The Manchester United Society Watch

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white_haired_wizard
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#8561
Report 11 years ago
#8561
Well, two penalties should have been given, and not just the one. Scrappy game but fast-flowing.

And Boateng is an idiot - particularly for his ridiculous opinion that it wasn't a penalty. I think he was taken off early as there was a good chance he'd get a second yellow, if i'm not mistaken he committed quite a few fouls.
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The_Bear
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#8562
Report 11 years ago
#8562
Well we were a hell of a lot better than against Reading. Unlucky with their first goal, well taken and 90% of the time those a blown well over. The second one was a good cross, poor marking but a very lucky header. Just the right distance from Tomasz to make it impossible to save.

Rooney was crap down the left and phenomenal down the centre. Good game for him though. Ferdinand and Vidic played well against the two boring hold up play strikers that Middlesborough employ and Heinze had a great game. Ronaldo, world's best player frankly. No other player pulls the opposition so far out of formation whilst maintaining a good control over the ball.

I'm not too upset to see Larsson leave, his movement is quality but he lacks pace. I wanted Smudge to get some match practice since Larsson is leaving, and Dong should have been on the bench. The replay is fine, 5 days before the Israel match so a rest for all the non playing internationals.
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Mithun
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#8563
Report 11 years ago
#8563
(Original post by jose)
Another plus - I thought Heinze was looking much much better than in previous games this season.
Heinze had a fantastic game, his best all season.
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Rafa
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#8564
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#8564
KING OF THE WORLD?

On current form Cristiano Ronaldo has few peers and his displays are just reward for his manager’s patience

In December 2005 I had the pleasure of interviewing Cristiano Ronaldo for a book. I say pleasure, but holding the attention of the young Portuguese for an hour proved as tricky as trying to tackle him in mid-stepover. Of course it may well have been the questioning, and because Ronaldo’s English was still doubtful there was also an interpreter present breaking the flow, but Ronaldo spent the second half of our conversation scratching his neck and checking his glittering watch.

One subject focused him. “If you want to be one of the best players in the world - which I want to be - you have to learn all the time,” he said.

Ronaldo felt he had to do two things. “It doesn’t matter what tricks I do, they have to be of use to the team,” was the first. The second: “I have to finish better. If you are a good scorer people will see you in a different dimension. In a couple of years, if I’m scoring more, people will think better of me.” This player once gave the impression of feck-lessness but he knows his game and he has been as good as his word.

Streaks of self-indulgence remain and in players so bent on self-expres-sion they can never be eradicated: witness the last footballing act of Zinedine Zidane. But Ronaldo, beyond dispute, is a team man nowadays and has a fat wallet to bear witness to his scoring. “The manager paid me the bet. He pay, he pay,” Ronaldo laughed on Wednesday, referring to the £400 wagered by Sir Alex Ferguson that he could not get 15 goals this campaign. He has 16 already, player of the year awards in the offing, and the status he craved.

He is one of the best players in the world. The best? Hype is the enemy of modern football, but if the question was “best on current form?” it would be hard to furnish names of those who are playing better.

The old gods now seem false. Watching Ronaldinho at Anfield on Tuesday setting his body beautifully but then spearing a volley into the stand or a sitter against the post, prompted reflections that in the flesh, cartoon grin apart, he is only a bit like he appears in the commercials and computer games.

Thierry Henry is stricken by physical problems and, in terms of playing for Arsenal these days, some argue mental ones too. Zidane, of course, has butted out of football; Ronaldo, the Brazilian one, appears semi-retired, the reputations of Fabio Cannavaro, Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack plummet. Only the ultra-parochial would argue Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, the two Englishmen who finish high in “world’s best” magazine polls, are truly deserving of that status.

Gerrard has the capacity to become one of the elite but still lacks the ability to avoid mundane performances possessed by the greats. The same could be said of Wayne Rooney. Ronaldo, even on off-days, is finding it hard not to be a matchwinner. His tricks and feints were overcooked against Lille, and he has used the ball better, but one searing dribble and perfect cross to Henrik Lars-son decided the game. He stirred from another moderate display to arrow in the free kick leading to John O’Shea’s winner at Liverpool. His late burst of inspiration gave United victory over Fulham the previous week.

Of those performers in world football of a similar class only Kaka, Francesco Totti and Petr Cech have reached such peaks of effectiveness this season. Yet Totti has been flaky on the international stage, particularly in tournaments, where Ronaldo has flourished, and goalkeeping is too narrow a discipline for Cech to be “world No 1 footballer”. If there was an annual order of merit in the sport, in 2006-07 only Kaka, the princely Brazilian, would contend with Ronaldo for top spot. Sir Bobby Charl-ton says Ronaldo “does things I’ve never seen anyone else do”, which is extraordinary praise from a former teammate of George Best’s.

Ronaldinho arrives at Old Trafford in midweek for a charity game. Not long ago that would have caused Ferguson to pine, but now the sequence of events in summer 2003 that saw an £18m move for Ronaldinho evaporate and the manager buy Ronaldo for £12.24m instead seem skewed in United’s favour.

