23 September 2011
Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez believes that Manchester United’s mental strength is what sets them apart from their Catalan rivals.
“In many ways they (Manchester United) are better than Barcelona – that’s just down to the mentality, the belief and they way they approach games,” Martinez said.“What Barca have is the way they play the game, they are very unique, you won’t see another team in world football that will rely on 900 passes to win the game. The pattern of their play is impossible to compare.“But United have a blend and mentality in the squad that is the best in world football. It’s just a matter of beating a team like Barca in a one-off game and see who can be European champions, as I believe they are on a different level than anyone else.”
A bold statement surely, but can United use their mental strength to defeat Barcelona in a potential Champions League encounter? Possibly, but it’s going to take more than mental strength to knock the European Champions off their perch.
For starters, Sir Alex Ferguson must come up with a game-plan to put pressure on Barcelona’s back four. United will definitely need to be more attacking if they fancy their chances at knocking off the Catalan’s.
Also, the young guns should get a long look in at the starting XI. Tom Cleverley performed very well against Barcelona in the pre-season. If healthy, Cleverley would be a great option for United in central midfield, even more so than United legend Ryan Giggs.
Giggsy is not a starting option simply because of his age and lack of ability to close down Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, and Messi. However, Giggs would be an ideal super-sub if United needed a lift off of the bench.
It’s safe to say that this year’s Manchester United is stronger than last year’s. United have gotten off to a historic start in 2011-12, surprising many football experts in the process.
Former United star Lou Macari has been surprised with United’s cracking start to the new campaign. He admitted that United’s stellar start has been a bit of a shock.
“I can’t believe it,” Macari said.“I worried about Paul Scholes going, Gary Neville going and especially Edwin van der Sar as he’s a keeper and it’s a specialised position.“I was just thinking at the start of the season that these new lads haven’t experienced what it’s all about at United. We’ve got to give them time to settle but they’ve come out of the starting blocks fast and are getting faster!“Some of the performances have been brilliant and someone said to me we could go the whole season without losing a game at Old Trafford. I thought that’s not going to happen but the more I think about it, we won 17 and drew one last year and I don’t see who can stop us at home going for 18 out of 18.”
Agreed this was very bold statement by Mr Martinez. Not sure why he made this statement. Just maybe he is United fan. But he is Spanish so he should be on Barca side. Nevertheless United should take this as encouragement and compliment to knock Barca from their perch. Same as Liverpool.