Jan 10

Second time lucky for United?

Tag: Match Preview @ 9:45 am

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailNormally, there wouldn’t be anything better to escape the January blues than United games coming thick and fast, even more so when three of them are at home and the only away is the first leg of a cup semifinal.

Unfortunately, this season, more games simply mean more chances to get back on the horse or, as it’s been the case in 2014 so far, more opportunities for United to inflict misery on us all, a task which, it has to be said, they’ve mastered in spectacularly brilliant fashion since the turn of the year.

Having lost three games in a row for the first time in almost 13 years and threatening to make 2014 the “year of the 2-1 defeat”, United welcome Swansea at Old Trafford tomorrow, hoping that the change of fortunes David Moyes spoke of yesterday will finally materialise.

Hope is just about all that fans and players have got left at this stage, for even the most-optimistic of Reds (a dying breed, it would seem) would struggle to find many positives ahead of Swansea’s second visit at Old Trafford in less than a week, giving the appalling performances United have treated us over the last 10 days.

Having picked up their first ever win at Old Trafford last Sunday, Michael Laudrup’s men will hope to double their tally immediately and pick up their first Premier League win in the last six games, while a win could see United consolidate seventh place, given that eight-placed Newcastle host City on Sunday.

That’s enough to get dizzy, but things are going to be quite as straightforward for the only thing longer than United’s series of dismal performances this season is their injury list. Still without Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie, Nani, Marouane Fellaini, Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones, David Moyes could also be without Jonny Evans, who limped off the pitch against Sunderland.

Should Evans be unavailable, Chris Smalling is expected to partner Nemanja Vidic at centre-back, with Rafael and Patrice Evra at full-backs while Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez will more than likely pair up-front as they did – to very little avail, it must be said – last Sunday against Swansea.

Adnan Januzaj and Michael Carrick are expected to feature in midfield as is Antonio Valencia, who might be terrifyingly mono-dimensional but has also the advantage of being United’s only fit winger at the moment – apart from Wilfried Zaha, obviously, but let’s not venture down that route – while we can only hope to see Darren Fletcher rather than Tom Cleverley in the middle of the park.

Regardless of the personnel, it’s about time United started to a) win matches and b) show a set of bollocks, for being poor and technically limited can be tolerated, looking utterly uninterested and not bothered it’s not and nor it should be. As news emerged yesterday that some of the players are prepared to question Moyes’ credentials, some members of the squad should instead take a long, hard, look at themselves for they’ve been nowhere near good enough this season.

Swansea have got nothing to lose while United have a lot on the line. It could be a turning point, but it’d be probably be just another dreadful afternoon.

Or, perhaps, it’d be the day when the club unveil their new signing just before kick off. Hope springs eternal, lads.

The following graphic was supplied by LiveFootball.co.uk

Dan

Infographic v Swansea City Jan 2013


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Tags: Match Preview

No Responses to “Second time lucky for United?”

  • Andrija Djuranovic

    Hey Dan, you were absolutely right! We unveiled new signing day before the game!

    http://www.rttnews.com/2249438/manchester-united-announces-sponsorship-agreement-with-aperol-quick-facts.aspx

    24 years old, box to box midfielder, really excellent player. Aperol Spritz-remember that name.

  • Just noticed United had 38m FB likes.
    Imagine if each one contributed £50? We could effectively buy the club out ourselves.

    Hope springs eternal :-)

    • @Karl: Yeah great idea though.

      We need a leader to unify the fans though.

      Thats the only problem.

      Although I’m all for it.

    • @Karl: That’ll only be 2 billion. United’s shares have a total value of 2.5 billion, so you’d have to underbid the current stock value to buy, which is hardly a decent offer.

      If 40m supporters each paid 100 pounds, we’d have 4 billion. Then let the management of United mayhem begin :D

  • Moyes just needs a midfield to steady the ship. Fergy’s actions are criminal. Not spending any money on th midfield for years, then his ego ending in the elevating of Uniteds best midfield playing in years(Pogba) only to keep mediocre players like Cleverley because he was a yes man. All top managers run from the midfield except Fergy to expect Moyes to completely change his approach(and football best pratcie) to fit Fergies bastardised squad was both short sighted and entirely selfish. Fergys only thought was to go out on a high and damn the consequences..

  • I cannot see Moyes losing yet another game.

    It’s unthinkable at this stage.

    Even a midtable club would be expecting a victory after 3 losses.

    I mean Moyes would have to be really really good to lose yet ANOTHER match on the bounce.

    I’m talking some special kind of incompetent.

    • @The_Philosopher: My thoughts exactly :-P
      Seems very funny the way you put it.

      If he loses this one then I promise, I won’t bother posting/commenting on the match (or laughing because apparently its rude to laugh at “special” people). I will start praying for salvation.

  • Never would of thought pre season that the upcoming game against Swansea could have such a baring on our season.if somehow we manage to get a result, it might instill a bit of self confidence back in the team.Anything less(another defeat doesn’t even bare thinking about) and the heat is really gonna be turned up on moyes.What concerns me with this game is how moyes is going to approach it. I mean, caution is moyes’s middle name so christ knows what his tactics will be considering the pressure he’s under at present.Any manager wwith balls would view this game as a chance to make a statement and say “enoughs enough”, with moyes, I expect he’s preparing the excuses already.Under normal circumstances you’d say this should be a home banker, but with the”clueless”one in charge and our current run of form, im not holding my breath for anything positive this weekend.Been a hellava long time since I’ve thought like that, suppose it’s called the “David Moyes”effect. :cry:

  • This game has no real bearing on our season besides the chance for Moyes to break another record (of straight defeats).

    We are destined for a midtable finish and there is no real advantage to qualifying for the Europa league as it congests the fixture schedule for next season making it harder to try to get back into the top four.

    I would say the important thing is to take the pressure off. Otherwise it will just become a psychological block. Put the focus on playing well and the results will eventually turn around.

    We need to break things up a little. Send Cleverley to the reserves. Blood Fabio as a right back so he and his brother can alternate and we never have to see Smalling played in that position. Valencia is a far better makeshift right back than Smalling.

    Play a midfield of Fletcher and Jones and rest Carrick till he is fully fit so he can give us his customary second half of the season run of form.

    Start Januzaj every game to accelerate his development. Bring Nani back from the cold and give him a free role. There is no explanation why he is world class for Portugal and sucks for us and he is one of the few talented players we have and if he hits form it could transform our season.

    Keep Hernandez on the bench and try to develop a partnership between Welbeck and Rooney until Van Persie is fully fit.

    If we do dip into the transfer market I’d recommend a centre back to steady our defence and take the pressure off Vidic.

    In the summer raid Dortmund using Kagawa as a bargaining chip as he just won’t make it at Old Trafford with Moyes in charge.

  • Maybe the answer is NOT to buy anyone, but (as RedRich hinted) just sell a midfielder, to put fear into the team and drive higher performances. Then we can fix the tactic and get United on a winning way again.

    Is Pogba for sale :D

    • @Opti: agree! i think we could ship a couple players and bring back powell along with playing zaha more would light a fire under some asses.

    • @Opti: Oh, I think we should buy, for sure. it doesn’t have to be WC but it has to be vital new material.
      The dressing room needs to be shaken up and new blood will do it.
      Disposing of players alone is not what I meant.

  • It appears the agent of nemanja matic has been telling the Portuguese press that his client is looking for a transfer to the premier league in this transfer window.For me, this is a guy who’d give us something missing from our midfield, genuine quality. Benfica are out of the champions league and, by all accounts, struggling financially.The press reports we enquired last summer about his availability, so there’s interest their. Let’s see what excuse moyes comes out with if, as expected, we don’t make a move for him.

  • If we are going to raid Benfica go for Garay and Matic.

    We are no longer in the difficult position of trying to improve a very good team the way we were in 2008.

    The way I see it there are a lot of clubs who have got knocked out of the Champions League and for the right price would let one of their star players go.

    At Porto you have players like Steven Defour and Fernando.

    Surely we have the financial might to sign players from Portugal a back hole of Europe.

    And if we cannot sign them in January then there is always the summer.

    I mean how difficult is it to improve on midfielders such as Jones, Cleverley? I’d take a good international at a European club with lots of Europa and Champions League experience any day of the week. And as the players I’ve mentioned aren’t good enough for any of the big clubs we should have an easy time signing them.

