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Manchester United

Doubt is temporary, class is permanent (except Wayne Rooney’s).

RvP and Evra v swansea Aug 13OK, one down and 37 to go. So what have we learned from United’s first match of the season, first victory as well as first regular season match under new manger David Moyes?

First off let me congratulate David Moyes on his first victory. I have to say this, even though Dave was never my choice for manager of this prestigious club, I am one of those out there who is very happy for him and delighted with a tough road win that hopefully filled us all with some optimism while answering some immediate questions.

I like Moyes, I always have. The man is class and he is the kind of individual you want to cheer for and wish the best for. With that being said I am still very concerned over the overall depth and quality of this club. Going in to the season we have had nothing but uncertainty, frustration and turmoil run roughshod over what should have been a positive, exciting and interesting new season. So obviously it was vital for the club’s mental health and confidence that we get off to not only a good start, but in fact a very positive one.

What I noticed from this game is energy, passion and a well-organized club, especially in their back line. Yes Evra again was caught on a few occasions playing to narrow or being out of position but overall, we were pretty tight and offered up nothing more than a few half chances. I thought our first twenty minutes was a bit rough but even if we had fielded the 1994 or 2008 sides, I think that would have happened on the road against a good side on the first match day of the season.

Swansea were stoked and were smelling blood, that is of course until Robin van Persie stuck a dagger in them with a sublime effort and superb volley. What can I say about this lad that hasn’t already been said. All the superlatives have been used. I was positively sick a year ago when it became clear Fergie was pursuing an Arsenal player and a player who I knew was good but who I felt was soft and injury prone. Not a player who could get tough when you needed it. Boy was I wrong. Robin van Persie has become the shining beacon of light on this club and by a country mile the club’s best player and leader. With no disrespect to the great Nemanja Vidic, but RVP for me should be this club’s captain due to his passion, commitment and world-class displays.

For years I have wondered who would be the heir apparent to Eric Cantona? Who had the skill, flair and overall class to even come close to comparing to the King? I originally thought Berbatov might be the man because of his flair and style but even though he did have his moments, he never really came close to comparing to Eric. Robin van Persie however, has surpassed my expectations tenfold. He is the talisman, the straw that stirs the drink and he does it all with rapier like precision while always displaying enthusiasm, pride and utter joy to be part of this great club. The opposite can be said of Mr. Wayne Rooney though.

Rooney replaces Giggs v Swansea Aug 13Although Wayne came on and actually showed a little work ethic while being instrumental in our third and fourth goals, I am still confused and totally disenchanted with the man’s attitude and reasons for wanting to leave the club. Just what the Hell do you want Wayne? What has to be done to make you realize that leaving this club not only hurts Manchester United but will in the long run hurt you as well? Like I said, Wayne’s strong run into position had a lot to do with giving RVP the position for his second goal. Great run Wayne but did everyone notice his lack of emotion and interest in the goal? No celebration, no show of emotion. The boy simply is not having fun and the fact is obvious, he just doesn’t want to be here. But enough about that cry baby, today is a day to celebrate victory.

Overall performance levels were high for the squad today. I don’t think Swansea were close to their overall form of last season but then again they never just sat back and parked the bus either. They are a talented side who play with some European flair and style and beating them 4-1 on the road was truly an amazing result.

Lets start with De Gea in goal. I hope he isn’t hurt too bad. Overall he never really had too much to do but he seemed very sure of himself and he also looks to be more in charge in the box. I noticed him shouting and directing players in the box, which is something he never used to do. Upset I am that he lost out on the clean sheet due to Welbeck’s dilly-dallying in the box but other than that United’s keeper was solid if not spectacular. Oh I did like the way he pounced on Michu in the box and forced him into a no win situation. That’s not just ability, that’s confidence and attitude that says I’m in charge here so piss off Michu.

