Okay okay so the title suggests I’m about to reveal I have inside information on what would be an unbelievable scoop but honestly I don’t and I’m not, so please, before you jump down my throat, hear me out and realise this is all hypothetical not another one of the 1,000’s of Manchester United transfer rumours.
There’s been a lot said in recent times regarding the rotation of players at United and how it’s possibly to blame for some of the failings in the season so far, that, despite being top of the table and well ahead of closest rivals Citeh in the goals department; something I hope we’ve learned to concentrate on after last years disappointment.
The concept of a “starting XI” is growing increasingly thin in modern football, as competitions take their toll and managers opt to rotate their players in a bid to have them fresh when it matters the most. Ask any fan of any club around the country and most will struggle to name more than six or seven players that are consistently in the starting line-up.
On the other hand, the large majority of people will name a goalkeeper before any other players. A luxury that Manchester United fans can’t afford, as Sir Alex Ferguson continues to rotate David De Gea and Anders Lindegaard, game after game.
If you haven’t already seen it, here’s a clip of Darron Gibson giving Nasri, Toure and Dzeko the runaround with some great skill at the weekend.
With Gibson’s form and the improvement of Rafael this season (until Saturday evening that was!) – plus the inconsistent and erratic form of our goalkeepers – does this give more credence to the opinion that people like me and many others have within the RedRants community and beyond, that Sir Alex’s insistence on rotating the squad is denying our players the opportunity to improve to their potential level of performance?
Players need games and teams need consistency, rotation for me denies both…both, if you see what I mean.
Manchester United and Reading produced some of the craziest 45 minutes in Premier League history, as the Reds opened a three-point gap at the top of the table, after emerging winners of a seven-goal thriller.
As the momentous month of December rolls upon us, signalled, as ever, by the many choruses of 12 Cantonas, Manchester United visit newly promoted Reading, seeking a win that would keep them top of the table before the monumental Manchester Derby next Sunday. Indeed, it is often in December that the title challengers are clarified and the weaker teams fall back in despair. United will take heart from the fact they have not lost an opening fixture in December for 10 years, and few would imagine that this run will end at the Madejski Stadium. Continue reading
United face an away trip to Reading this weekend, and everything suggests that they are bankers at 1.44 with Boylesports
to come away with all three points.
Reading have won just once on their return to the top flight and, though that came in their last home game against Everton, they have been quick to revert to their old ways and come into this after back-to-back defeats against Wigan and Aston Villa.
The stats also reveal that in the 16 times the two side have met in all competitions, Reading have won just once and lost eight times against United – with their only victory coming in 1927!
Yesterday Sir Alex Ferguson insisted he had no problem with Wayne Rooney’s goal dearth despite the striker only scoring once from open play so far this season.
Rooney netted twice in the 4-2 win against Stoke City back in October and also converted a penalty in Braga but then missed from the spot during the 2-1 victory over Arsenal.
Sir Alex believes it’s only a matter of time before the England international is firing on all cylinders again in front of goal after he went close against West Ham when forcing Jussi Jaaskelainen to make a smart save.
Reading v Manchester United
Madejski Stadium, Reading
Saturday 1 December 2012
Manchester United will be looking to retain their lead at the top of the table when they go away to struggling Reading. United currently hold a one point advantage over rivals Manchester City.