Dec 01

Consistency evades Reds, but Rooney is two good

Tag: Match Reports @ 6:42 pm

1143005-17965707-640-360Consistency, these days, is at a premium as far as United are concerned.

Having produced a horrendous display at Cardiff and a superb performance at Leverkusen, United stopped halfway between the two today, delighting and infuriating in equal measure.

Twice trailing to a Tottenham side with worries of their own – Spurs, so far at least, prove that spending £100m in the transfer window doesn’t necessarily guarantee the expected step forward – United twice bounced back thanks to this summer’s number one enemy – Wayne Rooney, that is – but failed to snatch all the three points.

A draw at White Hart Lane wouldn’t normally be cause for concern, let alone recrimination, but United seem to be developing a tendency that prevents them from truly imposing themselves in big away games.

Buoyed by Wednesday’s rout against Leverkusen, David Moyes opted for exactly the same formation, with Nemanja Vidic, Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley replacing Rio Ferdinand, Nani and Ryan Giggs.

That allowed Shinji Kagawa a second consecutive game in his favourite number 10 position, but the Japanese was nowhere near as effective as he had been on Wednesday, courtesy, in no small part, of Spurs’ relentless pressing in midfield, where Paulinho, Sandro and Mousa Dembele looked to deprive Phil Jones and Tom
Cleverley of space and time on the ball.

Having strung together a couple of neat passes and having largely looked in control of their own destiny, United went behind with 19 minutes played, as Kyle Walker’s free-kick squeezed in under the wall and beyond David De Gea, who, like Chris Smalling, celebrated his 100th United appearance today.

The goal lifted the crowd – Spurs, mysteriously, are another one of those teams that seem determined to up their game when United are in town – and hadn’t it been for Roberto Soldado’s wayward finish and De Gea’s save on Aaron Lennon, United could have been 2-0 down.

Still, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger and United bounced back just after the hour mark as Phil Jones won the ball in midfield, before his cross was inadvertently directed into Rooney’s path who fired it past Hugo Lloris.

The fact that Jones has been United’s most consistent midfielder this season tells a sorry tale, one made even worse by Tom Cleverley’s performance.

The United midfielder, not for the first time, offered nothing to the game, as he was dispossessed too often by his counterparts and displayed all the composure of a car crash as Sandro turned him inside out before unleashing a superb effort that flew past De Gea to put Spurs in front again just after the restart.

Three minutes later, Rooney’s brilliant through ball found Welbeck, whose foot got to the ball a split second ahead of Lloris’ hand, and as the Frenchman brought down Welbz not even Mike Dean had any doubts in awarding United a penalty, despite Michael Dawson and Andre’ Villas-Boas’ reaction at the decision.

Rooney drilled the penalty past Lloris and, for a while at least, United looked set to push on for a winner which did not arrive, not even when Ashley Young and Nani replaced Welbeck and Kagawa. If anything, the changes disrupted United’s momentum and the Reds were left defending for their lives in the final stages, but still managed to secure a point which extends their unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions.

Granted, it wasn’t the result that we had hoped for, but a point at White Hart Lane is not a bad result, considering the circumstances. United are nine points adrift of Arsenal and face two must-win games over the next seven days at home against Everton and Newcastle.

Consistency might be at a premium, but it has to become the rule, rather than the exception.

Dan


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Tags: Match Reports

57 Responses to “Consistency evades Reds, but Rooney is two good”

  • Great to see Rooney vindicating supporters who always believed in his world class ability, provided he played in his natural striking position. Unfortunately the only good his form does in the long term is raise the transfer fee we’ll get him, because otherwise we are heading nowhere. I have little reasoning or bargaining left in me.

    Moyes needs to simply get the fuck out of this club.

  • I am not really worried about Top 4 finish, but am more or less giving up on the title hunt now. Not because we cannot score goals, but mainly because we are:
    1) Conceding too many goals against teams that struggle to score
    2) Are mentally satisfied with draws away from home (according to Moyes and Evra)
    3) RvP is injured
    4) Cleverley is played too often
    5) Moyes is learning too slowly what United is all about and the players at his disposal.

    I am OK with a season without silverware as long as we make top 4 and improve remarkably in next season at all levels, Woodward included!

    • @Opti: Well said, but there are still way too many games to play. If we cut out the draws, well be right back in it.

    • The_Philosopher

      @Opti: You can’t put the words improve remarkably and David Moyes in the same sentence.

      When has David Moyes EVER improved remarkably?

      Mister Average has hit his peak.

      I think it might be best to jettison him now before he causes any more damage.

  • Moyes is a joke. Trying to build “Everton with chrome” at this famous club. Disgrace!

