Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Odds and ends

Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho are trying to outdo each other in the "I don't care at all about this game, no really" stakes ahead of their final Champions League match. I think Rafa has the edge, if only because he's decided to rest Xabi Alonso and sudden goal-scoring-phenom Peter Crouch.

But Mourinho is gracious as always:

"It is always harder," he said. "In the Premiership the best team wins. If we don't win, we have to accept someone was better over 38 games. In the Champions League you always need a little bit of luck at the crucial moment.

"They had luck against Chelsea in scoring that goal," he said of Luis GarcĂ­a's winner at Anfield in the semi-final second leg. "They were lucky in scoring in the last minute against Olympiakos."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set to return to fitness, after playing for the Man United reserves against Liverpool last night. It's a bit of a morale booster -- you have to root for the baby-faced Norwegian -- but I'd say it's of little practical value. I mean, is he really going to get a spot in the first team ahead of Rooney and Van Nistelrooy -- or even Guiseppi Rossi?

England have been seeded as one of the top eight teams for the World Cup, along with Brazil, Spain, Germany, Mexico, France, Argentina and Italy. That means they won't face any of those teams in the group stage. The rest of it is some complicated bumf about pots and whatnot, which which you can read about at the FIFA site if you really care, or just wait for the draw on Friday like the rest of us.

Meanwhile in Spain, Real Madrid have sacked Vanderlei Luxemburgo and David Beckham has been sent off with yet another red card. Hard to say which is less shocking.

No comments: