Saturday, October 31, 2009

United 2 - 0 Blackburn

O'Shea Brown Evans Evra
Valencia Anderson Carrick Nani(Obertan)
Berbatov(Owen) Rooney

It was a frustrating match but United still managed to get the much needed 3 points. Berbatov and Rooney scored the only two goals during the second half but in reality United should have won by a wider margin. Berbatov's goal was beautifully executed while Rooney's goal was the result of a well timed run by the Englishman and a pin point cross by the impressive Anderson.

I think that it was a good performance by United, we played some marvelous football at times but we're not really deadly at the front. Although both strikers were on target, Berbatov should have scored at least a hat trick today but I guess his brilliant goal makes up for the missed chances.

Meanwhile we've finally seen Obertan play in the Premier League. What do I think about him? Well it wasn't the best of debuts. His first 'contribution' was to carry the ball out of touch, he also missed a sitter and showed some poor touches. In my opinion he's not yet ready to play for United against Premier League teams. He will get his chances in cup matches.

My question is.....When on earth will we see United play the United way? When will we start battering teams we totally outplay? Blackburn didn't improve on last week's performance vs Chelsea so why on earth didn't we stuff them with 5 goals? I think our problem is our attack. We need that lethal finisher, a finisher who's deadly in front of goal, unlike Rooney, Berbatov and Owen who missed another good opportunity late on. I think Fergie might have to buy someone come January.

Next match is vs CSKA, a draw will see us through to the last 16.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Some thoughts...

While I was searching for some kind of time killer I stumbled upon a couple of football related websites bearing the header 'Tottenham interested in Rio'.
While Rio's performances this year have been quite poor I still believe he has what it takes to make our starting XI. Writing him off for a couple of off days is pure stupidity given the fact that he's been one of the best centre backs in Europe for a handful of seasons. I do expect him to improve and reach last year's heights, both him and Vidic have yet to reach the standard set last year. There again the standard set last year was so high that reaching it is sometimes unthinkable. I really can't imagine United going on that unbeaten run again. However, I believe that in a couple of weeks time, when both central defenders shrug off the niggling injuries they've been carrying for quite a while now, we will see the old fruitful partnership in central defense as our super centre backs answer the critics. C'mon RIO & VIDA!
Our next match is vs Blackburn and, as I stated on my previous post, I expect nothing but a win. However we do have some players who will probably miss the match. Our injury list is quite worrying. Giggs, Fletcher, Park, Welbeck, Ferdinand and Vidic are all doubtful for the Rovers clash at OT. Meanwhile Neville is suspended after his straight red card on Tuesday. While I don't rate Park anymore, Giggs's absence will certainly be felt. He has been our best player so far while Fletcher is also a player we will certainly miss. However I do expect United's quality and depth in squad to make up for these absences and help in getting a much needed boost before the two crunch matches vs CSKA and Chelsea.Meanwhile United are reported to be interested in Everton's young defender Jack Rodwell. I hope this is true. He's a great player with a lot of potential. I've always stressed that I want United to be English or at the very least British. I hate looking at United and realize that we have more Portuguese speaking players than English speaking, I think Liverpool fans get a worse feeling when they look at their squad. We do have our fair share of British players though unlike most Premier League clubs. If the 6 home grown players rule is put into practice I think United is the only English club in Europe who won't face any kind of problem.

And finally...... a note before I end this post, which suggests that I have plenty of time on my hands, I'd like to confirm that 5 of my friends and I will be heading to Manchester in December, on boxing day, to watch the Man Utd vs Wigan match :) This will be the second time I will be visiting Old Trafford and believe me, I'm as excited as if it's my first time!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Barnsley 0 - 2 United

Neville(s/o) Brown Evans Fabio
Obertan Rafael Anderson Welbeck(Tosic)
Macheda Owen(de Laet)

United won this match thanks to 2 fine finishes by Welbeck and Owen. I only watched the final 30 minutes, just after Neville was sent off. At that time Barnsley were having their chances in front of our goal while our back four were running like headless chickens. However an excellent save by Foster and some poor finishes by the Barnsley players proved to be Barnsley's downfall and United duly hung on for the 2-0 win.

This match speaks heaps of United's squad improvements. 2 to 3 years ago we used to field our reseves and lose such matches. The first match that comes to mind was that 2-0 defeat to Coventry. Winning these matches by fielding a team mostly made up of our reserves shows our depth in our squad.

