Sir Alex Ferguson is planning to rest his star performer Howard Webb to prevent 'a needless injury' after his tireless work in yesterday's FA Cup victory over Liverpool . Webb awarded his own side a penalty, but he stood aside to allow a team mate to take it.
Mr Webb who secured his team's passage into the 4th round of the FA cup is said to be 'exhausted' following his Herculean efforts in providing his side with the winning goal by awarding them a 'completely deserved' penalty after Liverpool's Daniel Agger 'viciously kicked Berbatov in the head with a knife'.
Man United's 12th man Howard Webb, whose dressing room locker is right next to Rio Ferdinand's, said: "Yeah, it's a massive win for the me and the lads. The gaffer told us all in his pre-match talk to get in their faces, and work hard for each other. He reminded me to wait at least an hour before giving us a penalty or it could look suss, but I was just too excited and went for it a few seconds after I blew the starting whistle, however, I did wait a little longer than usual to send Stevie G off, to make up for it.
"I was thinking about taking the penalty myself, but then thought I should let one of the other lads take the glory for a change. It's a team sport after all, and I get embarrassed when people tell me I single-handedly win all the games I get picked to play in."
However, his boss, Alex Ferguson is concerned that if he continues playing his star man in every game he'll pick up a serious injury or may get exhausted towards the business end of the season.
"Howard's a great servant to the club, " said Sir Alex. "And he's a real role model for the younger lads. He's always first on the training pitch in the morning and the last to leave. He practices pointing at the spot, and sending opponents off for hours on end. But I fear if he carries on at the same intensity he'll pick up an injury that could see him out for months.
"And that's a risk we can't take. He's just too important for us, his ratio of games played to penalties given is almost one per match, which are amazing stats."
Manchester United's club shop has just released its sales figures which indicate that 'Howard Webb' is now the most requested name on the back of their replica shirts, and that if his popularity grows they may be forced to rename the Stretford End in his honour by changing it to the 'Massive-Bell End', or MBE for short.