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I’ve never rated this boy, never! During the years I subscribed to glazer TV, sorry mutv I used to regularly watch the reserves/youth team on the channel and although my eye isn’t trained to spot talent there was some on show that was obvious would make the grade at united or indeed in the premiership.

Darron Gibson although playing ok never really caught my eye.

 When Gibson got his opportunity in the 1st team I was very surprised as many other players in my opinion with the greater talent were never given 1st team opportunities, never the less its always nice to see a product of our youth system break through into the 1st team.

Almost from the off I still struggled to see what Gibson brought to the team, for a central midfielder I found him too slow on the ball, painfully slow turning and he seemed to lack any great mobility. His passing was erratic and he seemed to lack any real aggression. The 1 saving grace it seemed was his powerful shot. With this he fooled the world.

A lot of united fans took to him because of this and passed a blind eye on his lack of talent elsewhere that is vital to a central midfielder.

The united fans urge Gibson to “shoot” every time he gets the ball, Gibson for 99% of the time does what the supporters want with his shot 99% of the time ending up in the stands.

He has in his 1st team career scored some screamers for the club, that you cant deny, however he seems to be a scorer of good goals rather than a good goal scorer, add to that all his incapability’s listed above and you’ve got in my opinion a midfielder no better than the likes of Liam miller and djemba djemba from our era of poor central midfielders.

There is an argument that Gibson needs time and the evidence that he will make the grade is a comparison with Darren Fletcher. This is a comparison I can’t agree with at all.

I followed Fletcher closely during his youth years and hand on heart always felt he was united quality, a lot of my mates questioned my judgement but I always said Fletcher would be an important piece of our midfield.

Fletch was brought into the 1st team at a far younger age than Gibson and for the 1st few seasons was played out of position on the right flank rather than in his natural position. Gibson has come into the team, older, physically stronger and been lucky enough to be played in his favoured position. In my opinion you cannot compare the 2.

Gibson will get slightly better but not enough to be united standard, in fact at times I see him play I doubt whether he’s premiership standard either.

Having said all this about Gibson we all have to realise its not his fault, its not his fault he’s not united standard there are far more footballers in the world that aren’t good enough isn’t there?

Also it’s not Gibson selecting himself to play, we aren’t blessed with a great central midfield so for the time being Ferguson is using what is at his disposal.

The whole twitter thing yesterday with Gibson signing up then leaving after abuse (official line is his phone was going off too much with messages. Yea right!) Isn’t a nice thing for anyone to go through.

Would these people say what they did in their tweets to his face? I know for sure what I've written above I wouldn’t cowardly as it sounds. We are all safe behind our computer screens.

With Gibson quitting twitter because of abuse it does show something that could be perceived as a lack of mental strength. Rio Ferdinand and particularly Michael Owen have all been abused on twitter as has Wayne Rooney who only joined over the weekend. All these haven’t shyed away from the abuse, in fact they have revelled in it. Maybe it’s an age thing or experience but Gibson should’ve stood up to the criticism and shown that it wasn’t getting to him.

There is a chance he’s going to do his talking on the football field. Time will tell.

Personally I think he will be gone in the summer.


 
 
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I purposely held back on writing up a blog this week after the city game, partly to let the dust settle on 1 of our most gut wrenching performances and results and another to cover Tuesday night’s game against Newcastle.

 

Ill start with last nights game as it’s still fresh in the memory and if I were to bring up the city game now id go off on a massive rant and probably not cover what I intended to in this article.

I mentioned in my previous blog (see below) that I could see us dropping points against Newcastle and I was unfortunately proved correct.

To be fair Newcastle put up a tremendous battle and put in such guts and determination that saw them hang on for a point.

It’s something they’ve done all season since their return to the premiership, taking points off both Chelsea and arsenal up at st James Park.

Initial thoughts last night were mixed when I saw the team selection. No start for Valencia who has been fantastic since his return from injury even though he didn’t play 90 mins at the weekend and the omission from the squad of the leagues top goal scorer Berbatov.

