Feb 26

Manchester United Travel To Wigan Amidst Latest Takeover Rumors

Those pesky takeover rumors just won’t go away, will they?

The latest round of speculation over Manchester United’s present and future has the Qataris coming back with an offer of 1.5 billion after having an offer of 1 billion rejected by the Glazers earlier this month.

The twist in these tidbits is that the prospective bidders are considering partnering with the Red Knights, a step that would do more to endear themselves to the supporters than anything the Glazers have done in their tenure as owners. Of course, any and all of this tabloid talk should be taken with many a grain of salt, as it’s very much smoke, smoke, and more smoke for the time being, but it makes for interesting reading and debate nonetheless.

Meanwhile, the team has a title race to tend to, and while every single one of United’s remaining dozen matches is of great significance, the three trips that lie ahead in the next eight days are the most important of the season, without a doubt.

By the time we leave Anfield next Sunday, we could have reaffirmed our position as the team to beat and put paid to Chelsea and City’s flickering title hopes, and the race could be down to United and Arsenal, just as it has been on multiple occasions in the Premier League era.

First up is today’s short trek to the DW Stadium, and with two massive matches ahead, is there a chance we could overlook a relegation-threatened opponent that we’ve beaten 11 straight times since they made the jump to the top flight?

I could well be proved wrong, but I’m leaning to the side of ‘not a chance’. Not only are the three points an absolute must given what lies ahead in the next two matches, but a brief mental visit to what happened the last time we were away from home in the league should be more than enough for the squad to know that any and all opponents from this point, especially away from home, must be taken on with the same level of intensity and focus.

Besides, after what could be nicely termed a subpar performance against Crawley in the FA Cup last weekend and an equally hard-to-watch showing at Marseille on Wednesday, you would think (the operative word there being think) that they’ll come out with a little extra inspiration and something to prove. Right? Right.

Wigan come into the weekend unbeaten in their last three, which includes an impressive 1-1 draw at Liverpool a fortnight ago. Still, they occupy a place in the bottom three, two points ahead of West Ham and Wolves and one behind West Brom, but we shouldn’t be in the mood for favors like we seemed to be at the Molineux three weeks ago (seems like longer, for some reason).

On the bright side, Roberto Martinez’s side hasn’t given up eight or nine goals like it did against Chelsea and Tottenham respectively last season, and it must be said that 10 of the 26 goals they’ve allowed this season at home came in their first two matches of the season, a 4-0 defeat to Blackpool and a 6-0 defeat to Chelsea.

Still, they’ve surrendered multiple goals in more than half of their matches this season (14 in 27), and we should’ve netted much more than the two we did in November’s 2-0 win at Old Trafford, so there’s no reason for our attack to stutter like it has in the last couple of matches and quite often this season away from home.

Just as much of a question mark is our defense, which, as I’ve mentioned in this space several times, has had a few forgettable moments away from home this season. Fortunately, we won’t have to deal with one of their most dangerous options today, as Tom Cleverley will be a mere spectator against his parent club. Cleverley has impressed when he’s been fit, so the Latics will certainly miss his presence today. That’s all the better for us, both in terms of today’s match and his development, which has certainly benefited from the opportunity to be a key player for a Premier League side.

With Cleverley not in the mix, we must contain Charles N’Zogbia (this might help, perhaps) and Hugo Rodallega, both of whom might be counting down the days until they can leave for greener pastures. Easier said than done, given the aversion to prosperity our back line has had away from home, but even with Rio out once again (and he’ll be out on Tuesday as well), we should be able to do the business at the back.

Given how much my predictions recently have contrasted with the actual results, I briefly pondered going the reverse psychology route today, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So here goes, and here’s hoping.

Prediction: 2-0 United


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Tags: Manchester United Fixtures

123 Responses to “Manchester United Travel To Wigan Amidst Latest Takeover Rumors”

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  • It’s been said before but we have a serious talent on our hands with chicha. For the right price I would sell Rooney, I think Javier has the potential to be as clinical as ruud.

