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Real through, but United can hold their head high

965574-15822855-640-360It had been described as the match for which the world would stop, the titanic clash between two of European football’s heavyweights that was going to act as advert for the beautiful game.

And for 56, entertaining and nerve-wracking minutes it was just that. Two great clubs and two of the best managers the game has seen going head to head, blow by blow as they had done in the first leg.

Then, after a miscued clearance, Nani’s outstretched leg collided with Alvaro Arbeloa’s chest. As the Portuguese lied on the turf, most expected a yellow card to be a suitable punishment for his infringement, but when the card did come out of Cuneyt Cakir’s pocket it was red.

Old Trafford, players and fans alike were stunned, while Fergie vented all his disgust and rage towards the man from Turkey.

Less than 10 minutes later, Luka Modric unleashed a venomous strike from the edge of the box that ricocheted against the box and into the net to level the score.

Within three minutes, the sucker punch landed on United’s jaw and it was delivered by the most awaited actor in the play.

Higuain and Ozil combined in the box before the Argentine fired a vicious shot across goal that was turned in by Ronaldo, his leg outstretched, at the far post.

His muted celebration was a world away from the raucous reception that had welcomed him onto the pitch before kick-off, as the Real Madrid number 7 returned for the first time to the ground that had transformed him from promising teenager into a world class phenomenon.

Without the injured Phil Jones, Sir Alex Ferguson decided against deploying Wayne Rooney out wide, opting instead for a trio formed by Nani, Danny Welbeck and Ryan Giggs behind Robin Van Persie, while Nemanja Vidic partnered Rio Ferdinand in the middle of a defence tasked with keeping out a Real Madrid side that had failed to score only once in the last 32 matches in the Champions League.

After sustaining early pressure from Madrid, the first real opportunity of the game fell to United, Vidic header crashing against the post with Welbeck unable to convert from close range.

The United striker was denied again ten minutes later, as Lopez redeemed himself with an excellent save after spilling Van Persie’s thunderbolt.

The chances woke United into the life. They were not only defending and denying spaces to Madrid’s midfielders, they were also counterattacking with purpose, roared on by the kind of crowd Old Trafford should sport more often.

United’s positive attitude was rewarded straight after the restart as, having blocked efforts from Welbeck and Van Persie, Madrid’s defence failed to deal with Nani’s cross causing Sergio Ramos to poke the ball past Lopez.

Cristiano Ronaldo gives Rafael da Silva the runaroundThe red card shamble then turned the game on its head, but United weren’t finished yet. Rooney, Young and Valencia replaced Cleverley,Welbeck and Rafael as a wall of noise drove Fergie’s men forward.

Desperate attack after desperate attack saw Lopez denying Van Persie – twice – and Vidic, while Rooney skied his effort over the bar.

Chants rang around Old Trafford as Ryan Giggs tirelessly chased down another ball, and Jose Mourinho quietly left the pitch, almost embarrassed by the way his team had progressed.

Fans and players alike can hold their heads high tonight, unfortunately the same can’t be said about the referee.

In the words of Jose Mourinho “the best team lost”.

Dan (@mufc_dan87)



  1. 5 is the magic number

    5 March 2013 at 23:13

    Bit harsh on Utd. Oh well, never mind.

    5 Times!!!!!!!!

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  2. Alan

    5 March 2013 at 23:20

    Inter Milan went down to 10 men in the Nou Camp and held on. So did Chelsea.

    Utd were at home and 1-0 up when they went to 10 men. They mentally collapsed and threw it away within ten minutes. Bottlers.


    • Redrich

      6 March 2013 at 04:25

      @Alan: You are obviously a stupid ABU that just can’t wait to have a dig at a United failure.
      Have your 5 minutes of joy, moon face, but this team is built of character and steel and we will resound from this undeserved loss. We will become what your dreams will never fulfill, and so your sad commentary will only be an epitaph for the failures you experience all the time.

    • Nuevo

      6 March 2013 at 04:44

      @Alan: Pool Supporter on a united Site? Speaks volumes about your priorities does’nt it.

      We’ll let you have your jollies at our expense this time…you obviously have fuck all going for you at Livepool and need this to make something of your sad miserable state

    • Dan

      6 March 2013 at 08:19

      @Alan: 19. Now be a good lad, and go and queue for your giro or whatever it is you do on merseyside on wednesday morning.