“Maybe there will be a sense of what may have been when Ronaldinho comes here but we know at this club someone else always turns up,” Ferguson said. “We thought we had Paul Gas-coigne and he changed his mind and went to Tottenham so we signed Paul Ince and he was fantastic. Then we tried to get David Hirst and Alan Shearer but got Eric Cantona, and what can you say about that? We thought we had an agreement with Ronaldinho until some events changed the course of history and we got Cristiano. It’s amazing, football.” So is Ferguson. He has shown extraordinary faith in the Portuguese, putting long-term gain before short-term penalties, and been rewarded for his judgment yet again. Handing Ronaldo a first-team berth as an immature newcomer to England of 18 diminished United in some games; siding with Ronaldo in a spat with Ruud van Nistelrooy hastened the Dutchman’s exit.

After the World Cup, when Ronaldo was vilified for his part in England’s exit and craving openly a transfer to Spain, people said Ferguson was mad to keep him. Jose Mourinho did similar when refusing a Didier Drogba transfer request. The twin success stories of the English season are players galvanised by two extraordinary managers.

“I feel I have grown up. I am a man,” said Ronaldo. “It [growing up] is important in my football too. When everything is good I don’t think you grow up fantastically, I think maybe you need a few problems to grow up. It is good if people in England have started to admire me. I think I have changed a little since the World Cup. I am stronger with my mentality and my game as well.” With United facing a striking crisis Ronaldo offered a reminder to Ferguson: “I have played down the middle in Portugal and I like to play there.”

This, incidentally, was after the Lille match on Wednesday, when Ronaldo lingered to give his time generously to waiting reporters - not something all United players, notably their captain, are willing to do. Ronaldo was polite, attentive and answered in the very good English he speaks these days. When it’s your time to be on top of the world you don’t even need to check your watch.

RONALDO'S RIVALS FOR THE CROWN

Ronaldinho

World player of the year in 2004 and 2005, the Brazilian has more ability than any player on earth but he has rarely used it effectively this season

Thierry Henry

Henry has been eclipsed by Ronaldo, and with the United player in talks over a new £120,000-per-week deal it could be Henry who makes a long-predicted move to Spain

Kaka

Elegant, cerebral and subtle, Kaka is just 24 and entering his prime. His glorious goal gave AC Milan victory over Celtic in the Champions League

Petr Cech

Back from a fractured skull with some dubious headgear, he is playing better than ever. No goalkeeper since Peter Schmeichel has proved such a matchwinner on so many occasions

Jonathan Northcroft - The Times
sebas_back
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#8565
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#8565
I'm sick of the talk about that bet. It was mildly funny 2 years ago.
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Rafa
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#8566
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#8566
FA Cup semi-final draw:

Blackburn v Chelsea or Tottenham
Watford v Middlesbrough or Manchester United

Ties will be played the weekend of 14 and 15 April 2007
Ronaldo VII
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#8567
Report 11 years ago
#8567
took me 5 minutes to stop grinning after that draw
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CJ
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#8568
Report 11 years ago
#8568
(Original post by #2(Laika))
FA Cup semi-final draw:

Blackburn v Chelsea or Tottenham
Watford v Middlesbrough or Manchester United

Ties will be played the weekend of 14 and 15 April 2007
Ah i missed the draw...

... but what a draw
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StrangerthanEleven
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#8569
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#8569
If all goes as is expected, could be a man utd/chelsea final....ooohh the excitement!
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Rafa
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#8570
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#8570
(Original post by hayles101)
If all goes as is expected, could be a man utd/chelsea final....ooohh the excitement!
I've got a feeling Spurs will knock Chelsea out.
CJ
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#8571
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#8571
(Original post by #2(Laika))
I've got a feeling Spurs will knock Chelsea out.
;yes; likewise
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StrangerthanEleven
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#8572
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#8572
I get that feelin about the middlesboro game kinda nervy
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CJ
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#8573
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#8573
(Original post by hayles101)
I get that feelin about the middlesboro game kinda nervy
I'm kinda nervy as well, but got to remember it's at home, and Boro will have to take their game to the next level if they want to make the same inpact as they did before.

Still can't wait...
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Hubert Poo
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#8574
Report 11 years ago
#8574
You should still be alright - momentum builds these things. As far as I'm concerned you're only three or four games from the Treble in that sense; there will come a point where you just can't get beaten psychologically. If you have to play Chelsea twice in just five days - at Wembley and in Athens - which is very possible actually, things might be a bit more complicated. But still very possible. And I really envy that excitement, admittedly. But playing you in 2005 at the Cup Final was terrifying all the same, and considering what we've been through this year, I hope we just get a great end to the season with some flowing football.
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Vaza
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#8575
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#8575
Good, no Man U v Chelsea semi-final!
However, the final could be that very match .
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The_Bear
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#8576
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#8576
(Original post by #2(Laika))
I've got a feeling Spurs will knock Chelsea out.
No no no. They'll bottle it like a Scouser on a Friday night.
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AYE
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#8577
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#8577
Yeah I dont see spurs beating chelsea, at all. chelsea would have that edge that they have come back form the dead in the first match.
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WaW™
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#8578
Report 11 years ago
#8578
Chelsea will win and i can really see Utd losing! I would like SAF to play Smudge he should get a chance i also heard that Saha and Solsjaeker should be back for the Blackburn game! I hope Hughes does us a favour and lets us win! loool
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Daveo
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#8579
Report 11 years ago
#8579
Utd vs Chelsea - title decider
Utd vs Chelsea - FA cup final
Utd vs Chelsea - Champs League Final

All potentially within a fortnight of each other :eek:
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Juwel
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#8580
Report 11 years ago
#8580
Apart from the fact that the latter two depend on certain results, the first would probably not prove decisive. But fun to think it will.
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