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Phil Jones, Jurgen Klopp and a visit from Chelsea

scholes_2341506bUnited will be without Danny Welbeck for today’s Premier League match against Chelsea as the striker has not recovered from a knee injury. Midfielder Paul Scholes is expected to return to the squad after a near four-month absence with a knee injury.

United fans will no doubt be looking forward to seeing Chelsea perform a guard of honour. Will Chelsea have the class to show such respect?

With the result immaterial for United the only thing they have to play for is pride and Sir Alex admitted last weekend that it’s difficult not to drop off the pace under these circumstances but he’ll doubtless be urging his team to help him put one over The Spanish Waiter one last time before he leaves for pastures new.

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Jurgen-Klopp_2870147Sir Alex requires hip surgery over the summer break so Old Trafford and social media sites will be buzzing with talk about possible replacements although Sir Alex has himself stressed that he has no plans whatsoever to quit the club in the near future. That won’t stop the Jurgen Klopp express from gathering pace I fear. Klopp is the latest ‘Man of the moment’ to be prematurely hailed as Sir Alex’s successor, although I admit his personality is infectious and his football a joy to watch so a cracking future candidate.

United could feel they owe Chelsea one after them being responsible for both United’s domestic cup exits this season, for the fans I think the opportunity to dent their possible qualification for a Champions League spot in the top four is motivation to take the points today.

Robin van Persie, already United’s record league scorer in a debut season, needs one more for 30 goals in all competitions and will probably start, but will Wayne Rooney? Sir Alex could opt for Shinji Kagawa instead to keep Wayne fresh for his journey across the channel in the summer.

I know people don’t like unrespected people like myself questioning the boss but I can’t agree with him after hailing the season as Rio Ferdinand’s best ever. Rio has really struggled at times this season but also regained form of the highest quality at other times. Rio’s pending contract extension could play a part in the boss’ kind words.

You can bet the players have spoke about who hasn’t scored in the league so far this season and will be looking to put that right over the next three fixtures (remember Pallister?). Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are all without a league goal and could all get a chance today so watch out for them making any unusually extra efforts in the attacking third!


This will be the fifth meeting between the sides this season. Chelsea beat United in both the FA and League Cups (the former after a replay) but United won 3-2 in the league encounter at Stamford Bridge.

United and Chelsea have met 41 times in the Premier League; both sides have won 13 times each, with 15 draws.

The last six clashes in all competitions have produced 29 goals at an average of 4.8 goals per game.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side have lost more games (13) and conceded more goals (55) against Chelsea than any other side in the Premier League.


Phil Jones

Phil Jones

A strong team selection should see United give a determined Chelsea a run for their money despite the lack of meaning. Sir Alex’s hopes of 100% committment from every player won’t be met but if he gets ninety out of them it could still be enough to get the better of a Chelsea squad that surely must be feeling the effects of a 65 game (so far) season? Chelsea often score at Old Trafford so I’m thinking 2-2 or 3-2 to the Reds with a goal for one of that quintet yet to score. I’m sticking a fiver on Phil Jones to score anytime @ 7/1 for a bit of fun.

What’s your prediction?

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How do you rate United’s chances of retaining the title next season? bwin already make United favourites ahead of Man City. Without seeing who leaves and who comes into clubs over the summer it’s a difficult one to call in my opinion. However, United will be there or there abouts come what May 2014 so if you fancy United’s chances and want to get your free bet on now, head to bwin to cash in.



  1. Moscow

    5 May 2013 at 16:48

    Antonio Valencia is an embarassment to our No 7 shirt, shameful 😳

  2. gator

    5 May 2013 at 17:01

    strong showing for the last 5 min. is evra coming off at the half?
    ando and gigs had some good touches.

  3. gotor

    5 May 2013 at 17:27

    Wow at the subs smh ando does fade but he was playing well. Valincia on the other hand. ..

    • gator

      5 May 2013 at 17:55

      @gotor: must mean he is in the shop window along with valincia. hope we keep nani for a bit

  4. gotor

    5 May 2013 at 17:28

    And now 2 balls given away by roo and vally in a row

  5. gotor

    5 May 2013 at 17:47

    the scum end up in cl and they will get morning but bale will want away. Big delima of who we want in.

  6. gotor

    5 May 2013 at 17:48

    Wow sideshow finaly gets one of his dives to count. And the kick out at the head by ramerez???

