Everton FA Cup Preview

David Moyes, credit to him, did a manful job of getting his point across, casting doubts over Mike Riley’s integrity to referee a Man Utd match. Since then you’ve had people wondering if the accusation carried weight. Scott on RoM did some digging and came up with stats on the number of penalties he’s awarded.

I think it’s not worth dwelling on that because Moyes has done his job. He’s shifted the attention onto Riley, and he’ll likely be doing something to ‘correct’ his public perception.

One hopes he doesn’t over compensate by, say, booking Ronaldo for diving in the box when he really is a victim of a two footed, studs up challenge by an Everton player.

The Guardian has a piece berating the state of the pitch, and furthering Wenger’s claim that the pitch was a disgrace. I saw the game in passing and it amazes me that a newly built ground ostensibly meant for showpiece events isn’t upto scratch when it’s actually in use. For a team like United, whose traditional mode of playing football is by passing the ball more than lumping it up the pitch, this won’t come as good news. For Everton — while being a pretty good team, nevertheless — this will come as slightly better news, and could work into their plans of derailing our midfield. At the moment, that seems a much easier task than it seemed in January.

Regarding the squad, there is talk that Fergie might reshuffle his squad, taking into account the injuries and the gruelling nature of our schedule. And I understand that. Quintuple or sextuple, the FA Cup remains the least of Fergie’s priorities. But in the midst of all the shuffling, one would hope he doesn’t mess too much with our centre back pairing. For now I’d happily keep Vidic and Rio till their limbs fall off. Rio’s had enough of a break recuperating, and Vidic is usually a machine — so let’s keep them together for now.

With Fergie’s mooted changes, it will be interesting to see if Rafael returns at right back, seeing as Fergie’s spoken about him in glowing terms regarding his training. Brown has returned to training and will play for the reserves against Preston North End on Monday. Again there is talk of rushing him back to the first team during the course of this season run in. A fully fit Brown will be a breath of fresh air in that right back slot which has always seemed a bugbear for us this season. But more importantly, the return of Rafael (and this reshuffling) should hopefully see O’Shea at left back instead of Evra. I think the diminutive left back could do with some time on the bench to refresh, recharge and get back to his best.

On the midfield, Carrick seems to be out with some knock, while Fletcher returns. Fletch would be a starter in my book. I can’t really put a finger on the other midfield slot so I’ll say Anderson again. On the wings it could be a rare start for Nani, with Ronaldo on the other wing.

Up front will be the most interesting position when we look up the team sheet. Rooney was limping in Porto, and Berbatov is being nursed for future battles. This should leave one striker’s berth to Tevez, and wishful thinking has made the other berth open to Macheda. If you think about it though, it doesn’t really sound too far fetched; Macheda could start simply because he seems to show some important attributes — such as his revolutionary ability to actually lurk in the box when the ball comes in — that our other strikers seem to lack.

Prediction: I don’t really know, but I see a closely fought 2-1 win to United.

Come on you Reds!

376 Comments

  1. @Grognard: Thanks mate! It’s really great to get in on the best United community on the net. Love your rants by the way, really good insight. Also enjoy a laugh or two watching you hammer some fools on the blog. Let’s hope I won’t be one of them eh. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great to join you peeps on RedRants. Have told many of my friends about this blog!

  2. @Jonboi: Berba played behind Keane a lot at Spurs, so the thought of the most relaxed guy in the world “cracking” under pressure is almost inposible to believe.
    I still believe he will come good he has the second most assists in the league, he also has scored nemerous winning goals for us this season, we all need to stick by him because he is a genuine United player.
    He hit a poor penalty no doubt but I will not give up on him yet.

  3. I find it difficult to blame Fergie for yesterday, we put out an exciting side full of youth with the average age of 22. We lost in a penalty shoot out when we were totally robbed of the most blatant penalty I have seen all season.
    Watching Macheda, the twins, Welbeck ect yesterday was really mouth watering and we have to take some heart out of the fact that we SHOULD have won but for the referee.

  4. @Stephen:

    Interesting stuff: I didn’t know he had that many assists…I checked out Tottenham’s record for last 2 seasons though.

    In both seasons Berbatov had 23 goals and 11 assists each. Currently, he has 13 goals and 8 assists. His assists are around the same figure, but it’s his goal scoring that has been bad. Blame the lack of service from the defenders, or him having a box phobia, but whatever it is, he has been lacking in his goalscoring department for United. Although he played more games for Spurs (around 50 each season, as compared to the 34 at United), if he plays the remaining matches he will round up to around that figure, but I really can’t see him banging in all the goals in this run-in.

