Rooney: SAF got his tactics wrong against Barcelona

Eckers99

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Dey say...he is a legend
 

Blood Mage

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Our tactical approach to CL games suffered when Carlos Queiroz left the club. Fergie was the best motivator and squad manager in the history of the game but he struggled in Europe without a tactically astute assistant next to him.
 

Andycoleno9

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2011 there was no right approach. They were just the best.
But 2009 still hurts. We could have killed them on counters with Rooney, Ronaldo, Nani and Tevez but we decided to attack them. Bad decision by SAF.
 

DM07

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The 2009 starting lineup was too respecting to them I feel. I believe they were there for the taking. I genuinely feel we had the best team in Europe at that time. Rio, Vidic, and Evra all their defensive peaks. Ronaldo and Rooney were both world class, and the likes of Carrick, Nani, Tevez was a decent support. Also they were without their first choice full backs.
Remember this is the 2009 Barca, Busquets was nowhere near his best yet, the Henry, Etoo, Messi attack wasn't as good as the MVP attack of 2011. Pique had just moved back to Barca and it was his first season as a first choice CB. And Yaya Toure was his partner in Central Defense. Iniesta wasnt 100% fit either. We should have played Ronaldo out wide against their 2nd choice fullbacks rather than up front. Paying Rooney and Park out wide led their fullbacks have all the freedom to come forward. Paying Ronaldo on one wing and Rooney/Nani on the other with Tevez/Rooney up front would have troubled their defence more I feel. Park if had to play would have been better in the central midfield man marking Xavi or Iniesta like he did with Pirlo.

The Etoo goal messed up Fergie's game plan bigtime though as it put the onus of attacking on us. We did end up missing atleast a couple of great chances. Park had a rebound into an open goal following Ronaldo's free kick before their first, but blazed over. And Ronaldo missed a really good chance just after their second from Carrick's ball in from the left. Statistically the game wasn't that one sided at all. Think we had the highest possession of percentage of any team playing against Barcelona that season. Maybe with some luck and some tweaks we might have ended up winning.

2011 final was a game we were never winning anyway. It was always going to be one-sided. But SAF's selection was shocking none the less. A 4-4-2 with a poacher Chicharito up front when we knew we were hardly going to see any of the ball. A midfield of Giggs-Carrick against Xavi, Iniesta, Busquests :lol:, and Park once again starting in the wings over Nani. Berbatov, the premier leagues golden boot winner not even making the bench (Owen was on the bench instead). Berbatov would have been a good option off the bench, his hold up play and ability to bring those around him into the game was better than any of our other strikers, and would have given us some time and space in the game compared to Owen/Chicha.Again if Park had to play, man-marking Messi by playing in the centre midfield (like Pepe did for Real in the semis) might have been a better option and given us an extra leg in midfield.

But all is easy to say in hindsight I guess. But 2011 was a massive shocker none the less.
 

Zen86

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That's the joke.
Both him and Rio have said the same, makes me wonder if SAFs real failure was not being able to get the players to 100% buy into the plan.

A team has to believe in the plan in order for it to be effective.
Lets not forget the benefit of hindsight here. At the end of the day, these are ex-players pointing fingers on things that happened over 10 years ago.
 

Foxbatt

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I have seen Cruijff praising SAF for playing an open game. He said SAF could have gone with a different tactics played a different game but the praise was for not changing his tactics.
We defeated Barca in the semis with the game plan of Quiroz. Gary Neville says so.

As for Berbatov not doing anything in the CL, he would have been a much better choice than Owen. We couldn't outpass Barca and we never should have tried. It's not hindsight. A lot of us said the same thing even then. We didn't try to outpass Barca in the semis when we beat them.
As another OP has said we missed Quiroz who was the master mind behind the Barca defeat in the semis.
 

el3mel

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Correct. Plus he is spot on. LVG is a genius as a coach.
No way the United's version of LVG he worked under was any better than Ferguson, he was just taking an obvious dig at Fergie and let's be honest we knew why he thinks LVG is the best coach he worked under, because "my captain shall always play".

