15 am

          It’s great to have at least one like minded individual on here who gets it. Well said mate. I demand United football, not the rubbish that was on display last night.

  16. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Looks like our dear Rimmerstweets enjoyed last night, if you think I was funny “drunk” you should see him. He’s so sexy, what a dog! Ruff, ruff! 😆

    • Rimmerstweets

      September 15, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      Facebook stalker! Lol Eddy you’re going mad my friend! 😀

      • RedDevilEddy

        September 15, 2011 at 7:45 pm

        I’M SO BORED WHEN I’M SICK!!! 🙁 Haven’t left the house for a week, you know how shit that is?! Gonna have to stay at home for three more days as well, motherfucking Fletchertits I got is serious, even for a Norwegian Viking who eats Mountains for breakfest. 😀 I’ve already managed to learn everything I need to for the FIFA 12 demo, and I can now take a shit on the toilet while playing it and still win the game comfortably in Legendary mode with Dortmund against Barca. I even watched Shark movies!! You know I’m fucking bored when I watch shark movies 🙄 Oh well…

        I’m still sexy in the mirror though! 😛 😆 😆

  17. Moscow is my heaven

    September 15, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I never hesitate to criticise the team when given the opportunity but I have to say that Fergie knows exactly what he is doing. He played the old guard to give them some game time and sharpen up. I fully expect him to unleash the Young-Rooney-Hernandez-Nani axis against Chelsea and deal a crucial blow in the title race. 3 points this weekend and we could not have asked for a better start to the season.

    The Carrick hatred in the previous thread is quite amusing, because he will certainly start on Sunday, having masterminded the victories over Chelsea last season. How quickly people forget that he is our best passmaster and very frequently assigned to stop a 3 man midfield.

    Perhaps, in the absence of Cleverley, we should rely on Fletcher and Gibson? 🙄

    • RedDevilEddy

      September 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm

      Someone said yesterday that Carrick is only as good as his partner.

      I somewhat agree with that statement. Thing is, Carrick is a passer. Off the ball he is as brilliant as Jenna Marbles, because his reading of the game is exeptional. Defensivly he deserves a lot of praise which goes unnoticed, but that’s for Jay Wire to say because he is an expert in this area. But with the ball his task is fairly simple. Carrick is not so quick, he isn’t very strong, his dribbling skills are okey at best, his shooting and crossing can be good, but we never see it, and he doesn’t really posess any kind of individual skill that you want in an attacking player. You’re either fast, unpredictable, predatory, or skillful. Carrick is neither. You can’t be an attacking midfield if you are only capable of shooting, just like you can’t be an attacking, individual player if you only can pass. You need to have both, and to have the heir of unpredictability about it so you actually makes opposition guess. Carrick is as unpredictable as a toothbrush…

      When paired with Fletch we see a Carrick who is dull, and negative. When paired with Giggsy, we see a very invisible Carrick who is inconsistent. When paired with Scholes, he did well and got a grip on the game as he got more space and presence to flow in. But when paired with Anderson we see a confident, positive Carrick. His attacking passing may go a lot shorter, but they always find the target offensivly. His passing is unpredictable, as Anderson gives us a central movement which we very rarely see. Same with Rooney in a 4-4-2! Ando and Wazza help him out so much, move into so much space, and help out the wingers as if there wasn’t anything called a full back, and Carrick have more options, more time, and therefore also more presence. If a player can pick up space, he’ll be a much bigger danger in opposition minds than what you guys can imagine. But Ando and Rooney really have to help out here. If not, we really are suffering. Their movement has to be spot on, so not only do they recieve the ball, but also open up space for Nani-Young-Chicharito to take advantage of. I think Carrick will do well on Sunday, his pairing with Ando has worked wonders in the past.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        September 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

        Eddy, how do you think Sneijder feels right now after losing to Trabzonspor at the San Siro? 😈

        Manchester United is the biggest source of regret for footballers. You miss the train and you’ll never catch it again…

        • RedDevilEddy

          September 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm

          I think Wesley Sneijder feels like Wesley Sneijder.

          And I think Wesley Sneijder really feels shit. I watched Inter’s game against Palermo on Sunday, a really depressing showing. Although they scored 3 goals they only had like 5 chances to Palermo’s 10+, they were acually so shit Sneijder had to be subbed on after 39 minutes because the midfield couldn’t get the ball to anyone!

          But to be honest I’ve never really cared for Sneijder, as you know 🙂 The one I really feel sorry for is Aaron Ramsey, definately a quality player and someone I would love to see at United. I feel sorry for the lad, and although he ditched us for Arsenal I can’t really blame him. Wenger showed up with sweets and a teddybear, while buying his family some dinner at a 5 star hotel(probably the most money he has spent in his life!), while we came up with Gary Neville and a showing at Carrington. 🙄 Really blaming Fergie for that, he would have been an exellent aquisition.

