I wasn’t sure how to approach this. Wrested from the safe hands of Zayd Jawad, this column’s consistency was jeopardized even before I sat down at the keyboard. I was hoping for an easy one by the way: a one-two-three done, through, hope we get APOEL sort of job. Whoops.
1. Thursday nights: Book them out. Disappear. Go somewhere, anywhere. Avoid watching what you know will hurt. Manchester United are now a Europa League team. The juggernauts, participants in three out of the last four finals, are going to spend the next six months entrenched in late week mediocrity. Everyone hates Thursdays. False hope at the end of a long work week, and now this. We’re going to be mixing it with Stoke. In Europe. We’re going to be competing in an event that means nothing to its most prestigious participants. Honestly, I wish we had finished fourth. Whoops.
2. The numbness: It hurts now, but not half so much as it will hurt when, from a safe distance, we observe happenings in Switzerland or Monaco or wherever ‘Champions League Teams’ enjoy fine dancing and Platini’s pomposity. They might get to see a draw, too. That’s when it will really sink in. Because directly after the conclusion of that event United will have their name drawn from a pot. But our little ball won’t resemble a Champions League matchday miniature. In fact, I don’t know what it will look like because I’ve never actually paid much attention to goings on in the Europa League. Whoops.
3. The match: It wasn’t that bad, really. Nani was brilliant, Giggs superb and Evra actually half-decent (going forward at least). Phil Jones’ header minutes from the end was his second goal in two matches. Not bad for a man who before last week’s game had yet to score at the professional level. The defense was frightful, though. Evans just isn’t up to snuff, Rio’s aging and Vidic’s injury looks serious – not that any of the reporters will bother asking Sir Alex about that.
I’m no tactical genius, but there seemed to be a clear problem in the wide defensive positions – Basel’s two goals both stemmed from Shaqiri crosses that should have been closed down. But wait, I just said Evra played well. Whoops.
4. We had it coming: If you treat the Champions League the way Sir Alex Ferguson has treated it this year, you will be punished. It’s not an incubator for young stars. It’s not a mechanism for inflating Dimitar Berbatov’s appearance statistics. And it certainly isn’t Michael Owen’s playpen.
It must be admitted, I popped a few corks after the draw had been announced – Otelul Galati, who are they? Looks like Sir Alex did too. But I’m just a fan, I’m supposed to be naive. I’m a Mancheter United fan, I’m supposed to be insufferably arrogant. In fact, right now I should be saying that the European Cup is a mickey mouse competition, and that United’s absence only accentuates the fact. But Fergie is bigger than all that. He should have identified the problem faster. Whoops.
5. What we need: Save Van Der Sar, the squad that propelled us to Wembley last season was largely the squad that kicked-off this year’s campaign. The weakened teams Ferguson sent out for the opening fixtures were comparable to the weakened teams he has routinely sent out at the group stage of the competition since Moscow ’08. So really, United shouldn’t have struggled, especially not in Group C, by far the weakest drawn. Our failure indicates a major problem. We are still in need of a midfield enforcer and a creative player to complement Rooney. Our defense is a shambles (where is Rafael!?). We’re over reliant on Rooney and Hernandez. We just got beaten by Basel. Basel. Whoops.
Okay, it’s over. Sorry. Back to Zayd now. Apologies Zayd if I just destroyed your column’s reputation. If so, well, erm… whoops?
Read more by David Yaffe-Bellany at In For The Hat Trick and follow him on Twitter @INFTH
Another blind Man U fan – open your eyes for the truth: the truth is that your beloved club has sold his soul to the bookies – do you know how much was placed in bets for United win?
Why dont tell us then? |Or are just another ABU wanking himself off when United lose? Dick.
A dismal night was always going to make for difficult writing, I can honestly say I’m probably glad I prioritised revision over even watching the game fully. I suppose the one positive to come out of this is that it will kick start Ferguson’s desire to perhaps make some changes come summer time and ensure there is a big improvement next season. Like the article, makes for interesting, if painful, reading!
YEA , WAKE UP, SAF !!!
Disaster! Unless there is a dramtaic improvement we will struggle to finish in the top 4 of the Premiership and qualify for next year’s Champions League. Suggest we use Europa League to blood some youngsters and concentrate on the premiership (unless of course we draw City in the Europa League!!!)
Oh well thats United done for the season.Out of CL, cant catch us in the prem,Got us in the FA CUP (Remember last season)
And to top it off, if you do well in the EUROPA your gonna have to face us at some point…So i will finish as i started, Oh well thats united done for the season
Go Basel !
Shouldn’t HAVE struggled. Shouldn’t HAVE struggled..
Apologies, apologies, an unforgivable typo. I’m not in control of post-publish edits but if Justin sees the error he’ll fix it.
Apologies to all concerned, editing through the tears was difficult.
we need mayor chances. for starters, its time for sir alex to go. he lost it. no more. enough is enough. he didn’t treat THE UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE seriously. he has lost sense in whats important. i agree, berba and owen didn’t belong in the starting line-up.
They weren’t in the starting line up. Your review is almost as abysmal as your English.
my english is WHAT? you, my friend are insane. Go on, defend saf. he needs to go and you need to shut up.
By the way, your comment makes NO SENSE.