Sep 21

Title rivals go head-to-head

Tag: Manchester United,Match Preview @ 5:21 pm

Robin-van-Persie-Manchester-United-Manchester_2872334Four games in, and United and City are level at 7 points. Predictions for City this season are sky high with conventional wisdom that Pellegrini will be able to steady the club, and increased spending expected to turn into points.

This is a team many expect to win the title or come very close. City have had a fairly soft start when compared to United, and have looked unconvincing without Kompany. An embarrassing loss to Cardiff and a nervy draw against Stoke show a City side with serious flaws.

Despite fear of a disastrous start of Moyes’ United tenure with such a difficult schedule to begin, United are only 3 points back of the top spot and level with City. Despite a disappointing loss to Liverpool, and a cagey draw against Chelsea, a big win over Swansea, and a very comfortable win over Chrystal Palace have United looking solid if not spectacular.

The addition of Fellaini adds a completely new dimension to the team and unlocks so much potential in this side. His defensive abilities are widely talked about and his aerial abilities as well, but his intelligent penetrating passes through the center were a dimension sorely lacking before and add a major new source of attack against opposing sides. Given the first 4 games advantage goes to United.

Both teams come off European games, with United winning 4-2 against Bayer Leverkusen, and City winning 3-0 over Viktoria Plzen. United managed a commanding victory over a German squad only 1 point inferior to Borussia Dortmund last season in the Bundesliga.

Bayer are a talented team, and in the Premier League would be a contender for a top spot. Fellaini was fantastic in midfield contributing enormously in defense. Many times you could see him drift right where the pressure was headed and force the ball in a different position, not to mention his defensive headers. Most impressive was his steady supply of penetrating forward passes, slotting passes comfortably between defenders to pick out advanced players and put pressure on. This is in stark contrast to Cleverley who has struggled with that type of vision or forward impetus.

It’s simple, it’s not flashy, but having a midfielder capable of moving the ball up the center of the pitch without sending the ball out wide or resorting to backpasses makes a world of difference in the tempo of the game.

Swansea City v Manchester United - Premier LeagueCity on the other hand played a much smaller club in Viktoria Plzen. This was a disappointing, boring, tedious game to watch. A game in which Viktoria came out looking to draw blood. This should have been the makings of an interesting David and Goliath contest. Unfortunately, Viktoria were hopelessly inept in the final third. Despite the ball being whipped repeatedly into the City box, there was virtually no real threat. It’s hard to imagine a team sending so much pressure towards an opposing goal with so little cutting edge. As astounding as that was, it was even topped by the discomfort of City at the back. I cannot credit City with a fine defensive display. A formula quickly developed where Viktoria ran at City’s goal like a dog chasing a stick, whipped the ball in towards a player incredibly open, and missed them entirely, or connected, and somehow had the player fail to make any meaningful attack. Watching Van Persie turn crosses vaguely in his vicinity into goals, I can safely say that had Viktoria Plzen had Van Persie at the head of that attack Viktoria would have won 12-0, Kompany would have spontaneously combusted, and Joe Hart would have retired to a quiet country existence on an apple butter farm.

Biggest players to watch for me are Fellaini and Kompany.

United need something different in the center of the park, and at Bayer Fellaini looked the part. He was patient on the ball, his vision in passing was good, his defending was excellent. This is the ideal game for him to step up and prove that he is United quality, to lift this team. Rooney, or very likely Van Persie will get the main credit for scoring, but if Fellaini can keep the United center composed in games of this size as he did against Bayer, the potential achievements of this team increase dramatically. Is Kompany back to full health? The defensive performance against Plzen was far from convincing and there was the feeling that with a slightly better performance, and with slightly better finishing(both of which were dire), City could have been embarrassed.

United are a whole different beast from Plzen. If Kompany is a little hesitant, a little tired, this is a City defense struggling, and a team of United’s quality will not go goalless if they stumble.

I see United playing largely the same side, possibly with Welbeck or Zaha playing in place of Kagawa. This side looks very dangerous in front of goal, and with Fellaini in the center of the pitch they look calm and composed, holding the ball and distributing well. Smalling was excellent in defense. Having Fellaini, Smalling, and Ferdinand in against set pieces is a calming thought. It’s a battle between two new managers, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see shades of United v. Chelsea with neither wanting to lose. What separates these two sides is confidence. On the strength of their wins over Chrystal Palace and Bayer, and the addition of Fellaini, I figure United to overpower City’s defense and break down a cautious side. With plenty of firepower City are likely to score, but I don’t see City controlling this game. This is a new United midfield with an entirely new feel, playing like they’ve been together for years, and I don’t see the consistency in City’s midfield to overcome Fellaini’s influence, United’s strong back four, and United’s massive attacking abilities.

Prediction 2-1 United win.

Ben


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Tags: Manchester United · Match Preview

99 Responses to “Title rivals go head-to-head”

  • I must readily admit that I think United are definitely in better shape than City.

    But they will be up for it tomorrow so I think gets tossed out the window a little bit. . .

    I agree that Fellaini certainly adds more going forward than Cleverley. He is the buy of the season for sure. Not much of an achievement when considering that he is the only buy of the season.

    But he is awesome none the less.

    He is a massive presence in midfield and provides our attacking four a solid platform upon which to push forward.

    Its almost chalk and cheese the comparison between him and Cleverley.

    Kompany is back from injury sooner than expected. I had rather hoped that he would still be out of action come the Manchester derby.

    Tomorrow could very well be a cagey affair as you say with both managers not wanting to lose. I also thought of that. Pellegrini has lost too many already in his opening four games. Losing to the champions he’s trying to dislodge would be catastrophic for him at this point in the campaign.

    So he will definitely welcome a draw.

    I won’t get my hopes up about seeing Zaha on the pitch tomorrow. If I was a betting man I would put my money on Valencia and Young manning the wings.

    RVP and Rooney take front and centre.

    Fellaini and Carrick are their supporting cast.

    With Evra, Vidic, Ferdinand and possibly Smalling making up the wall at the back.

    David De Gea takes his usual spot as the last line of defence. . .

  • “I don’t see the consistency in City’s midfield to overcome Fellaini’s influence”

    Ben it amuses me to see a line like this on this website.

    I have been advocating for the purchase of Marouane Fellaini for some time now and one of the most popular responses was “Is he United quality?”

    Many felt that he is just not good enough.

    So it tickles me that in just the short period of one and a half games has he transformed into our difference maker in the biggest game of our season so far. . .

    • City are a side brimming with talent, but it just takes more to be a great team. You would expect a team like City to be off and running right now, but they look troubled, they look lost at times, like they don’t feel comfortable playing together yet. That takes time to build. My feeling is that this game will be too big for City. City have had an easy run of games, and looked unimpressive, and United have had a very rough run of games and looked reasonably solid. Moyes has to be looking forward a bit past this match and liking his chances of picking up plenty of points. With a great result against Bayer Leverkusen this is a team primed for a big win.

  • Think Wellbeck is still injured so i think we could see Kagawa on the left ahead of Young, although it would be a pleasant surprise to see Nani. Toure v Fellani may be epic … if they collide hold on to your seats

  • I think you’re right about this being a good time to face citeh. They are banged up and their transition from Mancini to Pellagrini is probably more disruptive to them, than our big change, with SAF -> DM.

    Good dipstick for this United team. A top six club (citeh) and a good result against them has much more import than a 2-0 win over Palace – who will probably be relegated.

    I do think we have a good chance tommorrow. I hope the Rooney/RVP parnership continues to bloom snd that they will overcome the weakness’ we have at the back.
    I back your prediction – 2-1 United!

  • I am missing the game due to family commitments and work intersecting and squeezing out my beloved football club’s biggest game so far this season!!!! 8-O ! 8-O ! 8-O ! :cry: :cry:

    I will take the non-Solomonesque position that the game will be a 0-0 bore draw so that I didn’t “miss” anything :) :-P

  • If Mourinho was made manager of united he might have banished RVP to play with reserves!!! Thank God SAF had the foresight to ignore his flirtations with united and chose DM instead who has since rejuvenated Rooney!!!

    One guy (so called world class manager) has totally screwed chelsea’s best player for two years running and the other guy (so called novice one who has won nothing) has brought back our best player back to form. perspective!

  • tonymontanna4united

    I really hope we go for it, because tbh as others have said, I haven’t been very impressed with city thus far, and I think they’ve made a rather slow start under Pellegrini.
    Something along the lines of the below side, and I think we can come out of this with a positive result, just please no bloody Young or Giggs or this really will be a long afternoon.

    —Carrick–Fellaini—
    Valencia—Rooney—Nani
    ———–RVP———-

    That’s a side that will cause problems for city and imo get a positive result.

  • tonymontanna4united

    Ah fuck. Team announced, Rvp out, supposedly injured :evil: Fuck fuck fuck :(
    Team really doesn’t look up to much if I’m honest:

    De Gea, Smalling, Rio, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Fellaini, Valencia, Welbeck, Young, Rooney.

    Too cautious for me. I’m sick of seeing both Young and Valencia in the team every week. Valencia should have probably kept his place after a decent performance on Tuesday, but we really should have gone with Nani on the left for his goal threat over bloody Young, as there’s really very little outside of Rooney.
    Contrast that to city who have started all 4 of Nasri, Navas, Aguero and Negredo.
    Really not up for this now, think it’s going to be one of those days.

  • Team news: De Gea-Smalling, Rio, Vidic, Evra-Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Young-Welbeck, Rooney

    Whatever you say about Mourinho, DM seems to have an unexplainable penchant for Ashley Young, who is probably our worst player, and continues to drop Luis Nani who is one of our best players.

    I am also very concerned that Chicharito and Zaha and Januzaj are getting so little game time.

    The problem is that Moyes does not seem to like flair.

    Fellaini is a good signing as we do need some grit in the middle of the park.

    But he seems to be following Ferguson’s approach of playing defensive wingers who will work hard running up and down the flanks all day long even if there is little end product for it.

    Essentially all the creative burden is placed on Rooney. It is true that occasionally Young or Valencia will whip in a good cross. But with disciplined defending it is incredibly easy to keep those players quiet.

    Moyes is playing it safe

    • tonymontanna4united

      @colver: At Everton last year, the majority of the time they lined up with Pienaar and Mirallis on the wings, 2 players known more for their ability with the ball and creating chances for their team mates rather than their work rate, so it’s annoying he’s resorted to such negativity here.
      I hope it’s just a case of safety first because he’s new into the job and isn’t wanting to take too many risks initially and in time he will be more bold in his decisions.
      I hope so anyway because I was really hoping for something more positive with a new man in charge, because quite frankly our football the last few years has been horrendously negative, and it’s time improvements were made there.

    • @colver: I said I was going to try to be positive about Moyes but he is making it hard for me to be positive.

      I don’t think Moyes doesn’t like flair. I suspect he is not sophisticated enough to know anything about it.

      He is a work hard kind of man as opposed to a work smart kind of man.

      So on Sunday he fielded a team that would huff and puff but I seriously question the logic/wisdom of playing unskilled work horses like Welbeck, Cleverley, Young and Valencia over the the finesse and guile of Nani, Januzaj, Kagawa and Zaha.

      Has Moyes never heard of the saying ‘The best form of defense is attack’

      Kompany looked massive yesterday. But I think thats only because he was facing the likes of Welbeck and Valencia.

      In the big games we always seem to see the talentless hustlers prefered to the not so high-octane creative wizards.

      Its a heavy indictment on Manchester United because it says essentially that we now longer know how to play football.

      So we default to brute force tactics or yester years legends who once did know how to play football. . .

  • Give me strength, no Kagawa no Nani, Welbeck and Young…
    Man up David, play to win.

  • tonymontanna4united

    Well there you go. Half time, we haven’t looked in the game one fucking bit and it’s all but game over now. Utterly dismal performance.
    But then how many of us are surprised considering the team we put out today.
    Why is it us fans know before the game’s even started, that starting the likes of Young, Valencia & Welbeck together in the first 11 against a side like city is only going to end in disaster, and yet the top brass can’t.
    Why did Fergie seem to utterly adore such players and start them so regularly?
    Why does Moyes seem to be following suit and can’t seem to look past them despite being abysmal most weeks, overlooking the actually united quality players like Nani, Kagawa, Januzaj, Zaha etc?
    It’s just sad really and seems to be a sign of the declining standards of this club, that such players are considered good enough to play for this club and in a game of this magnitude.
    Januzaj isn’t ready supposedly- Oh and Young supposedly is yeah :roll:
    Nani is inconsistent- Yeah, so much more inconsistent than Young or Valencia or Rooney for that matter right :roll:
    This isn’t an attack on Moyes per se, as things were like this under Fergie too. It’s just a massive disappointment to me that things are still the same in this respect, as I really did believe under a new
    manager that things might have been taken a turn for the better in certain areas. Silly me eh :roll:

    • @tonymontanna4united: Sorry about it Tony.

      I also hoped that after Fergie stepped down a new younger manager would see the light and be more imaginative and bold in his selections.

      But it truly is a massive indictment against Manchester United that in the big games we turn to the talentless work horses like Young, Welbeck, Valencia and Cleverley while we let the real talent languish on the bench.

      How can Welbeck, Young, Valencia and Cleverley get selected ahead of Zaha, Nani, Kagawa and Januzaj?

      Do you know what that says to me?

      It says we just don’t know how to play football anymore and so in the big games we choose to huff and puff our way through instead of put together any intelligent game plan.

      Our only strategy against the biggest teams in the world is to out run them and out work them.

      A more astute manager would find a place for skilled craftsmen like Zaha, Kagawa, Januzaj and Nani.

      But the workman like stuff we’ve seen of late says that our top brass can’t think creatively at all.

      Its disappointing.

      Its embarrassing.

      And its scary because what world class talent is gonna want to play for us when they know that they are likely to eat bench while talentless English players like Young and Welbeck are gonna get the nod ahead of them regardless.

  • So then much so expected… another pathetic performance… i just dont get the logic that even after playing defensive useless wingers n cowardly tactics if we are conceding then why not at least play the attaking players at least we will have little chance of drawing if not winning… its jus cowardly n pathetic beyond imagination… :-x

    • tonymontanna4united

      @Onkar: We’re gonna have to go for it now, or else we’re going to get utterly humiliated.
      Nani and Kagawa at the very least should be on at half time for Welbeck and Young, Valencia can go to RB for all he offers offensively.
      Young especially putting in one of the worst recent performances I can remember in a United shirt. How many shitty crosses did he put in that went straight out for a goal kick :roll:
      One of Fergie’s worst ever signings, just so totally out of his depth.

      • @tonymontanna4united: Young is totally out of his depth but the received wisdom is that Adnan Januzaj would drown at this level.

        Poor judgement. Just poor poor judgement in my book.

        Its Paul Pogba time for Adnan Januzaj. He is good enough. Age has nothing to do with it.

    • @Onkar: Attack is the best form of defense.

      But sadly Moyes seems to be too afraid to remember that. . .

  • Young is fucking shit

  • Tony bro things would have changed only if manager had enough courage… such cowardly manager who sets his team not to loose all the time will not have that courage to make such changes.,.
    For gods sake Loudrup shows more enterprise n courage with his swansea team then DM shows with so called title contenders… DM jua doesnt have winning mentality… Nuff said…. :-x :-x :-x :-x

    • tonymontanna4united

      @Onkar: I was obviously naive to believe anything different would come of it mate.
      Your right, maybe Moyes just doesn’t have the balls to make those changes, especially with Fergie lurking in the background.

    • @Onkar: It looks to me that after five games Laudrup would definately have been a better manager.

      Moyes doesn’t look like he knows how to go for it.

      He doesn’t look like he knows how to win.

      And worst of all he doesn’t even look interested in trying to win.

      Mr play it safe has ZERO imagination.

  • tonymontanna4united

    3-0 now. Fuck this. This is gonna be another fucking 6-1 :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

  • tonymontanna4united

    Fucking 4-0 now. This is a mother fucking joke. Pathetic.

  • tonymontanna4united

    If there is to be one positive taken out of this, then I hope it’s that we will never go into another game like this starting the likes of Valencia, Young and Welbeck together again. Surely Moyes won’t put his faith in this sort of shitty line up again after the amount of shit he’s going to get after this. Fucking surely.
    I really am scraping the barrel here I know, but this is just so fucking tragic, things have to change here on in if we want anything other than barely scraping 4th.

  • Moyes is an idiot. City usually have the best of us in midfield so it was suicide to play a 4-4-2. Our best chance was to load the midfield and play Rooney on his own upfront supported by Nani and Welbeck on the wings.

    That is why I was clamouring for us to buy Hernandez AND Fellaini so we could have the option of occasionally playing a 4-5-1 in the big games.

    • @colver: Moyes has done nothing to show me that he has any tactical know how.

      Time will tell.

      But right now he looks to me that at a club like United the highest post he should have reached is assistant manager and nothing more. . .

