Marouane Fellaini has admitted that Manchester United are struggling to find the right balance between attacking flair and protecting their incredibly shaky defence.
The Belgian international finally his United account in after coming off the bench against West Brom on Monday night, some 14 months after joining United and admitted he “had to wait a long time for this moment”. Despite Fellaini’s effort, however, United could only settle for a 2-2 draw, despite dominating possession and having more shots on target than West Brom and the Belgian feels the side lacks balance.
Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed suggestions that he is partly responsible for Manchester United’s decline, claiming it is absurd to think he left behind an ageing team and an “antiquated” club and insisting that he wasn’t the only person responsible for the appointment of David Moyes.
Ferguson described as “nonsense” the suggestion that Moyes had inherited a team in decline, saying the problem for his successor was that he had found it “a massive jump” to move to Old Trafford and “hadn’t realised just how big United is as a club.”
Manchester United extended their unbeaten run to three games last night, snatching a late draw away at West Brom. It was neither what United wanted nor what they deserved, as West Brom’s second goal came totally against the run of play, but United’s shaky back four conspired against them yet again.
Here’s five talking points from last night.
Since the dawn of time Manchester United and Liverpool fans have argued. Ancient cave paintings illustrate the fierce debates over which club is in decline and who is launching a resurgence. Even as man evolved to use tools and Liverpool fans continued to worship the sun the debates continued to rage. Currently the heated exchanges focus on who has been worth the money, Mario Balotelli or Radamel Falcao.
So far neither has set the Premier League alight, both standing in Diego Costa’s terrifying shadow. That said, one is looking like a work in progress and the other an impulse buy from the discount bin at Blockbuster.
Manchester United might have to pay as much as £12m to sign Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar in January.
According to ESPN, Villa will accept the probability of losing their centre-half but Paul Lambert will only allow his club captain to leave if Villa’s financial demands are met.
Ryan Giggs has urged Manchester United to show they can go head-to-head with title favourites Chelsea and Manchester City and show more consistency than they’ve done so far.
Despite a slow start, United entered the international the break in fourth spot, eight points behind league leaders Chelsea but only three points adrift of City, with the former due at Old Trafford on October 26, while the latter will host United the following week. Giggs insisted that while Chelsea have been impressive and City have looked solid, only a positive result against both clubs will give a valid indication of how far United have come under Louis Van Gaal.
October is a weird month. Summer is nothing but a distant memory, Christmas is still only a blip on the horizon, days get shorter and rain falls with the same impeccable regularity with which Oliver Holt writes a patronising column in the Daily Mirror.
Leaves turn yellow and fall, England stumble from one unconvincing performance against a pub team to a mediocre showing against a Sunday league outfit, as Fleet Street’s finest desperately try to convince us that we should all care ever so dearly about a group of players that means nothing to most of the country and even less so to United fans.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that Angel Di Maria left the Bernabeu for Old Trafford purely because the European champions could not afford to meet his wage demands.
United broke the British transfer record in the summer when they shelled out £59.7m for the Argentine, whose £200,000-a-week deal makes him the third-highest paid player at the club behind Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao, but the Real Madrid manager said his club did not want to sell but had to cave in eventually.