  • Not to heap insult on Cleverly, but we need a more confident offensive center mid that doesn’t mind tracking back rather than an athletic center mid (that just puts in a shift).
    Who is a reasonable target out there (don’t mention Iniesta, Modric, etc)? Can Cabaye fit that role?

    • The_Philosopher

      @JARaven: Yohan Cabaye would be perfect for me.

      But until we get a proper attacking midfield we should be playing Adnan Januzaj.

      He can’t be worse than Cleverley. In fact he is guaranteed to be better.

      With Phil Jones in central midfield you don’t have to worry about Januzaj being a defensive liability cause Jones has that covered.

      But going forward Januzaj can do really well in central midfield.

      THe combination of Kagawa and Januzaj centrally is what we needed.

  • Save for the lack of penetration in the final third, I thought the team showed improved form.

    The midfield was still cut through, but we know that was in part due to injury robbing the Coach of his first choice pairing of: Jones – Carrick.

    When the injured players return (RVP, Carrick and Raphael – who was on the bench), and Moyes learns (we hope) to consistently play players in their best positions (Kagawa in the hole!) and sorts out his attacking left midfield (Nani or Januzaj; not Young), we could consistenly see:

    De Gea
    Raphael-Evans-Vidic-Evra
    Valencia-Jones-Carrick-Nani (Januzaj)
    Rooney-Kagawa (RVP)

    Bench: Lindergaard, Smalling, Chicharito, Giggs, Cleverly (+2 from earlier list)

    That’s a team that could worry a few – so long as they are set up to play in the right way.

    Perhaps until we have seen such an 11 play a couple of times, & seen if/who Moyes buys in January, & again how he sets up his team to play, should we call in the jury on “Dithering Dave”.

    My two cents. :-?

  • It is frustrating to watch yes but at least we are headed somewhere. We have minimised the loses(for now)so we only need to do away with the drwas and I believe we’ll put together a decent run in the league.I believe that at the beginning of August, we would have lost that game. That in itself shows progress. To cap it all up, Dave himself warned us of bloodied noses so my hopes are at a premium too. :-|

    • @Johnie: Haha. So you’re saying: if we avoid losses and draws then we’ll put together a decent run in the league… I think everyone agree with that conclusion, however, I am not sure Dave can pull it off… Projected finish = 4th.

  • I have to say that I thought this was one of United’s better displays under Moyes. For quite a bit of this game they were clearly the better side. Ok the first Spurs goal was comical with the wall jumping up in unison before they knew the trajectory of the ball. Then Spurs did threaten on the break and seemed to stretch United’s defence quite a bit with Evra and Vidic looking particularly vulnerable. However, a Rooney inspired United were always looking to get forward and even the subs were positive although why Januzaj wasn’t playing is a mystery to me. Don’t over protect the lad, he doesn’t need it. Moyes needs to win these “big” away games if United stand any chance of getting into the top four let alone winning it. The latter is now a remote possibility. However there were positives to be taken from yesterday.

  • Can anyone go back and read my comment under the post “High five, United!”? I saw it coming. His name is DM – Draw Master, so expect more of it this season. Great parting gift from SAF huh? Maybe we should just give him this season, and maybe even the next, to bumble, fumble, stumble before bundling him out of our dear club. Arsenal’s “top – four – finish – is – good – enough” mentality now activated.

  • The_Philosopher

    There were 3 weak links in our performance yesterday against Spurs.

    1) David Moyes

    2) Tom Cleverely (was the biggest weakness in our performance yesterday)

    3) Danny Welbeck

    Adnan Januzaj would have done better than Tom Cleverley in central midfield even with the crazy amount of pressing the Spur midfield imposed.

    I think Evans and Vidic did well and we need to stick with that combo for as long as possible for consistency’s sake.

    Nani should have been given the left wing again
    but I can’t blame Moyes for starting with Welbeck. Welbeck has proven himself very useful in the big games but yesterday he was absolutely awful.

    If we are looking for consistency though Nani should have been given the nod. Or at least been subbed in very early in the second half on that left wing.

    Moyes again was the weak link in refusing to make any changes until late in the game. (Although I think Moyes is just generally the weak link in everything that happens at United)

    With our team playing consistently underwhelming football I wonder what Moyes thinks he has to lose by playing Wilfred Zaha.

    We have nothing to lose. The title is practically gone so lets start experimenting. The boring play it safe stuff (which is so unUnited) has failed so lets cut loose a little now.

    Adnan Januzaj should have been given Cleverley’s place.

    The combination of Januzaj and Kagawa would have been the difference in my opinion.

