Andy Townsend: Can somebody please make it hard for Manchester United

09 March 2009 02:24
Sitting alongside Teddy Sheringham in the ITV box at Craven Cottage at the end of another Manchester United demolition job, I made a plea: 'Can someone, anyone, please give them a game.' Well, can they? We all know Jose Mourinho might on Wednesday, when Inter Milan roll into town, but even the Serie A leaders should have been buried in the first leg. And if United play to their potential, there will only be one winner at Old Trafford, only one manager running down the touchline in celebration.Sir Alex Ferguson is the Special One. United don't get the praise they deserve for the relentless hunger of their players. Look at Wayne Rooney on Saturday, his performance was electric.

Quality all over: Tevez is a squad player who always gives his best for United

This was a United team who came to London without Cristiano Ronaldo onthe bus; Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Dimitar Berbatov didn't start,Owen Hargreaves is a long-term injury casualty and Gary Neville iscurrently absent, too. That's more than half a team.Still, they swaggered past a side who looked frightened of theiropponents. We have reached the day when losing 2-0 to United isaccepted as a good result.  Fergie in a sweat after Ferdinand limps out of Fulham clash with ankle injury

Fulham 0 Manchester United 4: Bid for five is alive say the Old Trafford powerhouses

VIDEO SPECIAL: Finishing school - Sportsmail celebrates 10 sublime strikes

Mourinho hits out at 'embarrassing' Chelsea as United run away with the title

United veteran Scholes draws on Treble memories for European glory bid

I wondered what might have happened if Fulham had challenged United, ifthey had attacked them wide, instead of trying to contain? Swansea,beaten by Fulham in the previous round, would have given United more ofa game. Roy Hodgson has created a team who are hard to beat and are very meanon their travels, but they might have had a go at United, tried to findout if they had Inter on their minds. They didn't.

Just too good: This United side are proving too strong in the Premier League and should prove too good for Inter Milan

It reminded me of when I first came into the professional game andLiverpool were Europe's champions an all-conquering team ofinternationals. Sides would simply try to stop them, rather than try tobeat them.Trying to beat them and beating them are two very different things,however. The current English and European Champions have magic in theirteam match winners, players who will turn any game.

Relaxed: Sir Alex Ferguson is in a great mood after building this team

Take Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres out of the Liverpool team andwhere is their threat and quality? Remove Frank Lampard and DidierDrogba and Chelsea aren't the same force. United can change players,bring in others such as Carlos Tevez and they still plough on.The little Argentina forward, a first pick for his country, always plays with a point to prove.United will miss him if they don't sign him when his loan contractexpires in the summer. Ferguson and his management team, includingMichael Phelan keep the players on their toes, keep them prepared,physically and mentally. That takes some doing.Ferguson is as relaxed as I have seen him and there is more to comefrom his team. They have a difficult fixture against Inter, with thetie poised at 0-0. One goal could put them out, but United have so muchquality, so many players in outstanding form, that surely even Mourinhocan't see a way beyond them.United will, at least, know they will have a real game againstcontinental opposition. Which is more than can be said on the homefront.

 Fergie in a sweat after Ferdinand limps out of Fulham clash with ankle injury

Fulham 0 Manchester United 4: Bid for five is alive say the Old Trafford powerhouses

VIDEO SPECIAL: Finishing school - Sportsmail celebrates 10 sublime strikes

Mourinho hits out at 'embarrassing' Chelsea as United run away with the title

United veteran Scholes draws on Treble memories for European glory bid





 

Source: Daily_Mail