Sep 22

The Scope 1.2 – September 2011

Tag: The Scope @ 4:14 pm

Welcome to September’s issue of The Scope, RedRants’ retrospective evaluation of a months events in the life of Manchester United.

 

 

 

Theatre of DreamWorks presents:

Anarchy 2.0

Michael Bay has been described as a “cinematic anarchist” by many respected film critics like Roger Ebert. Over the top, visual mayhem, captured in cinematic chaos and perpetual firepower that would make even John Woo wince. His projects win at theatres and bring silver and gold. Why? Because people love spectacular destruction. If you want arty, speechy, intellectual stuff, flee. Michael Bay is not for the faint hearted.

Vicente Del Bosque,one of modern football’s most respected technocrats, once described Sir Alex Ferguson as a “tactical anarchist”. Well that was in Y2K and anarchy was the buzzword then, but that statement, a half mockery, veiled by complimentary gestures is not too detached from reality. Yet, it’s a lawlessness that has brought silver and gold to United. Back then, the unrestrained, frenetic and petrol-head attacking football was exhilirating and nerve wrecking to watch.

The previous season, we had gone to the Nou Camp,scored three and swallowed three. Then Turin, Italy. Conceded two, scored three. Went back to the Nou Camp, (via a Ryan Giggs maze past Vieira,Dixon and other JVC labelled statues)and stole the European Cup. Anarchy. Mayhem. Victory.

This season United and Sir Alex have returned to blockbuster football. A John Woo-Michael Bay hybrid of football is on display and being action junkies here at The Scope, we have no complaints. If you want calm, deliberate, dare I say, tiki-taka football, flee. Manchester United is not for the faint hearted.

1. Microscope

Bad Boys: Shoot to kill

The undercover SWAT team masquerading as Manchester United’s front four, has been responsible for inspiring terror into the other 17 hideouts the Reds are yet to raid. 21 goals in the first 5 league games, is a feat even the anarchist teams of the 90s could not achieve. In the first two Gangs of London Massacres at Old Trafford, an aggregate of 53 shots were fired, with Wayne Rooney unloading his magazine 7 times and Ashley Young launching 2 top corner seeking missiles, all in the direction of Arsenal’s Szczesny (pronounced poo-wah-gai). A fortnight later, several shots were exchanged during the Reebok Stadium Shootout. Rookie assassin, Chicharito,drew first blood from point blank range,with a silencer shot, preceded by mind boggling ninja techniques. The return of Hernandez is not being celebrated outside the Old Trafford precinct,you can be sure of that. Ashley Cole, though, is a domestic hero.

But more importantly neither is the resurgence
of the gung ho, trigger happy Wayne, inspiring all night parties in the sky blue fifth of Manchester. The forward/midfielder/part-time goal line defender, is back in his best position and role i.e. everywhere and renegade respectively. Starting the season with the powerful and skillful Welbeck,meant the frontline was highly sophisticated, with high horsepower. No relief was gained from Welbeck’s lay off because the Assassin has hit the ground running, with goals and Houdini movements. This gives Rooney further freedom to drop deep, go wide and storm the box. And he’s going for gold too:

“He wants to be the best player in the world.” – Patrice Evra

I’d give him the gong for his crossfield balls alone. Forget the freekicks.

Bad Boys II: Turbo

The Nani-Young twin-turbo means one thing is prominent in the attack. Speed. The high speed chases we are witnessing on the left and right freeways of United’s attack, has left an expensive trail of destruction. 4 goals, 8 direct assists,14 successful dribbles, with 15 key passes in the last three league games alone. And with 10 fouls won,from which 3 goals have been scored and a penalty awarded, it’s easy to see how their direct, tyre screeching antics are causing panic amongst defenders.  Nani particularly has improved greatly in his attack of late, being directly and indirectly involved in 8 goals in the last 3 games.

The wingers have not just made the attack quick- but with the box minded Hernandez upfront- it is aerodynamic as well, and easily weaves past resistance at an average of 3 successful dribbles in the attacking third.
The double exhaust behind the wings should also be mentioned. Besides Evra’s trademark attacks, Smalling and Jones have been a revelation at right back. Pace, power, skill and a Ryan-Giggs run just for show. It was quite frankly, embarrassing.

“We did okay when we got the ball up to Nani and to Ashley Young. I thought that was our strength and they couldn’t cope with that.” – The Boss

Transformers

From a 70s Beetle to a modern day Camaro,  Anderson has evolved. It might be an optical illusion, the fact that he has even trimmed, but we are seeing a difference and a versatility. From a deep-lying, disciplined  playmaker’s role(WBA),to CAM at Bolton. Averaging 60 passes,2 key passes per game,plus an assist, a goal, and a couple of dribbles in the middle, it’s easy to discern confidence. Last season’s total assists equalled 2,and an average of 0.8 key passes and 38 passes per game. He has been responsible for 12% of the team’s interceptions and 10% of the tackles. Complete midfielder. Anderson maximize.

Anderson’s transformation is not exclusive. The team’s tactics have evolved as well. The dynamic movement and most importantly, role and positional changes, have made United a different machine. At one point at the Reebok,both wingers were in the centre circle ahead of Rooney,with Hernandez forward left. Moments later, Chicharito combined with Anderson,with lightning quick passes into the box as the latter failed to connect with the former’s return across the face of goal. To make it worse, all this is being done at top speed. How do you defend against that? And Gary Cahill, John Terry and Carl Jenkinson chorused “Amen!”. 9 different scorers this season excluding the evergreen, Own Goal, is Exhibit A.

The Rock

The Alcatraz nature of United’s defensive system means the team is a mobile fortress. 133 tackles and 74 interceptions in the last 4 league games is testament to the high intensity goal protection system. The siege attitude begins right at the front with the SWAT team pressing high. In central midfield, a zonal marking-pressing balance is being applied with the back four playing a high line. In fact the distance between the CBs and the forwards is probably just under 2 Peter Crouches lying down. This vice like defensive structure means David de Gea has faced mainly long range shots. How do you attack that? “Amen!” comes the soprano chorus from Ivan Klasnic,Walcott and Defoe.

