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Can United tame the Chelsea beast?

Moyes & MourinhoIt’s time to write something from a lighter perspective and catch the tension before Monday’s epic encounter with Chelsea. I’m absolutely exhausted and frustrated talking about the transfer window so the upcoming clash of the titans is a welcome distraction and a chance to offer my two cents on and what I’m expecting to see.

I think this game has all kinds of possibilities but I also think both managers will approach the game with a lot of caution.

David Moyes has home advantage and the crowd in his favour while our form vs Swansea leaves many with much encouragement going into this game.

As much as I have been negative this summer over our transfer window failures, I do feel that although the club is relatively unchanged, I still feel we have more than enough club to handle Chelsea at home.

My initial thoughts a week ago were that we would be lucky to come out of this match with a draw but circumstances have changed since and I honestly feel more encouraged. Although many may be impressed with the fact Chelsea have come out of the gate with two wins on the trot, I am not so ready to jump on their bandwagon quite yet. Although I predict they will be champions this year, I still feel that as of right now, they are project under development and they haven’t even come close to reaching their stride. Chelsea’s two wins at home vs Hull City and Aston Villa did not impress me that much. Their pace and pressing was impressive but they really never created many chances and when they did, most were poorly squandered.

Jose Mourinho has a real problem on his hands. He is without a world-class striker. Fernando Torres is no longer that kind of player and has become a classic waster of quality chances. Roman Lukaku has potential but I really do not think he fits into Mourinho’s long-term plans and he is not the second coming of Didier Drogba. Demba Ba can do a lot but putting a bulge in the old onion bag is not one of his specialities. No, Jose Mourinho has many skilled creators in midfield but no major finisher up front. His best finisher is still Frank Lampard and for me this is a real weakness in the Chelsea setup.

Torres laughed at after missing open goal at OT
Of course they are still a potentially dangerous club with players like Oscar, Mata, Luiz, Hazard and Lampard scheming in the middle of the pitch, but that lack of finish at the top of the pyramid is an area of concern to them. Now they have signed Wilian but I think it will be some time before he really feels comfortable in blue and he probably won’t start or even play against us. It’s obvious to me however that Mourinho’s aggressiveness in trying to sign Rooney is no joke because Rooney is that last piece of the puzzle that would make that team awesome. That’s all the more reason why David Moyes must not sell Rooney to Chelsea. That move could do long term damage to our title hopes.

The rumours are circulating that Moyes is actually planning on starting Rooney in this game. I for one am totally for this plan of attack. Although Rooney deserves nothing but a cold hard winter on the bench for his disloyalty and immaturity, I think starting him would answer a couple of key questions? Will he rise to the occasion and show the professionalism and pride of being a Red Devil and put the boots to Chelsea? Or will he float around and coast until he is removed from the game via a substitution or an ejection? If Rooney shows up he will have answered his critics about whether he is truly willing to stay and play hard for this club. If he goes through the motions against ythe one team that wants to buy him, then that also answers our question of whether he should be sold or not? I am going to go against my better instinct here and be positive. Wayne Rooney will play great and he will also score a goal for us. Can you believe I wrote that?

As for the rest of our squad, I am expecting more brilliance from Robin van Persie and I am hoping that Danny Welbeck continues his outstanding play to give us multiple targets up front. Of course my big concern is that although we are far superior to Chelsea up front with RVP, Rooney and Welbeck we are badly outnumbered in quality in the midfield. Mourinho can throw five midfielders at us of which 3 or 4 are world-class. We counter that with Michael Carrick and a prayer. This is not the first time we have faced Chelsea with a depleted or inferior midfield and in the past we have handled things quite well for the most part. Old Trafford is a tough place to play, even for Chelsea.

Phil Jones tackles Eden HazardComparing the defensive back fours is pretty easy. Both clubs have solid back fours with left backs that like to attack and occasionally find themselves out of position defensively. If Patrice Evra performs his defensive duties, we will do well. We are healthy at CB and that gives us a real advantage. Phil Jones has to have a great game containing Eden Hazard on the left flank. I think he can do the job. David De Gea for me is the best keeper in the EPL and he will need to make his big saves but with Chelsea being a tall and physical team, he needs to handle high balls into the box better than he traditionally does.

Our bench is my big worry. Who is available and who isn’t? Where has Chicharito been? He could be the sniper we need near the end of the game to snag us a win or a draw. Is he injured or what? Our starting midfield is pedestrian and our backups are an embarrassment. This worries me if we have an injury or one of our starters under performs. Chelsea of course offers a lot of quality on their bench. Depending on what rotation Mourinho uses, he has at least four quality players to call on.

After it’s all said and done, the game will come down to the two managers. Generally I would pick Mourinho to beat Moyes but this is a big game for Dave as it’s his first home game as United manager. He will have done his homework and will be prepared for anything the “Special One” has to offer up. Mourinho for all his brilliance as manager is just getting acclimated to the Barclays Premier League again.

Things have changed since he was last here and he will need some time to get his team functioning on all cylinders. David Moyes will also need time to really get United playing his brand of football but for now, I think momentum, home field advantage and Chelsea’s weakness up front will be enough to see United through. I am predicting United will win this match 2-1. It will be a slow cautious first half but then all Hell will break loose in the second half. My man of the match will be Dvid De Gea – he will have to be to slow the Mourinho Express.

I would have felt even better about this game had we had a Modric or Fellaini to assist Carrick. But nevertheless, United guile and pride will see us through.