  3. AndyYNWA

    5 March 2013 at 23:22

    It was a straight red, dangerous play, end of. Had Nanci been hit like that he would still be rolling round in tears. Fergie should learn to have a little humility and grace in defeat instead of throwing his dummy and refusing to talk to anyone. Even captain Keane agrees it’s a red card. To be fair if anyone knows a red card challenge when he sees one it’s Keano.
    Did I hear Madrid fans singing Liverpool songs after Arbeloa was berated?

    • Dan

      6 March 2013 at 08:20

      @AndyYNWA: Who did you play in the Champions League this year? Last year? The year before?

      • AndyYNWA

        6 March 2013 at 10:08

        Dan, did you play in it over the years we amassed 5?? It was a tad more difficult to win in those days.

        • Dan

          6 March 2013 at 12:14

          @AndyYNWA: Ha, here we go. Your trophies count more than everybody else’s. Scouse logic at its finest

        • Ian

          6 March 2013 at 14:12

          It was you’re right. It’s also a tad easier to qualify for now and your shower of shite still can’t manage it.

        • gator

          6 March 2013 at 18:34

          @AndyYNWA: dont you have a rat to skin and eat son? go about it and leave the thinking to the men.

  4. The_Philosopher

    5 March 2013 at 23:34

    Alan: Yes we did collapse mentally.

    So did Ferguson.

    • Opti

      6 March 2013 at 01:40

      @The_Philosopher: it was poor management to allow this collapse to fester for 10 minutes. It was obvious that Madrid would score as they carved us open in defense 5 times in 5 minutes. We lost complete structure, tactics went out the window. Evra and Rafael tucked inside but neither the outstanding Giggs nor RvP helped out.

      This one is Fergie’s… he was dumbfounded at the red card and let his emotions overrule his head… in hindsight, this loss hurts, but only because we were so close to achieving a major result and a big step towards Wembley.

      • Redrich

        6 March 2013 at 04:55

        @Opti: It was poor refereeing and that was that.
        Ferguson’s influence could not have changed the destiny of that game, the ref did it all.
        To blame SAF for this would be akin to blaming DDG for not protecting his near post on the 2nd goal. You will agree then??

    • Redrich

      6 March 2013 at 03:37

      @The_Philosopher: Nonsense. That game was hanging by a thread and the ref handed it to the team with 11 men on the pitch.
      Please lets get it real. Ferguson had no influence on that!

      • The_Philosopher

        6 March 2013 at 07:12

        @Redrich: Before the red card we were in control.

        But after the red card we were shell-shocked. Thats the mental collapse I’m talking about.

        We only started fighting again after Madrid had scored twice.

        The red card stole our confidence and mometum.

        But I think it should not have. We surrendered the game unecessarily because we were all stunned. Players and coaching staff.

        If we had a more composed response to the red card we could have still won the game.

        After Nani’s sending off we could dust our selves off and look beyond the injustcie.

        The red card changed the game. But if we had shown a little more mental grit we could have weathered the storm.

        • Onkar

          6 March 2013 at 12:12

          @The_Philosopher: See if it was a correct red card then players might not have lost it mentally the way did in my books. But then when everything is going according to plan and tactics, players are executing the same the perfection some incidents like this will always impact the metal state of the player.
          See its about taking time to react and by the time players could we had conceded two. See players can fight RED CARD but the bot the one like this. And that is why I always felt that Inter was a super human effort. BUt then such things doesnt happen every day…

  5. Opti

    6 March 2013 at 01:42

    Daniel: Nani’s leg did NOT collide with Arbeola’s chest. It hit his shirt/arm. Arbeola made an Oscar out of the chest…

  6. Opti

    6 March 2013 at 02:16

    Great comment from a friend of mine:

    The rules are meant to serve the game, and not the game to serve the rules. Another great game spoiled by a very lack of common sense, which, unfortunately, appears not uncommon at all nowadays


    • The_Philosopher

      6 March 2013 at 10:09

      @Opti: Very well said. The rules are meant for the game.

      The game is not there to support the rules. There rules are there to support the game.

      i am very upset that the referee decided to give a red without consulting his lines man or thinking clearly about it.

      Yes Nani made contact but it was not intentional.

      What probably didn’t help Nani was his rolling around and play acting after the collision. He wasn’t hurt at all and the ref interpretted that as a guilty conscience on Nani’s part.

      Its all very upsetting and sad.

