Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Thursday April 14 2011
United's imminent first home game of the season has realised a derby with a difference. In stark contrast to recent meetings, United players suddenly have plenty to say...
Both this season's league derbies were notable for the almost deathly silence that surrounded the swamp. In many ways it mirrored their pisspoor home support.
But with the rag flag flying high across three competitions, Taggart's boys are all of a sudden starting to play some football having scraped jammy results repeatedly all season long. Meanwhile, City are threatening an end of season implosion.
Maybe it's this week's shocking capitulation at Liverpool which has led to an outbreak of that age old arrogant rag smugness that only Crawley Town's cup conquerors can do so well:
Gary Neville, Retired Perma-frowning Shellsuited Scratter:
'Manchester United players are quite cold-hearted people. They don't let the emotion get to them. They will just go out and play, as they have done with every other City match....In some ways I wish I was playing...You have a different level of anxiety when you watch the match as a fan. You are not in control. You are totally helpless...It is going to be a very difficult game against good opponents and the stakes are high. But Manchester United have dealt with that many times over the past 20 years.
'If City were only working on the theory of inevitability, it would be quite positive for us. The reality is when the players go out on the pitch, they have to perform. I don't think City's players will be going into the game thinking 'we are bound to win one.' They won't be resting their chances on that.'
Rio Ferdinand, Glass Backed Twitter Obsessive:
'You don't see people coming off shaking their heads or being disgruntled or sitting on the bench in a sulk at this club. Because everyone is delighted to be at this club and they want to be here...we're not getting beaten that often, we've got a never-say-die attitude and all the championship-winning sides that I've played in have had that mark about them. This side has got that too.'
Michael Carrick, Gormless Midfield Buffoon:
'I don't think it will be like the normal league games, which have been a bit boring at times. This will be different. I am sure it is going to be an entertaining match. As we are all aware, the challenge for Manchester City is to win trophies, because they haven't done it for a while...over the years, this club has been very successful at that. But there are a lot of players at United who have not won the FA Cup and that is something we want to put right.'
Patrice Evra, French Strike Architect and Sneaky Foul Specialist:
'You know it's only Ronaldo and Tevez missing in this team, that's why I think we are very solid. I think the experience makes the difference. When you see a player like Ryan Giggs, running like they are 15 years old, that is the spirit of Man United. To keep winning, keep winning, keep winning...In the end if we have the treble I will be the most happy man in the world. It's not the target though. The target is to win, win and win.'
Wayne Rooney, Suspended Foul Mouthed Scouse Ranter:
'For me, Giggsy's a genius and I don't think it will be long before we call him Sir Ryan.'
THE MANCHESTER FA CUP SEMI FINAL ON VMC:
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Date:Thursday April 14 2011
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