And with those questions and answers this web chat has come to an end. Thank you everyone for participating. Please continue to follow the build-up to the match at Old Trafford here with us and follow our live minute-by-minute reporting tonight. There will also be a live web chat tomorrow, Wednesday, as we discuss the fallout of the tie.
Enjoy the game.
LeoHesse asks: "Do you think that Phil Jones will be made into a better player by certain people because he isn't playing i.e. if United lose, people will say they wouln't have if he had been fit. And what do you think it says about United that a kid with less than a full season at the club under his belt is perceived (by some) to be the only to winning a key European tie?"
I find Phil Jones quite confusing. It's hard to say exactly what kind of footballer he is or what he should be turned into. I think the problem is the physical challenge of the Premier League, which has stood in the way of turning him into a ball-playing centre half. Perhaps he's an English version of the young Pique, not trusted to defend against Stoke every week, but able perhaps to flower elsewhere in a team that has the ball a lot and can develop that part of him. He is a great athlete. And he can pass and control the ball. But how he fits into an English style team I'm not sure.
erroneousfiend has this, rather elaborate question: "If you were a football manager, what sort of coat would you wear pitchside? Would you go for the ugly sport puffer coat or would you go more for the stylish trench coat a la last years' AVB's wonderfully chic form? Perhaps you would simply wear a zip up team branded training jumper or even a weather defiantly brazen suit and tie? If the answer is stylish trench coat, pea, or other, please elaborate.
I would wear a very expensive perfectly tailored overcoat with shorts and boots underneath thereby combining in a heady cocktail the best parts of the erudite overseas "fancy" manager and the visceral appeal of Nigel Pearson-style shouter. I would win the Champions League six times and then retire
K2406 asks whether Barney is bored with the obsessive media frenzy of wall to wall articles, analysis and tweets this game has attracted?
But Barney isn't:
No. I want more. So does everyone else. They say they don't. But they do.
cityoj wants more on Mourinho's future: Where do you think Mourinho will be next season Barney? My spidey-sense says Manchester City. I can't see him going back to Chelsea.
Think you might have something there. It would mean the same people who de-selected him for the Barca job suddenly deciding they can all work together. Might happen, depends on how much the Sheikhs want to rip everything up to get one very difficult managerial genius
Giftedbutlazee whether Barney thinks Mourinho will definitely be heading out of Madrid in the summer? And if he is, where might he be off to?
Well, that's what those who know seem to be saying. And others who know seem to be saying he's going to wash up at Chelsea again, before having a go at becoming Man Utd manager. This is just what they say, by the way. I think going back to Chelsea would be a terrible idea for what it's worth. It can't ever be the way it was. Leave it alone. There is also talk of PSG, as Mourinho would be flattered by the idea of winning another title in another country and he could also buy Ronaldo, Messi, Puskas and the moon.
MrSoprano ponders the relative lack of depth up front in Real's ranks: Could real mardid's lack of a top class striker such as rooney or van persie (although benzema and higuain are very good) cost madrid if they can't catch united on the break?
Maybe, but I doubt it. It's the kind of thing people say after the event. Oh, they should have had a, like, lethal striker who scores constantly in the team. Right now they look to be pretty good at scoring goals.
Adurman thinks the unthinkable: I know he's having a great first season but do you think RVP has gone off the boil at bit?
I thought it was just me who'd noticed that. It's not been quite long enough to say he's having a bit of a trough, but certainly since Rooney came into a bit of form, playing further upfield, Van Persie has seemed to look just a little bit off. He really should have buried that chance at the Bernabeu. Maybe I'm imagining it. But he's too good not to come good again.
OThilonthehill wonders whether, considering the amount of ill-considered tackles/elbows/assorted nastinesses by the Real defenders (i.e. Ramos and Pepe), does Barney think discipline might decide this game?
I think I speak for all of us when I say I'd really hate to see Sergio Ramos sent off for repeatedly fouling, elbowing, grabbing, pinching, thereby ruining the spectacle for .... oh who am I trying to kid. Yes, I hope the ref has got his eye on those two. Ramos was even punching Welbeck in the face as he scored his goal in Madrid.
Pianni asks how "Fergie" will deploy Rooney in this game? In a slightly more defensive role that he played in the first leg, or do you think he will look to get him forward more with RVP?
I'm afraid to say I think he;s going to be mucking in on the right a lot. It's something he does quite well at times (not all times) and let's not underestimate that this is also a skill, the willingness and ability to also defend. Rooney might have done it for England come to think of it when Andrea Pirlo ran the game in Kiev, but he didn't. Different role but I bet Fergie would have had him in there snapping away.
OThilonthehill gets straight to the point: Apart from Man. Utd. fans, does anybody else like Man.Utd ?
I'm not a Man Utd fan, but I like them. I like English football and this is what English football has to offer, a grand old club with a glorious history and some lovely players. The only reasons for not liking Man Utd are of the tribal my-club's-going-to-beat-your-club-your-manager-said-a-bad-thing variety. And we're better than that aren't we?