2. Telescope

On Sunday, United faced their seventh consecutive “real test”since the Barcelona friendly win. With Manchester City “threatening” the title for the 4th season running, and Chelsea starting very “slow”(according to their “quick off the mark” £50m “man”),undeniably, United have done exceptionally well. It’s two games a week time, with a not too spectacular return to continental football and the real test, is consistency. Can the Reds keep firing on the continent, whilst maintaining the domestic terror campaign? Can the style of football be maintained or even improved on as we spill over into the earth shattering 2012 year or are we going to see a return to “pragmatic” football?

The Replacement Killers

The high intensity, battles have not been without casualties. High flyers Welbeck and Cleverley were joined by the Assassin and the team nearly lost it’s stand in captain, after villainous Kevin Davies commemorated his 99th Premier League foul with a well timed, malicious tackle on Patrice Evra. But the squad is deep and
the players that have come in as replacements have done well. Park,Giggs and Chicharito have contributed 6 key passes,1 assist and 4 goals in the last 3 games before Chelsea. The Pendulum returned to maintain Cleverley’s pass rate average of 91% and with 10 tackles and 9 interceptions in his appearances, “balance”has returned. Michael Carrick, no matter which side of the fence you are, is critical to United’s game.

“I found him brilliant to play with… He reads the game so well. He’s a dream for any attacking midfielder. He’s like a Rolls-Royce” – Paul Scholes

Anderson and Giggs shouted “Amen!”.

Revenge of the Fallen

Goat in reference to United players is not an acronym for Greatest of All time. It’s short for Jonny Evans,Patrice Evra, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick aka The Whipping Boys; official club scapegoats. Evra has been near flawless in his defending and his attacking game has made United’s Magical Left Passage(with Young and Anderson) almost unplayable.

But the real performer has been Jonathan Evans. Phil Jones may be the most visible but Evans has been the best defender no doubt, based on defensive actions. His averages? 2.5 interceptions(Rio average last season 2.6), 2.1 tackles(equals Vidic) and a league high average of 80.14% aerial duels won(Vidic averages 67%). The first “thank you” from De Gea is directed at Evans after every match because he has heroically protected the Spaniard. In the last 4 games, the combined blocks in and around the box, made by Fabio,Jones,Evra,Rio and Smalling, are still 3 short of Evans’ contribution in the same period.

The Amazing Lazyman is watching. Waiting. Scheming. Quietly.

“He’ll get his game time as the season wears on. There’s no question about that.” – The Boss

With the Assassin the latest casualty, Berbatov has the perfect opportunity to Aspirinate The Boss even further.  Should Hernandez,Welbeck and dare I say, Rooney,be worried?

Hard Target

Whilst the Premier League is regarded as the “easy one” by the fans, it is folly for the boss and the team to be similarly inclined. A lot of pre-awards hype has been generated(deservedly,mind) by articles such as these and it is important for United to remain focused on consistency and improvement. The Champions League trophy though, has proved itself a worthy adversary deserving the utmost respect. The European Cup is a hard target, bullseyed only by the clinically ruthless and the exceptionally efficient. Whilst the young guns have done well, the lack of subtlety and precision is a cause for controlled anxiety. Anderson’s pass rate has marginally gone down with every game and his adrenalin, Stevie G shot-like passes in the final third, expose his lack of composure. Nani off late has shown significant improvement in split second decision making, but precision in passing has eluded him. His pass rate (73%), whilst acceptable for a forward or winger in England, is not examplary in Europe(Messi 86%, Robben 80%, Ribery 80%). And this is the difference on the continent,the world class curtain that keeps players like him backstage. Hernandez’s poor ball control results in aborted missions in attack. Jones (and Evans)  outwitted by Anelka’s (and Mata’s) passing and movement,does not just show inexperience, but a lack of continental “cleverness”. So whilst the energy is exciting to watch, will the lack of finesse across the pitch resurrect the once vibrant voice of the NSNG-No Sneijder No Glory ensemble?

The So Far Awards

1. Quote

“I don’t know why you ask these questions. You are just looking for stupid little things.” – The Boss being polite to journalist Kelly Cates(Dalglish’s daughter),for her DDG Vs Lindergaard enquiry

2. Revelation

[2nd runner-up]

Evans – modern defender

94.2% pass average, 55.8% of team clearances in last 4 games(before Chelsea), maximum 1 foul per game(Vidic average 1.1).

[1st runner up]

De Gea – Average pass rate at 70%(Nani 73%). Most saves in the league at 28 incl 1 penalty.

[Winner]

Nani – the defender – 4.6 tackles per game, he’s the team’s top tackler (Jones average-3.75)

Best performance: nominees

– Ashley Young(WBA)

– Anderson(THS)

– Wayne Rooney (Arsenal),

– Phil Jones(BW)

– Nani(Chelsea) ]

Winner: Phil Jones(Bolton)

Best player: nominees
– Wayne Rooney

– Anderson

– Phil Jones

– Jonathan Evans

– Ashley Young

Winner: Jonathan Evans

(Analysis and data excludes Community Shield and League Cup matches)


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No Responses to “The Scope 1.2 – September 2011”

  • Moscow is my heaven

    Had to have a breather reading that. Brilliant post JayWire.

    I still have my reservations about Anderson as a TOP midfielder, especially after the Chelsea game.

  • This is, simply put, the best thing I’ve read in my entire life.

    Thank you JayWire.

  • Very nice post! I even made it through the parts waxing lyrical about Carrick! :lol:

  • Evans best player??

  • Brilliant writeup Jaywire. Must say was surprised by Jonathan Evans stats and details. Issue might be that when opposition scores against us, lot of times its Evans who is found lacking in some way, hence all the missiles which go towards him in post match analysis though he might be pretty solid rest of the time. Away at Stoke should be a good test, I would expect us to win 2-0 !

  • Great Post Jay, i posted it to my office Devils and some other friends and they ‘ve gone mental…hopefully more traffic joining the RR community from India now. 8)

  • That was a high RPM stuff Jay..much like Michael Bay movies.. well done!!!