  • You r right mate… May be having Fergie involved is something which also an issue in my books… Its Sir Matt Busby all over again… May his shadows are making DM choosing defensive players more…
    Whatever, but its fucking pathetic.. just feel like throwing something on my TV right than watching this spineless display…

  • I have no problem in loosing but loosing n this manner with such spineless display is just not accepatable…

  • Tony if you feel that this result will make DM change his attitude towards the team selection then you are sadly mistaken… thats never going to happen… He is too coward to do so… worse is he may turn this team into another everton with Felliani Up as AM … You said barely fourth… i said here only after chelsea game that we would be lucky to finish in top four …. n i stand by that….

    • tonymontanna4united

      @Onkar: I know mate, I’m scraping the barrel and tbh just watching how the final 30 minutes panned out, not bringing on Nani, Kagawa or Hernandez to try and make a go of it just makes me think that the guy doesn’t have it in him to make those brave decisions.
      I really fucking hope not, because as I’ve been screaming the last 4 years now, I would take a year or 2 of transition, not being in the running for the titles if it meant
      a) we started giving the likes of Jones, Smalling, Januzaj, Zaha etc their chances in the team ahead of average crap like Young, Valencia etc and
      b) perhaps most importantly, started playing some decent football. Is that really asking too fucking much? Really?

      Looking at it, I think we all had our concerns regarding Moyes and the style of football his team’s played. It has never been great, and he’s always looked like a man who preferred triers and work rate ahead of flair and excitement (although saying that, Everton’s football was better than ours last year which gave me hope).
      Fergie in his last 5 years might have preferred the latter aswell, and might have gotten away with it with some supporters because of what he’d done in the past, but it’s really not been good enough these last few years and has needed improvement.
      I had hoped Moyes might well do just that, and as I’ve said before, from a tactical point of view I’ve been impressed by our pressing tactics in certain games and our ball retention and the quickness at which we win it back.
      But if we’re not going to go all out to win games, and pick players who can create chances ahead of triers and players with work rate, then what’s the point. In the 2 games against the scousers and today, you could tell before a ball had been kicked from the team that was selected, that it had a look to it of one that would take a draw.
      Starting players like Young, Welbeck and Valencia is only going to end in frustration and a lack of decent football, which just isn’t good enough.

      Moyes deserves time, and he hasn’t exactly been left a great squad by Fergie. Fans will forgive him though if it takes a year or 2 to win a trophy. What I and others won’t forgive him for though is playing negative, cowardly football that bores us all to death.
      It’s just not good enough for this club and shouldn’t ever be tolerated.

  • Just look like we haven’t got a clue. What are our tactics in this game?, can someone emlighten me! .Like watching the u13s.

  • Credit to Rooney for not only going into meltdown having been surrounded by an attack of Valencia, Young and Welbeck, but scoring an absolute belter from a free kick he earned himself. Tried to make things happen all over the pitch, albeit in vain. I was flamed when I said he was world class, but clearly he’s more than just a past it fat scouser, and at least pretends to be a striker unlike Welbeck.

    In the past I would be on here tearing the team apart but that was the calmest I watched a footy game for a couple of months now. I called all of this shit the moment Moyes was appointed. Bottom line is that he is a decent manager, but he just isn’t Manchester United material, he was always going to struggle to fill in SAF’s boots. I know Fergie told us to stick by him, but try telling that to the millions of fans worldwide who can just as easily follow another club, which brings me to the business side of things. I’m quite surprised that the Glazers decided to give him a 6 year contract, and it is looking very conceivable that we might finish outside the top 4. That means we either miss out on CL money or pay a high severance package and find an expensive replacement or both. Interesting times ahead.

    I said I was calm but goodness me, Ashley motherfucking Young. WOW.

    • @Moscow: Never written here before but just to say been a United fan for last 25 years. Used to play professionally not top flight Europe (top flight as a player I´d include EPL, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A) per se but 3 very good leagues. Anyways thats here nor there but I have to just wonder of the tactics employed by Mr. Moyes, very questionable. I haven´t read all the posts so I apologize as I´m bout to repeat couple things already mentioned. Very risky to start Fellaini, so early as he s been in the club not even a month, really getting into a new team and truly becoming a part of it takes way longer like hes played against them doesnt mean anything. For him to get used to the flow with ManU and for all the others to get used his game takes a while. This was clear in the 3rd goal when he didn´t pass the player to Ferdinand or didn´t let him know that Aguero was coming, clearly a communication error. I know that they have to keep certain distances and man their own zones but in this case he could have tracked Aguero but didnt. So this was obviously not as clear as the horrific defensive errors by Valencia, leaving Nasri so open for the 4th goal when he already didn´t track in the 1st goal and there were couple other occasions too when his game reading ability was just so off that you just had to wonder. This was not due to his speed endurance since like we can all see hes able to run forever but in tactical point of view very poor performance. I mean just horrendous and for a defender his movement is very predictable, just relying on his acceleration to get pass players is just not good enough. Young on the other hand is better technically and tactically just having hard time right now, clearly low on confidence and just trying too much and in comparison to Valencia he can still improve quite a lot as Valencia is a kind of faster version of what Dirk Kuyt used to be for Liverpool (Not saying Kuyt was bad at all, actually hes a prototype of a player that a coaches want always runs forever, works hard, you know what you get from him always 100%). Id say Valencia cost us the game. Rooney is awesome, some people or a lot will disagree with me but I think hes the most versatile player in the world rite now. Hes really good in any aspect, can play almost every position in the field, technically strong, wonderful free kicks, so strong on and off the ball, tactically very good just wonderful player. Carrick is just I mean I know a lot of people like him and think hes underrated but he just doesnt have it, by that I mean he doesnt have any kind of reactive ability, acceleration, agility. I actually had the pleausure to play against him when he played for West Ham and then at least his passing was way more creative now its a lot of sideways passing and short when forward. I thought that was something that made him stand out, cause it was very firm and precise clearly he was very gifted in that area but his movement is just isnt enough when playing against Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool or any European giants. His weaknesses get really exposed. Kagawa and Hernandez should get more playing time, Kagawa especially just really doesnt make sense, although looking where and how Moyes played Pienaar, so theres definitely a pattern there. Kagawa should start getting more time after last World Cup qualifiers are over and more squad rotation needed. Theres definitely a need for a dominant midfielder, that should be clear and its not Fellaini. Fellaini with somebody or even with Fletcher is way better than with Carrick they dont complement each other in any way at all. I think it just tells something about ManU rite now when Carrick is the first choice as a center midfielder that is just not enough in any way. Januzaj has great potential and should get more time as the season continues. Van Persie and Rooney will take ManU to top 6 if both stay healthy otherwise if not and no new additions come in then it could be no Champions League for ManU next year and that would be a huge huge financial loss.

