Saturday, September 27, 2014

Man Utd 2 - 1 West Ham

Rafael McNair Rojo Shaw
Blind Herrera(Valencia)
Di Maria(Thorpe) Rooney(s/o) RVP

As we did last week, we started the game brightly but faded out of it as soon as the opposition scored a goal. We were all over West Ham but one moment of poor goalkeeping brought the Hammers back into the game and it was a struggle from then on. To make matters worse, on the hour mark, Rooney was justly sent off for a blatant foul. I know West Ham must have had their confidence in cloud nine today after their win vs Liverpool but I simply expected better from our boys.

We simply had to win today and we did but only just. We were 2-0 up inside the first 25 minutes and looked like we were going to record a comfortable victory. That's exactly what I thought last week as soon as Di Maria scored that worldy against Leicester. But we all know what happened then. The word 'comfortable' doesn't seem to appear in Man Utd's dictionary this year. We just made life hard for ourselves. Rooney and van Persie scored two good goals but we just stopped when West Ham scored 10 minutes later. From then on, we always looked like conceding. Rooney lost his head and got sent off for a very stupid challenge. I know West Ham were probably going to catch us on the wrong foot with that attack but a simple shirt pull would have floored the player and Rooney would have just got a yellow for his troubles. Instead he made a knee high dangerous tackle. Deserved to be sent off. 

I could barely look at the screen during the final 20 minutes. Our defence were having to deal with some decent West Ham play. The Hammers did score the equaliser but it was ruled out for offside. PHEW! In the end we hung on to the lead and won our second game of the season. It's good to get the three points but there's plenty of room for improvement.

The biggest positives today were probably McNair and Rojo's performances as well as Rafael's. Di Maria had an off day while Falcao is in desperate need to get a goal. Hopefully he'll get going as soon as he scores his first. 

I'm off. I'll be going on a week long holiday in less than 24 hours and I still haven't packed yet. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Leicester 5 - 3 United

Rafael Evans(Smalling) Blackett Rojo
Herrera Blind Di Maria(Mata)
Falcao(Januzaj) RVP

Some of the football our team played today was absolutely terrific, yet I'm here posting about another United defeat this season. We threw away a two goal lead twice. A lot of people said that our only hope of doing well this season is by outscoring our opponents. I never really understood what was the fuss about our defense. Why was everyone saying it's too weak? I know our central defenders aren't anywhere near Vida and Rio when they were at their best, however, I thought we were ok at the back. Today's game made me wake up and smell the coffee. That was a harsh reminder that our defense is indeed very weak and should have been bolstered during the transfer window. We weren't playing Chelsea or Man City. We were playing Leicester and we conceded 5. That's already 10 points lost this season to opposition we should be winning against. 

We started the game well. Our football was fantastic, the passes were flowing and we scored a couple of fine goals. Falcao delivered an inch perfect cross to RVP as the latter opened the score while Di Maria scored a sublime chip. Our celebrations were cut short as Leicester got one back but I thought that wasn't a problem. The football we were playing made me believe that we'll hit them back with two or three more goals. We did score another. Herrera flicked Di Maria's through ball into the back of the net. Game over, I thought. BUT the ref let Leicester back into the game. I couldn't even believe what I was seeing. Rafael was blatantly fouled by Leicester's striker but the ref let the play go on. Rafael was back on his feet and tried to take the ball. Leicester's attacker dived even though Rafael made no real challenge and the ref awarded the penalty. Unbelievable. I can't believe how one blatant foul was adjudged to be a fair challenge while an inexistent challenge was adjudged to be a foul. 

The ref had a stinker of a game. He could have easily sent off De Laet for 3 bookable offenses. Also, Rojo was fouled in the action that led to City's second penalty and Blackett's sending off. 

Anyway, after conceding the second goal, United just collapsed. Leicester were all over us from then on. Goals three, four and five followed as we ended the game with 10 men. It was an absolute horror show from the 60th minute on. 