    • Onkar

      6 March 2013 at 12:16

      @Opti: Absolutely, I mean I accept in the game of football players should be abiding Law but then Referees should also use some Logic or should I say LAWGIC?
      Logic would have suggested that there was no malisse, both the legs till that moments were played in the great spirit, no intent from any one then why produce the RED one can always produce Yellow and put Player on caution. But the Referee did not show that much Common Sense and Logic & in the spoiled the whole thing.

  7. Redrich

    6 March 2013 at 03:29

    The way to describe it makes me so F’ing mad that I can’t think that strait, but that C’nt of a referee should not hang around the north of England too long.

    Now lets say it how it really is.


    Just like there should be rules against cheating, there should be rules against inept refs. The prat should have a triple red card for his performance tonight. Not only that but he should be investigated for corruption for such a biased opinion, and his badge should be put up against a review panel.

    Not just a bad decision and it’s effect on the game, but the fact that if refs make decisions like that, their is no hope for the purity of the game. If the they cant get it right, the players will always try to cheat their way to victory.

    I have watched United since 1967 and in that whole time I have never seen anything so blatantly wrong. We were done wrong, lads, badly wrong and there is no undoing of it.

    • AndyYNWA

      6 March 2013 at 10:09

      Calm down calm down

  8. Redrich

    6 March 2013 at 05:15

    So on to the silver linings.

    Rafael was huge. Not just huge but massive.
    He shut out the best player in the world without too much trouble at all and then still had something to say in attack.

    He has learned his lesson, I guess, but beyond that the youngster has leaned his position. Not fooled by the follies of getting too high up the pitch, this Da Silva has now got defensive discipline tucked into his skill set.

    I wonder what it took for him to buckle down and become what he is, but I have a feeling it’s because he has a very good football brain, and that logically, he had no other way forward.
    Anyway, he was my MOM by a long shot.

    • The_Philosopher

      6 March 2013 at 07:17

      @Redrich: He’s my man of the match too.

      He is so good.

      I think Rafael has progressed well because he gets to play in his position week in and week out.

      The consistent flow of games has allowed him the experience a young person needs to flower.

  9. Warzycha

    6 March 2013 at 05:48

    1. Unfortunately, RvP is useless when counterattacking. He is also out of form.
    2. Judging by SAF’s tactical approach, he was right. We couldn’t attack Real Madrid, cause our backline is slow.
    3. Modric! What a goal! Carrick … NEVER was he a defender. I’ll keep on shouting : WE FUCKING NEED A MASSIVE NO.6. A great athlete who can follow Modric’s run on the ball.
    4. The referee’s decision was not awful, but he decided to be the primadonna. For the beauty of the game, he shouldn’t show Nani a red card. He destroyed the game and gave RM a hefty advantage.

    • The_Philosopher

      6 March 2013 at 07:23

      @Warzycha: Yes it would be nice to have a proper no.6

  10. The_Philosopher

    6 March 2013 at 07:46

    I just want to congratulate Sir Alex Ferguson and his coaching staff for getting the tactics right last night.

    Before that self important referee derailed us we were well on our way to a famous victory over Real Madrid.

    So congratulations to Sir Alex and the squad.

    I am also very pleased with the way we kept playing and kept on fighting in an impossible situation. Which was no that impossible but for Diego Lopez.

    We have an excellent squad and its a great credit to Sir Alex and the team that he can pick any side he wants and still beat Madrid.

    Rooney was on the bench but we still had Madrid against the ropes.

    Maybe Chicha should have been given a chance as well.

    It was so amazing that with the 10 men we had we threw everything at them but didn’t conceded to their fabled counter attack.

    Attack is the best form of defense. Maybe if we were not so affraid of losing we could have gone at them guns blazing right from the beginning. But hindsight is always crystal clear.

    Rafael played so well. he really is excellent! His future and United’s future look bright. Rafael, Cleverley, Powell, Smalling, Jones, Chicha De Gea etc. We have a bright future.

    And we have a bright present as well. How good was Giggs? Wow! I was pleasantly surprised that he played so well. He still has a lot of energy for a near 40 year old. His expereince and sharp wit were invaluable last night.

    Van Persie has given this club a lot this season. Maybe its a bit unfair to expect him to carry us through every obstacle. He carried Arsenal for the whole season last year. Maybe he just wants to be another player amongst equals instead of being the saviour of the club.

    I was glad to see Ronaldo so emotional about this club. Maybe he will come back after his contract runs out. Don’t sign another one Ronny!

    It really does hurt to go out like this. But I’m happy the league is still in our sights. A home win against City will go a long way towards easing this pain.

    Beating Chelsea in the FA Cup will also feel very good.

    • Opti

      6 March 2013 at 14:14

      @The_Philosopher: Beating City in the FA Cup final will heal this wound, given we don’t concede the title.

      Domestic double can heal the Champions League wound… but this game will haunt out Champions League next season too. Fergie will have to start thinking about tactics for 10-player games, which might be a good thing.

      Silver Lining:
      1) Giggs showed the world his quality
      2) Rafael is world class
      3) Our defense is back
      4) We can compete against ANYONE
      5) Fergie is still insanely competitive and will drive this club further

      For all these Scummers visiting, enjoy 5th place or wherever you end up. Champions League is gone for you and Suarez will not wait forever. Enjoy competing with Everton and Swansea. History is all you have left. Cheers!!

      • The_Philosopher

        6 March 2013 at 15:05

        @Opti: Very true. Ferguson will have to start doing 10 man drills in training from now on.

        He needs to build a 10 man contingency into his strategies now because no matter how careful you tell the players to be you can still run into a rogue referee like this who will make some stupid biased decision.

        And yes Giggs did show his enduring quality.

        Yes Rafael is world class

        Yes we CAN play against anyone. Barca even. They’re on the decline now. No one can stay that hot forever. Barca are entering the realm of the mortals.

        We made Real look ordinary at times.

        Our defense IS back. Vidic was colossal in defense. He swatted so many aerial threats away and even in attack he was dominant and came close to scoring on two occasions.

        Ferdinand is a boss as well so the pair of them together. . .

        I’m not affraid of anyone. Bring on City we have a score to settle with them.

        I fear for Chelsea as well. We will give them a tough time in the FA Cup tie.

        And finaly YES. Ferguson is still as passionate as ever which gives me hope. He will be here as long as he physically can.


    6 March 2013 at 07:56

    the referee vrs Real was an absolute disgrace to UEFA who made a big mistake in appointing him, we all know that the turks hate english clubs, this so called referee is a leading one and I hope UEFA suspend him for life, I did not agree with decision to leave out Rooney 😮


    6 March 2013 at 08:00

    comment about disgraceful referee was from john calleja from Malta

  13. ben

    6 March 2013 at 08:03

    If you understand football, this red card is worst decision. Nani eyes were on the ball all the time and he didnt even know there is people coming. Nani didnt make a challenge, he is trying to Trap the ball down which is normal in football in a open space.

    This decision is shocking and the team tactics and spirits is spot on, Utd were winning with 11 people but once the referee stupidity give a red card, the match is beyond us because its a stunning decision.

    It’s a disgrace why football still don’t implement technology, many many decision spoils the game.

    If Utd comtemplates to leave Champions League ever, i support them for it because how many times have we seen referee giving bad decision against English Team?

  14. Owen

    6 March 2013 at 08:25

    Probably now i hate Roy Keane most . Likes of Terry and Gerrard are even better .

    • AndyCR7

      6 March 2013 at 09:40

      @Owen: Many people call that bitter c*nt a legend.

  15. Stephen

    6 March 2013 at 09:44

    The referee totally ruined the game, we were one up and the momentum was with us, total disgrace.

    Fergie got his tactics spot on, you have to give the manager credit, he makes the big calls in the big games.

    Now I know why Mourinho calls himself “the Special One” he gets the big decisions in the big games.

    Giggs was brilliant last night, as were the back four, although Rafael switched off on the second goal.

    Ronaldo was very quiet, but inevitably he scored the winner.

    Keane was a brilliant player for us, but his bitterness is embarrassing.

  16. Stephen

    6 March 2013 at 10:18

    AndyYNWA, what are you doing on a United site? What has Nani’s sending off got to do with you? Bitter pathetic, go away.

    • ash is the man

      6 March 2013 at 12:10

      I said i was shocked by the omission of rooney, but in fairness danny welbeck proved his salt so i cannot complain. Maybe though i would of had rooney starting in rvp postion as he has been really off form lately. Any way all that is irrelevant right now. I am a huge supporter of rooney but boy he was horrible when he came on and he missed a massive oppurtunity, i think the lad has lost his bottle. I also noticed he was deployed out wide once again when he was brought on. Rooney could be an animal striker like drogba but i firmly believe he wont achieve that here and maybe it is bye bye rooney

      • The_Philosopher

        6 March 2013 at 12:35

        @ash is the man: Yes Rooney has lost something.

        Whether he will get it back is another issue.

        The decision to bench him last night does start to cast some doubts about his future. . .