      • @JLitmanen85: J Lit thanks for sharing some of your wisdom and professional insight.

        Do you think Januzaj could cut it as a central midfielder?

        • @The_Philosopher: I haven´t seen Januzaj play that many times but absolutely have been impressed and I think hes gonna be very good but how good almost always comes down to individuals mental state and soccer as well as any high level professional sport exposes all that weakness or inconsistency. Anyways he definitely has a special skill set, very technical, effortless movement, high soccer iq and good firm passing. Like said I´ve seen him play limited times, against Palace and 5 u-21 games, but it seems that he needs to improve his defending abilities. This most likely has to do more with the overall team tactics as most coaches don´t want their classic 10 position players to do anything else but limit opposing teams passing opportunities and preserve their energy to be able maximally produce when going forward. Especially in Italy certain teams don´t want their 10 position player to do pretty much any defending but for that you have to be considered a huge prospect or already a “5 star player”( at the highest level players are ranked at a 2-point-5 scales as they call it and pretty much once you are able to prove your consistency on that level once, you are pretty much set meaning you´ll always find a team). Managers applying the diamond shape in the midfield, especially with two defensive one attacking Januzaj would fit very well. He´s very good when running at people with pace, poses the technical and all the coordinative ability to do it exceptionally well at full speed. Most importantly he has the confidence level needed to do it at the top level, by far the most important factor and goes hand in hand with consistency which is so blatantly seen in Nani. But w/ Moyes current tactics which thought was going to be 4-1-4-1 is in fact clearly closer to 4-4-2 (playing classic 4-4-2 against top 15 clubs in the world is ridiculous, almost guaranteed youll run into 3 center midfielders and then its over) with 2 center midfielders, he´s going to get exposed too many times and when playing with just 2 central midfielders you have to be able run box-to-box all day and a lot of times you are playing against 3 center midfielders and Januzaj just isn´t experienced enough for that yet. But as a left midfielder poses tremendous ability and potential, hopefully will continue to get more time and not shipped away cause that would be a loss for ManU like Pogba or Pique although not exactly similar scenarios but still wasted opportunities for ManU.

    • @Moscow: Rooney was red hot yesterday.

      Agreed.

      Based on the poor performances I have seen in pre-season and the five games so far this season I have to say that Moyes is totally out of his depth and I would like to see him paid out the remainder of his contract and we bring in someone like Michael Laudrup. . .

  • 10/10 for Rooney
    The only one show’d any pride 2day.ive had enough 2 say about him. Credit where credits due

  • only caught parts of the second half at work but It looked like we were still being bullied in midfield. Fellaini wasn’t as strong on the ball as I had hoped he would be. we just cant continue to be pushed off the ball. and I think we could ship young off in january

    • @Gator: young and 20m for mata and pay for herrara

    • @Gator: Young needs to go ASAP.

      He has been surplus to requirement of sometime now.

      But what a massive indictment that a useless player like Ashley Young can get more games than Nani and Januzaj and Kagawa combined.

      • @The_Philosopher: Over 1200 comments and not one that is based on an inkling of truth! Time to grow up, kid.

        • How many games has Kagawa played this season?

          1 right?

          And Januzaj? 1 as well

          And Nani? Don’t think I have seen Nani this whole season.

          So thats 2 games between the three of them.

          How many games has Ashley Young played?

  • 2 more matches this week so we should see fresh faces n the pitch. lets see who stands up to take the challenge. adnan, zaha, nani, chicha please save us…

    • @Gator: I agreed totaly.

      Adnan Januzaj, Zaha and Nani and Chicha need to be given a chance now.

      After such a dire performance no one can make the argument that there are better players than them keeping them on the bench.

      And with RVP injured (The idiot Moyes has been over training him again) Chich should definately see more game time.

  • That was a weird match. I’m sorry for Feridnand and Fellaini. They missed their one man two times and each of these times we were beaten. Rooney – respect. He ‘s got balls this guy.

    I hope we see Jone – Vidic and rarele start Ferdinand and Giggs.

    • @Warzycha: Ferdinand is way too slow to be playing in these games.

      We should be fielding Evans in the big games and blooding Jones in the other not so tough games.

  • Today we saw the difference between 3 years investment in mediocrity versus 200M investment in top class. I still assign limited blame to Moyes who has inherited this sub-standard team, but certainly would hope that he had seen the limitations of Young, Valencia and Welbeck by now. If this omission of Nani, Zaha, Januzaj, continues, I will be more concerned by the game.

    Fergie’s team is coming to the end of the road. Defensively we had 3 thirty somethings today and we were taken to the cleaners. There is limited longevity in this back four. Carrick and Fellani were completely out maneuvered in MF which was very disappointing to see. Young and Valencia were, well …Young & Valenica – not Utd quality. The only surprise was seeing them both start again. Where are Zaha, Nani, Januzaj??

    It’s easy to blame Moyes and yes, his persistence with certain players/conservative tactics is very frustrating. But the problems are deeper and these are in large part down to his predecessor.

