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Some Sensible and Kind Behaviour From Serbia

Serbia have kindly agreed not to play Nemanja Vidic in their friendly tonight against Israel to reduce the chances of him getting injured before the derby this weekend.

Rio Ferdinand injured himself in the warm up ahead of our defeat to Wolves and the manager is obviously concerned about losing Vida too.

Of the last 8 headed goals against United, Rio was playing in none of them. Jonny Evans filled in at the weekend but the manager seemed to acknowledge after the game that Chris Smalling would be a better replacement.

It is the clubs who pay these players wages but so often national football teams put unfair pressure on the players to represent their country, even if they’re battling with injury and risk further damage. It’s nice to see a bit of respect and common sense from the Serbian Football Association.

In contrast to Vidic’s absence, Ferguson will be hoping Rooney get some game time to try and improve his form and boost his confidence ahead of our next game. And if he gets injured, there’s always the more in form strikers, Dimitar Berbatov and Chicharito…

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. ancha says:

    I hope rooney doesn’t get injured as chico won’t be able to start on saturday as he is supposed to reach by Friday night only n our only option left is Owen

  2. Arni says:

    Smart stuff from them. not only is he saving himself from injury, he’s getting a week off! Also does anyone else think Smalling is the only person to perform well against Wolves. Thought he did amazing when he came on. Kept a clean sheet as well.

  3. Arni says:

    @ancha, what would be wrong with playing Owen at home in the Manchester Derby. Did alright before iirc ;)

  4. ancha says:

    Im not against playing Owen along with berba, as Scott mentioned in the last line about having chico as substitute for rooney I was just updating current position that we only have Owen as cover

  5. SULLY says:

    Bruce, Pallister, Stam and Buchan were all tremendous centre-halves. But if I had to have someone to defend for my life, it would be Vida every time. Vida is a true warrior, a colossus.

  6. Dela says:

    Oh I’d so love another Owen last-second winner ;-)

  7. ancha says:

    And I hate these international friendly matches, sometimes it can have huge impact on next game

  8. Silverspoon says:

    Scott I was wondering what happened to those brilliant reflective post match reactions you had?

  9. ancha says:

    And according to guardian, Evans is out with ankle injury and smalling returns to training on Wednesday after being pulled out of yesterday’s U 21 friendly with a knock,

    And a mistake in the first post chico is expected to reach by Friday.morning

  10. max says:

    this is rediculous. who wouldnt want to play for their country and so what if its a friendly and city on the weekend…!!!!

  11. Fergie's gum says:

    Great gesture from d serbian fa.only if other countries adop such common sense

  12. Balders says:

    Great attitude Serbia :)

    Why don’t national teams use friendlies to try out players from lower divisions? There are some good players down there if you look to Leeds, QPR, Preston etc.

    Just my 2p

  13. ancha says:

    Tevez was left out of argie squad

  14. Dave Malaysia says:

    Thank You Serbia.
    Now lets hope for a few things: Rio is magically fit for Saturday but must be fit for next run of games.
    And if he is avaliable,the media dun make a case of it , england and all that.

    Chris must be fit after whatever knock he had in england training.

    Chica comes back fit .

    Rooney find his mojo.

    Michael Owen scores a hattrick for Manutd this weekend.

  15. bigphil2003 says:

    Really pisses me off that they can have Internationals in midweek between two club games. As much as I hate a break from United I’d rather have a week between the internationals and the next United game – then you wouldn’t get ridiculous situations like our second most in form striker coming home from America on Friday before we play a saturday lunchtime game.

  16. Dave Malaysia says:

    Its good to see the clubs association fire a few barrels at fifa for increasing unnecessary friendlies.

    Well sepp the butler needs a few quid .

    I see in my big crystal ball a battle looming between clubs and uefa/fifa.

    Well the clubs have spoken NO winter worldcup.

  17. Dave Malaysia says:

    Wud not be surprised when we reach the qatar worldcup they will build aircon stadiums.

  18. Dave Malaysia says:

    The brilliant have said Fergie wants macherano.

    Must be true then.

    “[Scholes brings in Javier Macheranos bulletproof vest, delivered with a fish inside]

    Ferguson: What the hell is this?

    Gary Neville: It’s a Sicilian message. It means Macherano sleeps with the fishes.”