        • ash is the man

          6 March 2013 at 12:49

          @The_Philosopher: i think the issue is i dont think fergie trusts him anymore, this is obvious with rooney being deployed out wide in big games. Rooney has also probably realised that fergie doesnt trust him and he has lost his confidence….

      • The_Philosopher

        6 March 2013 at 13:15

        @ash is the man: I don’t know if its an issue of distrust on the part of Ferguson.

        But maybe Rooney isn’t as critical as he once was. Ferguson also has other options.

        Maybe Ferguson is trying to stoak Rooney into action by leaving him out of such a big match.

  17. Stephen

    6 March 2013 at 13:47

    I do think the dropping of Rooney was purely tactical. Nani was brought in as Abeloa as seen as a weakness, Welbeck played as he could occupy Alonso and physically he could upset Ramos. Rooney’s form has been very up and down, my only issue with dropping him is RvP is currently not at his best and Rooney does score in spells.

    • The_Philosopher

      6 March 2013 at 15:10

      @Stephen: In hindsight I feel like maybe van Persie should have been on the bench and not Rooney.

      Rooney should have been deployed to do the same job that was assigned to van Persie.

      Welbeck was worth his position 100%.

      • Opti

        6 March 2013 at 16:12

        @The_Philosopher: Yup. I think the fact that no one is moaning over Welbeck highlights just how useful he was against Madrid. Sure, he is not the perfect passer or finisher (chicharito would have scored off the post-rebound in 2nd leg), but boy can he hustle. His close control of ball is better than Chicharito, but not as good as Shinji’s and his pace is blinding. Never gives us. Happy for him.

        Tough game and our young-ish core will have learned A LOT and should take confidence in their performance.
        Jones may just turn out to be our new #6 and shackled Ronaldo, Bale, Fellaini recently. Rafael can play against anyone.
        Evans showed (1st leg) that he is not a kid anymore.
        Vidic is back!!

        Rubber lining:
        RvP did not show the world his clinical finishing and disappointed
        Nani’s red card will hurt his morale… if blamed for loss, may be his exit
        Rooney will not be happy about loss + bench, but I don’t think it’s his exit.
        Chicharito will not be happy either, but he will get more games
        Rio+Vidic/2+Giggs*2 are getting older and cannot guarantee such performances next season

        Onwards and up. We have a Double to claim and Chelsea scalp to earn.

        BRING IT!!! We’re United and we don’t stay down.

  18. Opti

    6 March 2013 at 16:23

    Some interesting conspiracy theory:

    Supposedly the referee’s (Cakir) official Twitter account shows him following Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo. Does that make him impartial? The biggest decision went to Madrid and came out of blue sky… red card. It wasn’t a challenge as Arbeola didn’t have the ball under his control, it wasn’t two footed, it was a come-together of two players. Nani went for ball and there was not follow-through from him. Collisions happen. Never a red card, unless your (a) Madrid fan (b) corrupt (c) relying on bad advice from someone affected by (a) or (b). My guess is that the referee was at the wrong angle and Arbeola’s squirming sold what he thought he saw.

    Would love to hear the referee come out and explain… I think that would be healthy for Football.

    • gator

      6 March 2013 at 19:12

      @Opti: the match was too big for him he is a nobody and now he has posted his name in history like a suicide bomber.

    • AndyCR7

      7 March 2013 at 05:01

      @Opti: Most importantly none of the Madrid players even appealed for red card. You know how Spanish players crowd referee if they think there is possibility of a card. God knows what forced him to issue the card.

      • Opti

        7 March 2013 at 05:13

        @AndyCR7: I read somewhere that he got his red card suggested to him from the lines-man but that the 5th referee (the one with the subs) did not expect the red card.

        Clusterf*ck of a decision. I am still angry about it, but will transfer that anger to Chelsea game and bring it Viking style… 👿 👿

  19. Rafael

    6 March 2013 at 18:36

    I love Danny Welbeck, and i understand what he brings to the team, but his finishing is not up to the level we need, that goal at the Bernabeu was more of a exception than a rule, he should have scored twice yesterday and the one of the post is unforgivable for a player on this level, i think he has a great future but yesterday we needed some one that can actually score regularly.

    As for RVP that is the player more disappointing for me over this two games, should have scored in Spain and twice again yesterday, yes David Lopez made some great saves but you make his work more easy when all of your attempts go so close to his body.

    As for that incompetent ref i just want to add that, the red card was not his only poor call, the studs up challenge against Evra was more of a red, there was a hand ball from Ramos in the box that should have been a penalty, and that two fist assault on Vidic should have been a Penalty aswell and a Red for the goalkeeper, he went in late, with excess of force and caught nothing other than Vidic face.

    All in all one of the poorest displays by a referee i have seen in a Champions League match other than than one in Stanford Bridge, and they both have something in common.

  20. Sahal

    6 March 2013 at 19:35

    Apart from the obvious talent this squad has,they have tremendous fight and spirit.
    To get up and create chances with 10 men after taking such having knocks is truly admirable.Hope this propels the team toward a double.They should now more than ever be confident in their abilities as a team.Hopefully the heartbreak of last night just adds to the player’s hunger for success.
    Well done lads,you’ve done the club proud.

  21. Opti

    6 March 2013 at 22:03

    With wound still bleeding, I cannot help to cheer for Dortmund to progress in Champions League. Another part of me wonders what Madrid will use to motivate their players if they seal the 10th CL title. This has been their drive in past decade.

    Elsewhere in Europe, I don’t see United falling behind any team: Barca seem to be struggling with motivational issues after their unprecedented success… Dortmund will likely be sold for parts. Milan and Juve will get better (if Milan quality for UCL next season). PSG are a frankenstein a la Chelsea and will never sustain any short-term success. Eastern european teams will crumble after WC 2018.

    Bayern are the only club who will dominate for years to come… they are the new yard-stick which we must overcome for european success. Interesting times…

  22. Redrich

    7 March 2013 at 03:16

    Looking ahead to next season’s prospects I see interesting developments on the horizon.
    How so? Well just take a look at the young comers (Cleverly, Welbeck, Jones, Smalling, Zaha, De Gea, Rafael) and realize that it’s entirely unlikely that we will loan or sell any of them (Welbeck might go on the block, but in all honesty Ferguson has invested too much time and effort in him to throw it away for nominal money).
    So where do we put them all and what do we do with players like Scholes, Giggs, Rio and Anderson. Seems to me that the squad might see some turnover.

    The big issues, of course, are our problem children – Nani and Rooney (they do deserve separate discussion, but bear with me). The feeling is that neither one has fulfilled their potential, and with Rooney’s obese salary and Nani’s obese demands, neither one might see another Autumn in OT.
    Shocking eh! but believe me it’s not that far adrift from reality happening.
    And if so, who is to replace their meager offerings?
    Ferguson is, and always has dabbled in the market for strikers and wingers. It’s a natural for him and he’s good at it and with rumors rife with the likes of Lewandowski, Di Maria, and even the prodigal CR7, life might just get very interesting.

    • Opti

      7 March 2013 at 05:11

      @Redrich: Giggs signed new contract and will start every game next season… I may just break my bank account to come and watch Giggsy’s last season…

    • jos

      7 March 2013 at 07:47

      @Redrich: I honestly think its time for Rooney, Nani and Chicharito to pack their bags and leave for their own good. Rooney has 200 goals for United but he is hardly admired here, and the manager also has lost his confidence in him. Welbeck starts but no rooney!! crazy! And what about chicharito? the most lethal striker is sitting on the bench always while the most shitty striker with 1 goal to his name plays! fucking hell.

      I hope the three of them leave for their own good. why sit on the bench at united when you can start for any team out there.

    • Sahal

      7 March 2013 at 09:40

      @Redrich: A major problem I feel regarding the sales of Nani and Rooney is that the replacements won’t be adequate.Sure they both haven’t fulfilled their potential but they can both be destructive at times.And let’s not forget how much Rooney does for team,would Lewandowski be able to play at CM or LM if needed?

      With acquisition of RVP,De Gea and Rafael’s improvement and Carrick’s form(along with other factors) United are possibly one driving midfielder away from being a superb all round team,like Bayern.Our wingers might not be that effective but the do have the potential to be,Zaha should help us there as well.

      As always,In Fergie we trust!

    • The_Philosopher

      7 March 2013 at 10:48

      @Redrich: Next season really will be an amazing season.

      With Ferguson at the helm and a new batch of youngsters coming into first team contention I really do think that next season (barring any freak accidents like random red cards) will be our treble year.

      I don’t think that there is any real threat of Rooney leaving now that I have had some time to think about it. I think for now he is just having a dip in form and thats all it is.

      I am more worried about Nani leaving however. But even with him I believe that he will settle his contract issues and we can all move on to bigger and better things.