    • @ForeverRed: Thank you FR for that neat assessment.

      200m will eventually come and bite you in the rear.

      But I do totally blame Moyes. He is completely unimaginative and boring.

      His constant selection of Valencia is even worse than Ferguson’s reliance on Ryan Giggs because he is choosing Valencia at the expense of a much more lively Zaha or Nani.

      It is painfull to watch not only because we’re losing but because we’re losing while benching some quality players like Januzaj, kagawa, Nani and Chicharito.

      What must this be doing to their self confidence.

      By benching them Moyes is implicitly saying that Ashley Young is better than Nani or Januzaj. And that Welbeck is better than Chicha.

      Sad times at United folks. . .

      • @The_Philosopher: Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Ferguson prefer Valencia to Nani as well? So how is it worse?

        • @Ogden: Its worse because Ferguson didn’t have Zaha.

          And its also worse because Valencia is entering his second consecutive season of straight suckage with no hope of improvement in sight.

        • @Ogden: Its worse because Valencia is one year older than he was under Ferguson.

          Its worse because Moyes isn’t half the manager Ferguson was and therefore shouldn’t be trying to pull off the same stunts that Ferguon did because he just doesn’t have what Ferguson has.

  • A Terrible match display from United!we deserved to get smashed the way we did.Young and Valencia were rubbish and contributed nothing from the wings.Nothing!Its time for Zaha and Janujaz to get a few games under their belt.if we are going to lose games,we might as well lose whilst giving some of the kids a run.Fellaini must learn that in order to be the Boss,he will have to master beating players like Toure,who are fabulous at running the centre channell.hopefully,this will make him stronger going forward.My biggest concern is our defence.Vidic and Ferdinand are past their prime and today it showed.Moyes needs to trust Evans,Smalling and Jones to form a new spine for the team.we can’t keep playing the elders in our team in the big matches and still get nothing.nobody benefits this way.On a side note,I was glad to see Nick Powell and Jesse Lingard score goals for their respective teams on loan.Moyes must build his own United and break away from trying to emulate SAF.in even attempting that,he will fail.Do David Moyes,don’t try and be a mini-SAF clone.trust the kids and for heavens sake sell Ashley Young asap!that guy is a waste of space and wages.

    • @Everton: Completely agree Everton…. but it does beg the question as to who bought Ashley Young for 18M and why? It’s a travesty that for 5-10 M more we could have bought players like some of those in blue today that were tearing us apart.

    • @Everton: camon puting januzaj in a game like this ,he is not ready for it,nani yes zaha why not ,,,we lack creativity and delivery,evra cant get as usual the final pass and ashley also,,,we were lost untill the 60 minute,no mental strenght,welbeck was poor also, he seems too complacent,who does he things he is, zidane,
      at the end it was better not to introduce nani and kagawa,to protect them from humiliation
      the senior players were lost today ,i can understand rio and ashley there were maybe thinking about their next tweet
      ronney was the bright thing in utd today ,and one thing is for sure now he was right, liverpool is the true derby,man city is in another class

    • @Everton: So well said Everton.

      i can’t add anything to what you said.

      This is the comment of the month for me.

      So well said.

      Thank you.

    • @Everton: It would have been good to get beaten by an even bigger margin because Moyes’ team selection was completely awful.

      4-1 is still too flattering for the retarded team selection he made.

  • David Gill was quoted as saying, yesterday “You don’t win football matches with money in the bank”, “you need players on the pitch”. He was, of course, talking about why the United managerial trust refused to sell Rooney but that quote resonates with me as to the general quality of our present squad of players.
    Spending far less than our rivals over the past few years and being far too dependent on a youth system that has been resistant to producing any valuable assets, we have simply been left behind (and in their dust).
    You can prod Young, Valencia and Welbeck with a sharp stick all you want, but in all honesty, the rot is much deeper and far more extensive than just them. Today we were shown up all over the pitch. From a true lack of depth in attack, to a woeful midfield that even with the addition of Fellaini, is still miles away from competitive, and to an aging back line that are stubborning proving just how fragile they are.
    We are not a good team and having patience with the new regime and hoping to rebuild through youth alone will not win football games either. The money in the bank needs to put better players on the pitch!!

    • @Redrich: So sad then that even when we do produce a gem like Januzaj he can’t make it into the team.

      I agree that we need to spend money on players.

      But we also need to play the players we’ve got. And I’m not talking about Young, Welbeck and Valencia.

      Valencia should only ever be played again as a right back

      Otherwise he has no place in this first team.

      Rooney should have left United because again he was the only one up for the game yesterday.

      Mr ambition has a point. . .

      • @The_Philosopher: Oh so you’re on Rooney’s side now? What happened to ‘We need to sell him, he’s useless’ campaign you waged all summer?

        • @Ogden: I’m not on his side. I still want him gone. But I do try to see both sides of the story.

          Just because Rooney is still playing for United doesn’t mean that he wasn’t right about us not buying big players in the market.

          It also doesn’t mean that I’m not going to admit it when I see it; that he was the only big game player we had on the pitch against City yesterday.

          I still think we should have sold him because it was painfully clear that when you take RVP out the equation we’re sunk.

          Surely we need to fix that. And hanging on to Rooney means continuing to live in denial about the short comings of this squad.

          Rooney isn’t the only way forward for Manchester United.

          But don’ get it twisted. I have never said he is useless.

          Just not as hot as he thinks he is. And definitely not as hot as his pay grade suggests. But he certainly is a very good player.

  • David Moyes seems addled by our performance today. Almost incoherent in his responses after the game, he seemed bemused by how the team performed and I thought it was notable just how little he took responsibility himself. He has focused the blame on how poorly we played and by doing so, he has abstained himself from facing the music.
    There is a distinct difference between his reaction and what SAF would have done. SAF would blame the ref, the weather, the clock, the cheating tactics of the opposition and perhaps a veiled snipe at himself, but never, ever did he publicly bemoan just how shit we were.
    Today, he proved just how shit we actually are – by the team he chose to put on the pitch and by exposing his dislike of it.

