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The Man Utd Thread


ThePixelbarks
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Nani's delivery against Derby was woeful, though granted no-one covered themselves in glory that night. If I'm honest Nani reminds of Kieren Richardson. Every so often he'll do something impressive but the majority of the time he's just a bog-standard player. Even when Ronaldo's decision making was terrible, and it still is sometimes not great, you could see he was going to be a good player eventually. I don't see that in Nani really.

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Done what? Made another manager go on a little rant? That doesn't win you titles. We're not talking about fucking Keegan here, Benitez is a more intelligent and respectful bloke than Ferguson will ever be. Let what happens on the pitch do the talking before you call Fergie a genius. You lost to Derby in the week and you've got Chelsea on Sunday. Good luck!

Oh dizogg you little scamp.

If there's one thing I've learned on this forum, it's that your posts can never be taken at face value.

Quit with the fooling around. Just for once.

You're actually a Manchester United supporter, aren't you!

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Nani's delivery against Derby was woeful, though granted no-one covered themselves in glory that night. If I'm honest Nani reminds of Kieren Richardson. Every so often he'll do something impressive but the majority of the time he's just a bog-standard player. Even when Ronaldo's decision making was terrible, and it still is sometimes not great, you could see he was going to be a good player eventually. I don't see that in Nani really.

The difference between Nani and Ronaldo is that when Ronaldo really wasn't doing much in games, he still played regularly as we had a weaker squad then. Nani doesn't get the same amount of games that Ronaldo did, and certainly not a run of games.

There were times last season that Nani was going to be brilliant, this season is been really hit and miss but then so has the team. He's got all the tools to be a top player and if anyone will get him to flourish it Man Utd and Sir Alex so I wouldn't right him off just yet.

Rafa's outburst has put a lot of pressure on himself and his team now. It remains to be seen if his mind games or should I say facts work out for the best.

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Dunno, I'll get back to you on that one when my secretary has finished typing up my reply for me. It's the proper way to go about these things.

Check what Guillem Balague had to say on the matter. He ain't no fool:

Alex Ferguson? Rafa Benitez knows what he is doing...

I’ve read and heard a few commentators refer to Rafa Benitez’ comments about Mr. Ferguson yesterday as the Liverpool manager’s ‘Keegan moment.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.

Back in the 1995/96 season, Keegan's side looked set to finally land the title after opening up a 12-point gap at the top of the table, and the Newcastle coach famously lost control of his emotions.

Rafa Benitez is a coach who is methodical in his approach to the game, and yesterday was no different. He walked in to that press conference fully prepared for what he was about to say. He produced a sheet of paper from which he read a series of longstanding complaints about Ferguson and, in particular, his attitude to referees and gripes about the fixture list; he was calm and assured in his delivery.

Some have said that Benitez should not have let Ferguson get under his skin, yet this was not a man flailing wildly at his adversary, but a man in control who had prepared the terrain upon which he was about to do battle: so typically Rafa.

So why did he do it?

Well, Mr. Ferguson had openly criticised the Liverpool players in midweek. With Liverpool seven points in front of third-placed United, who have two games in hand, Ferguson stated that Liverpool’s inexperience will cost them. “There's no doubt in the second half of the season they will get nervous,” said the United manager.

Sir Alex was inferring that he and his players were more experienced and mentally tougher than the Liverpool players. From Rafa’s point of view, no manager has the right to insult his player’s capabilities and he was right to come out and defend them. For the sake of the dressing room, it was important that he is seen to be standing up for his team.

Remember, this was not an instant reaction to Ferguson’s comments. Benitez had bided his time and spoken with his dressing room. He had ensured that his players were totally unfazed by what the United boss had said about them, fully assessed the situation – as he always does – and concluded that to have not reacted would have been seen as a loss of authority.

And because of that, what Benitez cannot afford to do is be seen to agree with Ferguson – as Wenger did recently over the football calendar – because the United boss will be seen as leading the agenda, as the man in control who can say what he wants - when he wants; with his contemporaries following his lead. Rather than agreeing with Ferguson, Benitez the United coach sound like a whinger: Rafa said “Then he (Ferguson) was talking about the fixtures. Two years ago we were playing a lot of early kick-offs away on Saturdays when United were playing on Sundays. And we didn't say anything.