Ferguson later stating that berba “wasn’t feeling right” in the afternoon of the game. Personally I think he was dropped but we will come to that later.

The rest of the line-up I was happy with, Carrick except for his poor pass on Saturday looking like recovering his form and the energetic Anderson in the middle, Giggs and nani on the flanks was a midfield capable of breaking down the Newcastle defence, add to that Hernandez and Rooney upfront this should have been 3 points in the bag.

As we know it wasn’t.

Early indications were positive, Hernandez denied by a great save from krul, Rooney using a nice bit of skill but blazing over…and, well that was about it really for the 1st half for us.

Anderson could’ve easily given a penalty away. A clumsy tackle from the Brazilian who had another poor night. He looked overweight and a million miles away from the player we saw in his 1st season and them few weeks in late 2010 when he had a run of games. I haven’t given up hope of him becoming a regular united starter but games like last night he has to make an impact.

We managed to weather Newcastle in the 1st 30 mins or so and then started to get a foothold in the game and to be fair it was all us in the 2nd half.

Giggs was unlucky not to score, the ball curling agonisingly wide, his reaction to laugh and have a joke about it with team mates raised an eyebrow ancelotti style with me. I'm glad you found it funny Ryan.

No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t break down Newcastle and in the dying moments we had a penalty decision go against us.

Was it a penalty? As much as lovenkrads was in the 1st half. If the ref had given that then he would’ve had to give ours, he didn’t so he showed consistency which you can’t argue with. My only argument on that was the booking of Hernandez, he was clearly fouled and went down, he didn’t even appeal for a penalty or roll around feigning injury, he went down, landed on the ball and looked up at the ref, and got booked. Very harsh for the young Mexican.

So the game ended 0-0, 7 points clear of arsenal who have a game in hand which is against spurs tonight.

I’ve said previously arsenal heads have gone, I still stand by that which is why I'm wary of the threat from Chelsea now. I genuinely think they are our main title rivals. A win for them tonight will see them only 4 points behind us with us still having to play them.

The other worrying aspect of last night was how leggy we looked. With games coming thick and fast over the next few weeks I cant see a chance to rest players at all.

Squeaky bum time.

Finally on last night’s game can I just say how poorly I thought our full backs were.

John o’shea I cant believe is still a man united player, you can argue his versatility is handy in injury situations but so was Phil Neville’s who is 10 times the player john o Shea is. He looks like he’s running through quick sand every time he runs, he gives the ball away constantly (31 seconds in last night) and most of the time looks like a rabbit in a head light. If the squad is to be given an overhaul in the summer he would be in my “dead wood” pile. This may seem harsh but I see him as a liability most of the time, id much rather if Rafael isn’t fit see Wes brown on the right or give a youth player a chance.

On the other full back position Patrice Evra. Not so long ago I was adamant this boy was the best left back in the world and rightly so in my opinion. The skills and pace of a winger going forward and the aggression and defensive skill that you would want from any defender. At the moment he’s a shadow of that.

He’s had a very poor season by his very high standards. Initially this was put down to his world cup shenanigans with France, mentally and physically tired. Surely by now he’s got over it mentally? And physically? Do me a favour 3 games max he played!

I'm starting to wonder if like Wayne Rooney his mind is elsewhere? Id hate to see him go as I’ve really taken paddy to heart, but if he’s been found out in the premiership or he’s dreaming of greener grass then when your times up, your times up!

So, Saturday, how was it for you? I take full blame for the united defeat, rather foolishly I watched it in the same pub I went for the defeats against wolves and Liverpool this season. Blame me.

For those that don’t believe in all that then where did it all go wrong?

4 people I’ve seen get the blame:

Berbatovs misses

Carricks poor pass

Scholes Red card

Fergusons team selection

Arguably all correct, but to put the blame solely on this would be unjust.