    • @Redrich: Hopefully we will learn from yesterday’s performance and Moyes will do some deep introspection about what needs to change.

      So far Moyes has been an awful manager.

      Just awful.

  • I’ve been searching for reasons to feel good about this loss but the reasons why I would, are just lies!
    I like to feel positive about life in general and can usually find a silver lining to most dark clouds, but honestly kids, there is a dark one hovering over my positivity. I’m vey much unaffected by the clubs refusal to commit an investment to improving the team on the pitch.
    The way forward will not be marked by United’s performance on the NYSE, it is clearly by whom we put on the pitch to win the trophy’s we need.

  • “I think the one positive that I take from this game is that Manuel Pellegrini is at least displaying what a real continental manager is all about.

    If he was at United I can guarantee you he wouldn’t play Young, Valencia, Welbeck and Cleverley ahead of Zaha, Kagawa, Januzaj and Nani.”

    This is what our most prolific commentator (Philosopher) has deduced from what he saw.

    I wouldn’t say blind, but clearly deluded and not a source of the truth. Good United supporter, yes!

  • @Redrich: Grow up how mate?

    Please explain to me how I’m being immature?

    If venting frustrations and expressing my opinions is immature then I can’t help you.

    I really want to be positive about this club but with some of the poor decisions being made now days its hard to just sit by and not have a negative comment.

    Tony Montana even said it. Why is it that we the fans can see that selecting Welbeck, Valencia and Young is only gonna end in tears but David Moyes can’t.

    Its obvious for us but so opaque for him. Its mind boggling.

    You mentioned that I have 0ver 1200 comments on this site this year. I don’t think that you can throw out all 1226 of them calling them all untruthful and still believe yourself to be objective and fair.

    Maybe I’m not the only one on this blog who needs to grow up.

    • @The_Philosopher: A little revisionist history don’t you think? There were many who praised the signings of Young and Valencia for a long time before it became so apparent to seemingly everyone that they were so obviously awful. You even began stating that Welbeck was the real deal earlier this season after a promising start but now it’s glaringly obvious he shouldn’t be playing? The only baffling this is the degree to which you hedge your opinions.

      • @Ogden: Good point about hedging my opinions.

        In response all I can say is that I was never sold on Valencia. Ever.

        Young I thought was a decent buy in the beginning sure. And he had a good start to his United career. But as time has progressed my opinion changed. Nothing wrong with that.

        Welbeck yes. I definitely rated him highly after his two goals against Swansea I think it was. My opinion of Welbeck is based 1) Ferguson’s assertions about him. Ferguson believes in him as integral to the future of the club.

        And secondly my opinion of Welbeck is based on his performance against Real Madrid. His industry is the biggest part of his game. And it came to good effect against Madrid and on a few other occasions.

        I believe that as he continues to grow as a player he will learn to some of the finer skills that it takes to be a goal scorer. But he is young and energetic and I have high hopes that his work ethic will overcome his limited ability.

        Even after his poor showing against Man City I still believe Welbeck is an asset to the squad and that he will come good.

        Someone like Adnan Januzaj has a natural ability that Welbeck could only dream of.

        So in conclusion Welbeck is a really good player and he will be very important to our campaign this season.

  • @The Philosopher.Respect dude.None of us likes to see United lose any game,let alone in such a manner.I don’t believe that its time to hit the panic button either.we have to take this loss on the chin.This game was a wake up call for the players and for Moyes.As far as the players go,I get the impression that some of them have come to expect to waltz into the first team purely because of who they are and what they have achieved in the past.the hunger is gone.its just my perception,but the only guy who fought tooth and nail was Rooney,who played like a man possesed.I admire his fighting spirit.What is the issue with Young and Valencia?they are utter crap.we take pride in our wide men but these two have been nothing short of abbysmal!That is why I would like to see Janujaz and Zaha get a run.They obviously lack experience but they are young,fresh and new and might make a difference and at the very least put pressure on Ashley and Antonio to perform better.Same goes for Vidic and Ferdinand.I’m not the biggest Evans fan,but right now,I’d rather see him and Smalling at centre back than the aforementioned duo.They will flounder and be out of sync,yes,but eventually,they will learn to play together.Moyes seems to be afraid to trust his own judgement and seems to fall back on SAF’s doctrine.It won’t work for him and all it will end up doing is place the players who have played under the old gaffer into a comfort zone of illusion.SAF is gone.Moyes must trust himself and the players and not be afraid to try something new.We’ll get those noisy bastards yet,but for now he must deploy his methods and build his own Man United team.We are still the champions,its about damn time we start acting that way.

    • @Everton: They will make a massive difference will Januzaj and Zaha on the wings.

      Its time to play them. Moyes needs to show some guts and start gambling on the kids.

      This Valencia Young business is ridiculous.

      I don’t think its a good idea to bench both Vida and Rio. I think our best bet is to partner Evans and Vida one game. And then Rio and Smalling the next.

      I think we need at least one old head in defense to marshal the troops. And one young energetic CB to keep the opposition honest.

      Yes I hear you on the SAF doctrine point. But my feeling is if Moyes isn’t man enough to ditch Fergie’s tired styles then why is he here? To be a worse version of Sir Alex? We don’t need that.

      He needs to be his own man or get gone.

      We are the champs for sure. But while Moyes is being too afraid to step out of Ferguson’s shadow we will continue playing like chumps.