And anyway, even comparing LVG and Fergie as a whole it's always going one way. LVG's career has a lot of failure, equal to and even some times more than his success. His only ever great period was his early Ajax days. He did well with Barca first stint, but followed it with a colossal failure with Netherlands by failing to qualify to WC, returned to Barca and was about to get them relegated, sacked. His career was going down hill at this point that he had to return to his native country for some time where he did well tbh before going to Bayern, while he did very well in his first season in Germany, his second season was an absolute disaster and was about to lead them to not qualify for CL at all till they sacked him and got a caretaker that salvaged a CL spot. His last Netherlands stint was decent and his time at United was another failure overall.

LVG's just not good enough to be compared to Fergie in terms of trophies, career or tactical respective, imo. Good manager, but Fergie is on a higher level.

And as I said even if we discarded the rest of his career, the version of LVG Rooney worked under was terrible, period. Our tactics in games were garbage.

So yeah he said this just as a big and obvious dig aimed towards Fergie, and this one imo, is no different. He obviously still holds a big grudge against Fergie because he willing to let him go. While I really like Rooney as a player and a legend, he comes with many baffling quotes like these a lot.
 

berbatrick

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He's obviously right.

2009 could have been a repeat of 2008 if we set up that way defensively. Also Barca had Puyol and Sylvinho as full-backs that way, while we deployed defensive wingers (Rooney and Park), and left Ronaldo in an isolated physical battle vs Yaya Toure and Pique.
Either go all-out, and throw Ronaldo Rooney Tevez and Berba all on ahead of Carrick and Scholes and try and overwhelm their defence and especially fullbacks, or actually play defensive like 08 and Jose's Inter. We did some halfway thing which failed, and even failed to take advatange of their injuries.

2011 it was obvious that the 4411 wasn't going to work. In attack it worked against Chelsea and Schalke who had slow/physical defences and poor holding players. Barca had Busquets and a crazy offside trap. In defence Carrick was a good shield against Lampard, and Giggs and Park were free to press. Against Barca, Carrick had threats from all directions (including Messi drifting into his space) and that disjointed press was never going to work. Funny thing is Arsenal beat that same team 1-0 by easily keeping possession and isolating Hernnandez from the game. The warning signs were obvious.
To have any chance, it should have been 4-5-1, Rooney alone upfront, Nani over Valencia on the right, and bring Berba and Hernandez on at the end. For the midfield 3 Carrick is obvious, and any 2 of Scholes, Anderson, o'Shea, and Giggs.
 
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It's easy for Rooney to say that we should have parked the bus, as if Fergie wouldn't have looked at this option.

The likelihood is that Fergie thought are defence and midfield couldn't contain Barca - so felt we'd have to go out to score goals because we'd be likely to concede.

Pep's Barca were much better in 2009 than Rykard's 2008 team we beat in the 2008 semis. Also, on the 2008 semis we rode our lucky a bit and scored a screamer to get through. There was nothing to suggest that approach would have yeilded a different result in 2009.

2011 we didn't have a chance how ever we approached it.
 
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No way the United's version of LVG he worked under was any better than Ferguson......
An atypical knee jerk response. Atypical of most people who simply hate LVG. The type statement people also make when they conflate being a manager with coaching. Ferguson was a far better manager than LVG. His overall record speaks for itself. But LVG was a better coach. It's not even debatable. That doesn't suddenly make Fergie shit neither. Nor is it a dig at Fergie to state it. One just simply needs to give a listen to what players who have played under him and coaches who have worked with him have stated.


he was just taking an obvious dig at Fergie and let's be honest we knew why he thinks LVG is the best coach he worked under, because "my captain shall always play".
you might want to think that was but it isn't true. He was simply stating the truth.
 

rcoobc

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With Fletcher, the right tactics and maybe a little luck, we definitely could have won in 2009.

