United 1 - 1 Arsenal
Valencia Jones Smalling Rojo(Blackett)
Mata Herrera Fellaini Young
|Objective reached. Will have a busy summer.|
So that was our final home game of the season. Despite reaching our objective (top four), I still feel a tad disappointed with our team’s overall performance. Today’s game had all our season packed in it; a lot of possession, being in front and not going for the kill and some brilliant play only to run out of steam during the latter stages of the game. Arsenal’s players were inexistent during the first hour. No one came close to a United player but things changed after the hour mark and they managed to level, albeit with a touch of luck.
Our wing play was decent, Young was definitely our best player. Just like vs Palace last week, he tormented the opposition’s right back. What’s even more pleasing is seeing him defend whenever Rojo was caught up field. If it wasn’t for DDG’s superb saves earlier this season, I think Young would have been voted our best player this year.
Smalling, again, was our best defender. Yet I still hear people maligning Smalling and I, kind of, understand why. There’s something about him that does not instil the same level of security brought about by the likes of Stam, Vidic, Rio; three great United centrebacks I had the pleasure of watching play in a United shirt. There’s something missing and I have no idea what it is. What I do know is that he’s improved a lot since he first stepped in United’s training ground and at 25, he’s bound to keep improving.
Valencia did well today but I don’t want him to be our first choice right back next season. LVG should buy someone for that position, especially given that Rafael is always out injured and, probably, won’t be at OT next season. He’s good to play against certain teams. However, he tends to hesitate at the back and, up front, he’s too predictable to provide that moment of brilliance that can win you leagues. As a right winger I always preferred Nani to Valencia, that speaks heaps of how much I rate Antonio when going forward.
Herrera did well but ran out of steam. Mata was decent. Fellaini was his usual self, causing havoc whenever in the opposition’s box. Rojo was wasteful when in possession; he’s a centreback and not a fullback. Jones tried to head-tackle (or whatever you call what he did) Giroud and it worked, that’s all I can remember of Jones’ performance today. I'm still not sure about Blind as a midfielder. Blackett needs a season out on loan next year.
Falcao looked like he was on a mission to pay tribute to Liverpool’s outgoing man Steven Gerrard; slipping all over the pitch. It’s sad what an injury did to Radamel. I remember him annihilate Chelsea’s defence in that European Super Cup game. The post-injury Falcao is not even a shade of his past best. He looks slow and lacks confidence. Apart from his poor performances, his price tag and his ridiculous wage should keep United away from buying the Colombian. Clubs will still be interested in his services and I won’t be surprised if he joins a big club in the Seria A or La Liga and rediscovers his previous form. However, I think he’s too big a gamble to pay 40 odd million quid for. He knows he’s out of OT as he looked like he was waving the OT faithful goodbye when he got subbed off. It was a sad sight just because I wanted him to do very well. It was marvellous of those present at Old Trafford to sing that brilliant Falcao chant one last time when he got subbed off. He seems like a great chap and fully appreciated the fans’ support throughout the year but it just didn’t work out and I don’t want to see him at United next season, UNLESS Monaco decide to sell him for less money (much less) and Falcao’s wage is halved...something which won’t happen.
|Difficult to convince a Spanish boy to stay when Real come calling|
This was probably De Gea’s final game at Old Trafford. He got subbed off with an injury but, unlike Falcao, didn’t hint at this being his last game at OT. However, judging by what LVG said in his post match interview, I expect DDG to leave Man Utd this summer. It will be a shame because he truly is world class but, as I said last week, I understand him wanting to go back to Madrid. For these Spanish and Latin players, Real Madrid (and Barca) are much bigger than Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Chelsea and that’s why they won’t bat an eyelid when it comes to choosing a Spanish club over any other European powerhouse. Hopefully, Herrera and Mata can convince DDG to stay but he’s still bound to move to Madrid later on in his career so I think I’d rather start looking for DDG’s replacement this summer. I hear there are some great young keepers around. Should a young keeper join, Valdes’ presence should have us covered when the going gets tough. A short term solution would be trying to get Petr Cech but I’m not sure Chelsea will approve such a move.