Arshia Archibald Shahidiani confesses an admiration for Anderson and wonders whether Barney feels the same way and whether he (Anderson, not Barney) will play any part in today's proceedings?
Anderson has a problem with his conditioning at times. I don't see him "taking" Khedira and Alonso out of this game. Good player when his circuits work properly but he needs a good run of games before he can start thinking about anything like that.
Satish Chandra K wants Barney's thoughts on the following: Do you feel Manchester United really does need another midfielder? They have so many world class players coming up from the youth ranks. Do you see any possibility of any of the youth team making it to the first team ?
Yes they definitely need another midfielder. Not as a matter of urgency, but to improve the team. A driving presence. Who can pass. And defend. And score goals. A kind of Keane-Scholes-Xavi-Dave Mackay hybrid.
caleidoscope has this question (or questions rather): Hi Barney, do you think Ronaldo will fancy his chance to one-up Messi in the top footballer stakes and pull an absolute blinder tonight? If there was a player/manager duo that performs better under pressure, it's Ron and Mou surely. Who do you think United will set up on the left since Jones will not be around to help Rafael?
As far as i can remember Messi has very little to do with tonight. This is all about Real and the European Cup. I think Welbeck and Evra will have the job of picking up Ronaldo when he's on the left. It might work. It probably won't work for the whole 90 minutes. Frankly if Ronaldo doesn't score tonight I'll be amazed. United must remember to attack when they can.
CreatureOfTheNight has another tactical question: Who do you think should start? Nani or Valencia? Nani is a bigger attacking threat, but he won't track back like Valencia. What's your opinion?
I wish Valencia would remember that he doesn't have to do anything other than run down the wing and cross the ball. At his best he's like a rugby league winger, just bounces people out of the way. He seems to have got some "ideas" recently, keeps trying to play with a bit more sophistication. I say no. Cross it for Wazza. But I would definitely play him ahead of Nani, who seems too frail for a game like this.
gj_donaldson, quite rightly, is concerned about Real's counter-attacking prowess. Can United cope, he wonders.
Yes of course they can but like coping with Barca's ball-hogging it requires total concentration. I'm worried that Rafael, for example, will forget that even though he's playing at home, he's not playing Reading or Fulham and that he needs to play as though every second of the match if laden with danger. If Real score first then they may well score again with greater ease. United will have to attack. I hope they're cautious even if they go behind. Much easier to get one back and the game can be saved in the last ten minutes if necessary.
Kipp9 takes the metaphors to another level and asks: Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or one hundred duck sized horses?
I wouldn't fight either. I would probably try to make friends, slightly embarrassingly
@BerbaForPresident asks what Barney's tactics would be from a United perspective tonight and whether Giggs will start.
I think Giggs will play ahead of Kagawa, if either plays. I would really like to see united try to score first, partly because of the way Madrid are right now.Very confident after some excellent results, but still a team with a manager who's leaving and with all their eggs in this basket. I'm not sure how they'd respond to being behind. They might respond really well. They might also not. It seems foolish to cast doubts on the mental strength of these players but it only takes a little air to go out of teams at this level and the game can slip away. Just a theory anyway. I imagine the reality is there will probably be a lot of defending ahead for United.
@Escobar600 kicks off with the following question: Who will be the front four?
I have a feeling they may go with the same approach from the first game. They need defensive width as much as attacking width and Welbeck and Rooney did that very well in Spain. It is a shame that the need to skitter about trying to stop C Ronaldo from destroying your full back tends to cut down the corssing potential from the wings. It;'s an old story but I think Madrid are vulnerable there. But no young David Beckhams in this United squad. He'd be perfect for this game (12 years ago).
Apologies for the slight delay.
Hello. Sorry I'm a bit late. Travelodge wi-fi isn't what it once was. I am now in the bar downstairs listening to really loud Euro house, but with a signal that works, not to mention a feeling of up-tempo musical well-being. I'm going to start answering questions below. Thank you for being patient.
Good afternoon. Barney Ronay will be online from 3pm to take part in a live webchat.
Only a few hours to go now until Manchester United take on Real Madrid at Old Trafford in the Champions League last-16 second leg. With the first leg having finished 1-1 at the Bernabéu three weeks ago, both managers will feel confident they have a chance to progress to the quarter-finals.
At Tuesday's press conferences, however, Sir Alex Ferguson and José Mourinho displayed very contrasting moods indeed. The United manager was jovial as he considered the threat of the returning Cristiano Ronaldo while 'The Special One' was monosyllabic, adding that he can control his emotions better these days: "If I lose I don't cry and if I win I don't run a 100 metres."
Mourinho also said, rather unhelpfully, that 'nobody knows' what will make the difference at Old Trafford tonight. Yet here is Barney Ronay to answer your questions on what will make the difference at Old Trafford tonight.
If you have any questions for Barney, drop them into the comments section below.