So what's wrong? Well, first things first, if the ref didn't award that penalty we would have won the game. However, that cannot excuse the disastrous defending by our players. We WILL score plenty of goals but we won't be winning any points with that calamitous defense. Another problem is the fact that van Gaal hasn't been able to field the same back four in our games due to an unlucky amount of injuries. We need some stability and consistency but I'm afraid that won't happen anytime soon. Evans got injured today, Blackett will be suspended for the upcoming games and Jones is still injured. Rojo will probably have to accompany Smalling at central defense in our next game while Shaw fills in the left back berth. Rojo is said to prefer playing at full back but he wasn't convincing today. He gave the ball away far too often. But he'll get used to the Premier League eventually. 

I also expected better from Blind today. He didn't really support our defenders. Herrera was a tad too quiet as well. Di Maria scored one and created another while Falcao assisted RVP and also hit the woodwork. Our colombian still doesn't look sharp so I'll be looking forward to see a fully fit Falcao play in the upcoming weeks. Although Robin scored today, I'm not entirely sure about him starting the games for us at the moment. After last week's performance, I think Mata deserved to play behind Falcao and Rooney. 

Conceding 5 against Leicester is very poor. For the first time in our Premier League history, United threw away a two-goal lead to lose.  We've been breaking records left right and centre during the past year. Anyway, van Gaal must also shoulder some blame. At 3-1, it was probably time to protect the lead and bring on Shaw or Fletcher.

We're more than fine at the front. We just need some confidence at the back before our season can really kick off. Ultimately, if Leicester hadn't been awarded that penalty, we'd be waxing lyrical about some wonderful Man Utd attacking moves. Instead, we're moaning about our defense. Chelsea are 8 points away from us but we are within reach of the other top 4 challengers. When things click, we can defeat any team in England. Let's hope we learn from our mistakes. Come on United! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

United 4 - 0 QPR

Rafael(Valencia) Evans Blackett Rojo
Mata(Falcao) Herrera Blind Di Maria(Januzaj)
Rooney RVP

Well, that was refreshing! It was an absolute joy to watch United play today. Our passing was terrific and we could have easily scored two more goals. It was also a pleasure to finally see a player who truly deserves to wear our iconic number 7 shirt. 

Our best players today
I think it's been well over a year since we've last seen United play that well. We had some decent performances last season but they cannot be compared to what we saw today. Our players looked like scoring every time they attacked QPR. I know, QPR already got hammered by Tottenham and are a team that looks destined to be occupying the bottom end of the Premier League table. However, we made similar teams look like world beaters last year and lost quite a few points against mediocre sides. To see United put QPR to the sword was a very good sight.

The quality injected by new boys Di Maria and Blind was very evident today. Blind's debut was obviously overshadowed by Di Maria's excellent performance but our new Dutch signing was everything that we have been yearning for. He protected our back four superbly and was the player who launched most of our attacks. We got a few expensive players this transfer window but Blind's acquisition is likely to be quite a bargain if he performs like that every week. Di Maria, everybody's man of the match, showed that 60 million quid can get you a player who could make a difference. He scored one and assisted Mata for our fourth goal. If I'm not mistaken, he also had a say in the other goals. He was unlucky not to record another assist as a beautifully lifted ball to van Persie saw the latter hit it straight at the keeper. If there was a worrying sight today, it most definitely is van Persie's apparent lack of sharpness.

Two other good performers were Herrera and Mata. The former was very neat in possession and tackled well whenever he had to. He also took his goal superbly. We've been missing goalscoring midfielders so it's always nice to see a United central midfielder put his name on the scoresheet. Mata put in an 8 out of 10 display. Apart from his fine one touch passing he also scored his 9th goal in 11 games for United. Yeah, every expert was right; there's definitely no place for Mata in our team. HA! 

Rooney took his goal well and looked good in possession. He looks like he enjoyed captaining that side today! Who wouldn't? 