Berbatovs missing them chances, well the 1st 1 was a great save from Joe hart (shame he’s a city lad with EVDS retiring!) and the 2nd was a miss that Hernandez was almost capable of against Chelsea) with man city defensive pressure on his back.

If either of these chances had gone in I think we would have gone on to win the game. Yes blame Berbatov but after that very little chances were created and that’s not berbas fault is it?

If he did get dropped yesterday because of Saturday then I'm disgusted. Wayne Rooney has played like dog dirt for most of this season yet Ferguson always kept the faith with him, Berbatov the premier leagues top scorer misses a couple of chances and has been in and out of the team for the bigger games gets dropped. Simply not fair.

I hope this isn’t the end for Berbatov united career but you can’t help but think he isn’t in fergies plans anymore.

Carricks poor pass, awful, terrible, shocking call it what you will and you will be correct, how a midfielder paid that amount of money can make 1 mistake like that is shocking, he should be dropped and never play for united again, in fact let him go now he’s useless. Tongue in cheek.

A poor pass it was but lets not be so quick to forget his past couple performances against Chelsea, he’s a player with his confidence coming back and no doubt something like Saturday can easily put him back into his shell. The outrage from united fans on him has been terrible.

I like Carrick and hope he can put Saturday at the back of his mind, yes it cost us the game but on another day it wouldn’t have. It’s a mistake even the greats make ( Roy keane against fiorentina) it can be argued you’re only as good as the players around you which leads me on to Paul scholes….

A stupid red card brought on by his frustration at not being allowed in the game and being off the pace. A few months back I mentioned that in the bigger games we couldn’t afford to play gigs and scholes together at the same time, it now seems scholes is struggling in the bigger games too no matter who’s by his side.

The 1st half scholes looked good, had very little pressure from the city midfield but the minute they started pressurising him the game was lost.

I love Paul Scholes, he’s easily my favourite of the “fergie fledglings” and we all know what fellow pros think of him calling him the best midfielder of our generation (zidane said so!) but like Gary Neville I feel the time has come for him to hang up his boots. I hate writing that but his red cost us any chance of getting back into the game, add to that he’s looked lost in many of the larger games the past season or so too.

The red card, a hanging leg with aggression on his face showed to me he had enough. His reaction to the red said it all, no arguing with the ref, head down as he walked off the pitch very reminiscent of zidane at the 2006 world cup final.

I can’t help but feel that he needs to say enough is enough and retire at the end of the season whilst he’s still almost on top.

Finally team selection, It’s a shame at no point in the match did we go with berbatov and Hernandez upfront with each other, you may argue we could’ve got over run in midfield but 1-0 down you have to take that risk as we didn’t look like scoring at all.

Park looked shattered after the midweek shift he put in and not starting with Valencia again I think was a mistake.

Team selection however is the least thing id point my finger at, the team we put out was more than capable of beating city, it’s the lack of motivation or will to win that was the real shocker on Saturday.

With fergie in the stands and our bench not even coming pitch side to get the lads going was a real let down, especially when seeing mancicni bark orders at his players for the whole 90 mins. City wanted it more.

If we had shown the same passion as they did trying to get Ballotelli at the final whistle then we would have been fine and through to the final. Instead we are left with the prospect of the noisy neighbours finally about to get their hands on silverware.

So where does this leave us? Ultimately I can see 1 huge positive from all this and that is it’s now clear to all we need investment into the whole squad.

If we had won the treble fergie or more importantly the glazers could’ve hidden behind the fact that if the team was good enough to win all major trophies we wouldn’t need further investment.

Now it’s obvious we need it and im sure if Ferguson doesn’t get it this summer he will out the Glazers especially if he manages to get title 19.

Where the Glazers will find the money they need to invest unfortunately is only going to come from 1 place and that’s the fans pocket.

It promises to be an interesting summer on and off the pitch at United


 
 
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After this weeks fantastic result against Chelsea that’s seen us through to the semi finals of the champions league its really starting to look as if we are in with a great shout of making it to the final at Wembley in May.