"Now he is complaining about everything, that everybody is against United. But the second half of the season will see them playing at home against all the teams at the top of the table, it is a fantastic advantage.

"But at Christmas, United played on the 29th and the rest of the teams played on the 28th. We were away against Newcastle two days after playing Bolton. They were playing about 40 hours later, they were not complaining then.”

And when it came down to United’s treatment of referees, Benitez was letting it be known that not only do other managers share his opinions, but that this is a matter he has been prepared to tackle head on with the FA ; as he did at the meeting in Manchester which he referred to yesterday. Benitez said “You can see every single week how they put (referees) under pressure, we know this. We have seen it before. We have seen players sent off at Old Trafford and we do not see our opponents sent off. It is part of the game. But to complain and to always have an advantage is not fair.”

"We had a meeting in Manchester with managers and FA about the Respect campaign. And I was very clear, forget the campaign because Mr Ferguson was killing the referees, killing Mr Atkinson, killing Mr Hackett.”

Ferguson had not got under his skin; Rafa was sending a message to the most important people of all – his players in the dressing room - that he is there to stand up for them and will put himself in the firing line if need be; which leads on to the final reason why he did it.

He has deflected the attention from his players and turned it upon himself. The focus now is not on the Liverpool dressing room and Ferguson’s opinion of it; it is now all about what Rafa Benitez thinks of Alex Ferguson.

Kenny Dalglish urged Liverpool “to forget about these mind games and concentrate solely on what's going on around their own club.” But, in stepping in to the firing line, Benitez had ensured that if Liverpool slip up at Stoke in the wake of Ferguson’s comments, it will be all about Benitez and less about his players. And if they win? Well then Rafa got it spot on, and the message to Ferguson is unequivocal: 'say what you like about us, we know what we’re doing.'

I have also read that this was most out of character for Rafa Benitez. Not so.

Because, aside from this being so ‘very Rafa’ to have delivered his comments armed with his meticulously researched arguments laid out in bullet points on an A4 sheet of paper, the Liverpool coach has done this before.

Following a successful title winning season at Valencia, his players felt the full force of his wrath in a disappointing second season at the club. And when Valencia lifted the La Liga title the following year, Benítez confronted Jesus Garcia Pitarch, the club's director of sport, over control of new signings and the club's failure to reinforce the squad with the players he wanted – and Benitez told the world, in no uncertain terms, what he thought of the men in suits at the Mestalla.

In England too, Benitez has previous form. Remember when he stood up to Mourinho? After their first group match ended in another goalless draw in September 2005, the Liverpool manager said the following month: "To me, Arsenal played much better football two or three years ago. They won matches and were exciting to watch. Barcelona and Milan too. They create excitement so how can you say Chelsea are the best in the world?" He did not shy away from telling Mourinho that his success was down to Abramovich’s millions either.

The point is, unlike Keegan before him, Rafa Benitez is not some novice manager confronted with a situation like this for the first time in his career. When Ferguson tries to attack someone for their inexperience, he would do well to remember that there is a world outside the Premier League and I would wager that two Spanish league titles and a Champions League trophy have taught Benitez a thing or two about coping with pressure.

Ferguson has found himself a new adversary: he knows he is in a fight for the title race now, and I fully expect the United coach to react; while Benitez, who has seen off the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona in the past, will put his piece of paper back in his pocket, and smile whenever the word ‘Fergie’ gets a mention over the next few weeks.

I wonder which one of them is really under the skin of the other...

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Check what Guillem Balague had to say on the matter. He ain't no fool:

Never heard of him. I put his name in Google and under the link to his official website it says: 'Guillem Balague. Competition · Win a Liverpool FC shirt signed by Rafa Benitez.'

Not a good start. I think I'll continue to refrain from reading his articles.

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I think time will tell on this one Dizogg - I imagine I'd be able to go out and find an article which says the opposite.

Seriously, I challenge you to find one thats not written by some known idiot at The Sun or Andy Gray or something.

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Seriously, I challenge you to find one thats not written by some known idiot at The Sun or Andy Gray or something.

But it's all opinion you knob!!

Why go with one over the other - Oh right, because it suits your view of the events :(

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Does that mean John O'Shea is a genius too then?