2011? No chance. We peaked in 2008. In 2011 we were essentially trying to rebuild the team.
Pretty much
 

el3mel

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An atypical knee jerk response. Atypical of most people who simply hate LVG. The type statement people also make when they conflate being a manager with coaching. Ferguson was a far better manager than LVG. His overall record speaks for itself. But LVG was a better coach. It's not even debatable. That doesn't suddenly make Fergie shit neither. Nor is it a dig at Fergie to state it. One just simply needs to give a listen to what players who have played under him and coaches who have worked with him have stated.


you might want to think that was but it isn't true. He was simply stating the truth.
If he was a better coach it would have showed on the pitch. We were god awful tactically under him. This is also the truth and as much as a fact.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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In 2010/2011 if we play 451 instead of having Chicharito, we might have a chance to at least made it to extra time. It was unusual from Sir Alex to play traditional 442 in such a big game in Europe especially with Carrick & Giggs as pair. Should have played Nani instead of Chicharito. Fabio starting was weird though.

In 08/09, losing Fletcher with Scholes being unfit cost us a lot.
 

Icemav

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I remember Ronaldo walking off the pitch after the 09 final shaking his head into the camera muttering something about getting tactics wrong.

I think we got both tactics and team selection wrong in both games. As soon as I saw little pea in the starting line up I knew the game was lost. Leaving Tevez out in 09 was also a blunder but like the poster above I've always thought Fletcher being suspended that night was a huge loss, him and Tevez in the side and we would have put up a much better fight. A fit Heargraves in 09 would also have helped.
This is exactly how I felt. In 2009 we had on the sidelines Tevez, Nani and Berbatov. All 3 I would have started. I couldn't believe it at the time, like Fergie thought we would beat them with intensity. Instead they played around us all day. Should have been more defensive and let these 3 players give us outlets, especially Berbatov with his hold up play.

Fergie will always be a God to me but I remember thinking that we lost in the manner we did due to his selections and tactics that day.

And to an extent I felt he repeated the same mistakes in 2011. All very odd.
 
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Nikelesh Reddy

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In 2009, the team just didn't show up on the night so it wouldn't have mattered what way they played.

In 2011, Barcelona were one of the best club sides ever so it wouldn't have mattered what way they played.
And in 2008,Barca were still in transition and Guardiola still hadn’t taken over the club.There is absolutely no guarantee that our 08 tactics would have worked in 09,or 2011...Barcelona were just too good for us on both occasions....SAF obviously knew/knows a bit more about tactics than Wazza....
 

Black Adder

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No way the United's version of LVG he worked under was any better than Ferguson, he was just taking an obvious dig at Fergie and let's be honest we knew why he thinks LVG is the best coach he worked under, because "my captain shall always play".

And anyway, even comparing LVG and Fergie as a whole it's always going one way. LVG's career has a lot of failure, equal to and even some times more than his success. His only ever great period was his early Ajax days. He did well with Barca first stint, but followed it with a colossal failure with Netherlands by failing to qualify to WC, returned to Barca and was about to get them relegated, sacked. His career was going down hill at this point that he had to return to his native country for some time where he did well tbh before going to Bayern, while he did very well in his first season in Germany, his second season was an absolute disaster and was about to lead them to not qualify for CL at all till they sacked him and got a caretaker that salvaged a CL spot. His last Netherlands stint was decent and his time at United was another failure overall.

LVG's just not good enough to be compared to Fergie in terms of trophies, career or tactical respective, imo. Good manager, but Fergie is on a higher level.

And as I said even if we discarded the rest of his career, the version of LVG Rooney worked under was terrible, period. Our tactics in games were garbage.

So yeah he said this just as a big and obvious dig aimed towards Fergie, and this one imo, is no different. He obviously still holds a big grudge against Fergie because he willing to let him go. While I really like Rooney as a player and a legend, he comes with many baffling quotes like these a lot.
There's a difference between coach and manager. SAF is greatest manager ever, someone who would put right people at the right positions, but as a coach, someone who organises training sessions, there are better than him which is not dig at SAF.

Ferguson was brilliant in choosing his assistans and would gave them enough freedom with managing training sessions while he would overlook bigger picture.
LVG was someone who did all by himself and he would be main person managing training sessions while his assistants had different tasks.

Also Rooney called SAF greatest manager ever so think he went with this about LVG because of his and SAF different approaches towards managing day to day tasks.
 

