Manchester United and the theatre of broken dreams

Posted: May 31, 2011 in sports
Tags: , , , ,

The 2011 UEFA Champions League Final has come and gone. The Blaugrana have (expectedly) been crowned champions and deservedly so too (at least based on their performance in the final). As a Manchester United fan though, I’d have to look at things from a slightly different angle. As a friend of mine said “the team in the world that would stop Barcelona from Championship glory should be given three cups and not one!”.
You see, I don’t have a problem with losing to the best team in the world, what I do have a problem with is looking stupid while you’re at it! Now undoubtedly, on paper Manchester United would be no match for Barca, no question. So which meant that to pull off victory in the final would require every arsenal we could muster in ensuring that Barca’s strength which is their midfield trio of Xavi, Iniesta and Sergio Busquets is completely neutralized. Oh surely a man of Ferguson’s experience should be able to come up with something. And come up with something he did. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Manchester United’s starting midfield quartet for the 2011 UCL final: Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick, Antonio Valencia, and Park Ji Sung. Now to be fair, Park has been brilliant all season. His stamina; exceptional, his work-rate; unparalleled and so also has been the indefatigable Ryan Giggs whose virtuosic performances continue to belie his age. But a few question marks though, how in the world would starting a perpetually static Carrick, the aged Giggs (who would never be able to match any of the Barca trio for pace nor skill at 37) and the virtually skill-less one-way-BRT Antonio Valencia neutralize that ever dynamic Barca midfield??

As I always say, matchday tactics always make the difference and on any other day maybe that midfield would have worked but no be for Barca. Ah ahn! I was apoplectic when I saw that line up and realised Fletcher wasn’t named. (Although it would later be learned that he was not fit. How true that is I’ll never know). Even if Fletcher had fitness issues then you’d expect a replacement in the mold of the rugged Brazillian Anderson to suffice. Oh dear ol’ Queen knighted Scot had other plans. Whatever those plans were though, surely didn’t include lifting the trophy at Barca’s expense.
I know definitely from the post-match comments and interviews that lessons have been learnt. And as Sir Alex put it ” they are the best team I’ve ever played” and yes that includes over four decades of managerial experience. Whoever you are, whatever team you support, you must know this for a fact; we’ve had great teams in the past, they come and go. The liverpool of the eighties, the youthful Ajax of the mid-nineties, the marauding devils of Manchester United of the late nineties, the great galacticos era of the early 2000’s and now it’s the Barcelona era. For how long this era will last, no one can say, but while it does, take a seat, relax and enjoy the beautiful, most entertaining soccer on the planet coming from Catalunya. Congratulations Blaugrana!! You are deserving Champions!!

Authored by ‘Lola (
‘Lola is the Editor here at “La Critique”. Follow him on Twitter @Lolaelblack. Follow La Critique on Facebook.

  1. Don says:

    this is wonderful, lovely, and and and and i don’t know wat to say as a Madrid fan i give kudos to the Barcelona team they have done well, i say good luck next season…

  2. fara says:

    As a man u fan.I love how u were so unbiased in writing this article.Its a pity we didn’t make it across the Spanish Fortress.Better luck next year to the devils 😦

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