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By Ken Gaunt of The Irish Examiner

BARCELONA legend Johan Cruyff taunted Man Utd last night by insisting his former side can pull Alex Ferguson’s side apart by keeping possession when the teams meet next week in the Champions League semi-final.


Cruyff, who now acts as an official adviser to club president Joan Laporta, denies there is any reason to be pessimistic, however, and believes Ferguson’s men have as much to fear as anyone.

He said: “They run a lot. Their style of football, and that of all the English teams, gives the false sensation that they run more than anyone. That’s because despite having a majority of foreigners in their squads they maintain the philosophy of long-ball football and sprinting 60 yards. That is how they exploit spaces in front of the midfield. If they played in the other team’s half more often those spaces wouldn’t exist.


“Despite recognising their effort, you can disarm an English side that presses and looks for the long ball by keeping possession and moving the ball around quickly.

“And if you know they will expend all their energy on closing down and chasing long balls, then you know where to beat them: by playing the ball horizontally.”


- You must be kidding me! He must be talking about English football from the 80s. I can remember one or two goals being scored as a result of a long ball, but to call Man Utd a team that plays long ball tactics is absolute rubbish.

If he is really still advising Jan Laporta, I hope he can pass along some advice to Rijkaard too!!

Maybe daddy Cruyff is still upset about his son being such a crap footballer for us!
 

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Senile way of talking, forgiven... Manchester United will do the job and make him eat his words, total craps that I think he haven't been watching soccer or the ball has been too fast pace for this eyes to catch...

The recent bad patch that is running through Nou Camp hasn't been sink into reality in his mind... Look who's talking about foreigners when they have the same amount of Spanish players in the squad like we do???

Absolute ignorant...
 

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Sad to say, we DO play ugly long ball AT TIMES, bypassing our midfielders towards the strikers and hoping for the best but more often than not, promptly give the ball back. Especially when we are under constant pressure or clueless.

I hate it but do honestly think Cruff was not too far-fetched in his remarks. A good team that play smooth, slick, passing style like Arsenal had our team in disarray and at seas. Not just many players were caught out of position but we actually had two own-goal 'attempts' in a single game. That is something called panic.

Be grateful that not many teams can out-pass us or put us under constant pressure...
 

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Pz
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whilst i don't believe we are a long ball team or even close some of his remarks are very true. If you look at CL it seems the opposition run just as much if not more than english teams but it looks like we are working harder because we chase long ball and stuff...where as foriegn teams do loads of passing and moving...its prettier on the eyes.

However i do think we are a good footballing side...not the bestt like barca, madrid and co who when they pass it , they pass it with such ease even against the best teams. English teams often tend to go for the long ball especially against better opposition or when under pressure.

Imo Spanish league is miles ahead in terms of technique and good footballing teams top to bottom but i think the EPL has a stronger top 4 teams...but still evn in the top 4 chelsea play terrible football, liverpool too don't play great football so only really united and arsenal can lay claim to good football in england.

I think whoever wins however, it'l be close between the teams...hopefully we see something special
 

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hey you are a loser your son played for us and won the
UCL so respect you son former team
barca cant stop any of our attacks no defence and no offence also
so you have a big mouth and we dont play long balls we play the best football ever
 

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Cruyff has lost the plot...

I recall Kaka saying after the first leg of the semis last year, something to the effect of, "United are the English team that play most like Brazil." So if Cruyff calls United a "long-ball" team, then he just called Brazil a "long-ball" team.

And I personally think that when we're playing at our best, we can beat any team. Case and point: 7-1. The game against Arsenal, we didn't have Vidic, which is why we looked a bit lost. We played them at the Emirates, and were going to win if not for a smash and grab goal in 90+2... There our defense was better. Same thing with Lyon and Roma this year.

Back on topic: We're not a long ball team, and even Arsenal supporters would agree.
 

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Grif SA said:
Cruyff has lost the plot...

I recall Kaka saying after the first leg of the semis last year, something to the effect of, "United are the English team that play most like Brazil." So if Cruyff calls United a "long-ball" team, then he just called Brazil a "long-ball" team.

And I personally think that when we're playing at our best, we can beat any team. Case and point: 7-1. The game against Arsenal, we didn't have Vidic, which is why we looked a bit lost. We played them at the Emirates, and were going to win if not for a smash and grab goal in 90+2... There our defense was better. Same thing with Lyon and Roma this year.

Back on topic: We're not a long ball team, and even Arsenal supporters would agree.

well said
 

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His trying to start mind games but we all know its all bollocks. Yeah if crosses are considered long balls than yeah we do it lmao We do it when it works like vs Liverpoo at Old Trafford - how many times did Rooney get one on ones from a long ball from our defence! Yeah all clubs do that but we don't revolve our whole game of football around it! Thats Chelsea lol I think he has us confused...don't worry, lets just wait for his comments after we win the CL :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
versa said:
Sad to say, we DO play ugly long ball AT TIMES, bypassing our midfielders towards the strikers and hoping for the best but more often than not, promptly give the ball back. Especially when we are under constant pressure or clueless.

I hate it but do honestly think Cruff was not too far-fetched in his remarks. A good team that play smooth, slick, passing style like Arsenal had our team in disarray and at seas. Not just many players were caught out of position but we actually had two own-goal 'attempts' in a single game. That is something called panic.

