Thoughts On The Champions League Final

That was a game worthy of a final. I was worried it might turn into a tight encounter with both teams adopting a very cautious approach, Barca with the ball and United without it, but thankfully that didn’t come to pass.

Ferguson’s tactics were, in my opinion, the reason this tie was such an open encounter and also for it to be a completely one-sided final. United had moments when they pressed Barca but that was really nothing more than some pesky disruptions to the otherwise predictable pattern of the game. The English side also got a goal but it seemed more down to basic mistakes in defending, especially by Busquets. United rarely threatened the Barcelona goal otherwise, those counting Arsenal’s shot on target might want to note that considering this wasn’t even at the Camp Nou.

I was really surprised to see Hernandez in the starting line-up. The Mexican has been an excellent goal-scorer for United in his opening season but he is also a very limited player who doesn’t often makes a meaningful contribution outside the box or in possession. Chicarito is a finisher, and a very good one, but in such a game did the United manager really expect him to get a chance? That too with Giggs, Carrick, and Rooney playing in midfield?

Frankly, I never expected Ferguson to go against the single biggest strength his team has – organization and hard work.  Not that they completely abandoned it, for large parts of this game United did put up a good defensive performance – I’ll talk about it later in the post – but the team selection and approach meant that there were always going to be moments when they struggled. The second half should have been one where the English side grew in strength but it proved to be one where they fell apart.

Normally, Manchester United defend in numbers and against Arsenal they’ve often played with three defensive midfielders and Park. In this game they had Rooney and Giggs in the middle. That meant more work for Park and Valencia on the flanks but it also meant that the cover in front of the back four was going to break on a regular basis.

The first goal was the result of exactly that. Xavi got in behind the midfielders and that meant the defenders had to worry about the man on the ball and the attacking players. If we notice the way Vidic moves – initially he gets sucked towards the centre because he has to provide cover for Ferdinand and then he tries to run back across to close Pedro down – we can see that even the best defenders struggle when they have to deal with two attacking players. This is a problem Arsenal defenders face on a regular basis. Manchester United normally have enough midfield players to help the defenders in that area just outside the penalty box.

For the second goal too Messi was able to get in between the lines and the midfielder, I think it was Park, stopped chasing him. Again, it’s a problem we see repeated quite often by the Arsenal midfield. Some might expect the central defenders to step up and close him down but if you watch the whole game closely, Vidic and Ferdinand rarely stepped up when a player was running at them with the ball. They maintained their shape and kept an eye for runs into the box. This allowed them to make a number of excellent tackles inside the box. At United the job of closing the runners is down to the midfield. This is an aspect that Arsenal have to incorporate in their game with better efficiency.

Another aspect that the Gunners can learn is that playing offside just outside your own box is a very risky proposition. The most recent example in my memory is the second goal Bent scored at the Emirates when Sagna tried to step up at the last moment. In this game we saw the United defenders tracking the runs and staying goal-side of the attacker. It wasn’t enough but it did prevent Van der Saar from being exposed in one-v-one situations.

Playing off-side is not a poor strategy as Stewart Robson would have us believe. Barcelona showed what an excellent weapon it can be for an attacking team.

This game showed us that a team can have defenders like Vidic and Ferdinand with a goalkeeper like Van der Saar behind them but, if the midfield doesn’t do its job as required, even top quality players can’t prevent the opposition from scoring. As usual, this isn’t a black and white issue. The fault doesn’t lie solely with the midfield or with the defenders. There are eleven players on the pitch and each has a role to play. A mistake by one can lead to a chain of events that ends up in a goal. On other occasions someone else covers for that mistake and it goes unnoticed. The odds of conceding a goal are directly proportional to the number of mistakes a team makes because the defenders will falter at some point if they’re overworked.

Ferguson’s side didn’t have a strong defensive midfield in this game and that meant the defenders had a lot more work. Eventually, they had to crack.

