Manchester United will face Valencia in the Champions League on Wednesday without Wayne Rooney, who has succumbed to an ankle injury and did not travel. The problem, which precipitated the striker’s substitution against Bolton Wanderers, will force a change in tactics from Sir Alex Ferguson, who dare not lose to the La Liga leaders.
Rooney’s injury was initially diagnosed as nothing serious by manager Ferguson leading the speculation that the striker has been dropped on the basis of his continuing poor form. Whatever the truth, Ferguson’s thinking for the match has been clarified by his star player’s absence. Always likely to deploy a lone-forward at Mestalla, the Scot no longer has to consider the previously unthinkable – dropping Rooney on form, or using the former Evertonian on the left wing.
Such is Dimitar Berbatov’s form – and turnaround in fortunes – that he will certainly start just his second Champions League fixture in the past ten.
The Scot has put extra store in United’s result against Valencia after the dour stalemate against Rangers at Old Trafford earlier this month. Lose to Valencia tomorrow night and United’s dropped points against the Scottish champions could still prove costly in a group the Reds are supposed to win comfortably.
If Ferguson’s last-minute dash to watch Spain’s ‘other giant’ caught supporters and the media by surprise last Wednesday, there is little doubt how important the Scot now rates the result. United has not failed to qualify from the group stages since the disastrous 2005/6 campaign in which Ferguson’s side lost to both Benfica and Lille.
But if United is to take a point from the trip south then Ferguson’s men will have to do without both Rooney and Ryan Giggs, who is likely to sit out the next fortnight with a hamstring strain. Paul Scholes played the full 90 against Bolton on Sunday and did not travel with Ferguson’s 22-man party. The 35-year-old midfielder rarely completes two matches back-to-back.
With Owen Hargreaves still on the sidelines, Michael Carrick returning to training this week and Anderson short of minutes after a lengthy rehabilitation, Ferguson is short of options in midfield.
Alongside Darren Fletcher, two of Anderson, Darron Gibson or Carrick will come into a three-man central midfield. Park Ji-Sung is most likely to take Giggs’ role on the left flank, although Bébé travelled with the squad. Berbatov will start as United’s lone-striker.
United supporters will have much to ponder about United’s creativity in Scholes’ absence, with Park likely to reprise his role as the Reds’ ‘defensive attacking midfielder’ and Nani the essential outlet.
Ferguson also has concerns about Rio Ferdinand, who sat out the draw with Bolton as a precaution, but has completed just 90 minutes of first team football this season. The 32-year-old England captain is likely to partner Nemanja Vidic at the heart of a United defence that has conceded seven times on the road this season.
“It is a big concern conceding so many away goals,” captain Vidic said.
“We have lost too many goals in away games and we have to stop that. We haven’t given that many goals away in the past. We have always looked strong and haven’t given teams so many chances.
“We have to be much better in Spain. Valencia are in decent form and won their first [Champions League] match 4-0 and are now top of La Liga. That shows how well they are playing at the moment.”
“At Bolton, there was one goal conceded from a set-piece and one came after a corner, which is not good. We are giving teams too many opportunities and they are taking them. We have to work on the small details and keep coming again.
“It is hard to explain what is going wrong. It is not the true Manchester United. It does have to be sorted out very quickly.”
Starting at Mestalla on Wednesday night, although with Jonny Evans and John O’Shea seemingly make the worst fist of a good opportunity this season, nothing is guaranteed on that front.
Meanwhile, Valencia will seek to extend United’s barren run in Europe against Spanish opposition. Ferguson’s side has won only once in Spain and failed to score on the last three visits. Indeed, United has faced some tough fixtures against the port side.
The clubs first met in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup, with Valencia winning 2-1 at Mestalla following a goalless draw in Manchester two weeks earlier. The sides met in the Champions League in 1999/2000, United winning 3-0 at home and drawing 0-0 away, with Valencia and not United making the final. The following season Valencia again went all the way with the sides playing out two draws in the group stage.
With the club due to move into a new 75,000-seater Nou Mestalla in the north-west of the city in 2011, this may be the last chance for United supporters to expeirience the intimidating Mestalla atmosphere, with stands close to the pitch and steeply banked seats rising high above the pitch.
Despite the club’s stature, Los Che are Spain’s surprise league leaders this season, with Unai Emery’s side seemingly not regressing after the sale of David Silva and David Villa to Manchester City and Barcelona for a combined £50 million fee. Emery’s side play an attacking brand of football with wingers Juan Manuel Mata and Joaquín Sánchez providing pace and width.
It’s a threat that Ferguson has clearly in mind.
Valencia – 433 – César Sánchez; Bruno, Navarro, R Costa, Alba; Rodríguez, Topal, Fernandes; Joaquín, Soldado, Mata. Subs from: Albelda, Domínguez, Aduriz, Feghouli, Guaita, Dealbert, Stankevičius, Hernández, Banega, Mathieu, Monteiro, T Costa, Moyà.
Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Amos, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, O’Shea, Evans, Rafael, Brown, Anderson, Bebe, Nani, Carrick, Gibson, Fletcher, Park, Hernández, Berbatov, Macheda, Owen.
Referee: Viktor Kassai
Assistant referees: Gabor Eros & Tibor Vamos
Fourth official: Ferenc Bede
Additional assistant referees: Mihaly Fabian & Tamas Bognar
Valencia – WWWWDW
United – WDDWWD
136 thoughts on “Wayne stays mainly away from Spain”
I agree with your team, but I think Gibson will get the nod over Carrick, simply because of minutes played this season and the goal threat he offers which the other midfielders dont.
Anyone who saw how Bebe failed to cover the full back and chased the ball at Scunny will know that there is zero chance of him starting on the left. Although there is a slim possibility of Hernandez starting there.
Again we’re relying on Nani and Berba to create everything.
The nightmare scenario is that Fergie plays O’Shea in the midfield.
WORD! WORD! WORD!
SAF will no doubt continue with his adoration of O’Pie/O’Gay/O’Shit/Etc as he sees him as decent cover for Giggs, or for Hargo/Fletch, or Evra, or Nev, or Rio, or VDS, or Berba… etc WHY GOD WHY?!?!?
With Jessica Alba at left back, she will surely be used to distract United’s players.
On a more serious note, it wouldn’t surprise to see Aritz Aduriz starting upfront as he has done recently.
I think it’s best to rest Rooney (whether injured or not). If he sits out the Sunderland game too he then won’t have to go off with England and he can concentrate on getting fit (mentally and physically).
p.s. Why is O’Shit getting in at RB ahead of Brown?
I can see Gibson playing ahead of Carrick – this could be a too big game to come straight back into.
nah not carrick or gibson, neville right back oshea in midfield, big european game away from home requires ‘experience’
Oh god, you’re right; that’s just the sort of thing Sir Alex would do.
Rafael at RB and then finally we will have our strongest defence with Evra, Vidic and Ferdinand back! Gary Neville MUST retire, he is so awful now and off the pace! Carrick will be in with Fletcher and Anderson/Gibson, with Berb, Nani and Park the attackign 3!!
Just means Brown at RB and O’Shea in midfield! 6 years ago today Rooney made his debut for United. Eric Djemba-Djemba also played in that game. Perhaps we should draft him in. We could play a 4-6-0 formation with six defensive midfielders spread across the middle of the park.
So shit they named him twice.
Wasn’t he on the brink of signing for WBA in the summer?
our midfield for rooneys debut was bellion djemba kleberson giggs
Horrendous! A nadir indeed.
Rooney out for 3 weeks.
Need an experienced striker to cover who has good movement & proven goalscoring record. Wait a second – enter Michael Owen!!!
I would say there’s a good chance he’ll start vs. West Brom & Bursaspor at home. On the bench for Valencia, Sunderland & Stoke as United go 4-5-1.
The forward three, to be more precise. The only Park attacks from the left is my patience.
It would be wonderful if Fergie threw Bebe in the deep end.
It’s what dreams are made of.
Go on lad, make a name for yourself.
tbh, i would love to see that happen. but fergie has said many a time, that bebe just isnt ready for first team action yet. his body probably couldnt cope with 90mins at this level. and the last thing we need, is for him to have his confidence shot in a bunch of games where he isnt match fit.
thank God Fergus has finally got the bollocks to drop Shrek. he has been shit despite what the rooney bummers have been saying – even though he “work’s hard for the team” he has been turd. fuck him out for a month – he shld have had a rest before the season started anyway so this is just what he needs. he can sit in the spare room with a mapcker of JP specials, a couple of bags of chips and a few cans of kestrel. he needs to get fit and his mind straight.
also think that fergus’ balls have dropped again, playing owen, berbs and mecheda in final few minutes of bolton game to try and nick a win showed bollocks.
nani is looking really tasty – he still can’t cross for shit but nor could CR but that will come. gonna be our player of the season if he can just stay fit. play him every game.
Bebe to come in and save Utd’s bacon.
I’d love that. But he didnt look like he had a clue dfensively against Scunny, so cant imagine him being drafted in. But he must be impressing because Fergie could have esily brought Obertan on this trip.
It would be good to see him given the last 25 mins
anyone else think we should flog rooney off to madrid in the summer for 30M + Benzema?
then with the money buy a decent right back and creative midfielder?
After seeing Benzema last night, I’d say he’s in worst form than Rooney. Plus if you think Rooney is under the spotlight, just imagine the field day the press would have with Benzema’s underage sex scandal which is still looming.