  • Everton respect man well put out.. But the only issue with this is, will it prove to be the Wake up Call??? It is does then i am more than happy… but the after lookng at the way DM has handled things so far i feel i wont happen… Worse is we may end up seeing Giggs again as CM n Felliani as AM.. I am already having nightmeres of that…

  • Based on the perfomance of the 5 games so far… i just tend to think that may be Everton got the better deal than us in the New Managers…

  • Why do i keep hearing people say valencia was awful, he was our best player on the pitch after rooney, the only one who dared to run at those fullbacks and even managed to get a penalty claim on one occasion. am not saying he should be a regular starter but blaming players impulsively without evidence is the worst hate crime the is in football.
    our worst player yesterday was evra and i will tell u why.
    1) he was the closest to aguero for the opener yet he failed to anticipate the situation and allowed him get a shot away without a proper challenge. i didnt get to see the second goal cos i had stormed out in the 44th minute.
    2) look at that run by navas, not a single challenge until he crossed the ball, yes, it was that easy. finally evra rarely delivers a good cross.
    now i understand moyes’ obsession with signing a left back in the summer, for all of his energy and enterprise, he has never been tactically sound. always caught out of position, always smashing his cross against a defender. its just frustrating. as for moyes I will bring out my knives if we are below first position by march. that how much I expect from united. we are the fraking champions of english the name man united as well as that of every individual player especially in attack should strike fear in the heart of any defender in the league. I used to mock other teams for setting up game plans not to lose but now my very own united are making it a habit. if this continues mr moyes, I will be glad to see u leave.

    • tonymontanna4united

      @shadie: Come on mate. He might have taken the FB on a few times, but how many decent deliveries did he put in?
      How many times did he hold up the ball and bring others into play or come inside and have a run at the CB’s?
      Valencia’s main job was to provide cover where needed for Smalling at RB, and yet he was nowhere to be seen for City’s 2 goals, where he left Smalling isolated and having to deal with a 2 v 1 situation which they beat him on.
      His defensive work this season really hasn’t been anything to shout home about and offensively whilst he seems to have somewhat rediscovered his confidence a little (having a run at players is better than standing perfectly still and passing back to the fullback afterall), he still doesn’t seem to have worked on his woeful deliveries and twigged on yet that smashing the ball low and hard, usually into the first defender, isn’t the most productive thing in the world.
      For me it should be Nani week in week out starting on that right wing.
      To hell with this bollocks about wingers having to provide defensive cover. If the full back is in any way competent at the job he’s supposed to be doing then why do we need extra players back helping him defend :roll:
      By all means get the winger back to put in a shift if the opposition full back is giving your RB a mare, but it shouldn’t be a prerequisite as to who starts on the wing.
      In any case, I find this Nani can’t defend thing a bunch of bollocks anyway. He gets back plenty of times putting in a decent shift, but does so without coming at the expense of his offensive game, which is sort of the reason why as a winger, he should be being picked- for what he can do to the opposition rather than what he can do back defending for his own team.
      I remember anyway reading some stats from last season that added up the number of tackles, interceptions and blocks in our penalty area between Valencia, Evra, Buttner and Nani, and it was Nani who came out on top.
      As I say, this myth about Nani not putting in a shift is bollocks.

      As for Evra, agree 100%. As I mentioned above, if the bloody full back does his job properly and defends properly then why do we need a back 4, 2 DM’s, and our wingers either side getting back defending? How many bloody players do we need back to help defend before we start thinking that maybe the defenders we have starting whose job it is to defend anyway just aren’t doing their job properly.
      I mean could you ever imagine Irwin for example, having a mare and blaming it on the fact that there was only Keane and Butt in front of him and Giggs wasn’t getting back and helping him enough :roll:
      In saying that though, having Young in front of you must be a depressing sight.
      He offers absolutely fuck all from an offensive POV, and seems to drop back so deep he almost gets in the way of Evra.
      Look at the pic on the link below about a third of the page down, at Evra and Young’s average starting positions during yesterdays game. It’s just pathetic.

      http://www.redcafe.net/threads/ashley-young.333755/page-145

      In saying that though, Evra really does offer little offensively too. His deliveries really are pretty poor imo. Baines for me despite his critics, really would have been an upgrade on him, coentrao too.
      Hopefully it’s an area we look at again in January if Fabio is not to be given his chance, as it’s becoming a bit of a problem for me.

      • @tonymontanna4united: Good point Tony.

        Any fullback worth his salt should be fine with just the assistance of a defensive midfielder.

        An attacking player like a winger needs to primarily be on the pitch to threaten the opposition goal and not to be overly fussed about stopping the other team scoring.

        With the goal threat that Nani possess his opposing winger will be more worried about stopping him than about threatening our goal. I think Nani’s attacking threat is also very important.

        Isn’t attack the best form of defense any ways?

        And YES!!! thank you Tony. Being a defensive asset shouldn’t be what determines who gets selected to play on the wing!

        Its an attack position for crying out loud! And we’re filling it with our best attackers!

        What kind of messed up logic is that?

        Maybe we should play Smalling at Number 10 because he can track so well. . . :roll:

        Coentro would have been good. so would Baines have been. And I’m all for trying again in Jan.

    • @shadie: Valencia is too slow.

      He is a very good player.

      But with his lack of pace he isn’t beating any one to anything.

      • @The_Philosopher: Before anyone says I’m flip flopping and that I’m double minded about Valencia let me say this:

        He is no longer fit to play at right wing. He never was.

        But he is a hard worker and he has years of experience. I still see him putting in valuable performances at right back or maybe even (at a stretch) defensive midfield.

        But not on the right wing.

        He sucks at right wing.

        He is decent at right back.

        He might be functional defensive midfield.

        And I wouldn’t cry if we sold him although I would still like to keep him as a squad rotation player like John O’Shea was for us. . .

        • @The_Philosopher: he is strong on the ball. one of the only players we had on the pitch that wasn’t being bullied off the ball. he stands his ground strong. wish fellaini would have been that strong.

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