  19. james says:

    That is sensible. I can’t wait for Tevez v Rafael ROUND II

    Check this out:

  20. petemanc says:

    Off the topic – them Scum bastards at City’s forum Bluemoon have put a post on there about “Painting Busby’s Statue Blue” and covering it up by saying it’s a tribute to him as he played for them. We all know Sir Matt was unfortunate enough to play for the dirty scum fuckers however surely there is something out there that can stop vile like this being published?! I’m all for banter but publicly mocking a dead man?! The comments on there are unbelievable! One dickhead has written “Oh, someone beat me to it then?!” Surely the moderators should stop this?! Just when I thought that vile “club” couldn’t stoop any lower they condone this? They are making out this is a tribute so lets put it into perspective shall we? Saturday – 15 minutes before kick-off – bitter scum bag climbing up a ladder – marches over to Sir Matt’s Statue – tin of Delux sky blue paint in his hand – starts painting away – finishes the job in front of thousands of reds heading into the ground – what are they expecting to happen?! A fucking round of applause because he used to play for that scum?! How they can get away with publishing vile like that is beyond me!!!! Someone please elaborate… is there anything out there that protects the deceased and their families against vile like this? I wouldn’t mind but I’m sure that site is officially affiliated to that “club”

  21. Costas says:

    Thaks Serbia. Capello take note.

  22. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Top marks to Serbia. Best of luck to them.

    @Costas, Spot on. Recall England played WR10 for an entire friendly match recently when they had an agreement to rest the lad.

  23. smartalex says:

    A toast to Sir Beer! A Serb ear listens, En glandular fever presents in deafness.

  24. dannysoya says:

    Thank you Serbia. still don’t know why Wayne Rooney has to play for England. it’s just some stupid friendly.

  25. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    An Ingurland fan pointed out to me how it was strange that Rooney managed to score a couple of goals a week before an international. Whether he scores tonight or not is irrelevant because last time he scored for ingurland he still managed not to score for us from open play for months. 1-0 Denmark, Lindergaard to score the winner.

  26. Costas says:

    Thye game against Egypt last year? That was the game that kickstarted his injury problems towards the end of last season.

    South Korea also protected Park from the 3rd place final in the Asia cup last month. I just hope it wasn’t because he picked up a knock or anything, because he wasn\’t back for the Wolves game.

  27. Paul Parker says:

    Vidic v Man City > Vidic v Belligerent Occupation

  28. wayne says:

    all a fucking joke no one gives a toss about friendlies,should be about the fringe or up and coming players getting a chance.thanks serbia for showing some common sense and class.
    @max because these set of fixtures were add ons,the’re fucking pointless,players have enough games to play without risking injury in a game which is nothing more than a money grab for the fa’s /fifa.

  29. willierednut says:

    Rooney needs time on the pitch atm, the lad is suffering from a lack on inner believe. Nice one from Serbia. Rio won’t be figuring, so we’ll need Vidic ready for the battle on Saturday. Smalling will partner Vida against City. Need to defend a lot better against the bitters, than we did against Wolves.

  30. Paul Parker says:

    willierednut – alright mate.
    Agreed on Alec probably picking Roony to start. I’ve wanted to see Hernandez more but funny enough now its a big game at home against City I want Rooney to start, cos if he can’t do it in that environment for our Shirt he should fuck off.

  31. willierednut says:

    Paul Parker – I think Rooney will start mate. Hernandez won’t be back in Manchester, until Friday.

  32. Paul Parker says:

    Cheers mate, lets hope Rooneys really up for it aye? 90mins is a long time to watch a talented millionaire footballer be sorry for themselves.

  33. pmcelevey1 says:

    Van der saar, Rafael,Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Scholes, Fletcher, Nani, Giggs, Rooney :)


  34. Shimo says:

    Well considering Chicha is playing in Atlanta and that means he won’t make it back in Manchester at the earliest till Friday and the match is an early kick off, hard to say well there is always Chicha option.

    Berba will start anyway on Saturday as lone striker. I know hard to trust what SAF says but, he did say the players not playing in the Intl will play on Saturday. Of those we have:

    VDS, Vida, Evra, Giggs, Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher, Park, Giggs, Berbatov – then there is Owen as well. Not sure if Smalling played for the U21s but, would think him and Rafael will slot into back 4 and likely Nani will be played as he has been our biggest threat.

    Rooney will probably end up on the bench for the derby but, I do hope he has a good game today. Definitely could use a bit more confidence

  35. FletchTHEMAN says:

    @shimo Cheers mate.
    Smalling did not play on the the request of United. So he is available.

  36. FletchTHEMAN says:

    I just saw something that says smalling didn’t appear due to a “knock”. So maybe he picked up an injury. Still, I expect him or Rio to play. Brown is still an outstanding CF as well. I would put him in if there is any worry.

  37. King Eric says:

    I know fergie says rio could be out a couple of weeks. Not convinced it isn’t a smoke screen and rio felt a twinge in warm up and fergie didn’t wanna risk him. Could pull him out of ingerlund game ready for sat. Either that or smalling is a smokescreen. One of these two have to play and I just have a feeling it could be rio. Should be a walk in park anyway as it will be a lone striker for bitters.

  38. Stevie the CUNT says:

    We really need a more reliable center-back. Rio is out injured too much. Evans makes too many errors. Smalling lacks maturity in the role. Can we send Vida for Cloning??

    Off topic. The boss must really be looking for central midfielders/playmakers. Scholesy could be calling it quits in a year or two. Pls dont buy anymore strikers or wingers.


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