      Nick Powell should start getting his first team chances next season. Tom Cleverley will be our trusty deputy for Michael Carrick.

      Darren Fletcher should come back at some point next season and will be adapted to play as a no.6, anchoring the midfield and providing extra cover for the back four.

      Jonny Evans will step up again and rotate with Ferdinand and Vidic.

      Chris Smalling needs to get a lot of chances next season because I believe that its time for him to start making an impact now.

      Jones will be stronger and wiser. Although he still doesn’t have a position of his own. He’s great at centre back and right back and in the middle.

      Next season should be the season where he settles into a position. I think he needs to be played at centre back. Phil Jones is a solid talent and he is yet another brilliant youthful signing by Ferguson.

      Unlike Chelsea our young players actually end up in the first team.

      Rafael much like Phil Jones will be climbing from strength to strength as he morphs into a world class Brazillian right back. Dani Alves has some serious competition for a place in the national squad.

      With another year’s experience (and hopefully a premier league and FA Cup double) under his belt Rafael Da Silva will be primed for what should be his best season yet.

      Fabio comes back into the side from his QPR loan spell. I hope Ferguson will find another position for him other than left back. The kid has a right foot. Why let him languish on the left flank.

      I wonder what would happen if you played Valencia on the left flank. . . What!? Whats that? He would fail miserably you say? Really? Then why do we do that to Fabio?

      The thing with Fabio is that he is probably just as good as Rafael. Its very sad to see him struggling like he is.

      Bebe and Macheda come back from loan spells as well. Macheda needs to go in my books. And Bebe better show some improvement otherwise perhaps he needs to go as well.

      What happens when Valencia can’t cut it on the right wing any more? Do we adapt him to another role or show him the door?

      Angelo Henriquez comes back from Wigan and adds yet another option to our striking department. I have lost track of his loan spell at Wigan I hope he’s getting the game time he needs. Because he looks like a talent.

      Ferguson should have bought him and left him at his old club Universidad de Chile just like he did with Zaha. He should have bought him and then loaned him right back.

      Apprently he was making great progress in Chile. I think his adjustment to English football coupled with limited game time (at Universidad he played regularly) has slowed his progress at what, it could be argued, is a critical period in his development.

      Remember the debate about Ferguson’s developmental skills.

      Zaha will come into the squad and give Valencia (who isn’t getting any younger) some competition for the right flank. He is young and energetic so hopefully he will do well. I am very optimistic about the Zaha purchase.

      Javier Hernandez will also be developing his game to a point where he can start games and hopefully he will be given a lot of games to play in. He needs to be allowed to play regularly and not just come off the bench.

      Chicharito is young but Ferguson also needs to be careful not to limit his growth by keeping him on the bench for too long.

      Van Persie will be a year older but sharp as ever. I look forward to see him playing with a more settled Shinji Kagawa.

      Shinji Kagawa will be better adjusted to the English game and hopefully more involved. He is a proper talent and I am very pleased with the options we have in our squad at the moment. Kagawa can finish and he can create chances.

      We have a wealth of attacking options.

      Our attack could look quite awesome next year. How is this for a front 6 experient in a capital one game: Robin van Persie at no.9. Nani on the left flank. Kagawa at no.10 behind van Persie. Wilfred Zaha on the right. Nick Powell and Tom Cleverley in the middle.

      The ball control and passing styles of Kagawa, van Persie, Nani, Zaha, Powell and Cleverley could prove lethal.

      Welbeck needs to learn to shoot next season otherwise. . . I don’t know #sigh#.

      david De gea will be growing better and better as well and won’t have to contend with Sir Alex Ferguson’s rotation policy any more. With a settled berth between the sticks he should flourish.

      Next season could definately be the season we’ve all been waiting for.

      • jos

        7 March 2013 at 11:38

        @The_Philosopher: Mate you’ve started to sound like those liverpool fans: next season is our season.

        theres just lots of ifs and buts there. this season isint over yet. nothing is won yet. we dont know how players are gonna react to CL exit. Fergie himself seems to have gone into depression. we dont know how ommission would have affected rooney who is such a crucial player for us (most crucial I’d say alongwith carrick). we dont know how the red card would have affected nani (though he isint crucial really for our success). it can all very well go down from here. It happened to Arsenal a couple of seasons ago.

        I’d be happy enough if we go and win the league. I think the chelsea game is just too soon. it would take massive efforts from the manager and support staff to pull them and have them play to their potential against chelsea.

