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Forget Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Parker believes Carlos Tevez is the key to Manchester United's defence of their European crown.

"It has to be said, United are not in the greatest shape heading into their first Champions League clash of the season.

The new domestic campaign has not started as well as expected and the defeat to Liverpool at Anfield - which prompted Alex Ferguson to lament his side's "Conference defending" - only compounded matters.

But of course, the season is young and United have yet to be unleashed on European competition. What's more, they still have plenty in reserve and despite their slow start domestically, the holders will once again be a force to be reckoned with in Europe.

Ironically, I think it was Dimitar Berbatov's long, drawn-out arrival at Old Trafford that did most to disrupt United's pre-season preparations. Yet their chances of European success could depend on how well the Bulgarian adapts to life at United.

Another eight-goal haul from Cristiano Ronaldo is unlikely, so goals will have to come from another source. Clearly, the Bulgarian target man has been brought in to fill that role.

I was a big fan of the way he played at Tottenham and I believe he can be a huge success at United, but only if his team-mates play to his strengths. And that means getting the ball out wide and giving him the service he craves.

Traditionally, one of United's strengths has been their natural width, but at the moment they are lacking somewhat in that department.

As a result so far in the Premier League this season they have been rather easy to contain. But with Ronaldo on his way back, as long as the Portuguese plays wider than he did before his stint on the sidelines, Berbatov can be sure of some good service.

But at the same time, Ronaldo's return poses a real problem for Alex Ferguson - albeit the kind of problem that most managers would give their right arm for. With Ronaldo, Berbatov, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez all vying for a place in the same line-up, United boast an embarrassment of riches.

It's no secret that to win the Champions League, a squad needs strength in depth - and that is exactly what Berbatov's arrival has given United.

But the temptation will be there to squeeze all four jewels into the crown. And that could well cramp their style and negate their individual effectiveness. If that kind of formation is considered too attacking for the Premier League, then it is certainly unsuitable for the Champions League.

How Ferguson deals with his team selection will have a huge bearing on how United's European campaign pans out this season. It's a real conundrum, and one that I don't envy him having to deal with.

But I would make sure Tevez is included, every time. The Argentinian is a big game player and he, along with Anderson in midfield, have the ability to raise the tempo of a game - something that is needed in European football.

Too often United have tried - and failed - to alter their style and match European opposition at their own game by playing a slower-paced, more continental game.

But with the South American duo in the side, United look more dynamic and likely to take the game to the opposition. And that could be crucial to any success United can enjoy in European this season."
 

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Stephen said:
Can't be bothered to read it but I don't agree with the headline.

Without Ronaldo we're very ordinary.
The headline is actually misleading and can turn off many fans from ever reading it. :rolleyes:

It only merely stated that we should not be too dependent on Ronaldo for goals.

And it is a pretty good article in fact. Talks about the temptation of cramping all the Heavenly Four in, the lack of width so far that hindered our results.... All the things we have been debating about in this forum. :eek:

Go and read it now. :)
 

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I'm probably going to be attacked here, but I honestly think Tevez is more important than Ronaldo.

I think Tevez is becoming a more important player, and hes showed that without him we'd be ordinary.

I wouldn't judge whether we miss Ronaldo on this season so far. We've only struggled so far because we have had/played NO wingers whatsoever.

I think that we just need Berbatov and/or Manucho to make a partnership with Rooney, or preferably Tevez, and we'll be on great form, with or without Ronaldo.
 

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Berbatov>Tevez
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manutd004 said:
I'm probably going to be attacked here, but I honestly think Tevez is more important than Ronaldo.

I think Tevez is becoming a more important player, and hes showed that without him we'd be ordinary.
I wouldn't judge whether we miss Ronaldo on this season so far. We've only struggled so far because we have had/played NO wingers whatsoever.

I think that we just need Berbatov and/or Manucho to make a partnership with Rooney, or preferably Tevez, and we'll be on great form, with or without Ronaldo.
spot on ! couldn't agree more ! the problem is - we have been too dependant on ronaldo and now when we're witohut him the team needs to learn to play without him...same things happened when keano,beckham,stam and eric went !
but our mvp, the player who drags the team forward is either carlos tevez or wayne rooney...
 

