Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reds cruise to Celtic win, but concerns grow over Ronaldo and Tevez..

Manchester United took a giant step forward towards the next phase of the Champions League at Old Trafford last night when cruising to a deserved three-nil win over Scottish champions Celtic.

The visitors played some good football at times and had the best scoring chances early on in what turned out to be a decent match, but Celtic were badly inhibited by the loss of key players. However, it was United who dominated possession and the Reds pressure was eventually rewarded with two disputed tap-in goals from new striker Dimitar Berbatov.

Wayne Rooney delivered the coup de grĂ¢ce with another nice finish on 76 minutes to make it nine goals from ten seven games, but for a poor second-half decision by the linesman it would have been ten, but Rooney was adjudged to be offside, in point of fact it was the worst decision of the game by the officials.

It may seem a bit odd to be even suggesting this, given that United cruised to victory over Celtic and are starting to look like a real force again, but all does not look well when you scratch below the surface of selection issues and in particular concerning the future of two big stars names. I refer to Ronaldo and Tevez.

Going into the Celtic match Fergie had announced to the press that Ronaldo would likely be rested. Somewhat bizarrely the United manager reasoned that his former assistant Carlos Queiroz held the view that Ronaldo is not up to playing two games in a week. In his post-match interview Fergie revealed that Ronaldo had read about the decision to rest him in the newspapers, the Portuguese winger immediately asked his manager what he was talking about and demanded that he should play.

Fergie's revelation over this issue raises many questions. Clearly Fergie had not told Ronaldo of his decision to rest him before announcing the news to the media and why exactly did he use his former assistant as an excuse? Surely United's backroom staff know a lot more about Ronaldo's ability to play two games a week rather than the Portuguese who only see him every few weeks?

One cannot but help feel that Ferguson has revealed his not often seen soft-under belly over this Ronaldo selection issue. WE the fans and media hold the view that Ferguson is one tough son of a bitch, he is when the need arises, but he's human too and he finds it very hard to leave out star players, because Fergie's revelation effectively meant that Ronaldo had selected himself to play against Celtic.

We should be applauding the fact that Ronaldo wanted to play, that is if you believe the claptrap about Quieroz, I do not. Here's why.

Fergie has a massive problem to solve; that is how to accommodate all his big star names including Tevez, who isn't getting many games right now. The situation is very unfair on the Argentine, you cannot help but feel that this is partly down to he who shouts at Fergie the loudest as was the case with Ronaldo and presumably Rooney too who was dropped against Bolton recently. No one likes to be left out.

In theory all should be well at United right now, but you would not think so judging by the faces of Ronaldo and Tevez. We all know that Ronaldo will leave United; it's a matter of when and not if. At the same time, United fans will be delighted if we go on to win more silverware and then he is eventually sold, as long as it's not to City and for the right money.

The situation with Carlos Tevez is much more complicated. He has not signed yet and until that happens there must be a chance that a rival will do the right thing by acquiring a truly world class-second striker. Judging by the look on the face of Tevez when he came on against Celtic, he is starting to lose patience with his manager and you can totally understand that.

There is an argument that Tevez should have played more games for United recently, especially if we are going off form, but the team hasn't been selected purely on form of late because if it was Berbatov, despite his tap-ins, wouldn't be in the side.

The downside to Fergie's pecking order is that top players can become disillusioned as could be the case with Tevez.

United fans know and accept that we will eventually lose Ronaldo to Real Madrid, but losing Tevez too would be completely and totally unacceptable given the player really does want to stay if at all possible, at least that is the impression he has conveyed while on the pitch, face like a smacked backside apart.

There is an upside to the current situation as it could be argued that dropping Rooney recently gave him the kick up the derriere that in part led to this sudden goal-rush. Competition for places is no bad thing, as long as it's a fair contest...

Fergie, Fergie sort it out.


  1. “Manchester United Given 2 Goal Head Start at Their Home Ground,” doesn’t sound as Triumphant a Headline does it ?!?!

    “Manchester United bribe Bulgarian referees in order to beat STRIKER-LESS Celitc !!!!” ....

    Celtic have spent £32 million in the last Third of a DECADE, whilst Man.U. spent £32 million on ONE player last month, add 3 dodgy Bulgarians & You’ve got Yourselves a rout ....

    But Celtic AREN’T in HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of pounds worth of debt, whilst Man.U. “ARE” !!!! .... Man.U. have PAID for Their Success, whilst Celtic have WORKED for it & EARNED it .... It’s easy to BUY success, but in the Long term at What price ?!?!

    See You at Celtic Park, where We’ll beat You AGAIN, just like last Year, unless You bring Your “bribed Bulgarians” with You ....

    HAIL HAIL !!!!

  2. Nice one Jim. I have a lot of time for Scottish football fans.

    There's some merit in your comments. We are in debt and it shouldn't have been allowed to happen, but I guess we were always open to the Glazer takeover when we went public on the stock market.

    Celtic put on a decent showing last night.

    You might win on bonfire night, then again you might be burnt alive.

    Don't forget we pretty much outplayed you last time and Saha missed a penalty...


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