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[Archived] Mancs V Rovers Carling Cup Second Leg


philipl
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Got a few moments so I will share my surreal evening with you last night.

Malta is unfortunately a sort of Manc in the Med. As you walk the streets, you wonder why so many cars are registered UTD, little red devils peep disturbingly at you in shop windows and bars and offices have ugly Manc memorabilia. The barman shouts "Giggs Out" and an ugly hound lopes back outside and if anyone asks you "How are we doing?" its an evens chance that the we in question are over a thousand miles away at Old Trafford.

Whilst the Maltese have a love hate with the old colonial power, they are subject citizens, willing and servile, when it comes to "United".

So it wasn't difficult to spend yesterday evening in the company of a load of Mancs in Malta to help me compile the preview for the formalities on 25 January of the inevitable United procession towards another trophy.

Malta has the oldest Manc Supporters Club in the world- and the biggest outside Manchester. www.manutd-malta.com/ They have their own three story premises over a gas showroom (yes I was tempted but they sell appliances, not the inflamable stuff) complete with bar, restaurant, liveried waiters, cinema and their own museum which I cheekily pointed out was rather more full of stuff than the trophy cabinet at Old Trafford has been for a season or two. Each year, at least one Manc player comes over to Malta be received with as much reverence and pomp as the Pope and they are very proud of the Gary Neville Training Academy which pumps yet more cash into the right back's copious pockets.

And, get this, they reckon there are about 150 OT season ticket holders in Malta and they all go every other week to watch the games.

So I was with, how shall we put this, slightly unbalanced company yesterday evening. Thankfully our bright start curtailed their bragging and made sitting through the five minutes before MGP equalised slightly less unpalatable than had the Mancs been all over us. So what do they think about the return leg? I won't pose the questions but here are some of the quotations:

"Blackpool aren't worth bothering about. We are completely controlling this game and it will be easy at Old Trafford."

"Where is Blackburn anyway?"

"We played the Reserves tonight, we'll score two or three quickly and then give the kids a game back at Old Trafford."

"Burton are the luckiest team around. We will handle that replay no problem- we'll be fresher than Blackburn in the home leg."

"That Kuqi is uglier than my pug."

"My pug is playing- he's got Tugay on his shirt."

"Rio and Wes were always in control- no sweat."

"That Bellamy is a donkey next to Rio."

"You lot were really lucky Rooney mucked up all his shots tonight. You'll pay for that at Old Trafford."

"Do Blackburn know what the ball looks like?" (during the second half)

"We got rid of Savage didn't we? Don't know what he was doing at United in the first place. We only sign class players."

"That bald headed keeper of your's looks older than my Nan."

"There's nothing at Blackburn for Sir Alex to worry about."

"We were playing with you tonight."

"We'll be alright if we get a decent ref."

"We played badly tonight, just watch us go at Old Trafford."

"You won't get another freak result at Old Trafford."

"40 years since your last win against us, 400 years for the next one."

"Wes Brown hattrick in a 5-0 win for United."

"I don't know why we have to play such little clubs."

"United have always been the biggest club in the world."

"Chelsea are nothing."

"Another treble next season- I can just feel its coming for us."

"Sir Alex taught Hughes everything he knows but kept the best bits to himself."

"There's nothing wrong with United at present."

"Mr Glazer's a true gentleman."

"Hey, aren't you going to buy a round?" tongue.gifrover.gif

I've got a feeling that the prospects for this match might look rather different on 24 January than they do today. Will Evra and Vidic form an instant impenetrable barrier? What injuries/suspensions will there be (at least one less game for Bellamy to get crocked after last night's yellow card)? And any surprise signings by either side?

The good thing about the Rovers' second half display is that for all their posession, the Mancs hardly threatened and Hughes can see exactly what he has to do to tighten things up.

We have 120 minutes to get a goal assuming we reach full time all square so I cannot see it ending 0-0. My head says 2-1 to the Mancs, my guts suggest penalties after extra time.

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It may well be a damning endightment of the Maltese Reds (or of Philip himself) that I genuinely believed some of those quotes to be made up.

I can't see us going through. Sorry. Whilst I agree we have 120 minutes to score a goal, that means going an hour and a half without conceeding. I just don't see that happening. We're going to have to be absolutely clinical in front of goal and we're going to have to score at least twice.

Disappointing 3-0 defeat on the night, but overall we'll all be happy that we're making giant strides under Sparky.

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Realistically we are going to find it difficult to go through. If we manage to get another decent striker in before the match then I think our chances will be much improved.

Pretty much the worst thing that could happen would be Man Utd signing a decent central midfielder before the game. Hopefully Ferguson's inexplicable blindness to this problem will continue. Personally I think Gravesen will turn up at Old Trafford.

As Phillipl says the two weeks till the game should be quite eventful.

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Looks like we have been allocated the whol of the East stand upper tier 1 and not tier 2 where we where the last time we played them in the cup.

It will be a brilliant atmosphere if we can fill it.

Last time, up in the heavans the atmosphere was awful.

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Looks like we have been allocated the whol of the East stand upper tier 1 and not tier 2 where we where the last time we played them in the cup.

It will be a brilliant atmosphere if we can fill it.

Last time, up in the heavans the atmosphere was awful.

374132[/snapback]

It's Tier 2.

user posted image

I'm in block 332

Edited by stuwilky
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No it aint unless you've seen the tickets ?

The Rovers are advertising it as tier 1, and on Uniteds website you can buy tickets for tier 2 east stand ?

374144[/snapback]

Will.

I have my ticket on my desk in front of me.

"East Stand Tier 2"

Entrance E32

Block 332

Definitely where I said.

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Will.

I have my ticket on my desk in front of me.

"East Stand Tier 2"

Entrance E32

Block 332

Definitely where I said.

374152[/snapback]

Looks like your right then ?

Rovers published it wrong, ###### seats.

Not as excited now, no atmoshere sat up there, I predict Rovers will sell 3000 ?

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The only way I think we can get something out of this one is to play a 4-5-1, the mancs will be up for this one and will go all out to win the only trophy they can probably win this season, i expect us to play:

Friedal

Neil Todd Nelsen Gray

Emerton Savage Reid/Mokoena Tugay Pedersen

Bellamy

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