    It’s funny how everyone was pissed off about our summer transfer because we wasted our money on 3 duds (chicha, Smalling and bebe) 2 of the 3 have been incredible signings and as far as I’m concerned the jury is still out on bebe.

  • @Eddie- In case you think I may have overlooked your point on injuries, I didn’t. Again, we’re not the only team to suffer injuries and in fact, we’ve had it way better than most teams. Rotation has occured,with tremendous frequency regardless of injuries. I think between end of September and January, all our midfielders were fit, except for Scholes. But they were all rotated in different formations regardless. It’s actually funny, that most teams use rotation to prevent injuries to key players, but for us the only thing that reduces rotation is injury where there’s no choice. As for Valencia getting injured, that was ages ago and the corrective action was simple. Giggs or Park. No problems there. But what justifies, (I’ve talked about midfield a lot), Rooney, upfront alone, next week, Berba-Rooney,next week, Rooney-Owen,next week, Berba-Rooney then Rooney-Hernandez then Rooney lone then any 3 together. What type of resting do professional footballers require in all honesty? And why isn’t the same resting required of Rooney,who is prone to injury? Is chemistry between strikers not necessary, and can it be achieved by this kind of rotation? That’s why I’ve asked before, how unique is United in all of world football to justify these things. What you may not realise is Ferguson believes rotation is the new successful technique in football. He’s a quarter right. But it’s not new and should not be used to such shocking levels. So believe me, regardless of new so called world class players, Ferguson is convinced he has found the fountain of youth with mega rotation.

    ” Rotation is a part of the modern game. It’s got to be. Look at how fast the Premier League is and the intensity of the matches…..somewhere along the lines I have to make changes.”

    he goes on to say why he’ll not play his best team regularly and it’s clear, this is the philosophy he now believes in regardless of the superstars we can get. I agree with rotation but 1. not in as absurd a manner as we do, 2. We can’t blame players for inconsistency in performance 3. We’re not the only special team under the gaze of the sun that requires a change usually wholesale, every game.

  • @Colver- “how do you know Iniesta and Xavi would play rubbish in a rotation system”

    Because I saw their performances under Rijkaard. And don’t act as if our rotation system is normal. Talking about the rigours of the Premiership as if we’re the only competitors in that league. Chelsea have won it 3 times in 6 years, the same as United, without mega rotation, do they not play in the Premier League? Do you know how long Xavi has been playing? He’s now close to being Barca’s leading appearances leader. But he only came to be appreciated on the world stage two years ago. Why? Under Rijkaard, he was played in a holding role and sometimes as a DM and at times players like Motta and Van Bommel were selected ahead of him. Deco was the playmaker. Xavi was pretty much just a solid midfielder, nothing to talk about. Likes of Lampard,De Rossi, Diego were rated better. Iniesta,was even worse because most times it was substitute appearances for Ronaldinho as an attacker, or when they played wide, he was out on the left. He was as useful as Theo Walcott. Pep simply put them in their correct positions and roles and played them regularly and within a year, they were among the top 5 footballers in the world, and today they are top 3.
    Then Gerrard, Alonso and all those Liverpool guys were playing crap during Benitez rotation mania, but once he settled with a consistent team, particularly in midfield as I’ve mentioned, their performances went up and almost won the league. Another example, from the opposite angle. Rooney and Tevez,were written off by many(you were likely there, kidding) as an incompatible partnership and their first games together, they were crappy and Tevez struggled to score as well. But after consistent game time, together, they began to form a deadly partnership and I remember how with Anderson getting regular football, they formed a great axis and understanding. I think some of the highlights of that combo are Wigan at OT,can’t remember. But check, the Boro game as well, when Tevez I think scored, after brilliant link up play from the trio. Or Tevez and Anderson Carling cup 2009 eg Blackburn. They had great combos as they were shunned from the first team but were both regular in that competition. Shows you what consistency can do to player’s performances. Why the heck do you think in 2007 we had 9 players in the Team of the Year? They all played most games together and knew how to combine. Look at Scholes and Carrick’s telepathic partnership. Do you think it came by accident or Santa brought it to them as a Christmas present?

