This was written by one of our contributors (Ashley Keet) over at Soccerlens, but I thought it would be a better fit here. Enjoy!
It’s been a couple of days now since the final and despite attempting to stay away from as much post match reaction as possible i havent been able to escape the usual finger pointing and “what if” statements that follow a bad result. What if Giggs’ goal was given? and who actually was the better side? In truth both sides were poor and neither really deserved it but i couldnt help but come away feeling let down, not by the players but by Fergie…
He has done a cracking job in winning the premiership back this season and i can’t wait to see this team progress under his management over the next few years but i can’t help but wave that finger of blame in his direction for Saturdays result. I just think that he bottled it!
This season our game has been about fast attacking football, much like the all conquering sides of the 90’s and it has been a joy to behold. Why then did we go out attempting to replicate Chelsea’s approach to the game on Saturday? I honestly believe that we are a better side than Chelsea and if we had taken the game to them it could have been so different. At best we had 2 or 3 men committing themselves in attack at any one time and Scholes and Carrick hardly left our half. There were actually alot of good performances though; Rooney was giving Essien a torrid time, Rio and Vidic were excellent and i thought scholes was popping the ball around well but they seemed afraid to really take the game to Chelsea and break the shape at any point.
All the time the game was played in that manner it was always going to suit Chelsea and whilst we had our chances i always fancied them to score eventually. I cant help but think if we had commited more men forward and opened the game up a little we would have had alot more joy. I just don’t think Chelsea’s defence (especially with the absence of Carvalho) would have been able to live with us if the game had become stretched. Players like Giggs’ and Ronaldo never even got started due to the tempo of the game.
Ultimately i just believe that we had to go out and attempt to play the game the way we wanted in order to utilise our strengths and all we did was play the game in a manner that suited theirs.
Still, if we were offered the premiership alone at the beginning of the season, i’m sure we’d have taken it… It’s nice to once again be defending it rather than chasing it..! Roll on 07-08!!