Our back four were pretty decent for most of the afternoon. I mentioned earlier that Evra seemed to be his usual self at times. How many times this season will he be caught out of position or in to narrow a position to assist? Somebody needs to tell him that he is not a central defender/winger because that is the way he plays. Fortunately his defensive play never cost us any goals but I worry about this player’s worthlessness down the road.

Vidic and Ferdinand were strong although Ferdinand played that goal scored against us poorly. He left his man who ended up scoring the goal uncontested. Vidic was strong and combative and not much more can be asked of the General as I see it. I just hope both our CB’s can stay healthy. Wishful thinking I’m sure. Phil Jones was also pretty decent and I thought his defensive play in and around our box was quite strong and he was very unlucky not to score on an outstanding volley that would have made any elite striker in the world envious.

Our midfield again was a mixed back of goods. Our width was good and our movement was good but not yet excellent. I still feel however that our midfielders were playing a lot on their heels and our possession at times was not very good. Still, when it mattered Giggs delivered a strong lob chip to RVP for the first goal and Carrick was strong defensively tracking back and assisting our back four. Cleverley for me was kind of invisible.

I don’t want to get all negative on the lad but he needs to make more of a statement of intent rather than just go through the motions. Star players are not afraid to take a risk or two. Cleverley it seems has learned a lot from Scholes but mostly about being cautious and mastering the back pass. I need to see more through balls and dazzling runs with the ball from Tom. Valencia was solid and his strong trap and pass led to the second goal. He also ran his socks off even though he really never made or created that much other than the second goal, I was nevertheless encouraged with his play.

Still, I want Zaha in there and I really am bitterly disappointed that he never started the game and even more so, that he never played at all. That was a typically Fergie thing to do by Moyes and I hope this is not indicative of the future where the kids are forgotten and the old vets play all the time. Seeing Anderson show up late in the game was also something that left me feeling a bit queasy inside. I make no excuses, I do not like Anderson and I want this player gone from United. Instead, the club continues to throw him out there against my wishes until of course he goes down with a long-term injury again.

Welbeck and RvP v Swansea Aug 13The stars of the match of course were Robin van Persie and amazingly, Danny Welbeck. Today Welbeck finally arrived. I believe he equalled in one match his total goal haul for last year. And his second goal was truly outstanding and showed confidence, imagination and the highest order of skill. His performance was very encouraging, and for now at least I am calling off the dogs. I still prefer Chicharito but Welbeck may prove me wrong and at least today and as well his match for England earlier this week, he proved to be a revelation.

I already have gone on and on about Robin van Persie. What more can I say other than his first goal was world class and his second goal was universal class. What a take and what a shot. Too bad Rooney felt so cheated by his and Danny’s success that despite being influential in both of the last two goals, he felt celebrating the goals was beneath him. I think he sent a message that was very clear to me. Nothing United say or do will change his mind and it’s clear that for the best interests of this club, we must deal Wayne Rooney and deal him now..

Ideally I would prefer us to show strength and resolve and not let player power spoil and disrupt this club’s chemistry and attitude. Right now Rooney’s attitude is a festering poison that is preparing itself to spread within the body of United. Even though sending a strong message about destroying player power is something I am all for, I do not believe in this case that keeping Wayne is in our best interests. No, we must not sell him to Chelsea or Arsenal but we must sell him so lets sell him to Real Madrid. Madrid has always wanted him and Ancelotti has always been an admirer so why not throw him in a deal that could possibly net us an Ozil and either Khedira or Modric? For me this is a no brainer and must.

Danny Welbeck proved today that we really do not need Rooney as much as Rooney thinks we need him. What we do need is a better midfield and with that better midfield I am confident that we can keep our position at the top of the Barclay’s as well as becoming a much greater threat in Europe.

Today’s 4-1 victory was first class and Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck were world-class. A great first game for David Moyes and encouragement that United are not quite ready to relinquish their throne. A must win considering we face City and Chelsea in the next few weeks. Those matches will go much further in letting us know what we have to work with but at least for now, all things look bright and shiny. 4-1 was a serious show of intent and should make many other clubs who threaten our dominance think twice about considering us yesterday’s news. Keep the passion, pace and aggression going Dave and good things should happen.