    So clearly, in the same way, lack of consistency will only reap incoherent and disjointed football for players of any level.

  • And finally before I sign out, I’ll give you another fitting example of mega rotation vs consistency. Maradona, the lunatic,(sorry El Diego you really are a madman), used over 100, yes, one hundred players, in the run up to the World Cup, (about 95 in 15 matches incl friendlies) and what followed was the worst qualifying run for Argentina in decades(they qualified on final day via play-offs). They had some of the best players in the world as well. Players like Kun,Messi, Tevez,Cambiasso were all booed off the park after stinking displays and believe me I also sent my boos as well. World class players. All the while he was applying different tactics in every game. Towards the end,after enough pressure, he had to settle for something resembling a first team and when they had to announce the 23man squad, he had already trimmed his squad for friendlies. The “Magic Trio” of Tevez,Higuan and Messi was applied and Mascherano,Cambiasso in midfield, with Veron. By the time they got to South Africa they had a definite system and team. But such was the manner of their qualifying that a team of such talents was not even among the favorites. But they had gelled and if you look at WC performances, they were widely regarded as the most exciting and most fluent. Not my opinion but most objective ppl across the globe.

    And briefly. If you look at the two teams that got to the final, Netherlands and Spain, 17 of the players that could have played in that game were from either Ajax’s youth system or Barca’s. And in Spain’s case why were they so organized? I’ll let you answer that quietly. But I know, controlled environment, rigours of the Premier League, extremely unique etc. More power to ya

  • @Jay wire:

    please name the starting 11 that should play every week…curious to hear your thoughts on this..and we’er talkng currently fit players…

  • Jay Wire. I think there is something in your arguments and I appreciate you explaining your reasoning. Where we differ is the importance you place on these things. It goes without saying if a player is not playing regularly he won’t perform. But with a good rotation system every player will be playing once a week, once every ten days at worse.

    Chelsea do not rotate as much. But the problem with that is if your regulars get injured, then the stand ins aren’t match-fit and not having played for months take ages to get going, by which time the damage is already done.

    We are very unfortunate with injuries but it rarely has a huge impact on our results. The only notable exception was Rooney’s injury last season, but that was because he wasn’t rotated so the stand-in Berbatov wasn’t match fit.

    Look at the stats for our players. Almost all of them are played regularly. Not every game. But at the worst every other game, when fit. So none of them can use lack of games as an excuse for poor performances.

    And the Maradona comparison isn’t quite valid. Our tactics do not vary as much as you make out. You may argue our tactics are not very good-and that is another argument.

    The international argument isn’t valid. In internationals in qualifying you play a dozen games spread over a couple years. Players aren’t used to each others games so to avoid them playing like strangers I agree you need to select your best eleven and stick to it.

    But our players are not strangers. They have all played many games together.

    I just do not think players are as fragile as you make out. We are not talking about playing them in totally different positions. We are not talking about playing them once a month. They cannot hide behind tactics and team selection to excuse their poor performances.

  • [OPTI]Madschester United

    @Johnsom33: Finally a useful comment :) yes, I love chicharito and smalling looks capable of supplanting rio in the back. I was exciting to see us sign bebe as real madrid were supposedly chasing him as well; however, he has been greatly underwhelming… The only good about him is his diverse background and pace. Hopefully he comes through over nest season after a strong summer of preparation and improvements… We’ll see

  • I’m just a little surprised that no one on here’s made mention of Alexis Sanchez’s monster four-goal performance at Palermo.

    He’s been on fire in the last few months…now ten goals in his last nine Serie A matches after only one in his first 15.

    With Di Natale on fire as well (11 in 11 in ’11!), it’s no surprise Udinese are now 10 games unbeaten and in the thick of the race for a Champions League place. They’re a team worth tuning in to see, with the way they’ve been scoring. 28 goals in this 10-match run…not bad, not bad at all!