We did look a tad shaky on two instances at the back. In the first half, De Gea was so bored that he decided to get out of the box and try and take a ball that should have been dealt with by Rojo. Thankfully, Evans was there to save our Spaniard's blushes and cleared Austin's effort that was heading to the back of the net. Late in the second half Blackett, who looked composed throughout, was not aware of Vargas' presence behind him and let QPR's player through in on goal. These are mistakes that would have definitely been capitalized on by better quality players. 

Our fullbacks looked comfortable in their position. Rojo will have more difficult days down the left side. He was barely tested by QPR. On the right, I thought Rafael had a really good game. It was also very good to see a back four formation return to United. I was never convinced about us playing with three at the back.

To be able to bring on Falcao, Januzaj and Valencia at 4-0 is definitely something that shows that we've got some depth in our squad. That was definitely the strongest 18 man squad we've had for quite some time. We've also got some injured players who will soon return. 

A lot of ABUs (read Anyone But United) still hoping for our demise will now start clutching to straws and argue that it was only QPR we were facing today. That is true. But another team much loved by the English media was defeated by Aston Villa this weekend while the mighty Man City couldn't win against Stoke a fortnight ago at the Etihad. Ultimately, you can only beat what's put in front of you. I'm just glad we defeated QPR and beat them with so much confidence. Rome wasn't built in a day but I hope today we laid the foundations to something special. Bring on Leicester! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

The 2014 Summer Transfer Window

So the transfer window has been shut for some days now. English clubs spent a ridiculous £850m on players and, given our lack of transfer activity in the past few years, it is surprising to learn that 18% of that £850m was spent by Manchester United.

It’s been a while since the powers that be at Manchester United decided to spend the money that OUR club actually makes. It’s not money that we got from some sugar daddy. It is money that we made through successful seasons and our enormous fan base. The latter makes it very appealing for companies worldwide to advertise with our club.  So, basically, it was about time our club invested some money on new players. Last summer’s transfer window was a travesty while the one before that only saw RVP added to an already ailing side.

Woodward started the transfer window like he was raring to go. England had just been eliminated from the world cup (translate that to: very early this summer) and photos of him with Herrera surfaced on the Internet. A mere 24 hours later, he was at it again. This time it was Luke Shaw joining our club. After a devastating season, I was finally feeling optimistic. It seemed that people at the club had finally learned their lesson. No coach in the world can perform Ferguson’s miracles of taking a not-so-brilliant side to the pinnacle of English football. Fergie did it with very little spending. Moyes was given very little financial backing and we all know what happened then.

However, I wasn’t optimistic for long. July saw no transfer activity and a couple of Woodward interviews did little to up my hopes of having a successful transfer window. He told us to “watch this space” and those words immediately turned into an Internet joke as several memes were created to ridicule our vice CEO as well as the club. The excellent preseason results were a welcomed boost; we looked like a team playing with confidence. Heck, even Young looked like a world-beater. But those results couldn’t paper over the fact that our side was crying for more quality.

LVG said that he was going to give the current players time to show him what they’re capable of. I thought that was only fair but I had a gut feeling he was only saying that because he wasn’t being given any financial backing by the owners.  Although he looks like a really arrogant twat, LVG was actually true to his words. He was fair. He gave every player in our squad a chance to impress him. The likes of Anderson, Cleverley, Chicharito and Kagawa all played a part when the season started. A handful of young academy graduates also featured in LVG’s sides. Blackett played all three premier league games and, considering his lack of experience, he’s done well.

The chance was given to all players and LVG wasn’t impressed nor were the fans. With 4 games played we haven’t won a single game. We were absolutely humiliated at MK Dons, lost to Swansea, were lucky to draw vs. Sunderland and played a boring 0-0 draw vs. the mighty Burnley.