As I wrote this piece I realized it is not often that one can say Ferguson got his tactics wrong. This should not be interpreted as a claim that I know better but it does tell us how difficult the job is and how simple it can appear to be with the benefit of hindsight. I am pretty sure if someone scans through the United fan forums, there will be questions about the presence of Anderson, Gibson, et al in the squad. Some fans will be making statements like, “Buying a good defensive midfielder would have won us the game” and so on. I understand that’s how some fans are. There are also those who can take some distance and look at the bigger picture with all its complexities and nuances. That even makes us appreciate the mistakes because we can see why they were made and just how fine the line between the right decisions and the wrong ones can be.

On the whole, despite my feelings, I must congratulate both the teams. There were a lot of quality moments in the game, offensively and defensively. I will try to cover some of those using the snapshot analysis.


53 Responses to Thoughts On The Champions League Final

  1. Waleed says:

    I agree that Ferguson’s tactics cost them the game.
    I said before the game that United would find it hard if Hernandez started and so it proved.
    I can understand why Ferguson decided to stick with their usually approach but I think they needed to change for this game.
    For me Rooney would’ve started as the lone forward, playing as a false nine, a role he plays very well.

    But the biggest problem United have is in midfield. They don’t have any good dynamic midfielders. Scholes, Giggs, Carrick are good passers but they are too slow to deal with high tempo passing.
    So I really don’t know what I’d have done in that area.
    I think Ferguson has been lacking tactically this season and its mostly because he doesn’t have the right players to play the way he wants.

    ANd I think NOT playing an offside trap is what hurt United more. They couldn’t have pressed higher up being outnumbered in midfield but if they had gone with a truer 4-5-1 and match Barca in midfield and THEN pressed a little bit higher that would have been better.

    As it stood, United’s defence played too deep and allowed far too much space to the Barca attackers at the edge of the box.

    What Arsenal did to beat barcelona was play a relatively high line so squeeze space which didn’t allow Messi space to run in or shoot.

    The risk with that is that you are exposed to 1 v 1 chances but that is a risk you have to take.

    But again I can understand why they didn’t adopt that approach for this game – it’s something alien to them and they wouldn’t have done it well probably.

    I think Ferguson gave them their best chance but the team’s glaring weaknesses were really exposed. Fact is, this united team didn’t deserve to play in this final.

    • venky says:

      spot on mate,to add, this is a shit manu team which gets a lot of support from English refrees otherwise they wouldn’t have won so many titles. Sometimes that makes me think that EPL is a scam.Even in the final valencia must have been sent off but thats not to say that the refree was biased,but generally English refrees do support them a lot.
      I was so happy that they lost but on the other hand disappointed that Barca didnt score atleast 5 to throw egg of Fergie’s face for falsely bigging up his team before the final when truly even he knew that was not the truth.
      “FINAL OF THE DECADE” lol.
      By the way didnt you gooners enjoy Fergie twitching his fingers in anxiety somewhere around 70-80 minutes of the game and that I guess was because of the fact that he was worried how many Barca put blast past Vander Saar?, not because whether manure could win or not?

      • Samuel says:

        The game was played at Wembley not old trafford and the referee wasn,t English,meani
        ng old red nose couldn,t influence the ref in
        any way or pass envelopes to the ref,s change room at halftime ?

      • Claver says:

        I totally agree. ManU taking the title has confirmed my own opinion regarding English football.

        It is obvious to anyone that ManU were thoroughly outclassed, outeverythinged. Outed.

        Anyone with half a decent passion for football as a game knows this. Moreover, that this is the second time in 2yrs that MaNu have embarrassed themselves and afforded everyone a glimpse under those pretty skirts yet again.

        Anyway, you can always make money on them I suppose.

        Desi, Ferguson had no clue how to beat Barca, let alone compete! He tried to imitate Wenger but obviously his players just aren’t as skilfull.

        I am not holding out hope that some tough nuts out there will appreciate Wenger’s managerial superiority over Ferguson – particularly in dealing with Barca.

        So, how did Arsenal beat Barca?

        This present Barca has never won at the Emirates against Arsenal.

    • Ash says:

      Good comment but disagree about offside theory. Arsenal may have adopted a high line approach but if I recall barca had numerous one on one opportunities as a result if that ploy and it was only poor finishing that prevented them from scoring. Man united dud the right thing but lacked a Claude makalele or a mikel to sit infront of defence to stop xavi and messi getting in between the lines

      • santori says:

        I was very impressed with Marscherano playing CBack. What’s he 5’7?

      • santori says:

        Why do we need Chris Samba again?

      • Kushagra India says:

        Santori
        Barca’s game is suited to play in La Liga and UCL and secondly their pressing system is second to none thirdly their ball retention is second to none fourthly and most importantly they have of got the best players in the world ……so they can allow Mascherano as a CB but in England its a different ball game and we dont have the players of the caliber of Barca who can hold the ball,pass the ball with eyes closed….to win the EPL as history has told us we need a tall dominant leader at the back …..I am not saying Samba is the answer but Mascherani its aplle and oranges mate….

  2. haider says:

    Fantastic article … really spot on PARK WALKING BECAUSE HE WAS MADE TO DO THE RUNNING BUT AT THAT MOMENT HE WAS RUN OUT OF GAS.SECONDLY ARSENAL LINE WAS SUICIDAL & EVERY ONE SAW THAT BUT AW KEEP REPEATING SAME MISTAKE OVER & OVER.THAT’S A WORRY.MANU NEEDED A DM & M.
    THAT FOR SURE.ARSENAL NEEDED FIRST CLASS DM & CALSSY DEFENDER TOO.BOTH MUST BE ENGLISH, NO MORE FRENCH.

    • Greg says:

      That’s right. Both MUST BE ENGLISH. It doesn’t matter if they can play football or not, as long as they know all four verses of the national anthem and shed the clearest, purest, Englishest tears of pride when they sing it. I think Nick Griffin’s available on a Bosman.

    • johnny says:

      Yes, I want a “calssy” defender myself. And he must English enough to be able to write the word “classy”.
      Anyway, I like the fact that some Arsenal fans know not only what AW has to do, but they can give lessons to alex ferguson as well.
      And I like that slogan – No more French, lol.

      • Steve of Chiang Mai says:

        Do England possess a “classy” DM or CH….

      • santori says:

        WANTED, one ‘classy’ English defender to add grit and height to Arsenal’s back.

        (nb: Dosn’t matter if he is sub standard and over priced so long as he is classy)

        😀

  3. Phil23 says:

    I think the reason that Arsenal did better with United is because we have the faster, more technical players. Koscielny, Denilson, Wilshere, Clichy have always stood out against Barca and yet tend not to stick out so much in the Premier League. I even would say that about Jack, his best performance was Barcelona and that was with a European reffing style.
    Pep is lucky in that his players are so good on attack that all his team practice is defence. Their players are almost always thinking about defence and Manchester were exposed for limited technique in midfield. This is needed against Barcelona because beating the first one or two players is the only way to really expose Barca on the break imo. That is why I am so thankful for Wilshere and Koscielny who were the two outstanding players against Barcelona. Let us not forget that we are a wonderful counter attacking team. The sad thing is that we are so good at it nobody other than Barca will let us do it and therefore virtually give us the ball. That is why Arsene has had to adapt his strategies because people play with 10 men behind the ball. This then called for a formation change where we were good enough to go straight through them but couldn’t contain there counter attacks as we were so concentrated on attack. This year Arsene seemed to have struck the balance with the very good 4 2 3 1 formation. It fell apart because imo Arsene had too many players who were now redundant due to the 4 4 2. Once these players go we will see more players in the mould of a 4 2 3 1 formation. This way we will have more competition in the spots that need it and therefore no players will be over played. This will help us hugely at the end of the season and that is why I think we have every chance of winning it next year. Lehmann, Campbell, Vieira and Henry back at the club would also be amazing in a mentoring role for each position but I don’t see it happening as Vieira has made sickening comments about staying on with City, a kick in the teeth for Arsenal fans I thought…

    • santori says:

      I would agree with you that United tried to do what Arsenal and (Real) did but failed because their players are less technical.

      I would however disagree with you that Henry, Viera and Campbell will help us.

      Campbell is past sell by date. Viera I would question his actual utility to Coty (Too much is made of his contribution I feeel). We weren’t winnniing with Henry in the team either and it has been several years since then.

