Belfast Telegraph

Heaven knows they're all miserable now as United crash

By Billy Weir

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


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