  • Great article, totally agree with you about Evans, absolutely fantastic, I love those cross field balls too.

  • Anderson best performer player, what after the Chelsea game? I think Evans has done well but Rooney with 9 goals is by far the winner. Smalling is a little unlucky not to get a nomination.

  • Brilliant piece of writing! You have “some” skills.

    What an analogy with Michael Bay. I must say it really is an awesome analogy.

  • Btw with after reading all your posts these past 2 years(???) I always imagined you to be a sober, intellectual kinda guy…more Ang Lee than Michael Bay.

    So what after today you ask??
    A: Brain meets brawn, Style meets substance and so you sir are Tarantino :) :)

  • Sorry JayWire, but I found this literally unreadable.

    • I’m curious to know what exactly you mean there, Trav? Can you expand on that for me/us?

      :?:

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      I L.O.V.E. the information contained in the post, but the creative writing kinda makes for a difficult read and detracts from the usefulness of the post.

      Enjoyed reading it but fell like I had to jump fences with all the pop-culture / role-playing schemes.

    • First time comment writer, long time reader here. I found this article refreshing, it’s data blanket with pop-culture things rather than in-your-face statistic, and I love stats.

      Statistically maybe Evan looks the best, but for me, it’s the attacking style of United that keeps United defenders ‘happy’. If a center defender like Jones could running straight to opponent’s defense line like a wild boar, you know that his defense is fine.

      Personally, my player of the month is Ashley Young. He’s more stable in performance.

  • Yeah this was Jay Wire on speed. Really wasn’t expecting something like this. Agreed with most of it but would have preferred a much more critical look at the Chelsea game and Benfica game which exposed many of our weaknesses. Still it is a blistering start to the season and unlike previous years we definitely have killer instinct and the assassin analogy was spot on. In previous years we have shown far too much respect for little teams and taken the foot off the gas after taking the lead often letting them back into the game.

    Naturally Carrick gets glowing reports despite playing very little part in our storming start to the season (70 minutes against Bolton and an indifferent half hour or so against Chelsea and a poor performance against Benfica).

    But the defence of Evans was justified. Evans has done amazingly well after falling down the pecking order last year and seems to have gained confidence.

    I am glad that Jay Wire noticed the difference between the Premiership and Europe. The Chelsea game showed that for all our attacking flair we do give away the ball too cheaply with Hernandez and Anderson and Fletcher the main culprits. While the Benfica game showed the 2010-2011 tendency to be sluggish, slow and vulnerable to counter attacks from fast mobile teams with good movement.

    It is a long season and it will be interesting to see how it evolves.

    • I agree with all of that, Evans does deserve a lot of credit as he has been Red Ra nts chief whipping boy for far too long.
      Carrick is a player who would look good in a midfield three, he could play pretty passes to his hearts content and not get his hands or feet dirty. In a midfield two he gets exposed as he simply is not athletic enough to get around the pitch and likes to intercept rather than tackle, good player but not great.

  • Could you expand more about “the world class curtain”. I have never heard it expressed that way but it is an excellent metaphor. In my eyes the main reason Europe is so difficult is because teams are much better at keeping possession and often much more disciplined at pressing and defending as a team. Barcelona exemplify this style of play.

  • NANI – the teams BEST tackler – what an eye opener eh? Course I always knew that, AND also know what few seem to recognise that Nani doesn’t tire – he has a very good engine, a marathon runner, just ask Manchester City – at Wembley which we know is energy sapping pitch – NANI still going strong and running like fuck, sprinted away like he had never played almost 80 plus minutes of the game, to get the winner for us and send United fans home happy and bragging, and City fans crying in their beer. SUCK that up all you Nani doesn’t defend, tackle dissenters – fucking suck that up :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    • I’m just glad his name’s an anagram of Iann ;) must be cool and a very….VERY…good player!!

      • :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: your very good at bigging yourself up mate – and why the hell not? :-D

      • Hey Rimmer’s – you were talking about Nani goals with someone in earlier thread – I think a lot of people forgot the two absolute crackers he scored against Bayern Munich at OT in CL. He didn’t get the credit he deserved because of the smug dutch GIT who sneaked a winner for Bayern :evil: .

        Nani and Park the Man Utd marathon men – with tanker engines that never run dry. Can anybody think of anyone else in our team who has the same engine – come on lets have some names :lol: . I am saying this through GRITTED teeth Stephen mi mn, but I have to say Rooney has a very fine engine too :-D .

  • Well didn’t take long for Hargreaves to become a BITTER did it? Just like Tevez – foamed at the mouth with criticism of his treatment – ginneau pig Hargreaves – who just joined the local PIG STY of a club – suits you well Hargo!

  • Well in fairness to Hargreaves our medical team does seem to be pretty amateur. Any anger that Hargreaves feels is directed at our medical team not Fergie or the club. I can sympathize with that. I never understood the obsession with injections in football.

    • I am sure being one of the biggest clubs in the World our medical team certainly won’t be amateurish. He was also sent to Richard Steadman who certainlty isn’t and he couldn’t help him

      • Stephen – I thought Richard Steadman was the one who operated on both Hargreaves knees, and was responsible for his physio regimes and that is why he is where he is today – supposedly fit.

        • He saw Steadman while he was at United, so we did our bit to get him fit bro.

        • fact is he has chronic tendonitis which has no absolute cure to speak of. He had reconstructive surgery but even that is limited in scope. he never was going to be able to play regularly and the tendon problem is always around the corner cos he is getting older..the best he can hope for realistically is where he is currently…Fergie knew it and so did our medical staff and hence we let him go

    • As a person who receives steroid injections every four months for a severe back ailment I understand completely what Hargreaves is talking about. Injections are a very dangerous thing. When you are dealing with mine it’s even worse because you are playing with the spine and nerves connecting to the spine and so one wrong move or a medication that is not compatible with me could do great damage.

      Eight years ago I became a guinea pig for a new form of injection to ease back pain sciatica sufferers called a ‘nerve root block’. These days I get it done with the accurate assistance of a CT scanner but then it was done with a camera placed in a needle and a long drawn out probe to find the socket that would lead the needle down to the proper nerve for the injection to be released.

