Saturday, December 31, 2011

United 2 - 3 Blackburn

de Gea

Rafael(Keane) Carrick Jones Evra
Valencia Park Nani Welbeck
Berbatov Hernandez(Anderson)

United have been scoring goals for fun lately so if I'm honest I'd have to admit that I expected a big win today. When I looked at the starting line-up, although I was disappointed Rooney wasn't in the squad, I didn't see any reasons why we shouldn't come out of this fixture with the three points. We started brightly but a needless penalty by Berbatov after a needless foul by Evra, made life difficult for ourselves. Blackburn parked a 9 man bus in their area and anything that we put their way, was either saved or blocked easily. Life was made even harder when Yakubu scored another goal and I thought that was it. 

We played very well for 15 minutes and Berbatov managed to bring us level with two fine goals which, in some way, made up for his poor defending that lead to the penalty. I've got that feeling that if Blackburn didn't get that early goal, we wouldn't have lost today. But anyway, I'm not blaming Berbatov for today's loss, definitely not, but I've got to put some degree of fault on our goalie. I have always defended de Gea, even when he committed stupid mistakes, but you just cannot defend his goalkeeping in the action that lead to the 3rd goal. What on earth was he thinking? I expect a high quality goalie to be confident enough to punch or clutch the ball in that area. Poor goalkeeping. Lindegaard has showed great promise in the games he played and I think he should be picked for the forthcoming games. If anything it should teach de Gea a lesson; you don't perform, we've got a very good goalie on the bench waiting to get his chance. I must also stress out my increasing dislike towards Evra. He's not performing and today he put one wayward pass after the other, one of which eventually resulted in the penalty. 

Unfortunate Berba had his Brace Forgotten
Nani worked very hard but his contribution yielded very little while Valencia was probably our best player on the pitch. Our central midfielders were inexistent simply because they are not central midfielders. At one point we had Rafael as a central midfielder. Bloody hell. The introduction of a half fit Anderson showed what difference a proper midfielder does to our side. Berbatov scored two while Welbeck showed glimpses of potential and Chichartio did nothing. The defence was terrible today. Jones and Carrick were given a very hard time by Yakubu and the goalie, well, he could have saved 2 of the 3 goals. 

Now I NEVER, or let's say rarely, doubt Fergie but his decision to leave Rooney out of the squad backfired spectacularly. He did so to preserve Roo's fitness so we have a better chance of beating Newcastle and City in the upcoming games but in doing so he sacrificed three points that should have been won easily. Rooney is the fulcrum of our side. Even the constant rotation of the goalies might be doing some harm. Blackburn only had 3 shots on target and they scored every shot, so they were anything but brilliant. Resolute, yes, but definitely not brilliant. 

We've covered so much ground to get to where we are and then we throw away 3 points just like that. That was very disappointing and although the mounting injury problems have cornered Fergie, I believe that he has to take a bit of the blame for today's loss. Obviously this is just my opinion. I still believe he's the best manager to have walked the face of earth and nothing will make me change my mind! A home loss to a side anchored at the bottom of the table is hard to take but we'll never die and we'll come back stronger vs Newcastle.

Oh, and I hope you have a happy new year, if you're a United fan may it be as red as possible and if you're not I pray that you see the light. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

United 5 - 0 Wigan

Valencia Carrick Evans(Fryers) Evra
Nani(Rooney) Gibson Giggs(Macheda) Park
Chicharito Berbatov

United scored another 5 nil win to make up for that dreaded Oct-Nov period. Our goal difference has suddenly surged by 15 goals in four games.  Park started the rout, Berbatov got an excellent hat-trick and Valencia capped a good performance with a powerful strike. Outstanding stuff.  

Sammon, or whatever he's called, was unjustly sent off
I try to be as forthright as possible when writing these posts so I've got to admit that Wigan should have never been reduced to 10 men. Then again, Phil Dowd should have given us another two penalties so things must have evened themselves out throughout the game, kind of. Anyway, I don't think we would have dropped any points today had Wigan played with eleven men. Maybe the scoreline would have been a tad different but the 3 points would have stayed at OT. We were in total control when they had 11 players.

I'm pleased with all our players albeit I expected better from Gibson and to some extent Chicharito. The former failed to stamp his authority against an average side lying in the bottom three and who were only made to look good, recently, by Liverpool and Chelsea. Gibbo didn't do too much wrong but he didn't do an awful lot right either and that's why I wasn't too impressed. Must try harder. At the back all players did well, especially Carrick who looked so composed even though that is not his natural position. Valencia was another player who stood out today.
Man of The Match Performance by Berba

I'm dedicating the penultimate paragraph to the unforeseen resurgence of Berbatov. Some of this blog's readers must be over the moon. He scored two excellent goals and then slotted home one of the most casual looking penalties I've ever seen. It was such a pleasant sight to see him smiling again after a strained start to the season. With Roo and Welbeck in scoring form, it's always great to have another player join them. All Fergie needs is to have Chicharito find his scoring touch as well. It's been a month since he scored that fortuitous goal vs Newcastle.

Chelsea and Liverpool dropped points so, while the latter were never in the title race, the former have virtually dropped out of the reckoning for the title. The battle is between us and City who dropped two precious points away to Albion. We are now joint leaders of the Premier League after putting FIVE past a premier league side while having TEN players missing. Who said Fergie has lost his touch of genius? Bring on Blackburn.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fulham 0 - 5 United

Jones(Young)(Park) Smalling Evans Evra
Valencia Carrick Giggs Nani
Welbeck(Berbatov) Rooney
Excellent Team Display
We asked for the three points and our players gave us an excellent performance to feast our eyes upon and 5 goals. Our most influential players looked like they were getting back in form during matches vs Newcastle and Villa. The Basel game questioned that but the games that followed proofed that the likes of Nani and Valecia, amongst others, are finally back in shape. The wing show that we witnessed today was truly amazing with Nani scoring and providing two assists while Valencia created countless of opportunities. Welbeck scored an early goal, which was a reward for the performance that followed, Giggsy kept his goal every Premier League season record, Rooney scored a belter while Berbatov got in on the act with a finish that oozed class. Couldn't have asked for more!
Our Danny Started the Rout

We were excellent during the first half. Fulham were put to the sword and there was no way back into the game for the Londoners. It was a matter of how many goals United were going to score. However, our players were a tad complacent after the half time break and Lindegaard showed his worth with some fine saves. We only got out of our second gear late into the game when Roo scored that beauty and Berba completed the icing on the christmas cake. 

Every player put in a minimum of a 7 out of 10 performance. Carrick and Giggsy controlled the midfield imperiously. Giggs was probably my man of the match today. Smalling and Evans at the back looked solid as well while our strikers did what strikers are paid to do. I ain't complaining about no one :)

Berba's 50th United Goal Oozed Class
The negatives that came out of this game were obviously the injuries to Jones and Young. With the latter struggling to find his feet, this injury will stop his progress towards regaining his form. We all know Young could do better than what he's been doing during the past couple of months.  Joners should be OK by boxing day. 

This is the United I grew to love. Destroying football teams with excellent and exciting football. This is the football I missed during that barren(goal wise) spell we had from October till late November. Let's hope this form is here to stay! Although at the end of the day scoring 1, 3 or 8 goals will still yield the same amount of points, we watch United not just because we love this club but also because we love to be entertained by our excellent footballers nurtured by the great Sir Alex. More of the same please!  Wigan next on boxing day, until then


Sunday, December 18, 2011

QPR 0 - 2 United

Smalling Rio Evans Evra
Valencia Carrick Jones Nani(Young)
Welbeck(Chicharito) Rooney(Giggs)

Roo. Scored and Delivered Exquisite Passes
After last weekend's good performance, our boys kept the momentum with a fine win and an excellent performance. Most players didn't put a foot wrong with Nani, Rooney, Valencia, Carrick and Jones excelling in their respective position. Rooney scored inside the first minute and Carrick scored a goal of a player brimming with confidence.