    • @The_Philosopher: As I said earlier I thought the performance overall wasn’t bad at all. I thought we were quite positive. Anyway the only reason I can think of in not playing Januzaj is because he is not sufficiently versed in the “defensive responsibilities” which seem to be part and parcel of everyone’s remit these days, except for RVP – when he plays. So a midfield comprising Kagawa and Januzaj – admittedly with Jones supporting – is likely to be given a torrid time by any opposition with muscle. At least Januzaj could have come on in the second half on the left but he wasn’t even on the bench which is concerning. He should be preferred to both Nani and Young as he brings a lot more to the side than either of the aforementioned do. Hopefully he’ll start against Everton but somehow I doubt it.

      Moyes has done well with getting Rooney playing so well (god knows where we would be right now without him) and by signing Januzaj on a long term contract but that good work has been partially undone by prematurely giving Nani a five year deal which is hardly warranted and of course by signing Fellaini who is not United material.

      Coming back to yesterday, I thought Vidic showed some rustiness and was stretched a bit pacewise quite a few times. But certainly stick with him and Evans as a first choice CB combo. Evra is a liability defensively and he shouldn’t be playing every game. No doubt Moyes will be looking to sign Baines in the window, although I’d prefer Shaw. Forget about Zaha for the moment. There are off-field problems with him at present and clearly Moyes wants those sorted first before he gets a run in the side. Fair enough.

      Meantime, United have to aim to get into the top four as any ideas of retaining the title are just about gone. But who knows, maybe the ECL is a possibility although, being sensible for a minute, highly unlikely!

      • The_Philosopher

        @Julian: Ok point taken about Zaha.

        I will have to let that one rest for now. . .

        But I disagree about a Kagawa, Jones and Januzaj midfield being over run by muscle.

        Defensively it would be tough for sure but going forward the ball retension and the dribbling and the pass and move game these two have they would be hard to stop.

        Yes they are both easy to push off the ball but more often than not, working in tandem, they can distribute the ball quickly and effectively without being caught in possession.

        Thats what I see anyways. . .

        • @The_Philosopher: Going forward it would be brilliant but this is a “tracking back and defend” game these days. I never could understand why tackling was ever considered a requirement of such a talented player like Paul Scholes just as it had never been with Bobby Charlton. Anyway, I think wingers like Valencia and Young are picked as much for their defensive capabilities as for any offensive qualities they may bring.

      • @Julian:

        Hello Julian.

        “Moyes has done well with getting Rooney playing so well”
        Yes he has and without trying to throw cold water on that fact, Roo is a quality player and I honestly believe Roo plays when Roo wants to play. His ability is such that a coach just brings out what is already within. I think if you are I were in charge of MUFC right this moment Roo would be doing what he has been doing all season.

        “I thought Vidic showed some rustiness and was stretched a bit pacewise quite a few times”
        I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of ‘satisfactory’ games Vidic has played, since being made to look like a schoolboy by Torres, all those seasons ago.

        “Forget about Zaha for the moment. There are off-field problems with him at present and clearly Moyes wants those sorted first before he gets a run in the side”

        If he has embarrassed the club he should be told the consequences in no uncertain terms and shown the door if they happen again. I like Zaha as a footballer. I like the way he plays and I loved his attitude to Crystal Palace in those final days even though he knew he was off to greener pastures…… but these muppets who want to act in a thuggish manner (after a warning) have no place at MUFC…. and I don’t care if his potential is that good.
        Anyone remember how SAF dealt with Giggs when he thought partying at Lee Sharpe’s house was the way to go?

        “Meantime, United have to aim to get into the top four as any ideas of retaining the title are just about gone”

        Julian, the title was gone a long time ago.
        MUFC currently, are not good enough to even mount a challenge on the premiership new season or the season after that without adding QUALITY.
        Top 4 is the best MUFC can hope for…… and this author doesn’t even think THIRD is a possibility.
        Liverpool FC might be found wanting and Tottenham have already pressed the self-destruct button……. Who will go first AVB or DM? Money’s on AVB and if it happens the spotlight goes immediately to DM.

        Macca

        P/s… think you are all being VERY HARD on DM on this page. Like the LMA’s tell us ‘The guy needs TIME’ :wink: :wink: :wink:

        • @mike_macca: No I think Moyes has done very well with Rooney. Had Fergie still been in charge he would be at Stamford Bridge right now. You’re somewhat harsh on Vidic. He’s never had pace and has always been vulnerable against strikers who can turn quickly and who have pace. Nevertheless, he and Evans are probably our number 1 pairing. Actually the sooner Smalling is relieved of the right back slot and moves to CB the better. If he is going to make it at OT its in the latter position. Perhaps Evans and Smalling are the future there with Jones making the holding midfield role his own.