  1. The_Philosopher

    17 August 2013 at 21:32

    Before we get carried away lets remember that we were playing Swansea.

    Yes they can be really tough to play against and so beating them is no small matter.

    But our static midfield will be exposed by Chelsea. I’m not going to get too excited just yet. I’m happy with the win. But Chelsea will be on another level compared to Swansea.

    Rooney really didn’t look happy out there today although his play was pretty good.

    He needs to be sold I agree.

    Welbeck was outstanding and I think its only a matter of time before he starts adding goals to his game.

    Zaha was sorely missed. I didn’t think Valencia was worthy of 90min.

    I will wait until Chelsea before I get excited.

    • Dan

      17 August 2013 at 21:40

      I agree with you about not getting excited mate but, at the same time, Swansea are a side that will probably finish in the top-8 this season and play the sort of football that could have created us a lot of problems – in fact it did for the first 30-35 mins. Furthermore, with all the bollocks that’s been going on during pre-season today could have been a very tricky game so, yes, let’s not get carried away, but bollocks to it, we’ve got 3 pts in the bag.


      • Ian

        17 August 2013 at 23:01

        Turns out today was actually a good time to face Swansea. After 20mins they tired, before that they pressed us so hard they made us look nervous. After we rode that we looked in control because they couldn’t press as high. In a few months when they’re all ‘match fit’ and capable of pressing for longer they’ll turn more teams over than they get beat by.

        I predicted them to affect the status quo this season and I’m sticking by it.

        • Opti

          18 August 2013 at 04:06

          @Ian: affect status quo = pipping Liverpool to 7th/8th? 😀

  2. Adomovic

    17 August 2013 at 22:33

    Great performance, we need two CMs and we will win the title. :mrgreen:

  3. dani carter

    17 August 2013 at 23:13

    Men dis guy is a racist; Evra polayed well; phil jones way below standards; and valencia; no no

    • Opti

      18 August 2013 at 04:07

      @dani carter: OK, Patrice 😉

    • Grognard

      18 August 2013 at 04:44

      @dani carter: Because I am not a Patrice Evra fan I’m a racist? 😯 😯 I also picked Danny Welbeck as co man of the match and called his performance world class. Is that racist enough for you you troublesome little wart? 😡 🙄 🙄

  4. me

    18 August 2013 at 00:36

    the writer can’t compare rooney with welbeck: welbeck is energetic, a hardworker and fast but that is all he is. rooney is better at passing, technique, ability, set pieces and most importantly a better finisher. the big games we need a rooney, like in the upcoming 4 games.

    • Sahal

      18 August 2013 at 13:14

      @me: technique and passing mean nothing if you’re not willing to give everything for the team,just wonder how things will fold out over the next 2 weeks

    • tonymontanna4united

      18 August 2013 at 17:08

      @me: Maybe if we’re talking about the rooney of years ago yes, but the rooney of today has seen his game deteriorate to such a level that I’d say apart from his finishing ability, his all round game really isn’t all that great.
      Welbeck has a lot he still needs to work on, his shooting and finishing ability in the penalty area is probably the weakest part of his game and something he needs to really improve on, but his all round game and ability outside of the box, linking up play, his passing and technique etc is on a much greater level than Rooney’s without question imo.

    • The_Philosopher

      18 August 2013 at 21:30

      @me: Welbeck’s name would be the second name on my team sheet after RVP.

      Welbeck is more important to our performances than Rooney is right now.

      Rooney’s name wouldn’t make it onto my team sheet at all.

      Welbeck is turning into a worldclass player. Soon he might be good enough to replace Rooney’s goal contribution. . .

  5. BigRed

    18 August 2013 at 00:55

    Evra’s worthlessness?