Rooney scored a fine header but Carrick's goal, his first in nearly 2 years, was the pick of the goals. He stole the ball, dribbled past a couple of defenders and placed the ball behind the excellent QPR keeper. Carrick's return to form has been a huge boost to our team and Cleverley's imminent return should never put our number 16 out of the side. The Carrick-Jones combination looks like its working wonders and young Cleverley will find it extremely difficult to get back in this side. Just what Fergie must've wanted! 

Another excellent performance by Carrick
Our defence had a good game as well, the only time it was troubled was on the 75th minute when DJ Campbell missed a sitter. Rio and Evans dealt with everything that came their way while Smalling and Evra, especially the former, bombarded up field with very good overlaps. Valencia looks like he has regained that form that humiliated Ashley Cole last year while Nani on the left was his usual self. Very good display from our wingers yet again. Rooney was great but our other striker was a tad too quiet. I expect more from Welbeck, he's such a talented young player! 

This win put us on top of the table for a few hours but City managed to beat Arsenal and they regained that position. However, that momentary shift in position shows us how close we are to City who have been praised on countless of occasions. We've been criticized continuously but we're still within touching distance of our neighbors. Fergie said he wants top spot by the end of the year...that would be a perfect christmas present! Fulham next. It's never an easy game at Craven Cottage so COME ON UNITED! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

United 4 - 1 Wolves

De Gea

Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra(Fryers)

Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Nani(Young)
Rooney, Welbeck(Macheda)

Excellent Performance by Nani
Finally! We've scored more than one goal in the premier league! Rooney and Nani got a brace each. It was so good to see Nani back in form, terrorizing Wolves' defenders and scoring in the process. Definitely my man of the match, followed closely by Jones. The last time United scored more than once in the PL was back in October(1st Oct) when we defeated Norwich 2-0. Since then we've gone on a run of 7 league games scoring just one goal in each game but accumulating a total of 14 points from a possible 21. Not that bad, in my opinion.

When our midfielders put in a good performance, we can destroy most Premier League sides and that is what happened today. Jones and Carrick in midfield were excellent and on the flanks Nani and Valencia had possibly their best performance of the season. I must not get carried away, we only defeated Wolves, but we've been struggling to beat average sides lately and this win is a massive boost for our players as well as the fans. I felt relaxed during the game, possibly the first time in about 2 months! Even the Carling Cup quarter final managed to make my heart skip a few beats! 

Roo's Second Was A Beauty
We did let Wolves get into the game early on in the second half but that only lasted for ten minutes. Rooney scored the best goal of the game with a fine volley and that spelled game over for Wolves. We were quite comfortable throughout and deserved every goal we scored and, dare I say, more. Every player did his job superbly with the exception of young Smalling who, at times, couldn't keep up with the excellent Jarvis. 

Anyway, we're now only 2 points away from our neighbors. If Chelsea show up on Monday, they could do us a huge huge favor. All the 'big' teams won today so the pressure is now on both teams playing this Monday. Let's hope the Londoners and their ladyboy emerge victorious!  Come On United!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Basel 2 - 1 United

De Gea,

Smalling, Vidic(Evans), Ferdinand, Evra,
Nani, Park(Macheda), Jones, Giggs, Young(Welbeck) 

Frustrating Night in Basel
For all those who checked my blog after the game, didn't see any posts, and thought I might have committed suicide, then you were wrong. To all those who thought that I only post updates to my blog during easy times, then you were wrong too. I had a birthday party and headed straight to a restaurant after the game. I have just arrived home and, as I logged on to Facebook, I was welcomed by a couple of Arsenal, Liverpool and Italian fans celebrating our apparent demise. So let me set this clear, Arsenal will be wiped out of the CL and will extend their trophyless run by another year, Liverpool aren't even in Europe and I don't even check their Premier League results anymore and neither of the Italian teams will win the Champions League. Harsh reality but that's the truth, so put your party hats back in the closet.