          Zaha is an obvious talent and maybe there are some attitude problems which Moyes will sort out I’m sure. Its a great pity because like Januzaj he could have brought a freshness to the team.

          Yes the incident with Giggs at the party was really quite funny but a lesson no doubt quickly learned. That was the time when Fergie used to set out after dinner to find where his players were and what they were up to.

          You’re right the title has most likely gone but this is a bit of a topsy turvy season with all the leading clubs dropping points. Arse may have a lean spell who knows?

  • @Dan, our problems this season have come quite in many forms and the manager is doing nothing to not expose them, a trick SAF had mastered.

    We have 3 world class players on that team i.e. Rooney, RVP and De Gae, the rest are average or a bit above average. Kagawa would be good but lack of playing time and his on and off shows aren’t doing him any good as for Adnan Jaznazuj is one for the future.

    To Cleverly and all his fans, he always goes for the easy option, passing the ball to whoever is close next to him, he seems not to loose possession quite often but that’s only because he passes the ball to the closest person to him, he never looks for that killer pass like any other good not even great offensive midfielder would do.

    …and in yesterday’s game, Valencia was so abject in the last third, only one of his crosses passed the first man. Vartongen had him in his pocket the entire game. Evra is becoming a shadow if himself, his wing is over exposed nowadays.

    All in now, we need atleast 2 quality and by quality i don’t mean Fellaini, to help take the burden off the trio stars that i mentioned before i.e. Rooney RVP and De Gae for the record.

  • Andrija Djuranovic

    Eleventh game without defeat, improved score in big matches (remember how it looked at the beginning of the season) and a string of easier games starting from Saturday (Newcastle home, Norwich away, Hull and so on). I don’t see that much problems at all.

    Of course, slips vs West Brom, Sotton and Cardiff may prove very costly, but luckily other teams made similar hiccups too (bar Arsenal, but they’re jet to play Chelsea and City and also to face injuries of key players).

    If we continue not to lose and at some point manage to string five-six wins in a row, I think we’re good. January transfer window will be crucial though-if we want to have reasonable shot at the title in the spring, we must reinforce our team with a top class player, preferably in central midfield. Premier League has become significantly stronger this season (not only top teams but mid table teams as well) and it is harder to generate big winning streaks like last years.

    The good thing is that we’re through in Europe and can concentrate now to winning games in the league. In addition, do not forget that we currently lack two key players, Carrick and Persie, and their return will make things a lot easier.

    • @Andrija Djuranovic: Lets talk on the 15th of December after the Aston Villa game.

      I appreciate your positivity however. . .

    • @Andrija Djuranovic:

      “The good thing is that we’re through in Europe and can concentrate now to winning games in the league”

      The weekend’s game excepted of course.

      “In addition, do not forget that we currently lack two key players, Carrick and Persie, and their return will make things a lot easier”

      Yeah, cos that’s the reason we are in this mess…….

      :)

      Macca

      • @mike_macca: we r in a mess coz of sir alex’s mishandling of midfield and his buying of shit players like young. he left a champion team in the name only, a team with an aging, errorprone LB, old defence, and non existant midfield, useless wingers and an antagonizing talisman. He concentrated only on offence (his buying luxury players like berbatov, kagawa, zaha etc) while we were crying loud for midfield generals. no wonder nobody fears us anymore.

        DM has done pretty well so far if you ask me with the limited resources he has. he was never gonna get 100m+ to rebuild that is urgently needed. united have a 25m budget and thats what he got. no wonder we got only fellaini to show for it. we should get used to this new united now. there are not going to be top dollar signings here. Moyes has done well to get best out of rooney and januzaj so far. hopefully now that kagawa is playin in his fav position, he can get back to his best. I hope Moyes can sell young, aderson, nani (as they have overstayed their stay here) and get a proper winger from somewhere (or groom januzaj for left mid position). We need to sell chicharito as well (for his own good as he is simply too far behind at united and is too good for that) and maybe get a proper LB for that money.

  • @jos

    “we r in a mess coz of sir alex’s mishandling of midfield and his buying of shit players like young”
    I take your point that Young isn’t what he should be, but when he was bought, he was bought to terrorise defenders with his pace just as did match after match for Villa….. but he never achieved the heights at MUFC apart from the Arsenal game.

    I think SAF wanted to bring ‘a ball winning, good distributor of the ball and generally bossing the middle’ midfielder….. but none would come.
    For whatever reason…. and I have said it before, Manchester doesn’t have the appeal of London and ‘some’ players would rather play for West Ham than MUFC.

