The Red Report: Rio, emerging talent’s development & the Champions League

As per usual we decided to look at a non-United topic. This week we discuss how the Champions League is panning out and who we might like United to draw in the last 16…

Chudi | The Busby Way: They say to be the best you have to beat the best but at the moment I am content with getting an easier team and wouldn’t cry if we face Copenhagen. The obvious team that catches the eye is Inter and whilst it would be fun to face Rafa again and I’m pretty certain we would beat them it would be foolish not to want as easy a draw as possible.

In terms of the competition as a whole I’ve found it decent, Spurs have been entertaining, Barca are being Barca etc Nothing has really stood out for me, must mention that over head kick by the Hapoel Tel-Aviv player (Eran Zahavi) in the last round of game, was a quality goal.

Doron | Stretford-End: I’ve enjoyed the Champions League so far. Spurs have been a refreshing inclusion from an English point of view – they’ve done well in what looked like a very tough group at the beginning. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t enjoyed watching Arsenal make an easy group look quite tough! Barcelona are the stand out side again and will take some beating – Real Madrid in the knockout format will also be tough, it’s those kind of games that Mourinho relishes.

As for United, Copenhagen are clearly the team we’d like to draw but winning the group was important and it means that at present we probably wouldn’t mind who we face.

Siddarth | Bangalore to Old Trafford: This year’s favorites have to be Barcelona again, but under Jose, Real also look like a force to be reckoned with. None of the Italian or German teams have really made an impression so far, and Tottenham have been brilliant, topping Inter in their group, giving Rafa a whooping in the process. Our performance has been pretty good too, shame we conceded against Valencia, we’ve done really well to qualify without too many problems and an excellent defensive record.

I really hope we get a home fixture for the second leg, can be really useful if we mess up in the first leg! hopefully we get a relatively easy opponent, maybe a team like Copenhagen?

The team to avoid would be Inter, under Rafa they do seem crap but it would be foolish to count them out!

TG | ManUtd24: I personally don’t mind who we get. Having seen the possible outcomes of the draw, you would say that Copenhagen sounds the most easiest, but it is also by the far the more dullest. Marseille sounds good; they’ve a really good team and have the potential to go further in this competition. Either Inter or AC Milan will provide the most nerves, but United have prevailed over both in the last few years. Actually, I’d taker the former; it would be great seeing Rafa choke with his red cheeks again witnessing a thumping at Old Trafford…

Alan | RedForceRising: This has been a strange season so far and I’m not too bothered about our next opponent. If anything, the entire Manchester United team will have hopefully raised their game in order to beat Arsenal and Chelsea, so a tough opponent in the Champions League could help the team keep their concentration levels high, while an easier opponent would hopefully give some of the fringe players some game time.

Nick | United Youth: That group-winning Anderson goal looks very valuable now. There’s always a school of thought that you shouldn’t overly concern yourself with opponents – ‘if you want to be the best you’ve got to beat the best’ etc – but avoiding the likes of Barca and Madrid for the next round has to be a good thing. There’s no-one on the list of possible opponents that I’d really be desperate for us to not be drawn with, for footballing reasons anyway – at our best we’re too good for any of the six teams. I can’t imagine any travelling Reds would be too keen on another trip to Rome however, and Milan/Lyon have been regular destinations in recent years so might not be the most enticing of trips (although the chance to take on Benitez – if he’s still in the Inter job – certainly appeals). Copenhagen – with all due respect – obviously have to be the dream draw for any of the group winners, but knowing Chelsea’s luck with draws they’ve probably got that one sewn up, so my sneaky hunch/hope is a nice trip to the south of France to face Marseille.

A nice draw against Copenhagen would be ideal (no offence!)


Best of the blogs:

The Busby Way | A Brazilian Midfield Debate: Anderson or Lucas?
Stretford-End | Exclusive Interview, Anderson: “United Will Win The Title”
ManUtd24 | The Hype Is Justified – Samir Nasri Will Take Some Stopping
RedForceRising | Obertan And Rafael To Help Fill Valencia’s Boots
Bangalore To Old Trafford | Stick With Jonny


That concludes another Red Report for the week. Hopefully this edition keeps you entertained until next Monday. We’re always open to hear from you so you can catch us on Twitter:

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Follow Stretford-End
Follow Doron
Follow Bangalore To Old Trafford
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Follow United Youth


But don’t forget to check out our individual sites if you think we have missed something, as it is likely at least one of us will have covered it there:

The Busby Way
Bangalore To Old Trafford
United Youth

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