  7. Opti

    5 May 2013 at 17:55

    Disgraceful from Fergie again. He has not motivation to win any more games and is gifting Chelsea 3 points today.

    1) 451 at OT. How many wasted crosses targeted an isolated RvP for 65 minutes?
    2) Taking off Anderson and not Valencia or Giggs????
    3) Rooney in midfield is a travesty with his poor ball control.
    4) Putting Chicarito on in minute 89 is embarrassing

    Sure, we’re champions, but it’s almost a joke now.

    • Opti

      5 May 2013 at 17:59

      @Opti: Also, given the chance to damage Chelsea’s CL hopes (and their power in transfer markets), we f***** fold like chickens at OT. Gave them all the initiative. Fergie is to blame.

      All this complaining from Fergie that we cannot compete against Chelsea… and then he enables them by gifting them 3 points in their pursuit of Champions League football. Disgrace.

    • Opti

      5 May 2013 at 18:18

      @Opti: Final comment of the season:

      Notice how in the last 3 months, when facing a decisive moment in the season, we have fluffed.
      — League cup game against Chelsea: fluffed (but forgivable)
      — 2nd match against Madrid (leading 1-0 with 10 men and 30 minutes to go)
      — FA Cup against Chelsea at home (leading 2-0 with 45 minutes to go)
      — At home against Man City
      — At home against Chelsea for a game that matters greatly to them

      This is a pattern, not an anomaly (as last season is claimed to be). The current United squad cannot handle pressure or Fergie has lost his ability to motivate the best from our players.

      Chickens have won the League this year. Hopefully they can turn into eagles next year …

      • tonymontanna4united

        5 May 2013 at 18:50

        @Opti: 22nd April 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson speaking on the class of 2013:

        “There is a resilience and like all the previous teams, they never give in and that’s a fact.” 😯 😯 😯 πŸ™„

        Our last 3 games to chelski in little more than 6 weeks seem to prove others boss.

        • tonymontanna4united

          5 May 2013 at 18:50

          @tonymontanna4united: * otherwise

        • ForeverRed

          6 May 2013 at 01:53

          @tonymontanna4united: I think we’ve come to expect 90% of what Fergie says to be hogwash. What’s more worrying though is that I think he really believes it to be true.

      • The_Philosopher

        6 May 2013 at 08:51

        @Opti: I don’t think we’re chickens.

        I would not blame the squad. What is happening here is that Fegruson is over reliant on a handful of players instead of 1) buying better players for midfield and the wings and 2) playing Scholes and Giggs every chance he gets.

        The result is that the already overworked core of players that Ferguson plays ALL THE TIME struggle to dig up performances when 1) the title is won and therefore motivation and incentive are gone and 2) they have play so much football that they are just tanked! Their energy reserves are just finished

        While the likes of Chicharito, Nick Powell, Nani and Anderson generally don’t get games. They are the ones who are still full of energy and motivation.

        I think Ferguson is losing it as well.

    • The_Philosopher

      6 May 2013 at 08:41

      @Opti: I think the worst thing about it is that Ferguson isn’t playing Nick Powell or Chicharito from the get go.

      We’re champions now and we need to start giving the youngsters some games. Not Paul Scholes!!!

      If we’re going to lose games then we might as well be giving the regular first team guys a break. They have played a full season for crying out loud. Give the other guys a chance Ferguson!!

  8. Moscow

    5 May 2013 at 18:10

    Rooney comes on to play in midfield, loses the ball to Ramires and Chelsea score. Not surprising.

    Overall, Chelsea dominated our midfield despite us playing 5 across the middle, created all the chances despite playing poorly and sluggishly after their Europa League semi-final a couple of days ago. It really is saying something when Anderson manages to outperform his fellow midfielders. Antonio Valencia… well… words fail me…

    Instead of playing like champions, we played like confused kittens, and have now handed Chelsea CL qualification, as if Mourinho didn’t need further encouragement. Great day’s work eh?

    • gator

      5 May 2013 at 18:29

      @Moscow: all i can think is that we are in for bale if he cant get cl at spurs so we barely try vs the scum. and give a shop window treatment for valincia and ando

      • tonymontanna4united

        5 May 2013 at 18:56

        @gator: Not that we were ever going to be in for bale anyway, but after that gutless performance from us today that all but put chelski in the driving seat for top 4, I really cant see levy or spurs doing us any favours, can you?