    Where I firmly disagree with SAF and Hansen and Lawrenson and all the others who sucked up to SAF, was, the belief that the squad was good enough to win the CL.
    The squad was only ever good enough to win the PL but where’s the credit in winning a league that only involves 4 clubs….

    What was allowed to fester at least 3 seasons ago, has now come to fruition and DM will pay the price for that, with the sack.

    Too much deadwood in the squad….. too much sucking up to the ‘superstars’…… too willing to accept the plaudits when times are good but huff like a child when things go wrong’……. too much dishonesty, too much money and too many clubs still willing to employ these s*** managers and coaches.

    Macca

    • @mike_macca: yep a clearout is needed. players like young, anderson, nani, valencia, chicharito, giggs, evra, rio all need to go and replaced with quality. Problem is, that will cost upwards of 200m. Do we have that much money?

      I wish SAF had not wasted 30m on berbatov, 18m on young and 20m on anderson. That, and he let Pogba leave when we needed him the most!!! Funny that. He thought he wasnt good enough and the same player is running the show at Juve. The same man did appoint Moyes also didnt he.

      I like Moyes appointment though as he is best suited for us at this time. We do not have the big budget of the likes of City and CHelsea to make wholesale changes. I think players need to be promoted from within and Moyes is good at that. He is already developing Januzaj very well. Next could be Powell in the line. There are rumors of a callback from his loan. I think that would be good. Also he is using Jones more (its brave decision to prefer him over Fellaini isint it? I can bet Sir Alex at this time would never have done that. He would have simply called Scholes back again!)

      Lets look at the positives also for a change. I think we should forget about silver for a couple of seasons. Its time to rebuild (and its going to be slow unless Glazers show some serious money which I doubt)

      • Ryan Giggs and Chicharito need to go? Leaving aside what Giggs has achieved for the club which, as someone rightly pointed out, shouldn’t cloud our judgement, Giggsy’s been one of our best options in midfield this season. And while that tells its own sorry tale and I’d rather see him being used sparely than relied upon, I don’t think we need to get rid of him. As for Chicha, the lad loves the club, has almost never complained about being left out and scores with incredible regularity. Obviously, expecting him to score every time he comes on is as unrealistic an expectation as expecting Anderson to lose weight.

      • @jos:

        “We do not have the big budget of the likes of City and CHelsea to make wholesale changes”

        I agree and isn’t that a disgrace that a club that has played in and won in Europe and won trophies consistently on the domestic front should have no money.

        Richest club in the world…. You’re having a giraffe.

        Macca

      • @jos:

        Hello Jos

        “Lets look at the positives also for a change. I think we should forget about silver for a couple of seasons”

        Jos I am all for looking, discussing and generally contributing to a more positive vibe on this site…… however, it is very difficult to say upbeat things when really it’s a dire situation.

        The LMA’s (I notice they have all left the sinking ship) for months went on and on about how DM would come good…. give him 6 games they said….. then it was by October he will have turned it around….. and of course October became Christmas. Well today is DEC 3 and the forecast is still as bleak as it was in Sept, Oct and Nov.

        I understand where you are coming from with your ‘be positive for a change’ but i’m not sure what any of us could talk about that is remotely close to being positive without going down the fantasy route and kidding ourselves that Jan and Feb and Mar will be the turning point.

        I suggested weeks ago to LMA Mr President (aka ship’s anchor) that I thought it better to forgo winning the title this season if it meant coming back next and crucifying the opposition, but Mr President would have none of it.

        It isn’t gonna happen because what manager would ever come out and say….. it’s Dec 3 and as far as MUFC are concerned we are now forgetting about this season and focusing on next season…. The fans would go ape.
        But… my suggestion is not that MUFC shut up shop for this season…. they continue with the ‘United Policy’ of playing to win, not playing to not lose, but playing to win and with a view to off-loading the dead-wood sooner rather than later and bringing in fresh kids willing to run to the last minute of every game.

        It was done before and it could be done again and if that happened…….. Everyone concerned would have my support.

        “You win nothing with kids”
        Yeah we won nothing…

        Macca

    • Manchester’s limited appeal – which is highly debatable btw, but I’m probably biased! – can only explain some rejections. The problem, as I’ve been saying for years, is that there simply is not enough money to compete financially with other clubs and, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the club continues to act with incredible arrogance in the transfer window.

      • @Dan:

        Juventus are also outmuscled financially, yet they manage to find quality players on the “cheap.”

        I bet you Pogba would have been a steal on whatever contract he required 2 years ago… Damn, that is probably going to become Fergie’s biggest mistake and it will last a decade unless we can get him back ASAP.