I’d rather use United’s profits to buy a creative midfielder
FFS… Wake up you numpty…
WE got 80 mill for Ronnie and spent fuck all… what makes you think we’d see any of that cash?
thats not the point, i asked if you think thats what we should do, not what will happen with the money if we sold rooney … chump
also, we havent spent fuck all. blew 10M on smalling, 7M on hernandez and 7M on Bebe.
Even if Sir Alex were given the money, he’d spend it on three young strikers we’ve never heard of.
Why is Obertan not in Spain? If he can’t even get selected when Nani is shunted to the right, he’s never going to get picked. Park will probably play tonight then.
van der Sar
SUBS: Kuszczak, O’Shea, Smalling, Gibson, Macheda, Hernandez, Owen.
Rafael, at fucking last
And I’m glad Ando is starting. Had a terrible thought Gibson would start ahead of him
You’ve got Park playing on the left.
suddenly our defence looks fucking great
actually I fancy an anderson goal
valencia are in even more financial shit than us
i did kind of feel sorry for them watching the pre match item on tv
actually thats definitely gone now
hope we will get a point at least and a goal or 3 would be grrrrrrreat
berbs needs to give a good account tonight but looks pretty much as he is going to be on his own up front
Our strongest defence at last
townsend is fuckin obsessed with this idea rafael is any more of a liability than oshea
and apparently nani and berbatov have had ‘solid’ starts to the season ffs
fucking infuriates me how that cunt gabriel clarke interrupts people while they answer the questions he’s fucking asking them to ask another one, that’s the opposite of interviewing ffs that’s just having a big gob ffs
the stadium looks half empty
ffs its united they’re playing not exeter
come on united
its on itv dozer
alrite start park aside
Well then, seeing as how this is just “pretend”… let’s all get on our action man gear, storm the Glazers fortress in Florida… hold the cunt to ransom, force him to sell the club to the fans for 50 pence and spend the Ronaldo money on cyborg versions of Fat Ronaldo, Maradona, and Robson…
How’s that… ya tool?
yeah, thats great. really intelligent comment. moron!
I hate “alright starts”… we had an “alright start” against Barcelona… and got done by a fuckin shit goal against the run of play.
Let’s run these jumped up Wallys into the pitch.
why cant nani fking cross the ball quicker?????
Looks like Anderson is seeing a lot of the ball… he’s going to get a real chance to show up tonight… let’s hope he takes it.
yeah but when we have a great we score then faff then lose
Carrick… you twat… wake up.
if we don’t buck up there going to skin us
pretty boring stuff
Rangers 1 nil up
I don’t understand this formation at all.
It looks to me like Fletcher, Carrick Park in the middle…
And Nani, ANDERSON, Berbs.
Is that right? Is Anderson in the middle of a front three?
no anderson is off berbatov, who’s working the channels a lot, park is left, this is 442
park on the left, nani right alf
carrick – united are playing in the red shirts you twat
Well, whatever… our passing is rubbish.
come on reds ffs
half hour gone, one long range effort each
no tempo at all
fuck me, walking pace
nani is believing his own hype
United at 74% passing right now… not quite good enough. Park, Nani and Anderson the guilty parties. According to the live stats that is. Interesting shape tho, with Anderson just off Berbatov.
seems like wev decided not to try and score a goal
were fucking shite
There Faffing knobhead
Park is gack!
park embarrassingly bad
what a shite half of football
Half time and there is only one word to describe that half “fucking Gaff”
Park off… move Anderson to his plce, and bring on another striker… Chico?
what’s wrong with the quality in ITV?
ITV hd seems to have point to the same quality link
pretty fking woeful stuff
these guys are there for a buggering if we can be remotely arsed
park is playing like he doesnt know his team mates
nani is infuriating
berbs is sniffing for the ball too deep
having said that though, if we can string a few passes together, i reckon we can give them somethng to think about 2nd half
vidic and rio looking good
yep, or owen?
Yep… but some here actually think… he’s a terrific little player.
Could any one of those people speak up now and tell me, why?
That moment in 44th minute typifies why I think Park is shit. Run into a blind alley, fall over and give the ball away.
Fletcher has contrived to be even shitter. Has he even had a decent game all season?
Evra’s going to be treated for the sores on his arse at half time. Getting raped with worrying regularity in that area of the pitch.
We’re lucky to be going in at half time on level terms. 2 or 3 excellent crosses in the box have gone unpunished.