    What is very apparent to me is that our scouting system absolutely sucks and our manager is such a control freak he is unwilling to put his trust in the reports of his scouts and act fast to save his job.

    • @colver: The issue at stake hear is, moyes is only interested in “world class” players. So by that token, he classed fellaini as world class! .give me strength.Garay and matic would fit seamlessly into our team, yet you can guarantee they’re not upto moyes’s so called standard.Just another ploy to not spend money.I actually think moyes is terrified of signing someone in case we end up with another fellaini situation. What credibility moyes has rests now on the players who he recruits, for me, thats why he’s so reluctant to dip into the transfer market.

  • I hope we sign either of Xavi, Iniesta or Fabregas. I want us to sign the best “world class” midfielders money can buy and not some unproven young talents. At the end of the season there should be no excuses. I really do hope for that. “Go Big or Go Home”.
    Apparently there are still people that need convincing…

    • @Karl: This perpetual whirligig thing you have that keeps making you think that a new manager will turn borax into diamonds needs to be patented.
      You have so much belief in it you should definitely bet the farm on it, the whole farm, and then your brothers farm too. It clearly has no way to fail – I know that, because you keep telling me so.
      Is there a way to buy stock in it – you’d make a fortune on this blog, you know. :lol: :lol: :lol:

  • Giving Mr. Bean the fastest F1 car will not guarantee you a win in the race.

  • How about a Marchisio – Nani swap deal? Ideally valencia but juventus unlikely to buy him. And go for Garay and Matic. Should be a good team.

    I am still hopeful about Fellaini, only issue I dont see him fit into the team right now given Carrick and the other options we have.

  • Moyes must be shitting bricks on recruitment. That is what will make or break him now. He has never been used to such big decisions and that is going against him badly as compared to the foreign coaches around

    • @godzilla: And as you rub your little hands in anticipation of his failure to recruit, you might want to consider that, that might be detrimental to most that want United to succeed.
      I assume you are not part of that collective?! Obviously.

      • @Redrich: It kinda seems you are not into criticizing the manager and don’t take kindly to others doing so. But I think if you look at another angle you may discover that there is a possibility that Moyes’ failing may accelerate the decision making process that may change the club’s fortunes for the better. If he manages to keep things average and not extremely bad as he is currently doing,then we will happily continue in the halls of mediocrity,waiting patiently for disaster. But if he fails miserably we quickly experience the pains and it becomes clear very quickly that change is necessary. Delaying the inevitable is not without consequence. Moyes,whether you like to believe it or not,is irretrievably a very incompetent manager who will simply take the club backwards.

        • @Jay Wire: The point you make about moyes taking the club backwards is the most valid point in the whole debate about moyes.Ive thought all along that if his blueprint for the future would take this club to the next level, he’d get general backing of fans through thick and thin.Its this inability to stamp his own positive mark and ideas on the club, that for me, is dragging this club backwards. Whether it’s his training methods, tactics, whatever, just seems his whole philosophy is from a byegone era.Might of worked well in the 70’s and 80’s and to a lesser extent in the lower leagues, but times have changed along with most things associated with football, yet moyes seems reluctant to embrace the change.His brand of football at Preston and Everton was always the same, based on work rate, endeavour. …..may have got the results but not always pleasing to the eye.Thats why I never belived he was the correct choice.Utd have usually always been known for playing with a style that got results, but more importantly for me, a style that brought entertainment to the masses. Moyes hasn’t bought into that way of thinking, and to be honest, don’t think he ever will.

        • @Jay Wire: Your advice is not what I need, nor am I looking for it.
          You are clearly a poser that talks as if you know what you’re talking about. Fact is you are wrong, wrong, wrong about almost entirely every single point you try to raise.
          If you want me to count the ways it will embarrass the heck out of your track record on this blog.

          Don’t even try to question my motives or my judgement – you are just a third rate buff trying to brush off my years of expertise – good luck mate!!

      • @Redrich: So a real United follower and fan can never criticize? I cannot make an observation based on what I have seen of Moyes (I also used to follow the Everton team btw) over the years? There is something called constructive criticism and what i am saying is this is a January transfer market and Moyes will face a huge challenge given our situation and ranking on whether to buy or whether to wait it out till summer. The biggest risk is losing CL and facing the risk of the likes of Rooney and Persie looking at an exit. So the catch 22 situation will make him or anyone shit a few bricks. That does not make me or anyone else a lesser fan than your blind non-opionionated view might/

  • In other new, 24m will get us Gundogan, if this is the case, what the f*ck is mr moyes waiting for.