Perhaps United will work hard in the next nine days to ensure that our midfield is better and deeper for the return leg at Stamford Bridge, but for now we make do with what we have.



  1. oryina

    25 August 2013 at 08:39

    Chelsea will carry the day, whether Man Utd like it or not! It’s going to be our day… Come on CHELSEA!!

    • red astair

      25 August 2013 at 16:45

      @oryina: Oh dear, the 6 weeks holidays are nearly over, back to skool soon, then.

    • The red baron

      26 August 2013 at 12:04

      @oryina: knobhead 😆

  2. reality

    25 August 2013 at 10:18

    Good lad. Get behind the manager and the players and support your club.
    we can still challenge for the title without a marquee signing. Believe me, we are a lot better off than we have been in the past. I’ve seen Best, Law and Charlton rip it up, now that was exhilirating when we took football to another level. But when we dropped we still believed and supported our lads through the rough times. Maybe it’s a generational thing but we never had the sense of entitlement that young lads have today. If we don’t win this season its not the end of the world. Moyes has inherited a quality squad, needs a couple of first eleven improvements for sure, but that is the nature of the game in todays competetive transfer market. So whilst I understand your frustration to an extent, but I believe it’s public display is damaging to the club potentially, but right now it’s imlortant not to buckle and to instead get our heads right and show a united front. . We live in times of intensified capitalist exploitation and football has become a promotional franchise for some of the richest petrodollar oligarchs in the world. The transfer market is overblown to distortionate proportions and is manipulated by club owners nodding of their heads to each other, witness Abramovic getting the go ahead for Willian from Anzhi. No one loves the Glazers as tbey can not afford the level of indulgence of tbe Arabs and the Russians, tbey are playying a different game than the free splurging, fi ancial doping and market distorting sugar daddies, and they understand the importance of investment and growth of such a popular commodity as United, on the global market. Commercial deals, especially whilst we are ahead of the game, need to be consolidated to insure future growth. Sure, the Glazers are capitalist exploiters (the way of the world) but at least the money United invest in has been earned from football and from our earned reputation in football, and not gifted by some jealous, murdering gangsta thug or some human rights violating dictatorship.
    So be proud of United’s history and long may our hegemony continue but most of all be proud of our independence, our ability to succeed in the right way, the working classes traditional way, based on our football and our romantic, free spirit and fierce independence which gives us our globa appeal. Manchester has a great history of workin g men and their families fighting for independence and human rights. United was born out of the La cashire and Yorksbire railway workingmens club, so to sell our soul to oligarchal dictators who keep slaves and abuse workers would be tantamount to a symbolic death of our great social tradition.
    So Grog , i admire your passion but please keep the faith for now. It would be great to stuff the oligarchs especially the chavs with the sneering Maureen, but if we dont win it this season, don’t panic as Moyes will cement his grip on things next season, inuding transfers (which admittedly has been amateurish this summer). The United way is to give Moyes time to prove himself, any signs of histrionics will be
    read as a weakness and pounced upon by the blood thirsty British media and the sneering one.
    We can take Chavski, ‘course we can. Believe!!!!!!!!!!!! GGMU. 🙂 😈

    • Grognard

      25 August 2013 at 11:05

      @reality: Thanks for that. First off let me say that you may view me as somebody who is young and a little naive about things to do with United. I am 54 mate, and I have been around the block more than once. I understand completely what you are saying and I agree with you about most of it. I have worked in the government and financial sectors for most of my life so I think I know quite a bit about the way things are done corporately and I understand completely what the Glazer’s are about because I have studied their history in America.

      I think we got off on a bad footing because you seem to think that I have no faith in the club and David Moyes. The truth is although he was not my first choice, I have no real issue with him as a manager and I echo Fergie’s feelings about giving him a chance. I want to give him that chance on the touchline. Let him manage and coach the club and I believe good things will happen. I don’t think we will win any real silverware for a while but I am willing to be patient…..up to a point.

      Where I have problems with Moyes is poor handling of transfers this summer. Although most of the blame goes to Woodward, Moyes has to take some of that blame. Lets face it, the weakness in midfield is really the only glaring weakness on the club but it is still a large one and the inability up to now to take care of it, has my feathers ruffled. Other than that I want Moyes to do well and I pull for the man, honest I do. All the other BS about the Glazer’s and the Silly Season goes out the window come September 2nd. And as far as Monday is concerned, I am looking forward to the match and I really do believe Dave will have the troops motivated and prepared. Mourinho is a genius but he is without a true striker he can count on. I am reading that he has just signed Eto’o but I cannot confirm this. I doubt Eto’o would be ready for Monday anyway. Chelsea’s midfield scares me but our width and forwards should put the fear of God into them too. Lets hope that things go as planned. But even if the game doesn’t go our way, I am prepared to be patient. United have some seriously talented kids in Janusaj, Zaha and Lingard and I would like nothing more than to see the manager give these kids many games to play in. I hope he doesn’t send some away on loan.

      No big deal if we lose but expect a review of the game that will point out the troubles and weaknesses if we lose. That is not to say that I will be in panic mode or that I have no faith in Moyes. If we lose I can guess right now it will be because Chelsea controlled the midfield. If so, I just hope and pray we buy somebody to help secure that area.

      As for myself, I have been a fan of this club since 1976 so I know about a lot of the history, the ups the downs and the cultural, socioeconomic aspects of the club and community. Unfortunately I was not born and raised there so I cannot feel it like a true Mancunian but still, I do bleed red and I do love the club through thick and thin, despite my anger and frustration at times. And lets face it, under Fergie many of us were spoilt rotten so we almost think it’s our god given right to win every year and buy up all the best talent. Sometimes I do need to be nudged back into reality. The time and era has changed.

