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Fan's View: Q&A

ImageOn the day of the big game we hear what member shaunzo7 has to say about United, their season and the Champions League final.  Please leave your comments about anything you agree/disagree with and what you're thinking ahead of tonight's big game.
 

How would you rate the season so far?
After an incredible effort from the lads its been a fantastic season. We've perhaps not reached the heights of last year in terms of fluency but we've still had a great season getting the results working from a strong defensive base which I've got the greatest faith in. We've achieved something incredible this season, mounting a challenge on every single front and with extra games like the UEFA Super Cup, Fifa's Club World Cup and the Charity Shield we've managed to cope with some excellent management from Sir Alex Ferguson. He's built this team and given the right kind of experience to each and every player over the last five years and helped them mature as not only footballers, but individuals too. We were disappointed with a few failures in the Champions League before last year's success but without those failures we wouldn't be achieving the success we are now which has come from the players gaining the experience from mistakes made in each of those campaigns and those failures have made players like Rooney, Ferdinand, Ronaldo, and others who hadn't won before, hungry and desire to make up for their mistakes and taste European success. I think the Club World Cup was a nice change too and, despite what other teams' fans have been saying, I think it is a 'real' cup that is difficult to win. If you think about it, it is the hardest one to win as to be in it you actually have to win the Champions League the previous year so technically its harder to win the Club World Cup than it is the Champions League as you can't win the former without winning the latter. It also requires a lot of travelling and an extra few games in a short space of time right in the middle of the busiest time of the Premier League and against teams we don't know a lot about in comparison to other English and European teams. All in all a very good season and I'm looking forward to the Champions League final.

Can it be considered a success regardless of whether Manchester United win the Champions League?
Of course it would be a success, it just wouldn't be record breaking. I think United are the only team who would even consider a season like this not being a successful one. A third consecutive Premier League is a huge success alone but adding the Club World Cup and Carling Cup to this, not to mention we'd be Champions League runners up and FA Cup semi finalists. That would mean we've played in all but one games this season (that game being the FA Cup final) which is an incredible squad effort and add the UEFA Super Cup and Charity Shield to that list of games as well.

What has been your best performance in the competition so far?
Our best performance this season was when we beat Chelsea at Old Trafford. However, if by competition you mean the Champions League then I'd have to say the second leg against Arsenal in the semi finals. We played really well against Inter in the first leg but we lacked the final piece in the puzzle and therefore, for me, that can't be considered as successful as a game where we ripped apart an Arsenal team who were on their turf. That finished 3-1 but as has been hugely discussed, we should never have conceded in that one had it not been for a refereeing mistake. Against Arsenal we outpassed, outplayed and outclassed them in every area of the pitch. If it hadn't been for Almunia who was brilliant in both legs we could've obtained an aggregate score which would have, at least, neared that of which Bayern got against Sporting in one of the prior rounds.

Who would you highlight as a man to watch from Man Utd? And who do you see as Barcelona’s greatest threat?
The man to watch in terms of both the final and the future is Anderson. He was brilliaint in both legs against Arsenal and I think he could be one of the key players for United. He'll be given the job of making sure Iniesta and Xavi can't play to their creative best and at such a young age he's being given a huge responsibility but once he deserves to be given. As to who's Barcelona's greatest threat to us will be, its Iniesta for me without a doubt. Obviously we can't disregard Messi but Iniesta is Barcelona's most important player in my eyes. He's an incredible footballer and what he did in the Euro's last year proves this, I consider him to be in the top three best players of the world - ahead of Kaka.

How do you expect the game to be played?
Would love to see an intense, fast paced game but this is the Champions League final - both teams will be concentrating so hard on not losing they might forget to attack from time to time. I think one team will start strongly with a few good chances early on but if nothing materialises from those chances I think the game will go into a spell where its played at quite a slow pace with both teams not wanting to get forward too much. However, I think one team will score and once that happens it will be game on and we'll see an incredible final.

Who do you expect to line up for United?
I'm fairly confident it'll be something like this (from right to left):
Van der Sar; O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Park, Carrick, Anderson, Giggs, Rooney; Ronaldo.
With Park and Rooney out wide on each flank supporting Ronaldo in attack while helping the full backs defensively. Its a formation we've seen a lot in Europe in recent times and its started to become really effective this season despite being less so previous years. Anderson, Carrick and Giggs will play as a central unit of three in midfield and will take it in turns to go forward and support the attack.


Your prediction?
A lot of my friends, who are also United fans, think I'm overconfident but I can see us winning this one quite comfortably. I think we'll win 2-0, perhaps 3-0 if we catch them on the counter towards the end of the game. In my opinion we've got more to offer than Barcelona, I think if they're passing game doesn't break down our defence they'll struggle to get any sort of chances from other areas of play. Meanwhile we pose all kinds of threat, we've got the aerial ability they don't so we could see chances created from crosses and corners while there's also something special from one individual like Ronaldo, Carrick and Rooney who can get something out of nothing which is something the great Messi can't do without at least four or five passes first.

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