Swansea 2 - 1 United
Darmian Smalling Blind Shaw
Mata(Young) Herrera(Fellaini) Memphis
|I expect more from this guy|
So we’ve dropped three points against the mighty Swansea again. We haven’t won a point against the Swans ever since David Moyes’ side managed to score 6 goals against them in 2 league games. Not a lot of teams will go to the Liberty Stadium and get all points at stake but that should be no consolation. We are Manchester United and if we’re serious about mounting a real title challenge, we should be winning games against these sides, especially if we’re leading with half an hour to go. Whether it’s 1-0 or 4-0 it just doesn’t matter as long as you win. Having an away game in Europe prior to a fixture in the league shouldn't be an excuse either. What we did today was drop all three points in five minutes. Swansea changed their tactics/formation and our players took time to adapt.
We started the game very brightly, just like vs. Newcastle. However, we showed again that we’re not capable of maintaining a fast tempo. The attacking football we witnessed during the first 10 minutes, during which we could have easily gone in front, eventually turned into ineffective passes that would harm no opposition. It does feel like our players are instructed to keep the ball with no urgency to try and penetrate the opposition’s defence. Again, we were extremely poor when going forward.
Luke Shaw was having a great game but I feel a moment of naivety from his side led to Swansea’s first goal. Why on earth bomb forward when you’re winning against a side that is well capable of scoring goals? His area was exposed and a cross from our left side led to Swansea’s first. His main concern should have been to defend. Another person at fault was Rooney who lost the ball carelessly when we were trying to attack.
Roo had another terrible game. I thought last Wednesday’s three goals signalled his return to form. It turns out he only looked extremely good because of the opposition who gave him a lot of space. His movement was good today but he either tried to be too clever in his finishing or failed to finish when in an optimal position. He had two chances that fell on his left foot and wasted both. If anything, these two chances showed that we desperately need a striker that can help Rooney. If there was somebody else in the box helping him, he would have squared it. Roo should have won us a point after he brilliantly managed to control a ball and go past two defenders but he hesitated and failed to pull the trigger. Very frustrating.
Gomis was a handful. He was unlucky not to put Swansea in front during the first half. We rode our luck in a couple occasions during the first 45 minutes. After the break, we managed to get a goal immediately after a well-taken goal by Mata. Thing is, this was our third goal in the PL this season and it seemed to be a lucky one just like the other two. Our first goal was an own goal, Januzaj’s goal vs Villa took a deflection and today’s goal came after Shaw meant to cross a ball to Rooney. Rooney wasn’t capable of controlling it and the ball went to the far post and found Mata ready to pounce on it. Had Rooney controlled, as was intentioned, we would probably have failed to score.
A lot has been said about Romero’s position for Swansea’s second goal. I don’t know about that. I do know that either Darmian or Smalling should have followed Gomis instead of letting him get that yard or two advantage. The most Romero could’ve done was stay closer to the goal line and stand his ground. The media will obviously say that Romero blundered on that occasion; anything to make De Gea’s imminent exit look as devastating as possible.
Depay needs to bring his European game into the Premier League. Herrera was pretty anonymous. Schweinsteiger lost the ball far too often. Mata had two other chances were he failed to test Swansea’s keeper. So much room for improvement.
LVG said that today’s loss does not change his transfer strategy. If that means he’s getting no one, then I think he’s either deluded or has his hands tied firm by the Glazers. We have a net spend of £0 this summer. This comes at a time when City spent more than £100m on players with no major departure. If we fail to get an attacking minded player, then we’ll find it very difficult. We’re playing well until we reach the final third. We need a spark that will make the difference.
What our game and Chelsea’s game yesterday have proven is that there are no pushovers in the English Premier League. Every team has players well capable of causing major upsets. We’ve bought five new players this summer but have seen several others heading out the exit door. Basically, we’ve got a smaller squad to the one we had last year and we’ll be playing Champions League football this season. Surely, a player or two are bound to join us in the coming days. I hope they do.
We will no doubt end in the top 4 but that shouldn’t be Manchester United’s target. I have accepted the fact that the fast paced, exciting, football played under Fergie is something of the past but at least a club of Manchester United’s stature should be winning games, regardless of playing ‘ugly’ football. This club should be challenging for titles. Failure to get another quality player will mean that City will run away with the league with no real fight from our side. Chelsea will obviously have a say, they have too many world class players not to come good. They’ll get back on track eventually and will give City a real run for their money.
Can we challenge? Of course. Our buys in July have laid the foundation stones to what could’ve been a great squad. But we failed to build upon this foundation. We need that centre forward. Only then will we be able to finish sides like Swansea. Liverpool next. Come on United!