I seem to remember a late goal against you last season, so in my eyes, yes :(

As deliberate and clever as people may see Benitez reponse all he has done is increase the media attention on himself and his players while Ferguson will be lolling all the way to OT. What happens if Liverpool don't beat Stoke? Or in fact drop points in the next couple of weeks? The media will be all over him and whether his rant has been the cause. Guillems piece isn't too bad until you read the closing comment which is completely daft.

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But it's all opinion you knob!!

Why go with one over the other - Oh right, because it suits your view of the events :(

Basically, do you really think its that Benitez has "done a Keegan"? We're talking about a man that never celebrates a goal, he studies the game. Analytically. He had a piece of paper with it everything he wanted to say detailed. How in any way is this comparable to someone going "I would love, I would LOVE it if we beat them!"? Its a million miles away. He may not have got it right, and it may not have the desired result, but don't think for one minute that Rafa was acting in rage or anger. There was a plan behind this, I think that is obvious to anyone with a decent interest in the Premier League.

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So his plan was to attract as much media attention as possible? From a media that don't seem to like him in the first place?

I think he may've attracted attention to himself, rather than the players (siege mentality and all that) and has brought focus to Fergie and his antics.

Everytime something dodgy happens in one of your games, people will be thinking about these comments.

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Basically, do you really think its that Benitez has "done a Keegan"? We're talking about a man that never celebrates a goal, he studies the game. Analytically. He had a piece of paper with it everything he wanted to say detailed. How in any way is this comparable to someone going "I would love, I would LOVE it if we beat them!"? Its a million miles away. He may not have got it right, and it may not have the desired result, but don't think for one minute that Rafa was acting in rage or anger. There was a plan behind this, I think that is obvious to anyone with a decent interest in the Premier League.

No, I don't think he has done a Keegan - I never said that.

But I do think he shouldn't have said anything and regardless of if it was said in anger or planned the fact he said anything I'm sure raised a smile with SAF.

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Guillem Balague is a fucking tool, no matter what the subject. This is the guy that's got 'inside information' about Spanish clubs and still gets everything wrong.

It looks like Fergie as made Rafa bite when he commented that they might lose their nerve. Obviously that remains to be seen but Fergie probably thinks he's got one over on him. Fergie throws in a little quip about Liverpool's title credentials and Rafa's riposte is an essay slating Fergies respect towards officials and how he doesn't get punished for doing so.

It just seemed all a little bizzare to me.

One thing is for sure, he's put the spotlight on himself and his team in the coming week or so, lets see if they do have balls for the title run in.

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I think he may've attracted attention to himself, rather than the players (siege mentality and all that) and has brought focus to Fergie and his antics.

Everytime something dodgy happens in one of your games, people will be thinking about these comments.

Double-edged sword though, as soon as anyone at Liverpool approaches a ref in anger or critcises a decision then the media will pounce and Benitez looks a bit silly.

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Double-edged sword though, as soon as anyone at Liverpool approaches a ref in anger or critcises a decision then the media will pounce and Benitez looks a bit silly.

We don't really do that kind of thing very often though, with the very occasional exception from Carragher (despite a lot of our fans wanting us to!), so not really a great concern.

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With Liverpool drawing I really hope we can capitalise tomorrow and beat Chelsea. If we manage that and win our games in hand we'd be top! I know it's all speculation, but it should give the squad that extra incentive.

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With Liverpool drawing I really hope we can capitalise tomorrow and beat Chelsea. If we manage that and win our games in hand we'd be top! I know it's all speculation, but it should give the squad that extra incentive.

its not gonna be easy to get the points needed ezpecially having to play 3 games in 7 days but a draw tommorow and wins over wigan at home and bolton away is possible i think.

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Massive game tomorrow. After this match we have a run of what should be some very winnable games:

Man Utd v Wigan

Bolton v Man Utd

West Brom v Man Utd

Man Utd v Everton

West Ham v Man Utd

Man Utd v Fulham

Man Utd v Blackburn

Man Utd v Portsmouth

Newcastle v Man Utd

I'd hope that we wouldn't drop too many points in there - possible Everton and bogey side West Ham away. That brings us right up to the Liverpool match.

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