      In the old method I have had them hit bone and cause infection, I have had them injure the nerve, but overall, the nerve root block procedure has saved my life because without it, my back pain is so bad I’d sooner jump off a bridge than live with it. It is essential to my well being but it has risks not only in the manner of its administering but asa medication itself. Suffice it to say I am banned from baseball for life due to steroids. And people wonder why I love Roger Clemens (baseball reference)?

      But before I explain what my point is to all this, let me also offer an eye opening examination into medicine and it’s true guinea pig approach to problem solving. My mother also suffered from the same inherited back ailment as me. In 2009 I thought that she might be need the relief the injections have given me over the eight or so years I have been getting them. Originally I was reluctant until doctors at the hospital told me they inject elderly people all the time. So I said why not? I brought my mom to the hospital and she got the injections in the old fashioned manner. Not only did the injections not work, they injured her nerve and from that day on my mother was not able to walk again. I kid you not, my mother was91 at the time and could beat me in a race even with a bad back but after the injections, she had become a cripple, having to get around in a wheel chair. This caused atrophy to set in and all of a sudden she aged and became ill and died in a hospital where she stayed for over a year simply because she lost her ability to walk.

      I never took legal action because the documents you sign have all the small print that protects the doctors and hospital from their own incompetence and or mistakes. Owen Hargreaves agreed to the injections he got but clearly, they were not in his best interests and they were designed not to heal him or help him in his rehab, but to take away the pain. Very dangerous stuff and it backfired on him as it backfired on my mother. The problem is both parties are too blame and bot parties are innocent. It all depends on the proper perspective. Nobody put a gun to Hargo’s head and forced him to accept the shots but then again, no physicians outside of a team would probably ok such methods because in general, pain medication for tendinitis is risky stuff and needs to be given in small doses. I know because I suffered from tendinitis in my elbow and i currently suffer from a form of Achilles tendinitis that comes and goes and is basically referred to as a syndrome like Carpal Tunnel.

      My doctor refuses to inject the area because injections in areas where tendons reside is very risky business. She flat out refused despite my pleas for help. I told her about others who receive injections and she produced a document showing the damage that could be done and how many lawsuits against doctors were initiated over the past three years for such a procedure gone bad.

      It is my opinion (and I am on the outside looking in), that United’s physicians erred greatly in their treatment of Hargo. Their job is to get players to return and play as soon as possible. This does not make them quacks but I seriously doubt that the doctor who performed the surgeries had ok’d this procedure. Like I said, injecting anything into tendons is very risky business and not even a consideration for doctors who know what they are doing. And even if they do know what they are doing, complications can arise and in my mother’s case, bad enough to lead to her death. Yes she died at 93 and had a long life, but if anyone had seen her before the injections, they would have thought she would make it to 100.

      I’m not bitter but I am angry and frustrated because I know that proper care is taken most of the time but accidents do happen. My current doctor does not like the fact I get these back injections but I told her about the bridge I had selected should she decide to stop them. Hargo got screwed by a procedure he should have avoided. Still, both parties are to blame in the decision and they both need to move on and just forget about it because what is done is done. Frankly, in this day and age with information a click away, any time somebody allows somebody else to play with their body, they are just as responsible for the outcome. Hargo needs to move on and United seriously need to look at their medical staff and ask the question, are these guys truly as good as Fergie says they are. Saha, Neville, Hargreaves and continual injuries to the twins and others tells me that perhaps they are rushed back to action before they are healed and or they are not getting the proper treatment to begin with. All conjecture I know, but questions that need to be asked. All I know is Hargo is alive and well playing for the enemy when he could have been playing for us had certain individuals done their jobs better. So maybe Hargo is bitter but then so am I.

  • I got statisticly mindfucked here, and I loved every minute of it. Please Jay, more of the same!

    Now that I’m healthy again I’m ready to fuck some of your minds! :twisted: Tactical inception to pieces.

  • Stephen – yeah I know that mate, but in your post you said that Steadman couldn’t help Hargo. If Hargreaves is fit and can play again without breaking down, then Steadman is responsible for this – even tho Man Utd picked up all his medical bills and payed him massive wages too all the time he was out – a bloody long time! Hargreaves to me is a whinging pillock. I have zero respect for him now.

    • He has been with Steadman from the start, so after three years and money spent by us he is fit.
      He has shot himself in the foot, the fans have always stood by him singing his name. He has stuck two fingers up at them signing for the Council Estate and now rubbing salt into the staff and Fergie, he is a disgrace.

      • Couldn’t agree with you more Stephen – but this seems to happen a lot with players that have been moved on by us – Roy Keane is having a go today about how much Fergie hurt him by moving him on – says he was in Fergie’s office at 9am and kicked out of the club at 9.10 am. He says that’s why he only did one season at Celtic – because he never wanted to leave Man Utd – us being the best team in the world he said. I think Keano has looked at Red Nev, Ole solz and Scholesy, and Giggsy soon, and is thinking about why he opened his mouth and attacked the team that resulted in him being pushed out. I think he would like to be coaching or still be involved with United. So yeah – all players moved on by us have their things to say, and Hargo is no exception. Yet with some of them I have to say that their grouch may be justified, not Hargreaves though! Not Keane either who cooked his own goose!

        • Is that the same Roy Keane slagged off the players and fans in a MUTV interview?
          He was knackered in his last days at United and only managed 13 games in the Scottish pub league.
          Players are too detached from the fans these days, they only care about themselves and the own finances. Many years ago I player would not dream of signing for anothers rivals, nowadays it seems to be the norm, fuck the supporters.

