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Discussion Starter #1
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returns to the Manchester United squad for the first time since September against Middlesbrough at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer made a 60-minute appearance for the reserves on Thursday following his long absence after knee surgery and could earn a spot on the bench.

Phil Neville, left out on compassionate grounds at Everton following the premature birth of his second child, is also available.

Middlesbrough have George Boateng missing with an ankle injury, while Ugo Ehiogu's groin problem will again keep him on the sidelines.

Former United midfielder Jonathan Greening misses out with a thigh strain and striker Michael Ricketts will also be absent with an Achilles problem.
 

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vedz said:
My prediction is a 2-1 win for United. Goals coming from Louis and Ruud! Im really starting to enjoy this partnership! ;)
Me too.
 

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02/10/2004. BACKGROUND: Merseyside police are yet to confirm whether they are to investigate the claims of some Everton supporters that they were verbally abused by United players following the winning goal at Goodison Park on Saturday. So far pictures have proved inconclusive and have only proved that Everton fans abused the United players, meaning that complaints that their were children in the section would have been a problem anyway, and that a bottle was thrown at Ronaldo. You would have thought that Merseyside police had better things to do.

Anyway all it has done is overshadow what became a thrilling game of swings and roundabouts (one for the kids). United came out victorious and although much analysis focused on the fragile defence, the fact is that Duncan Ferguson has caused United no end of problems over the years and so there was really nothing new there.

Middlesbrough had their own disappointing weekend, when they lost at home to Blackburn. The Carling Cup final will now loom large over everything that Steve McClaren does from now until the end of the month. He will desperately be trying to keep his players focused on the league, where although they can much improve their position and have an outside chance of Europe, it is unlikely that they will achieve anything spectacular, and so doubt will creep into a few players minds about protecting themselves and ensuring that they don't get injured and miss out on the showpiece occasion in Cardiff.

If there are any Middlesbrough players that allow that mindset to creep in at Old Trafford and they can kiss goodbye to the hopes of victory.



CURRENT FORM:
Man United: WDLWWW
United have won their last two games by outscoring their opponents. The astonishing game at Goodison was preceded by a 3-2 win over Southampton. They will certainly hope to be a little more balanced over the coming weeks though with Europe on the horizon.

Middlesbrough : DWLWWL
Boro's form has be up and down all season and their recent series against Arsenal could have seen them suffer. Two victories in the cup though would have boosted their confidence immensely and they may well fancy their chances with McClaren's insider knowledge.

TEAM NEWS:
Man United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may well return to the bench on Wednesday night after his long period out with injury. Fergie will hope to keep his back four intact as anytime that they can play together the more familiar they will become as a cohesive unit. Saha and Van Nistelrooy are again likely to pair up in attack, and Ronaldo may be rewarded for his match winning cross with a place in the starting line-up.

Middlesbrough : McClaren has a number of injury problems with Boateng, Ehiogu, Greening and Ricketts all out. Riggott is likely to play alongside Gareth Southgate, with the improving Massimo Maccarone getting the single striking berth.

PLAYER TO WATCH:
Man United: Louis Saha
Saha's start to his United career has been quite startling. His potential as a quick striker with an eye for goal was never in question, but at over £12 million there were a few raised eyebrows. The price was obviously pushed up because United were bidding and so was more a reflection of United's need rather than the exact worth of the player. This is something that is increasingly creeping into the game, with the bigger clubs forced into paying over the odds for players because the sellers know that they have the money.

However Saha must have arrived at United thinking he was to play second fiddle to Van Nistelrooy. Fergie though gave him a debut and he scored, it was then hard to drop him, play him again and he scores two. Fergie now has a dilemma. Although he probably intended them to play as a partnership on occasion the manager had probably seen Saha as a player good enough to play instead of Ruud on occasion and then bring on if chasing the game. Now though he has a potential partnership on his hands and may have to rethink his long term strategy. Whether he would be willing to play 4-4-2, in Europe though will be intriguing.

Middlesbrough : Gareth Southgate
Southgate must be one of the most consistent performers in the Premiership's history. Another good season had seen him the target of rumours during the transfer window that he may move to Old Trafford to replace the suspended Rio Ferdinand. Much more likely is the chance that he could come into the England team, his calming influence could be key at Euro 2004. A good performance against the twin talents of Van Nistelrooy and Saha could push him even closer to the plane.

PROBABLE STARTING XI'S
Man United: Howard, G. Neville, Brown, Silvestre, O'Shea, Ronaldo, Keane, Scholes, Giggs, Van Nistelrooy, Saha

Middlesbrough : Schwarzer, Mills, Southgate, Riggott, Quedrue, Doriva, Downing, Mendieta, Juninho, Zenden, Maccarone
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I predict a 3-1 win. Saha, RVN and Giggs to score.
 

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37th Minute- We are 2-0 down. Juninho scored twice. Things are not looking good for us at the moment :(.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Fcuk, we're 3-2 down with 3 minutes to go.
 

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we were rubbish - i listened to commentary and everytime they attacked our defence looked shaky.

howard was to blame for the first two goals and the whole defence was awful.

we have too many sub standard players to keep up with arsenal - o'shea is not a right back, fortune tries hard but is no left back, we have never come close to replacing becks on the right (fergie seems reluctant to play ronaldo there on a regular basis), fletcher is another greening and will never be good enough and forlan is not up to the job.

we should have bought a CB during the transfer window.......

the way i see it at the moment - with our poor defence and our inability to boss the midfield during games we will be lucky to finish above the gooners and chelsea.

heaven help us at the back when the Champs Lge starts again....
 

