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Inter v Man Utd: Preview

Suddenly we are not ‘injury proof’. Rafael has been added to the list that includes Evans, Brown, Neville, O’Shea and, for all practical purposes for the day, Vidic.

Mourinho reckons a ‘worried’ United may be defensive. Fergie brushes that aside with a we-rarely-play-for-draws rebuttal. Ronaldo mumbles something about killing or being killed which, for some reason, sounds to me like the job description of a suicide bomber.

Wenger talks about how his club looks to educate people… as opposed to United.

So, as you see, it’s an exciting day indeed, and everyone’s chirpy.

My day, on the other hand, isn’t nearly as exciting. I have work, you see, which coincides nicely with today’s game. For Fuck’s sake.

But I’m none too optimistic about today. Unless, of course, Jonny O’Shea steps in at centre back and stuffs the sizeable Ibrahimo-watsisname-ovic into his wee back pocket. If pigs could fly and if George Bush could say disestablishmentarianism. (Yes, the smart ones may have noticed the Black Adder reference.)

Fergie, despite the tough talk about rarely ever playing for a draw, he’ll surely make today one of those rare occasions. He’ll go for his most defensive formation ever. A 4-3-3 that would really be a 4-5-1. A midfield of Carrick, Fletcher and Giggs. A forward line of Ronaldo, Rooney and Park. And a back line of Evra, Rio, O’Shea (if he emerges from Fergie’s smokescreen of being ‘doubtful’) and Fabio.

If he doesn’t make it, then Fletch would most likely partner Rio (the horror!) with Carrick, Giggs, and Park pushed in to the middle. This way Tevez would be brought into the mix alongside Rooney and Ronaldo.

Defence will be key today. And hence you’ll see Fergie pick players like Park, Tevez (and Rooney) who will cover every inch of the pitch for 90 minutes. I can’t see Fergie picking Berbatov today.

Had Vidic been available, I really wouldn’t have had any worries about today. But he isn’t, so we can’t expect to play like Barcelona and the Harlem Globetrotters rolled into one.

Prediction: 1-1. Our goal coming off a set-piece.

561 Comments

561 Comments

  1. Redrich

    March 1, 2009 at 1:08 am

    If you count Campbell, Spurs have 4 strikers of note and that for a team of their means, seems to be a luxury. Assuming they survive the drop, you could definitely see them selling Bent or Pav or even both in order to bring in some solid midfield help and then, of course, attracting the sale of Campbell from United.
    But I agree, that with his limited playing time, Redknapp may not keen on him which would certainly change this equation.
    For Spurs fans, this will be interesting to watch.

  2. colver

    March 1, 2009 at 1:46 am

    Yeah I also think that if Campbell was that good he would have forced his way into the Tottenham line-up, even with the loan status. He does need games but I guess as Tottenham are in a relegation battle they are too scared to give youth a chance. Well, also Harry always seem to be biased towards senior players maybe because he never intends to stay at a club more than a few years.

    That whole Berbatov deal was so stupid. We’d have done so much better to have paid the 35 million they wanted, got Berbatov integrated into the team quicker and loaned Campbell out to Hull where he’d have gotten regular games in the Premiership and the chance to show us what he can do at this level. At the very least it would have pushed his value up so we could have sold him for a decent fee.

    I think Welbeck is probably as good as Campbell and with age in his favour is going to overtake him very very quickly. At the end of the day there are only so many first team opportunities and Id rather they went to Welbeck than Campbell. So if we don’t sign up Tevez, we should sell Campbell to Hull or whoever, and buy a target man who can play a role for us.

    Then we would have
    1. Rooney….energy, power, and scorer of great goals
    2. Berbatov…silky skills, fantastic control, creativity
    3. Target man…great in the air, useful for games when we want someone to lead the line. Not good enough to get upset about being third in the pecking order and happy to accept a squad role.
    4. Welbeck….pace, great movement, potential lethal finisher

    It would be the perfect foursome!