JPB

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Pressing high was the tactics?????:lol::lol::lol:
That's not what i remember from the 2011 final. I was screaming at the television for someone to actually try and win the ball back. All I remember was everyone ball watching. Just looking at Barca pass the ball. Just lazily jogging around. It pissed me off so much. If that was pressing it was the worst attempt I've ever seen. We didn't press one bit, we were happy with Barca having the ball. I watched the game with a friend of mine who is a Dortmund fan. I was never so embarrassed in my whole life.
 

el3mel

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There's a difference between coach and manager. SAF is greatest manager ever, someone who would put right people at the right positions, but as a coach, someone who organises training sessions, there are better than him which is not dig at SAF.

Ferguson was brilliant in choosing his assistans and would gave them enough freedom with managing training sessions while he would overlook bigger picture.
LVG was someone who did all by himself and he would be main person managing training sessions while his assistants had different tasks.

Also Rooney called SAF greatest manager ever so think he went with this about LVG because of his and SAF different approaches towards managing day to day tasks.
That's really not true and not what happened here :

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport...ly-in-charge-albert-stuivenberg-a7618126.html


“He gave me his complete trust,” he said.

“At United, I was doing the training sessions for the selected first team before games. I was fully in charge.

“I was doing all the pre-match team talks, and I did the post-match talk with the team and individual players.”
That's his main Dutch assistant here.

I won't go to talk about how the work in training sessions and tactical preparation should reflect on players on the pitch which simply was non existent in United under him.
 

Falcow

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This is exactly how I felt. In 2009 we had on the sidelines Tevez, Nani and Berbatov. All 3 I would have started. I couldn't believe it at the time, like Fergie thought we would beat them with intensity. Instead they played around us all day. Should have been more defensive and let these 3 players give us outlets, especially Berbatov with his hold up play.

Fergie will always be a God to me but I remember thinking that we lost in the manner we did due to his selections and tactics that day.

And to an extent I felt he repeated the same mistakes in 2011. All very odd.
Yeah I dont think it would have happened to a younger Fergie, in fact no way would it have but Fergie was a pensioner by then and great and all as he still was he had probably lost some of his own intensity/fire by that stage. We still love you anyway Fergie no matter what.
 

Infordin

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As a Barca fan, I always felt that United’s biggest weakness around 2009-2011 was your midfield. Hargreaves, Fletcher, and Park were good workhorses but not much more. Carrick was a good creative DM but not world class. Scholes and Giggs were like 35 years old by then. For a team of Manchester United’s caliber, you really ignored your midfield issues for too long. You had a world class attack and defence, but merely a functional midfield. Not too different from Liverpool 2018-2020.

If you want to dominate in Europe, you need to have an elite midfield. Zidane’s Madrid, Guardiola’s Barca, and Ancelotti’s Milan all had one thing in common. They all had unbelievable talent in the middle of the park.
 

Leftback99

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He'd be saying the same thing had we used different tactics. They were just that good in that period.
 

Lay

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2009, they had Puyol at RB, Touré at CB and Sylvinho at left back. I’m not that surprised that SAF thought that attacking them was the key.

We just should have played Tevez. He would have harassed a nervous Touré all game.
 

Squeaky Bumtime

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Tactics in 2009 were wrong and when Eto'o scored we couldn't get back in the the whatever we tried, it was all wrong from the start. In 2011 we stood no chance whatever we did.
Why didn't Tevez play in 2009?
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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2009, they had Puyol at RB, Touré at CB and Sylvinho at left back. I’m not that surprised that SAF thought that attacking them was the key.

We just should have played Tevez. He would have harassed a nervous Touré all game.

I don't think we attacked them as much as we could have.

We played Rooney and Park as 'defensive wingers'

Left Tevez, Berbatov, Scholes and Nani on the bench. We kind of went half and half that game.
 

choiboyx012

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I agree with rooney. I think Rio even voiced his concerns prior to the final. It was suicidal.

In 2009 it almost worked. We started strongly and had some really close scoring chances in the first 10/15 minutes or so. But the Etoo goal against the run of play finished the match and they just played keep-away until the final whistle like a training session.

2011 I actually disagree with most on here that even though we were an inferior team, we actually went into halftime 1-1, which was very surprising at the time. We should have deployed jose’s 2010 inter or 2012 Chelsea tactics and sat deep for the 2nd half and nicked a late goal, or get the match into extra time/PKs. Imo we had a better chance in ‘11 because in 09 it was over before the halftime whistle
 

el3mel

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I agree with rooney. I think Rio even voiced his concerns prior to the final. It was suicidal.

