The Crucifixion of Eduardo/Old Trafford

I’m not going to rehash what everyone has already stated about Eduardo, but I will say two things.

1) UEFA, and the English media, has basically crucified Eduardo. When you think of the word “diver” and “cheat”, most will immediately think of Eduardo. Wenger’s press conference today was a thing of beauty. He brought up the fact that English divers (he didn’t name names, but Gerrard and Ashley Young are two names that come to my mind) and the fact that they get off scott free. UEFA should understand that they’re on the verge of setting a dangerous precedent, both undermining their own referees and their own laws. After Platini himself admitted that he dived during games, how can they honestly ban Eduardo for what is a yellow card offense?

2) To those Arsenal fans who are condemning Eduardo, stop deluding yourself. Imagine if Eduardo kicked the ball out of bounds because he knew that he dived to get a penalty. As unlikely as it would have been, had Celtic come back and we had been knocked out of the Champions League, would you have accepted that because it was good sportsmanship? No, you would be furious that Eduardo didn’t put it away. Arshavin pleaded with the referee not to award Arsenal a penalty last year against Portsmouth, but we still took the penalty. Robbie Fowler did the same thing when he fell over Seaman’s challenge. He was later awarded a sportsmanship award, but he still took and scored the goal. This is precisely the definition of what it means to be a professional footballer.

Now, on to United.

Alex Song says he remembers when Patrice Evra branded our team a bunch of babies. I have not forgotten it, and it’s great to know that the players have not forgotten it as well.

We catch United at an odd time. We are without Cesc Fabregas, but they are without Rio Ferdinand. They have just come off a 5-0 victory against Wigan, which journalists have interpreted as United finding their groove once again. As silly as it sounds, that’s not what it was. Wigan held out for over 65 minutes, and the game’s final scoreline was not an accurate reflection. United are struggling to find a new gameplan that does not feature Cristiano Ronaldo. Rooney may be a menace, but the midfield lacks real cohesion. They have workmanlike players, but they lack the cunning they once had from younger versions of Scholes and Giggs.

That being said, you can never count out a United team. They did snap our 49 unbeaten streak (thanks to a Rooney dive, of course), and they also ended Chelsea’s unbeaten streak before they could approach ours. Players like Darren Fletcher have a way of scoring in games like this.

People have predicted us to lose. People have predicted us to win. People have predicted it to be a draw.

All I can say is, I want revenge. And Alex Song wants revenge too.

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