The final spending spree in this transfer window started with the acquisition of Rojo. An Argentine who looks very tough. Definitely tougher than what our current defenders look like. He could have played at least two games already but there are problems with his work permits. Apparently, he’s quite tough off the pitch as well. To my astonishment, this buy was soon followed by the arrival of Di Maria, a world-class player. The Argentine international was rarely linked to a move to Man Utd so I was quite surprised to learn he was Manchester bound. With his price tag, the only Manchester team that could afford him was City….well at least that’s what I thought. BUT I was wrong; Di Maria is our new number 7. Excellent.

Daley Blind, who had been linked with a move to United since the world cup, soon found his way to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day but this arrival was dwarfed by the potential acquisition of Falcao. Out of nowhere, a player who looked destined to join Real Madrid, was reportedly on his was to Manchester. I don’t think I’ve refreshed my twitter feed as much as I did on this transfer deadline day. Was he really joining? Yep, by dusk he was undergoing a medical at Carrington and some hours later (2 hours after the deadline), we had a new number 9. The deal brought to a close the best transfer window that we’ve had in a while. All players we’ve bought are quality and an upgrade to what we already had.

In May I wrote this:
We’ll need to buy, at least, 6 excellent players before the start of next season; a left back, two central defenders, two central midfielders and a winger.”

I should be well pleased (in fact I am!). We bought a left back, a winger, a central defender who could also play as a fullback, a proper central midfielder, a defensive midfielder who could play in defence and a world-class striker. How will these players fit in van Gaal’s formation? I don’t care, that’s our Manager’s problem to worry about. 
Welcome all to Old Trafford.


A transfer window obviously also sees players seeking pastures new at different clubs. Vida, Evra and Rio left earlier in the summer and a host of other United players followed in their footsteps.

Chicharito joined Real Madrid on a season loan. If he was seeking first team football, then I don’t know whether this is the right move for him. Having said that, I believe he’ll have a good season in Spain. The quality of the players around him will help him get goals. Although it’s just a loan, I doubt whether he’ll play a competitive game for us again. It’s a shame it had to end like this but he’s been off the boil for a couple of seasons now. Still, he guaranteed goals and 59 goals in 154 games is a very good stat, especially considering that he came off the bench in most games he’s played. There’s no doubting his qualities inside the box but he didn’t have the best of touches and often slowed down our build-ups. I like Chicharito and I hope he does well….even though he’s at a club I truly despise. Will always remember his goal vs Chelsea, at Old Trafford, in a title decider.

Other players were also loaned out. Nani, Zaha, Powell and Cleverley all got a season loan with a club or another. It is very probable that we won’t see Nani and Cleverley wear the red of United again and, to be honest, I don’t really mind that. Hopefully Zaha and Powell can develop even further and push into the first team next year.

Kagawa also exited Old Trafford after some mediocre seasons. We had high expectations but he just wasn’t suited to our way of play. There’s no doubting he’s a very good player but he never really excelled at Old Trafford. Not many memories to recall except for his hat-trick vs Norwich. He has now returned to Borussia Dortmund after playing 57 games and scoring 7 goals.  We also got £8m for him, that’s a handsome profit made by the German side after selling him to us for £18m a couple years ago.

Buttner was sold to Dynamo Moscow while Macheda got a free transfer to Cardiff. The former wasn’t Man Utd standard while the latter peaked on his first game with the first team. No one will ever forget Macheda’s goal vs Aston Villa. Magic. Bebe is another player who sought a new experience. Let’s face it, we won’t really miss him. How he ended playing for Manchester United is a huge mystery. A transfer I was surprised with was that of Tom Lawrence. I’ve been hearing a lot of good stuff about this guy so I was quite surprised to see him go. He debuted for Man Utd last season vs Hull City and did quite well.

