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Rooney Wants Chelsea. Patient Fletch. Wenger Hates Showboating.

Rooney returned from suspension to help United put on a commanding performance to knock the Gunners out of the FA Cup. Buoyed by that success, he thinks it’s a good idea to be drawing Chelsea early in the competition. He’d rather take a home game against Chelsea now rather than meet them in the final.

“I hope we get Chelsea,” Rooney told MUTV. “Personally, I’d like to play them at home and try to knock them out. After that we’ll be through to the semi final and I’m sure we can take things from there.”

I don’t think it’s that bad an idea, really. If we get a full strength team now, we can be better placed to beat Chelsea now rather than later in the competition. Let’s face it: the FA Cup final of last year was an exercise in attritional football and both sides’ players were so knackered that they couldn’t be bothered to gather themselves to hit a ball into an empty net, had a situation presented itself. Plus even if we get knocked out at this stage, it would be less gutting to me than it would if they lost in the final. All in all, not a bad idea facing Chelsea early. The draw is today and by the time you read this our quarter final opponents may be known. I may or may not update this as the news gets to me, but you always have the luxury of the comments section to fill it in.

Update: Unsurprisingly we got another Premiership club, Pompey, in the draw. Not the worst draw, I would think, but then Chelsea got Barnsley. The lucky bastards!

Darren Fletcher, who had a blinder against Arsenal, is willing to be patient for his chance and thinks that he will get them more as the season wears on. He’s had his critics but he’s mostly done a reasonable job when called upon. He’s got this uncanny knack of showing up in the big games, be it against a rampant Chelsea in the 05/06 season or Saturday — which makes one wonder how he actually does it. Remember the part on Saturday where he skinned a player, ran ahead and delivered a pin point cross from the right wing to Rooney, who scuffed the shot wide? Unbelievable! I was shocked out of my wits when I saw Fletcher do that.

And finally, Arsene Wenger let his anger known to one and all when he criticised Nani’s showboating. Now I don’t hate Wenger as much as say, Mourinho or Benitez. He is a proponent of beautiful football and it shows in his team. But I can never get his myopic view of things on the pitch. I admit that SAF has also done that at times, but he’s also chided his players when needed. I don’t see how he can justify Gallas’ kick on Nani and use Nani’s showboating as reason enough for his players to hit out at the Portuguese winger. I don’t even see how showboating was ‘wrong’ — especially in the context of the game. We were 4-0 up had nothing to lose from this point and there’s nothing wrong if our player felt comfortable enough doing what he likes. At least we weren’t lumping up the ball into touch and wasting time. We played good football, such tricks add to the entertainment value, and we played them off the park. End of.

Even SAF thought Nani’s showboating was unnecessary, but then his reasons may have been to ensure that the kid has his feet firmly on the ground for future challenges. Nani is far from perfect — he is still raw, tends to go easily to ground — but on that day his performance was excellent and he earned his seal dribble.

Oh well, let’s get over the Arsenal win and look ahead. Tomorrow is another day and we have the small matter of Lyon on Wednesday. So onward and upward from now on!