Monday, 27 April 2009

A RATHER SLOW MONDAY, LOOKING AHEAD TO THE CL SEMI!


First and foremost, congs to Ryan Giggs who for the first time in his all conquering career has been named the PFA Player of the Year for the season2008/2009. It was a such a shame that the League's most decorated player had never won it's top accolade. Thankfully, his peers have put that right. That however is not to say that it was an award given out of sentimentality as he has been United's secret weapon in their so far successful title defence. He has re-invented himself this season as our play maker and genius if you like and I must say that even in his hay days, I never bothered so much whether he was in the team or not compared to today. These days, you get a feeling of confidence when you see Giggs starting for us. It's not a surprise therefore that he has played in all our important games this season. The manager knows hos contribution to the team is invaluable. For instance, he left him out of the team all together against Spurs at the weekend, so you can bet your house that he will be starting when United host Arsenal on Wednesday in the CL semis.
The PFA Team of the Year is pretty much a United side. For some reason Rooney misses out but the entire defence including the goalkeeping position is United. Ronaldo, and Giggs complete the rout. Forget all the rubbish the Liverpool pundits utter weekend in weekend out, it's really some feat being recognised by the people you compete against. If the rest of the footballers in the league feel that Giggs and United have been outstanding, then that will do for me because they are the ones who come face to face with these players every week on pitch!
Rafael has signed a contract extension till 2013 which is good news. It's nice to see Fergie planning for futures of players like Rafael. They could be the ones who convince him not to retire as they will be too good to simply hand to another manager. I really hope that all our young lads get to commit their future to United as I think the fourth generation team is just about to be called for duty.
Now, after taking in all that Saturday teatime had to offer, United have a date with one of the world's most attacking teams in Arsenal on Wednesday and the prize for the victors is a place in the final of the Champions League for the second successive year. Now, we all know how hard it is to get to the semis of such a competition let alone the final. United have not really been consistent in the past in this competition but recently, we have made it a habit to reach the last four. The thing is, in such a competition, you never really know when your drought is coming. Look at AC Milan who used to win it as easily as a Carling Cup but did not even qualify for the competition this season. Look at Real Madrid, the record winners of the Cup but have spent close to 8 seasons without reaching just the last 8. United really have to make this opportunity count. Arsenal are by no means anybody's dream opponent, infact, they have already beaten us this season but if getting to the CL Final meant beating Arsenal, any United player would have taken it at the start of the season. Unfortunately for us, our opponents, as I mentioned earlier love to attack. It's the only way they know how to play. United have showed a bit of panic in recent games when the opposition reach their half let alone their penalty box. It's a disease that has spread quite fast in our defence and has consequently led us to conceding unacceptable goals of late. Somebody needs to get to Carrington to tell the lads that it is not a mortal sin to concede goals so defending should be done with a calmness that i we showed mid-season. For the full-backs, there is no shame in getting beaten by your opponent so pushing back when faced with a speedy winger like Lennon or Walcott on Wednesday is only suicide. Rather you time your challenge and try to halt him than giving him the perfect angle to deliver his cross. Hopefully, Patrice and Rafael or O'Shea will get this into their nuts! Meanwhile, there is a small matter of Chelsea and Barca to enjoy watching on Tuesday!

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