Sir Alex Ferguson takes a dilapidated squad to Turkey seeking a fifth win in a row and effective qualification for the first knock-out round of the Champions League. Manchester United’s players trained in the Bursa Ataturk Stadium last night ahead of the match in which Ferguson promises the Reds will respect their freshman opponents.
Ferguson left ten players behind in Manchester, with Rio Ferdinand the most high-profile casualty. The England captain insists that his back played no part in the decision to skip a four-hour flight, although fixtures against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City in the coming week seem to take priority.
United will also be without Darron Gibson, Jonny Evans, Anderson and Federico Macheda with a virus, while injuries have robbed the Reds of Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Ryan Giggs, Antonio Valencia and Owen Hargreaves.
Ferguson insisted the lengthy list of absentees is not a sign of over-confidence from his outfit. Bursaspor has lost each of its games in this year’s competition.
“We’re not disrespecting or under‑rating Bursaspor,” Ferguson said.
“Bursaspor are top of their league and you’ve got to give respect to anyone who is top of their league. We understand that facing Turkish sides is very difficult because we’ve experienced that when we’ve played Besiktas and Galatasaray and Fenerbahce in the past; all difficult games.”
Ferdinand’s absence almost certainly means a start for summer signing Chris Smalling, alongside captain Nemanja Vidic in the centre of defence. The former Fulham defender has shone in four starts to date for United. Indeed, the 6’4″ defender has out-performed erstwhile first reserve Evans this season.
“With young players, you always have to give them time but, fortunately for the lad, he has come in and taken to it very quickly,” added Ferguson of the £10 million summer signing.
“He has the physical side. He is very intelligent, a tall lad and quick with the ball, and we want to give him as much experience as we can.”
Although it says something for the quality in the opening stages of the Champions League that Ferguson has regularly chosen to rest key players. Not quite a Carling Cup extension perhaps, but matches against Rangers and Bursaspor at home have seen the Scot make up to 10 changes.
However, Ferguson rejects the assertion that the Champions League has become too predictable in the opening rounds. This charge follows changes by UEFA President Michel Platini to introduce more teams from Europe’s so-called smaller nations.
“It’s a natural thing. You won’t get the same crowd or attention or drama if you see Arsenal against a lower team rather than against Manchester United in the Premier League.” added Ferguson.
“But this is the best tournament for me, a fantastic tournament, and it is better than the World Cup in my opinion.”
“Have you seen the last six World Cups? It’s like going to the dentist.”
“In the Champions League, you get some unbelievable games. The group stage is just something you have to get through before it becomes more exciting.”
United can seal qualification with a win in Bursa and a strong Champions League away record augers well. United has won seven of its last eight Champions League away games, most recently the 1-0 victory at
Valencia. The only blip in that sequence is the last-minute defeat at Bayern Munich in last season’s quarter-final.
Ferguson is likely to keep faith with the attacking duo of Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernández that started against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Indeed, with Bursaspor toothless at Old Trafford the Scot may opt to rest Paul Scholes, Nani and Patrice Evra, with Gabriel Obertan joining Park Ji-Sung, Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher in midfield.
Norwegian youngster Magnus Eikrem has travelled with the squad and could make the bench. Meanwhile, 20-year-old defender Rafael has been named in Brazil’s squad for their friendly against Argentina in Doha, Qatar on 17 November.
Despite being top of the Turkish Süper Lig Ertuğrul Sağlam’s side has seemed out of its depth in this year’s Champions League. With no points and no goals from their first three Champions League matches, Bursapor hopes to break its duck tonight.
Not that the poor run will dampen the spirits of a boisterous home crowd, with the Yeşil Timsahlar – Green Crocodiles – benefiting from one of the best atmosphere’s in Turkish football despite the compact nature of the 18,587 capacity stadium.
Milan Stepanov and Ali Tandoğan returned on Friday having missed the win over Ankaragücü. Meanwhile, Federico Insúa is also fit following a hamstring injury.
Bursaspor – 4141 – Ivankov; Ali Tandogan, Öztürk, Erdoğan, Verderson; Svensson; Volkan Şen, Ergić, Insua, Ipek; Sercan Yildirim.
Subs from: Omer, Odabaşı, Svensson, Insúa, Batalla, Turgay, Özkan, Aziz, Çimşir, Ozan Has, Kiriţă, Albayrak, Demir, Steinert, Tandoğan, Bahadır, Keçeli, Núñez, Stepanov, Ramazan Sal, Tekin.
