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Rooney: We Let Ourselves Down

Manchester United lost 3-2 at home to Athletic Bilbao last week meaning they have a difficult task in the away leg tonight. Bilbao were the better side on the night and despite scoring one from an offside position and another from a bizarrely awarded freekick, they did deserve to win.

Wayne Rooney has acknowledged that we didn’t give a good enough account of ourselves in the first leg but is confident we can improve tonight.

“We have to be confident,” he told the official site. “They obviously played some great football at Old Trafford and deserved to win. We need to show better than what we did that night because we let ourselves down. We’ll be going out there to do our best to win and get through to the next round because this is a competition we want to win. It’ll be a difficult game but we all have the confidence and belief that we can do it.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. dannysoya LOVES SIAN MASSEY says:

    Just put in MORE effort than Bilbao and we will win this game. They are not better than us. They just put in FAR MORE EFFORT and that is why i applaud them. They will NEVER lie down. They are THAT determined. If we put in a bilbao kind of effort tonight then you will see a changed united. Hopefully we do so. COME ON UNITED.

  2. MG says:

    Further explaining my transfer point

    For example Ronaldo – had to leave United for a dream

    Players we were about to sign but then saw the light:

    Mikel (that wasn’t so bad)
    Tevez (of course we did have him on loan for 2 years!)

    If anyone can think up of any others then feel free – my point is this – we do go for players – it doesn’t mean they are going to come – and they don’t through financial measures elsewhere dictating greed or moving on for dream measures – whatever that is…

    Highly true that the Glazers have had deep implications on the way we buy no doubt – but we are not in the negative financial position that we were years ago.

    In simplicity we are a changing team that most def. needs to consider midfielders to win the CL – it will be interesting to see after 3 years and no major midfield signing what we are going to do

    I’m sorry – I really am still ill – but wasn’t Carrick the last proper midfielder we bought?

    It’s just time to give the team a lift and some help – Giggsy and Scholsey can’t do it forever

    One last thing – Scholes should have started last years CL final

    That about covers it for now.


  3. ahjs says:

    I think the 2003 team was one of the best of the decade but we were outplayed that year by a very good team before the galacitos got out of hand. They still had Makelele and Hierro to balance out the superstars and Del Bosque was a good manager. But then in ’04 we were a poorer team but might have won if we had beaten Porto. Scholes’ disallowed “offside” goal in the second leg would’ve made it 2-0 on the night and I think we would have gone on to win 4-0 or something. The draw would have really opened up, I forget who the QF was but Porto played Deportivo in the semi and Monaco in the final.

    2010 hurts as we were cheated against Bayern, would’ve had Lyon and then a beatable Inter in the final. Maybe we could’ve beaten Dortmund in 1997, and Leverkusen in 2001, and we might have done better if not for the foreigner rule in the early 90′s. We should have a few more but we’ve got one fewer than the biggest club in Germany and one more than the biggest club in Italy, which isn’t too shabby. But I’ll be very happy when we equal, then eclipse Liverpool.

    “As far as signing players are concerned – that has always been a problem – famously when Cantona told SAF to sign Zidane before Juventus got him – just imagine had we had got him and ok he moved on to Madrid – wouldn’t it have been exciting to know where we could have got to?”

    I have wondered this myself, and what United would’ve been like if they’d signed Zidane and Shearer. But thankfully ZZ never went to Blackburn, who wanted him, but apparently the chairman said Who needs Zidane when you’ve got Tim Sherwood?

  4. D-wazza says:

    On the subject of John terry; I am an Irishman currently living in Oz, I work with a man from the same town as Kevin Doyle (wolves striker) back in Ireland. he was chatting Doyle in a pub at Christmas, he quizzed him about who was the worst tramp to play against. He replied John Terry, he apparently will abuse you from the first whistle to the last, on subjects such as your shagging your mother, your sister, nipping you etc. a true hero of the English game, who can only get ahead by being a cock head! I think though the rent boys will make the CL final, only for barca/ real to leave our friend jt crying his frog eyes out again!