      • reality

        25 August 2013 at 11:44

        @Grognard: thanks for the reply grog,I’m sure we are in agreement about most things United. I feel we are all a little nervous regarding our future without sir Alex. When Liverpool and later Arsenal were our main rivals, in a sense I had more of a begrudging respect for both clubs as their prowess seemed to have grown organically from their football development and from
        their genuine support appeal.With the premier league and Sky deal developments we entered a new phase of football as capitalist profit business. The challenge of commercial success became as important as the footballing challenge, but this was at least carried out by clubs who had earned their bobs from playing football. Once Abramovic was allowed his pet oroject everything changed. Money whi h was extorted from the people of Russia through the stripping of public assets was used to build a private pet project for the oligarch. City,PSG, Monaco Anzhi followed suit. We are no longer in free market capitalism with it’s ususl restrictions on businesses (clubs) spending in relation to financially
        succeeding. Financial doping and distortion of the market are rife. Sir Alex stood up to the challenge stalwartly. Hopefully Moyes will stoically do the same. We will get our midfield sorted out (Ozil and Fellaini ?and keep Rooney) and get back to attacking with flair and we will continue to relish the challenge even if all traditional ideals of equality of opportunity in sport and fair play in the running of the business side of things have been thrown out the window by the sugar daddys. We remain true to what we have always represented, United of flair, romance and independent spirited, we remain financially robust with our identity fiercely indpendent, no matter how much the Glazers capitalise from our popularity.
        btw Mourinho is no genius. Even with all that money he’d spent I would say his time at Real was an epic failure. His ego and lack of man management skills allowed him lose control of the dressing room. His failure to get the better of Pep contrasts with Fergie’s ultimate humiliation of Mancini. Moyes is no push over, respect to Jose but no fear whatsoever. Looking forward to Monday “Let’s get this party started”.

        • Grognard

          25 August 2013 at 18:14

          @reality: Well said. I would add that even though this age has changed the playing field quite a bit and not for the best with all that foreign money and investment, it would be unwise for United to ignore it completely and not try to conform. The club needs to compete with the Chelsea’s and City’s so standing pat against financial doping and distortion is admirable but at some point, we do need to play ball. When it comes to buying players we will get swallowed up by these clubs who seem intent on ruining the game and creating greedy rich dynasties in the process. I think the FA, FIFA and UEFA need to step in and put rules in place that restrict spending. Force clubs to build their payer development from within. I have always said that football and other pro sports need to incorporate a socialist mentality if they are to survive in this economic age where capitalism has gone wild. To allow leagues to prosper and be fair, one should not allow the majority of tv revenues to go to one or two teams, or allow teams with deep pockets to drive the cost of player so high that buying good players becomes impossible for 90% of the clubs out there.

          Sir Alex was right but he was also a managing genius who could work with the present club he had without spending a ton of money to refurbish it every year. His talent and ability will be sorely missed and I certainly hope and pray that Moyes is up to the job. I think he is although I still feel that at least for now, he hasn’t got the allure and pull to buy big name foreign talent like Fergie had established. That will come with wins and trophies. But will those trophies come if we cannot spend more and keep up with our two main competitors? Their two biggest signings were Mourinho and Pellegrini, considerable upgrades from what they had before.

          Like Fergie, Mourinho is worth ten points a season. I disagree about his time at Madrid being a failure. Although he had a good team, Barca’s was spectacular and there was no beating them in a long season. Yet the last two years there he owned Barca in Super Classico’s. I also think he is a fantastic man manger. His failure in that area at Madrid was due to the lack of support he received from up top as well, players like Ramos, Casillas and a few of the old guard already had formed cliques that defied him and every manager before him. A few players there rule the roost and cause problems of dissension and ruin team chemistry. To this day Ronaldo is an outsider with these players and has never been welcomed yet he still performs like a machine and a pro. Both those managers bring a lot to the EPL but their team’s willingness to spend is also a major fly in our ointment. City alone has improved greatly and will be much tougher to beat than they were last year. Getting a couple of quality midfielders would give us the quality and security we need to be as good if not better. As I see it, it’s a small price to pay to ensure we stay on top. Ozil or Mata as creative midfielders would be great and either Fellaini or Modric next to Carrick would make us awesome. A Rooney with a better attitude would also be great. We cannot afford to sell him to Chelsea, unless we get Mata in return. Rooney playing tomorrow will make things very interesting indeed. Look forward to the match big time.

  3. Oluwadare

    25 August 2013 at 10:58

    i only want to complement you guys for your proficiency write~ups. More grease to ur elbow.
    I believe we are wining tommorow match. Regardless of chelsea squad depths and solidity, i think experience, determination and tenancity will give us hard~fought victory.

  4. colver

    25 August 2013 at 11:37

    It is true that Chelsea lack cutting edge. But then I have doubts about our creativity. For too long we have been reliant on players like Giggs and Rooney to create the chances. Nani and Valencia seem to be having a mid career slump. Zaha for all his talent is still adapting to the big stage. And Kagaya still has an awful lot to prove.

    Chelsea on the other hand look like a well oiled machine with Oscar, Mata, Hazard and De Bruyne all looking very sharp. All of these players are also capable of chipping in with a goal or two. So Chelsea’s lack of quality upfront may not be as decisive as we might imagine.

