Football FanCast columnist Rob Facey wonders who Sir Alex Ferguson thinks he is kidding by talking up his ‘tough' Champions League group.
Sir Alex Ferguson did his best to convince the assembled media that Man United's Champions League group is far from easy, despite avoiding some of Europe's biggest clubs.
United were drawn against CSKA Moscow, Besiktas and Wolfsburg in one of the tournament's easier groups, avoiding the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and Inter.
"These are difficult ties, especially the trips to Russia and Turkey," Ferguson said, as reported in The Independent.
"CSKA have developed strongly in the last few years, and games in Turkey are always difficult. We also know the quality that we're up against with Wolfsburg, with what they achieved in the Bundesliga last season."
Last season's beaten finalists should waltz through to the next stage, despite the trips to Russia and Turkey that await.
Compared to Chelsea's group, which features Porto and Atletico Madrid, United will be secretly over the moon, so surely Ferguson's remarks are slightly comical?
Carlo Ancelotti has been brought to Stamford Bridge to win the title; for some reason everybody connected with the club thinks that Ancelotti has a divine right to win the Champions League and most are already booking their trips to Madrid in May.
They might be having a slight recalculation as, like Liverpool and Arsenal, they have a comparably harder group than United but, surprise surprise, Ferguson is making sure everybody knows that his group is harder. Much harder.
For teams like Aston Villa, who avoided the whole ‘European football is a distraction' line by being dumped out of the Europa League last night, United have a purpose built squad for football on more than one front. In fact, after reaching two successive finals, it could even be said that they are more or less custom built for Champions League success.
United are among the favourites to win the whole thing again this year, never mind negotiate the early stages, and it was nice to see them get their usual tough draw. There are nothing like conspiracy theories to get the fans going…
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