  • The Hargreaves case is a curious one…if he indeed can stay relatively fit and play 40 games like he claims and be productive then somewhere in United’s treatment program for him there were errors…that said perhaps when he realized he was being released perhaps that was the first time he decided to buckle down in the offseason and actually get fit! Neccessity is the mother of invention and based on those videos he was really trying hard to get fit…regardless..any player who leaves teh club and starts slagging off the club is a player I don’t have time for…even if United’s treatment program wasn’t optimal I think rushing out and giving an interview after the first game he plays is amateurish at best..its like he was just waiting for the moment to rub it in United’s face..what he doesn’t realize is the club could have dumped him 2 years ago if they didn’t believe in him or didn’t want to give him a chance…3 years is way to long to be getting paid for being a sick patient…I wouldn’t get too overxcited if I were Hargo for just scoring a goal against Championship Birmingham…this could still all end badly for him… as for the player for me he is just in the same category as gareth barry, Tevez, Balotelli and co..just another blue that i want to crush whenever we play them this year!

  • Don – great post and well said – I agree with all that you said!

  • I am going to claim Paul Pogba early!! :lol: :mrgreen:

  • ya I must say that i am EXTREMELY disapointed in hargo, I RESPECTED this man up untill now, BUT now IM just shocked that he would come out with a statement like that, he is UNGRATEFUL and i truly beleived that this sort of behaviour was BELOW him, how wrong was I. awh :cry:

  • Well difficult to say really. He did his bit for us winning the Champions League that year. He claims he was rushed into playing for us although accepts that he was eager to play. He also says he was told to take injections and told they would have no side effects (which he said they did).

    Also you wonder what our medical staff was doing buying a player carrying an injury.

    Really it is all very disappointing because a fit and injury free Hargreaves is twice as good as Carrick and Fletcher.

    • Mate he had 3 years grace with us, and not able to play. Then suddenly against his wishes United say no new contract, and just in a few months he mysteriously gets himself FIT, give me a break! He has been skanking mate – total kidology!

  • CraigMc Valencia has a good engine as well. Very hard working which is why until recently he was a Fergie favourite. Fletcher when fit also puts in a good shift.

  • calling

    @CraigMc, @ash is the man @Colver @Stephen @Don @RMJ @Nuevo @godzilla and @SOC –

    Now you guys are chatting frequently (again some of you), have you thought about updating your Gravatar?

    Just think it gives you a more personal profile and some individuality.

    If you want to update/upload one but you don’t know how to do it, just ask.

    Ian.

  • Nice writeup JayWire. As a film buff and a person who likes to compare things that are not alike, I enjoyed the article very much.

  • thanx all for the comments. Criticism and encouragement taken sincerely. Bear with me if I don’t reply all

  • Here’s my take on Hargreaves.

    The man is desperate for attention. He’s a footballer who people will relate to “The Forgotten Man”. And who is surprised about that, when he was injured for 3 fuckings years! :roll: The lad is a top notch footballer with great talent, only an idiot would deny that. And from what I’ve understood from Hargo, he does know he is good. But he has a desperate need to show it. Being injured so much does something to you, and what he went through against Wolves last year much have traumatized him. No wonder! He fucked up in front of millions of viewers, making himself the laughing stock of basically every football fan in the world, while dissapoiting both himself and the fans. His confidence must have been shattered! I still feel sorry for the lad, what happend that day I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy.

    But still, what that did to him seems to have made serious scars. He now has a desperate need for positive attention. His interview a month ago was pretty decent, and made me feel sorry for him. But still I felt he was really rubbing the butter there, it looked a
    little false for me. Not his injury hell, that we all know, but I still felt he added some odd things which were spesificly laid there just to make people feel sorry for him. Show compassion for the great Mr. Hargreaves. He knows people wouldn’t really have faith in his talents if he went to West Brom or some other shit club, so his mind was set on City. And now his manic need for compassion makes him lie. Lie to everyone, but worst off himself. He speaks against himself, against what he said less than a month ago! :roll: It’s shocking really. Not even a disturbed child does that. But the lad seriously needs some help, he isn’t in a serious mental state. He will do everything so the City fans will like him, but he has become so fucking stupid he thinks people won’t be able to dig up his lies. I mean, you’re a fucking footballer, everything you say and do will be on paper. Fuck up, and people will have the material to make your pain endless! The lad is fucking stupid, and I actually fear for his health. His mental state isn’t good enough, even Carlos Tevez isn’t that dumb!!! He’s a cunt, but it’s a cunt I feel sad for. It’s like the ugly, child abused girl who goes to sleep with everyone and eventually gets herpes and shit, then loses her hair and skin and then dies. Dies, and with a death greater than life.

    Hargo, fuck off. You curly haired cunt, if you continues to fuck up we will make you wish death. A real man should possess dignity and bravery, not being mentally unstable and an compassion-addict. You’re just fucking sad. Cry yourself to sleep Hargo, cause the sadness you feel right now may just be the happiest moment you’ll have for the reminder of your life…

    • Mate, I’m sorry but that is just so fucking out of line. There is nothing I hate more than the tunnel vision impaired fan who only wants to see things from one perspective and that is the one that supports the team. I think the Hargo situation has room to associate blame on both sides and to look at the United way of dealing with injuries, which if I am frank and honest, is not that impressive of a track record of late.

      Hargo was and is one of my very favorite players and although I am gutted that he signed for City and that he is now speaking out of disappointment and bitterness, I understand where he is coming from but I also understand United’s reason for finally giving up on him. Fact is, and do not forget this, he wanted to stay and was willing to play for nothing. So before you open your dumb trap and call him a curly haired cunt, understand the story from both sides. It wasn’t that long ago when you praised him and his curly locks and wanted to bare his kids. Don’t be so fickle and in this case so intolerant of a poor bloke trying to save his career and ask the hard questions about what United physicians were doing to him. Read my post about the shots I take and the one’s that led to my mother’s death and then consider placing the Hargo situation in proper perspective. Jealousy will get you nowhere and watching him do well at City is chewing at you and everyone else much more than his medical claims at United. Amazing how fans can turn on a player so easily. :roll: :roll:

      • Don’t call me dumb, you are better than that.

        Secondly, yes I felt really sorry for him and admired they guy. I loved him when he was at United, and his interview about a month ago gave me a great deal of respect and compassion for him. But now, he turns out to be a liar, using the media as a source for attention?? That’s fucking wrong! I didn’t have too much of a problem with him joining City, although it was disrespectful I could see why he did it. It’s a good career choice, and although it means he won’t play every game he wouldn’t have done so anyway, both because of his injury record and his mental health.

        And fucks sake mate, how can you think I am jealous of the guy? :roll: That’s sad… Really sad. Although he is a football player, I would do everything to avioid having his career. An injury nightmare like that, jeez! And his goal against Birmingham was good, you could see from his celebration it meant a great deal to him. I wasn’t happy for him, but I didn’t hate him for it either. I simply just didn’t care, as long as he doesn’t score any goals which affect United negativly I won’t give a fuck about the lad. He is history!

        And he asked to play for free? Mate, have you even read the two interviews? In his latest interview he says that we forced him to play despite having two muscle injuries, that the medical staff treated him like shit, and that he didn’t want to stay at United, whereas in his first interview he said he was the one who wanted to play against Wolves. He desperately wanted to play that game and prove his fitness, and the United medical staff and him had become great fans. He had a lot of respect for them. And he said he wanted to play for free. That Hargreaves I had respect for, or at least compassion.

        But now he turns out to be just a fucking liar addicted to attention. I still don’t have a problem with him signing for City as he won’t do fuck in his football career anyway! I am dissapointed he sunk so low, attacking his friends. Imagine you being in the United medical staff! You have taken care of a player for 3 fucking years, given it your all so he will be fit. You’ve even become friends, and gained his respect. Then all of a sudden he tells the world that you fucked with him, that you basically just used the lad, that you are evil and talantless, and that you don’t have respect from your friend. What the fuck is that?? Seriously, what the fuck is that shit??? That fucking shit I don’t understand, and that shit is what I have a problem with. Fuck Hargo mate, I thought he was a decent lad and shouldn’t have sunk so low.

        And yeah you talk about your injury record, but then ask me what I know of my own. My friends, family, coaches who have been proffesional footballers in the past, having to retire because of injuries. I know how Hargo has felt, and I am not supportive of the injection parts. But the lad wanted to fucking play, what I’ve gotten from his interviews ever since 2008 he was the one who begged to play. I don’t know if you remember, but before the Arsenal game in April 2008 he wasn’t supposed to play. He had featured against Roma and was in no state to play two games in a week, so Fergie wanted to rest him. What did Hargo do? He begged to play, and was willing to take injections just so that could happend. I mean, fucking COME ON!!! He was desperate to play football and he loved the game, and I won’t call him a stupid cunt for it as I probably would have done the same as him. I mean, who can possibly predict that such small things can affect your entire career? Hindsight is a great thing to have, but I can remember Fergie saying in November 2008 that he would have Hargreaves in his Champions League squad because he could make a difference. We all know the rest….

        • You’re not jealous of Hargo, you are jealous that City got him and not us. And you say don’t call you dumb? Jeez mate, you know I like you a lot but seriously, your comments regarding him are ridiculous bordering on outrageous. He is a professional footballer and you want him to act like a personal slave to the club. So according to you he needs to hang his boots up if United no longer want him and refuse any interest other big clubs have in him? He wasn’t disloyal to United in the least and neither were United to him. They releasing him was a business decision and he signing with City was a business decision. Do not expect players in modern football to feel or live by the tribal nonsense of supporters. It’s not going to happen because at heart footballers are all mercenaries and in most cases players playing for a specific club did not grow up supporting that club which makes it easier to leave.

          I just think it sucks that you show your man love towards the player for so long but as soon as he signs for another team you do not fancy you act like scorned wife. It’s laughable. Ronaldo was my favorite and although I was gutted and pissed off he left for Madrid I still wished him well and have supported him and followed his career there because frankly, he thrilled me enough and did enough in a United shirt to make me respect him and like him from afar.

          Listen mate, neither you nor I are Manchester or Salford born and so this territorial and color rivalry is not as embedded in our dna as it is in others from that region. So when we act like our basement was ransacked and robbed I just find it a bit silly. I am all for loyalty but I also am big on maturity and practicality and some United fans lack common sense and understanding when it comes to our past players going to other teams. It’s ok if our manager cuts them loose before their time or even after but if they want to still continue playing, they almost have to ask us fans for permission to play at so n so a place? Get over yourself, you aren’t that important to Owen Hargreaves, or David Beckham, or RVN, or Roy Keane, or Jaap Stam, or Phil Neville or Nicky Fucking Butt. Players have the right to feel bitter and feel betrayed just like you do. And they have the right to speak out if they feel an injustice has been done to them. They may be right or wrong but then again you might be right or wrong also. Sorry my friend, but in this case you are most certainly wrong, fickle and and a bit of a back stabber to boot. One minute you love and drool over the player and the next you call him a curly haired cunt. That speaks terribly of your compassion, sympathy and appreciation or respect. His injuries were serious mate, he didn’t want to leave and he was pushed into playing by taking dangerous shots which I can attest to as not being ion his best interest, yet you hold a grudge just because he didn’t cow down to fan pressure to hang up his boots if United no longer wanted him? You’re wrong, simple as that. Seriuously, I really hate the tribal and silly nature of fickle fans who can celebrate a man who plays for them for say five seasons and then is cut loose and hated after he signs for a team the fans deem as off limits. Get over yourselves I say to those naive bastards. He has a right to do what he needs to do to put food on his table, full stop.

        • Wanting to play and allowing them to take chances or liberties with his body are two different things. I want to be pain free also but I won’t agree to a procedure that could kill me in the process of trying to help me either. And I will not allow myself to be a guinea pig for any new and untested method.

      • Grog you are the King of U Turns mate. I am with Eddi on this one – Hargo is a King sized prick of the highest order!

        • I am with Eddy and Craig Grog, you are King U-turn…

        • Awwww – we all still love you around here Grog, we just differ on Hargo outburst that’s all mate :-D . So don’t go OFF ON ONE Grog – that my field of expertise these days, I’m the king of going OFF ON ONE lately :lol: .