  9. slowshow

    5 May 2013 at 18:26

    Ferguson has won many titles for United but this season he has shown that he is very daft and tactically inept in big games and has a tunnel vision of things happening in the team. He sould be blamed for this defeat. I cannot fathom how Valencia is still getting games this season and Nani is not. As soon as Anderson left the field, we just lost everything in midfield.

    • The_Philosopher

      6 May 2013 at 08:55

      @slowshow: Its very frustrating slow.

      I don’t know what to say.

      Ferguson is getting very frustrating of late. I hope next season is better.

  10. tonymontanna4united

    5 May 2013 at 18:41

    Substitutions made on 68 minutes:
    Off- Anderson & Cleverley.
    On- Rooney & Buttner.

    Our midfield for the final 25 minutes consists of Jones (a CB), Giggs (a 40 year old winger) and Rooney (a number 9/converted 10).
    And really people wonder why some fans have gone as far as to claim that under fergie we will never win the CL again. Really?
    I don’t care what standard of opposition you are playing, that midfield is a fucking joke.

    Why is Giggs still playing 90 minutes every bloody game, is there a rule in his contract that says he cant be subbed?
    Why if, as it looked, some of the players were already on their summer holidays, weren’t certain players dropped and the likes of Powell, Januzaj, Hernandez, Nani etc given some game time?
    Surely they would have been up for it more than some of those playing today.
    And as for Valencia, well seriously is his continued selection just fergie taking the piss. Seriously just get lost.
    Your a kick and run merchant who had a few good seasons with us, and now your done.
    You have no left foot, absolutely no footballing brain, your game is and always has been to kick and run after the ball and float a cross in whilst running around a bit and looking busy (he barely even seems to put in much of a shift these days). And that’s about it.
    Honestly how anyone can say with a straight face they find nani more frustrating and deserving of being sold whilst supporting this guy, just seriously I don’t know what to say to you.

    Again just another game to quickly forget about from him and the team. I really wanted us to wipe the floor with these coonts today an all but why break the habit of a season I guess when we can just put in another abject display, were used to them by now I guess.

    • Moscow

      5 May 2013 at 19:02

      @tonymontanna4united: Great rant, awesome post.

      • tonymontanna4united

        5 May 2013 at 19:06

        @Moscow: Cheers mate.

    • The_Philosopher

      6 May 2013 at 09:19

      @tonymontanna4united: It makes no sense to me either.

      I don’t understand why Ferguson won’t just try something new or something different.

      Playing Nick Powell against Chelsea would have been better than trying Scholes or Rooney.

      He surely could not have been as bad. So why does Ferguson not start fast tracking his development?!?

      Why is Ferguson gonna wait until the pre-season tour before he starts trying to push Nick Powell along?

      Its retarded to me. I don’t get it.

      Personally I would have handed Nani the right wing a long time ago. But Ferguson seems to have beef with him. Valencia is finished and I don’t see him coming back but Ferguson has fuzzy vision when it comes to Valencia and does not see the obvious. (Unless Ferguson is giving him as many games as possible so that he doesn’t feel guilty about selling him in the off season)

      Valencia other wise has no special talents other than kick and run. And if he is tired and flat like he has been of late kick and run is useless. Yes Tony well said, he has no footballing brain. The only thing Valencia is good for no is 1) being sold or 2) providing cover for Rafael at right back.

      I hope losing to Chelsea will help Ferguson see that against the big clubs we’re not coping at all.

  11. Redrich

    5 May 2013 at 19:00

    United’s form against top 4 teams is W-3, D-3, L-5 and that says it all for me. Not dominant and barely competitive, we are a shadow team that has ghosted to a title and have the worrying signs of a fading star.

    Lots and lots of problems in all aspects of the game, including Management. What are you trying to do when you pull 2 central mids for a striker and a full back?? – and at the most critical point of the game. It doesn’t make any sense at all, especially considering you’ve acknowledge the need for strength there with a 4-5-1 starting line up.

    • Moscow

      5 May 2013 at 19:05

      @Redrich: We won at Stamford Bridge after 2 red cards and an offside goal AFTER losing a 2 goal lead. We won at the Etihad after capitulating from 2-0 up and winning by a deflected free kick in the dying seconds. We beat 10 man Arsenal 2-1 at OT, I guess that didn’t involve a capitulation.

    • The_Philosopher

      6 May 2013 at 09:21

      @Redrich: Fading star. Thats it. Thats exactly what we are right now.

      Ferguson is a fading star and he’s taking Manchester United with him.

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