In 2009 it almost worked. We started strongly and had some really close scoring chances in the first 10/15 minutes or so. But the Etoo goal against the run of play finished the match and they just played keep-away until the final whistle like a training session.

2011 I actually disagree with most on here that even though we were an inferior team, we actually went into halftime 1-1, which was very surprising at the time. We should have deployed jose’s 2010 inter or 2012 Chelsea tactics and sat deep for the 2nd half and nicked a late goal, or get the match into extra time/PKs. Imo we had a better chance in ‘11 because in 09 it was over before the halftime whistle
If I remember correctly we actually couldn't get past the half line of 2011 final second half anyway. They cornered us in the box and were passing the ball like it was training sessions for them. Each time we got forward it was a useless long ball that got cut quickly and back to our own box, so I'm not sure how going "defensive" any more would have helped us. We weren't going to do a hit and run this day that's I'm sure about. We couldn't manage to defend or prevent them from scoring while being cornered in our own box.

Beside our goal was actually offside on Giggs this day.

I just went on and checked stats of the game, Barca really had more than 68% possession percentage :

https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/may/30/champions-league-final-data

There was no tactical approach that was going to win us the 2011 final. 2009 we had a chance and flopped because we still had a great team overall. 2011 was imo a very poor team that lucked its way to the final by a very, very easy draw.

Our 2010 was actually much better and played better than 2011 one, but was unlucky to get Rooney injured in the critical period of the season. If not for Rooney's injury and Rafael stupid red card, we would have gotten past Bayern, easily defeated Lyon and I would have fancied us to have at least a better match than this Bayern side gave to Inter Milan. We might have lost too but I think we wouldn't have been awfully outplayed like them.
 

Infra-red

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You could make the case that Sir Alex got the tactics wrong in every CL final he contested.

Football is a funny game.
 

Red4Life_#7

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2009... I remember seeing Ronaldo as CF on the team sheet and I felt... why, we need him bringing the ball forward, not waiting for the ball. I remember he had an early chance and wasn't far off scoring. But he should have played much deeper so he could be more in the game play... he was our best player.
 

cyril C

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Yes. That is true. And all of us have seen Fergie parking the bus as well. And many smash and grabs.

I think Rooney is wrong there. Sir Alex can't be this naive to not know that we are doing is suicidal. To be honest, I really think he knew, man for man Barca is much better than us (and to be fair, they were). They had a team of generation so Fergie might be thinking, "what the hell, lets enjoy football". Its better to lose while playing attacking and positive rather than lose while not even playing football.
That's why a lot of people think United achievement of third this season is better than Mourinho's achievement of 2nd couple of seasons ago
Let's assume the manager THEN was Mourinho. How do you think Mourinho would have played against Barca?
 

cyril C

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2009... I remember seeing Ronaldo as CF on the team sheet and I felt... why, we need him bringing the ball forward, not waiting for the ball. I remember he had an early chance and wasn't far off scoring. But he should have played much deeper so he could be more in the game play... he was our best player.
The reason that Fergi played CR as #9, and Rooney behind / part winger, is because CR doesn't help on defending, while Fergi needs everyone supporting. So CR would be the only player without defending responsibility. And you think this is already defensive enough? This is also the tactics that RM (last 2 seasons) and Juventus employed, nothing new here. Parking the bus or not, really depend on what else are employed
 

ti vu

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I have seen Cruijff praising SAF for playing an open game. He said SAF could have gone with a different tactics played a different game but the praise was for not changing his tactics.
We defeated Barca in the semis with the game plan of Quiroz. Gary Neville says so.

As for Berbatov not doing anything in the CL, he would have been a much better choice than Owen. We couldn't outpass Barca and we never should have tried. It's not hindsight. A lot of us said the same thing even then. We didn't try to outpass Barca in the semis when we beat them.
As another OP has said we missed Quiroz who was the master mind behind the Barca defeat in the semis.
Cruyff is Barcelona legend. He was similar to these purist coaches like Pep, Tuchel, LVG... that would complain about opposition using certain tactic thus negate their philosophy. Pep praised Eddie Howe about his Bournemouth suicidal tactic https://www.goal.com/en-us/news/85/...n-utd-dig-bournemouth-were-the-best-team-weve

We know how happy new year Pep gets when opposition was able to frustrate his team, right?