    I think this battle will be decided in central midfield. Chelsea do not have the same quality there as they did when players like Essien and Makelele were in their prime. I can see Moyes going with Carrick and Anderson. And I would agree with that choice. If Anderson is on form he can hold his own. Whereas Cleverley I still feel is totally lightweight and not United quality.

    • Grognard

      25 August 2013 at 18:27

      @colver: And yet we still score plenty of goals. Like you I agree with what your saying in theory but somehow United manage to defy that logic. I think it is based on the fact that Fergie built a team that attacks from the flanks. Our width and ability to have overlapping fullbacks has always been difficult for other clubs to handle. Imagine then what adding an Ozil or Mata up front in that AM slot would do for us not to mention another creative ball winner like Modric or Fellaini playing next to Carrick? It would allow us to be less predictable while also shoring up our defensive and transition games. Not too much to ask for to reach close to perfection. My ideal lineup woul look like this if I had a say.

      GK De Gea
      RB Rafael
      CB Jones
      CB Vidic
      LB Evra
      RAM Zaha
      CMF Carrick
      CMF Modric/Fellaini
      LAM Welbeck
      CAM Ozil/Mata
      ST van Persie

      For me the only real weakness in that setup would be Evra and as the LB position is generally a weak spot for most clubs, I could still live with his occasional bad game considering how solid we would be at every other position. Add to that the continued maturation of Janusaj ad Lingard as well as Chicharito and our bench can become world beaters too.
      Regardless of my rants and anger towards our owners, a simple upgrade at midfield would silence me for a long time and make me one very happy camper.

      • BigRed

        25 August 2013 at 18:44


  5. BigRed

    25 August 2013 at 13:44

    I wouldn’t call Chelsea a beast, tbh.
    I don’t think Chelsea have been as powerful and dominating as I expected them to be in the first two games.
    Hardly a five star show against might Hull City and they were damned lucky to win against Villa.
    Regardless of how little confidence I have in Moyes and his side kicks, I do believe our players know enough about the United way and are good enough to win games the right way. We have some great leaders in the dressing room, Rio, Vida, Evra, Carrick and RVP.
    I really hope Giggs is not going to be a regular starter this season. I’d like to see a brave team choice by Moyes.
    Bench Rooney.
    Zaha on the right, Welbz on the left. Kagawa centrally behind RVP.
    Carrick and Jones in deeper MF roles.
    If Moyes is brave and uses the quality we do have we have a great chance.

    • reality

      25 August 2013 at 15:50

      @BigRed: Agree that Chelsea should not be feared. I’d like to see Kagawa start with Rooney and Welbs, Van Persie up front of course.Zaha’s a little bit raw at this level, needs to hold the ball better. Rooney to score and no sale to the chelsea.

      • BigRed

        25 August 2013 at 17:54

        Yeah, Chelsea might not be the right game for Zaha BUT, sometimes these raw fearless youngsters can reap big rewards. He’s got the skills to cause them problems and while he probably won’t start, I hope a good run in the team is coming his way. He needs it to get the best experience.
        Buy yeah, possibly wrong opponents for him tomorrow.
        Let’s stuff it up’em.

        (Also, Cardiff 3 – 1 Citeh and still playing. lol)

        • Grognard

          25 August 2013 at 18:38

          @BigRed: One of the big problems with playing a Mourino coached club is that they pounce on mistakes and especially giveaways. Zaha for all his creative beauty is prone to coughing the ball up like a young Ronaldo. This would be a problem for us unless we had that very dependable second DMF like a Fellaini or Modric who would be back there to halt such a break. I think we should be a bit more conservative and start Valencia for this game at least.

        • Grognard

          25 August 2013 at 23:24

          @BigRed: In fairness to Giggs, some of the best matches he has had after the age of 35 have been vs Chelsea. I think it’s probably a guarantee that he will start due to experience.

      • Grognard

        25 August 2013 at 18:35

        @reality: Kagawa would give us that cutting edge in the box that would service RVP well. And although I really want to see Zaha start games for us soon, I agree about tomorrow. tart the experience of Valencia who will not give the ball away easily and allow Chelsea to start one of their lightning fast counters.

        • BigRed

          25 August 2013 at 18:54

          With that mention of Kagawa, you can ignore my Kagawa question a few posts up!
          I agree with what you say about selling Rooney to Chelsea. He is the exact type of CF he likes. Almost Drogba like in his physicality and directness when he plays up front.
          Mou is a good coach no doubt, someone to be wary of, but they’re not at the same level they were when he was there last time.
          If Moyes gets his team right, I think we’ll be ok.
          Ill be worried of Giggsy starts.

      • The_Philosopher

        26 August 2013 at 07:56

        @reality: Zaha is worth a gamble at this level.

    • Grognard

      25 August 2013 at 18:32

      @BigRed: It was more said as a perception. I agree with you. I think they have issues and I do not believe an ancient fossil like Samuel Eto’o will make a difference. They have age problem with Cech, Terry, Cole, Lampard and a few others and unlike us, they are not that deep with really great young players if you discount the midfielders they bought. Mourinho is who worries me. I’m sorry but other than Fergie, he is the best manager in football the past ten years and I respect him and fear him greatly. But his team right now is a work in progress and I think we have the youth and vitality to beat them at OT. We must never let a man like Mourinho get a player like Rooney. Rooney under Mourinho would wake up and flourish and that would be bad news for us, even if we got Mata in return.

