In a valiant attempt to avoid the final stages of moving, I decided to sit down for a second viewing of Manchester United's UEFA Champions League semi-final first-legged 0-2 victory over Schalke 04; it can be intriguing what you notice sometimes on an encore viewing. Without further ado, here are some random musings that I may or may not have covered in our match review:
* When Paul Scholes came on, it was an absolute treat to watch. I pray that he doesn't retire. If he's willing, he still has so much to offer tactically as a late-match substitute, at the very least. I don't even know if this is fathomable, but Scholesy is one of the most underrated footballers of all-time... and probably one of the top 3-5 favorites of mine.
* The Michael Carrick/Ryan Giggs combination... ride this for the run-in. It's a perfect tandem for the moment. Carrick is criminally underrated as a defender; whilst Giggs' imaginative and direct passing is a great complement to Carrick's sured and tidy distribution. And then you have the industrious work-rate of Wayne Rooney; plus his genius instinct in attack. This is our best combination through the center of the pitch at the current moment.
* Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is a foundation piece for the club going forward. He's already world-class with his finishing and movement, yet he can still improve with his first-touch and link-up play. The sky is the limit for the seemingly humble striker.
* Antonio Valencia; the Ecuadorian winger has traits of both David Beckham and Giggs in their heyday... the crossing ability combined with an electric burst of pace down the touchline.
* Park Ji-sung: quite possibly the tactical key of the entire match. The South Korean completely erased Atsuto Uchida from the match. This is a story line not covered much in Western media, but one that was huge in far the east; the Korea vs Japan battle is immensely fierce.
* Fabio: the young lad has never had a bigger night in his professional life. On a night where the stage looked much too big for Schalke's youngsters, our young Brazilian shined. I can't wait to see what the da Silva twins provide for us in the future.
* the Nemanja Vidic/Rio Ferdinand tandem... simply the best in the world; either for club or country.