          Guys WTF are we made to play our game at some ungodly hour again – sick of this lot? Who do you think will be our defence today – hope Smalling is fit, because Rio is dodgy with his persistent injuries these days. Nemanjah does not look like playing until well after Christmas, he is not anywhere near ready to even train at the moment :cry: . Who will play today? I hate to say this but I think it should be Berba and Rooney to start with because against Stoke we need Berba who is good at keeping and holding the ball up. Please GOD don’t let it be Rooney up front on his own against a giant Stoke defensive wall – thankyou!

        • Don’t go off on one eh?, sorry but I already have. You guys are all whacked. You act like your club is life and death and I’m sorry but I and Hargo come from a culture and country that enjoys and loves it’s sports but never ever reacts this way when a player changes clubs.

          We just aren’t that tribal and that emotional. Did we go ape shit against Gretzky when his team traded him to LA for money and players? No. He was playing for a division rival but we never turned on him just because his team never wanted him. And Gretzky although very professional was very bitter. He accused the owner of a lot and the fans backed the player through all of that. In football culture the club can be owned by assholes and the fans will continue to back the club and burn the player in effigy. This is wrong. Like I was trying to say, but so many of you ignored to suit your hateful mantra, injection or shots are dangerous and can have very harmful effects on a person but that seems to not be important if the player joins the enemy.

          He was injected with damaging shots, and then cut loose despite the fact he wanted to stay and even play for nothing, but that counts for nothing and shows no loyalty in all your cold hearts and minds. Instead you act out and insult him for being honest and questioning medical staff who frankly have a track record of questionable or incompetent medical practice from the recent past. But whats this I say? Blasphemy. I questioned our medical staff, oh my God, shoot me now too. All the positives I have thrown towards the club and for the club go out the window now. I am a turncoat who does U-TURNS. Well thanks a lot for that. I should expect loyalty from my friends on here the way Hargo should expect it I guess. Some of you blokes would disown a relative if they wore blue or the wrong shade of red and it just sounds so fucking ridiculous to a person who just hasn’t been brought up with suchj tribal nonsense flowing in his blood. Sorry but I call it as I see it. I just do not relate to your feelings of betrayal and your lack of understanding and sympathy towards a player that previously wore our shirt with great pride but was then unceremoniously hung out to dry and sabotaged in the process.

          We are for too trusting of authority and professionals and my mother’s death was on me for not knowing better than to trust these assholes in authority who felt they knew what they were doing. Hargo’s pain and suffering gives him the right to bitch and whine and feel as bitter as he likes. He had to live through it all, not any of you.

        • Chill…..watch the game :D

  • I feel sorry for footballers, and I feel sorry for clubs who have such sorry footballers. This is why I’m so fucking proud of United. Fergie is such a great man-manager, his players are always great and ambition people. No way he would let lunatics like Balotelli, Hargo and Tevez play for this club(I think this is why he let both the latter two leave, they seem to need phsycologial help). He isn’t a deluded, frog-genital sucking French arsehole like those kids down in London have as a manager. He isn’t a statisticly wrong person, or waitor, or whatever the fuck Rafa is. Could have been an alien with that fat tubby and his goat-like beard, not to speak of his land like movements which look like a man posessed by a dehydrated fish. He may have a red nose, need anger management at times, or even have a go with them conspiracy theories at the System when they fuck up majorly… But he’s always right the man. He knows what he’s doing. He knows who his lads are, he knows what he wants, and he knows how to get it.

    Fuck City. Fuck Liverpool. Fuck Chelsea. And fuck that red, frog bleeding ARSEhole down in London… They can all lick my fucking nuts, children the whole fucking bunch of them. Just kids with money, not knowing hos to spend them or what’s best for them. Confused sons of bitches. So full of talent, but with a brain no bigger than the size of the grain of salt on a peanut. :roll: Thank God United have some fucking role models, I mean even Ando and Nani have settled down these days! Fergie is the fucking Hitch of football, bet he could have hooked even ugly ass Dirk Kuyt with a female creature! The man works wonders, long live Fergie!

    • If you continue in your football career I seriously and sincerely hope you never end up in an organization that betrays your confidence in them to help you through injury properly. And if they don’t, then you will just take their abuse and neglect as par for the course and never say a thing against them. Yes lets blame footballers because clubs are run by complete angels and never do a self serving or wrong thing ever. Christ you are betraying your own kind and are so naive mate. You seriously disappoint me with your blind mindset.

  • @Nuevo- I love Tarantino to bits. He’s so clever and “sudden”. That’s a big,big compliment. Who’d make your top 3?

    @OPTI- I’ve come to understand that with everything, a balance is required. But I’ve also acknowledge that you can never please everyone entirely. The “pop culture” references are a result of the fact that, with anything you do, you leave traces of your bias and character. Cinema is part of my bias. And while stats make for good analysis,they’re still boring numbers, even for accountants like me. And others don’t believe in stats anyway. So it’s an impossible balance to obtain. I kinda get what you mean though.

    @Colver- much of the content was done before both the Benfica and Chelsea games. Regardless, a deeper analysis of those 2 games would have meant 3 or so more paragraphs. Even for me that’s simply bad and it also takes away the whole overview idea. I was hoping to discuss it more in the comments because I really have some concerns of late.

    @Grognard & Eddy- thanx for the complimentary comments. Greatly appreciate

    • Sorry did not get what you meant by top 3? i assume its top 3 players but will put down my other guesses as well :)

      Top 3 Players for the month: 1) Nani 2)Young 3)Jones
      Top 3 Directors(hollywood only): 1) Christopher Nolan 2) Tarantino 3)Scorsese
      Top 3 Tarantino Pics? 1) Pulp Fiction 2)Reservoir Dogs 3) Death Proof

  • Fuck Bitches, get money, score goals, become a phony
    Don’t know where you’re from, boy you’re a loon
    Story so tragic it could’ve been a cartoon
    Canadian, English, do you know what you are?
    Doubt it you cunt, go get drunk at the bar

    Eat my shit, lick my balls, that curly head of yours I will punch through some walls
    Thought you were strong, but boy you was wrong
    Not even half a man, go home wear a thong
    Hargo you bitch, good luck, break a leg
    Come October 23rd you’ll wish you were dead

  • @ Eddy- the Hargreaves issue is really strange. He is bitter and no one is perfect. He’s probably misdirecting his bitterness. But he may have a point concerning the effects. I remember when he was still at United, there was an interview he did and he was speaking about his frustrations. He explained how he had to play through pain, even after injections. He was talking about how he couldn’t even drive after matches. So the question is, is it not detrimental to give a player injections, that block pain and inflammation but whilst he is not completely healed.