    Safe to say Sanchez’s current form is only serving to drive his value up, but it shouldn’t deter us from making a move. If we don’t make a firm, substantial bid for him this summer, I will be bitterly, bitterly disappointed.

  • @colver: think rotation is very important to keep players match fit. We setup the midfield to ensure that anyone can slot in for any other person and fotballers are not kids they should be able to adapt to play with atleast 3 different people. These guys train together everyday, so they should know how player A differs from player B. How come some players excel playing in the clubs read(sneijder, robben, schweinstegger) and still excel playing for country where they are playing with different team mates and different tactics and formations. People should just agree that some players aren’t as good as others, thats why we have the WPOTY and even a top ten list. Players are not the same, some players are very good, others are average and others are poor. And another thing is some players performances get bad over the years, thats why players can play for some of the best teams but end up playing for second tier sides as they age. So due to age, the names on the sheet may be the same but the quality is lower than it was.

  • @Jay wire: So a team that rotates alot has won 3 times and a team that doesn’t has won 3 times. My pre-grade math tells me thats evens stevens on rotation/regular lineup.so can it be put forward that rotate or don’t, it really doesn’t matter in the end, and if we are looking for future success maybe we should look in other areas, maybe player improvement, perharps?
    If a player can only learn how to play with one other player then he isn’t quite usefull and I believe any player should be able to adapt to our rotation, where its fletch scholes, then fletch carrick, then carrick anderson, then carrick gibson, then scholes gibson and so fourth. Someone maintains their place and its never a whole sale midfield clearance. And what are this guys doing in training if not learning how to play with each other?

  • I am not a football pundit….but what i’ve seen of ManU this season so far and the previous season

    1. I think Carrick is best played as a Defensive mid-fielder and a attacking midfielder is needed, Scholes doesnt have the legs, fletcher, gibson can be good players if they are allowed to develop into a single role than trying to field them in different positions. Anderson – very inconsistent but can be a attacking mid-fielder if he doesnt get injured that often or runs around like a headless chicken sometimes when we try some fancy formation like 4-4-3 …united’s best formation is 4-4-2 and i think they should stick to it.
    2. Nani – a blistering start this season with goals and assists but when ManU’s performance goes down then you can see how many chance he needlessly wastes I think valencia is a more consistent performer enabling two front men to get good service from the flanks
    3. I find Wes Brown situation comical he is very good at playing right back but he plays in cup games only and that too as a central defender how he can be ignored when compared to john o shea at right back God only knows
    4. Bebe, Obertan – i dont why they are at ManU ….and it seems it is going to be another year for P.Scholes, Giggs with no offense to these two …its like ManU are trying to put a small tape on a bulging problem called Midfield ..whenits going to burst i think the downfall will be pretty ..hopefully they have quality replacements at hand :?: :?:
    5. I am not sure how many of ManU fans would like to see their team grind out results on the way to Premier League title …

    I would like to see the traditional ManU style of play – flamboyant, attacking :roll: :razz:

  • @Colver- “our tactics do not vary as much as you make out”

    Er. Yes they do. We play different tactics and formations every single week. Don’t act like you haven’t been watching United play for the last 2 years. We play so many variations of the wide and narrow systems no one even knows what our game plan is. Even you right there where you are. You are clueless as to our main strategy. Players have different roles, in midfield every game. I’ve seen Gibson play wide, deep lying mid, CM all since Jan. Scholes beginning of season was playing a holding role and Fletcher AM and now he’s playing the runner and last game he was wide. All the while, the formation is changing.

    “…almost all of them are played regularly…so can’t use excuse of lack of game time”

    Have you ever wondered why every other team doesn’t change formation and tactics and player’s roles every week? I know you’re big on Rooney,so let’s make this more real. Do you think it is beneficial to Rooney if he plays a different role every game? Centre forward, support striker, lone striker, winger, deep lying striker every week. Will it have zero or minimal impact on his performances?

    “Maradona arguement isn’t exactly valid.”