Goodbye Danny!
Finally, the departure that ruined a very good transfer window was that of Danny Welbeck. Thinking about it still makes me feel a bit sick. I can’t believe our Danny is gone. He was Manchester United through and through. His celebrations whenever we scored a goal and his work ethic on the pitch showed that he loved our club dearly. If anything, I thought LVG’s “philosophy” would suit Danny. Instead, he was told that he’s surplus to requirements and sold to one of our rivals. He wasn’t really appreciated at our club by our fans. Many moaned about his lack of goals. He did seem to stumble whenever in the box, but he had other qualities that made him a starter in Ferguson’s and Moyes’ sides.  We’ve replaced Welbeck with Falcao. We’ve obviously had an upgrade because the Colombian is a better striker BUT it’s still quite sad to see Welbeck go. He’s the only striker that got through the ranks at Old Trafford that I can recall during Fergie’s era. We needed his pace so I can’t see why we’ve shipped him to Arsenal. I hoped that it would be a loan deal but it’s a permanent one. The £16m we got for him is a bit of an insult. With English players being so overpriced, I can’t see why Danny’s price isn’t somewhere close to the £30m mark. If he’s played as a central striker, he’ll do very well at the Emirates especially with players like Cazorla, Ramsey and Ozil supplying him. I really hope he does well there, people will then realise what a gem we’ve just lost. In 142 games he scored 29 goals, not the best of records but we all know that Danny brought more to the game than just goals. I will definitely miss “dat guy” Danny.  

So that’s it, a looong post to round up a pretty eventful transfer window. With the exception of Welbeck’s exit, I’m pretty delighted with the way our club dealt in this window. We’ve got ourselves 6 quality players and shipped out some deadwood. It’s a shame that Anderson is still around though but this will definitely be his final year at Old Trafford. His contract will end next summer.

What's very positive is that our new players look like humble guys who are ready to work hard. I used to think that Falcao thought he was all that but I’ve seen some interviews with him and he seems like a genuine bloke. When he left Athletico Madrid he organised a press conference to say his goodbyes and he could barely complete a whole sentence without breaking down crying. Also, he was always smiling in his interview with MUTV and looked really grateful to be at the club. Di Maria is also a down to earth guy and so is Blind and Herrera. Many have been saying that LVG is selling the soul of this club. The players we bought aren’t really primadonnas with egos bigger than our stadium. Hopefully, the family feel that our club is renowned for will still be present in the coming season. 

Really excited about Willo.
Also, everybody who knows me knows that I’d love our squad to have a British backbone. Fergie was keen on bringing British talent to the club but LVG seems to be very different. The last thing I want is to have a Man Utd side with no home grown / British players. LVG might bring us success but if he destroys the tradition of Manchester United, then no amount of success will ever make up for that loss. So I hope he shows some faith in our youngsters, if they're good enough.

Come on United!

A picture of Real Madrid and Barca's 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 was doing the rounds on the internet last month. Both have world class players. Ours ain't too shabby either!

Woodward has done the business, now it's over to you.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Burnley 0 - 0 United

Jones Evans Blackett
Valencia Fletcher Di Maria(Anderson) Young
Rooney RVP(Welbeck)

Again, a poor performance from the boys. Some moments of brilliance from new boy Di Maria could do little to inspire his team mates. We could have easily won the game but our strikers look out of shape, our wingbacks couldn't cross a ball if their life depended on it and some of our defending was so appalling that I failed to believe I was watching Manchester United and not some amateur local football team. To make matters worse, the ref failed to give us a stonewall penalty. It was such an obvious handball that even Stevie Wonder would have seen it but, alas, the ref failed to. Anyway, in the end we got a point, our second of the season, and for the first time in my life I'm grateful that there's an international break coming up. We should have our injured players back in a fortnight. 