      I’m not quite sure why people always tend to look back for the solution expecting stars of yesteryears to come to our slavation. Yes, maybe Lehman might be useful as a third choice keeper/mentor but do we really want to pay all that money (remember re-sale value) and wages for mentors that may not necessarily influence the team quite as much as you would think?

      As Edna Mold would say in the Invincibles ” I never look back darling, only to the future”.

      😉

  4. emeka nwigwe says:

    Saying dat Man U didn’t deserve to play in d finals isn’t exactly fair. Thing is that they came up against a team that’s arguably the best team in th world today. My Arsenal team did its best against Barca cos we had young players who cld run with their players. However, as have become the tradition ta Arsenal, a decent result would most likely be followed by a string of bad results. Did I hear someone say ‘complacency’, our bane.

    • Samuel says:

      Man Utd didn,t deserve to play in the final only dub
      iuos refereeing decisions like that of van Persie bei
      ng red carded vs Barcelona or Chelsea denied two clear penalties vs Trash.United meant them being sho
      wn up for what they really are,rubbish ?

      • santori says:

        Barcelona were also benefitiaries of dubious decisions (particularly against Real)

        When you look at what’s going on at the highest level of the sport with Bin Hamamm, Blatter 2022 etc, you wouldn’t be surprise if there was collusion in the CL or indeed the PL (particularly with the refs)

  5. Yang says:

    Didn’t think Ferguson wrong too much, MU’s set up is not exactly 442 and it was proved effective against Chelsea.

    Barca played 120% of thier level. Movement and finishing was excellent and Evra still couldn’t get over his WC disaster it seems.

    Cup final game is really matter of who gonna up their game. I think MU’s right side players choked with big pressure and Chicha showed he is still inexperienced with such a huge games.

    Giggs was out of his mind somewhat.

    Barca players were WC winning group so they had more mental and experience. Pep get simple correct plan too.

    • johnny says:

      Sorry, but I don’t think that Barca played 120% of their level. It was an average display for Barca and a horrible one for MU. Chicharito, Valencia and Evra were a horror show. The first one was offside all the time and his only contribution was the pass for Rooney’s goal (a very simple pass, I might add).
      Evra was the weak link in the defence (where was he at Pedro’s goal, btw?) and I think Valencia lost any ball that got to him.

      • Steve of Chiang Mai says:

        except when the ball struck Hernandez he was….surprise surprise ….off side!

      • santori says:

        Chicaritto was a poor choice IMO.

        Fergie commited footy suicide by having a fall out with Berbatov who would have been more effective up front (particularly when one considers the shorty Marscherano was standing in for Puyol)

    • SomeRandomGunner says:

      Barca atmost played to 70% of their ability comparing the game against in Nou camp or the first el-classico. Compared to Arsenal defense over the two legs against Barca man utd defense was totally useless.
      Everyone had time on the ball for Barca Xavi,iniesta,Busquets had time to do whatever they
      wanted to do with ball.
      One thing is for sure it is easier to play a defensive team which we did against Barca twice we looked excellent in defending atleast as good or better than any team against Barca. Manu do (what we do it against Barca) it time and again in so we think they are better defensively. When a team needs to be balanced Manu cant do it either.

      • santori says:

        It’s easy to see fault in the UNited defense (or indeed Arsenal’s)

        But playing against Barca, they exhaust you with their passing and we tend to see the results of the chasing particularly start of the second half.

        I thought it was a big mistake for Fergie not to enforce his subs earlier (something I’ve castigated Wenger on a number of times)

        You could see the work rate had slowed and Barca were rampant. A goal was imminent.

        As is though, (particularly the second goal) it is hard to fault the defense. Messi’s goal was siple brilliance. He made good defenders look ordinary.

  6. nicky says:

    Man United were playing on an “away” pitch and performed as they have done away, all season..poorly.
    How Valencia got away with so many fouls before being yellow-carded, I do not know. The ref’s blind eye reminded me of typical OT decisions.
    Ferguson’s panic-stricken forays to pitch-side must have unsettled his players.
    One lesson for Arsenal to ponder in the pre-season was Messi’s goal. No sideways pass for him. He saw the chance to SHOOT and did so.

    • santori says:

      Another player which should have been taken off was Valencia.

