Well, this is the big one. Another semi-final of the Champions League for United and another 0-0 draw in the away first leg. If this is not to be as disappointing as the previous occasions when they held a 0-0 scoreline going into a home second leg, then they really need to improve over their recent performances. Psychologically, they’ve been holding back. Against Chelsea, it was apparent that Fergie blundered horribly by leaving out 5 or 6 established stars. He sent out the wrong message: this was a game we could afford to lose, he was saying, effectively. But he also sent out another message, which could be as troubling to his team: they are tired and they need all the rest they can get.
Now is not the time for tiredness. With 3 or 4 games left (depending on tonight’s result) they stand on the threshold of winning the Premier and Champions League. It should be all-out, total football, attacking with style. There is no more need for tentativeness or a half-hearted approach. He needs to start his best 11 in each game and just go for it.
My selection would be, assuming that Rooney and Vidic are fully fit:
Van der Sar
Brown Ferdinand Vidic Evra
Ronaldo Scholes Anderson Giggs
Subs: Hargreaves, Carrick, O’Shea, Pique, Kuszczak, Nani, Fletcher
If Rooney and Vidic are not fit enough, I would play the following line-up:
Van der Sar
Hargreaves Brown Ferdinand Evra
Ronaldo Scholes Carrick Anderson Giggs
Subs: O’Shea, Pique, Kuszczak, Nani, Fletcher, Park, Silvestre
I know it would be a risk, of sorts, to play Tevez up on his own, but I am assuming that Giggs and Ronaldo would press forward on the wings to support him, and that Scholes would be running through the middle.