Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Heaven knows they're all miserable now as United crash

By Billy Weir

Published 10/12/2015

Out: Chris Smalling and Michael Carrick of Manchester look dejected during the UEFA Champions League match between VfL Wolfsburg and Manchester United
Out: Chris Smalling and Michael Carrick of Manchester look dejected during the UEFA Champions League match between VfL Wolfsburg and Manchester United

You have to feel a little bit sorry for Gary Lineker.

Controversial words I know, but there he was all excited about his bright new start on BT Sport and then he turns up on Tuesday night to see Man United tumble out of the Champions League.

He was joined in the studio by Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Michael Owen, whose faces didn't exactly inspire confidence long before a ball was kicked in anger in Germany, so it was up to reporter Des Kelly to try and lighten the mood.

"We're here at Wolfsburg, a club owned by Volkswagen, a club that was set up for workers at the car plant and the giant factory looms over the city skyline - this is an automobile town," he said, which was apt as United's big end was approaching.

"You may have heard Volkswagen have had a few problems of late while Louis van Gaal rolls into town with a few problems of his own. He's got to keep the wheels on the Manchester United Champions League bandwagon." Somebody put the AA on alert.

"Are the natives restless and a little bit nervous?" asked a restless and nervous Lineker back in the studio trying to lighten the mood.

"I would have thought so and I am too, to be honest with you," came the reply from the man who used to score goals.

"Michael, are United currently boring?" probed Lineker further.

"To watch? Yeah, they are," answered Owen, a man who can take boredom to levels that LVG can only dream of.

And talking of that, an Owen who is even more boring had joined Kelly on the sidelines in Germany, where Herr Hargreaves' most interesting utterance came when he wasn't supposed to be heard as Lineker handed over and the former Canadian said, "how can you put your only Champions League winner on the bench?" Who would ever have thought we would be longing for Carrick for excitement.

Ironically, the game turned out to be a belter, five goals, more twists and turns than the DUP leadership race, and in the end it was a taxi to the Europa League as PSV passed their test in Holland.

"Well, Louis van Gaal said Man United did not have the quality to win the Champions League and ultimately he was proved right," said a playful Lineker only to open up already tender wounds.

"United look like an average team and with an average team you get average performances," said above average Scholes.

"No surprise," was the unsurprisingly dull response from Owen.

"It doesn't feel like a disaster to me because I'm not surprised," concluded Scholes and everyone agreed that United had indeed passed their omission test at the home of Volkswagen.

Bring on the Europa League, Thursday night glamour. Make the most of it lads, the way it's going the LGV Trophy may be the only one LVG gets United to.

Belfast Telegraph

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph