03/03/2008 06:50, Report by Pat Crerand
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Paddy: Boss' tough task

Spare a thought for Sir Alex, his job must be awful at the moment. United’s squad is so good, in so many areas, that I’d find it impossible to leave players out. I’m glad it’s his job and not mine!

Going into Tuesday's crucial clash against Lyon, Sir Alex once again has some tough decisions to make regarding his team selection.

Getting players to understand it is key. And the fact that they never complain shows the confidence and respect they have for the manager. No player complains in the press, and the fans aren’t disgruntled. Look at Liverpool, everyone goes on about their squad rotation. But I don’t think Rafael Benitez has got a strong enough squad to rotate. United have, and ultimately that’s why it works.

No player should look at it as being dropped. It’s for the benefit of the team in the long run. There are a number of advantages to it. Firstly, of course, everyone stays fresh and sharp. Secondly, it can puzzle your opponents. They don’t know who they are going to be facing, and in what formation.

Different players bring different qualities to the team. As a television pundit everyone thinks I must know the team. But until I actually see the team-sheet, there’s not a chance I can tell what the team is. That has to have an affect on opposition managers and players, too.

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Scouting report: Benzema

“I watched Karim Benzema against Rangers in the group stages and he was brilliant. Lyon lost 3-0 at home, but won 3-0 away, with Benzema scoring twice. My concern is that United like to attack at Old Trafford, and we have to be sure that doesn’t open up space for him, because he’ll exploit it. He scored a great goal two weeks ago - a real classy effort. The close control with four defenders around him was outstanding. He’s 20, and at that age, with his ability, you don’t care who you're up against. It’s imperative we stop him.”


Premier League