      Again another Fergie error. (Perhaps he too needs a new side kick) 😀

      Why he did not start the more tricky Nani was beyond me. As is the Portugese was partially at fault for the third goal but he did add a lot more cut and thrust up front (especially since Chicarrito was a passenger collecting offsides)

  7. head says:

    @Phil23
    As far as I know Patrick Vieira wants to stay on to PLAY another season at Manchester City. The club he wants to be at after he retires hasn’t changed, in my opinion.

  8. Tee Song says:

    Well the United midfield got overrun but the defenders made costly errors too. For the second goal Evra followed Villa who had drifted centrally from the right wing. Villa was essentially occupying Ferdinand, Vidic and Evra at the top of the box. Park and Carrick were in good position covering Xavi and Iniesta, respectively. Because Evra was out of position, Giggs was left to cover both Alves wide right and Messi who had drifted into the space on the right of midfield. If Evra had stayed in position and passed Villa on to the central defenders, he would have been in better position to either cover Messi himself or he could’ve stayed on Alves and Giggs could’ve tucked in to cover Messi. But those are exactly the kinds of situations that Barca’s movement is meant create.

    • santori says:

      It’s easy to castigate the players for making mistakes.

      As you said, Barca forces the mistakes because of their movement and passing.

      It’s very hard to keep up defending without the ball against them.

      I think the only team that is good defensively against them is Real at the moment.

  9. JohnW says:

    I wish now people will give Arsenal a break, because you saw United struggled big time, much more than when we played Barcelona on both legs, never mind us not registering a single shot on goal.
    However, i think arsenal did ManU in for this game. The way ManU played in the Arsenal game when they lost 1-0 is exactly the way they played in the final. Therefore, Barca had some thing to work with, but to a higher temple that ours.

    • santori says:

      The more frustrating in that we beat both these teams playing an open system.

      Our quality is quite obviously there.

      Where we’ve struggled (again) is against teams (Stoke, Villa) who sit deep. I put this partially down to poor tactical options.

      4-4-1-1 with 2 strikers makes more sense playing against the bus. In very least, we have a physical presence inthe box to open up space for RVP and the midfielders.

      The other aspect is mental/belief. Yes we have had a dissapointing season again but someone ought to remind the lads that there is a silver lining in their performances against the bigger teams.

      Now if we have other tactical solutions/options as well, we will be better set up for next season.

  10. Mr cee says:

    Interesting article but no tactics in the world would have worked against Barca because united just don’t have the quality in the right areas to trouble them. Barca is the best club side I’ve ever seen and it goes to highlight how well we did against them.

    • santori says:

      Although MOurinho’s set up against Barca was very effective in nullyfying them.

      He was unfortunate in being down to 10, otherwise he may have nicked it.

      Fergie is simply too full of himself. He tried a similar tactic against us and failed. What made him think it would have worked against Barca?:D

  11. Gilberto says:

    LOL this is what i think of the Man u Vs Barca game
    Like Man u got hit by a train!! hahaha

  12. arimah says:

    U forgot to mentio that 2 of barca’s goal came from shots outside the box. Dats something arsenal needs to work on to make their preety football effective.

  13. Da Don says:

    Ferguson got his tactics wrong as he believed this team who have got this far this season was good enough to beat Barcelona he should have changed as Barca are another level (the last time they faced).
    while may people do not rate anderson and im one of them a midfeilder like him or fletcher have more stamina and would have harried barcelona midefielders than the 37 year old giggs and dont get me started on carrick. manu are in serious need of new midfielders. while also the difference between manchester united and arsenal is although manu are much better set up all over than arsenal, arsenal have the indivudals who can hurt u while man u really only have rooney so when attacking man u players diddnt get close to hurting barca

    • santori says:

      He was full of himself.

      Understandably, he might have thought that Chicarito offered better work rate as maybe Valencia but what he needed was quality (particularly as opporunities for UNited would have been rare to come by)

      He should have started Berbatov and Nani.

