Sunday, 31 May 2009

UNITED SHOULD BE PROUD OF THEIR SEASON!


After taking off a week to suck in the pain, I'm back. The Champions League final was not a memorable occasion for anybody who is deeply attached to Manchester United. Barcelona played better than us and were deserved winners of the European crown. There are not many occasions when a United fan can argue that the opposition was better, but last week I was one of those who accepted defeat graciously. Congratulations to all those who are associated with Barca as they are indeed the club of the year!
BUT, there are one or two ABUs who seem to have taken United's defeat to another level! Such people claim that Barca showed how awful a football side United are and kind of used the defeat to try and bury the rest of United's achievements this past season! The thing is that United has had the best season in the country--a country that also harbours the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal! Infact, I don't think I'm wide off the mark when I say that we have have had the most successful season in Europe! According to my estimation, I see only Barca as the team that has had more success than us this year! That just makes 2009 as one of the more successful seasons we have had at the club. A treble of the League, Carling Cup and the World Club Cup is no mean feat! I find it hard to comprehend where those 'haters' are reasoning from because these are fans of Newcastle, Liverpool, Arsenal, City, etc--clubs that have gone a few good seasons without tasting the kind of success that is only minimum requirement at OT!
If United fans really want to know how much they have achieved this season, then they should stay alert about open bus celebrations of teams that have won a trophy this season and then compare with their cabinet this year.
As a United fan, it was gutting to lose the final on Wednesday but that did not mean a poor season at all in my understanding. We are clearly the best team in England, and reaching the final of the Champions League twice in two seasons does make us a team to be reckoned with!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

OUR FOURTH SHOT AT THE ULTIMATE VICTORY!--BARCELONA VS MAN UNITED, THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PREVIEW!




If ever there was a time to be a United fan, this period will rank high amongest those times. A second consecutive League and European double is too much to ask for a team even of United's high standards. That we will not have a victory bus parade after the season unless we win tonight's final is an indicator of how much we United fans have been spoiled as far as success is concerned. In my book, we have already won a treble this season of Carling Cup, World Club Cup and the League so that is by no means a poor season. The fact that we are also going to contest the Champions League final against what many believehas been the best football club side this year tells you a lot about how much effort United have put in this year. I mean this season was right on the back of a very tiring campaign that was in many ways as draining as the one that saw us win the treble in '99. I for one would have been pleased with just the league this year but given our greed as United fans, every victory in the Champions League led me to belive that we could actually do the 'mission impossible'. So here we are now, 90 minutes away from ensuring that the club cements it's status as the best of this generation in the whole world.
The fact is that for the first time in quite a while, I think United are going into a final where they are not out-right favourites. Barcelona has scored more than 140 goals this season which is as good for a club as it can get. They have floored most of their opponents this season without even breaking sweat so it's not the ideal final for one who has any sort of heart problems. It will therefore no be the kind of game we are used to seeing United play. And hell, we could even go a goal or two down in the match but if there is one team in the world that will never quit when all looks bleak, it's United. It's why I love the club more than anyone could ever imagine. I know that regardless of the team that Sir Alex puts out tonight, the players will give their all not just for Darren Fletcher, not just for the fans, not just for Sir Bobby and Sir Alex, but also for the memory of Sir Matt Busby who planted the Legend of Manchester United! It's 100 years since the father of this club was born and hopefully, that milestone will be marked in the most memorable way! I don't have to go into the team news and all the record stats that are there for the taking because the press has done justice to that, but I regardless of the outcome tonight, United has for me, doen enough already this season for us to celebrate another successful campaign! Glory Glory Man United!

Monday, 25 May 2009

UNITED CLOSE SEASON WITH A 90 POINT SCREAMER!---HULL CITY VS MAN UNITED REVIEW!