        Watch Pogba shine at world cup… It tears at my heart to watch him do so well…

        • Oh absolutely, they’ve assembled an excellent squad on the cheap. However, while they can’t match the spending powers of other European clubs, they’re much wealthier than any Serie A side, which means that once a player wants to go to Italy is likely to end up joining them if they’re interested.

      • @Dan: Based on the recent financials, UNit4d should have plenty of cash to spend on the team – perhaps 100m. The only problem is how much the Glazers want in dividends or to pay down remaining debt. What they have to realise and soon is thay no longer have Fergie to work miracles with a largely average squad (certainly by Euro standards). If they want to protect their asset then they’d better get the cheque book out in all seriousness.

      • @Dan:

        Hello Dan..

        “Manchester’s limited appeal – which is highly debatable btw”

        Ask yourself why Tottenham can attract £100m worth of players and we get Fellaini.

        And while you’re doing that….. ask yourself why Gascoigne and Shearer (twice) wouldn’t come to MUFC

        Macca

  • If we had some brave midfielders and more confident wingers/wide men we’d be ok. Not great, but ok.
    Cleverley, as hard as he tries, lacks the confidence to play the killer pass when it’s needed.
    Too many time i see Evra flying down the left wing, open space in front of him and gaps behind their RB, just when you want CLeverley to ping a crisp pass into that space for Evra to attack, he instead rolls a trickling ball that Evra has to wait to arrive. And in one fell swoop we’ve lost momentum, their defence has organised itself and we’re fresh out of idea’s.
    This happens too often.
    Valencia is really starting to get to grips with his dithering winger routine. Will he go left? Will he go right? Nope, he’s just going to run straight into the LB. Again, this happens way too often. If not, he just smashes the ball against the defenders shins and it’s anyone’s ball.
    Don’t like knocking the players, but these are just two examples of why we’re lacking pace and penetration. They’ve got to do better, much better.
    Was also disappointed to once again see Young picked on the bench ahead of Januzaj. I think we can agree that Young is our least dangerous, creative, consistent LW we have. Im baffled how he keeps getting a look in. (If Januzaj is injured, id rather see one of the other kids get a look in.)
    We have too many average, squad players playing too regularly for my liking.
    This kind of Jekyll and Hyde performances will get us nowhere. At the moment we’re winning the race for 8th place and that’s just not good enough.

    • @BigRed:

      Hello BR

      “Was also disappointed to once again see Young picked on the bench…..Im baffled how he keeps getting a look in”

      Call me Mr Cynical but I think he plays Young to put him in the shop window for January and if that’s true it is yet another appalling example of how far MUFC have fallen, when we have to advertise players we want to sell……. It’s not like ‘Aston Villa’ are gonna call DM and say ‘and which one is Ashley Young?’

      Macca

  • @Julian

    Hello Julian
    I am critical of Vidic just as I am critical of any player that goes through the motions.
    Just to clarify…… I watched Terry, Ivanovic and Cahill yesterday and I don’t think any of them have any more ability than Vidic…… but what they lack in ‘classy quality’ they make up with ‘effort’.

    Would I shift Vidic out and draft in JT (the footballer not JT the individual)……. in a heartbeat.

    On the title front…..
    If it were being awarded today Arsenal are streets ahead of the other top 3 and a country mile ahead of us

    Macca

    • @mike_macca: Lack of “effort” is a bit of a serious indictment on Vidic – if that’s what you meant. I don’t think you can judge on yesterday having just got back from injury. Vidic, particularly in partnership with Rio, has overall been an excellent player for us. I do think he hasn’t been quite as good since his return from the knee op but he should still have a couple of seasons left. Maybe Smalling (not a right back) and Evans are the future unless someone else arrives. Jones is probably going to be a defensive midfielder or (I hope not) a utility player – filling in where necessary.

      Yes Arse are the best side in the league right now although City, with their powerful squad, might argue with that if they could get some away form going. Having said that, expect Arse to have a dip at some stage. Chels could still have a say in it too.

      I agree with the comment that at this rate United will be fortunate to get into the ECL qualifiers – unless of course they win the damn thing!
      Wouldn’t that be a huge laugh with all the DM detractors having a full go right now?

      • @Julian:

        That’s exactly what I meant….. He hasn’t been the same footballer, that was in running for the player of the season, since Torres ‘spanked’ him time and time again.
        He was made to look average that day. His first few seasons I remember him nodding the odd few in from corners…. I can’t remember the last time he connected with the ball at a corner let alone score.

        Macca

    • @mike_macca: Think that’s a bit harsh Macca.
      Did you not see that tackle he did that sent Walker, i think, into flying cartwheels? Best tackle i’ve seen for ages. :) He wasn’t lacking effort then.
      Vidic>>Terry.

