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It's Not The End Of The World, Just Feels Like It

Of course this is the big news. Wayne Rooney, England's only hope in South Africa, is out with an ankle injury and who knows when he can return. If it's a torn ligament he might have to wave goodbye to the World Cup.

But who gives a flying fuck about the World Cup now? Yeah, the entire nation, I know, but for us there is the small matter of a title run-in and a Champions League quarter-final second leg to manage. Rooney's injury is not looking terrible serious, according to Sir Alex Ferguson but judged by his inability to walk and that he left Allianz Arena on crutches, it's fair to assume he'll have to miss the games against Chelsea and Bayern.

That would be a massive, massive blow, no denying it. But it still would not be the end of the world, for a few reasons.

First, Chelsea's defence is ravaged by injuries. Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic, Ricardo Carvalho and JosÚ Bosingwa are all out of Saturday's game which means that the entire back four, Terry apart, will be made up of squad players. Alex and Zhirkov are good players and Ferreira is a competent one but their lack of understanding could bite them.

As for Bayern: with one of the most disjointed performances of the decade, let alone the season, we still created 3-4 real chances away from home, such was the uncertainty in their defence. Even without Rooney, it's difficult to see Bayern emerging from Old Trafford with a clean sheet so we'll have every chance of overturning the deficit.

It has gone unnoticed by most pundits and casual fans but Dimitar Berbatov is actually in quite good form these days, even if Fergie does not count on him in the biggest games as to do so he would have to leave out Rooney or weaken his midfield and he likes to do neither. But it might be that Berba will be inspired by the knowledge that he's the main man in attack now, that he'll be expected to be the star of the show. He relished that at Spurs and seems to miss it. Now would be his perfect chance to show his credentials, at last.

Van der Sar - Rafael/Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra - Carrick, Fletcher - Valencia, Park, Nani - Berbatov

This, on paper, is a really good team, capable of beating anybody. It lacks the consistent brilliance of Rooney and if this was our first choice team for an entire season we wouldn't be fighting for the title but we should not think it can't do a job in a few games. We do not need to look far for inspiration: Bayern Munich have just beaten one of the strongest teams in the business without their best player, Arjen Robben. And we have better players than Bayern even if this wasn't apparent last night...

Having said that, I will be as happy as Larry if it turns out Rooney is OK. Even if we trust Berbatov, it does not bode well to face the run-in with a grand total of one fit striker plus Federico Macheda...




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 31 2010

Time: 1:12PM

Your Comments

As we can see we came back with a loss but also the loss of our striker but as u said its surely not the end of the world,Chelsea are by no means at their best and their a look at their defence will give us a lot of confidence,plus its we who play them at Old Trafford and that will play a key role,just look at Bayern's atmosphere it was fantastic and it did play a role.Things are not that bad,its just the media thats making things look extremely bad for us.
Antriksh (abmtd)
The team put up by you is more than capable of beating Chelsea and I thought of a similar one the only difference was Giggs in Carrick's place,he was very disappointing although the tactics did not help him but I do expect better from him.Confidence guys,confidence!!!
Antriksh (abmtd)
Liverpool defeated us without their star players,yes Rooney is important no one denies that but Berbatov is class and looking at that defence of Chelsea,he won't shy away,plus he has been in form,we should look at it in this way,if we defeat Chelsea,they are nearly knocked out of the title race.They have a lot more to lose than us,we lose we are still there.
Antriksh (abmtd)
Lol Antriksh, Berbatov in form? Since when? that's right never..
Blue Mike
That masterstroke of signing Owen as striking back up looks better and better with each passing day.
KB1
I have no love for United, but I hate to see the title race turn on an injury. My condolences! Guess we'll see if the Berbatov/Macheda combo is up to the task.
Teddy_KGB
Title race turn on an injury?? Are United the only team with injuries? Silly comment.
Zbam
They certainly aren't Zbam!
Gunnerman
Blue Mike-Yes my freind he has been in quite good form for the last 3 to 4 games,he has been pretty sharp and I'm pretty sure he will surprise quite a few people with his performances.
Antriksh (abmtd)
My Team would be-VDS,Rafael/Neville,Vidic,Rio,Evra,Valencia,Giggs,Fletcher,Nani, Park,Berbatov.I'm not too sure if Neville would be able to play 3 games in a row so quickly.
Antriksh (abmtd)
The one thing I would like to say is that all of the goals from Rooney have come from in the box which means he hasn't been a Messi who dribbles past defenders,he has got very good service from his team mates which of course goes unnoticed by the media and our rival fans,what he has done is improved his positional play and thus he has reaped the rewards in the form of goals,so what we have in Berba is a player who loves to create rather than score and with his class he can create enough for the likes of Park,Nani,Giggs,Valencia,Fletcher,so its important that these players get in the box as often as possible to create chances for us.
Antriksh (abmtd)
On Saturday,I just feel we will be like wounded tigers,something to prove and what better way to erase our poor performance against Bayern than winning against our rivals in front of our home fans in our own backyard.SAF will surely have a chat with the players about their performance against Bayern and will let them know that the media and our rival supporters hardly give us a chance without Rooney,he will try to take all the negatives against us and try to use it in our favour.Its going to be a very interesting game on saturday and I expect us to win through an unlikely goal scorer.
Antriksh (abmtd)
one little bitty injury?. you said yourself chelsea are ravaged with injuries, is that what teddy meant?
ten men
If only you had another combative striker capable of scoring 20 goals a season......................
RobsonGreensleeves
WE actually make do with contributions from a lot of players and the third most consistent of them, Own Goal is still going great guns for us! Rooney is a BIG loss but I think we have enough quality to seal the league, for us, that is!
elvido
 

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