Van der Sar, Amos, Kuszczak, Evra, Brown, Vidic, Smalling, Rafael, Fabio, O’Shea, Eikrem, Scholes, Obertan, Bébé, Fletcher, Carrick, Park, Nani, Berbatov, Hernández.
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (GER)
Assistant referees: Jan-Hendrik Salver (GER) & Mike Pickel (GER)
Additional assistant referees: Babak Rafati (GER) & Tobias Welz (GER)
Fourth official:Felix Zwayer (GER)
Bursaspor – LDDLWD
United – DDWWWW
85 thoughts on “Threadbare Reds seek Euro qualification”
I don’t know which players SAF will use against Bursapor but it should be a mixture of youth and experience.
As opposed…? ;o)
Hernandez-Obertan = 3:0
Starting XI is as follows: Van der Sar; Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Obertan; Berbatov. Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Park, Hernandez, Fabio, O’Shea, Bebe.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson responding to suggestions that the group stage of the Champions League is a tad dull because Uefa have encouraged a wider spread of teams from smaller nations: “To my mind it’s the best competition in the world now, it’s better than the World Cup. Have you seen the last six World Cups? You’re better off going to the dentists.”
Pretty strong 11. Would love Obertan to score.
pretty quiet on here tonight…
Boring match so far, scrappy rubbish.
nearly scored there – the turks that is
need to spark things up
ffs thigh injury
Nani off, Park on
Just what the game needed
park on for nani
come on united
so much possession but no end product as of yet
valencia 1 up against the gers
Class ball from Scholes
They are proper shit
Class tackle from Carrick
was that handball by scholes?
You see, we just won’t be able to play this kind of creative free-flowing attacking football under Mourinho
This game shows that we are crap in midfield, we should be all over em and 3.0 up by now with better players in midfield.
that scholes effort should have stood
just seen a replay of that move and it didnt look like hand ball to me
referee must be related to redcrap and still sore about saturday
berbs too isolated and disinterested up front on his own
time for sweet pea to shine
bebe on for fletcher
stick the pea on for the last 25 mins
Get in, Obi
Finds the top corner
easter island head scores our second!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Obertan, great opportunity, great start!!
But Berbatov should have been there! He’s terrible once again, always losing the ball (
i thought Easter Island does not involve himself too much, but a good goal!
Bebe! Like shit do i beleive that SAF saw nothing of him before buying
nice one from bebe
Looking like another savvy away win
Any song about Da Silvas?
Berbs looks pissed off…
that bulgarian tosser always looks pissed off
Now we are not going to blow the lead?
Poor VDS has to work (
Berba does not want to upset his fellow Bulgarian Ivankov
please ginsoak toser, just sell the cunt
we need gareth bale. he lit up maicon and inter.
its not often i agree with u but u have finally said something sensible
Alot of positives to be taken from this game, but…..when Berbatov conducts himself like this he really lets himself down. Just plain moody! At least make it look like you care.
he’s a disgrace, all them shite reasons robdiablo was harking on about how mourinhos not the opposite of utds traditions so we shouldn’t get him or whatever all apply to berbatov, except we’ve already got him, and are stuck with him forever
Did not see the game, been on the golf course, playing some night golf with this girl. Nothing like a hole in one!
Just reading you alls comments, sounds like it was a good night for the youngsters. How did Obertan and Bebe play?
I hear Gareth Bale tore up Inter Milan. I just listen to Benitez talking on BBC and he was saying Bale just kicked their butts. It would be great if we can get Bale, he is on fire at the moment.
Just reading up on the game, I see Berbatov has not scored in 10 games! Does anyone have a “FOR SALE” sign?
He never has a good game when he plays up front alone.
I see Nani and Fletcher will be out for the Wolves game.
Would not be surprised if SAF starts another youngster up front with Hernandez for the Wolves game and brings Berbatov on as a sub. Obertan and Bebe may start against Wolves and then theres Eikrem.
Although he started the season well, it’s a little harsh to expect him to have scored in 3 of the 10 games since scoring a hat-trick against Liverpool, considering that he played no part. He also didn’t start against Sunderland.
But fuck the facts, let’s have a go at him and get him out of the club, right? Lazy bastard.
Joint second place in the Premier League scoring table, but no goals in 6 starts – what a cunt! Sell him!