      • tonymontanna4united

        25 August 2013 at 19:03

        @Grognard: I’d probably say they have as good a crop of young players you can get at the minute, it’s just a case of will they get their chances, which with a team like Chelski, isn’t a given.
        Courtois, Bertrand, Ake, Chalobah, McEacheran, De Bryune, Traore, Piazon, Moses & Lukaku aswell as the likes of Hazard, Oscar, Schurlle, Van Ginkel is a damn good group.
        In the likes of De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Rafael, Fabio, Keane, Januzaj, Lingard, Zaha, Kagawa, Welbeck, Hernandez etc we’ve got our own too so tbh I’d say its between us and Chelski as to who has the best crop of youngsters in England at the minute.
        Hopefully our young ones will get their chances because tbh whilst I’m desperate to see some new players being brought in, I do get where the Philosopher is coming from in regards to throwing the young lads into the team in the event we don’t bring anyone in because as mentioned above there is some serious talent in our youngsters at the minute. If even half of them progress as we hope, then it’ll maintain we keep challenging for the future.
        And unfortunately that applies to Chelski too but I agree for this season anyway, I don’t think this is the best chelski team they’ve ever had.

        • Grognard

          26 August 2013 at 07:03

          @tonymontanna4united: I don’t think they will play tomorrow mate. I’m just hoping Moyes has plans for them this season because I feel they have a lot to offer.

    • The_Philosopher

      26 August 2013 at 07:53

      @BigRed: I couldn’t agree with you more.

      Love that line up.

  6. red astair

    25 August 2013 at 16:43

    Utd against Chelsea I suspect, won’t be end to end entertainment. Probably one goal will settle it. Chelsea haven’t started off on fire, but have ground out a couple of wins. I expect this to be the way they do it all season, nothing flash but accumulating the points, typically Mourinho. I think the game will be won or lost in midfield, so advantage Chelsea, but with RVP we always have a chance of nicking it. Chelsea are a good solid team and can be quite physical, so we have to outsmart them. As you wrote somewhere else Grog, Duran vs Leonard, if we play our game we’ll win but if we try to beat them at theirs, well 1-0 Chelsea. A close game and a tough one to call, but Utd by a broken nose.

  7. red astair

    25 August 2013 at 17:50

    Frazier Campell – always knew that one day he would be a great player 😆 😆

    • tonymontanna4united

      25 August 2013 at 18:22

      @red astair: 😆 😆 3-2. Great win for the blue birds that. Hope they stay up actually.
      I’ve been saying to my mate all summer that I really haven’t been all that impressed by city’s summer transfer activity actually.
      Negredo is a decent back up option from the bench, but is really no better than dzeko, navas is another valencia- decent out and out wide man but not anything close to world class, and fernandinho is a 28 year old brazilian with very few caps for the NT, we all know how that could go. Jovetic is the only signing they’ve made I really hold in that high a regard.
      Chelski too, whilst I reckon will win the league, they too have a pretty pish midfield and their defence lacks a top class CB.
      Just makes it all the more disappointing that we didn’t push the boat out this summer and bring in 2 top class midfielders and a replacement for rooney.
      It’s our lack of strenghtening the MF that will cost us in the end and it’s why I’m predicting 3rd for us, even though chelski and shitty aren’t all that great themselves.
      That would all change overnight if we brought in a mata or ozil aswell as 2 of say bender, kondogbia, khediera, banega etc but it looks like it’ll be baines and or fellaini or no one unfortunately.

      • Grognard

        25 August 2013 at 18:45

        @tonymontanna4united: I have to say it is quite funny how fans can disagree about talent. I think Negredo is quite good and I positively think Navas is world class or at least very close, while Jovetic does nothing for me. Almost the opposite of you yet we agree on so much more. I also think that buying just one DMF and one CAM is all that is keeping us from repeating as champs and also becoming major threats again in Europe. Did everybody also here that Thiago is gone for 7 weeks due to ankle ligament damage. Who needs him anyway? 😀

        • tonymontanna4united

          25 August 2013 at 19:11

          @Grognard: :mrgreen: 😆 Weird isn’t it. But no the likes of Navas and Negredo have honestly never really struck me as anything other than decent, solid options so tbh I was a little surprised at the amount city were prepared to pay for them.
          Still point stands, I don’t their activity so far has been that great and whilst I rate Pellegrini, I wouldn’t say he’s anymore of a sure fire thing in regards to bringing them success, then Moyes is.
          Chelski are obviously the favourites because of just that, in Mourinho they probably have the current best manager in the game (although Klopp pushes him close imo, he did make Jose his bitch in 3/4 of their games last season 😆 ) which makes them my pick for the title even though their squad too is lacking.
          Your right though, 2 MF’s and a rooney replacement and we’d be bloody laughing. We’ve been saying this for years though, and with 8 days remaining I wouldn’t bet my life on it happening just yet unfortunately.

  8. Warzycha

    25 August 2013 at 19:55

    Jesus Navas is a world class player? No way!
    Him and Fernandinho are the ones who no team in the world should buy for so much money.

    Also, I don’t know what Modric can offer to a team when it comes to defending duties. I don’t think he is a ball winning midfielder.

    …and why is it a must to replace carrick and everyone else in the starting eleven when you buy one midfielder? Even if we bought just one defensive midfielder, I would try to trplace the lad, cause he is slow and he can’t defend. He is one of the reasons why clev and ando can’t be more free upfront and he is the reason why we still need a creative player in the no. 10 position, who can also defend. His name is Rooney unfortunately and as I said, if we buy no midfielder, we ‘d better find a warm hug for him…yeah, the fatty overpaid world class talent who never reached his potential.

