Before I rant about MU's performance in the Champions League final, I've this to declare:
This current BARCA team is the greatest ever... they are the GODS of football. We're all privileged to witness this incredible team play divine football during our lifetime.
And now about MU's performance...
What's so upsetting about being a MU fan is that we got slaughtered left, right, front and back. With better strategies, we would probably still have lost, but at least not in such an embarassing manner.
A point of note about MU's previous formations:
Bear in mind that MU were very ineffective in their most recent league match against Arsenal using the 4-4-1-1- formation. Chicharito was heavily subdued and became anonymous in that match. And if Arsenal is a lesser version of Barca, why would that formation work against Barca when it didn't even work against the tiny Arsenal?
4-3-3 / 4-5-1
Also bear in mind that when MU beat Arsenal much earlier in the season, they played Rooney alone up front in Fergie's previous favourite formation, the 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 hybrid, the same formation Mourinho used against Barca. This formation was used for many years by MU against the big teams (since the Van Nistelrooy days), that is until the recent emergence of Chicharito and the now favoured 4-4-1-1. Why was the 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 formation abandoned when it would have presented the biggest chance of upsetting Barca?
So do you know why Guardiola and his players kept praising MU before the match? They wanted MU to think that they were good enough to play Barca with their usual attacking formation. They wanted MU to play 4-4-1-1 with Chicharito.
Before the match, Guardiola said he "fears absolutely everything about MU." Messi said “Chicharito has become a really key player for United by scoring important goals. He showed that for Mexico against us in the World Cup." Other players kept praising Giggs, Scholes and Rooney.
The last thing Barca wanted MU to do was another Mourinho-type of stiffling football. Barca wanted MU to play attacking football. And to my surprise, Fergie fell for Barca's mind tricks. He actually thought MU were good enough to go tic-for-tat with Barca.
Yes, Fergie said he played his best team, but his best team was not the suitable team to face Barca. It is not about playing all your on-form players. It is about choosing the correct players to counter Barca. The whole world is aware that you must devise a special strategy to stop Barca first, before you can even think about winning. It's not about Barca stopping you, it's about you stopping Barca.
Fergie was actually given a chance to correct his tactical mistake when MU somehow managed to survive the onslaught and went into half-time at 1-1, but to my bewilderment, Fergie still allowed his team and formation unchanged. And the onslaught continued... and the humiliation deepened.
Fergie can keep winning us the Premier League, but it still takes a Mourinho to beat Barca and clear the way for Real or other teams to win the next Champions League.
If MU want to knock Barca off their fucking perch, Fergie's not the one to do it.
MU fan since 1990
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