    Also, out of his 13 goals, only 8 have been in the league as compared to 15 with Spurs last season. And nearly all of his goals early this season have been poacher’s efforts, so why can’t Fergie just bloody tell him to get in the box and try to score tap-ins instead of retaining the ball? Just my two cents. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. @Jonboi: Berba isn’t an out and out goalscorer so he is never going to be a player who hover around the six yard box simply waiting for crosses into that area that simply isn’t and never has been his game, he is not a RVN style of player.
    Also with out supply line into the box he probably would be wasting his time anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. I am just very dissapointed (pissed of I suppose is more precise) at yesterdays performance. Unlike some people, I actually do give a shit about the FA cup. I also feel we have been cheated. Big-time!

    @Redrich: The manager and coaching team IS to blame. It is part of their JOB DESCRIPTION to get players’ morale and mentality focused for the benefit of the team. I don’t think ANY of them should get performances bonusses this year. This season, it seems like its not the players themselves, but the jobs they are asked to perform (in other words tactics – therefore management).

    @Jonboi: Welcome to the blog, and please feel free to share your comments. Don’t worry, NO ONE on this blog is really enlightened and knowledgable in football (all though we all act that way sometimes ๐Ÿ™‚ ), if we were, we would have been No.2 at least in the United coaching staff. Instead, we all just share our OPINIONS and vent our frustrations over the team here. Everybody’s input is equally welcomed.

    @Grognard: Just like Berba is being employed incorrectly, so is Anderson.

    @Craig Mc: I share your sentiments. I also think I should give football a break for a while. (Whether I can actually do it is another test). But, so far this season, I’ve been frustrated more than being entertained.

    @Grognard:
    You state: “This team has no talisman, no play maker no midfielder that can breach a defense and either take his chances or create chances for our strikers”
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that is what Fergie sees in Berbatov. That is why he’s so insistent with Berbatov (in the wrong position).

  7. Anyone,
    * how many chances did we create yesterday?
    * how many shots at goal? (As far as I can recall, there was only the one from Gibson and one from Tevez).

  8. What marketing bullshit is this by SAF?
    “Knowing the young players’ temperament, their quality and their energy, I thought it was the right thing to do. Obviously Iโ€™m going to have some critics but I think the fans know this club is built on young players getting an opportunity.”

    Whole fuckin season he prefers the old-timers over the youngsters. Now all of a sudden, the club is built on youngsters getting an opportunity?
    When was the last time that a youngster really broke through? Whether we believe it or not, this club is actually built on BUYING expensive over-priced players – at least for the past decade or so). My main reason for this sourness, I’m still pissed of with us not giving Rossi an opportunity.

  9. @Karl: Thanks mate, I will. =)

    โ€œThis team has no talisman, no play maker no MIDFIELDER that can breach a defense and either take his chances or create chances FOR OUR STRIKERSโ€

    This is where we get all mixed up. Who is the striker?? Berba’s supposed to be our front man? Or is it Rooney? Or Tevez? Funny enough, NONE of them are playing where strikers should be!

    I’m sorry, but Berba is not supposed to be our Lampard – I think that’s the kind of player Grog was referring to. Instead, I think Berba should stop worrying about being in the valley between midfield and attack, and focus on being our target men for SCORING opportunities, not PLAYMAKING ones.

    If Ronaldo was steamrolling the pitch with his runs into clear-cut goalscoring openings as he did last season, perhaps Berba would be effective, as there would be someone to actually aim for. Instead, with Tevez playing in his own Argentinian universe and Rooney not as effective as the real striker, Berba is completely caught out in a position United need the least. I hope I didn’t mix up myself there and hope you got my point. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Do correct me if I’m mistaken.

  10. @Karl: Where do you feel Anderson should play mate?
    Also what happens if we win the league and the Champions league should the staff be payed more?
    I agree with Berba as talisman but what is Ronaldo then?
    I like you care about the FA cup but feel that the young players will take something out of yesterday experience for the greater good.
    Also I know fuck all about football too!! ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

  11. @Karl:

    Manchester United….Everton

    0 ….Goals………………..0
    0 ….1st Half Goals………0
    3 ….Shots on Target…….2
    7 ….Shots off Target…….5
    5 ….Blocked Shots……..3
    9 ….Corners……………..4
    19 …Fouls……………….22
    4 ….Offsides…………….1
    3 ….Yellow Cards……….2
    74.9 Passing Success….69.7
    23 ..Tackles……………..24
    73.9 Tackles Success… 62.5
    54.2 Possession………..45.8

  12. @Karl: Oh! And I almost forgot. While we’re all moaning about Berba and Anderson, we forgot something really important. It’s our SECOND clean sheet in a row. After looking like forgetting how to keep one after Liverpool, I hope this is the start of a defensive revival.