  9. Warzycha

    25 August 2013 at 20:05


    I mean, it shoud be Carrick who should be benched first (yes, the most stable one, but the most unstabilising for the others) and then we can see if ando should be rplaced.

    Even if we bought just Fellaini I would rather see the manager try to replace the very slow Carrick.

    I respect the guy, he is class, but he’s lost his pace and our midfield will be a bunch of scared chickens as long as he keeps “connectin” the two lines. If your anchor-man is THAT slow, your midfield will be slow.

    • Grognard

      25 August 2013 at 23:23

      @Warzycha: Who’s talking about replacing Carrick? I’m simply saying giving him a defensive partner to play with him will help the club. Based on his play last year, Carrick would be the second last player I would sit or replace after RVP.

  10. Dred

    25 August 2013 at 20:42

    Whenever we play a team like Chelsea I always fear being overrun and out passed in midfield. I support the team through thick and thin but it gets a bit embarrassing when we fail to put a couple of passes together. We play better when we take the game to them, hope we give it a real go and scare them.

  11. Redrich

    26 August 2013 at 03:42

    There are two very clear distinctions that this game will offer us,. Is Rooney going to be our man or theirs, and is the United MF going to be able to out muscle theirs?
    I think it would be dumb to start Rooney. A politically correct decision, but it would do a disservice to Welbeck, and also to Rooney, who has had very little game time so far this term. The element of our game that is the weakest should be the area that we load up with players that can challenge them physically.
    Not a season defining game, but clearly a game that defines whether we are capable of being good against good opposition.

    • Grognard

      26 August 2013 at 07:07

      @Redrich: Playing Rooney will allow Moyes to gauge the player’s attitude and commitment. If he is willing to go out and work his ass off against the club he wants to supposedly play for, then he might be worth keeping. If he turns in a real dog of a performance, then I sell him for scrap to Arsenal or anyone but Chelsea.
      Its risky but I think it’s a risk worth taking before Moyes formulates his core eleven for the year.

      • The red baron

        26 August 2013 at 09:51

        @Grognard: agree with the point about Rooney. If he does start him, he’ll get a good insight into his actual attitude and whether he’s prepared to knuckle down and fight for the cause. Like others have said, I’ve not been impressed by chelsea so far, so if moyes is positive, they’re there for the taking. Just hope he’s not gonna be over cautious with his team selection otherwise got a feeling both teams could cancel each other out.

      • The red baron

        26 August 2013 at 09:51

        @Grognard: agree with the point about Rooney. If he does start him, he’ll get a good insight into his actual attitude and whether he’s prepared to knuckle down and fight for the cause. Like others have said, I’ve not been impressed by chelsea so far, so if moyes is positive, they’re there for the taking. Just hope he’s not gonna be over cautious with his team selection otherwise got a feeling both teams could cancel each other out.

  12. a new dawn

    26 August 2013 at 11:10

    what is mourinho playing at? claiming its all moyes fault for rooney being unhappy…… mouriniho is just a dirty gypsy and i,m glad we didnt go for him…. hope moyes gets one over on him today and i would love it even more if rooney scored the winner

    • jos

      26 August 2013 at 12:22

      @a new dawn: rooney always scores against chelsea.

      remember one time Giggsy gave the mighty chelsea midfield a lesson! The likes of Lampard, Essien and Ballack just couldnt do anything at all!

      • The_Philosopher

        26 August 2013 at 13:38

        @jos: You’re a United fan mate.

        Good on you.

    • Grognard

      26 August 2013 at 17:37

      @a new dawn: Despite the fact Mourinho is managing scum, I do love the guy. But he’s off his rocker if he is going to blame Moyes for Rooney’s childish and selfish behavior over the past few months. All I do is remember how he disrespected Fergie when they were receiving victory medals at the end of last season to see that Rooney is to blame for Rooney. Moyes was managing his last game elsewhere and had nothing to do with Rooney and Ferguson’s breakup. Honestly, Mourinho’s gamesmanship and head games at times defy logic. 🙄 🙄

  13. Jay Wire

    26 August 2013 at 13:48

    Off topic. I’m really disappointed with Ferguson and his complete Pogba mess. I think I should stop being bitter,but it’s hard. While a part of me is happy he went to Juventus,I’m still upset that he left. I say this now because I’m trying to imagine how we would have been this season with Pogba,Carrick and uhm,Anderson/ Cleverely,in the squad. I have been watching him since and the truth is in Italy he is veiwed as the number one rising star. Marchisio’s injury has propelled him into the starting line up of one of Europe’s top 5 midfield units. Everyone is lining up to declare him the next best player in the world. How stupid could we have been? The point here being,yes we definitely need two quality central midfielders,but we need to learn our lessons fast. Our scouting network has generally been excellent and it’s high time those higher up begin to maximise. It’s a great shame if players like Cleverely and Welbeck qualify for promotion,yet the highly talented ones get to appropriately rot and fade into oblivion. Adnan Januzaj looks a player ready to get into the big time. Skill,composure,technique,class and general ability in abundance. But definitely under Ferguson he would not have made any progress. Llajic last season was a top player and has become a key member of Fiorentina’s squad and clubs like Milan are after him. We need to improve our development of young talent. Invest more resources into the youth setup and develop our own stars. It’s a risk worth taking. Dortmund,Barca,Ajax and other clubs,keep taking risks with precocious talents and keep getting high value rewards. Otherwise players like Gotze,Torres,Messi,Kagawa,Ozil would not have become the stars they are today. We need to take more risks with players like Januzaj, Lingard and even Petrucci. It’s a risk worth taking if one or two turn into a Pogba or Fabregas. I’m just saying.

