Manchester United - Semi-Final Against City Has Become Crucial
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Semi-Final Against City Has Become Crucial

Fergie did change his plans about the team to send out at Manchester City on Wednesday after a side comprised largely of fringe players lost at home to Leeds in the FA Cup.

'We have a semi-final on Wednesday and a lot of these players today won`t be playing. You have to view that performance in the right light, but we have to get ready for Wednesday now. I had the team in mind but there may be one or two changes now.'

Or more, as hopefully we won't risk playing Gibson, Obertan and Welbeck at Eastlands now. It seems they are not very good at dealing with pressure and there will be plenty of that, now that one of our best chances of winning silverware has disappeared.

As I wrote yesterday, the Carling Cup can be viewed as a mere consolation prize but we're in no position to scoff at it right now: we have to grab this chance of winning something because landing either the Premier League or the Champions League crown will be immeasurably more difficult.

Therefore we can safely say that this semi-final is now crucial and there is no space for experimenting. Our best team is comfortably better than Citeh's so if we play them we are clear favourites to advance to the final. It might be worth playing the team that outplayed Chelsea at Stamford Bridge as a trio of Carrick, Fletcher and Anderson should have no trouble with controlling City's midfield and support Wayne Rooney up front, with Valencia and either Giggs or Park attacking the wide areas.

It's up to Fergie of course but with our confidence dented, a good result at Citeh would be a welcome boost ahead of such trying Premiership fixtures as Birmingham City away and Arsenal away. It would restore our pride and self-belief just in time.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 4 2010

Time: 11:20AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I hope its a fair game and Ferguson has nothing to complain of at the end of the night.
buzz lightyear
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04/01/2010 11:33:00

You're best team will get well beaten... you're 'fringe' team would of got humiliated. Either way you're getting beat. It's just good to see Taggart sticking to his guns.. for over a month saying he'll play the kids... we all knew he was a liar though. I'm just confused why he'd need the big guns against a 'little club' though.
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04/01/2010 11:34:00

CC is crucial now eh? Why's that? Is Mickey Mouse turning up in person to present the cup? Typical Rags.
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04/01/2010 11:38:00

Soooooo. Rooney, Berbatov, Anderson, Evans, Brown, Giggs & Valencia are fringe players now are they? Nice to see the "noisy neighbours" have you running scared, or are you now admitting what we've all been able to see for ages - namely that your squad is the weakest it has been for years?
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04/01/2010 11:44:00

Should be a good game if united play a strong team even though they most likely won't. Will be much harder for city since there won't be ferdinand or foster to hand them goals.
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04/01/2010 11:44:00

Bellamy running half the length of the pitch before scoring, that was really handed to him Khoder, wasn't it? I suppose all Utd goals were due to excellent football and nothing to to with bad defending? Typical Rags.
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04/01/2010 11:52:00

Ferdinand basically gave him the ball for the last goal. Your first goal was a complete communication breakdown between Foster and the defence. And since Mancini isn't exactly a fan of Bellamy I doubt he'll play. And yes the goals your team conceded were based on bad defending by the entire team not certain individuals as in our case which is the point I was trying to make.
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04/01/2010 12:03:00

City's first was due to Tevez brilliance. So fletcher unmarked is the responsibility of the whole team is it? It couldn't have been a case of an individual tracking his run? Itcan be argued that any goal is due to individual error, so that argument doesn't really wash. Where did you hear that about Bellamy? New one on me.
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04/01/2010 12:12:00

Fletcher unmarked twice
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04/01/2010 12:14:00

Also tevez brilliance please Foster couldnt grab a ball that was on the ground properly any player could have done what tevez did.
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04/01/2010 12:15:00

fifthcolumnblue: Fabio, Gary Neville, Obertan, Gibson, Welbeck are all fringe players and all started. Anderson, Evans and Brown are not regular starters either. Rooney, Berbatov, Valencia and Giggs are, that's why I said "largely". And even this average squad is pushing Chelsea hard and you lot are supposed to be clear favourites but somehow you can barely muster a decent performance when Essien is absent.
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04/01/2010 13:17:00

And United played City off the park the last time - errors by Ferdinand and Foster prevented it being a humiliation on the grand scale. But it was a sweet enough win and hopefully this time we will be more ruthless and put them back in their rightful place. For that reason alone it's worth putting out the strongest team.
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04/01/2010 13:19:00

Question for the individual errors preachers, the first City goal which you profess was an error by Foster, should Anderson not have tracked Barry from midfield to prevent him having a free strike on goal? If you believe he should then surely this wasn't an individual error by Foster.
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04/01/2010 13:52:00

We don't want your youngsters, 2nd or 3rd team, we don't want fringe players either. Neither do we want to see us up against has-beens or never-were's, we want the very best you have, so that when we beat you, you can realise how shagged your season is.
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04/01/2010 20:53:00

Sorry to correct you there Wolfie old chap, but it should read " We don't want your youngsters, 2nd or 3rd team, we don't want fringe players either. Neither do we want to see us up against has-beens or never-were's, we want the very best you have, so that when we beat you, you can realise how shagged your ENTIRE FUTURE is. BlueWolfie
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05/01/2010 00:34:00

fifth- dont you think you're exagerating just the smallest bit. I don't think you can judge the entire future of the club based on two games after all we are still second in the league. and as for our money problems if the glazers ever decide to sell I'm sure there are many wealthy Arab oil tycoon*s who would love to invest in Manchester United. So my point is know one can know what will possibly happen over the course of the next few seasons.
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05/01/2010 05:12:00

Come on CITY, another defeat for the O T Girls
Tiny T
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05/01/2010 08:09:00

Khoder, you really think there is someone out there that would buy the club (for what? maybe upwards of a billion?) and THEN take on almost 800m of debt too? Plus have a few hundred million of capital to invest? Doesn't sound very business-like that does it?
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05/01/2010 09:20:00

You know what they say Wolfie, there's one born every minute. But it would have to be a monumental fool who would take on such a mountain of toxic debt in this economic climate, especially as they couldn't possibly bleed the rags' fans any drier than they are at the moment. Could they?
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05/01/2010 16:08:00

All I'm saying is you never know what could happen. After all who would've ever guessed that City would be where they are today two years ago.
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05/01/2010 23:23:00


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