I Expect More From Roo
What about United? We weren't good enough today, we weren't good enough from day one of the Champions League. Am I glad we're out? Of course not! We could do with some cash from Champions League matches but I've got to be honest, we are miles away from the level set by Barca and Real. Harsh truth but I accept it. I'm more than sure we'll be better next year but we've got half a season to look forward to before setting our sights on next year. Liverpool are the ones who start blabbering about the following year as early as December. We've got  the Premier League, the Fa Cup and now the Europa League to look forward to. But if I ask myself whether I'm absolutely gutted United are out, I'd say NO. Reasons? I'm not too sure but such a loss might indicate to Fergie that he needs to buy a player who could make a difference, because let's face it, we DO NEED some kind of playmaker in midfield. Mind you, we've got one, but he seems to be made of glass. 

Ouch! Vidic Will Be Out Of Action For Quite Some Time
What went wrong? I don't know. Our best available XI started today and I thought we had a fair shot at passing through to the next round. What hurts mosts is that we were defeated by an average team because our stars performed on the verge of average. Some of our players are vividly out of form and we cannot afford to have such a big number of players playing below par. Rooney should have put us in the second round but failed to score with an open goal at his mercy. If Carrick had done that, most of you would be calling for his head. With a weekly wage of €250,000, I expect more from our Roo. Nani was the only player who looked willing to spare our blushes. He put in a couple of decent crosses and tried to take on the Basel fullback. What worries me is that we failed to seriously threaten Basel throughout the game. The engine room of any football team is the midfield and when looking at today's midfield players I cannot help but feel that they're too uninspiring at the moment. Young is playing astonishingly dreadful, Giggsy is a year too old, Park runs around like a headless chicken, Nani blows hot and cold and the great Phil Jones is just a makeshift midfielder. We need someone to make things work, on the other hand I hope there won't be any panic buys in January. 

I'll Keep My Faith In Our Boys
This season could still be a good one yet it could turn out to be one of the shittiest seasons we've had in quite some time. Do I care? Of course I do, I love Manchester United and want the name of this great club to be on top but having a shit season won't stop me from watching United week in and week out. Those who are disgusted with our team can just find another one to follow. We don't need shit fans. I'll be supporting the reds in their quest to win the Europa League. It might be a Mickey mouse trophy, but a trophy is a trophy and I hope our boys will make the most out of this experience without jeopardizing their PL campaign. Better get used to Thursday night football... I could do with a second hand europa league manual from a scouser. United till I die.

Huge marketing strategies attracted shit fans like the above. We could do without such idiots.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Aston Villa 0 - 1 United

Smalling Vida Rio(Giggs) Evra
Nani Carrick Jones Young(Welbeck)
Chicharito(Valencia) Rooney

A superb goal by Jones proved to be the winner as United emerged victorious by a single goal. United's play was quite good during the first half and it's a shame we couldn't translate our vivid grip hold of the game into chances and goals. 

The biggest negative out of the game was Chicharito's ankle twist. He'll be out of action for more than a month. Ferdinand was withdrawn deep into the second half and I just hope it was just a precautionary substitution. With Rio back in shape and Vida in top form, we look rock solid at the back once again. We only conceded 1 goal(a penalty) in the last 4 premier league games! Each of our defenders put in a 7/8 out of 10 performance today, with Smalling being my man of the match. Another performance worth crediting is Lindegaard's. He looked assured in goal and I can say that we've got two very good goalies at our club. 

Our title challengers all banged in the goals today while we won by the solitary goal. I don't really mind winning such games without really punishing our opponents. As I stated time and time again, a 1-0 win is equivalent to a 5-0 win in terms of points. However, I'd love to see the United we saw earlier this season again. We used to criticize Mourinho's Chelsea 4 years ago for failing to entertain with goals but it seems we're doing the same thing. Anyway, if all these 1-0 wins will eventually help us retain the title, then I won't complain! Massive week ahead.