    • The red baron

      26 August 2013 at 14:25

      @Jay Wire: Over the years, with the exception of the golden generation, our record of producing high quality players has not been that good considering the resources we have available. For a club that’a always prided its self on its promotion of producing young talent, we’ve had pretty poor returns. What the problem has been, don’t honestly know. When you compare us to Southampton (never mind ajax, barca. …etc) it shows for me something somewhere is going wrong . whether it’s scouting, coaching whatever. Hope moyes has a long hard look at our youth set up and can identify where we’ve been going wrong. Moyes proved at Everton that he’s got a good eye for young talent and when to promot them to the first team squad, so on that score im pretty optimistic.

      • Jay Wire

        26 August 2013 at 17:49

        @The red baron: Exactly. Maybe Moyes will do a better job in that respect. We know the work he did at Everton with young players. He seems to have this,if you’re good enough you play approach. He took risks with players like Rooney, Vaughn, and Rodwell and this largely paid off. Hopefully he will take risks with Zaha,Januzaj and Lingard particularly. They need a serious look in. He did play them in preseason and against Wigan I think,which should have been a big boost to their confidence. I just want us to try and produce our own quality especially now that we totally suck at transfers

      • Grognard

        26 August 2013 at 17:58

        @The red baron: Excellent point. I really feel that Jaywire was right at pointing a finger at Fergie though because Pogba is an excellent example of squandering talent due to his incessant reliance and faith in two men who should have long retired, Scholes and Giggs. These were great players but year in and year out Fergie was reliant and totally dependent on both and could not bring himself to sit them both on the bench and bloody the kids who were trying to become regulars like Pogba, Cleverley and a few others. In fairness to Fergie, these old boys were still pretty damned good and Giggs continues to defy Father Time but at some point you have to start thinking like a more modern manager such as Klopp and take your chance on some youth. Problem is that unlike Dortmund that had great young talent developing in the training ground, United haven’t had a great slew of great young talent until most recently. The Golden Generation is the last time I felt really encouraged by our youth system until now. All those years we really developed nobody special and although Pogba may have gotten away, he really did not endear himself to Fergie and the hierarchy with a good attitude and kiss the badge kind of stuff. There always seemed to be the threat that he would leave up until he did so. Personally, I don’t care how good he was or could be, if he wasn’t dedicated to United then piss off then I say.

        The past is the past and we can’t cry over spilled milk now. What we can be joyous about is that we have three young players that for me show all the makings of truly world class players down the line. Janusaj, Zaha and Lingard are truly outstanding young players with good heads on their shoulders and they appear to really want to be Man Utd players. Now it’s important that David Moyes offers these kids playing time and not just in the Capital One Cup competition. A part of me would like to see us sign Ozil or a Mata but then again, it means that Janusaj and Lingard might get even less of a chance to play. That is why I hope our only form of transfer business this summer is getting a defensive or box to box midfielder and allowing Kagawa and those two kids to fight for the position of CAM. It’s only a matter of time before Zaha supplants Valencia on the right side too. The future is bright but we have to show faith in these kids despite our immediate goals to win trophies.

  14. Gator

    26 August 2013 at 19:29

    jones vida ferdi evra
    vally clever carrick welly
    roony rvp

    • Gator

      26 August 2013 at 19:30

      @Gator: strong lineup lets hope roony doesnt try to switch teams at the half

      • Buggy

        26 August 2013 at 19:46

        @Gator: i was half expecting to see giggsy on the team sheet, good to see moyes starting rooney.

    • tonymontanna4united

      26 August 2013 at 19:47

      @Gator: Let’s see if rooney does one of his all to regular disappearing routines tonight. If he doesn’t perform, the c**t can go, and it can to be the rent boys or the berties for all I care as I’m sick of the soap opera revolving rooney and the way he is hyped up to be something he’s not by everyone.
      Come on wayne, show us what you can do.

  15. Warzycha

    26 August 2013 at 20:08


    bet united to score

    goal is coming in the next 20 minutes!!!

  16. Gator

    26 August 2013 at 20:54

    some good possession and chances but the final ball has been lacking.

    were also still being bullied off the ball too easy. our passing has been beautiful at times then we get kicked at and loose our rhythm. Should have came out of the first half with a goal… hope to see us a lil more clinical in the second.

    oh and the kid oscar is the second coming of the lady boy… diving prat

  17. Gator

    26 August 2013 at 21:57

    What was up with cashly touching the ball so much???? ref screwed us out of 2 points already 🙄 was lampard the one who handled in the box?

  18. Nuevo

    26 August 2013 at 21:59

    Chelsea who? We played well. goes to show all the money in the world cant buy u a team. Rooney for motm anyone ?

    • Warzycha

      26 August 2013 at 22:27


      Although I can’t rate him over 7.5 , he probably was man of the match. He showed more passion than anybody else. Although RvP looked driven, he didn’t have many touches.

      Everything came out of Evra-Rooney-Welbeck combination. They were the best in the match, but not enough. Chelsea was vulnerable on their right, or Moyes had worked on this combination.