    It’s the exact same situation. Mega rotation, different tactics, poor performances. Exactly the same situation. Because according to you good players don’t need regular systems, anything goes. So they should have performed well regardless of rotation and changing tactics. You also had nought to say about similar situations for Liverpool, and Xaviesta.

    “….Berbatov the stand in was not match fit”

    Berbatov had been match fit since December by the time Rooney got injured. He was playing, just not in a regular system.

    “But our players are not strangers. They’ve all been playing together.”

    Rio Ferdinand is a great defender. You can play him at right back this week, next week at left back, the following week at centre back with Smalling, the next with Vidic,the next in a back 3 with Evans and Brown and the next game back at left back. Only a fool will expect him to play excellently every game. Playing regularly,with players he knows. Can we blame the defence for being disjointed and porous? Look, we can do this forever, and I can keep asking “leading” questions which you’ll struggle to answer, but you seem satisfied in your opinion that consistency and team chemistry are not important issues, regardless of evidence to the contrary in abundance. So let’s leave it at that.

  • @Jay wire: I’ll answer your initial response to me shortly, but I must say…for someone who wants their opinions to be respected – and that’s exactly what they are in the end, opinions – you’re not doing a good job of respecting the opinions of others.

  • @Vignesh: I am from Africa but soon as I became a United fan I quickly learnt never to call the club ManU :twisted: , its derogatory. Never call the club THAT, rather use Man Utd, United etc. Here in Africa we just call the club Manchester :grin:

  • @ Spizzy- So it’s immaterial that players should form partnerships? The main thing that I’m saying is you can’t judge players whilst they’re being juggled around. You gave Germany’s players as an example, but these very same players have been part of a deliberate project from youth level where the same bunch has played consistently together for a very long time with very minor variations in roles and personnel. Ask Grognard he should know. In any case did you see the teams Sneijder and Schweinsteiger were playing in? Did you see them, being juggled around in different roles, and mixed with all sorts of different players whilst playing different formations every game? In fact the teams that actually win things internationally or are thereabouts, are the teams which have played as a group together the longest and most consistently eg Spain 2008 and 2010, Ghana 2006-2010 have been playing same system and pretty much same players in qualifying. Holland 2010.

    As for titles vs rotation, that’s not the crux of what I’m saying. The only difference between the current team(past two years) and the Double team(2006-2008)is performances on an individual and team level. That’s pretty much it. We’re still winning, because we have the quality, but now our football is less organized and less fluent. In fact, we’ve had underwhelming performances from our top players as well. Should they be shipped out as well? Rooney was played consistently upfront last season and was consistently good. This season, he’s been played everywhere and with everyone and has been consistently poor. Berbatov out of position since he came, we all know the story. This season, consistently played in his old “Tottenham” role and consistently good. And mind you, 2 of the titles we won, where during the Double Team’s period and the 3rd was after and not so convincing either. Giggs has had some quite frankly shocking performances, which have nothing to do with old age. Completely out of sync with his link up play with the forwards and passing that way, as Berbatov is running the other way. Confusion, has been the key theme in our performances even with our top players, like lack of cohesion between Rooney and Berbatov.

  • Finally, in any football team, and pretty much every team game, consistency is critical to achieve good performance levels. In football there are key partnerships that need to be consistently, maintained and they are mainly in central areas.

    1.Central defence. It’s critical that you maintain the perfect partnership that compliments each other well and play them consistently as much as possible so that they develop an almost telepathic partnership. Any mismatch will be rudely exposed eg Evans and Vidic. If you fool around with your centre backs you’ll pay dearly with a porous defence.

    2.Central midfield. This is where football is played according to most schools of thought. It is of the utmost importance that your midfield is solid, cohesive and has a telepathic understanding of each other. Any team that wants to play an organized form of football, regardless of that team’s quality, should ascertain that they have an organized and consistent midfield. In fact an understanding has to develop between, the midfield and the rest of the team as well. Fool around with your midfield and you’ll be rewarded with disjointed and disorganized football regardless of quality of players eg Liverpool.