    The same thing has happened to Steven Gerrard. During Rafa Benitez era they injected him a lot. Now he seems to struggle with injuries. But the timing of OH is bad and his comments ill advised. We did make a more than generous effort in treating and rehabilitation. He could at least say thanx for that@ Eddy- the Hargreaves issue is really strange. He is bitter and no one is perfect. He’s probably misdirecting his bitterness. But he may have a point concerning the effects. I remember when he was still at United, there was an interview he did and he was speaking about his frustrations. He explained how he had to play through pain, even after injections. He was talking about how he couldn’t even drive after matches. So the question is, is it not detrimental to give a player injections, that block pain and inflammation but whilst he is not completely healed.

    The same thing has happened to Steven Gerrard. During Rafa Benitez era they injected him a lot. Now he seems to struggle with injuries. But the timing of OH is bad and his comments ill advised. We did make a more than generous effort in treating and rehabilitation. He could at least say thanx for that

    • As I said I actually understand Hargo. The injections have only did him bad, but where my problem lies is with him telling the world that we forced them on him. Thing is, he was the one who asked from them! Fergie must have held talks with him, asking him how vital that and that game has been for him, taking his answer into account and then taken a decision along with the medical staff. We all know he was the one who asked to play, get those injections, so why does he now blame our medical staff for his own mistakes?? That’s what baffles me about this, and makes me lose my entire respect for him.

      At home I’ve got United magazines dating all the way back to 2002. I occasionally read them, sometimes just to catch up with what was the common opinion back then, and sometimes as my sources. When he first signed he didn’t say antyhing about his muscle injuries, everything was about his leg break. Then as the season went on, he kept telling people he was so desperate to play for United he would do anything, even play through injuries. Because he loved playing football for this club. We knew he was taking injections a long way back, as far away back as February 2008 really, as he admitted it himself. But he thought it was a good idea, he was the one who wanted it because there were certain games he wanted to play no matter how painful! This must have went on sometime, and as I said I feel sorry for him, but the lad is a total douche without a single inch of self-respect. Lost all the love I had for him, as a player but especially as a man.

  • Wow jay! Now thats some entertaining read..top top article. though like everyone else,the jevans stats have surprised me. maybe people will appreciate him more now. i love the phil jones kid, he’s made me question my sexuality. I’d still love to see him used as a dm when vid comes back, he’ll learn more bout positioning and being aware of players running behind him on his blind side,a weakness that torres maxd on.were it not for his poor finishing i think last wknds results would have been something different. Lookin forward to stoke this afternoon. We’ll again win but not as easy, predo 4 2

  • Jay Wire I look forward to reading your further comments about the Benfica and Chelsea games. I am glad you also have concerns about those performances despite the fact the results were exactly what we wanted from those games.

    Hargreaves is bitter but it is unfair to turn on him. He is clearly disappointed his career at Old Trafford did not work out. I have never supported the use of injections in the modern game. Fact is he came to us injured and was never given a chance to fully heal from that injury. Of course the player is going to want to play. It is the medical staff with their so called expertise who should know better and say “Look you cannot play because you are still carrying an injury”.

    Hargreaves injury status has nothing to do with him. It has everything to do with bad luck and the medical treatment he has received. The only issue is “Was the medical treatment optimum?” If yes then it was simply “Bad luck”. If no then Hargreaves has a valid complaint. Blaming the player for playing through injury is ridiculous.

    • If a player plays through injury then it’s his mistake. Especially under Fergie. The only player I’ve ever seen this club use while injured is Wayne Rooney, against Bayern in 2010, and Rio. Rio has multiple times said he lied about his fitness because he was desperate to play, and thought he could come through it. And Wazza, well we were desperate for a striker in that game. We only had a low-confidence Berba ready for the home leg against Bayern, so we just had to use Rooney really. In the end Nani went up on top playing as striker, not Berba, which says it all really… But when we had Hargo, at least during the latter stages of the season, we could have used Carrick, Ando, Scholes, Fletch and Giggsy in his absence. There was no desperate need for him to play, at least not ruin his career because of an injury. It’s his fault. Fergie will never play a player against his will, at least not if someone isn’t fit enough to do.

      I don’t know if you guys remember, but during the latter stages of the 2006/07 season we had 12 first-team players absent to injury. For the home leg against Milan, we had Rio, Vidic, Saha, Solskjær, Neville and even Richardson all out. Rio said he had come to Fergie, begging him to play because he felt he was fit, but Fergie wouldn’t let him. Our defence that day was O’shea-Brown-Heinze-Evra. We all know what a catastrophy that was! I highly doubt Fergie would ever mistreat Hargo in that way, and the fact that he comes out and says that our fitness coaches and medical staff can’t be trusted, are unproffesional, and that Fergie would ruin his career just for the sake of one game, is unreal!! :roll: That’s why I have such a problem with this situation, calling Manchester United an unproffesional club and Fergie a bad person isn’t acceptable in my eyes.

  • WHat a classy guy

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2041153/Carlo-Ancelotti-loves-English-football.html

    Who wouldnt wanna see him as our next manager? Might be possible as well, given how friendly Fergie is with him

  • We have been drawn away to Aldershot in the carling cup next round…

  • Just read the ACTUAL interview and it seems the media misquoted hargo to make for a more interesting read and to sell more papers.”united used me like a guinea pig” was “sometimes i had to act like a guinea pig”. Seems like we as fans just wait for the slightest opportunity to get on a players back.Just read the ACTUAL interview and it seems the media misquoted hargo to make for a more interesting read and to sell more papers.”united used me like a guinea pig” was “sometimes i had to act like a guinea pig”. Seems like we as fans just wait for the slightest opportunity to get on a players back.

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