Monday, February 16, 2009

Ferguson can do no wrong as United romp to cup victory...

According to Nigel Clough Manchester United could win the lot this season, the former Forest star and Derby manager was speaking to the media after watching the Rams lose 4-1 to the champions as they marched ominously into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Ahead of Sunday's Pride Park cup-tie and with one eye on the midweek clash with Fulham, Fergie took the opportunity to rest several stars including Vidic, Tevez, Scholes, Berbatov and Gary Neville.

Having already secured FIFAs Club World Cup Championship, United are top of the Premier League table, they are through to the Carling Cup final and in the Champions League last 16. If United win their game in hand against Fulham they will be five points ahead of the chasing pack.

The worry for United's rivals is that no matter what team Fergie sends out, they are producing impressive results. Against Derby County, in truth it was all a bit too easy for the visitors. The gulf in class was all too evident; United were far too strong for Clough's team. Ryan Giggs was once again in majestic form, he didn't get his name on the score-sheet, but his passing was sublime and in this match Fergie had decreed that the Welsh wizard should play up front alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

The match was screened live on ITV and on seeing the team-sheet United hero Teddy Sheringham, opined that the Derby County players would take great encouragement because "the United forward line wouldn't be able to make the ball stick". Oh, Teddy, Teddy, how very wrong you were...

As is often the case there was much to admire about United's goals; Nani scored a goal that was a carbon copy of the one Ryan Giggs scored against West Ham; Gibson coolly lashed home a low volley from the edge of the box; Ronaldo scored with a trademark header and Welbeck finished like a veteran with a wicked curling effort late on to seal a comfortable victory. Addison (56 mins) was on target for the Rams to give the score-line a degree of respectability, but it turned out to be a consolation, there was no dramatic comeback on this day.

Fergie recently admitted that he doesn't actually know what his strongest team is; this news came as no great surprise to this particular Red. The United manager has also hinted that this is potentially his strongest squad ever. Such matters are very subjective given how many great teams Fergie has bestowed upon us. Added to which we all have our opinions on greatness - though we the fas are are mere mortals and as such our views count for little, that much is true.

Whatever our collective views on greatness, this squad of players have before them the opportunity to go beyond the magnificence of 1999, when United won that historic treble.

The pursuit of chasing so many honours brings with it added pressure, becuase as the trophies are racked up, so is the pressure.

Whatever happens from here on in, United will not end the season empty handed, they are currently the World Champions and so we the fans can look forward to hopefully lifting the Carling Cup early in March. Before that United have a daunting trip to Inter Milan - if the Red Devils can come away with a good result in Italy then you never know what might happen; one thing is for certain if you support United then your nerve endings will likely be in shreds come the season end...

3 comments:

  1. James the only thing that still gets me is that Nani, however well he scores those sporadic goals, just is NOT united material. His dive, was just a pain to see. Also his passing leaves so much to be desired.

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  2. The Champions League looks exceedingly difficult to win, given the amount of games United have been playing. How often has Ronaldo been rested? Will he be rested against Fulham?

    I would much rather have the Champions League or a better shot at the Champions League, than compete fiercely for the Carling and F.A. Cups, but I'm not english so I suppose I can't appreciate their charm. Every squad Ferguson puts out has an opportunity cost that he would be aware of more than most, let's just hope he gets it right against Inter, and then maybe we can talk about the quintuple (including the Club World Championship).

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  3. I agree with the point about Nani, despite his occasional goals, he's like Diego Forlan - not United material...but worse because he does dive and his passing is dire.

    As for Uday's point about the CL being more important than the domestic cup, here again I agree and what's more Mourinho will have worked out how to beat United. With that said if United can come away with a good result in Italy I think they are more than capable of beating Inter.

    United will need all of their big name players to play well in the San Siro and especially the back four. I see that Adriano scored at the weekend with a debatable header and he could be a big danger to United in the air with Vidic missing.

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