Today was one of those rare days at Old Trafford where I would have liked to be in the dressing room at halftime to watch for the hairdryer. After all, for 45 minutes Fergie had sat on his hands through what has to be one of the dullest and most uninspiring home performances in recent memory. The lads hardly created a chance and showed even less passion and hunger for the opening half and so Fergie would have had a legitimate right to go off on them at halftime.
The truth is that if not for Rooney’s occasional burst of interest and Nani’s wayward shots, nobody seemed interested in playing against Norwich’s defend at all costs defence. Full credit to Norwich though. For 67 minutes they performed a Herculean feat by not only keeping United off the score sheet but by also limiting their scoring chances to nothing more than a few speculative efforts and Chicharito’s half dozen offside runs. In fact, they were actually dangerous punting the ball up to their lone striker who for whatever given reason seemed to cause fits for the young aliases Jones and Evans. Morrison, Hoolahan, Bennett, Pilkington, Martin, and the rest of the Norwich eleven were causing us fits and frustrating us to the point of surrender. Just who the Hell are these guys and why do we play down to the level of a club like this?
Fact is our line-up lacked the spark to really get things done. Young was not even dressed and Park, yes Park must play at home against a minnow mustn’t he? Personally, I’d play him at Liverpool where he can be of some use rather than have his uninspiring non-creative presence drag us further down against a club where Park’s defensive strengths are not needed.
Finally after almost 70 minutes of old fashioned graft and workmanship Norwich finally concedes on the most innocent of corner kicks. Rooney did well to direct the ball to Anderson who found himself in the ideal spot for a can’t miss header. Success for Anderson who for the most part had been our poorest player up to that point. It’s a funny game isn’t it? And yet Norwich did not give up and were incredibly unlucky not to equalize after a shot deflected onto the post with Lindegaard wrong footed and beaten and then Morrison was sent in all alone only to show why he is a punter with zero talent as he went on to make a meal of it.
Hey, wasn’t I accusing Norwich of parking the bus? Well I guess the bus has been revved up and it was moving quite briskly for the last twenty minutes or so.
The goal did seem to fire up the club however, as we played with a little more spark for the remainder of the match while the reinvigorated troops pushed and clogged through the muck that was Norwich and capped it all off with an 87th minute Welbeck goal. The addition of Danny Welbeck also invigorated our attack enough so that our one instance of off the ball movement in the game brought on the second goal one a wonderful counter attacking 1,2 between Welbeck and Park and Danny plotting it home. Still, there was no quit in Norwich and they did threaten us right to the whistle.
For me the game was a return to the boring and stale football displayed by this club over the previous two seasons. But then again, after the near disaster vs Basel earlier this week, it should have been expected. Fergie wanted a better defensive performance and this sacrificed our enterprising and as Fergie put it, our “cavalier attitude” of late. Forgive me but I love this club when it is cavalier. The problem has been that he is tinkering too much with the defence simply because he has had too many injuries and too many options to play with. Note to Fergie, when everyone is back and healthy, pick your back four and stick with them.
Fergie never had much to say other than to compliment fellow Scot manager Paul Lambert for having prepared his club well to meet the test of United at OT. These are the games Fergie loves. He could care less about champagne football. He loves 2-0 score lines and that is what the lads dished out for him. The result is in and we are still in first and so at the end of the day that is all that matters for the likes of Fergie. Sorry folks but I woke up early to watch this match here in Canada and I for one wished I had slept in and not wasted my time. I am a firm believer that the game at the professional level should not just be about results, but it must offer one his money worth in entertainment value as well.
High notes for the match are few and low moments are many but I’ll try to keep it short simply because writing any more about this uneventful match is becoming work more than pleasure.
United won 2-0
- Phil Jones was immense again having baled out his club and most importantly Jonny Evans on numerous occasion with his tackles and presence
- United won 2-0
Jonny Evans continues to lose his men in one on one marking
- Patrice Evra is a waste of time with the ball at his feet in the attacking end
- Valencia is not a fullback and this experiment should be terminated yesterday
- I like De Gea but I feel more comfortable with Lindegaard between the pipes
- Anderson needs to stop sleepwalking through the first half of games
- Can whoever kidnapped Darren Fletcher and replaced him with this uninspiring doppelganger please return him or at least name your ransom price already?
- Yes Park had an assist but for me there is no way he should be starting against minnows
- Berbatov is a better option against par the bus teams because he can hold the ball up and because he gives us more physical presence in the box
- As predicted, never ever expect Rooney to score after coming back from injury. I wonder how long it will be before he scores again?
- Chicharito is becoming a pain in the neck with his constant offside runs. He needs to be more observant and time his runs better
In closing, let me say that I was happy at the club winning and keeping a clean sheet but I am disappointed by the style of or should I say the lack of style in our football of late. To all my critics please understand, I watch this game and love this team because I love champagne entertaining football and I fully expect it when we play at home against a minnow. Today is proof positive that I rarely ever get what I want and more importantly, none of us supporters got what we bloody well deserve, other than a win. Today is a perfect example for me at least that winning isn’t everything, but it sure beats losing. So now it’s off for another endlessly frustrating and disgusting international break (this in season nonsense needs to be addressed and stopped) before we face Liverpool at Anfield. I’m hoping our defenders and Cleverley will be back by then because we will need them as I know Liverpool will try to move heaven and earth to beat us. And frankly, if we continue to play like we have this week, they will.
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Tags: Match Reports