  5. James21 says:

    Pogba’s Birthday Today. Happy Birthday Paul. Now get that bloody contract signed.

  6. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Just to confirm Fernando Llorente has passed a fitness test and is available.
    Thought that was a far fetched story that he would miss the game. Has to be a big one for their club.

    Bilbao starting to grow on me. Only basque lads, worked their socks off for the team. What’s there not to like? Bet someone will tell me ;)

  7. King Eric says:

    Sandeep – Very good thanks my friend. How are you? Sorry . I read that you had texted during the game but I have a new number as my work phone bill this month was 158 quid!! So now I have to keep my bills down. Will provide my email when I am in work tomorrow mate.

  8. King Eric says:

    Hans – Ha. Ooh. The scousers will be fucking seething with that report. Can of worms pal.

  9. King Eric says:

    Always knew Llorente was going to play. It was a smokescreen.

    The Barca dominance will NOT last forever as we can already see in La Liga with them being ten
    points off madrid. As Fergie said Football goes in 4 year cycles and he isn’t far wrong again. In terms of European Cups, Yes we probably should have more but I am fucking grateful to have witnessed nights like the Nou Camp and Moscow. Anyway we should have played Chelsea in 09 and I stand by that. The Rentboys were fucked over at the Bridge that night with three stonewall penalties not being given. The irony is I cheered like mad when Iniesta slotted that equaliser into the top corner as I didn’t fear that Barca side at all and was glad Chelsea went out. In hindsight however………………………..

  10. King Eric says:

    Fletch – No I agree mate , its very good of them to only play Basque lads and they are a damn fine side. However it isnt quite what it appears. They are the richest of the Basque sides like Osasuna etc and cherry pick the best players. Still comendable nonetheless.

  11. Clint-Iamyourpapii says:

    FletchTHEMAN -

    Whats not to like you say?

    ITS RACIST PAL :lol:
    Poor Old Lionel + Cristiano would get rejected from their Youth system. No chance of making it in the Basquet region as a “foreigner”.

  12. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Off topic:
    Happy Birthday Paul Pogba: Please hire Gary Neville as your agent, say 7 mea culpas, and sign your %&$@?! contract. There’s a good lad! :cool:

  13. King Eric says:

    ahjs – Milan have seven European Cups mate!

  14. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Clint. Point taken mate, but think of it like Oldham, has a business plan, rely on local produced lads, and see how far ya go. Guess success always will be the death of the family owned small business model. I just like the work ethic personally. But agree there is probably a dark side if you look far enough.

  15. James21 says:

    King Eric
    Hi mate. We played well in the first half and Rooneys goal was fantastic however we started to fade in the second half and Barca punished us. I can’t remeber much else but that was the Alcohol. :D
    I can remember giving as good as I got to a Scouser that was mouthing it all through the game.

    I think it plays on SAF mind that we didn’t win more Champions leagues after 99 but like you say I’ll always be greatful for the two we won and here’s to more.

  16. Costas says:

    @KIng Eric

    Hi mate. How’s the fam? I was thinking the same about Emily recently! Can’t believe she’s 6 now. Time flies by. The only person that never seems to grow up is boogeyman. He’s stuck on 14 or 15 I think. :lol:


    You need to get out mate. :lol:

  17. james21 says:


    ‘You need to get out more’
    Thats Racist against Hermits. :D

  18. Costas says:

    De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Park, Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs, Young; Rooney

    subs: Amos, Fabio, Smalling, Pogba, Scholes, Hernandez, Welbeck

  19. Costas says:


    No, they should stay in more. :P I am just concerned about danny’s crush on a certain lineswoman. :lol:

  20. WillieRedNut says:


  21. Costas says:

    I don’t get this line up personally. On one hand, we are starting players that should be rested (Carrick, Rio and Rooney). On the other hand, we are not playing an attacking formation. So what are we tiring them out for?

