Renowned for never doing things the easy way, Manchester United’s U18′s had to produce a performance of quality and strength to overcome a Derby County side boasting England U17 internationals, in-form strikers and a notable physical advantage not to mention the early initiative with an opening goal on 20 minutes.
A Jack Barby double of Phil Taylor-esque precision saw United overcome the deficit and advance to the next round where they now face Swansea City at The Liberty Stadium.
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Tomorrow night might see the 4th round tie of the FA Youth Cup take place between Manchester United and Derby County…..then again…..if it doesn’t warm up considerably during the day tomorrow, the pitch at Moss Lane (that’s no doubt been frozen for the best part of 6 days) will have no chance of defrosting….therefore right now I’d give the game a less than 50/50 chance of getting the go-ahead.
It’s rare that expectations are low for Manchester United, but after the back-to-back disappointments against Blackburn and Newcastle, United were the clear underdogs heading into last weekend’s FA Cup showdown at City. But as has happened time and time and time and time again, United delivered when the chips were down, and while the 3-2 triumph doesn’t make everything better in an instant, it served as yet another reminder that it’s never a wise idea to write off Manchester United.
With Christmas now a distant memory, United travel to Stoke City’s Clayton Wood training facility/Academy for their second Academy League fixture of 2012 hoping to distance the memory of a poor last performance.
Last weekend saw United held to 3-3 draw in an exciting but error packed game against bottom of the league Bolton Wanderers at Carrington.
I’m sure the manager will be expecting to see certain improvements and proof that his team can learn from their mistakes before the somewhat more important FA youth cup tie against Derby County at Moss Lane on Wednesday night.
Amid all the controversy that, at least for the blue half of Manchester, surrounded Sunday’s FA Cup fixture, one might be forgiven for almost forgetting something that transcended the meanings of those 90 minutes – Paul Scholes is back.
Following his retirement in May, the United legend announced his comeback to help the club in a time of difficulty, in a totally unexpected move for most of the public.
1. Life in technicolor
I’ve discovered that the word “vintage” is a polite synonym for irrelevant. Any studio that releases a motion picture in technicolor, in this age, is deliberately looking to be bankrupt. The 3-D, IMAX, CGI monstrosities, released in this day, will destroy you at the box office. Any football team, employing tactics that make people like Steve Bruce or John Barnes, nostalgic, in 21st century European football, is desperate for an early exit in the Champions League. Or a severe hiding from noisy neighbors. Manchester United seems to be currently free falling on the technical standard meter.
Going into the FA Cup clash with our Manchester City, serious questions were asked of Sir Alex his Red Devils. Following two consecutive losses at the hands of Blackburn and Newcastle, and with the 6-1 slaughtering still fresh in mind, this game was made for a Manchester United comeback. The press did not seem to think so, putting City as bang-on favourites, some even expecting a repeat of the horrible experience in October. After all, United are a club in severe crisis! It was not to be though, with United dominant in every aspect and putting out a team that would not only stop City, but punish them to maximum effect.
It was obvious Sir Alex had learnt from his mistakes earlier this season, and made the changes necessary to beat City. Not only from the start, but as the game went on as well. What exactly were those changes?
Things we lost in the center:
The centre has always been the source of direction and control since the beginning of ages. Isaac Newton will tell you, your movement and indeed of any other object, is based on it’s centre of gravity(which makes it clear that Park Ji-Sung’s is somewhere in between his butt cheeks). The direction and control of the World Police in Langley, Virginia has the first name Central. It is therefore clear that if your objective, whether falling on your butt everytime you receive the ball,or expiring inconvenient dictators, is to establish control and direction, you need to find the centre. And solve it.
Central midfield is the most revered role and zone in all of football. It is still however debatable, whether such reverence is applied at the protestant Theatre of Dreams. And in this belated edition(there’s an apology hidden in there) of The Scope,we’re exploring the months of October, November and December with a focus on the central midfield.