        • tonymontanna4united

          September 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm

          I just feel weve evolved this season compared to last season. Were so much quicker, imaginative, have such better off the ball movement, 1 touch football etc that i think it now has to be a given for our central midfielders to be quick, forward thinking, and above all, able to play in a 2 man midfield.
          I just think thats the exact opposite of carrick, that its now a case of evolve or move on. Obviously carricks going nowhere, for this season atleast, and obviously hes going to get games during a long hard season, i just feel that weve now moved on from carrick, even fletcher, and its now time to build on clevs, ando and pogba.
          Any new midfielders from then on need to fit the attributes mentioned above, that basically being a box to box, young, quick player.
          So truth be told, id happily get shot of carrick and even fletch this summer, if it means we see more clev/ando type performances this season.
          But hey its too early talking about what to do next summer, just making the point that i feel carricks served us well, but has shown the last 2/3 years, his influence is no longer what it once was, and with him nearly being 30, its time he was replaced by a younger, hungrier, all round better suited player (pogba anyone).

        • RMJ

          September 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm

          I think Carrick offers much more tactically than we give him credit for..he is our fall back guy much like Scholes was towards the end of his career..Carrick is 30 and has maybe 3 years left in him and will be used as a squad player more than anything like he is being right now. There is no doubt that Cleverly is our first choice but the true benefit of having Carrick is that he can play with anyone alongside him be it Fletcher, Giggs, Andy or Cleverly without much of a problem. I agree we should have picked up another central mid in the summer but that ship has sailed and we have to make do with what we have now and that is dare i say darren gibson?

        • Grognard

          September 16, 2011 at 1:20 am

          Wesley Sneijder is a greedy Dutch twat that is getting what he deserves, a lot of money and an early exit from Europe is on the agenda.

  18. tonymontanna4united

    September 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Well all i’ll say is, regardless of the game against chelski this sunday, regardless of the number of players we rested/brought in who werent match fit, regardless of the opposition and being away from home, there is absolutely no reason we should be playing such long/hoof ball, shite cautious tactics at manchester united. Yes you have bad games where things dont go right, but im sorry, this was not an isolated incident. No, this is the way weve been performing for nigh on 3 years. So maybe i should be used to it by now, but for whatever reason, im just not.
    I cant stand watching football played any other way than beautifully, and that my friends was garbage. Hell, even sam allardyce’s bolton team would have cringed at that, so seeing that so frequently for us in europe, just annoys me no end.
    Still i suppose it the result you get at the end of the day that counts, and our record in europe these last few years is top class and i cant dispute that. However i just wish we’d stop lining up so negatively, and go out there and play manchester united football, of the class weve shown were capable of in the PL this season.

    • RedDevilEddy

      September 15, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      No way am I gonna defend the way we played last night, that was shocking! I was so bored I pretended to be drunk, you know how bored I need to be to do that?!

      I don’t even have to really, but I felt for it God damn it!!

      But seriously though, the tactics were negative. Always long ball, always out to the wing. Rarely did we see the ball go quick, one touch, and the ball was always passed to the first movement. At United, with Rooney, it always seems to go to the second, and the first movement is only to open up space. When we did do that, we scored! Rooney had the first movement, dragged the defenders so Giggsy got space and shot, and scored. Wonderful! It seems like we just didn’t care last night, that’s all. If we wanted, we could have done more. Heck, I think we could have carved open Benfica last night if we actually made an attempt!! But it was very careless, when we first got the ball it was more a “fuck do I want this ball for?” mentality instead of a “fuck do I do now?!”… Sad, but given the thought that most of our lads regarded this game as nothing more than a friendly I could expect it. It’ll become better sooner or later, if not I’ll chop my balls of and hand them to you personally.

      But I’ll need a truck to carry them because they’re so fucking big. 8) BOOM!

    • Grognard

      September 16, 2011 at 1:21 am

      here here. Right on my friend. 🙂

  19. Moscow is my heaven

    September 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    RedDevilEddy lay off the alcohol buddy, I think someone spiked your drink 😆

    • RedDevilEddy

      September 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      Besides 8 tequilashots last Wednesday, I haven’t been drinking shit since May! 🙄 No, what I’m now is bored. And sick.

      And you know what I do when I’m sick? I come up with moments of brilliance like this. And(o) this.

      I’m a motherfucking creative genious when I’m feeling ill. Go ask my doctor, I managed to talk her into letting me check her temperature. My thermometre really got stuck in that tushy! 😉 BOOM!

  20. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    If you guys wonder where I, a Scandinavian, get all this energy from, it’s because I’m half(ish) Albanian. Which means Southeuropean blood.

    But not like those Italian and Spanish fags, I mean like those Greek warriors in Sparta! I’m practically a spartan viking! 😀 With Brasilian rythm when I dance, or at least that’s that I think. Probably look like a penguin though…

    • RedDevilEddy

      September 15, 2011 at 8:09 pm

      By the way I love you Opti. Funniest Dane I’ve ever met/talked/chatted/written/had mental cybersex with. And an realistic OPTImist like me! 😀 Keep it going dude!

  21. colver

    September 15, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    People focus on the formation but actually it was the personnel. Even if we had gone with a 4-4-2 any combination of Giggs, Fletcher and Carrick would have got overrun by a very impressive Benfica midfield. Carrick is too slow for top level European competition. Maybe if he was in a three man central midfield with dynamic midfielders such as Cleverley and Anderson it would work. But he has been made to look foolish too many times in Europe. Milan 2007. Barcelona 2009. Barcelona 2011.

    The wingers were the wrong choice too. You need winger/forwards. For Ronaldo Rooney Tevez 2007 substitute Young Rooney Nani 2011. That sort of line up works. You play Valencia and Park they just hug the wings (or in Park’s case sortie into the centre and make it even more congested) but ultimately leave Rooney isolated.