  14. KING gooner says:

    what’s with all the f***ng analysis of MANURE?who gives a shit about ’em!a bigger bunch of insufferable players& fans you’ll never meet.it should have been 5 or 6-1-they were humiliated-do you here this from the brit manure loving media?no!but when it comes to arsenal they’re allover us like a bad rash..would anyone in their right mind want to see a bunch c**s like evra,gigzeee,scolzee,vidic,ferdinand,shrek &old rednose pick up “big ears”jog on!!

  15. james says:

    Desi, you’re back to panning Chicharito as usual, funnily, I agree with everything else but I think Fergie should have played a formation similar to what he played against us in the FA cup final. The real issue most teams have with Barca is allowing them to define the game style (easy to write but very difficult to change) and the one team that prevented against that was Mourinho’s Inter (maybe a product of luck, Barca’s tiredness from the volcanic-ash induced long train ride that may have allowed the 3-1 home lead and having the right personnel mixture from skill- Milito and Schneider- to tenacity- Cambiasso and Etoo- to ruggedness- Lucio, Maicon and Zanetti).

    Weirdly, the best player to have played against Barca in the champions league this season is our very own Jack Wilshere- smartness, tenacity and his own fondness for that tiki-taka the few times we won the ball off them just like what led to the Arshavin goal at the Emirates (my best moment in football this year). You need a bunch of terriers when you play Barca and someone similar to a libero a la Cesc. I personally think when playing them, one needs to shadow Messi throughout and not just when he’s in the box but even when he’s 5 or so meters outside, Man Utd allowed the little pea to touch the ball so much that I knew his confidence was rising with every little pass and for someone who’s as great as that, you can only win with an iota of doubt put into his ridiculously high confidence level or else he scores that goal he scored. Sadly, this game was not suitable for Giggs’ limited mobility, he was wasted and though he showed that Libero touch in the Rooney goal, he honestly gave Barca an extra man as he couldnt keep up with the defensive pace in a game where his team would have such low possession (Fergie really messed that selection up but who can blame him for either the sentimentality or the failings of his limited squad that has luckily overachieved this season). I though Chicharito should have been played in a different way and not just as someone who’d try to get onside from through balls, Man U needed to play a pressing game that pretty much allowed barca to play between their backline and turned it into a ‘half-pitch’ game but gave them possibilities to break if the defenders got too sucked into the other half. That’s the only ways you can get set pieces and make use of pace against their team, you wait, wait and wait and then push. It seems as though only Italian sides will have a chance against them because the basis of their play is winning with defensive soccer, a team like Inter can still do this understanding that as long as someone like Maicon can run all day, there will still be break-away chances for them. I also think Chelsea with someone like Drogba would still cause troubles for this wonderful Barca team.
    Congrats to Barca, the best club side I’ve seen in my years of watching football. Congrats and Curses to Arsenal players for only showing up in the big games of the season but playing the best of any teams against the rightful winners this year. Huge Congrats to RVP for showing up to all games, a Chelsea-fan friend of mine saw him with Cesc in the NYC subway just a couple of days ago and I can tell you, he thinks in terms of fandom, RVP is as close to Henry as we’ll see in this team. To-Hell-with-you to Bendtner for his oversized ego and much smaller sized talent that prevented us from possibly knocking them out when he was released for a 1v1 at Barca. No comments to Cesc if you choose to join them, I’d be disappointed but at the same time, maybe you feel you aren’t the man to carry a team of lesser players to success and if you can’t beat them, join them is where you’re going with this. And finally, I’m delighted to see the end of this terrible season, it did end up with a game showing a team we can never be in our current state.

    • santori says:

      Absolutely agree with you and Inter.

      And I thought he was beginning to have the measure of them again during the CL with Real.After the rude trashing he recieved from Barca, I felt MOurinho adapted and got to grips with them very well. We saw it in the draw for the following fixture and the subsequent win for the Copa Del Rey.

      Had he not had a man sent off for a dubious call, I would have thought Real had a good chance of upsetting Barca during the first leg (at least). His tactics were again spot on and he nullyfied them to good measure.

      BTW, I like your post but you might want to break long posts up a little in future. Hard to read mate.

  16. Steve says:

    SAF played Hernandez because he thought if this kid gets a chance he’ll score. They pressed hard early on hoping to get one in before Barca settled into a rhythm. If that tactic had worked this game would have been completely different. Once that failed, Ferguson should have changed his personnel at half time. Fresher legs would have troubled Barca as the game went on. Can’t say I’m not delighted with the result though. Another couple of goals for Messi would have been nice.

