Just 24 hours to go before the 2nd leg, Bayern Munich, Champions League quarter final showdown. The nerves are already jangling with Manchester United trailing 1-2 and super striker Wayne Rooney unavailable. The odds must be with the Germans but is it a lost cause? No way according to Craig Malpas from the Times Online Manchester United blog. It’s a good, optimistic read and well worth reproducing here.
Time to save our season – What a difference a week makes! Two defeats and it’s all gone to pot. Poor United, they’ve lost it. We went to Bayern Munich and were beaten in the last minute before losing at home to one of the other best teams in Europe who had enjoyed a deserved week’s break. Where did it all go wrong?
Rewind one week and if you were to ask any football fan with half a clue (Liverpool fans can stop reading now) which English team would be in the Champions League final in May shortly after collecting the Premiership title and two words would follow – Manchester United. One week later and Wednesday night has become a season saver and quite possibly a hero maker.
Newspapers and websites have been awash with scathing criticism of United. The twist of the nation’s favourite ankle has led to Dimitar Berbatov being treated to a whole new array of insults. Now, apparently, Michael Carrick cannot run a game and United are, it would seem, the only ‘one man team’ in Europe.
Firstly, whichever genius realised that Berbatov cannot fill Rooney’s boots needs to be congratulated. I mean, what a bombshell. Who could possibly fill Rooney’s boots whilst being happy to sit on the bench when his greatness’ ankle is in full working order?
Secondly, Carrick, the main man in midfield in the team who have won the title for the past three years and reached the final of the Champions League for the past two years but yet can’t run a game? Come off it!
Now, the real cracker is the ‘one man team’ crisis which seems to have engulfed Old Trafford. Now, forgive me if I am wrong but aren’t Real Madrid a two or possibly three man team? Shame they couldn’t beat Lyon. Likewise, aren’t Liverpool are a two man team?
Take Lionel Messi away from Barcelona and Arsenal would fancy their chances. Take Fernando Torres away from Liverpool and the opposition goalie might as well bring a book to keep himself entertained. Basically, my point is that every team has to have a best player.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to excuse two disappointing defeats, but please, let’s all chill out a bit. Admittedly, bringing Berbatov on last week was a tad adventurous but let’s give Fergie one mistake shall we?
I suggest we remember Roma at home. Perhaps we can just about remember when the mighty Barcelona came to conquer and went home with Paul Scholes‘ wonder goal ringing in their ears. More importantly, let’s remember 1999 when United were on their knees before sensationally taking their place in history by defeating Bayern.
Let’s see what Wednesday brings. Berbatov to show his worth maybe? Carrick to subtly boss the midfield perhaps? How about a Bayern defeat kick starting a run to cement another piece of history. Four consecutive titles and three Champions League finals on the trot. You wouldn’t bet against it would you? Wednesday night will be our season saver… you’ll see.
Who may prove to be United’s match winner on Wednesday night?