We have an upcoming FA Cup semi final against City on Saturday to look forward to and of course the destiny of getting our league trophy back is very much in our own hands.

The question is are we on the verge of seeing our great team of 99 efforts repeated or is it all a false dawn and a season that could still end up with us empty handed?

Premier League

Personally this is the 1 I want us to win the most, not because its going to take us to that magical number 19 and see us overtake the scousers, of course that’s a lovely bonus to winning it but the league title should always be the main priority.
Almost every weekend we see our boys battling for 3 points to get their hands on the title, it’s our bread and butter and the main aim of the season.
Like I mentioned earlier, the title is very much in our hands no matter what the likes of jack Wilshere down at the emirates says.
We do have some tough games in the run in but our form and resilience these past couple of weeks fills me with confidence.
We were unlucky down at Stamford bridge, poor refereeing cost us that game like it has done in almost every Chelsea game the past 3 years or so and that for me is the worry, the FA and referees.
I never really bought into the fact that there was a conspiracy against united, I honestly believed it was swings and roundabouts but the Chelsea games have given me cause for concern. Is it really a coincidence we beat Chelsea home and away with a foreign ref? yet in the league we’ve been on the receiving end of unbelievably poor decisions?
Without getting into it too much it wouldn’t surprise me if someone at the FA has it in for united, fergies been punished countless times this season and Rooney recently with this whole swearing scenario.
Looking at the fixtures we can win every game and afford to lose against arsenal, of course you wouldn’t want that to happen and I can’t see them beating us as they aren’t good enough to. That’s not me being arrogant I just think we’ve got the measure over them and they know that.
I’m so lucky to have seen united in many title run ins during my lifetime and within every season there is a moment when the team makes things hard for themselves and have a little blip. Looking at the fixtures I've earmarked 2 fixtures that I can see this possibly happening, Newcastle away next Tuesday and Blackburn away.
I think these are 2 fixtures that will go 1 way or the other, either us hammering them or dropping points. These are the teams that like to raise their game against us so it wouldn’t surprise me entirely to see dropped points.
Hopefully we will get through Saturday injury free and on the back of a win which should propel us to a win Tuesday.
Blackburn away, well I don’t want to tempt fate but the title could be wrapped up by then, it’s certainly going to be interesting.

Can We do it?
The league is the trophy I'm confident of winning the most, we are in the driving seat, and have the players who’ve been here before, injured players are all back now and of course the ones that have had a dip in form are all starting to shine again.

The Champions League

I never in a month of Sundays believed we would get this far, the draw in some ways has been kind to us although it would be unfair to suggest we’ve had an easy route so far, especially facing Chelsea and next game a game against a team that battered the current European champions.
We are on very dangerous ground in terms of facing schalke, they don’t really have that many household names but we can’t afford to take them lightly. Our record against German opposition apart from the final in 99 isn’t the best either.
We’ve been knocked out countless times by German opposition we were expected to beat, Dortmund, Leverkusen, and of course Bayern Munich last season. It’s a shame some reds feel we are already in the final; it’s very dangerous to presume such things.
For the purpose of this article lets say we do progress, I think we will but it will be a lot more difficult than some think.
The final will be either against Barcelona or Real Madrid, us romantics would like nothing more than to play real Madrid in the final, the homecoming of Ronaldo and a chance to show him why he was wrong to leave united.
Then there is the other side who would like barca, seeking revenge for that whitewash of a final back in 2009.
I think Ferguson would love Barcelona and a chance to lay to rest the ghost of that night in Rome. He hasn’t talked about that match since, he refuses to. He knows what went wrong that night and believe me it was a lot more than missing Fletcher. Sticking Ronaldo upfront and sacrificing Rooney on the wing wasn’t the best move of fergies career.
I'm sure fergies learnt from that mistake and if we were to play barca with everyone available and in their current from e.g. Carrick and park then I'm sure we would run them a lot closer this time around, I wouldn’t say we would win it but certainly put up a better fight.
If we were to get Madrid id be more confident. Ronaldo to me is still the best player in the world, it’s an argument very similar to Pele and maradona, who’s best Ronaldo or messi? But having watched Ronaldo live for his whole united career I think his all round game is slightly better than messi and pointing out the obvious is Madrid’s main threat.
As always Madrid’s weakness is in defence, under Mourinho they have improved in that area but are still there to be got at, Nani, Valencia, Hernandez and Rooney all capable of breaching the Spaniards defence.