        • The_Philosopher

          7 March 2013 at 12:05

          @jos: Yes Aresnal and Liverpool fans always say next season is our season.

          But with me its not an empty detached from reality thing.

          Next season we could very well do the treble.

          I’m talking about winning three major trophies.

          We’re still in line for two major honours this season.

          Arsenal and Liverpool fans say that empty next season line about maybe getting into Europe! Forget winning anything.

        • The_Philosopher

          7 March 2013 at 12:16

          @jos: It happened to Arsenal you say?

          Well there is an easy enough response to that: WE’RE NOT ARSENAL

          And you can bet your bottom dollar we gonna give Chelsea the game of their lives on Sunday.

          Ferguson depressed? Thats impossible. Ferguson skipping the post red card robbery interview was a PR exercise. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to keep his cool when asked to say how he felt about the red card so he decided to let some one else take it.

          He’s not depressed. He’s just seriously angry.

          And Chelsea are shaking in their boots right now because you know full well that Ferguson is going to channel that anger and aggression towards them on Sunday.

          United ALWAYS come back. A wounded United is a formidable thing.

          Depression? Ain’t nobody got time for that at United.

  23. The_Philosopher

    7 March 2013 at 10:58

    With the pain of being knocked out still burning and raw I cast my mind to next season.

    Jose Mourinho will hopefully win the champion’s league. If he does that perhaps he gets to keep his job at Real.

    Ferguson will go for another season after this one. And then maybe even another one.

    Mourinho might have to sit tight for two more years before he can start applying for the United job so hopefully he will keep learning and maturing.

    I used to think that he would be the best manager to lead our club after Sir Alex steps down but I don’t know.

    Sir Alex Ferguson is exceptional at building title winning squad after title winning squad.

    Just look at the batch of new players coming through our ranks right now. Cleverley, Zaha, Jones, Rafael, Evans and Chicharito. Players like these are going to form the nucleus of the next generation of title winning United teams.

    Mourinho has the ability to organise a squad and win a couple trophies. But does he have the fore sight to build a dynasty that will last for generations to come.

    Thats Sir Alex’s greatest strength. His ability to do it again and again. And again.

    Mourinho doesn’t seem to be able to last longer than 3 years at any one club.

    What are your thoughts on the future of the club?

    • ash is the man

      7 March 2013 at 12:08

      @The_Philosopher: if he goes to united he will try to emulate fergie, therefore he will be here for the long term, he knows we are the greatest club in the world

  24. ash is the man

    7 March 2013 at 12:03

    after watching the real game i just hope rvp gets a few games off and please give chico some games, please!!!

    wayne rooney should at this point be our captain and the team should be built around him, however this is not the case and , the end is near for him, it really is such a shame as i can remember his fantastic season up top on his own ( with a mediocre squad ) he proved he was as good as anyone.

    So instead of fergie trusting this boy long term he destroyed his development and messed him about in postions….

    I am a massive rvp fan but its a little unfair on how many people adore him and have forgotton our man rooney. Without rooney this team would not be sitting where we are right now in the league, he is a warrior and the likes of evra gets the armband ahead of him, its sickening…..

    People may look back on the contract issue, but back then i could see he was as much as upset as anyone and all he wanted was what we all wanted…. BETTER players!!!

    IN rooney we trust!!

    • The_Philosopher

      7 March 2013 at 12:25

      @ash is the man: You can say that again. Chicha needs games.

      Lots of them!

      Rooney has not been forgotten. But he has not been allowed a consistent run in the team of late. Which has obviously effected his form.

      I don’t regret buying Robin van Persie. And yes sure he is stealing the limelight at the minute but can you really ignore your clubs top goal scorer?

      • jos

        7 March 2013 at 14:48

        @The_Philosopher: funny thing is – statistically at least rooney is having his best season with us this season! 12 goals and 12 assists so far in 26 games makes for a 0.92 goals+assists per game. This quite matches his 31 goals and 5 assists in 2009-10 for a 0.92 goals+assists per game stats!

        I have a feeling he wont be at united next year. Ian wrote an article about it few days back that many trashed at that time (including me as I thought it was such a silly thought). But now I think it is the Beckham opera one more time! Fergie has shown his real intentions by not starting with Rooney in this game. Now we all can prolly start discussing who will replace rooney as our talisman and where Rooney will go (for those who care)

        • ash is the man

          7 March 2013 at 15:11

          @jos: i care deeply, he should be captain, such shambles, i am very angry

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