I wanted Bale when he was available for pocket change, now he’d cost a lot more than we ‘d be willing to spend.
I still don’t understand why we didn’t fight for him… where was Giggs?
Giggs is still injured. Spurs want 35 million for Bale.
Even if SAF bought just Bale for now, eveyone would be happy about that!
The one stream I could find that didn’t get knocked down by the ‘net nazis was constantly stopping to reload the buffer and often presented the game in a form of stop motion animation that was making me crazy, but even with that, I could see that Berbatov put in a shocking performance. He was the culprit in four out of the five offside decisions given against United. It is becoming difficult to the point of impossible to justify his place in the United squad; his up-and-down performances are not what the side needs.
For the amount of money that he cost, would have thought he ws going to light up Old Trafford. He did start out on fire, but I notice for some reason if Rooney is not there, he cannot handle the pressure of going it alone.
Did Obertan have a terrible game? This is what fans are saying on other sites. They are calling him Championship material. SAF was very pleased with his performance. Whats your take on Obertan?
Funny that you both admitted that you didn’t properly watch the game yet you’re both happy to lay into our top scorer and best performer this season (bar Nani) for two indifferent performances in a row.
Honestly, it will be difficult for me to assess the performances of most players until after I have downloaded the .avi files of the match and watched the game for what is essentially the first time. It looks as though the files won’t be posted until tomorrow (U.S. time).
I try to read into Fergie’s mind and how he puts things across and I have sought of figured him out. When he says he will not be buying any world class players does not mean he is not going to buy any players. Because Iam sure he will buy players, but not the players we think or hope he buys. He will buy top quality young players with world class potential. But there is a world class young player valued at 15 million, played in the World Cup and United has been talking to his agent about a deal. You all may know about this already, but if you don’t, I will give you the link. This player’s agent has made a public statement and an exclusive interview confirming that United have forwarded a deal for this player.
Ooh ooh! gimme a hint! What’s the first letter of his name? I love this game.
decent second half. obertan a is very strange player. he’s full of pace and tricks, can get past people and looks very dangerous at times, but the number of times he gives the ball away is astonishing. his first touch is very hit or miss.
any news on nani yet?
No… what I was asking Herbie, when I said, “where was Giggs”… was, why didn’t he try to talk Bale around?
We wanted Bale, but he chose Tottenham because he thought he’d get more first team action sooner…but Giggs would have been his national team captain at the time… should have made the difference.
I felt the same about Ramsey. Does Giggs not hold any sway with the young welsh players?
Surely a young welsh player especially just needs to look at Giggs to see what can be achieved at OT?
Or maybe they fear the comparisons.
Hrm, Giggs handled the Georgie Best ones well enough… with a little help from Taggart!
On another note I am seriously worried about the number of injures we are getting.
This is a similar situation to what happened to us last winter when Fletch and Carrick played in defence with RDL at Fulham.
3 possible reasons:
1. Too many games – United play 55-60 a season, then there’s internationals and pre-season friendlies
2. Training regime is putting to much strain on the players.
For me it has to be a combination of 1 & 2, 2 is something United can control.
Looks like Bebe and Obertan could both be starting vs. Wolves. We have 3 fit wingers left and I can see Park playing in the middle of midfield in a 4-5-1. Hernandez to start up top on his own – Berbatov clearly doesn’t like that role.
V.D.S – 7/10
Solid, some good saves actually.
R. D.S – 6/10
Like his twin, a really decent performance. He’s a lot better in the tackle this season. Got forward quite a lot. Some inexperience showed but still decent.
Smalling – 7/10
Looking very good now. Not the toughest challenge he’ll face in a Utd shirt but no cakewalk either. Looks good alongside Vidic.
Vidic – 8/10
Nothing needs to be said about the spiritual successor to Steve Bruce!
Evra – 6/10
Entirely fine performance until he went off
Nani – 7/10
Started brightly and made an impact. Clearly our best creative talent (and goalscoring threat) this season. Shame.
Fletcher – 7/10
Typical Fletch performance. Committed and hardworking. Created a bit too and of course got a decent goal.
Scholes – 8/10
Cracking performance from the old master. Possibly(ish) should’ve had a goal, definitely deserved one. Box-to-box a few times too.
Carrick – 7/10
Much better. Full of running at times whih was a nice surprise. Quite a busy midfield but managed it well
Obertan – 7/10
Stunning goal aside, he worked and ran well. Just needs to improve his touch and awareness.
