or tweet @thomgibbs
with the answer to this question: Would you sell Wayne Rooney
MANCHESTER UNITED 0 CHELSEA 0
(Kick off 16.30)
MILLWALL 0 BLACKBURN 0
15.15 The first answer to the question posed above comes from
Yes Rooney must go somewhere else and prove himself, so everybody knows he
can do it, rather than suffering trying to protect the name of Manchester
15.06 Paul Kelso is at Old Trafford for us today. He has this on Sir
Alex Ferguson's programme notes:
Sir Alex Ferguson characteristically reticent in program notes. "I
still can't bring myself to talk about [Real Madrid defeat] without feeling
totally aggrieved To say I was distraught with the decision [to send of
Nani] is putting it midly. the referee got it wrong. [Chelsea] are
experiencing peculiar difficulties at the moment. We believe in stability &
continuity. Chelsea fly in the face of that theory with 7 managers in 10
years and perhaps still counting!" SAF has lavish praise for Roberto Di
Matteo: "It's amazing he hasn't walked straight back into a managerial
job". Oddly, no mention of Rafa.
14.59 We are back under way in FACS12/13RQFG03. I invite you to work
out that obscure code for yourselves.
14.45 Half time at Millwall. Home side in the ascendancy. Football not
the winner. Here;'s Danny Shittu doing his being gigantic thing:
14.38 Millwall hit the post! Andy Keogh rising like a fish that tastes
better when smoked to get a powerful header at goal. Blackbun keeper Kean
(not Steve) is beaten but saved by the woodwork.
14.30 It's very much the low-quality clash of the Championship
strugglers you'd expect in sarf London. If the draw pairs the winner of this
match with Wigan in the semi-finals it will be up there with Swansea v
Bradford in the low-attendance by Club Wembley members stakes.
14.25 David Bentley, remember him? He's just taken a free kick 25 yards
out for Blackburn. Straight into the wall, unfortunately. Time for this
afternoon's first pertinent statistical tweet from our friends at Opta:
Twitter: OptaJoe - 0 - Blackburn Rovers are one of only two teams (with Man City) yet to concede a goal in the FA Cup proper this season. Wall.
14.15 Still goalless at the New Den, the two Championship sides feeling
each other out. Not literally. Here's a taster of Henry
Winter's column from this morning's paper on wor Wazza:
Confusion permeates any debate about Rooney’s ability. He has won four
Premier League titles, a Champions League and two League Cups (yet not an FA
Cup, which will make him even more determined to do well against Chelsea
today). He has not trained on as Cristiano Ronaldo did at United and again
at Real Madrid. Rooney, a far less egotistical individual, sacrifices
himself for the team more. Only Angel di María and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have
supplied more assists than Rooney’s four in the Champions League this season
yet his passing was not always reliable, one ball in three being lost to the
opposition. The harder you focus on the Englishman, the more blurred the
14.02 Today's first quarter final is under way. Here are the teams:
Millwall: Forde, Dunne, Shittu, Beevers, Lowry, Jack Smith, Trotter,
Chris Taylor, N'Guessan, Hulse, Keogh.
Subs: Maik Taylor, Marquis, Feeney, Adam Smith, Abdou, Osborne,
Blackburn: Kean, Henley, Dann, Grant Hanley, Markus Olsson, Bentley,
Lowe, King, Pedersen, Rhodes, Best.
Subs: Sandomierski, Orr, Givet, Dunn, Nuno Gomes, Rekik, Goodwillie.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)
14.00 Afternoon liveblog fans.
You may have noted rather a lot of chatter this week about the future of
Alex Ferguson cited tactical reasons for leaving him out against Real Madrid,
and with Danny Welbeck doing an excellent job in closing down Xabi Alonso
throughout you can see his point.
Some suspected Ferguson was lying about his motivations for dropping Rooney. I
don't think he was, but think his reasoning speaks volumes about Rooney's
current status at Manchester
Shinji Kagawa, Antonio Valencia, Tom Cleverley, Ji-Sung Park, Jordi Cruyff,
Brian McClair. These are the sorts of players that get dropped or rotated
for tactical reasons.
Robin van Persie, Patrice Evra, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Eric
Cantona, Peter Schmeichel. These are the sorts of players that make your
team regardless of form or opposition.
Rooney used to be in that group, now he's been demoted to the second tier. And
he's probably furious, which is when he's at his best. Remember this?:
Away from such pondering, speculation and mischief-making there's a fairly
exciting football match taking place in Manchester in two and half hours
Is it deeply incorrect that I quite fancy Chelsea to get a result today?
United will still be traumatised after Tuesday night. They were a team
gaining momentum, in control and in with their best chance of winning the
Champions League for many years.
Now they've only got those familiar domestic trophies to console themselves
with, and say what you like about Rafa Benítez (most Chelsea supporters
have), he has enough nous about him to develop and execute a tactical plan
in a one-off game.
Team news and other miscellaneous build-up to follow, as well as updates from
this afternoon's first quarter-final at the New Den. Stay tuned.
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