The 2009 starting lineup was too respecting to them I feel. I believe they were there for the taking. I genuinely feel we had the best team in Europe at that time. Rio, Vidic, and Evra all their defensive peaks. Ronaldo and Rooney were both world class, and the likes of Carrick, Nani, Tevez was a decent support. Also they were without their first choice full backs.
Remember this is the 2009 Barca, Busquets was nowhere near his best yet, the Henry, Etoo, Messi attack wasn't as good as the MVP attack of 2011. Pique had just moved back to Barca and it was his first season as a first choice CB. And Yaya Toure was his partner in Central Defense. Iniesta wasnt 100% fit either. We should have played Ronaldo out wide against their 2nd choice fullbacks rather than up front. Paying Rooney and Park out wide led their fullbacks have all the freedom to come forward. Paying Ronaldo on one wing and Rooney/Nani on the other with Tevez/Rooney up front would have troubled their defence more I feel. Park if had to play would have been better in the central midfield man marking Xavi or Iniesta like he did with Pirlo.

The Etoo goal messed up Fergie's game plan bigtime though as it put the onus of attacking on us. We did end up missing atleast a couple of great chances. Park had a rebound into an open goal following Ronaldo's free kick before their first, but blazed over. And Ronaldo missed a really good chance just after their second from Carrick's ball in from the left. Statistically the game wasn't that one sided at all. Think we had the highest possession of percentage of any team playing against Barcelona that season. Maybe with some luck and some tweaks we might have ended up winning.

2011 final was a game we were never winning anyway. It was always going to be one-sided. But SAF's selection was shocking none the less. A 4-4-2 with a poacher Chicharito up front when we knew we were hardly going to see any of the ball. A midfield of Giggs-Carrick against Xavi, Iniesta, Busquests :lol:, and Park once again starting in the wings over Nani. Berbatov, the premier leagues golden boot winner not even making the bench (Owen was on the bench instead). Berbatov would have been a good option off the bench, his hold up play and ability to bring those around him into the game was better than any of our other strikers, and would have given us some time and space in the game compared to Owen/Chicha.Again if Park had to play, man-marking Messi by playing in the centre midfield (like Pepe did for Real in the semis) might have been a better option and given us an extra leg in midfield.

But all is easy to say in hindsight I guess. But 2011 was a massive shocker none the less.
If anything, SAF and some people till this day underestimated that Barcelona side. We started the game with same tactic as against Arsenal in the semi final with only exception, Fletcher suspension. We all may say the loss of Fletcher negatively influenced our performance; but then we have to question why SAF would think it's a good idea to use same (known) tactic without such key player that made it work. Giggs 2009 was not as influential in our side as he was in 2011, let alone as central midfielder where Giggs 2009 didn't have much time, if at all to be tried before the final. Barcelona was not just a better Arsenal. It's a complete beast, which SAF got it wrong, which we all realized quickly in that game.

Busquet might not have hit his peak, but his key attribute was always there. He was ever clever, and press resistant. Even now without Xavi Iniesta to form such formidable midfield partnership, he is past his peak, as well as nowadays Barcelona is weaker; man marking Busquet is futile. To contain him, is to contain his passing options, getting him to pass to players that's prone to make more mistake on ball. And for that 2009 Barcelona, only the 2 full backs were likely the targets. However, our team didn't have such pressing tactic. For man marking game, you would need more than just Park (shown in 2011). Pirlo didn't have the system like Barcelona to support him. Park couldn't get nowhere near any of Xavi, Iniesta, Busquet. Di Matteo Chelsea, Mourinho Inter had a bunch of defensive midfielders and a super defensive tactic and could only get out with close result. Mourinho Madrid tried Pepe, Khedira, Alonso midfield hoping for similar effect, but failed. There is a heavy case of Park due to that man marking job on Pirlo. Park is not some super defensive player. It's just an iconic performance since we're finally able to hand AC Milan their asses after all these defeats. Pirlo was the key players in that Milan team at the time. Nullifying him in that match up was one of the highlights.