      • The_Philosopher

        @BigRed: Vidic is WAY better than Terry.

      • @BigRed:

        Hello BR…

        The point I was making was that JT makes those type of tackles ‘EVERY’ game.

        I expect whoever (Rio,Vidic, Evans, etc) plays at CB to making hard tackles ALL the time.
        Talking of the Tottenham goals….. terrible defending, 2 great strikes but terrible defending

        Macca

        • @mike_macca: Our midfield could do with making a few more bone crunching tackles. The likes of Fellaini, Celverley, Anderson, etc. But Vidic? I think he’s possibly the most committed centre back around. I’d rather play alongside him than any other CB.
          It’s easy to blame the defence for letting goals in but when they have almost no protection in front of them then they become exposed. A better, more competative midfield would help the back four no end. Don’t forget mate, It was Cleverley that got turned inside out for the second goal, not a defender.
          Think Terry makes those kinds of tackles every game because his positioning is at times awful. He’s forced to throw his body on the line because he reads the game so badly at times. How many times have you seen him trying to save himself by deliberatley handling the ball or hauling a player down? Quite a lot for a so called top player. I think it’s because he isn’t really that good.

  • NotamassivefanoftheGlazers!

    People seem to forget how bad we were in SAFs last trip to WHL. Spurs were all over us then having something like 20 shots to our 4. This was a far superior performance.
    Like it or not we have played much better in the last two games showing more fluidity and more options.
    I wouldn’t have played Wellbeck yday but understand the theory as Lennon gives Evra the run around most games and so supposedly Danny would offer more defensive protection. The prob with that is all first half the ball was played out to the right and Tony.
    However I was simply pleased to see some passing in the last 2 performances rather than the Stokesque performance against Cardiff. Also pleasing was to see Moyes make attacking substitutions to win the game.
    Win the next two and we’ll still be in the title hunt.
    Despite the respective merits of Carrick and RVP we play a much quicker brand of football without them.

  • Andrija Djuranovic

    @Dan,

    I agree completely. Not having money to spend is the biggest problem United faces, by far. I even wrote a small opinion piece about it and send it to the site, but you guys didn’t publish it (no offence taken) :)

    However, if repaying debt was a legit excuse not to spend before, it is not any more. Not after IPO and especially not after Woodward proudly announced we’re the richest club in the world this year, with record revenues and money from commercial and sponsoring deals all over the place.

    January transfer window is approaching fast, and with it the moment of truth-whether Glazers and Woodward as their representative in chief want to reinvest part of that money into buying top class players and reinforcing the squad, or they just want to milk cash out of the club and into their personal accounts or other business ventures.

    That is one of several reasons why I repeatedly say the following January transfer window will be the crucial one not only for the season, but for the future of our club, and that this transfer window is one of the most important we will have for decades.

    Let’s wait and see what will happen-but judging by how things stand now, I must say I’m not an optimist. But they may prove me wrong.

    • @Andrija Djuranovic: They undoubtedly have the money to spend on the team – but only if they want to. I’d say 100m is feasible given the current state of finances. However, as you point out, some of that could easily go on dividends or to further pay down debt. What they have to realise is that United could slip into mediocrity if serious money is not spent on the team. They no longer have a magician who can get an on the whole average squad to win things and to stay at or near the top. They need to protect and develop their investment and that cant happen if the team is no longer competitive and cannot attract top players or keep them (eg Rooney). Either that or they must get out and soon. I think its decision time for the Glazers. Unfortunately January is not a great time for transfer business and so even if the intentions are good we may have to wait until the summer to see exactly what those are.

  • Phil, totally agree Vida is twice the player Terry is.
    Moyes still seems to be the topic of conversation. Well let’s examine the 12 game unbeaten run, bare in mind we are 8th all be it 3 points off 3rd. With the run, we have drawn 5 times. 5 of the results have been in Cup games. In the last 7 League games we have only won 4, for me this is the most important statistic. This season we have played 13 drawn 4 games, won 6 lost 3. Last season we played 38 drew 5, lost 5 won 28.
    That for me tells a lot. It shows how brave Fergie was last season. In 13 games we nearly drawn as many games as all of last season. Moyes if is ever to be successful needs to stop being safe and be brave. Stop sitting on leads, stop taking off attacking players for defensive ones. Try and win games rather than not to lose. Stop trying to morph us into Everton.
    If AvB is under pressure why isn’t Moyes? Simple, we cannot afford to sack him. Giving him a 6 year contract at £5.5m a season puts pay to that. But spunking £27m on Fellaini who cannot start ahead of a centre back in midfield may force the Glazers hand.

    • The_Philosopher

      @Stephen: Well spotted.