IK fancy Chicos pace to keep their defence honest… they’re having nothing to worry about right now.
heh, itv aren’t happy we’ve made this a dour game, slaughtering us as if we’re getting battered
gareth southgate is a twat of the highest degree
I wonder if Queiroz was the coach who taught things like passing – preferably to a teammate – and receiving passes. If so, United need to bring him back ASAP. Aside from the heroic efforts of Park down the left, United look dreadful. Don’t think I’ll be downloading the .avi files for this one either.
owen needs to come on – at least change it a little up front since we are toothless
We should sub Chicharito or Owen for Park, and switch to 4-4-2.
this game is so bad im contemplating injecting my cock with aids, whilst hammering 9 inch nails into my bollocks
Who’ll play on the left?
remember when ronnie made southgate look a fucking twat when he was boro boss
‘maybe I’m too good’
Sheesh… I have a theory about Fletcher.
Since we didn’t get any midfield upgrades… Ferguson is asking Fletcher for a contribution, that’s beyond his ability.
Fletcher is a midfield battler, and when he sticks to that task, he’s pretty good, but when he tries to get too forward, and involved in an attack, his limitations are exposed.
Fletcher should be told to stick to the job of ball winning and disruption… and excel at that.
rafas been solid
To be fair, he hasn’t had to do much… Valencia have been targeting our left.
thoguht that was a goal, lethal ball in, superb from vidic
time for gibcunt i reckon
I think Ferguson is settling for a draw here… how sad is that?
If I were more savvy on the old PC I’d do a poll on just HOW SHIT IS CARRICK….??
O’Shea coming on… Fergie’s going for it now.
dirty motherfucker spanish cocksucker on vida
can somebody twat Nani for being a wussie
Our whole team has been shit.
This has been a horrible game to watch.
rafa and the centre halves have been good, and anderson was our best midfielder, so of course he was the one taken off by the horse rimming ginsoak cunt
What a goal!
What quick feet… beautiful…
take it owens playing at the weekend then
Goal sit back draw just wait
macheda shat himself there
Good win this.
On paper, away to Valencia should be the toughest of the games.
Someone check Kiko’s pants! LOL
good win only ruined by the shite football shite performance shite park and oshea coming on
much needed win but boy were we shite !!!!! (movement for the goal apart)
nice one guys
shite 75 mins though but we beat the spanish dirty fucks in their own ghetto
Great goal from Chico…
But what a dire game.
we are shite, its offical. nani is looking awesome tho. twice the player when playing on the right
Maybe not… that goal should give Chico a bit of confidence, and encourage Ferguson to give him a chance.
It’s not like there’s anyone playing there now.
4-5-1 in away games will be the norm after this – perfect smash & grab!
Happy that Rafael played well, if he could hit some form we have our RB for the next 10 years.
macheda, he’s 20 ffs he should be backing himself against any cunt
sweet pass by our roman gladiator – actually not so gladiatorial judging by the fracas with their goalie – defence looked pretty solid compared to the past 4 weeks so all in all a great result. I for 1 would have settled for a point at 7.45pm tonight
Solid performance after the recent terrible defensive bullshit. They’re quality, and they never looked like scoring, so that can only be a good thing.
Having 3 in midfield with Carrick protecting the defence worked well
But the kids won it for us. Nani’s run was class and Macheda does well to square it.
Pleased to see Ando further forward too
itv fucking love us now we gave em a goal
They shunt have hyped it up in the first place
Was always gonna be a boring away game
Southgate can fucking die thouugh
Carrick still looks lacking in confidence. If his passing is off then he doesn’t really offer much. Anderson had the better game.
Maybe, but he’s so fuckin fragile… looks like he’s hurt himself again tonight.
Is it just me… or is Ferdinands big gob getting even bigger?
Doesn’t offer much… he was protecting the back 4 all night
At times he was shite and played us into trouble (especially in the first half), but he’s class for positioning himself in the right place, winning it without going to ground and playing it simple/long
He should have asked for the ball more tonight though. When Ferdinand & Vidic had no option, they went long, and it’s Carrick’s job to stop that. He’s the link between midfield and defence so he should be picking it up from the back 4 and playing it. He should always be available.
But still, if he nails some form then we’ll be much harder to score against
I asked this very question on another football forum after we had drawn again. Apparently, it’s because he finds space and makes runs.
In other words, he’s a headless chicken.
Sometimes in football you don’t get what you deserve…but when the reverse happens the feeling can be so so sweet.
On the same football forum, I got shouted down for thinking that Rafael is a better player than O’Shite.
were so reliant on nani its ridiculous
i’m reasonably happy. surprised at the win to be honest.
park was dogshit. anderson did well considering his absence. carrick needs to get some form going. sweet goal from chicharito. a touch to take the ball away from his body and bang!
the best part was rafael. i’m surprised fergie started him.
Can you please point me in the direction of this clearly retarded forum…..
Ask Dave… he probably moderates there.
me im innocent Alf but great to see that you still love me SOS is just sitting there doing nowt as were all here, dont think ive seen Sheesh over at the CAF so its probably R.O.M