      Anyway, the goal didn’t come, Welbeck disappointed me cause he didn’t shoot on target when he had a great chance and because he was scared to cross the ball each time he could. Why so scary? I can’t understand him. He has all the talent and the speed to become a decent “english entertainer”… I mean the one who will give pace when attacking, the one who will create chances by chasing every opponent and who will scare them. But come on! Is he a boy or a man?

      Rooney has to work hard. I fancy his Scholesy ability to change the game. I liked it that he was driven and played with passion but still he doesn’t seem focused.

      RvP has to work har too. He is a top top player, an excellent finisher but he can’t win a header in the middle of the pitch. We need this. A passing header is many times the first attacking pass in modern football. Maybe I ‘m asking everything by our best player. He can’t do it all alone.

      Valencia is more determined and in a good form, but he had no chance with those awful crosses. I know he can do better cause he ‘s got it. He really is a good crosser of the ball.

      Evra was pivotal today. Without an attacking full back and quality defensive midfielders, you are doomed in modern football. If only we had Rafael in the other side.

      CAUSE JONES IS NOT A FUCKIN RIGHT BACK. Come on! Don’t destroy this massive talent. Please Moyes, give him a chance to prove what he is capable of!!! (that goes for Smalling, too)

      What I will keep from this game, is Moyes’s new style of play. I mean, we look better when it comes to pressing… although Mourinho’s chicky tactics helped. I hope he creates a team that presses upfront, just as like Everton did in many games.

  19. colver

    26 August 2013 at 22:18

    Rooney’s performance was encouraging and he was clearly very happy to be selected for a big game and played in his favoured position. But he cannot get his own way all the time and there will be games where he will either have to sit out or take one for the team on the wing or in midfield.

    That is the crux of the problem with Rooney that we still do not seem to have resolved. Also it is clear that Welbeck is far far better upfront than on the wing and with the progress he has made it is unfair to shunt him out wide just to keep a spoilt and entitled Rooney happy.

    Valencia and Cleverley are definitely the weak links in this team.

    Valencia is a shadow of the player he used to be and I think the best he can ever be for us is a squad rotation player. Hopefully Zaha will make an instant impact this season and Januzaj will break through as well.

    Cleverley just does not have the presence a big team like us needs in midfield. He is hard working and diligent and fairly tidy with his passing. But he completely lacks the ability to impose himself.

    I think we messed up not exercising Fellaini’s release clause. While Fellaini is far from being a world class player he has at least got charisma and makes his presence felt and gets stuck in.

    • Warzycha

      26 August 2013 at 22:32


      Yes, that’s the problem with Clev. I think that since that bitch Davies broke his leg, he is a lot scared. I remember when I saw him for the first times near Anderson. Our midfield looked revived! And we were passing like Barcelona bitches sometimes. Then that bitch Davies came in and he ended a fairy tale story.

      We do need a big guy in the midfield or else we can’t compete with the best.

    • Grognard

      27 August 2013 at 04:53

      @colver: I think the issue from Rooney’s perspective is why should he be the only one to make sacrifices and take one for the team. Why doesn’t RVP play AMF or LMF etc? Rooney is actually cursed by his flexibility. He gives his manager options thus, screws up Rooney’s preference to play striker.

  20. tonymontanna4united

    26 August 2013 at 22:29

    Decent point, and for me a pretty good performance. It was hard to break chelski down with what seemed at times, like their entire team parking the coach in their box.
    Our passing and pressure was good, but we didn’t really create all that much due to the ineffectiveness of our wide men.
    Welbeck was sloppy, valencia was woeful, I don’t think he made a single cross or forward pass that reached it’s intended target. Nothing new really but if we’re looking to play a more fluid and narrower system which it appeared to be at times, then Valencia really shouldn’t be playing there.
    And bringing on Young and Giggs to try and win the game was a bit of a head scratcher too.
    The game needed a Kagawa or a Nani or Zaha. I really hope it’s not long before we see these players back soon because I just think Valencia takes so much away from our game and makes us so boring and predictable.
    That would atleast be tolerable if he was effective and could put in 1 bloody cross into the box rather than straight into the first defender 🙄
    Rooney I thought was decent. Decent work rate, some nice passes, but I get the feeling him and RVP aren’t on the same page. Taking on the shot when van persie was clean through seemed a bit selfish, and he seemed against passing to him when in space a few times.
    I just dont think they click tbh and stand by my view that if the
    chance was ever presented whereby we could bring in mata or ozil in exchange for him I’d take it in a second (and that’s on a purely footballing basis not because I don’t happen to be particularly fond of the guy because hes a greedy scouse twat :mrgreen: ).
    Overall though a decent point as I say. Defensively I think we’ll be fine, and the midfield today wasn’t even that bad although still needs reinforcements. I just wish we’d move away from the likes of Valencia, Young and Giggs and more towards the likes of Nani, Zaha, Januzaj etc who will offer us more going forward.
    Fabio likewise, I’d prefer to see at RB over Jones who really offers us very little offesnively aswell.

    • Warzycha

      26 August 2013 at 22:39


      I don’t think that Rooney doesn’t like RvP. It’s just that sometimes they make the same movements and that Chelsea did a really good job in marking Robin.

      Rooney’s favorite attacking partener was Tevez. That’s what he once said. They really worked well together. Nowadays, when RvP and Rooney play together they look good together. But when RvP is isolated and man marked, he can’t help Ronney nor can Rooney can help him. Maybe today he should come deeper, but it’s not his fault. It’s what Moyes told him to do and it’s because of Chelsea’s defending abilities.

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