  3. Redrich

    March 1, 2009 at 2:07 am

    @colver: Very good points, Clover!! With the Berb coming in during preseason it could have made a difference in his “indifferent” season, so far. Then with Campbell’s lack of playing time, it does seem that it all backfired a bit.
    Selling Campbell would not be that advantageous to the club though, and would not effect the decision on Tevez(who in my mind Is as good as gone!!). If he could handle a reserve role or even another loan deal it would give us the look-see that we wanted in the first place.

  4. colver

    March 1, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Tottenham are a mess. With the money they’ve been given over the years they should be a top four side. But their record in the transfer market is almost as bad as Liverpool’s.

    Harry is a good man manager and is very good at operating on a shoe-string budget. But give him a big budget and he wastes it. He also likes to create his own teams, which isn’t really practical considering he rarely lasts more than two years at any given club.

    He’d have done better to play with a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-1-1 and spennt the 30 million he blew on Keane and Defoe on a couple of defenders and a defensive midfielder

  5. Redrich

    March 1, 2009 at 2:25 am

    @colver: Well if buying Keene doesn’t give them more goals, then you’re right. But at 12mil (not the 30mil you reported) Keene was a good sell/buy act in profit taking that they just couldn’t resist.

  6. Redrich

    March 1, 2009 at 2:34 am

    @colver: Sorry Clover, I misread your post. You actually said 30mil for Keane and Defoe combined.

  7. NicoQB

    March 1, 2009 at 3:05 am

    @JB: From the little I saw Campbell play he’s not only proved his pace but also his goalscoring, his natural striker’s instincs (he got into good goal scoring opportunities when playing with United only to be unlucky not to score on a few occasions); plus has good distribution – rmember his MOTM performance where his scored one and provided two for Pavlyuchenko I think. Plus during the same period he turned a motm performance for england youth, something Welbeck has yet to achieve.
    While I also rate Welbeck’s undeniable talent, for me he does tend to drift in and out of games and sometimes didn’t look invovlved. I hope this is only a matter of making his mark and getting used to first team opportunities.
    In addition I’d also like to point oput that for any team that Campbell has played for on loan for a sustained period of time, the lad always ended up doing very well, which truly can’t be said to all of our loan youths. youths loans ionly really work when small teams take them in. Big teams like Tottenham have to deal with egos, scrutiny of fans and press and sometimes the most deserving player does not always start. I’m not saying that Campbell should have started automatically ahead of Bent, but asking why he received so few minutes when he’s done well when he played.

  8. Redrich

    March 1, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Spurs have always been a club that cashes in when they get the opportunity! They have always sold their best players, and usually at a huge mark-up.
    Levy seems to understand his fans loyalty and consistently pisses in the face of it because he knows they will always wear his colors!!
    Tottenham is another club that could use better/different ownership and, of course, because of that, they are constantly flirting with their own demise.
    The staggering number of their players that are ineligible for the CC Final illustrates the desperate and radical way they handle their player roster. I just can’t imagine a team that has rolls over it’s portfolio more than the Spurs!!

  9. Redrich

    March 1, 2009 at 3:43 am

    @NicoQB: I don’t think Spurs are a “big team” anymore. They act is if they were like Fulham or Bolton!!

  10. Kieran

    March 1, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Im surprised no mentioned the fact that is Gibson were to become are sponsers poor gibson could get confused as to which way round to put his shirt on, be funny to see though me thinks, he could have the logo on the front and on the back of his shirt 😀

  11. colver

    March 1, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Wow if we don’t already have belief that the quadruple is on how about Liverpool losing to Boro!!!!! Boro just ripped through them and if their strikers could actually finish it could have been four!

    By the way I really fancy Tuncay as a player. If we do not sign Tevez, Tuncay might be a nice signing. Very experienced, smart enough to appreciate being at a club our size without expecting too many games and
    very intelligent in his play.

    Keane did end up being good business for Tottenham but they may find later in the season that the £12 million was better spent on a quality central defender without an injury record.

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