Our next match is vs B'Burn. I have seen them play vs Chelsea, only a win will do against such a poor side.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Liverpool 2 - 0 United

Oshea Rio Vida(s/o) Evra
Valencia Carrick Scholes Giggs
Rooney Berba

Well, what can I say? I never expected United to get out of Anfield with the 3 points. Liverpool were never going to succumb to their 5th defeat in a row, a defeat which would have virtually ended Liverpool's title bid. With this win they are back with the challengers; it was too early to rule them out anyway.

As much as I hate Liverpool I've got to admit that they deserved their win. They won the midfield battle and at the front they managed to uncover a few cracks in our defence. Rio was very poor when he had faced Torres one on one with the latter scoring a cracking goal while Vidic who was OK managed to get himself sent off for two bookable challenges. The second challenge merited a straight red but the ref showed some mercy on the Serb international.

Carragher should have been sent off late in the game when he fouled Owen who could have scored from the resulting action but the ref, who dismissed Mascherano 2 minutes from time, wasn't interested in sending Carra off. Anyway nothing could excuse our poor performance today. Well done to Liverpool, now I expect to pick ourselves up and start thinking about the next couple of matches starting with Barnsley on Wednesday. C'mon United.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

CSKA 0 - 1 United

Neville Rio(Brown) Vida Fabio(Carrick)
Valencia Scholes(Owen) O'Shea Anderson Nani

The starting line up might have raised a few eyebrows but with our ever increasing injury list Fergie had no other option. We got used to Fergie's infamous Champions League 4-5-1 away formation so there were no surprises there. All in all the United players had a good second half performance after a drab and monotonous first half. Valencia who was anonymous during the first half managed to set the world alight with some fine dribbling skills, a thunderous shot that rattled the crossbar and of course a well taken goal.

Both Fabio and Neville had a great match. Neville's last couple of matches showed that he's still a valid member of our squad. Nani was poor. Although unlucky not to score, his final pass was awful once again. It was nice to see Brown back in action and VDS keeping a clean sheet. Unless something catastrophic happens United are through to the next stage of the Champions League!

Our next match is vs Liverpool. At Anfield you can expect two things, either a United side willing to beat Liverpool in their own back yard or a spirited Liverpool side eager to bounce back from their recent disappointments backed by their fans. Whatever happens we'll keep the red flag flying high!
Come on United

Saturday, October 17, 2009

United 2 - 1 Bolton

Neville Rio Evans Evra(O'Shea)
Valencia Anderson(Scholes) Carrick Giggs
Berbatov Owen(Welbeck)

Whoa that was a close one! United scored after a few minutes thanks to an own goal by Knight and then Valencia scored his first competitive goal for United after a neat one-two with Neville. However this comfortable 2 goal lead was seriously threatened by Bolton who managed to score late in the second half and could have easily equalised in the final moments of the match.

United were poor once again and I don't think we can keep on winning with such a form. Rooney was badly missed and at the back we looked terrible especially when defending crosses. Thankfully the return of VDS made me feel more comfortable whenever a ball was swung from the sides. I liked Berbatov's contribution, he could have scored two beauties and managed to get his team mates in ideal positions, however, Owen's performance was poor. He looked slow and spurned a couple of good chances. Anderson and Carrick played quite well while Giggs and Valencia both had their ups and downs.

United are back on top of the league though! Chelsea's loss to Villa means we are now a point clear off the Blues. Our next match is away to CSKA. I don't really know what to expect but I hope United improve!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

United 2 - 2 Sunderland

O'Shea Evans Vida Evra
Nani Fletcher Scholes Welbeck
Rooney Berbatov

I predicted a 3 nil scoreline and thus this result was a bit of a shock for me. I couldn't watch the whole match, I just watched about 40mins from the 1st half and I have now seen the highlights. From what I've seen United had an off day and only tried to score during the last few minutes of the game. Foster showed why we are eager for Van der Sar's return. He was poor and his mistake cost us the two points.

Berbatov scored an amazing goal today. A goal of that calibre should be a crowning moment for a winning side but thanks to Foster the technique of that goal may have been forgotten, especially by the media. The other goal was scored by Ferdinand. No, not Rio but his younger brother.

Anyway I can't realy comment on this match since I didn't see an awful lot. Maybe the upcoming international break will refresh our players. I hope so! We already dropped 5 points against 'minor' teams. I hope we're not turning into last year's Liverpool side which managed to win against top 4 teams and squander points againt lower teams.