    3.Central attack. Basically, strikers have to develop an understanding for them to perform at a high level and to offer equal threat. You have to know your role first as a striker, and then the role of your partner upfront. Then you have to DEVELOP(how do you suppose that happens) an understanding with that player. Then PERFECT or REFINE your partnership, eg Yorke and Cole, Solskjaer and Ruud(yes amnesiacs), Bebeto and Ronaldo.

    It can’t happen if, you,at any given moment, can be required to play 3 different roles, and at the same time, your strike partner is changing every game or you have no partner sometimes. Also every player around you is changing every game, and when they return, they have assumed a different role, so your perception of them must change and vice versa. ANDERSON likes the short one two, with the forwards and as a forward you adapt to that, but next game he’s playing deep, and it doesn’t apply anymore. Next game, it’s SCHOLES who likes to play long range passes, to the forwards and wingers, next game he’s instructed to play as a holding mid and as a forward you’re now required to link up with a bemused FLETCHER who is being played out of position as a CAM. Next it’s CARRICK and GIBSON in wierd roles and the next game Anderson returns, and he’s in a midfield 3 with Scholes and Gibson and they have all assumed different roles. There’s no time to develop in a consistent role. No time to perfect yourself or to specialise, hence improving your personal performances. No order in the team. Do you honestly mean to tell me such things have no effect on the players’ performances? That’s exactly what’s happening to Rooney. There’s rotation, then there’s insanity and chaos. Think of it. Even the players that have been generally good this season, they’ve all been played in the same role continuously. At least they can work from a platform of a consistent role. Berbatov like Rooney last season, Nani, like Valencia last term, Rafael and pretty much the rest of the back 4.

  • @ Eddie- You’re wrong. I don’t give a crap about ppl respecting my opinions. What I don’t believe in is insulting someone’s person based on their opinion. Eg “you’re an idiot because you think this way”. I attack opinions and prove and disprove them. Attack mine and substantiate. You can even call it ridiculous, but at least say why. I ask, as Colver said, “leading” questions because I want you to prove your opinion. It should be tested and myths should be busted. You can ask me any “leading” questions, I’ve no problem answering them. The main problem, is ppl don’t like facts, they’d rather pass opinions which have no substantial backing as facts. If facts threaten the opinion, some ppl get abrasive and defensive. Like last time, it ended up being an uncontrollable Messi-Ronaldo debate. Why? Someone just said “Ronaldo’s departure exposed our midfield’s weaknesses”. Unsubstantiated opinion. So I asked “how” and before I could type in a question mark, Johnsom(frankly didn’t expect him) declares my “passionate hatred” for Ronaldo due to my love for Messi. Where does Messi enter the equation? All I had asked was, to substantiate your opinion, explain ,what Ronaldo’s contribution was, beyond goals, that so rudely exposed the midfield. All hell broke loose. But no one came up with an answer. Everything is on the surface. No analysis. No perspective. “Player A is useless, end of”. I don’t respect that. Sorry.

  • @Jay wire: Considering your reactions in some previous situations, I’ve reason from my view to say otherwise, but I digress.

    I’m not here to take anyone’s side, yours or someone else’s, just looking at it how I see it from as impartial of a standpoint as possible.

  • @Jay wire: Rooney started this season in the same position as he had last season, playing in the middle as a lone striker when we play 4-5-1 or upfront with berba when its 4-4-2.He was however very poor and out of form and berba took his chances early on when rooney was abysmal and now plays further up when they play together.
    When you say he has been played everywhere with everyone this season, you fail to acknowledge that they are pretty much the same players he was playing with last season and as you intimate, we are headed towards 200 games of insanity, these are pretty much the same tactics which he excelled earlier. Nothing has changed except maybe valencia, but nani is more than an adequate replacement, so why was rooney so off given that the scenario this season and last are pretty much the same.
    As for saying he is being played in odd roles, thats not a hindrance,he is played out left and getting game time to atleast see if his spark will return, the other option would be to bench him because both berba and chica are performing better. Every one pretty much acknowledges rooney is having an off season, even rooney himself has said he is not playing at his best, I mean if the player admits he’s not playing as best as he can, infact three players this season have said they are performing below par, scholes, park, rooney and infact if most of our midfield maestros were asked they would concur.
    It’s like you admitting to having shot someone and not reacting properly then someone trying to take blame by saying, the government is responsible for allowing weapon possesion.
    Also you seem keen on asking questions, let me ask you this,
    1. Can a player who once performs brilliantly or was world class, perform badly?
    2. Is it possible for a player to put up an above par performance, once or twice but just generally be rubbish?
    3. Do you believe all the players in the planet are equal?
    4. Is it possible to have the right tactics but players unable to execute those tactics?
    5. Can a coach come up with his own tactics that work for his team, or are tactics laid down in stone such that if you decide to play 4-3-3 you have to do it the same exact way as barca play it.