  • If one is of the view tha Moyes is beyond redemption, and many are already resigned to that, then wishing short term pain to get things back on the right road might not be a bad thing – on the face of it. The problem is I doubt Moyes will lose his job this season and may be not even next. He will be given time – just about whatever happens. The difficulty with this scenario is that if things continue to go badly then the hole could be irretrievably deep by the end of the season. If United don’t qualify for the ECL and are knocked out of the cups, then it is likely we will not only lose the likes of Rooney but furthermore we could well be unable to attract the necessary talent needed to make United competitive again. Unless, in the unlikely event, the Glazers are prepared to throw huge amounts of money to attract top quality with a promise of better things to come, there wont be anyone prepared to come to a club which is out of Europe, managed by a man who is clearly not up to it and indeed a club in serious decline.

    It’s history now but this last transfer window was absolutely vital to address the shortcomings within the squad. United could still offer a future then but that future is now at best highly uncertain. The failure to address the squad issues was not just Moyes’ fault it also lay firmly with the club and Moyes’ predecessor. Had the weaknesses been identified, addressed and a properly financed plan of action put in place we could easily have seen three or four newcomers in the squad and a far better equipped team to challenge for top honours. Moyes had to hit the ground running. Instead he wanted to ease himself into the job and was encouraged to do so by the club.

    That indeed is history but thinking of replacing Moyes in the short term is far easier said than done. Which top manager will take on the job at this juncture? I doubt anyone would – assuming the right man was available which he probably isn’t. Moyes is currently on a reported 4.9m a year. Guardiola earns 14.8m and Mourinho is on 8.4m. Clearly United would have to splash out if they wanted a top coach/manager. What’s more, they would have to pay out Moyes for the balance of his contract which itself would be a substantial amount given the ridiculous six year deal they got themselves into.

    It’s an almost impossible scenario – a catch 22 whichever way you look at it. It seems the best we can hope for is that Moyes somehow succeeds – at least in the short term before the hole gets deeper. Success this year would mean qualification for the ECL whereby at least the club could offer that to the transfer targets. In that regard, whilst I expect little if anything to happen this transfer window, the club will have to be ready to outlay a substantial amount in the summer for what might be half a new team.

    • @Julian:I’ve said this before, just remember ed woodwards comments pre season, “The team doesn’t nead a major overhaul, just slight tinkering”.Don’t expect miracles where transfer recruitment is concerned.

      • @THE RED BARON: As we now know Woodward didn’t have a clue what was needed or even how to go about it. Gill should have stayed on for a year to oversee the transition. Fergie should have admitted the short comings. Fergie’s backroom staff should have stayed in their positions for at least a season or two to oversee the transition and to help Moyes “step up”. Its history now but clearly this whole thing has been handled terribly. Its not all just about Moyes – the whole club hierarchy is to blame for the mess we’re in.

        • @Julian: I agree, everyone is to blame.Woodard though, as everyone knows is just a glazer puppet. Whatever comes out his mouth, you can guarantee is basically the thought process of the glazers.Thats why I feel, when them comments wer made, he was basically stipulating utd transfer policy for the foreseeable future.Woodward might not have been skilled in the art of transfer dealings, but he’s a genius on making and saving money for the glazer clan (and I emphasise not mufc).that’s why he got the top job in the first place.

  • @ julian
    Forgot to say, Is it a coincidence that when it becomes apparent that you’re talking a major overhaul of the first team squad with figures of £150 mill+ being banded about, rumours start circulating in the financial sector that the glazers might be looking for a way out selling their interests?.

  • With Everton and Tottenham winning, there is literally 0 margin of error today if we want to contend for 4th place.

    Must win. Must perform. Come on you Red!!!! Glory glory United!!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

  • Moyes is getting closer to what I would consider best possible lineup + formation:

    ——–De Gea——-
    Rafael-Smalling-Vidic-Evra,
    —-Fletcher, Carrick,—-
    Valencia–Kagawa–Januzaj
    —–Welbeck——–

    Subs: Giggs, Lindegaard, Hernandez, Cleverley, Buttner, Zaha, Lingard.

