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The class of 2011 may not prove to be a team that lives long in United legend like the 1999 treble-winners, especially if it is steamrollered by Barcelona in the Champions League final May 28.

But, like a sensible walking shoe that is not much to look at, over time it wins you over with its resilience. Rooney does not have the beguiling, must-watch appeal of a player like Eric Cantona. And he was repellent with his screaming, obscene outburst before a TV camera at West Ham. But the growth of his increasingly instinctive and dangerous goal-scoring understanding with Hernandez has been fascinating. So, too, has Giggs‘ renewed lease on life in midfield.

“Everyone has said this is not a good Manchester United team, that we are not this or that. But we have scored more goals than anyone else (in England),” Ferguson says. “Our home form has been magnificent. We are undefeated in Europe. We are in the Champions League final and we will win the league by getting one more point.”

By any standard, not bad at all.


John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester(at) or