Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Guide to Wembley and after (for Man United, I mean)

Hell Yeah! It is truly fascinating to note that "people" are merrily writing off Manchester United for the final at Wembley on May 28th (After writing off Schalke of course). I request "people" to hold on for a second and listen to a few facts compiled by one fellow reader at Mr. Bean's hometown (should be something to that effect for the kind of humor they produce) viz. F365 (yet again). I have been trying to find out why I am so obsessed with stuff from F365 and not able to avoid mentions or similar analyses or mere lifts from there, in this blog.

Cutting tangent and coming to matter, the compilation that I was referring to goes thus.

Whilst Barcelona play great football, I would suggest that the fact that haven't scored many goals against 11 men in good teams recently means United, if they reach the final, have a good chance, if Ferdinand and Vidic are both fit (and probably also if Darren Fletcher is fit). In the roughly 440 minutes played against 11 men over the recent four El Clásicos and the two matches with Arsenal, Barcelona scored three and conceded five, whilst in the roughly 100 minutes against 10 men, they scored five and conceded one. That's one goal scored per 147 minutes against 11 men and one goal scored per 20 minutes against 10 men. Van Persie's sending off was obviously a mistake, whilst opinion is divided over whether Pepe's offence was a yellow or a red - personally, I think it was an orange at worst. Barcelona also failed to score in 111 minutes against 11 man Holland in the World Cup Final. So the best advice for United? Don't get anyone sent off.

Now, on the contrary, I don't see United winning that game (assuming 11 players keep their feet on the playing field for round about 90 minutes, that is), if they play a tactic like the one in the 2009 final with a 4-5-1 where Rooney plays in the 5s. 

While I was drafting this post and when I reached this point in my writing, I took a break for a cup of tea. And the tea, filled with ginger and elaichi, definitely proved to be a good refresher, like one of those magical, instantaneous Jeeves' refreshers. It sharpened my thinking faculties and gave me an idea instantly after consumption. The idea, as it ran through my mind, is as follows. In a guide to Wembley, given the nature of this year's champions league and the two teams by and large, it is more important to add some valuable points to the smaller goal of playing 11 players for 90 minutes for Manchester United rather than the bigger one of winning it. As facts stated above indicate, all suggestions and inferences point to an underlying assumption of playing 11 players from whistle to whistle. Hence, here below, I've listed down a few ingenious ideas that I contrived while plainly thinking over it.

1. Manchester United players will do well if they are handed an extra weapon (a secret one, to be used only during emergencies, though emergency is a phenomenon that is expected to arrive too often than obvious to the human mind in such encounters), The extra weapon is a 3 x 5 plastic card, painted red. They should probably make efforts to understand situations in the match, when opponent players are down to the ground and performing like in the movies. At these junctures, work of the moment would be to exercise their option of using that weapon and showing it to the referee who is in the near vicinity. By doing that, the referee is sent off at that moment and the probability of him showing a red card at the player involved in the recent tackle becomes zero. (A referee cannot use his power and exercise his options after having been sent off)

2. Quick Learners. That is the order of today's modern civilization. Manchester United players should show some tact in quickly grasping theatre skills from their catalan counterparts as soon as possible in the match. So that, if the first half is won by actors from Spain, the second one can belong to the fraternity from England.

3. In the game of counter strike, if you have noticed, it is important to stay together as a team, in order to clinch a tag team shoot out. That principle holds good in the game of football as well. It is important for the players to support one another in times of distress and grief and exchange soothing words to bring down their collective tempers. For, in a match against Barcelona, temper, taken as an emotion, can only be displayed by two kinds of people by the rule book. a.) People who fall under the category of proctors/referees in general. b.) People who represent the most populous city of Catalonia. 

4. Repeatedly tell Scholes, (when he is on the pitch) that his role on that day is to be an Attacking (with a capital A) Midfielder and any tactless display of defensive skills is suicidal.

A fifth point has been suggested by a faithful reader of this space and I think it will do justice only if i include that most ingenious idea in this list of mine!

5. United management, wait and see which obscure North European country the referee is from. Once you find that out, you can send him a cable with 'From UEFA (shhhh!)' written on top and the contents being, in code language of course, 'Plan change. United win. Messi red. Barca no give 5m and show middle finger'

With such valuable inputs to the people in red, I am signing off with a cliche viz. "May the best team(not in my opinion, but in UEFA's/referee's opinion) on that day win".


Lekshmi Sreedharan said...

Manchester United!!!!!!!!!!
Gud one :)

Wandering Soul said...

By best team do you mean "The best according to you"..Anyhow we will face off on the pitch

Pradeep Sekhar said...

Hey Wandering Soul!

Thou knows not what you mean by one's opinion of best team on a given day. Hence a reply added in the post itself to clarify! Hope you get the general idea here.

raghu said...

I dont want get started about Barca...but one thing is that ManU in the final will get max-to-max 30% possession which means 60 mins they will be chasing the ball(which plays well for catalan actors)and only 30 mins of the entire game to score a goal...of these 30 goalkicks and defender possession takes 18 mins...but one good thing is defender possession also involves rooney these days if am not 12 mins to attack...with nani getting the ball 33% of the time? sounds a really really toughie for me...

some very good pieces of advise would rather be

1) rest giggs well and get him 100%. He is ur iniesta at 37.

2) dont play scholes/rafael/fabio red card is default.

3) Hope for a penalty shootout and vandersaar has better chances of saving spotkicks than valdes.