Rocky Rooney V Cinderella Man
The gloves are off as Rooney and Henderson talk about the mega bout tomorrow
It's the big one. It's the contest that everyone's been talking about. But enough about Phil Bardsley knocking out Wayne Rooney. Let's talk Liverpool against Manchester United tomorrow. There are only two points between them in the race for Champions League qualification.
With Steven Gerrard set to start on the bench, the two skippers will be Rocky Rooney against the rags to riches Cinderella Man - Jordan Henderson. They met before the Anfield clash and this is what they might have said.
Rooney: Hey Hendo, you want to go three rounds with me? Come on, put your hands up. Bardsley got me with a lucky punch.
Henderson: Lucky? You went over like a falling tree.
Rooney: Nah, nah, nah, I was just warming up. You didn't see the full clip. I was back on my feet and doing the Ali shuffle.
Henderson: It looked like an auntie's shuffle.
Rooney: Come on, Hendo, you think you're the comeback kid. Let's see what you've got.
Henderson: I know what you've got. You've got more glass in your jaw than a chandelier.
Rooney: Yeah, I did go down a bit quick, didn't I?
Henderson: Bullets have left guns slower.
Rooney: Look, I'm not having this - Ah, boss! (Louis van Gaal wanders into the meeting.)
Van Gaal: Ah, sorry to interrupt, I'm looking for my dossier on Radamel Falcao.
Rooney: Sorry boss, there's nothing here but a postage stamp.
Van Gaal: Ah, yes, it's on the back of that.
Rooney: Boss, boss, I can take a punch, can't I?
Van Gaal: I cannot imagine that we are talking such a thing, that I have to answer questions on this. I think, what is the world twisted? (Van Gaal exits.)
Henderson: Was that English? How do you understand him?
Rooney: I understand him fine, but then I'm a Scouser - Now, are you saying I can't hold my gloves up? Are you saying I can't take punishment?
Henderson: No, you can take punishment. You spent most of the season playing behind Falcao.
Rooney: It's the same for you when you play behind Steven Gerrard.
(Brendan Rodgers wanders into the meeting.)
Rodgers: Are you making fun of Stevie G? First and foremost, he's a legend and this is a legendary football club.
He's known around the world for being a legend of the legendary Liverpool Football Club. He shows me great intensity, great vision, great awareness at Liverpool Football Club.
He's an incredible guy, incredible captain and an incredible player at an incredible club with incredible supporters. We're all incredible at Liverpool Football Club.
(Brendan Rodgers exits.)
Rooney: Is he always like that?
Henderson: Yeah, especially in team meetings.
Rooney: What do you do?
Henderson: Play Farm Heroes.
Rooney: How do you play that game?
Henderson: You line up three or four matching objects and brush them aside.
Rooney: Like Manchester City's midfield?
Rooney: Still, it's going well for you. What a comeback, what a happy ending this season has been, from pauper to prince.
Rooney: No what?
Henderson: No, it's not a Cinderella story. I'm not Cinderella Man. We are not having a boxing match. Wayne, take your gloves off.
Rooney: Oh, go on. I need to get my street cred back, Hendo. I'm supposed to be the grate British Bulldog, the last of the street footballers and I went over like a Barbie doll.
Henderson: You did embarrass yourself. The Kop will destroy you tomorrow.
Rooney: That's what I'm saying. I must restore my pride. I need to pick a fight with a little guy.
Henderson: What about Angel di Maria?
Rooney: He keeps hiding. We just hear him singing, "Viva la Espana".
Henderson: He misses Spain?
Rooney: What do you think? He swopped Madrid for Manchester. Didn't you get homesick when you first arrived at Liverpool?
Henderson: I came from Sunderland. Liverpool feels like Beverly Hills.
Rooney: Look, it's the biggest game of our season and I'm a laughing stock. I need help. The whole world saw me go down after the slightest physical contest.
Henderson: You should see a specialist.
Rooney: You mean a psychiatrist?
Henderson: No, Ashley Young.
United will be his LAST STOP
- PHOTO: AFP
Louis van Gaal says he will retire from football when his spell with Manchester United comes to an end.
Van Gaal has enjoyed a stellar career that has taken him from Holland to Spain, Germany and now England, where he is contracted with United until 2017.
The 63-year-old is enjoying his spell as United manager, but plans to walk away from football once his tenure is over as he wants to spend time with his wife, Truus, in their holiday home on the Algarve.
"I am old. This is my last job. For sure," the Dutchman said, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph. "I have to pay attention to my kids, my grandchildren but also to my wife. They deserve it.
"Now I cannot pay that attention. I was not at the birthday of my grandson, for example. I don't like it.
"My wife wants to quit now already! Five years ago!
"I have a paradise in Portugal. I want to quit to go there, play golf, eat fantastic food."
Van Gaal praised the United fans for the support they have given him during a mixed first year at Old Trafford.
United have played some unimaginative football at times this season but they hammered Tottenham 3-0 last week to strengthen their hold on fourth place in the Premier League.
Van Gaal has managed Barcelona, Ajax and Bayern Munich during his career, but regards United as the biggest club on the planet.
"We were in the USA (in pre-season) and we played against Real Madrid, Liverpool, Roma, Inter Milan and LA Galaxy, five matches in three weeks - 300,000 fans and I think 280,000 of them in a red shirt. I know that Manchester United are the biggest club in the world," he said.
"Bigger than Real Madrid? Yes. In terms of global appeal, not history."
Van Gaal's biggest signing Angel di Maria, meanwhile, is looking forward to returning to action following his one-match suspension. He sat out the win over Spurs after being sent off for tugging referee Michael Oliver's shirt in United's FA Cup defeat by Arsenal.
The £59.7million ($123m) midfielder knows the next four fixtures - against Liverpool tomorrow, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Chelsea - will ultimately make or break United's season.
"We are all aware that a number of big games are just around the corner, and the season will be decided by these fixtures," di Maria told United Review.
United lead Liverpool by just two points but they are also only two points shy of second-placed City.
Di Maria is optimistic about the chances of United finishing in the top four.
He added: "Everyone at the club is 100 per cent confident, we know we want to get back into the Champions League and that we want to be fighting it out." - PA Sport.