    Evra played well today. Better than Jones, who played several careless balls and made some sloppy “clearances”.
    Cleverley needs reminding what a forward pass looks like. Way too many back passes, but to be fair we saw that from too many players today.
    Valencia seems incapable of attacking his man, or even being able to isolate him. Good assist for Welbecks goal, but that’s about all he did.
    I’ll be hoping for a vast improvement in terms of tempo and style in the coming weeks.
    No pressing today, same in the charity shield. We let them have too much of the ball and too much time to use. Our passing at times was terrible, first half was pretty crappy.
    Decent result but massive improvement needed.

    • Redrich

      18 August 2013 at 02:18

      @BigRed: Summer break over, mate, time to at least find some positives with the team. There will be plenty of time to roll out the venom, believe me.
      Not the finished article, rough around the edges but not worthy of a complete rewrite.
      I do believe Moyes knows what we need and it his biggest challenge to convince all involved to get new WC talent to OT.

    • Grognard

      18 August 2013 at 04:45

      @BigRed: He was constantly caught out of position but fortunately we never paid for it. Go back and watch how many times he was out of position.

      • BigRed

        18 August 2013 at 19:25

        Save you’re football 101 for someone who needs it pal.
        The only positive from yesterday was that we won, against the run of play essentially.
        Was not easy on the eyes, at all.
        Evra is one of our most important players, i’m not wasting my time trying to convince someone who wants more Everton at United.
        First half we couldn’t string two passes together. And you think that’s a good sign?
        Open you’re eyes. Decent result, poor performance.
        See how much our standards have slipped already?
        Suddenly decidedly average is “a great performance”.

        • Ben

          18 August 2013 at 20:47


          That’s just stupid. United had many chances, many more serious chances. And when Swansea were in possession, most the time they didn’t look dangerous at all.

          As to not attacking?!!!! That is nuts. United looked dangerous all game. Unless possession is the only stat you look at, United had a fantastic game. Evra and Valencia both made great runs in the game. The movement in the box was fantastic.

          There are always things to improve. Even after United’s 8-2 demolition of Arsenal, it wasn’t perfect. However, if you watched that game, and pointed out all the non-perfect aspects, and talked about the team like it needed a complete overhaul, people would call bullshit. Well…. the ratio is the same, 4-1. It was confident. It was clinical. And after the first goal, Swansea were broken. After the second they completely lost all confidence. And United were imperious after that point. You didn’t watch the same game if you ever thought Swansea were coming back after that. Cause I saw a United team that smelled blood, went for the kill, and dispatched a tough opponent in all of two minutes, and then spent the rest of the match playing with them like a cat with a bird it’s caught. Swansea never, not for one moment, was going to get back into that match after the second goal. It felt to me like United had the measure of Swanseas midfield, and gave it space and time in spaces that weren’t dangerous, and put up the brick all around the box. Short a Welbeck mistake, this would have been an overwhelming, soul-crushing win by United, and really, it still was. This is a team everyone calls ‘european’, and talks about their flair, oh, and the slayers of Mighty Malmo. And while yes, they started bright(first game at home, I would hope they would start bright), when United took their chance, it was over. This United team is great, and the signs are fantastic.

          Think about this, last years title winning club, with a functional Welbeck, Zaha, and a healthy Kagawa. Plus Cleverley still improving, Rafael still improving(and
          already world class), I expect a breakout year for Chicharito. Anyone watching his international career understands what a special strike he is. Wayne Roony, and though I wouldn’t have expected him to be a bright spot, he knows he’s not going anywhere, and he knows he can’t whine his way into starting games. Which leaves him with being a great squad player. Which I think he will do, and be great at, and I am now optimistic (just barely), that with no other option but to play well for the team, as the team requires(if he expects to be sold he’s gonna have to show his potential buyers something, or even prove that he has something at the end of this contract worth selling), just barely optimistic that he will recover his form to some degree, and Rooney at 90 percent of his peak would be a huge addition to the squad. Everyone has already talked about Adnan, and Lingaard. I am hugely excited about those two. And I’ll even toss a bone to Buttner. During the preseason I saw him making a lot more clearances, winning defensive headers, he has the ability to become a solid defender, and since he’s fantastic going forward, he could develop into a great United player.