  • @Spizzy-1. Yes.
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Obviously not
    5. 4-3-3 is not a tactic it’s a formation. So yes coaches can use their own tactics. No one insinuated that we should play like Barca, but as with every other team that plays narrow systems there are obvious rules to follow.
    1. If you’re going to use 3 central midfield players, the best and most logical thing is to play through the middle. That’s why they are called central midfielders. 2. If you use 3 forwards, the clear and logical thing is to play them as a unit close together. Once again it follows the narrow system logic. It does not make sense to play 2 of those players wide on the touchline to deliver cross after cross to the centre forward because he is isolated and outnumbered eg City game, when we kept crossing and crossing to an outnumbered Rooney. The idea in football is to support logically. Even in a lone striker situation, you need to have one midfielder playing up top to draw the other centre back or if it’s 4-3-2-1 which we use sometimes the “2″(eg Nani and Giggs) need to support the “1″ in drawing out the centre backs. And you don’t do that by hugging the touchline. That’s the job of fullbacks in a narrow system. Barca have their own version of narrow, Inter have their own, Milan have their own, but in each case, the forwards play close together through the middle, as do the CMs. Width is provided by the full backs in all the cases because it makes sense to cross into the box when you have numbers. Our version has no parallel, and has flopped,there’s no team in the world that plays 3 CMs (deep lying) and also employs wingers or bases it’s game on playing wide and crosses. It’s an example of poor tactics

  • @Spizzy- I think this thing will go on forever tbh, but I just want to understand your opinion in terms of how you judge that a player’s performances so your position is clear. So I’ll give you my brief perspective and end it here.

    I believe in optimum organisation. Whatever system, you play, each and every player should be played in a position and role that optimizes their abilities and strengths in that system. Also each player should play in a role that optimally compliments the players around him. Finally,and perhaps most important in my view, is consistency. In selection, in system and in roles. Whenever we’ve applied these things we’ve been solid and have looked like champions. The same goes for every other successful teams. Historically, any straying from this has resulted in inconsistencies, regardless of quality of players. That’s why I keep saying if there are any other players in any part of the world that are under the same conditions and they’re still prospering, then well… We like comparing,our players with other players, so in comparisons and tests, as scientists will tell you, conditions have to be matched as well as far as possible. So if Carrick has suddenly become a crap player, we should look at other players with similar roles like Cambiasso,Busquets,Mikel,Schweinsteiger. Is there any of them, who plays with different midfield partners every game, how many of them play in different formations every weekend, how many play different tactics every game, do they also have other players around them constantly changing and their roles changing as well? I don’t just say he is poor. Poor relative to who? which players like him are better and under similar conditions?

  • @Jay wire: Christ mate give it a rest. You go on and on and on and never change topic until you have exhausted everyone in to submission. I used to be like you until I realized that after about the 1000th printed word of the day, people tune out. Meanwhile you go on and on and on and on until you reach the 10,000 word plateau.

    Christ man, you are the new Grognard but not as good looking or as intelligent and even more long winded. And that takes some doing to pull off the latter. Get the hint. It took me a while to figure this out but less is more and it’s not vital that everyone sees or agrees with your points. :)

  • @Grognard:

    Nice Grog … like “the new Messi” he is “the new Grognard”….

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