Manchester United - Neville v Bale - A Match-Up Made In Hell
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Neville v Bale - A Match-Up Made In Hell

United host Spurs in a game which might be crucial to the visitors' hopes of snatching the fourth Champions League spot. United should also win, to keep the very, very faint title hopes alive but Fergie looks certain to make winning very difficult for the team.

Apparently, Rafael da Silva's exile is set to continue even though I do not really understand why an extremely harsh sending off after a brilliant display should warrant such punishment. He hasn't played at all since the debacle at Bayern Munich yet there's no news of injury.

John O'Shea and Wes Brown are far from match fitness so in all probability we'll see Gary Neville up against one of the Premiership's in-form players, Gareth Bale. The last time he was pitted against a wide player on top of his game the result was embarassing: Florent Malouda tormented him mercilessly and Gary was reduced to chasing shadows all afternoon.

Malouda is more experienced and powerful than Bale but the Welshman has an even more explosive pace which make him extremely likely to tear Neville a new one and I'm shaking with fear at the thought of their duel. Bale scored against both Arsenal and Chelsea and he's certainly the most improved Premiership player this season.

I still think that despite Rafael's sometimes rash decision-making, he's our best bet against Bale, simply because he can keep up with the Welshman as he's got similar searing pace. The kind of slow, 'control' football that we played for the best part of the game at Eastlands is unlikely to cause much trouble to Spurs who will relish the opportunities to hit us on the break while Citeh could never really decide whether to have a real go at us or to sit back and try to play on the counter. Spurs will not that indecisive and they will utilise the pace of Bale to full effect.

Fielding Neville against such a team is a disaster waiting to happen, especially if Giggs and Scholes both start, too: we'll be overrun by their fitter, more athletic players and they will have the numerical advantage all over the field, just like Chelsea had when Scholes, Neville and Giggs all started against them. I hope Fergie learned from that lesson but naming all three in the starting line-up against City suggests the opposite and the victory, especially as it was a deserved one, might have only reinforced his beliefs that he's doing the right thing by always going for experience... That despite its tragic conclusion the Bayern game actually brought our best performance of recent weeks seems to have escaped his attention.

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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 23 2010

Time: 8:55PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Malouda is certainly more experienced than Bale... But more powerful? I don't think so. That is one of the biggest areas of improvement in Bale. His strength on the ball is phenomenal when required. If he plays up to the level he has been, you are right about one other thing. He will definitely tear Neville a new one. The bottom line though is that you will most likely have the ref kissing your ar5e5 as usual and you will win based on soe awful decisions.
The Tailor
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23/04/2010 21:07:00

As A Spurs fan, I too can't wait to see Bale against Neville - mouthwatering anticipation!! The bookies have Man U at 1/2 and Corals are laying 7/1 Spurs. Whilst a draw would be a good result for us (especially if Ar5ena1 beat Citeh), I can't see where the prices come from. We hadn't beaten the Gooners for 20 years in the league until last week and as my father used to say nothing is forever. COYS
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23/04/2010 21:12:00

I think we're all looking forward to Neville v Bale. But, we've fancied ourselves a couple of times against United this season, and in both instances been given a footballing lesson.
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23/04/2010 21:18:00

Bale's power is his main asset I reckon. Yes he has pace, but when you look he rarely gets past people cleanly like Aaron Lennon might, he goes shoulder to shoulder a lot of the time. One thing is for sure, Valencia will need to track back for a lot of the game because if Neville is exposed with Bale, all of Neville's experience will count for nothing. Looking forward to the game tomorrow boys. I hope controversy doesn't settle it and we see a good match.
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23/04/2010 21:26:00

Controversy - don't tell me Howard Webb is the ref???
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23/04/2010 21:29:00

The contest between Bale and "Red Nev" is going to be the highlight of this fixture. I am interested by the comment "I still think that despite Rafael's sometimes rash decision-making, he's our best bet against Bale". I have seen the lad Rafael play three times live and a number of times on TV, the lad is far too "hot headed" to play at the top level. At the Lane this season he was "wack-wack-wack" playing against Lennon and Bentley, he got booked and was taken off before he got sent off, (This was the game when Scholes was sent off in the 2nd half). The lad is the main reason that United are out of the CL, I hope he plays tomorrow because he will get sent off, remember last week against Chelsea, Mr. Terry did not last 90 minutes against Bale. UP THE SPURS>
Ox Yid
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23/04/2010 21:57:00

I love the phrase 'tear him a new one' and that's exactly what will happen. Speaking of which, how is Evra feeling about being torn a new one when Lennon comes on for the last 20? I hope Spurs can tear the record against the big 4 away from home a new one. Tear me a new one...
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23/04/2010 22:38:00

If Howard Webb is reffing then its a fcking disgrace!!!
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23/04/2010 23:04:00

Howard Webb is not the ref for tomorrow..
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23/04/2010 23:39:00

Cnt w3ait for this but will be funny if Bale gets owned!
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24/04/2010 00:25:00

After handling Ronaldinho, I think Nev will do quite all right, the pace is not so much a problem with Valencia and Fletcher covering for him. One on one though is not a pleasant thought, well, not for us, at least!
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24/04/2010 04:18:00

Its such a shame that Lennon isn't there to give Evra his usual nightmares
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24/04/2010 04:53:00

To be fair Neville is in great form as well. He completely shut out bellamy last wk and he is alot faster and more skllful than bale. Under the circumstances it's better for us to field Neville as you need Ali of experience in times like hese.
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24/04/2010 08:17:00

I think the biggest problem you will get with Bale is the combination of his speed and his stamina....he just doesn't stop running :) Up and down the flank all night. Unless Neville has been sleeping in a pressure chamber tonight, he will be exhausted before 70 minutes have gone by. Too bad this isn't a game of one player vs another, as I reckon we will fall apart again....psychologically football is a strange game. Oh well, like I said in another post: Let's hope the ref is not in centre of the media after the game. COYS
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24/04/2010 09:32:00

khoder, its obvious that you haven't seen a lot of Bale this season cos bellamy is not faster and more skillful than bale. Bale is a Running beast...he keeps on coming at you...he covers an unbelievable amount of ground. Neville can stop him once or twice but he will eventually get past him and do it many times. Neville will have a much tougher time than he did against Bellamy
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24/04/2010 10:16:00

Fair play to spurs they defended well and made a game of it. Terrible mistake by Rafael on the post for their goal, but at least he isnt making the same mistakes over and over - he will learn. I hope Nani has a good pre-season and comes back fresh next season. He could be about to deliver. We need a goal scorer in the middle and a bit more creativity but we were certainly more threatening today than against city or chelsea. I would say that berbas career at United has to come to an end this summer. He provided a good ball for evra on the first pen, but he choked EVERYTIME he had a chance. We might be able to squeeze £20m out of someone if we can get a bidding war between Milan and Bayern.
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24/04/2010 14:47:00

Bale Bale.. Everybody was searching for him in the stadium. Tearing a new hole.. U bunch make me laugh. United showed them what is class. Form is temporary class is permanent.
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24/04/2010 14:49:00

Rafael was great today apart from the mistake for the goal. He s learning. He looks fantastic when on song. That run with bale was fantastic. Didn't give anything to him
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24/04/2010 14:55:00

Rafa!!!!! Tear Bale a new one!!! HAHAHA!
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25/04/2010 04:50:00

Don't think Berba will leave, we may bring in more youngsters though.
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25/04/2010 08:38:00


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