  6. Redrich

    18 August 2013 at 03:05

    Wayne doesn’t look very good in front of the camera anymore. The camera picks up and records every poor touch, every errant pass and every sign of being not-in-shape. He did work on his premature baldness though, but alas, he hasn’t worked on his premature demise as a player.
    He is now working hard on “The Scowl”, the “Scouse Scowl”, and in my estimation he is making progress here. There are definite signs that he is beginning to look like the warrior mercenary in an impossible to believe rescue-mission movie. Wayne is either trying to move to Chelsea of thinking about a new career in front of the camera.
    Wait – the camera doesn’t like Wayne, right??

    You just can’t tell Wayne anything, can you!

    • Grognard

      18 August 2013 at 04:48

      @Redrich: He’s working on perfecting his brooder look as he knows that he will have to fall towards a plan B profession soon like acting. Brooders are big in Hollywood and he already has the Shrek look all to himself so he has one up on all the competition in Tinseltown.

  7. Grognard

    18 August 2013 at 04:50

    It’s frakken opening day in the Prem and we only have 10 hits for this article so far? Where the Hell is everyone and why aren’t more people itching to talk footy? ❓ ❓ ❓ ❓

  8. johnsom33

    18 August 2013 at 07:24

    Evra could have played better in spurts but I dont think he warranted being singled out, But I know your not his biggest fan so thats understandable. What I dont understand is the pass you gave Phil Jones, I thought he was shocking today. Its pretty clear his future is at CB and definitely not RB or midfield.

    Those who are trying to poo-poo this win by saying “its just swansea” need to stop. This was an impressive win over a good team on the road.

    • Grognard

      18 August 2013 at 09:20

      @johnsom33: Hey how’s my buddy doing? Nice to see you showed up for a chat. Yes I’m back and hopefully you will be too. Lots to talk about with this new season afoot. 🙂

    • Grognard

      18 August 2013 at 09:22

      @johnsom33: I must admit I have blinders on when it comes to Phil Jones.

    • The_Philosopher

      18 August 2013 at 22:06

      @johnsom33: It IS just Swansea!

      They aren’t title rivals or top four material. We are.

      Defeat against Swansea wouldn’t have be an understandable slip up because we were facing our peers. It would have been a disaster because we’re a much higher caliber team..

      If we had lost at Swansea would you have said “It was always going to be tough playing against a Swansea. But at least the lads put in a great shift. Hopefully we can pick some points against the easier teams”

      United are expected to pick up points against Swansea.

      You can accept defeat against Chelsea or City. But can United really accept defeat from Swansea?

      I think we’re expected to beat Swansea everyday of the week.

      Chelsea will reveal Moyes’ mettle. Not Swansea.

      • The_Philosopher

        18 August 2013 at 22:08

        @The_Philosopher: It was a good win don’t get me wrong.

        But it says nothing about our ability to win the title this year.

      • Buggy

        19 August 2013 at 08:47

        @The_Philosopher: based on the form that Swansea showed last season, i wasnt sure that we would pickup three points today, last season we have struggled against them. laudrup’s men caused some serious upsets last season, so winning 4-1 at Swansea is a very positive result. let us hope this translates into the match with chelsea.

        Chelsea’s midfield did look good even without mata. The Chelsea game would answer a lot of our questions. Our defense was good against Swansea, so we should be expecting quite a interesting match. Against chelsea we would definitely need some legs in the midfield, Cleverley/Giggs/Anderson wont help against them 🙁

  9. red astair

    18 August 2013 at 08:26

    Great result against a good team. Have to admit, when I saw the team selection I had my doubts, but what do I know? Harder tests to come, but you can only beat what’s in front of you, so well done David Moyes, up and running and still time for one or two additions to midfield. RVP, on another level. Well pleased.