    With a full squad available, I would drop Valencia for Nani, Welbeck for RvP, Kagawa for Rooney

    Still need to buy one top-class midfielder to replace/compete with Fletcher/Cleverley/Anderson… heheheh “compete” :D

    • @Opti: agree he hasnt got a better team sheet than this one at the moment.

      so his statement that “some of the players are giving their best” “but if its not good enough I have to look at it…”

      seems to be a warning. i think if we cant get who we want in jan we shuttle a winger and a cm and promote nick powell and play jessie lindguard. give the rest of the team a weak up call

  • seems to me that our captains have let us down this year. evra is planning on leaving so he isnt fireing up the younger players like he should. Vida seems to be going too and the same can be said of his influence on the field. the less said of ferdinands decline the better…

    so we are not just a club in transition with a new manager. we are also in transition of leadership on the pitch. Roony is undoubtedly the boss on the pitch when playing but when he is gone no one seems to pick up the mantle.

    I saw ddg barking orders out during corners in the first half. Finally! hope he is able to shape the defense in a manner to help him out. we need more players holding each other accountable before the play comes to them and not just shaking their head after.

    Pull off one of kagowa or valincia and put on chicha and move welly to the wing with adnan in the hole please second half

  • Must be honest and admit…I rather enjoyed our 2nd half performance. I found it quite entertaining.

    1. It’s amazing the difference in game dynamics a simple change like Januzaj & Kagawa can cause

    2. Nice to see a gameplan that did notbfocus entirely on playing wide – we actually attacked through the middle as well.

    3. Nice to see our wingers not hugging the touchline for the entire match

    4. Great to see some creativity (both Kagawa and Januzaj)

    5. Great to see some midfield play without the excessive back and sideway passes.

    It pains me a bit to say, but…Well done David Moyes! Good 2nd half performance from the team.

  • Good second half which makes a nice change. I thought Kagawa was useful out wide. He can put in a nice cross and if Smalling wasn’t such a tool it would have been 3-0. Welbeck is on fire and he deserves a lot of credit. If he and Rooney can develop a strong partnership it will be great.

    Credit to Moyes his team selections are improving. Now if only he could learn more about tactics.

    Still 35% possession first half is abysmal. We made Swansea look like Barcelona.

    As was pointed out earlier a lot of the problem this season is that our older players such as Carrick, Evra, Giggs and Rio and Van Persie have sucked while failing to replace Scholes was a terrible error.

    It is good to see Fletcher back and I think he could save our season as he is twice the player Cleverley is.

    • That stat is totally misleading, and if you think Swansea looked like barca today, you are delusional.

      I loved it. They played exactly how they need to if you want to win. They turned the tempo up as high as it could go at the start of the second half, and for a solid 20 minutes, every time they got to the ball they were sprinting to get in the box and shoot. YES!!!! Exactly. Do that for 90 minutes. Destroy a team with 40 shots a game, grind them down to dust.

      Possession doesn’t matter. Possession is currency. You spend it. Swansea spent it pissing about doing nothing. Lots of standing around, kicking side to side for a minute or so, then after a while trying an attack. So yes, there possession stats are high. What did they spend their possession on? Nothing. United spend their possession attacking. Maybe it’s not how much possession you have, but what you use your possession to do?

      I would be content with 20 percent possession if that meant United took 40 shots in a game, and played full out for every single minute. There should be a ticker in every United players head, like a shot clock, sprint into the box, try to set something up, don’t try it dribble it in it the opportunity isn’t perfect, most important, get efforts on target. Shoot. These players can score. Force them to play full tempo sprint to shoot soccer, press to recover defense.

  • Andrija Djuranovic

    Darren Fletcher. What a player. What a man. What a heart!

    As for the game, first half dreadful, second half tolerable. Still not good, but tolerable. Excellent play from Januzaj throughout and Kagawa in the 2nd half. Fletch head and shoulders above Anderson, Cleverley and slightly better than Carrick too.

    • @Andrija Djuranovic: Fletcher has to be first choice if he’s fit. He looks fit. Unless he can’t do 90 minutes every week yet, he must be considered before cleverley.