Can We do it?
 In a 1 off game against either of these teams you would have to fancy our chances in the form we are in. If Carrick and park keep up their form, Valencia and Nani play like they have and a return to the team for Fletcher then surely that midfield can be a threat against either of these 2 sides?
To sum it up, if we were to get Madrid id be very confident of winning, if we were to get barca not so confident but I'm sure we would run them a lot closer.

FA Cup

My 1st ever blog I wrote on mufcblog was indeed about the FA Cup and how much I wanted to see us win it this season.
My thoughts on this have only increased as we’ve progressed in the competition, the fact that we play the bitters on Saturday in the semi final just adds to the whole excitement of our cup journey.
Forget about the man city factor for a second, we haven’t won the FA cup since 2003, that’s far too long for a club like ours to go without winning it. Ignore what certain journalists say about the FA cup dying, I know I speak for a lot of supporters that still hold the cup in high regard.
Now back to the man city factor….
Last season we ended their hopes for a cup final and possible silverware by knocking them out on our route to winning the carling cup. Both games were intense affairs and you could feel the huge rivalry between the 2 clubs. Knocking them out of the cup was one of the highlights of last season for me and I expect the same on Saturday.
The eyes of the world will be on Wembley Saturday evening and it’s a prime chance to again ruin city’s season whilst getting us to a cup final that we should win with the greatest respect to potential opposition.
I really feel city are on the ropes at the minute after their mauling at the hands of Liverpool and the injury to Carlos Tevez, city really are there for the taking.
I feel only an error in team selection (PIG, Gibson, Bebe, Obertan or other players that aren’t quite ready for a game like this) or some dodgy refereeing decisions will stop us from booking a place in the FA cup final. You could argue with Rooney being out that will effect us, then again bringing in the premierships top scorer as a replacement for him isn’t the worst scenario in the world. Also lets not forget our current number 7 who I still believe has a part to play somewhere along the line during the run in.

Can We do it?
As mentioned above only team selection and/or bad referee desicions will see us stopping us get our hands on this trophy.
Back in 2008 we came close to getting to the final only to see us robbed of a victory against portsmouth.
If we get through against City im sure we will win it.


So can we win the treble?
As fergie keeps saying we will need luck and lots of it.
Certain things are starting to fall our way, the penalty decision at the bridge (about time!) which suggests lady luck is smiling down on us.

I’ve heard some people say that this squad isn’t as good as the 1 in 99, I think our starting 11 isn’t as good but the squad itself I think is stronger in terms of strength in depth, what other team can boast leaving a player like Berbatov or Hernandez on the bench?

As in 99 I think if we win the league then a domino effect will then proceed, it will give us the emphasis to go on and win the remaining trophies on offer.

Do you think we can win the Treble?

Remaining Fixtures

Saturday 16th April

The FA Cup sponsored by E.ON

17:15

Man City vs Man Utd

Tuesday 19th April

Barclays Premier League

19:45

Newcastle vs Man Utd

Saturday 23rd April

Barclays Premier League

12:45

Man Utd vs Everton

Tuesday 26th April

UEFA Champions League

19:45

Schalke 04 vs Man Utd

Sunday 1st May

Barclays Premier League

14:05

Arsenal vs Man Utd

Wednesday 4th May

UEFA Champions League

19:45

Man Utd vs Schalke 04

Sunday 8th May

Barclays Premier League

16:10

Man Utd vs Chelsea

Saturday 14th May

Barclays Premier League

12:45

Blackburn vs Man Utd

Sunday 22nd May

Barclays Premier League

16:00

Man Utd vs Blackpool


 
 
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I really didn’t want to blog about Wayne Rooney again, I'm becoming fed up hearing about him for every reason other than his football.