If anybody watched our first game of the season, you'd think that United was going to struggle to keep their title (fair) but you'd also think that Newcastle were good enough for a place in Europe! Such was the hype about their performance in the press that August that one would under look the fact that United started the season way under-strength due to injuries and suspensions. Roll on to May and we have won the title with game spare whilst our supposed better opponents that day are relegated to the second tier of English football--it's amazing how long a season can be!
Anyhow, United, albeit with a junior team went on to record a victory on the last day of the season against a Hull City side that was desperate to stay up. Let me just say that I was pleased for them that they stayed because I have nothing against them. Unfortunately you cannot say the same for Newcastle and Boro. After spending all week moaning about the side that Sir Alex would put out, they go and display football of Championship level. It almost seems like Alan Shearer forgot about the class of his opponents in Aston Villa! So United go and do he job for them the other side and they cannot do theirs--which was simply to score a goal! Pathetic!
Now, it was a very well taken goal from Gibson and I thought that the entire team did well enough--it certainly was not our worst performance of the season, so well done lads. I still think that Nani should stick to what he can do better instead of trying to be like Ronaldo-- the lad can create and can run at defenders with his pace so no need to score if you can assist!
We're now off to Rome for the Champions League final--a preview that I'll make in 2 days time!
What I could give for a victory!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

ROUNDING OFF THE SEASON WITH FUTURE OT STARS!---HULL CITY VS MAN UNITED REVIEW!


Forget the crap being said all around England about a weakened team to face Hull, Manchester United I reckon have the strongest brand of teenagers in the Premier League. There is every chance that the team that started the FA Cup semi against Everton can hand Hull a thrashing in the league. So it won't be a 'weakened' team as many will call it.
When the league fixtures for this campaign were made, I looked at this fixture with some of my mates from Hull and they were glad that they could actually witness the crowning of the league Champions on their own turf. I thought so too, but apparently, United has wrapped up the league title already and so this game has turned from the attention being on United to Hull. The little buddies of mine probably did not think that their team would be needing to win this fixture to stay in the top division. Luckily for them, United is not going to have to win this game to win the league. It could have been doomsday already for them. Having said that, no United team walks out of the dressing room with any intentions other than to win so it still could be doom for them. Whatever team Fergie sends out will not be easy to beat. United should have Wes Brown, Darren Fletcher and possibly Rio Ferdinand in the team. I think Kuszack(sp) deserves a starting berth. The attacking trio of Welbeck, Macheda and Gibson should give Hull one or two things to think about!
Let me just add that I will be glad if Hull remained up. I think that they play attacking football--which is why they are where they are. they are a good example to inferior teams that go to tough stadiums and 'park the bus'. Hull went to the Emirates and won--a feat that United had not yet achieved at the time and then also came to OT and scored three goals! How many promoted clubs can do that? They really are a Premiership club in my eyes.
Anyhow, I personally cannot wait for this game to be done away with as there is a special evening of nerve wracking entertainment awaiting us on Wednesday. I think I better go see my doctor before the inevitable cardiac arrest!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

POST-TITLE PARTY NOTES AND A LOOK AHEAD TO ROME!




It's been a busy week for me so I have kind of compromised the blog a bit. It's gutting for me, because these are historical times for Manchester United so one does not want to miss any part of it.

Anyhow, United claimed a record equalling 18th league title on Saturday and attention now quickly turns to the Champions League final next week.

Firstly, congratulations go to Nemanja Vidic for winning the Player of the Year award voted for by United players and fans. He is worthy of every award in my book and I must add did win as far as the poll on this blog is concerned. Vidic is the main reason as to why we are where we are. Forget the red-cards he got against Liverpool, this guy is the real deal and has, in my book, filled the hole left by Jaap Stam! Well done Vida and long may that form continue. The other player I thought did well was Fletcher who re-defined his image in my eyes. At one point I never thought that we would miss Fletcher for a game as big as the one on Wednesday but I have to admit, he will be missed! He is the reason as to why the games against Inter and Arsenal looked easy. An honourable mention goes to John O'Shea who even though has been found wanting at times this season has been the foundation of our ambitions this season. He is one of the few players who have played almost every vital game for United this season and yet most of the time, he has had to fill in for injured players in all sorts of positions. To show how much I have grown as far as faith in the lad is concerned, I would recommend that he starts in our big game on Wednesday. John is a mixture of strength and experience in our defence so why not him!

Then there is the issue of Tevez. If Ronaldo gave us what to think and write about last summer, I can bet that Tevez will give us just that this summer. The press have already made a big deal of a story that should sell for them in the summer.
For now, though, United need to focus on the big final as it's the only thing that really should matter.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

CHAMPIONS AGAIN!-- THE TITLE PARTY!




And you say you have no wallpaper....
























So it was a cautious match and in the end we had to settle for a rare goalless draw at OT. We still have a game spare and yet we have already reached the maximum number of pints we got last season. Add to that the fact that we have dropped two more points at home than we did last last season and you get the feeling that we have actually done better on away games this term! It's quite a good statistic that only Fulham beat us among the teams outside the top 4! I never enjoyed dropping points to the likes of West Ham, Bolton and Man City as they are all easy prey for a team with United's quality. Rather be beaten by our direct rivals whose quality can be appreciated. The defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal were gutting but I had it in mind that there are more 'small' sides than big sides in the league so in the end we would get more points than the likes of Liverpool who beat almost all their rivals but failed miserably against weaker sides! The Premier League trophy is given to the most consistent side over 38 games and that is the only 'fact' that matters! Enjoy the gallery courtesy of the Official Website!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

18 AND NOT OUT!---THE MATCH REVIEW!

I'm not going to waste time stating the obvious but the best thing about today was the comment Fergie gave the press just after the final whistle--United will be going for the title agan next season! I mean that is what Manchester United is about! Personally I can't wait for the next season!
Now United were probably too nervous to get most things right about their game as they palyed out a goalless draw with Arseanl at OT today. I think there were about 10 highlights in total duringt the match which says a lot about it. In the end we held on for the point we needed to register our 18th League title! Thank God I support and Love this club! More to follow after the official celebration party! I'm off now!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

CHAMPIONS IN WAITING!---WIGAN VS MAN UNITED REVIEW!


Man United did put on an exhibition of wasteful finishing in the first half yesterday but thankfully, the team came good in the second period to deserve a 1-2 victory in the game in hand we have longed for almost all season. To be fair to the lads, the pitch was, more of a greasy surface than anything else. Funny though that it was the United players that were slipping more compared to he Wigan players. Anyhow, Rooney and Carrick were guilty of missing easy chances in the first period. Ronaldo did not come with his shooting boots, so It was all gloom when Wigan took the lead. It took a substitution to spark United. Tevez came on and immediately showed why we need him. He got the equaliser in rather brilliant fashion and kept hurrying the Wigan defence. Carrick got the winner five minutes from time--arguably his most important goal for United. That was that! United had got the points and now we can safely assert that United will be champions again. How sweet it will be if we win the title infront of our fans on Saturday so that we can prepare for Barcelona! Let me just add that it's sweet to be Champions an long may it continue!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

FOUR MORE POINTS AND WE'RE THERE!

Due to dertain commitments I could not make a reveiw for the derby in time. However, let me just say we were perfect in the first half and then I don't know what happened in the second. The important thing though is that United did get the three points and so we march on as far as winning the league is concerned.
Now there are one or two big issues to discuss about United as we close our season. The first is will Fergie sign up Tevez especially after what he showed on Sunday and then will Ronaldo be a United player next season. If he will, then what do you make of his reaction at being substituted. The boy certainly needs one or two lessons from Fergie--otherwise, he will fade so much that his talent will be hard to see.
It's Wign tomorrow at the JJB! The scene of our league triumph last year and in many ways this year as well. Victory would almost certainly mean that we win the title at home on Saturday. I hope the lads are up for it, coz I literally have my champagne on ice! We'll be singing Glory Glory Man United all the Way till Rome!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

AND THEN CAME THE DERBY---MAN UNITED VS MAN CITY PREVIEW!




Manchester United will play Barcelona on May 27 in the Champions League final but before then, we'll hope to be English Champions. It's not so much of a big ask as we are in pole position as far as the title is concerned but City are the fist of four clubs that could still ruin our end of season party. Last season, the Bitters did the double over us and even though we've already beaten them away from home this season, United should be a ware that this is one of those few teams that know how to pick us. City have never failed to beat a below-bar United side so hopefully, the lads will be up for it. This game comes after Liverpool's game at West Ham so we could again be second by the time we kick-off. It will be great if United give Liverpool no more hope as I feel we should have won this title ages ago if it was not for what happened to us in March. United have their game in hand coming up in mid-week so it would be a real blow to the Dippers if we're heading into the Arsenal game 6 points ahead of them. Unfortunately for United, Wes Brown looks to have been ruled out for the rest of the season. Thank goodness that is one area where we have more than enough cover. I expect only a few changes to the team that beat Arsenal at the Emirates so nothing major should change as far as the team is concerned. Tevez looks the freshest player we have so hopefully he'll start. After suffering the double last season, nothing will please United fans more than completing the double over our bitter rivals. Having said that, United players must keep in ind that City will want nothing more than to dent our title challenge. We must be as ruthless as we've been this past month and equally mean in defence.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

BARCA IT IS THEN!


As far as justice is concerned, Chelsea were unjustly denied a place in the Champions League final by a referee who was never going to give the Blues a penalty unless a Barca player shot a Chelsea player. In the end though,, i was a case of Prison Break! Barcelona played poorly throughout the match and it was their first shot on target that got them the all important away goal. For United, it's now a case of planning for a Barcelona team that will surely be much better than yesterday. If Sir Alex was watching, then he should have realised the tactics used by Chelsea to nullify the threat of Barcelona's star players. The final will be a repeat of last year's epic semi and a chance for Barca to revenge. It's not a two-legged tie so you would expect that both teams will play to their full potential and what a game we shall have to savour!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

FLETCH TO MISS FINAL--GUTTING!


Well apparently UEFA have no powers to overturn the red card suffered by Fletcher yesterday so we'll have to do it Rome without him but for him! The rules state that only when it's a case of mistaken identity can an appeal be heard. The lad has been outstanding for us this term so it's really not fair that he will sit out the final. It is such games that players dream of and that's why Patrice claims that he told the manager to take him off if we score the third goal. It's a funny trend this for United. In '99 Scholes and Keane missed the final because of suspension, last year, Park missed being selected for the fianal after featuring prominently on our journey to Moscow and now Fletcher will miss this years' final after helping us get there! Gutting!

FULL SPEED AHEAD TO ROME!---ARSENAL VS MAN UNITED REVIEW!


Well! Well! Well! What do you know? Football is a hell of a bloody game! So Manchester United go to the Emirates Stadium looking for a clean-sheet or an away goal to take them to the final and they end up with more than they bargained for--a resounding victory against the Arsenal in less than ten minutes. I mean let's be logical here---a 0-2 lead after ten minutes meant that Arsenal needed four goals to win the aggregate tie, and in all honesty how many Arsenal fans still believed they would be on the next flight to Rome after that? United, quite simply, have not looked back since that turn around in the recent home game against Spurs when they overturned a 0-3 deficit to win 5-2! That is why the games against Arsenal have been walks in the park as well as our victory at the Riverside last Saturday. There is something about United that had not seemed right all season but it seems our lads have woken up just in time for tea! You cannot describe the scenes at the Red Cafe when Prk scored the all important first goal for United. I mean before we had even tested Almunia, we had already got what we came for--an away goal that was effectively the sucker punch! The free-kick from Ronaldo cost me my spects as somebody next to me could not help but use his arms in the name of getting some elevation to celebrate. At the start of the game, the noise inside the stadium was threatening, to say the least, but after Ronaldo sealed the tie with that 40 yard pile-driver, you could literally hear a pin drop in all but one tiny corner of United fans! The saddest thing for the Arsenal faithful was that they were already out of the tie with 77 minutes left to play. On a day when the world tuned in to see a game packed with Drama and entertainment, United quickly re-wrote the script and turned it into a procession to Rome. The third goal defined Manchester United--so if here are any of you who want to know what United is about, take a look at Ronaldo's second and United's third! It was sumptuous! Enthralling! Exhilarating! Entertaining!
It all means for the second consecutive year, Sir Alex will take his seat at Stamford Bridge waiting to find out who United will take on in the Champions League Final on May 27th.
The only sour on the night was the red-card wrongly given to Fletcher for a foul on Fabregas. I thought he got the ball first and I hope the ref sees into that. It will be harsh for him to miss out on the occasion altogether after helping us get this far!
Anyhow, what United need now is one last stride of concentration in the league. The final is weeks away. If we win our next two league games, we'll surely be Champions again. The Dippers really believe that City and Wigan then Arsenal will down us so I think it's time to finally put any doubts about the league to rest. The earlier we get the job done in the league, the better chance we shall have of being prepared for the CL final. This season, we have the CL fianl before the FA Cup final so the game will come immediately the league season closes. Barcelona have already wrapped up their league and Chelsea have nothing else to play for (forget the FA Cup) so it's us who'll need to do our job in time to get equal rest. If we get the job done in the league before we play Hull, it will be game on in the eternal city come May 27th!