I've got full faith in LVG but pessimistic about the 3-5-2 
The return of our injured players won't change our fortunes immediately, though. Some of them are new to the club and are probably still adjusting to the much talked about van Gaal 'philosophy'. We were handed what looked like an easy fixture list in August and September but we're still struggling. I don't dare imagine what our results would be if we had some tricky fixtures against top 5 sides. As I said last week, I've got a gut feeling that things will get better and it will probably be sooner than we think. However, at the moment I just can't see this football side being kept playing in this 3-5-2 formation. I don't think I have ever seen United commit some many defensive mistakes as this season. Jones was the best of our 3 defenders. Evans, who I think is our best defender, brought his horrendous form from the game vs MK Dons to today's game. Blackett seems to absolutely love playing the long ball game, I don't know how on earth he didn't realise it wasn't working. 

Valencia and Young, poor, very poor. It's a shame this formation cannot really cater for Januzaj because in any other formation, Adnan would most definitely be ahead of our inept duo. But I hear our Belgian isn't a fan of defending so he's not good for a wingback. In midfield, I thought Di Maria didn't have the spectacular debut we've been dreaming about since he put pen to paper. However, apart from a few instances were he miss-controlled the ball, I though he was our best player. He was later subbed off and replaced by Anderson. I don't think he ever thought he would stoop this low in his career. I mean, even I would get offended if I get replaced by Anderson. That just shows the lack of depth we've got in our squad. Fletcher next. Now, I love Fletcher. He is one of us. He performed a minor miracle to be back playing at this level after a couple of seasons fighting against disease. BUT this level is just too much for him. He's definitely not a player who's got enough quality to be in the starting XI for our side. Would he get in the starting XI of ANY top 6 side? Never. 

Mata wasn't really effective and spurned two decent chances while Roo and RVP both look like they're not match fit. RVP should have scored after a brilliant ball by Di Maria but he shot straight to the goalie. I hope they both rediscover some sort of good form. If we had two fit strikers, we would have won today's game and, dare I say, even the game vs Sunderland. But it wasn't to be.

Every week I grow more appreciative of the genius of Sir Alex Ferguson. OK, he left the squad in this dire state but he was the one who won the league with this same squad. Having been raised a catholic, I've heard my fair share of stories about miracles and what not. If I didn't see Fergie win the Premier League, with this squad, with my very own eyes, I think there would have been a greater chance of me believing that Jesus turned water into wine than the story of Fergie winning the English League using these same players we've been seeing play during the past 15 months.  All of our players, with the exception of De Gea, haven't been themselves ever since the great Man retired.

Blind will know what LVG expects of him
Where to next? We've reached a deal for Daley Blind. I hear he's a very good player who could play in defense and midfield. We'll be needing him. There will probably be a handful of players who'll be shown the exit door and leave our club by Monday. I agree with the list of rumored players who are on their way out with the exception of Welbeck. We need his pace. I also pray to God that Anderson manages to pass through our exit door. Fat bastard, stealing a living. 

We've bought 5 players this window. In any other season, this would be an excellent transfer campaign. However, we probably need more. We need a destructive defensive midfielder. I heard Blind is decent there but we'll probably need him in defence. So, while Woodward has had a decent week in the transfer market, I think he needs to pull off another deal before his work can be really appreciated by the United faithful.

International break next. Thank fuck. COME ON UNITED!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MK Dons 4 - 0 United

Keane Evans Vermijl
Janko(Perreira) Powell(Wilson) Anderson James
Welbeck Chicharito
Should be Chicharito's last game in a United shirt.
Well, that was horrific. I thought the starting line up had a balanced mix of youth and experience, enough to see off MK Dons. However, you can never be sure when it's cup football. These small sides give their absolute best on nights like these. MK Dons' players wanted it more and they got everything they deserved. Yes, they deserved every goal they scored. 

Our players had a nightmare but so did van Gaal. He had enough quality in the side to win the game but failed to come up with the right tactics/subs to win it. There were some under-performers who lasted the whole 90 minutes. Chicharito and Anderson were absolutely dreadful, yet they played the whole game. While Powell wasn't really the spark I expected him to be tonight, I think he was playing better than our Brazilian. If I was van Gaal I'd book Anderson a one way ticket to Brazil and I'd pay for all the expenses.