    We sucked because Giggs Fletcher and Carrick played way way way too deep. What do you expect with two defensive midfielders and a 38 year old who does not really have the legs anymore even if he can produce occasional genius.

    Cleverley and Anderson are a start to the midfield makeover that is long overdue. But really we need to bring through Pogba and probably sign a player or two. Fletcher should be consigned to a John O’Shea role. Carrick can stay if used sensibly (i.e. in a three man midfield alongside dynamic midfielders) or in the Premiership against weaker teams.

    • RedDevilEddy

      September 15, 2011 at 8:16 pm

      And still that same midfield managed to fuck up the second best team in England. Giggsy produced 4 assists in 3 games against Chelsea last season, amd Carrick was MOTM in our only away game against them.

      WE SUCK SO BAD!!! Oh my God we are just the best team in England, most scoring team in the Premier League like EVER after 4 games, beaten a Champions League team 8-2, been in 3 of the last 4 Champions League finals and possess what is probably the best player in the world at the moment in Wayne Rooney.

      How the fuck did you guys react in 2005 when Benfica knocked us out in the group stage?!?1 My God surprised that you guys are alive, judging from what I read now it’s a shock you didn’t commit suicide!!! 😆 😆 JEEEEZUS, Carrick is the second best in the world doing what he does, Fletch is Park in white, pale, bearded and scottish central midfield version, and Giggsy is the best player the world has ever seen based on consistency, during, trophies, etc.etc.etc.etc.etc… And still that’s not our first choice midfield! 😆 AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO FUCKING THINKS THAT’S FUCKING GREAT?!?!? :mrgreen: Ando and Cleverley is the first choice midfield of the best team in the world, and lalala we are so good hahaha I think I’m blowing up! 😆 😆 😆

      • Grognard

        September 16, 2011 at 1:24 am

        Chelsea Suck. It no longer matters who we start against them as they are yesterdays news.

  22. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I don’t dislike comments because I feel everybody is entitled to have their own opinion.

  23. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I’ve gotta say, a lot of credit has to go to Rimmerstweets. He got a lot of stick when he started out, from me included, but he has stuck to his ideals and made this site really good. When he first arrived, I for one was happy if he’d just maintain it! But he’s actually improved the quality of this site by a long shot, and it’s good to see that not only is he doing well, but he’s being succesful while keeping to his ideals!

    Keep it up Ian! 😀

    • Rimmerstweets

      September 15, 2011 at 9:11 pm

      Who ticked the dislike button?!

      I feel thumbed!

      Thanks Eddy, proof – if any were needed – that you are indeed ILL!

      • RedDevilEddy

        September 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

        😆 😆 😆

        • tonymontanna4united

          September 15, 2011 at 9:53 pm

          Yeah gotta agree eddy, your doing a great job ian, your red rants very own tom cleverley. Come from nowhere and taken this place by storm, and improved us a million times over. Nice one mate.

      • Grognard

        September 16, 2011 at 1:27 am

        I got to say the dislike button pisses me off too. 😆 Last week I was glowing with praise for Fergie and the club in my reviews and some numb skulls actually clicked the dislike button. I mean WTF? 🙄 😀 😀

        • tonymontanna4united

          September 16, 2011 at 2:44 am

          Looks like you’ve got a stalker mate, someones at it again 😆 It is annoying though, think some people automatcally dislike whatever you say without reading it. Ahh ill give you a thumbs up then mate 😉

      • RMJ

        September 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

        great job rimmer..u got me hooked on the reserves and academy games as well more than i used kudos mate

  24. RedDevilEddy

    September 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Roses are red, Violets are blue, a long time ago my head said koo-coo

  25. Moscow is my heaven

    September 16, 2011 at 12:19 am

    Michael Carrick has been our best midfielder in arguably the most successful period of our history. Here’s a little something to refresh some memories about his contribution. A true passmaster, groomed by Scholes, lauded by Xavi.

    • tonymontanna4united

      September 16, 2011 at 1:16 am

      Had a great few years here, but i watch him now and just see someone who looks rather gormless, lacks confidence, puts his excellent passing ability to waste, is as slow as a granny, lacks passion, and at times resembles a bunny caught in a cars headlights. A bit of a waste of time for much of the last 2 years as far as im concerned, who i just feel is no longer needed in this new, youthful looking united side.
      People can produce his stats as much as they like, it doesnt paint half of the story as far as im concerned, and doesnt fool me into believeing hes been anything but rather average for much of the second half of his career here.
      And what with the great start we saw to the season, where carrick didnt feature at all, i just feel hes now rather obsolete.
      That with carrick in the team, we will never see the quick, one touch attacking play that we saw with ando and clev. Basically that with carrick in the team, we will never see proper manchester united style football again.
      And that is something that should be a requirement for all of our players. If you are not able to fit into a system that means you will play manchester united style football, then you should not be at this club. And im sorry, but with carricks attributes, as mentioned above, your just not going to ever see that sort of play on a consistent basis, with the carricks, fletchers or parks of this world.
      So id say, great servant for the club, whose now gone as far as hes gonna get. Its now time to build around clevs, ando and pogba, with potentially a few more gems coming through in the likes of morrison, tunnicliffe, petrucci an all.
      A player who, like o’shea, i feel needs to be moved on, and his place given to someone younger, hungrier and better suited to what were looking for in our midfield.