    • @Andrija Djuranovic: his comments after the match were awesome as well… about the team, mgt, and fans sticking together. the world has been waiting to push our faces in our shit for a very long time so they will of course do so.

      He is starting to become very vocal in the team and after today i hope the rest of the boys can look to him for inspiration on the pitch. we need it bad. our older leaders still in the team are not getting it done and fletch is one that is picking up slack for others.

      amazing to come back from what he has and seeing him make an impact like this is heartwarming.

  • tonymontanna4united

    Dire first half, far far better second.
    Really hope Moyes goes back, watches that game again, and looks at everything we did differently in the 2nd half in comparison to the first.
    Second half we had an urgency about us, a better tempo, were pressing in numbers, getting some beautiful link up play between Kagawa, Welbeck and Januzaj, and not just knocking it out wide to Valencia and putting in 1000000000 crosses (is it a coincidence our better football came when Valencia hardly got a touch of the ball?).
    If we could atleast see more of that 2nd half performance most weeks, regardless of the result, then it’d be a start, and something to build on.
    Problem with Moyes however, is the fact that he’s so bloody negative and with Chelski away next week, it’ll be 90 minutes of that first half display of sitting too deep, letting them play around us, not getting forward in numbers when we do get the ball, knocking the ball out wide to Valencia too often etc that any momentum gained from todays result and performance will be lost.
    If Moyes really wants to succeed at this club, then he really needs to be getting us performing at that 2nd half level today, most weeks.

    PS- Nothing new, but just wanted to add Januzaj is just ridiculously talented. He’s just so composed and his decision making just so good every time, it’s hard to believe he’s only 18.
    The sky really is the limit for him, I mean it’s only early days but even Ronnie at 18 didn’t look as influential and mature as Januzaj does, and that’s saying something.
    Not saying he’ll end up the same level as Ronaldo is at I’ll add as it is still very early days, it’s just exciting thinking about how good he could end up being.
    Moyes’ best thing he’s done so far as manager has to been to give this kid his chance without question.

    • Re Januzaj he’s definitely proved me wrong. I suspected he’d struggle atm but far from getting bullied in games he’s bossing games, fair play to him.

      A word of caution though, Sterling had a similar impact at Liverpool but went off the boil after teams/players/opposition managers etc worked him out. The same could happen to Adnan, it’s happened to many young ones.

      One other thing his impact also proves though is me and others on here who’ve suggested he’s not the only one who deserved a crack at a higher level than ressies/u21s long before this happened. Lingard, Tunnicliffe, Mike Keane, possibly Petrucci and looking back Morrison and Pogba definitely did more and showed as much as Januzaj at academy/res level therefore why weren’t or aren’t THEY given chances? Adnan has been shown a huge amount of favouritism by the club and certain individuals, he’s one of many who potentially could’ve stepped into an ageing, deteriorating United side and slotted in overnight.

      Alls I’m saying is, given the chance, many at United have the same potential, but not everyone gets the same chances.

      • @Ian:
        He may or may not run into issues, injury issues, or form may dip, but it won’t be a matter of ‘working him out’. You compare him to what Valencia can do for instance. Valencia is a limited player. In a lot of ways, Valencia is what you would expect to see in a youth player, likes to make runs, high work rate, quick, but with a somewhat unpolished passing crossing game, and a weakness under challenge. That to me is the trademark profile of a player breaking through. Januzaj already, at 18 years old, has a more nuanced game that probably everyone on the team short of Rooney and RVP. If he were slightly better at holding the ball, he still gets dispossessed a bit more than I would like, he would be so close to the complete player.

      • @Ian: I think you cannot create plans for a complete player without create holes somewhere. Januzaj is very close to that right now.

        What plan do you mean? Man marking? If you dedicate a player to Januzaj for the whole match, MAYBE you can keep him off the ball some. Maybe. It’s not even a garauntee because even with him losing the ball a bit more than I would like, that is more a sign of his confidence and ambition that it is his talent. Januzaj works exceptionally well in tight space. If there is any space, he has the talent and intelligence to get the ball and either play a quick cutting pass or make a turn and run with it himself. Man marking doesn’t work very well on players with his acceleration and composure. With a bit more experience, he will be nigh unto impossible to keep off the ball through man marking alone. Maybe, there are a handful of defenders that can mark a player that needs no time or space to get started and rocket away. But what should be terrifying to opponents, is that he is 18 now, and if man marking gets you small dividends now, they will quickly diminish to nothing as he gets more experience, and gets even quicker, and strong. He’s probably physically not even close to as talented as he is going to get.

