Bollocks in the press about Saha and Manchester United

Daniel Taylor of the Guardian writes about “Saha’s confidence crisis“, but for the life of me I can’t understand what he’s on about.

Saha’s always been this sort of a player – misses plenty but manages to put them in now and then. It’s his athletic ability and willingness to take shots that’s brought him into Manchester United’s first team, and he brings a lot more to the front line than just goals.

Saha’s not a finisher, he never was, and Tuesday’s penalty miss was unfortunate, but not cause for concern. Boruc guessed early, guessed right. If he hadn’t, we’d be through to the second round and none of this bitch-fest would be happening.

Two things Dan said that were just plain wrong.

One – Manchester United’s apparent ‘stumble’

Here are two views on United’s season for you:

1) United have showed a lack of bottle in high pressure games – Arsenal, Celtic, stumbled through in Benfica – and against really weak opposition (FC Copenhagen, Southend).

2) United are top of the Premiership, 1 point away from qualifying for the second round of the Champions League, Ronaldo is in the form of his life, Giggs is on fire, Vidic and EVDS and Evra are fantastic…

Two entirely different pictures, ainnit?

You’ve got to focus on what matters – and what matters is that we’ve got our first 11 fit and ready for Sunday. We don’t have anyone on the bench except Smith and Fletcher (to think that Manchester United will have to rely on Fletcher to bail them out…)

Chelsea will go into Sunday knowing that this is their chance to draw level and do some serious damage to Manchester United’s title hopes. They’ll have their players fit, although they’d be more worried about Drogba’s ankle than Ballack’s calf. Both sides lost away in Europe, so there’s no psychological advantage (except Chelsea’s hold over the Premiership for the last 2 years).

Two – Neville’s alleged comments about Saha

You’ve GOT to be kidding me – the captain telling the opposing captain, on the field, that his penalty-taker’s “head has gone”? You have to be very, very gullible to believe that, and I’m sure your mother won’t let you out of your pram the next time you’re around strangers. Man have you got no sense?

Neville could have been saying something about how Saha took the penalty (i.e. not looking at Boruc). Plenty of alternatives, but the media finds something that is, surprisingly, the juiciest soundbite of them all. He could have been saying anything, if he said anything that is.

The comment, if its not fabricated (a lack of denial by Manchester United does not automatically mean that the incident happened exactly as the tabloids mentioned it, Dan), was most likely made in hindsight, after the game. For Lennon to say this to the media, well, from the looks of it the story has been twisted and embellished, and respected broadsheets have fallen for it. Not the first time, too.

On to sunday and to Manchester United vs Chelsea – winner takes all.

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3 Comments

  1. Andy C 23 November, 2006
  2. Robert Mboizi 24 November, 2006
  3. Dbeech 24 November, 2006