Berba – 5/10
He’s not suited to the lone striker position. He should’ve done better though considering how often our midfield surged forward. I think he gets disappointed easily… with himself as well as the lack of opportunities.
Park – hrmm 6 or 7/10
Fine. Never stopped running. Had a couple of tasty shots. A further improved perfomance.
F. D.S – 6/10
Like his brother, looked solid when called upon in defence, and likes to get forward.
Bébé – 6 or 7/10
Some nice surging runs but also clearly demonstrated a lack of touch and finess. Another fortuitous goal. One standout low cross for Berba towards the end. Good awareness for his own goal. Actually, will bump him to 7/10.
I fail to see why Scholes isn’t getting more plaudits for last night. Immense. Brilliant. Non-stop. A proper turning-back-the-clock evening for him. I didn’t realise he’s the top English scorer in the CL. 2nd British scorer… behind Giggsy
Berba reminds me of Ruud in his manner. Languid, doesn’t sprint a lot, but capable of sublime goals. Sadly he’s not as prolific as Ruud but I suggest getting off his back. He started brightly this season (and fuck did we need it!) so let’s see eh? Rooney scores in bursts remember. 3 against the scousers to make it 3-2? That earns him serious credit.
Obertan is a squad player. He’s just not got the touch needed. Fast though, and seems to have bulked up a bit this season (no?). With more games though, he will only progress. A decent (if over-hyped) prospect. Exactly the same applies to Bébé. Although in the latter stages last night I was gobsmacked with the speed and power he employed to simply breeze past players down the right. Much like Ronaldo (when he realised staying on his feet is a Good Thing). Two good future prospects, who will have an impact as the season progresses.
Carrick was a much better player last night too. Nice to see him making runs. Do you think he’d forgotten he’s allowed/meant to do this? Vidic & Smalling looked rock solid against half-decent opposition. Disappointed with Evans; last season he always played *really* well with Vidic. Dunno what’s happened there.
Park was decent. Like Carrick, might be getting some form and belief back. S.Korea had a decent WC – but didn’t he get injured?
The Da Silva brothers looked top again. They’ve obviously been coached intensely over the summer; both look a lot more solid making important tackles – a lot less lightweight.
MotM? For me… tough one… Scholes. A true masterclass (apart from his miss) and the handball could’ve gone either way – wasn’t intentional and fuck knows how the ref saw it.
Overall a good and reassuring game. Buraspor are top of the Turk league after winning it last year. That’s pretty good. A bit shellshocked to be playing Utd perhaps, but still not a bad team at all. A good test for our younger players.
Final note, in agreement with TRIGGS… if you didn’t watch the game, if you only heard 2nd hand, or saw a few pixelated clips (because you clearly don’t know the best streams!) then fuck off with passing judgement. I’ve seen the beginning and then a later ~10m of Kick Ass (the movie). Would you accept my review?
No. Seriously I ended up here after witnessing supreme retardness on Red Cafe but some of the idiotic shit spoken here is embarrassing.
Yep Scholes was class!
New generation United showed glimpses last night too.
I’ve got to say that at the moment Fergie & scouts looking vindicated on Smalling, Hernandez and Bebe although it is early days.
Nani has groin injury, Gibson has the flu and Anderson has some sort of virus. Hope Nani will be back for the Man City game.
Gibson might make it back. If not:
Yes Bill, that looks like the team for Wolves. In the Telegraph, the United manager indicated that he would be happy to place his faith in the back-up wide-man Obertan and Bebe for the contest against Wolves. Gibson might be back but Anderson is a doubt. Have not heard anything on Rooney. Must be keeping a low profile.
the problem alf, is that when bale was sold, he was playing at left back, and we already had evra and fabio (who was supposed to be the more talented of the twins) was joining 6months later. even at spurs he spent most of the first 2 seasons at left back. its really only since the start of the year that he has been playing further forward on a consistent basis.
that said, he’s a push and run type of player. even when he caries the ball, its in a straight direction. as in he’s not a dribbler. when teams sit back, he’s not going to have room to run behind the defenders. it’ll become predictable. his main asset after all is his pace. personally i think his best position will be back in defense. in the modern game, he’ll be encouraged to bomb forward, overlapping the attacker on the outside, a la cafu/carlos. he’ll need to shore up his defensive game though.