        No, I do not think man marking will be effective against Januzaj. Valencia needs space. You could mark Valencia’s production to nothing with almost no effort just having a player close so that he can’t get started (which is completely unnecessary because even when he is started he is not currently a game changer), but Januzaj does not need space to operate in.

        And if man marking doesn’t work well with him, what else is there? Double him up and have players attack him in pairs? That might be effective if he couldn’t pick out a pass, but even at 18, his passing and crosses at times approach the sublime. Am I wrong, or is he not the best set piece taker we have in the lineup right now? Time and again I see him take perfect corners, perfect foul kicks, and they are perfectly weighted, perfectly positioned. He doesn’t panic and kick the ball to stupid areas, so even if you have defenders work together on him to get the ball, he’s perfectly capable of picked out the vacated area created by double teaming him. Lotta perfect in that paragraph.

        His skill set does not lend itself to game planning. His skill set is too broad for that, and his athleticism and intelligence are too high. And I say that right now. In a side with another similar player(Lingard), this midfield would be beastly.

      • tonymontanna4united

        @Ian: Alls I’m saying is, given the chance, many at United have the same potential, but not everyone gets the same chances.

        Not sure I’d say MANY had the same potential, but definitely agree that alot of players didn’t get a chance full stop, much less so chances plural, despite looking very very talented and serving their apprenticeship so to speak in the ressies and academy and looking very exciting there.
        Tunnicliffe who I’ve gone on about many times and have a soft spot for, looked exactly the sort of midfielder we could have done with, but didn’t even get a place on the bench but for 1 or 2 carling cup games.
        Sadly that resulted in his development stalling 18 months back due to stagnating in the reserves and he’s now out of the picture. Pogba and Morrison’s lack of chances likewise is still painful looking back on even now.
        Looking at the present though, Michael Keane is looking quality during his 2nd loan spell in the championship and looked solid at SB against Chelski last year and is definitely one to watch, and I’d hope atleast one from the likes of Pearson, Perrera, Rothwell and Goss will make it here, and James Wilson I’d put good money on making the grade in the very near future.
        Hopefully under Moyes it’ll be a different story to Fergie, because whilst I think alot of us will always without intention, automatically over romanticise the young players coming up, and claim them to be the second coming of Giggs and Scholes, I do genuinely hand on heart believe we’ve got a crop of youngsters coming up that really can make the step up just like Januzaj did, and like Pogba & Morrison would have.
        At the end of the day, that’s got to be something every United fan wants to see happening on a much more frequent basis.

  • Ben, it doesn’t matter that Swansea weren’t able to do anything with their possession. It is just worrying that we let a supposedly weaker team see so much of the ball. Imagine what happens when we come up against a side like Bayern or Barcelona who really know how to hurt you when they have possession.

    We are really suffering from Carrick’s poor form and the absence of Scholes.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/10565200/Manchester-United-and-David-Moyes-in-crisis-Analysing-how-the-team-has-regressed-on-the-pitch.html

    The above is a great analysis of the change in style under Moyes.

    • @colver: the point is that their possession was terribly wasted in the most unimaginative keepball style we have seen in a while. they were wasting time with the ball as a tactic. if you go back and count the time their cbs passed it between themselves and the keeper it would be at least half of their time on the ball.

      I get what you are saying about possession and its importance but swans back passing for minutes at a time does not count and we were chasing those passes down as well.

  • wish we had gotten another goal at least and given zaha and or J. lindgard a few mins

    ship out ando and a winger or 2 of your choice and play zaha powell lindgard now.

  • @Redrich
    This is redrants mate.If u want a blog for bootlicking the united establishment go to manutd.com

    • @vida dollar: Thank you. But good luck with that getting through the left ear and not exiting the right in a jiffy. This is a niche website tbh,where people tend more often than not,to speak their mind. But it can cause conservatives to panic and I believe the the club’s official site could be a good source of “safe” commentary

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