Monday, 4 May 2009

THE SECOND LEG! CAN UNITED DO IT?---ARSENAL VS MAN UNITED--THE CL SEMI PREVIEW!


My! My! My! What an evening of entertainment awaits us in a few hours' time. Manchester United against Arsenal has never been bigger than this! United travel to the Emirates Stadium today in search of a result that will take them to their second consecutive Champions League final--not many teams have achieved that! After the stroll in the Park our lads enjoyed at the weekend, Manchester United players will be fooling themselves if they think that today's game will be as easy as the one on Saturday. Having said that, we have the ability to make the game very easy for ourselves--and that is to score first!
United will feel that they should have left OT last week with at least a 2 goal advantage as they really had the Gunners on the ropes. Manuel Almunia so to it that United will once again have to do things the hard way to achieve something.
The slender lead that we boast of tonight will only count for as long as we do not concede. It's therefore good news that United's possible captain of the night Rio Ferdinand has been passed fit following his injury in the reverse fixture last week. Rio and Vida need to be at their best if we are to shut out a team that only plays football to attack. The threat of Robin Van Persie should be a problem to our very own Patrice but hopefully, he'll deal with it! United have Wayne Rooney, Evra and Tevez a yellow card away from missing the final so besides the scoreline, you hope that Wayne will do something extra-ordinary--stay the entire 90 minutes of a heated match without a booking. It means that simple things like throwing the ball back where a free-kick is to be taken should be avoided. Evra is a defender, so more often than not, he will be involved in tackles. Hopefully, none of them is as badly timed as the one he had on Gerrard in the box on March 14.
Sir Alex has an almost full strength squad to choose from so hopefully, he picks the right team. I don't know who of Berbatov or Tevez he will start but I'd like to see him start Tevez as he will offer he Arsenal defence something to think about whilst Berba will solely concentrate on link-up play. Anderson must start as well as Carrick and Fletcher. I think the rest of the team pretty much picks itself. Throughout the season many have talked about the prospect of United wining all trophies. At this stage, it won't be as hurting for me if we lose in the final. United have for so long got beaten at this stage by inferior opposition and I think Arsenal is not too difficult a game for us especially when we start the match a goal and a half ahead. Chelsea and Barcelona can on their days beat us but if we drop at this stage, it will be gutting to say the least! We've beaten some good sides already to get this far. Arsenal have only met Porto and Villarreal as their strongest opponents. So Come On United!
Before I pen off, there these records that Arsenal have not conceded a goal in Europe at the Emirates this season but United are good at firsts! It's a case of fingers crossed and about BELIEF!

7 POINTS AWAY---MIDDLESBROUGH VS MAN UNITED REVIEW!


Belated review, but what a win for United on Saturday lunchtime! (I made sure to mention lunch time because it was our first win this season in a 12.45 kick-off. Ryan Giggs ended a perfect week in his career with an important sweetly taken goal that won him one or two more admirers as far as winning this years' PFA award is concerned. I thought Fergie would leave him out for Arsenal but good enough he played him as well as Scholes. I think this game was more important than Tuesday's fixture. I mean we are going to the Emirates a goal up whilst Boro is an annually difficult game for us. Even though we rested quite a few good men for Tuesday, it was nice to see Berba, Tevez, Rooney, Vidic and Evra on the pitch. The performance was a notch lower than what we saw on Wednesday at home but we kept the ball much better than we have been doing all season. I'd like to think that United have turned a corner here as I've been lately impressed with our defending and the ability to nullify the threat posed by the opposition. If anything, this is the perfect time for the Real United to stand up. Liverpool did win their game on Sunday--that's largely because their team would have ended it's season already if the league was played over 30 games. I reckon that they'll win all their games but the good news is that United do not even have to win all their games to win the title. A maximum of seven points from twelve will see us crowned Champions again. It's a small matter of negotiating past City and Wigan and seeing out the Arsenal game at OT without defeat. What will help us though is if we avoid the complacency that gripped us towards the end of last season. I know United hate doing things the easy way so we could well see this title race go to the last day at the last minute but for once we could appreciate it if we win this league with a few games to spare. It could help us prepare for the CL final if we get there. Speaking of doing things the hard way, United could have played Sir Alex and Phil in the team on Tuesday if we had taken all our chances against Arsenal on Tuesday. Now we have to make do with biting our finger nails to stumps!

Friday, 1 May 2009

CHANCE TO GO SIX POINTS CLEAR!---MIDDLESBROUGH VS MAN UNITED PREVIEW!


After successfully completing our third home game in a week, Manchester United take to the road to Middlesbrough where they have traditionally had difficult games. If you ask me, this is not the perfect time to make such a journey, and whilst Fergie will rotate his squad with Tuesday in mind, this game could prove to be the one that ruins our season for us. The thing is, Middlesbrough have always loved giving Manchester United nightmares at the Riverside, but Saturday's fixture is not just about getting another over United, it is the first of four bids to stay in this division next season. Gareth Southgate's men are struggling in the relegation zone and their manager feels that they have to take points off one of the big boys one more time if they are to stay up. Well they failed to get anything from the Emirates last weekend, so you feel that he had this game in mind as the best possible chance to nick priceless points. It's not that United are a team that one can mark as fodder, but there is something about the Riverside that United rarely get right. Boro have rarely been a problem at OT but they seem to up the tempo a lot when they are home. Also, there is something about their fans sitting out most of their home games but filling the stadium when United visit. It's just a case of one of those clubs that loves to beat United.
So it's kind of worrying when you hear Sir Alex saying that he will make wholesale changes to the team on Saturday. I understand his move but you cannot completely put the vital members of the squad out of the picture here. This game is as important to United as any has been this season. Any fan can understand if we lost the Champions League this season but I doubt any will if Liverpool pip us to the title. We have three crucial league games that could win us the title regardless what Arsenal does to us on the 16th of May. Beat Boro, City and Wigan and the title is all but ours! Any slip up tomorrow might as well damage any plans for Tuesday. I think United played like that on Wednesday against Arsenal because of the second-half performance against Spurs. In other words, sometimes, you best prepare for mid-week games by winning your weekend games. It's a case of keeping the momentum going. It's quite a while since United got more than a three point lead at the summit. Since the defeat to Liverpool, they have been so close to us that it's disgusting. Saturday is our chance to put clear daylight between us and themselves at least for 24 hours. It will be a psychological blow to them nonetheless.
Team news; United will not have Ferdinand after injuring his rib against Arsenal in mid-week but he will start on Tuesday. Wes Brown will play a part on Saturday so Rafael could start whilst I think the likes of Nani and Park will play. Tevez could start and so could Scholes. It's best the rest of the team remains the same. Don't know if anybody else has noticed but we have dropped points in all early kick-off games this season. Fingers crossed!