      PS- I thought you were one of carricks biggest slaters moscow. Must be confusing you with someone else i guess.

    • Grognard

      September 16, 2011 at 1:29 am

      Michael Carrick is total fucking crap and all I need to look at is his Houdini disappearance act in two European Cup finals. How do you like them apples? Some people marry plain girls too. There is no end to people’s bad taste and judgment. 🙄 🙄

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        September 16, 2011 at 3:30 am

        Groggy… 🙄

        Carrick at his best is a world class player. His ability to break up attacks (not Banana’s) are second to none (in the EPL). His passing accuracy (even if often backwards) are sky-high.

        He is too cautious for my taste, but he is a world class player (when he feels like it).

        Anderson and Cleverly have rightly taken over but Carrick is not “total fucking crap”.

        • tonymontanna4united

          September 16, 2011 at 4:46 am

          Well i think calling carrick world class is a bit OTT, but then thats a term thats thrown around all to readily these days. Carrick has never been a man whose stood up when weve been down, hes never been a game changer, or given the performance of a life time aka keano against juve in 99. Hes always very much been a player who performs well when the team plays well and vice versa.
          That doesnt constitute to world class for me.
          And anyway debating about carrick being world class at his best is a bit of a moot point anyway as carrick has hardly been at his best the last 2 years.
          He had a good, solid run of form around february last year, where his stand out games were undoubtedly against chelski in the 2 CL games, but that was sandwiched in between about a 2 year average run, which has seemingly run into this season if his benfica and city games are anything to go by.
          Fergie himself has said carrick takes a good 3 months to get into form, before we finally start seeing his best around november time. Well i want to know michael/fergie, why the fuck does it take a 30 year, english, PL experienced player 3/4 months to get going every season because that sounds rather lame to me.
          Thats michael carrick in a nutshell for me. Would love to know what keano would have made of him had he played alongside him because he wouldnt have settled for such a lame ass excuse thats for sure.

        • Grognard

          September 16, 2011 at 5:28 pm

          Well if he’s a world class player I guess that makes Messi and Ronaldo Universal Class or Galaxy Class or Milky Way Class or out of this world class. Personally, Carrick is not Pub Class. You can delude yourself as much as you like. I too have eyes and I can see fine thanks and for me he is total crap. Perhaps I just have higher grading standards than you mate.

        • Grognard

          September 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm

          In fairness to him I will say that every year he is a notoriously slow starter and then he starts to put in some very world class looking displays in the second half of the year. Still, a part timer is not what we want, or need. He needs to be at the top of his game more consistently and especially in European Cup finals where he often goes missing without a trace.

  26. colver

    September 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Carrick has become a role player. Very much like Park. If used correctly he can bring a lot to the team. If misused the team suffers.

    I would express the following cautions:

    1. Against continental midfields he should be partnered with two dynamic central midfielders such as Anderson and Cleverley or not played at all.
    2. He should never be played alongside Fletcher. Play one or the other not both.
    3. In the Premiership he is best partnered with Anderson.
    4. He should never play against Barcelona again. Ever.

    • RMJ

      September 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      agreed, as said before I think Carrick offers much more tactically than any other midfielder we have..he can fill in a variety of roles in the middle(hell i think he can make an excellent ball playing centerback)..Carrick is already 30 and has maybe a few good years at the top left in him and is now a squad player mand there is no doubt that Cleverly is our first choice CM. But I think the true reason Fergie persists with Carrick is that he can play any role in the middle alongside anyone be it Fletcher, Giggs, Andy or Cleverly without much of a problem. he is however I agree with whats being by many on the blog that he is influenced heavily by his partner in the middle.

      As for Pogba, i seriously wish he goes on a loan somewhere cos he is so tactically unawares and inconsistent(problem in our training setup?)..saw him against Fulham reserves last and while you can see how talented he is, it is equally frustrating to watch him wander so much like a headless chicken. I would love to see Petrucci get a chance as well, he is matured quiet a bit and plays with composure but seems physically underwhelming

      Rimmer comments?

  27. Craig Mc

    September 16, 2011 at 11:54 am

    @Stephen – mate I know how much you love Rooney no matter what, bit like I do with Nani, and I don’t disparage that. Yet you have quoted your stats for Rooney goals at CL and International level, and so I would ask you how many of those stated goals have been scored in international FRIENDLY games and how many in competition games? How many CL goals you stated were scored in Roon’s early years, or in games where United had multiple goals, because what I have seen of Roon in WC and CL tournaments and games that matter – he hasn’t performed for England, and he has done nothing to shout about in the BIGGEST CL games. Ronaldo quota as you said hasn’t been great either, but Ronnie missed so many international games the last two seasons and leading up to the WC with long standing injuries! Just saying mate! 😀

    • ash is the man

      September 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      @graig, sorry now for just letting myself get involved with your confo….
      well your point about rooney is fair but i have to say you cannot judge him on international goals because england are just useless and they never use him right and they also pack a midfield with journy men such as lamps and barry, if rooney played for spain or holland or brazil he would be without a doubt classed as world class and would have many more international goals ( he cant do it for england because they are slow, outdated and just crap-thank u capello)
      as for champions leauge goals- we all know how united play in europe, they stifle, so again what do u expect rooney to do with negative tactics? and let not forget the horrible times he was played on the wing…………???