      In 13 games Moyes has drawn (and lost) almost as many as Ferguson did all of last season. That means if we are to have a season like we did last season Moyes can afford 1 more draw and 2 more defeats for the remainder of the season. The rest have to be wins.

      Don’t see that happening.

      The quality of our manager stands in stark contrast to his predecessor if the points board is anything to go by.

    • @Stephen:

      You know nothing

      Macca

  • Andrija Djuranovic

    @Julian,

    Money talks. If you offer enough money to the player you want to get (salary) and enough money to the club where he’s playing-in most cases he’ll come even in January.

    We only need one quality player in the midfield, to lift the team up just like Van Persie did last season. We don’t need wholesale changes or buying 5 squad players. We need class, and class costs. But, they say we’re the richest, so…No more penny-pinching and no more ridiculous offers like 25 million for Fabregas and 28 million for Fellaini AND Baines, please.

    I’d say-if January window passes without at least 25 million spent on a player(s)-it’s clear indication that they just want to milk cash out and don’t care the slightest about the results.

    • @Andrija Djuranovic: I agree money talks and 50m in this window shouldn’t be a problem for United with 83m cash in the bank. It still is a difficult time to do business and the right player(s) might still not be available no matter what money is offered. I think we will only be able to judge truly how far Moyes and Woodward, with the Glazers’ say so of course, are prepared to go or are capable of going in this regard until after the summer window.

      The other problem is, I don’t know if there are any takers for Anderson and Young and how much we’d get for Buttner say – provided a replacement such as Shaw (some hope!) was brought in. The one player we could have got something for, Nani, has now had his contract extended – so he ain’t going anywhere right now.

  • Julian, the idea to extend Nani’s contract was to sell him. We are not going to buy big this Jan. Top sides are not going to sell, the only bid will be for Baines I am afriad.

    • @Stephen: If that’s the idea then fine. However, I understood that Moyes was a fan of Nani’s and saw him as part of his “future plans” ! So take from that what you will. I agree this window might well be a damp squib for a variety of reasons. I just wonder if Moyes dares bringing in another Evertonian (Baines) – given the fair amount of criticism he’s had regarding the people he’s already introduced from Goodison in various guises.

    • @Stephen:

      You still know nothing…….

  • Nani’s contract was running down as I believe so renewing it would enable him to command a higher transfer fee. Moyes really has hardly used him, opting for Young, Valencia, Januzaj and Welbeck. The size of the contract was staggering and oozed of panic. January has historically been a poor time to buy. Also Moyes seems to have an inability to learn from previous mistakes, so I can see a £20m bid fpr Baines at the start of the window rising dramatically as it goes on.

  • Andrija Djuranovic

    @Julian

    If we want to spend money, there are a lot of realistic targets who could lift our game up even in January. I will mention some of them: Ilkay Gundogan (1.5 year left of the contract, wants to go to bigger club, one of the best Dortmund players); Claudio Marchisio (no guaranteed first team spot in Juventus, haven’t renewed the contract jet); Ivan Rakitic (playing for smaller club, not cup-tied); Ander Herrera (has a release clause, not cup-tied, wanted to come to United in the summer until we botched the deal, MotM in Bilbao’s victory vs Barcelona last week), Leighton Baines (wants to play with Moyes again, not cup-tied).

    There are more realistic targets-these are only the examples. However, if we want to get any of those players-we’ll (or precisely Glazers will) have to fork out at least 20 million for each of them (Gundogan, Marchisio, Herrera cost even more-about 30 million). Therefore, no one can say there isn’t quality on the market even in January-all these players are available for the right price and right salary.

    On the other hand, although Moyes has drastically improved our results as compared to August and September, it is unrealistic to expect that we’re able to compete with Chelsea, City and resurgent Arsenal for the title, let alone with all these plus Bayern, Real, Barcelona, PSG, Juventus and Dortmund for the CL title. We need fresh blood, we need a class act to lift up our midfield and consequently general play of the team.

    That’s why I am saying this transfer window is the most important the club had in decades. They promised us world’s best players in July, they didn’t deliver. Their excuse-changing of the guard and lack of time to complete deals. Now there is no such an excuse-they say we’re the richest club, they say we have record revenues, they say we’re ready and totally prepared to compete with the richest clubs for the best available players. They talked the talk-now (in January) it’s time they walk the walk, and fulfill their promises. That’s why this is not a simple transfer window-this is a barium meal, which will show what’s inside their hearts and minds-a plan to reinforce the club and make quest for trophies possible again, or a plan to milk the cash out of the club and push us into Arsenalesque (minus this half a season) or Evertonesque mediocrity. This time there can be no excuses, or at least they shouldn’t be accepted.

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