    • santori says:

      You’re right that United had a good spell for the first 15 minutes but they ‘punched themselves drunk’ and couldn’t keep it up.

      I do beleive that was part of the tactic in grabbing a couple of shock goals early.

      Chicarrito showed his inexperience and was a passenger in the game.

      fergie was limited to Owen since he had quite obviously (and foolishly) alienated Berbatov before the game.

      I’m not saying I like Berbatov’s attitude but on this big stage, it was worth a gamble having him on. After all, despite his erratic nature, he is the league’s top scorer. More importantly, he is a bit more unpredictable for Barca + he has height (something worth bearing in mind since Marscha was playing in lieu of Puyol)

  17. Yang says:

    Udt lack of central midfielders option cost them. Except M. Carrik, One of them close to retire, the other suffer virus and remain young one still not mature enough.

    Udt have been done fantastic job actually, Winning the league and proceed to CL final with only one recognizable CM and converted CM near 40 yr old man.

    I don’t think Mr Ferguson any other options. so get battered by WC winning team plus Messi. The problem is that all sort of plan wouln’t work until team nick the ball furthermore there is incredible level of total pressing from Barca so launching an attack is almost impossible.

    So basically, team need to wait until Barca play badly and exploit their mistakes otherwise there is always defeat wait for you.

    I hope some of this Barca side players go somewhere else otherwise this one team sweep all CL titles year in year out for while without too much difficulties. I wonder how they keep outworking without major injury for 3-4 seasons so far. this total footy cost a lot of energy.

  18. Kushagra India says:

    Fully agree with your post …..and most of the comments will comment more after the snapshot post …….on a sidenote….
    At the start of the programme, even Harry Rednkapp said that Man utd only won the title because others threw it away. This is not a great man utd team, and they are not much better than us.

  19. Kushagra India says:

    Another point to debate (acting a devils advocate again )Fergie has had 25 years at Manure with all the financial prowess but couldn’t compete with Barca will the English media point it out…

  20. Kushagra India says:

    Have been away on holidays needed a brainwash just wanted to say seeing our team beat Barca fairly and squarely in the 1st leg and not winning a trophy this year having to read some snide commentary of British media on Arsenal has pained me a lot I just hope that our time comes sooner rather than later….

  21. alphie says:

    i disagree,fergie got his tactics right but the personnel let him down in execution. utd didnt operate as a UNIT and that is their greatest strength,they move together and so is it barca’s strength but superior use of space with super human efficiency in the attacking 5 players then even made it more worse….

    valencia was supposed to have a go at the defence with raw pace but shied of and tried to play football passing and thats why fergie went mental the first time….he was going for quick counter attacks plus looking to capitalize on mistakes.

    park was supposed to cut inwards which he did at the start from wide positions but kept on loosing the ball or not picking out hernandez runs early.

    the team was supposed to play to hernandez strength and not rooney’s

    ….this is how i believe fergie had set his team up. the occassion and class of barca overawed it all.

    BUT DONT FORGET THAT TACTICS CANT DO SHIT TO PLAYERS LIKE MESSI or CREATIVE PLAYERS ON FORM….IF A CREATIVE PLAYER CHOOSES TODAY IS THE DAY THEY’LL MAKE A COMPLETE NUISANCE ON THE PITCH THERE’S HARDLY LITTLE YOU CAN DO…examples are…. wingers on form as compared to midfielders on form….

  22. Kushagra India says:

    Nasri wrangling for a payrise after half a good season !!

    • alphie says:

      it sickens me when players do that and they know they havent shown enough to be worthy of it and that the reason when you have a player like van persie…with his class and all…committing to the club without a fuss u must bow ur hats to them.

      even if nasri stays i reckon in another 3 years he’ll be off to a team like madrid…doesnt seem like the loyal type(like many a footballer nowadays)

      VAN PERSIE IS CLASS ACT….I HOPE BY THE TIME HE RETIRES HE’S WON MANY TROPHIES ONE BEING….EPL TOPSCORER

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