I love Chicharito but his time is up. He's poor at everything but very good inside the box. Thing is, lately he's become useless in the game he's renowned for being good at. He wasn't threatening at all tonight. I expect him to be sold before the end of the transfer window. It's for his own sake. His confidence has reached an all time low. 

Our defending almost put me to tears. The return of Jonny Evans should have brought some confidence at the back but he was at fault for the Dons' first goal. The other three goals were all the result of some sloppy passing at the back. I'm becoming very dubious about this 3-man defense system. It's just not working. In all three games I've watched this season, United have looked like they'll concede a goal whenever the opposition attacks. But that's something for van Gaal to worry about.

Believe it or not, I did manage to get some positives out of this game. 
1. Wilson's sharpness. In 20 minutes, he had 3 shots and 3 were on target. The rest of the team had 11 shots and 1 was on target. 
2. Perreira looks like a good midfielder. 
3. Jianko ain't half bad. 
4. Evans' return from injury. 
5. This game earmarked the players who don't have a career at United. There are some who don't deserve to wear the red of this great football club.
6. Our away support. Absolutely brilliant. Nevermind the result, our red army made me wish I was there! The cry of 'we'll never die' at the end of the match gave me goosebumps. Well played. 

There are plenty of negatives but I won't start ranting because I'd spend the whole night typing. So I'll stop here. However, before I conclude, I'd like to say a little something about out present and past managers. I believe in van Gaal and I also believe he'll turn things round. However, I think it's about time we admit that last year's fiasco was all because of our own players. They're either not motivated enough or not good enough. A world class coach like van Gaal can't get the results with this group of players so no wonder Moyes found life difficult at United. I always supported Moyes and will always support anybody who's given the task of managing this club. Van Gaal WILL turn things round, but it will be because United spent more than £100m on players. 

We're now out of the Capital One Cup. It's a competition we had a realistic chance of winning. As things stand, we need some divine intervention to start getting some results. Maybe new signing Di Maria is the heavenly Angel we long for. Come on United! 

Super Excited about Di Maria's Arrival

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunderland 1 - 1 United

Unfortunately, I only watched the first half because I had a football game with my local team. It's a shame I missed United's second half just to spend two hours on my team's bench. Bench warming ain't fun but, apparently, neither is watching United at the moment. 

Our first half performance was poor. We were lucky to score and our back three looked vulnerable whenever the mighty Sunderland attacked. This Sunderland team had two players who were deemed as not good enough for our squad a couple of year ago. From what I saw, they played better than some of our players today.

This draw is another poor result. It's true that our players are still getting used to van Gaal's system but we desperately need quality. With that midfield duo,we wouldn't have won the game if the ref decided to give 2 hours of injury time. Heck we wouldn't have won the game had Sir Alex Ferguson been our manager with Mourinho, Pellegrini and Wenger as his assistants.  Fletch and Cleverley cannot play together. They lack quality. I'm fine with Fletch accompanying Herrera or Carrick but not Cleverley. However, our manager was forced into fielding those two from the start because of our injuries and lack of depth in the midfield department. The season is only two weeks old and we've already been really unlucky with injuries.

The upcoming week will be a huge one for us. We HAVE to get two more players. Apparently, Di Maria is a done deal. I'm really excited about that signing. We've also got Rojo. I've probably seen him play in the world cup but I wasn't really arsed about how he was playing. Would have kept an eye on him if I knew we were interested in him. Anyway, we need a defensive midfielder or a central defender or BOTH. That's when we can say we've got a team good enough to get back up there with the top 4. Also, I've heard that Welbeck has been told he's free to leave United. That's a big mistake. With Wilson graduating to the first team, I'd rather see Chicharito go. Welbeck brings pace to this side and that's something that we lack. Over and above all, he's a Mancunian. He knows what it means to play for this great football club. That's something, perhaps, the foreign players don't really appreciate. So, no, Welbeck shouldn't be sold. 

Roll on next weekend.