  10. Dr S

    18 August 2013 at 11:44

    Perhaps Moyes should, at the very least, get the one buy he can: Fellaini.

    Assuming all players are fit, this would allow him to play a team like:

    De Gea

    Rafael – Jones – Vidic – Evra

    Fellaini – Carrick

    Zaha/Valencia – Kagawa – Wellbeck/Nani

    van Persie

    Bench: Lindergaard, Fabio, Rio, Januzaj, Cleverly

    (If you’re wondering where Rooney, Young and Anderson are, its down with the reserves. He he hee!)

  11. Sahal

    18 August 2013 at 13:12

    2 Assits for Wayne,no matter how much you dislike him he does bring quality especially when he’s on form.The problem with selling him is that we’re most certainly not going to replace him in this transfer window.

    Still don’t know what Cleverley’s role in this team is and it’s ridiculous that we’re still sitting with the midfield problem ahead of our game against the team with arguably the best midfield in the league.

    No credit taken away from the victory however,delighted for Danny!Although I was most impressed (after RVP) with how Rio and Vida handled Michu and the powerful Bony.Still one of the best central defensive partnerships there is!

  12. tonymontanna4united

    18 August 2013 at 16:56

    It is important not to get carried away I agree, but there were some major positives to take from this game for sure, and as Grog mentioned, one of the things that impressed me was the number of chances we created.
    There were a good 6/7+ genuine goal scoring chances we created.
    In days gone by we would struggle to create even half of that, so against a good side like Swansea that’s a big big positive.

    I agree regarding Evra. He wasn’t woeful, but he does still leave us outnumbered at the back when he goes on one of his runs forward and looks to jog back leaving the LB spot unprotected. I did think his deliveries were improved though, as he put a good 3/4 crosses into the box that were in dangerous positions.
    Valencia again did very little offensively apart from the assist. I just find him a very boring player. His one strength was taking on players and using his strength and pace to beat the full back and put in a cross for his team mates. It wasn’t pretty, and personally I much prefer the way a Nani or Zaha plays, but even I can’t deny it was damn effective and it worked for us.
    Nowadays though, he just doesn’t even seem to try and beat his man. I’m starting to think more and more that maybe we’ve seen the best of Antonio Valencia. Regardless I hope it’s not long before we see the likes of Nani and Zaha given their chances on that side, who I feel offer us alot more going forward.
    As for Rooney, well I draw the line with him. You don’t really want to be here, ok we get that. But trudging about, scowling and looking pissed off all game really isn’t helping anyone.
    If we’ve got this to look forward every game, distracting away from Moyes and how well the team have played, then he really should just be buggered off to the reserves.

    • Grognard

      19 August 2013 at 21:57

      @tonymontanna4united: Getting caught up field is not the thing that bothers me about Evra the most. It’s the fact that more often the not, he is not in position marking his man and is usually found playing to far in and to close to the central defenders thus allowing the opposition the width to exploit us on our left side. Three times he got away with it on Saturday. Against the likes of Chelsea and Man City, I doubt we will be so lucky.

  13. reality

    18 August 2013 at 21:09

    Grognard, you are an embarrassment,

    • The_Philosopher

      18 August 2013 at 21:39

      @reality: An embarrassment to who?

      For what?

    • Ben

      18 August 2013 at 22:46

      I prefer my scathing indictments at the end of lengthy diatribe and polemic sir. I’m disappointed that you throw out such flaccid accusation without any venom whatsoever.

      I’m not angry with you…. just disappointed.

    • Grognard

      19 August 2013 at 05:31

      @reality: You need a lesson in REALITY.

      • reality

        19 August 2013 at 13:17

        @Grognard: Groggy
        ………vital for the club’s mental health that we get off to not only a good start, but in fact a very positive one……………..
        “the club’s mental health” Ha ha ha ha!!
        I am still confused and totally disenchanted with the man’s attitude and reasons for wanting to leave……………………
        You follow two clubs yet you are dazed and confused about an unsettled professional player wanting a transfer……………(mindboggling lack of self awareness even considering that North Americans don’t do irony).
        With all of your disillusionment and confusion together with your lack of credibility,are you not projecting your own mental health probs. onto our club. It is rather embarrassing to witness.
        Either you follow Bayern or United. Make your mind up. No splitting, no projection. Unless you chose one over the other then you display a ridiculous lack of basic understanding of football which is reflected in all of your confused attempts at rambling analysis.