      • Stephen

        September 16, 2011 at 1:34 pm

        If he looked like Ronaldo and was Brazilan he would also be lauded more, people do not give him enough credit. He is clearly World Class and in the form of his life and yet even our own fans ctitise him, it is beyond me, soon people will say Louis Saha was better than him 🙄 🙄

        • ash is the man

          September 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm

          so true, what else does the boy have to do? he is currently the most complete forward in the world

        • Stephen

          September 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm

          I totally agree, he even cleared one off the line last week and was making defence headers. The lack of respect he gets from even our own fans is incredible, he scores, creates and tracks back what more could you ask for? If he were Brazilian, people would rave about him like they do with Anderson, he has one good game and he is the hybrid of Keane and Robson.

    • RedDevilEddy

      September 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      Rooney scored our only goal in last season’s Champions League final, matchwinner away to Rangers and Chelsea, got our away goal in Rome before the 7-1 thrashing, scored the equaliser and the winning 3-2 goal in the semi final against Milan, and scored on and set up the other for Tevez in our 2-2 draw against Porto at Old Trafford in the Quarter Finals of the 2009 Champions League. Scored 4 of our 7 goals against Milan in 2010, and got our away goal against Bayern at their place.

      Rooney is a World Class player, an inspiration, and the heartbeat of this team. Without him we are doomed, and his form in the Champions League is more than impressive. Stop hating!

      • Stephen

        September 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

        I salute you Sir Eddy..

        • RedDevilEddy

          September 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm

          No Master Stephen, I salute you! 🙂

    • Grognard

      September 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      Well if we are going to slag Ronaldo’s international goal scoring record which is quite good, lets not forget to mention that Messi has generally been awful for Argentina. Being a great player offers no guarantees at the international level. On the flip side you have both Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski who are crap for their clubs historically and struggle to score but are lions and snipers for their national team and can’t stop from scoring. Football is a funny game but above all, we must remember before we condemn a specific player that it is a team game and as the team goes so does the player.

      • Stephen

        September 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

        Will you ever get over Ronaldo and Barcalona mate? jeeez.
        Ronaldo plys for the club he loves and Barca have nothing to do with us… 🙄 🙄

  28. ash is the man

    September 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    what wages is owen on?
    That boy hasnt had a career for the last 3years!! 😕
    what is even the point of him being here?? and is he that much dissillusioned that he still beleives he can play at the highest level for manchester united?
    I respect him and beleive he is a quality player but right n 😕 ow he and his situation with this club is just a joke. A JOKE!! ❗

    • Stephen

      September 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      I bet he has a great life, great family he loves his horses gets a few games for United and picks up a few medals, lucky sod.

      • ash is the man

        September 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm

        YA THATS all true, but he cant be taken seriously really??

        • RMJ

          September 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm

          Fergie likes to have experienced campaigners in the squad…call it what you will but he has delivered the goods when called upon..

        • ash is the man

          September 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm

          i know he has delivered. I thought though he would of moved so he could play reguarly to prove a point to himself and the world, because just isnt getting the chances at united

        • Stephen

          September 16, 2011 at 2:55 pm

          Why? He is a quality squad player. He would rather play for a big club rather than a Stoke, he doesn’t need the money I don’t blame him. Truthfully if I were Capello I would still pick him for England.

        • ash is the man

          September 16, 2011 at 3:01 pm

          ya thats excatly the point, hes a great player so he should play week in week out, hes like the forgotten man in terms of his talents, hes continuosly overlooked, i just thought he,d be fed up………..

        • Stephen

          September 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm

          I think his horses are his main passion now, if he gets a few games and wins a few medals he seems quite contented.

      • Grognard

        September 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm

        Owen reminds me of the character in the movie ‘Office Space’ known as Milton. Milton used to have a large sized cubicle in the middle of the main floor, then they made it smaller, then they moved him to a corner and eventually they moved him to the basement all by himself, fired him but forgot to tell him about it and he stayed there wondering where his checks were and why he was being treated this way. Michael Owen has been treated terribly by Fergie considering the players record and pedigree. Like Berbatov he deserves better but also in fairness to Fergie, perhaps not with this team.

  29. Don

    September 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Where is Jay Wire in this Carrick discussion..he has suddenly gone silent…must be because he actually realized Carrick’s best days are behind him and the future of United is young, quick, skillful..i.e NOT Carrick…. Carrick at his best..World Class?!?!? Please…this is one of the reasons ENGLAND fans get so disappointed at every international tourney..just because you play for a big English club and you are English doesn’t make you world class..England has very few WC players in my opinion… in fact I would say outside of Rooney, Hart, Ashley Cole, a young Ferdinand , a young Terry I can’t say England has any WC players…Gerrard is crocked and Lampard for me has never been world class…Ashley young needs more standout performances at the highest level…

  30. colver

    September 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Yeah CraigMc I think you are being a little harsh. The only forwards in the world better than Rooney are Messi and Ronaldo. I agree that Rooney won’t make the history books the way players like Pele, Maradona and Roberto Baggio did. Even then these players benefited from playing for very good international teams. England have always sucked. Even Ronaldo struggled in the Champions League for us, hindered by our defensive approach and the mediocrity of our midfield. When we play an attacking game Rooney is usually our fulcrum. When we play a defensive game Rooney pulls his weight and does the donkey work which most forwards would refuse to do but ultimately gets frustrated as every other forward in his position would. Besides he is SO young. Forwards don’t reach their peaks until their late 20s. If the England team is remoulded around talents such as Wilshere Cleverley Young Smalling Jones and Welbeck it may actually be able to take on the rest of the world and that will give Rooney a chance to shine.