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Tevez is one of our unyoung heroes i feel.

Ronaldo, Rooney and Ferdinand tend to share more of the praise than Tevez but he is consistantly one of our best performers and hardest workers.



One another note, why is paul parker always making comments about the club, who does he work for these days?
 

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When Tevez scores 20 goals in a season, nevermind 40, I'll start agreeing with Paul Parker.

I only saw the first half tonight and United and Tevez were pathetic. Tevez was shrugged off the ball and mis-controlled the ball numerous times.

Liverpool's game is to get the ball wide and cross the ball into the box. They are experts at it. We have begun to play that game unfortunately, and even more unfortunately, we are useless at it.
 

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manutd004 said:
I'm probably going to be attacked here, but I honestly think Tevez is more important than Ronaldo.

I think Tevez is becoming a more important player, and hes showed that without him we'd be ordinary.

.
I cant agree at all here. Tevez has become a huge part of the team but without
Ronaldwe aren't the same team. He makes us tick and he makes things happen.
Tevez wasnt great tonight but did you feel the energy when Ronaldo came on?
He nearly made things happen straight away and he inspired the crowd and the
team to better things. Just wait till he gets his match fitness back.
 

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Tevez and Ronaldo are both extremely important to the team.

There is one difference though really. Tevez could be replaced, Ronaldo couldn't be. Or it'd be very hard, we'd have to sign kaka or messi basically. But we could get several strikers similar to Tevez.
 

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CROoney said:
spot on ! couldn't agree more ! the problem is - we have been too dependant on ronaldo and now when we're witohut him the team needs to learn to play without him...same things happened when keano,beckham,stam and eric went !
but our mvp, the player who drags the team forward is either carlos tevez or wayne rooney...
I spot a bit of Ronaldo bashing here . The guy had an absolutely outstanding season and all we seem to be discussing is how we rely on him and his goals too much .
Well thats why he's in the bleedin side . It's up to the others now to try and better what he did on his own and as PART OF THE TEAM last season .
We have far too many fantastic players to be solely reliant on one player . Never can I see a day when we would collapse because of the absence of one player . Back in the day when Robbo was playing or not the side had this huge complex when he was out and it showed in our results.
I think we are unbalanced without Ronaldo and everyone is agreed that Rooney is played out of position . Lets just hope that things are put right before we fall too far behind the leaders. And remember we have only played 3 games in the league so far so lets just take a deep breath and just relax .
 

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Hang on a minute here.

Now, I don't mind people not agreeing with me. After all, football is a game of opinions, and if we all had the same opinions, there would be no point discussing football, meaning this forum wouldn't even exist among other things.

Tevez scored 14 league goals last season, and Rooney scored 12. But yet people criticise Tevez for not scoring 20? Now, I agree with people when they say that Rooney may not score as many as expected, and that his work-rate, assists and overall play is to a very, very high standard.

However, thats exactly the same situation as Tevez, but yet people criticise Tevez and defend Rooney!

Give me strength! :rolleyes:
 

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dublin red said:
I spot a bit of Ronaldo bashing here . The guy had an absolutely outstanding season and all we seem to be discussing is how we rely on him and his goals too much .
Well thats why he's in the bleedin side . It's up to the others now to try and better what he did on his own and as PART OF THE TEAM last season .
We have far too many fantastic players to be solely reliant on one player . Never can I see a day when we would collapse because of the absence of one player . Back in the day when Robbo was playing or not the side had this huge complex when he was out and it showed in our results.
I think we are unbalanced without Ronaldo and everyone is agreed that Rooney is played out of position . Lets just hope that things are put right before we fall too far behind the leaders. And remember we have only played 3 games in the league so far so lets just take a deep breath and just relax .
man i never meant that we are a one man team but missing a clinical top scorer would certainly feel on any team in the world...especially if it's about the best footballer in the world
 

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CROoney said:
man i never meant that we are a one man team but missing a clinical top scorer would certainly feel on any team in the world...especially if it's about the best footballer in the world
I see what your saying mate . Since Ruud has gone we are lacking someone who is clinical in the 6 yard box . But strikers thrive on confidence and I can see our strikers coming good now that Ronaldo is back . I thought Rooney had a little bit extra in his step the other night when Ronaldo came on .
 
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