For those that read my blogs regularly you will know what I think of Rooney, for those who don’t in a nutshell I think he’s a fine player but has lost his way completely this past year or so and I think it would be in our best interest to let him go this summer.

To me he still looks like he doesn’t want to be at the club and its fair to say a lot of the fans haven’t forgiven him for his transfer antics in the winter.

His actions are bringing and unwanted focus on united in a very important part of the season for us. It’s the last thing the club and players need having all eyes on Wayne Rooney when we have such an important run in.

It’s turning into a media circus like the Beckham days.

 On Saturday what Rooney did was stupid, utterly stupid, I don’t even think you can say it was “heat of the moment” like Rooney is suggesting, he celebrates then has a cooling off time before looking into the camera and swearing just for the sake of it by the looks of things.

Before I continue I must stress I am not defending what Rooney did in any shape or form.

My problem with this whole 2 game ban is how other players seem to get off with far worse.

Ashley Cole brought a gun to training and shot, that’s right, SHOT a kid who was on work experience and hasn’t been handed any kind of ban or fine from the FA. I expect or at least hope Chelsea have dealt with this in house by fining him.

Mario Balotelli threw a dart at a youth player, an actual dart that went into this youth player. Again the FA didn’t intervene.

You could argue these incidents didn’t happen in the public eye, however with mass media coverage everyone knew about it the next day and it brought the game into disrepute.

An example of something that happened last season that was in the public eye that went unpunished then:

Steven Gerrard on TV went up to the referee and stuck 2 fingers up to his face, what a bout the respect campaign there? Where was the match ban? There was none.

Its all well and good saying Rooney deserved the ban and I wouldn’t argue the case if it was the same rule for all it’s just the inconsistencies that make all this so frustrating.

Rooney’s off the ball elbow the other week had the whole nation baying for blood and wanting Rooney banned for 10 games, of course its hard to argue against a ban, however a week or so later saw Jamie carragher make in his very own admission a horrible tackle on Nani that could easily have broke his leg. There was no furore from the media about that, none what so ever.

My final rant about this whole thing is Rooney’s right to appeal, I use the word appeal loosely.

If Rooney appeals against this then he will run the risk of an extended ban, even if he admits he was guilty but challenge the length of suspension its likely his ban will increase.

Can anyone tell me in any other walk of life where if you appeal against something you will run the risk of getting further suspension? What if you’ve been caught speeding for instance and get banned for 12 months? Is there a chance if you appeal that your driving ban will get increased to 2 years? No not a chance at all so why is this different?

Some perspective really needs to be taken here, the FA are taking unprecedented action against someone who swore into a camera, when compared to the other instances I highlighted earlier it really does pale against them, especially as Rooney isn’t the 1st to swear into a camera and get caught on live TV.

Also just to highlight that on Saturday Didier Drogba went off the field of play to confront a fan and offered him to come down to the bottom of the stand to have it out with him, of course nothing said about that and the FA aren’t interested.

If we wore the red of United you just know he would be pulled up on it.


 
 
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If Carlsberg did football weekends then this weekends would probably have been the best in the world!

West ham away is always a tricky fixture, the hammers look at us as if we are main rivals to them, when truth be told we don’t care about them in the slightest.

It was a very strange game, we started well, looked like scoring every time we went forward then got struck a blow when Evra got caught out by a long ball and handled in the area. The handball pretty much summing up what has been a relatively poor season for everybody’s favourite crazy Frenchman.

