Date: 22nd January 2009 at 5:45pm
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Ooh-oh, another bit of FA Cup controversy involving United – though this time not even the most obsessed ABUs can blame us. Common sense would dictate the 2000 fiasco to be recognised as a mess made by the FA and the government but common sense never stood in the way of a good old United bashing. This time though Spurs will be in the limelight, or at least they’ll get the bigger share of it.

As you probably know, United host Tottenham on Saturday in the FA Cup 4th round and as you probably know, we hardly have a full team with all the ghastly injury problems. We are certain to field a weakened side because we have no choice. Harry Redknapp, on the other hand, has quite a big group of fit players yet he will leave most of them behind in London.

‘I will go to Old Trafford with the weakest team I can possibly find,’ he said, after scraping past Burnley most undeservedly. A real mish-mash side, as he put it… interesting.

Now if it’s true – and we’ll know by tomorrow afternoon if he really leaves behind the key players – then 1) he will be lambasted for disrespecting the cup, 2) we can easily afford to rest Berbatov, Ronaldo and Carrick and give a debut start to Tosic.

An FA spokesman said that Redknapp will surely select players from the first-team squad. Yeah, only trouble is, who are part of that? The ones who have squad numbers? Then James Chester is a member of the first-team squad at Old Trafford… mind you, he’ll have to play or at least will be on the bench so I guess that’s not far off the mark. The point is though that the rule stating that every team must play their strongest available line-up can’t be effectively enforced. After all, managers are well within their rights to chop and change their teams and blood in youngsters, aren’t they?

So I’m looking forward to a nice reserve game… in the FA Cup.