Be grateful that not many teams can out-pass us or put us under constant pressure...

Dude.....

I know what you are talking about, but please put it in perspective. Yes, we do know it forward sometimes and then an opponent knocks it back. Think of the Liverpool game. In the second half, we let them come at us and then Brown or Vidic would hoof it forwards. Even the Midfielders were just hoofing it forwards.

But that's hardly the norm at Manchester United. We do that in certain games and I'm sure it's at the orders of Ferguson.

Sometimes we will do it in a game around a certain period, but then kick back in to passing mode after that.

We are well capable of playing the slick-passing game and have shown it several times too, we just choose not too when a better tactic will have a higher probability of a positive result.

GGMU!
 

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RedForceRising said:
Dude.....

I know what you are talking about, but please put it in perspective. Yes, we do know it forward sometimes and then an opponent knocks it back. Think of the Liverpool game. In the second half, we let them come at us and then Brown or Vidic would hoof it forwards. Even the Midfielders were just hoofing it forwards.

But that's hardly the norm at Manchester United. We do that in certain games and I'm sure it's at the orders of Ferguson.

Sometimes we will do it in a game around a certain period, but then kick back in to passing mode after that.

We are well capable of playing the slick-passing game and have shown it several times too, we just choose not too when a better tactic will have a higher probability of a positive result.

GGMU!
I said "AT TIMES". :)
 

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Johan doesn't know what he's talking about. How can United be considered as a "long-ball team". Clearly he doesn't watch the Premiership cos there are some teams, i.e. Bolton, who play proper long-ball tactics.

Now we don't play as much short balls as like say Arsenal and Barca but we play one touch football, and with players like, CR7 and Nani, amongst others we dribble a lot which I think is more entertaining than 200 passes in 5 minutes.

If we get back Vidic in time, we'll have our rock solid defense again and Barca will find it harder to find the net than us cos their defense is about as leaky as Arsenal 's. But I fee Pique is adequate enough to fill Vidic's boots in his absence. On Sunday while Arsenal played better, I don't think they really opened us that much. Apart from the miscommunication that led to the goal.
 

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versa said:
Sad to say, we DO play ugly long ball AT TIMES, bypassing our midfielders towards the strikers and hoping for the best but more often than not, promptly give the ball back. Especially when we are under constant pressure or clueless.

I hate it but do honestly think Cruff was not too far-fetched in his remarks. A good team that play smooth, slick, passing style like Arsenal had our team in disarray and at seas. Not just many players were caught out of position but we actually had two own-goal 'attempts' in a single game. That is something called panic.

Be grateful that not many teams can out-pass us or put us under constant pressure...

I know we don't pass as much Arsenal but like the way we play. I mean sure sometimes the passing game is great but like Arsenal when it comes to the nitty gritty stuff, we take the cake any day. We can kill team while grinding out the difficult games. How else do you think we not concede to Liverpool in two years running. :)
 

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pun9jay said:
Johan doesn't know what he's talking about. How can United be considered as a "long-ball team". Clearly he doesn't watch the Premiership cos there are some teams, i.e. Bolton, who play proper long-ball tactics.

Now we don't play as much short balls as like say Arsenal and Barca but we play one touch football, and with players like, CR7 and Nani, amongst others we dribble a lot which I think is more entertaining than 200 passes in 5 minutes.

If we get back Vidic in time, we'll have our rock solid defense again and Barca will find it harder to find the net than us cos their defense is about as leaky as Arsenal 's. But I fee Pique is adequate enough to fill Vidic's boots in his absence. On Sunday while Arsenal played better, I don't think they really opened us that much. Apart from the miscommunication that led to the goal.
Mate, have to disagree on that though. We could have been behind in the first half already if not for Adebayor having a bad day. And they did open us up on a few occasions.
 

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Well I guess so, but that's why I think United play the better football. Style combined with efficiency is the ideal and United do it better than anyone I feel. I'm happy with winning "ugly". Winning is almost everything. I just want 50 passes in 5 minutes, I'd be an Arsenal supporter.
 

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pun9jay said:
Well I guess so, but that's why I think United play the better football. Style combined with efficiency is the ideal and United do it better than anyone I feel. I'm happy with winning "ugly". Winning is almost everything. I just want 50 passes in 5 minutes, I'd be an Arsenal supporter.
I will be wary of the Arsenal youngsters next season when they would have one more year of experience and maturity. But let's focus on the remaining cup-final games we have to play first.... Squeaky bum time. Wigan eased off some pressure already. Looking good, looking good...

Cheers, mate!! :)

P.S. Leaving my office now so chat again.
 

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Man Utd really have to make an example out of Barcelona and totally out-class them in the 2 games, much like Arsenal did vs AC Milan.
That'll shut people up.
 

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NateR said:
Man Utd really have to make an example out of Barcelona and totally out-class them in the 2 games, much like Arsenal did vs AC Milan.
That'll shut people up.
That's true. I just wonder how Fergie will go about this match cos I got the feeling he'll try to contain Barca like Roma at the Nou Camp.

I hope itd be a cracker of a game, if that's the case then either result would be ok. Obviously, the win would be best. :D
 
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