Saturday, February 27, 2010

Why winning Carling Cup isn't do or die for United...

It has been a rather boring week where United are concerned. West Ham visited Old Trafford on Tuesday and were sent packing back to London on their private jet (so much for no money) with what they deserved, precisely nothing. It was a thoroughly yawnful affair; the only bright spot was the goals; two from Rooney and one for second half substitute, Michael Owen. As a contest, the West Ham game isn't really worthy of further comment, the Hammers were that bad.

Next up, United face Aston Villa at Wembley in Sunday's Carling Cup final. The much maligned competition might well be United's best chance of winning silverware in what is turning into a very up and down season. Nonetheless, the Carling Cup isn't the manager's number one priority; it pales into insignificance with the prestige of winning either the Premier League or the FA Cup - the daddy of all competitions is of course the Champions League.

However, ahead of the two semi-final legs with Manchester City, the fans' wanted to secure a final place at any cost; we simply had to stop City winning a trophy, because they would in all probability have won the final. In the end and to the relief of the Red Army, the champions put City in their place. Since then the fortunes of both Manchester clubs have gone in very different directions; City have slumped badly and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Stoke City. In contrast, United are doing well on all fronts (aside from our dreadful performance in the FA Cup against the Neanderthals' from Leeds); we secured our first win against Milan in the intimidating San Siro and despite losing at Everton in the league, we are within touching distance of the leaders Chelsea.

Whatever the result is at Wembley on Sunday it will not be a disaster; in the context of the season so far; losing Rooney due to serious injury would truly be a major setback; quite simply because United have become over-reliant on one player. It really shouldn't be like this, but it is. In the pre-match build up Ferguson has strongly hinted Rooney might be rested and you can understand that decision if it comes about.

In other news this week, Anderson has been ruled out for the season; sadly the Brazilian's absence will be no great loss which says much about the player's lack of progress this season.

Edwin van der Sar signed a new contract and again this says a lot about Ferguson's current goalkeeping options. The Dutch stopper has been the pick of the bunch despite some questionable performances.

It is be hoped the manager spends some of the transfer funds he claims he access to when the window opens, but instead all we are reading about right now is talk of a summer clear-out with the likes of Michael Owen and Anderson reportedly ear-marked for the exit door.

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