    • Grognard

      September 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      I have to agree. I think most of the times I have been frustrated with Rooney it has had more to do with the manager playing him out of position or all alone up front. When he is being played properly and has his head in the game like this season he has been nothing short of world class and I struggle to think of any player in the world right now other than the two galaxy class players above him who could steal third place from him.

      Gomez? Torres? Cavani? Falcao? Tevez? Suarez? Forlan? Villa? Ibrahimovich? Pato? Benzema? Higuain? Hulk? van Persie? Drogba? Huntelaar? Pazzini? I’d take none of these players over Rooney. The only one who comes close and who I have always rated very high is Sergio Aguero. And yet, I still think Rooney is ahead of him by a country mile.

      The problem with Rooney is that when his head is not on the game he can be awful and last year for the most part he was terrible until the last few months of the season when he finally got his head screwed back on and he committed himself and got himself back in shape. Since then only Ronaldo has been just as good because even Messi has faltered some having had a poor Copa and not scoring at the pace of both Ronny and Rooney. And lets not forget all the other things that Rooney does great like defend, play out of position work his ass off and pass as well as long ball pass as good as Scholes and now you can add heading, free kicks and penalties to his arsenal. Rooney is a complete player.

      • Stephen

        September 17, 2011 at 9:55 am

        I wouldn’t take Hulk, Huntelaar, Pazzini or Gomez over Michael Owen….

  31. RedDevilEddy

    September 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    When it was revealed that Wayne Rooney had cheated on his wife, I said to myself I’d never respect him again. Things certainly didn’t get better when he looked destined to leave United for City, and held us for ransom.

    But things have changed. The man is now showing his 2006 form again, being the player we all loved. He is not a striker, but rather a centre forward. And when at his best, he is THE best. Life goes on and you have to look past things. Some things I’ll never forgive, but then Wayne Rooney has made up for it all. Through his whole United career he’s just given me joy. From he scored a hat-trick in his first game for us, then almost single-handedly breaking Arsenal’s 49-game unbeaten run, then everything he has done for the nexy 6 years to that overhead kick against City, the comeback hat-trick against West Ham which basically won us the title, and now being an intergral part, the heartbeat of what is probably the most entertaining Manchester United team I’ve ever watched.

    Dear Wayne.

    Not only have I forgiven you. Not only have I regained my respect for you. But you’ve given me more appreciation for this club, and it’s players. Somehow, you bring me closer to Manchester United. And I’ll always thank you, and love you for that. Stay focused!


    • Grognard

      September 17, 2011 at 6:59 am

      Funny how one’s infidelity doesn’t mean a thing when he is in great form on the pitch eh. 😉 😉 😀 😀

      • RedDevilEddy

        September 17, 2011 at 8:54 am

        We’re just human mate! 😀

      • Stephen

        September 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm

        😆 😆 😆 😆

  32. ash is the man

    September 16, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    no new comments to discuss?

  33. ash is the man

    September 16, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    no new comments to discuss?

  34. Moscow is my heaven

    September 16, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Well, well, well, I praise Carrick and suddenly he is now our worst midfielder and isn’t fit to wear the shirt. I’ve already said all I have to say about Carrick, his role, his attributes, and his contribution to the team, so this should be a good read for all the Carrick-haters:

    I bet you I won’t be the one eating humble pie come Sunday 🙄

    • Grognard

      September 17, 2011 at 6:58 am

      Yea I saw his contribution to the team twice vs Barcelona. The man is the club’s magic act as he can disappear at the wink of a Xavi.

  35. Moscow is my heaven

    September 17, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Seriously, how hard is it for people to see that Carrick is a holding midfielder. It’s not his most natural position, but horror of horrors, he’s the best we have for that role! 😉

    Going forward he shouldn’t even be required to be a threat, but his impressive passing range and sharp precision means he can play like a quarterback. Somehow, I think we’re gonna need someone to keep possession against a world class 3 man midfield (which even the Ando-Clev partnership hasn’t encountered before), and who is better proven than Carrick, the midfield lynchpin in the showdowns with Chelsea last season 😯

    Carrick probably has the most thankless role in the team, and what do we do? Kick him. I don’t expect that kind of treatment from TonyMontana and Grog. C’mon guys 😐

    • tonymontanna4united

      September 17, 2011 at 12:56 am

      Come on mate, you know me, when i wanna say something, ill speak my mind. And for me, carrick just isnt my cup of tea. I dont deny when hes in the mood, he does his job to a good, if unspectacular level, but i find him inconsistent, and just too bloody slow for my liking. As i say, just not my cup of tea, and with him being 30 (ok not old, but still) i just think weve gone as far as were gonna go with carrick. Hes given us a good 6 years, but nows the time to replace him with someone younger, hungrier, and better suited to the way we all want to see us playing (ie the way weve started this season up to the benfica game).
      Basically someone whose not a passionless, slow, led feet, dithering, confidence hit, waste of space, there i said it.
      But i’ll say no more for the minute. Hes not going nowhere for the forseeable and is going to get games at some point, so as much as i dont like him as a player, ill get behind him and support him and the boys when needed. If he can produce a performance against chelski of cleverley proportions, well i’ll hold my hands up and pay him his dues. Til the next time he annoys me again anyway 😉

