I took an impromptu leave from this site at the start of the weekend for reasons best known to help my dad complete the 'first leg' of his two-week marriage ceremony.

That was immediately after the Audi Cuo final in which United were baten on penalties by Bayern Munich. For starters, it is never likely that any side in the world--let alone an English side, can beat a German team in a penalty shoot-out. Germans, they say, don't miss! No wonder that their National team has only lost one penalty shoot-out in their history!

Anyhow, save for the first half, we could have won the match in the second half. Our best chances fell to Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and to a less extent Berbatov (he made his first half chance on his own out of the blue).

It's not pften to see EVDS beatenfrom the spot 7 times in quick succession but that's how good the Germans were. He did all he could to put off the Bayern players but they all seemed to have been there and done it several times before.

The game marked the end of our pre-season away from Manchester. It was a rather successful pre-season in my eyes as we made some good cash in Asia and then participated in what Audi successfully in making glamorous in Munich. As well as a few unoficial trophies, we must have made some new friends especially in the Far East.

United's next and last unofficial match before we get to business is the home clash with Valencia. It certainly will give our players a lot of what to expectfrom Europe next season.

More on that game later.

In my absence, I heard a rumour that the club were preparing to line up a bid for Frank Ribery of Bayern in two weeks time in the hope of exploiting a clause in his contract that will be active in a fortnight. Now I've alrady given my opinion on players who come to United with no intention of staying for the long-term but if he does want United, then we're in business as far as Europe is concerned. Right now, our squad can only successfully challenge domestically.