Similar to Busquet, it's deadly mistake to underestimate Pique due to his inexperience. The guy and Yaya Toure put in a world class CB display that night. He was well protected by Barcelona system. It would require so much more brute force with Drogba type of striker to create that slight opening and work from there. We didn't have a forward like that at all. At that point, in the season, Pique had already been pushing Marquez and Puyol to start game. He was not just bench warmers anymore. Evidently, Pep even gambled I'm pushing out his experienced CB in Puyol as RB. If not for trusting Pique, playing Yaya as CB is just pure mental. Yaya has that big game player in him where his performance surprise opposition, and we fall for that. Barcelona was no Arsenal. Even at their worst, they had these big game players who can pull them through unlike Arsenal. It happened with not Yaya performance in defense weathering our early attacks , but Eto'o who killed the game for us. Eto'o, a player who was on his way out, who couldn't stand his coach Pep.
 
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RedRonaldo

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Are we talking about the same Barcelona side who has more or less dominate the Europe during that period?
Of course, whatever tactics we use, we are never going to stop them to play the best football ever witness over past few decades?
 

Hound Dog

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I still cannot get over the 2009 game. First of all, Barcelona should not have even been there and second, United were rsther unlucky yo have lost, although they admittedly ran out of steam in the second half.

In 2011 there was no contest really as it was a mediocre United side.

I would have loved to seen United 08 vs Barcelona 11. I always thought that thay Barcelona team were overrated due to no other Europran giants being at their peak that year. Do not get me wrong, they were a great side, but Pep's tactics stop working when the gap in quality of sides goes below a certain threshhold.

I am sure that Barcelona team would have lost to Real Madrid sides of mid 2010s and think peak United would have had a good chance as well.
 

RooneyLegend

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He was on the bench in 2009 too as was Scholesy. Very odd.

SAF seemed to have a thing for Park and I couldn't see it. Especially as Xavi and Iniesta both expressed admiration for him(Scholes) and Carrick
Sir Alex used to love to have 'legs' in big games and it used to piss me off to no end. We had a pretty hard working team, no need to sacrifice what we can do with the ball to fit someone who can't play.
 

ti vu

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Are we talking about the same Barcelona side who has more or less dominate the Europe during that period?
Of course, whatever tactics we use, we are never going to stop them to play the best football ever witness over past few decades?
Then why Barcelona couldn't win CL back to back? They could still lose other teams. Evidently Hiddink's Chelsea was minutes/seconds to eliminate them. Even that required a special moment, and plenty of questionable referee calls.

Guess which team dominated PL over that Chelsea during that period? So why Chelsea could push Barcelona in the same year to that extend, but we looked like we didn't show up? Tactic.
 

SteveW

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Parking the bus wouldn't have made a difference. They were lethal in those few years.

It's not usual for players to have their own opinions and he's entitled to it. But I think he needs to go prove himself as a manager before going for SAF.
 

SteveW

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I still cannot get over the 2009 game. First of all, Barcelona should not have even been there and second, United were rsther unlucky yo have lost, although they admittedly ran out of steam in the second half.

In 2011 there was no contest really as it was a mediocre United side.

I would have loved to seen United 08 vs Barcelona 11. I always thought that thay Barcelona team were overrated due to no other Europran giants being at their peak that year. Do not get me wrong, they were a great side, but Pep's tactics stop working when the gap in quality of sides goes below a certain threshhold.

I am sure that Barcelona team would have lost to Real Madrid sides of mid 2010s and think peak United would have had a good chance as well.
You've got this completely backwards.

The Madrid team of the mid 20s was nothing special but had little quality opposition at the time.

The prime Barca team under Pep was the best club side of my lifetime. They've have smashed them easily.
 

DarkLord

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I think Mourinho could have won us both finals. He thrives massively on the underdog tag and a specialist in cup final. SAF's tactics were indeed too naive, thinking we could go toe to toe with one of the greatest club side in history. Looking at that Barca team and now is quite sad to see.