      • WR10

        September 17, 2011 at 5:13 am

        m afraid i have to agree with you mate…

    • WR10

      September 17, 2011 at 5:25 am

      carrick does have an impressive passing range no doubt,but hes only able to fully utilize it when given a generous amount of time and space on the that,will be a rare occurrance against any top him hard enough and he’l inevitably panic and make the ultra-safe pass.hes the best water carrier/holding type mid we got,agree with that mate…well thats what transfer windows are for,i reckon 🙄

    • Grognard

      September 17, 2011 at 6:56 am

      I’m putting my steel tipped cowboy boots on now in fact. 😀 😀

  36. Moscow is my heaven

    September 17, 2011 at 12:12 am

    I would also like to say that Carrick usually spreads play and looks for the strikers because frankly, he has never been paired with a competent playmaker who doesn’t give the ball away immediately after receiving it. He has lost trust in his fellow midfielders. Put a Modric or Schweinsteiger in there, and he will find them with an incisive central pass.

    The only guy he can possibly trust right now in midfield is Giggs, and hopefully Anderson on Sunday as I admit he has improved dramatically over the summer.

    • WR10

      September 17, 2011 at 5:11 am

      mate,i wonder how trust in his fellow mids has anything to do with him choosing to pass backwards or sideways 8 times out of 10.his approach is far too cautions,innit..its almost like hes afraid to either pass or move beyond the halfway line.not saying that he is completely useless,but i reckon hes no longer a bang on starter in a two man mid when anderson,cleverly or even flech are available.

  37. WR10

    September 17, 2011 at 4:57 am

    hey lads,i’ve been reading this blog for far too long without actually contributing anything in terms joining in the whole comment discussion activity.but am stuck at home with nothing but chicken pox so i suppose its about time my keyboards silence is done way with…i am from Pakistan.was brought up for most part in manchester and in love with everything united,not unlike most of you lads on here…apologies for the borish intro,to the topic now…good article groggy.your articles are always a good read notwithstanding my slight disagreement with some of your views.i do believe SAF will employ less conservative tactics in Europe once our current crop of scintillating entertainers gain more in terms of experience.might happen this season or the next,but i am certain it will…cant wait for cleverly to come back though.carrick and fletch look terrifyingly off form..

    • RedDevilEddy

      September 17, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Welcome to the gang mate, glad you decided to join in! 😀

    • johnsom33

      September 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      welcome, and thanks for joining us.

      • tonymontanna4united

        September 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm

        Welcome mate, good to have you on board.

  38. Stephen

    September 17, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Villas-Boas is a puppet, jeez I would be suprised to see Ladyboy starting tomorrow at the request of the Russian Tsar. He looks good, dresses smart but all he is yet another yes man. The day Chelsea get a manager to stand up to the owner, moves on Drogba, Terry and Lampard then all the better for them.

    • tonymontanna4united

      September 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      Yeah i do agree somewhat. Cant help but feel had he achieved all he achieved last season, as a 55 year old say, chelski wouldnt have even considered him for the role. But being so young, and seemingly the flavour of the month/year they’ve gone and brought him in. I think he sounds like a good guy, and what ive read of him and his methods he does sound impressive. I just dont get chelski though, sacking a genuine world class coach like ancelotti and replacing him with someone so inexperienced, and younger than most of chelskis bloody players.
      Not mixing things up and disposing of the likes of drog, lampard and terry (has this guy had a good season the last 5 years?) was a bad move on ABV’s part, as it was blatantly obvious last season, the aforementioned, as well as the likes of anelka, bosingwa, hilario etc were not good enough and were always going to hold chelski back.
      So i get the feeling your right mate, what big rom wants, he ultimately gets, so no manager worth his salt would even consider working under such a man.

  39. Craig Mc

    September 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Anybody else got a terrible foreboding about todays game?

    NO JUST ME THEN – 🙄 🙄 🙄

  40. Craig Mc

    September 17, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Or should I have said tomorrow’s game lol – soz bit hungover from partying with rugby guys yesterday! 😆

    • Stephen

      September 17, 2011 at 11:36 am

      I know the feeling, was out til late last night myself……Ohhhhhhh 🙁 🙁
      It will be interesting tommorrow to see how we perform, personally I am quite confident. Rooney is the best player in the World Villas-Boas is a falacy, oh and Jones is the second best player in the World… :mrgreen:

      • Craig Mc

        September 17, 2011 at 11:47 am

        😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆
        YOU WISH, you so wish!

        • Stephen

          September 17, 2011 at 11:59 am

          I suppose Jones isn’t quite there yet! Jägerbombs, Ohh

        • WR10

          September 18, 2011 at 11:07 am

          i think hes right,in all fairness..especially about the roon being the best out there 😆

    • RedDevilEddy

      September 17, 2011 at 11:51 am

      Drunkiiiiieeeee 😀 😀

    • tonymontanna4united

      September 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      Nah, chelski dont bother me tbh. Still too old as far im concerned, and with their midfield unchanged with the exception of meireles (whose only a decent player imo) i think we’ll do them over again like last season tbh.
      Long as we keep it simple ie back to 4-4-2, and no bloody park or fletcher in the 1st team we should be fine.

  41. RedDevilEddy

    September 17, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Phil Jones is better than John Terry.

