Date:Wednesday March 21 2007
United will play their next game in 11 days time, thanks to international qualifiers taking centre stage next week.
Reds fans were always famous for treating England a distant second behind their beloved club and our lack of interest in the Three Lions will be more prominent than ever with United chasing glory on three fronts.
Of course, most United fans DO support England, it's just that their results are secondary to United's. And I must admit that I have never been less sympathetic towards England's cause than now when we have everything to play for and the most we can expect of McClaren's men is a frustratingly poor performance at Israel and a meaningless victory against the amateurs of Andorra.
Part of my impatience is explained by naked fear. I'm sick of the thought that we might lose everything. We have a number of dodgy away games to play so I want to get through the home clash with Blackburn as soon as possible. With the qualifiers coming up, I'm left to contemplate the possible outcomes and consequences of the next few games whilst I'm perfectly aware of the fact that I will have to wait bloody too much time for these matches to happen.
In the meantime, I must muster as much interest in these international games as it's humanly possible. But then, I'm not interested in any nations' results, apart from England and even though they've been dreadful recently I can't imagine them failing to qualify for Euro 2008. So my thoughts will be turned to our players and the naked fear will appear again. Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Nemanja Vidic will definitely play and I don't even dare to imagine what will happen if either of them pick up an injury.
I pray that Michael Carrick will be left out to make way for the totally incompatible Lampard-Gerrard pair. If the latter is shunted out to the right, there's still Hargreaves to be drafted into the middle so Carrick may be safe.
But the real bonus is that we'll have Louis Saha, Paul Scholes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and possibly Patrice Evra and Edwin van der Sar back for Blackburn. That dwarfs any of my impatience and pathetic fears so if we won't pick up injuries, then I will say this international break might be good for us in the long run.
Date:Wednesday March 21 2007
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