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Just back from the match, awful game. Although Tim Howard should not be criticised in the slightest. He made 3 SUPERB saves. And when you look at what plays in front of him it's a wonder we don't get absoloutley tonked every match. The man that is : WESLEY BROWN.

Orange twat. Useless, absoloutley useless. It's what everyone wants to say, yet we're supposedly "obligated" to say "Oh, he'll get better." Well he won't. He's never been good enough. All this shit about "Yeah, but he did well with Silvestre last season when Rio was out." Did he fcuk. Everyone was all over him then as well. The rest of our defence covered him.Shocking player. We've been patient for nearly five years waiting on this kid to live up to the world class potential label. Time to move on to someone with more confidence and more class.


That said, we're sitting 2nd in the league with our highest points total in ages, only 5 points behind (8 last season), we're in the last 16 of the Champion's League, we're playing citeh in the FA Cup (easy win )....And it's in a year where we're in transition, building a new team for the future.... But Arsenal are playing superbly this year, maybe not as well as last year, but they've strengthened their defence and are grinding out the results. That's worrying. And when Henry is playing like he is it will be a hell of a job to stop them.

But it's hardly the doom and gloom that some make it out to be when we lose a match

Fcuking gutted, and angry though. But not thick enough to say we're out of it, not by a long shot.....
 

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That said, we're sitting 2nd in the league with our highest points total in ages, only 5 points behind (8 last season), we're in the last 16 of the Champion's League, we're playing citeh in the FA Cup (easy win )....And it's in a year where we're in transition, building a new team for the future....

You're absolutely right,i hate when people always try to underrate
United.But,the problem is RVN is getting older,I'm afraid after 2 or 3 years he may not be able to score too many goal as he does nowadays.
 

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manufan said:
You're absolutely right,i hate when people always try to underrate
United.But,the problem is RVN is getting older,I'm afraid after 2 or 3 years he may not be able to score too many goal as he does nowadays.
But that's two or three years away....He could (god forbid) get run over by a bus tomorrow. We'll just worry about that when it comes. And Ruud doesn't rely on pace like some players do, I think he'll still be banging them in when he's in his 30's. Look at Alan Shearer.

It's the defence that needs sorting now....
 

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manufan said:
You're absolutely right,i hate when people always try to underrate
United.But,the problem is RVN is getting older,I'm afraid after 2 or 3 years he may not be able to score too many goal as he does nowadays.
??? Are you 12 years old? Players that are at least over 30 is getting old. Age should not show before that, except for injuries that is.
 

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JKris said:
??? Are you 12 years old? Players that are at least over 30 is getting old. Age should not show before that, except for injuries that is.

well manufan probably is a young fan of football,so what ,not everyone on Xtratime is an old cynical bastard like yourself :tongue:
 

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JKris said:
??? Are you 12 years old? Players that are at least over 30 is getting old.
thank god someone said it, because the older I get, the younger I think 30 is;) :D

anyway, bad result today. Bit of a boggy team for us lately.....Steve Mac seems to be able to read us well.
 

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If you are going to criticise the players you also have to criticise the manager Alex . He let Beck go , he buys your players , he selects the starting 11. Is his time up?


The fall of ManU

;)
 

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Jonny Knoxville said:



The fall of ManU

;)
Why does it sound like I have heard this many times before?!?;):rollani:

They didn't show the game over here but rather the diabolical Chelsea-Pompey game.:fero:Good thing though since that gave me an excuse to go and party with the U-19 cricketers currently here for the World Cup.:D

The defence seems to have collapsed after Rio's departure.We had the joint best defensive record before Rio's ban but after that its been acalamity all the way.Suddenly Micky's lost his composure and the wingbacks are making silly mistakes.Wes has become an international disaster with his confidence in tatters.Subsequently his game seems to be suffering as well and how Fergie must be rueing for not getting a decent CB as cover.

This type of performance doesnt bode well for fuure matches to come.If you want to win the Championship,you cannot afford to lose to the likes of Boro at home and with each passing game we are just making the job even more difficult for us.
 

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What has happend is that the team has been depleted through the loss of Beckham and Ferdinand. Maybe the Man Utd squad doesn't really have as much depth than once was thought.
 

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dropping points ladies, any more point drops would be nasty and the end?

so better not lose no more ;)

dont worry about RVN depleting with age, i cant imagine how slower he can run
 

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Southampton (away) 0-1
Fullham (home) 1-3
Chelsea (away) 0-1
Wolves (away) 0-1
Boro (home) 2-3

Okay, a loss against a strong side like Chelsea away can happen, but could someone explain me the rest 4 losses?!
Pure arrogance. :yuck: :yuck: :yuck: :yuck: What the hell do they think they are? Galacticos?! :frustrat: :irritate: :fero: :scream:
I dont believe in United winning CL this year, but if they go on like this it will also be impossible to win the league.
With only 5 points behind its still possible of course, but now I expect a clear reaction from the team! Without any sh** performances and embarrassing loses like that....
 

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SuicideDD said:
Just back from the match, awful game. Although Tim Howard should not be criticised in the slightest. He made 3 SUPERB saves. And when you look at what plays in front of him it's a wonder we don't get absoloutley tonked every match. The man that is : WESLEY BROWN.
I´d never blame Howard for getting so many goals. He is a good one and does a great job. The goalkeeper looks always like an idiot when the defenders play sh**.
 
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