    • Stephen

      September 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      I am better than John Terry!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  42. Stephen

    September 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Talking about overrated footballers, has there ever was a more overrated player than Jamie Carragher?!?!

    • ash is the man

      September 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      frank lampard 😆

      • Stephen

        September 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm

        Mmmmm god point! 😀

        • tonymontanna4united

          September 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm

          Dont get me started on carragher mate, awful awful player who gets by on name and reputation alone. Terry too has been shite since the days of carvahlo and ferrari, and thats like what 5 years ago now.
          No wonder england suck balls when people like them, lampard, glen johnson, gerrard and barry get in the team on a regular basis.

  43. Craig Mc

    September 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    My granny can play in international games and CL away games better than Mr hair transplant Rooney. 😉 😀 . The Roon is a domestic league player, and he really should have gone to Nani for the hair for his transplant. 😀 s Groggy says – Nani has Mickey Jackson thick thick hair. But then Nani has everything. Come to think of it, Anderson would have willingly shared his dreadlocks with Roon 😀

    • Stephen

      September 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      Rooney has been superb this season mate, he is performing for England too mate. You can’t dif him out for one away game against Benfica, you always look for the negative with Rooney, unlike Nani who never has a bad game does he bro?

      • Stephenraig Mc

        September 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm

        You know Nani seldom has a bad game! I am not dissing Rooney entirely Stephen and you know that – but I will never agree with Rooney fans about his international and CL performances, except in his earlier years! Sorry but each to his own. I dislike Rooney’s attitude – not his attitude to the game, but to other players – just like I dissed Berbatov for the same thing. I can’t stand players who chew other players ears, when their own failings they cannot see. I have seen Rooney and Berba provide many performances like the Benfica type ones, where they (esp Rooney) has a very poor 1st touch and control as the ball always rolls away from him, and he hardly found a player with a pass even when they are 2 feet away from him. Sorry but I am not calling somebody world class when to me they have never proved it on the world stage – SO SUE ME MATE. Course I am not telling you Rooney fans not to swell his head with your he is world class tags – each to his own. I will just wait for the next CL, european championships and WC – to see whether once again my point is proved!

        • tonymontanna4united

          September 17, 2011 at 6:43 pm

          Saw my mate, the other day
          He said to me, he’d seen the white pele
          So i asked who is she?
          She goes by the name, of craigs granny
          Craigs granny, craigs granny, goes by the name of craigs granny

          Craigs gran > Wayne rooney 😉 😆

        • Craig Mc

          September 17, 2011 at 10:28 pm

          😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 Oh yes – Craig’s granny!

        • WR10

          September 18, 2011 at 11:20 am

          attitude towards other players? 🙂 more like attitude towards your lil man Nani..but its allright i reckon mate.think of it this way mate,wazza probably misses tearing defenses apart in partnership with a certain portugeezer,and knows nani has the potential to be that lad on right wing who makes fullback all over Europe feel weak in the knees.. 😈

  44. colver

    September 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Yeah Carrick needs time on the ball he does not like to be rushed or hurried. That is why we only really see his beautiful passing game against weaker opposition. Compare that with Scholes who is the best English player I have ever seen under pressure who always seems to have all the time in the world on the ball.

    • Stephen

      September 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      Carrick is a decent player but his feet are not quick enough to be a World Class player, we still lack that player in the centre of the park. We have never replaced Scholes in his prime, we do not have a top class midfield player and that could be our undoing this season.

  45. RedDevilEddy

    September 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I would like every Red Rants reader to like our Facebook page, as you’ll see a lot more action there in the future. 🙂 Cheers!

  46. Nikos

    September 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    W T F is going on with Arsenal? I mean… look at them! They look like a small team! Anyone can get points playing against Arsenal.

    • Stephen

      September 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      They have the spine of a Jellyfish………

      • RedDevilEddy

        September 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

        And the defenisve ability of a baby chicken on roofies

    • tonymontanna4united

      September 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      Wengers gone senile, thats whats happened. 4-3 to blackburn, christ almighty 😆

  47. ash is the man

    September 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    AS much as it pains me to say this ” i always thought arsenal had the makings of a great team ”
    they played great football and had the right philophsy, all they needed to become a great team were a few strong signings like a hargo in mid field a poacher up front and two no nonsense defenders. BUT in wenger even with all his qualities they have a manager who refuses to see the points i just made are completely and utterly neccesary to succede in english football.
    Now they Wont even be close to the top 4 and will become victim of mediocricy just like liverpool. Its a shame because as a person I always like to see things done the correct way……

    • Nikos

      September 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      Since Henry left the team they are a selling club. That’s the truth in a few words.

  48. Craig Mc

    September 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Sorry rimmertweets – in my response to Stephen, somehow my sig name got fucked up by my computer – don’t know what happened mate! 😀

  49. tonymontanna4united

    September 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Wow the defending in la liga is fucking pathetic. Ive seen better defending with bury down at gigg lane in league 2.

    • AndyCR7

      September 17, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      85% possession to barca! that league is a joke…

  50. RedDevilEddy

    September 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Italian football is so shit, for it being the League of the “best defences” they certanly don’t know shit about pressing. Man marking is weak, too much like Arsenal who focus on zonal.

    Rio, teach ’em how to mark. Teach ’em how to mark, teach em’, teach ’em how to mark!

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