  22. booandman says:

    Could be 4-4-1-1 with young/giggs/park in behind wazza

  23. keano99 says:

    Well said costas but when can any of us figure out saf’s thinking?

  24. jeet says:

    Happy with the formation, though would have preferred welbz to park.ando being injured was a bit of a blow, would have preferred him to clevs beside carrick. COME ON YOU REDS!!!

  25. Costas says:


    True that. My guess would be that Giggs or Young will support Rooney and the Carrick/Tom duo is used to maintain possession (something we were lacking last week). At the same time, their defence is more vulnerable when they have someone like Welbeck among them.

  26. Alom says:

    Man Utd: De Gea, Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Rafael, Giggs, Park, Carrick, Young, Cleverley, Rooney

  27. Alom says:

    Nani injured?? :|

    Was hoping Scholes and Welbeck started to help hold the ball better..
    Hopefully Cleverley will show what he can do out tonight!!

  28. Clint-Iamyourpapii says:

    4-6-0 :roll:

    Rooney will always drop back leaving no strikers. Plus usually Park will not get into the final quarter for the link up play around the box/inside the box.

    Scholes for Clevs probably in 65min, to anchor and control the game,this is what I think SAF is up to.
    Welbeck to freshen up the side, Park will probably make way late on.
    Chicha thrown on in desperation to steal a goal ?

    Dangerous line up before the key Wolves games !
    Im nervous even if it is a Europa game.

  29. Sandeep1878 says:

    King Eric,

    no worries pal,

    drop me an email tomorrow..

  30. Mahesh says:

    Perplexed at the selection and approach to the game on paper – lets see how that translates on the pitch!

  31. Sandeep1878 says:

    here is the line up

    De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Park, Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs, Young; Rooney

    Giggsy breaks the record of Maldini with his 903rd appearance for us tonyt!!!

  32. Sandeep1878 says:

    Bench: Amos, Smalling, Hernandez, Fabio, Scholes, Pogba, Welbeck

    Valencia not there :(

  33. Saad says:


    I believe SAF thinks that as long as play a compact formation, we’ll be able to keep a clean sheet against Bilbao. And if we dominate possession, there are enough playmakers in this line-up to score two goals against them within 90 minutes. Like I staid last week, Bilbao are quite impressive going forward but very ordinary in defense and I think we can open them easily as long as we hold on to the ball.

  34. Zemmamma777 says:


    In all fairness to Tony V, he JUST came back from an injury, and this was maybe a little big of an ask to come right back in for this game. He’ll most likely play some part or another at Wolves on Sunday…

  35. Sandeep1878 says:


    yeah mate i understand that..

  36. Saad says:

    Why is Chris on the bench? He shouldnt be in the squad in the first place. You cant tell me those stitches have closed up fully by now.

    Let’s hope he doesn’t have to come on tonight.

  37. Touché says:

    Great. A decent looking team and then there’s always Park who we all can blame after the game if we don’t win. Saf has thought about everything I see… Just no injuries, thanks.

  38. ahjs says:

    King Eric – Aye, but Juventus have two :P

  39. jeet says:

    @sandeep: mate, any thoughts on this fat alcoholic village idiot going by the name of burridge? :lol:

  40. Colbert says:

    All I want is a better performance than last time. The players selected are certainly capable of beating Bilbao, but I’m not expecting us to go through. That is a really big ask, but anything is possible.

  41. Costas says:


    Yeah, I think it’s a good plan in order to protect to avoid any pressure from them. It just feels like we are light up front. Bilbao are indeed shaky at the back, but you need someone with physical presence to cause problems.

  42. Sandeep1878 says:


    I m sorry pal i dint get you….?

  43. Clint-Iamyourpapii says:


    Physical presence? Super-Danny to the rescue :D

  44. Zibbie says:

    Come on lads, play with pride and hustle as well as smarts! Play like a Man Utd player!!!!

  45. Zibbie says:

    Papii Dan is turning into a MAN!!!!

    Happy B-Day PP. 19 now and traveling for an European tie, nice.


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