Do you think he would be a good player for United?
Is he worth 35-40 million?
I just don’t see United buying him. SAF will be happy with his wingers at present.
Valencia, Nani, Park, Obertan, Bebe and Giggs. Giggs will prob retire after 2011-12. There’s Cleverley & Morrison to come into the mix too.
If there’s a big buy it will be at the central midfield and goalkeeper position.
Can’t believe we’ve missed out on Sneijder, Ozil and Van Der Vaart in the last 12 or so months. All for no more than 12 mill.
United will have spend double if they want a replace Scholes directly.
ramsay was bum raped by Wenger and bale is too much of a crock. this year though he’s been injury free and playing like a cunt possessed.
Right now all the young players re starting to impress because they are playing more games. Don’t think SAF will pay 40 million for one player when he can buy three top quality youngsters for that kind of money.
I agree. The system has its flaws and is not flexible but that’s the policy. Its worked for squad players, but sometimes you just have to buy big i.e. midfielder and gk.
2 very important positions in any side.
Nothing like taking a quote out of context, exaggerating it, and then piling on an insult for good measure, is there? As for the best streams, I am open to being enlightened, but bear in mind I’m a Mac user, so Sopcast isn’t an option. Judging from the quality of your writing, no, I would not be interested in reading your review of Kick Ass or any other film whether or not you had seen it in its entirety. Last of all, since Bursaspor is given as one of the definitions of the word “hapless” in the Dictionary of Footballing Terms, I wouldn’t try to read too much into last night’s results.
we sent neville to bumrape ransemy I’d rather wengers frail pathetic weedy cock anyday
UNDER AN LKHF ADMINISTRATION ALFS COCK WOULD BE SENT TO ‘SEAL THE DEAL’
AND BY THAT I MEAN BUMRAPE
WE WILL MAKE RODWELL AN OFFER TOO GOOD TO REFUSE
The breaking story today coming out of all the Spanish newspapers is that KAKA has been told by Mourinho that he is free to leave in January. At 28 years old, who will pay 56 million for him? He has been out 4 months with injury and Jose’s feels he don’t need him, Real Madrid are playing great football at the moment and Kaka cannot get back into the team. It would be something if that happened to Rooney! United playing so well that Rooney cannot get back into the team. Funny things happen in football, even to the great players.
I don’t know if anyone is worth that kind of money; maybe a Ronaldo, Messi, or Ronaldinho is his prime, and he’d have to be the right side of 26. When I look at our team over the past few years, or other teams, there’s just not much correlation between the real standout players and their transfer fee. Good proven tend to be between £20M-£30M, but we’ve plenty of evidence to prove that even paying that amount of money for a “proven” player give you no guarantees. How much were Vidic and Evra for example? Relative peanuts. The way I see it, half of all players around £30M or over prove to be duds, which means that each successful transfer in that range actually costs twice the amount. You get a Rooney, but you get a Berba. You get a Rio, but you get a Veron. You get a Ronaldo, but you get a Kaka (who’s great, but a dud at Real). Tevez-Robinho at City, etc.
The Sneijder, Ozil, and VDV transfers tell me that Fergie is perfectly right to seek out “value”, the problem is not the strategy so much as we’re just not making the right choices.
He ws bought to Real Mardid for 56 million but no one is going to put up that kind of money for a 28 year old unless it is Man City. If Madrid are looking for 8-10 million, SAF may think about it, but I doubt it because of his age now. Some are saying he is not as good as he used to be, but he could go somewhere else and all of a sudden his name is all over the newspapers.
You’re familiar with the ways of the internet, surely mate?
Sorry sah, I could be a smug cnut, or I could point you to FSI Crew where these days I find decent streams for browsers. If you get any “IE Only” idiocy, it’s not hard at all to get IE6 running on OSX.
I disagree with the definition, and so do many pundits. But opinions are just that and we’re richer for them!
Shirley, you must be able to see the hypocrisy inherent in ragging on Red Cafe and then proceeding to fashion a post in a style that could only have been honed by frequent posting on that forum.
There’s no could be about it. I do appreciate your offer to help, however. It would be good advice, if I didn’t hate Microsoft so much that I refuse to willingly use any of their products.
But you wouldn’t be paying</i> them to use it; just saying
I loathe that corporation. I consider it the Jose Mourinho of the business world, and I don’t want anything to do with either of them. Your advice is good, but I cannot follow it.