        • Grognard

          19 August 2013 at 21:53

          @reality: Sod off.

  14. Buggy

    19 August 2013 at 09:00

    United fans showed a lot of class in welcoming Rooney. the same is expected of him. though he did look a little rusty, he did add to our game. But his body language was unwarranted, the way he did not participate in celebrating the two goals is something that wouldnt go unnoticed. Come on Wayne, get your head straight. If you are staying here ultimately, be a team player and show some Class.

    if welbeck maintains the goal scoring form he has shown of late, he would seriously be a threat to Rooney and Chicha. hope this form continues. RVP has got to be the best signing after ronny and rooney. He is truly worldclass, a true class display of center forward play. he’s got to be the most skillful player in the Prem.

  15. BazzetheRed

    19 August 2013 at 12:16

    Maybe a bit tardy in commenting on this thread but in case anyone’s still reading…

    So I was at Wembley (halfway line) last weekend for the CS and after watching today’s televised victory my opinion remains largely unaltered, and obvious: in RVP we have a solitary authentically world-class player who can turn a game by himself and is at the peak of his form. Gawd preserve us from injuries. In defence we will always be prone to some wobbles but have a seasoned unit with backup in most positions (now Fabio’s back from QPR and with Baines, perhaps, arriving). Nemanja was immense and if he can stay injury-free will contribute hugely to whatever we achieve this season.

    As to Rooney – whatever. I think the club are right to hold a firm line on not selling to a domestic rival – we all know what signal it sent when Arse sold Nasri to the Bitters and than RVP to us, i.e. that they were no longer serious title/CL challengers, amply borne out by Saturday’s result. Is Wazza unhappy? Like I give a stuff. He can play with a scowl on his face if he likes, he still ahs to play and play well if he wants to retain his market/England value. Anyway he’ll get over it. Recall that Ronnie had a face like a smacked arse for the first 2 months of 2008-09 after we didn’t sell him to Madrid – he perked up eventually. £250K a week salves a lot of wounded pride.

    Back to the team: You can’t quibble too much with 2 victories in 1.5 competitive games.


    As last weekend, our midfield remains pedestrian and lacking in ideas and vitality. None of our 4 goals were really created from our midfield quartet (nos. 1/3/4 set up from the number 10 slot, Giggs or Rooney, 2 from Evra’s cross albeit with Valencia’s assist). Cleverly was anonymous, Carrick reliable but not terribly exciting, Valencia pedestrian and unable to beat a man – now he’s lost his pace he’s revealed as basically a journeyman player. With the (excellent apart from fannying around on the D to give away the Swansea goal) Wellbeck roaming freely in a quasi-Ronaldo role we had no real width except when Patrice came forward. At Wembley Zaha – on my touchline in the first half so viewed close-up – was energetic but terribly raw – not a CL starter on anyone’s reckoning.

    My real gripe with the existing squad is why Kagawa remains permanently benched. He sparkled when he came for the last 10 minutes at Wembley and surely has to be a better bet for the number 10 role than Old Man Giggs!?

    Benefit of the doubt perhaps, Moyes wanted above all to avoid defeat given the shitstorm that would rain down. But given the fixture list (less than impressed by the erstaz Mini-Me meltdown on that last week – reeked of a ruse to distract from transfer non-activity to me) is he going to feel able to be any more adventurous against Chelski, Shitty, or Scousers? And if not now, when?

    We need those signings to jazz things up and light a fire under some arses too.

    • Grognard

      19 August 2013 at 21:52

      @BazzetheRed: Well said mate. Better late than never.

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