We responded well to going a goal down by continuing to attack, but yet again a slip in concentration in the back 4 cost us yet another penalty with Vidic conceding it just about in the area.
Vidic was then in somepeoples eyes fortunate to stay on the field after tugging down Ba, replays suggest the ref got it right as the PIG wouldve got to the ball 1st in any case.
Vidic was also lucky in the second half to not get a second booking. A fine player for Manchester United no doubt about it but prone to get himself booked for stupid tackles.

 2-0 down at half time.

I took a quick look on twitter to see everyone’s reactions the majority of reds given up hope of any kind of comeback and resorting to criticising Carrick and Gibson in the center and Rooney’s seemed lack of effort up top.

I tweeted at the time that I felt if we carried on like we were playing we would win it, West ham were gifted 2 goals whilst we continued to look to score every time we went forward, especially with the impressive Valencia on the right.

The criticism of Gibson and Carrick were just I suppose, although I've seen the pair play far worse than they did Saturday.

Gibson it must be said isn’t united quality, he’s far from it actually but his inclusion shows our lack of strength in depth in that department. Carrick I'm still hoping will come good again,, Rooney…well the second half showed exactly the kind of performance he’s capable of.

3 well taken goals including a fantastic free kick  and a tap in for everyone’s favourite Mexican Javier Hernandez ensured that we left Upton Park with all 3 points, it was a comeback reminiscent of the win at goodison back in 2007.

In all the excitement of the comeback Rooney once again grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons, swearing down into the camera for the whole world to hear. Great move Wayne! Heat of the moment Rooney has put this down to, I put it down to stupidity.

So Rooney scored the hat trick and the united fans sang his name and his song in full voice, actually they didn’t, the fans put in a good 5 minute rendition of “viva Ronaldo” very much reminding Wayne that he still isn’t forgiven by the MUFC faithful.

Later on in the day Chelsea dropped 2 points, surely that’s them out of the title race now isn’t it? The tea time kick off saw arsenal do the same and drop 2 much needed points.

The famous arsenal run in wobble is now in full swing and its going to take a slip up like no other that will stop us from becoming the team to win the title the most times. Sounds good doesn’t it?

The excitement of the champions league is back this week with an absolutely mouth watering tie against Chelsea.

We are due a result down at the bridge and hopefully with no bent FA refs about then we will get a positive result.

I can see Chelsea going hell for leather for victory here, the champions league is realistically their only hope of silverware this season, probably too far behind in the title race and we all know Abramovic wants the champions league more than anything.

Whilst it would no doubt hurt if we got knocked out by the rent boys id still much rather see us win the league this season.

I'm not quite sure how we will line up against Chelsea, I'm sure we will go there to get an away goal and although Berbatov hasn’t been selected in many of the big games this season to see him rested on Saturday suggests that he could be part of the starting 11 on Wednesday.

Chelsea wont have David Luiz available for selection as he’s cup tied so they wont have pace at the back, something Javier Hernandez could exploit if selected and obviously we have Rooney going into the game on the back of a hat trick so fingers crossed all is well with out attacking options.

The midfield will be an interesting battle, Chelsea’s midfield is better than ours or at least more competitive and aggressive. I'm not sure what the situation is with Fletcher but he is a must starter if available, again seeing Scholes not playing at the weekend means he will most likely play with Nani and Valencia on the wings.

Defence will hopefully stay strong for us, Vidic has been given nightmares in the past by Torres but he seems a shadow of the player he used to be before his injuries, looking like he’s lost a yard or 2 of pace. He will still be a danger but I'm confident enough we can keep him quiet.

Smalling alongside him has had a remarkable season and was unfortunate to concede a penalty on our last visit here a few weeks ago.

Evra I feel is having a bit of a wobble at the minute but not enough to leave him out of the team, his attacking down the left and pushing back the Chelsea wing play is going to be important as it will for our right back which will hopefully be Rafael if fit.

It’s certainly shaping up to be some match.