    Come on guys, give it up for Vida! He was outstanding. The only TRUE player deserving of being called a United player yesterday, he owned the Everton strikers in the air. Even bloody giant Feliani couldn’t get a sniff in the air thanks to a superb performance by vidic.

    I’m glad he had banished his Liverpool demons and returned to the form that saw us go on that clean sheet run. He and Rio will be vital in the run-in. One can only hope such form continues. We’ll need it against Arsenal for sure.

  13. @Karl: Mate, there’s no winning with you, is there? You want the youngsters played, yet when they do, it’s the wrong time/situation to!! ๐Ÿ˜• These kids played the majority of our cup competitions; they won us the Carling Cup and if not for some dodgy ref and a so-called ‘senior’ team member could have very well taken us to the FA cup final.

    You talk about youngsters breaking through; have any of these youngsters been actually good enough for the level needed in the premiership? Please mention one, not even Rossi was. Can you imagine a striker of his slight build and lack of pace surviving in the prem? I don’t think so.

    It is so easy to criticise when things don’t go our way, I know if those youngsters(who all played brilliantly) actually got to the finals, everyone would be singing a different tune. ๐Ÿ™„

  14. @Jonboi: Thank you Jonboi for those stats. It just proves we played better throughout the game and deserved to go through in normal time. That is, the ‘youngsters’ that everyone from the media to even our own fans are criticising Fergie of feilding ๐Ÿ™„ . They seem to forget it was these same ‘kids’ that won us the Carling cup and should have taken us to the final if not for Riley and some ‘senior’ players.

    It’s one thing to be pissed about the result but to start blaming Fergie’s young line-up is a tad unjust and ridiculous. We had senior players injured and fatigued in terrible need of a rest. The commentator said it in the match, we have played 15 more matches than Everton this season already, not to mention the ones we have left. Rooney, Fletch and Carrick were carrying knocks or recovering from some. Ronnie, Giggs and O’Shea were knackered, I mean Ron has played almost every game of ours ever since his return from injury. VDS is retiring soon and gave way to our hopefully, future GK, so what was Fergie really supposed to do otherwise. The bench did have experienced players on it, the ones that were still fit. If he wanted a fully youthful squad, instead of Nev, Berba, Evra & co we would have had Eckersley, Possebon and co on the bench.

    These youngsters have just proved they have what it takes to play with the first team in the PL with that performance against an Everton team 6th in the table and full of first teamers. Welbeck, Macheda and the twins have done their chances a world of good with their performances. Isn’t that what we want to see? Jeez, sometimes, it’s impossible to win with some people… not you though Jonboi, you’re aces ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. @Gabriel: I’m just commenting on the bullshit Public Relations.
    I want the youngsters played…but a semi-final of the FA Cup? Hell, they were not good enough to be given an opportunity to play for the Carling Cup semi. Why now all of a sudden? Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually glad the youngsters got a run-out. It was my dream all season to see Rafael and Fabio on the same team. I’m glad Macheda and Wellbeck got a chance (well not at the expense of Nani to be honest). But, I’m sorry, I’m not that big a fool. I can’t fall for that type of hypocrisy. I’ve been crying whole year for youngsters to be given a chance – to no avail, now I hear its a club philosophy…my ass.

    “You talk about youngsters breaking through; have any of these youngsters been actually good enough for the level needed in the premiership?”
    – To echo many commenters on yesterday’s match…if the youngsters could keep a 6th position Everton team at bay during a cup semi, need I say more?
    – I believe Rossi was.
    – I believe over the years, we had better youngsters than Arsenal. Where are they now?- If none of these youngsters are good enough for the premiership as you claim, then in all fairness, the entire scouting team should be shot.

    ” know if those youngsters(who all played brilliantly) actually got to the finals, everyone would be singing a different tune”
    – Perhaps.
    – As I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t blame the players. I blame the deployment of these players (tactics).
    – My point was not that he should not have used the youngsters, nor that they performed badly as individuals…it actually, why the hell only now?

    “Mate, thereโ€™s no winning with you, is there?”
    Actually there is, and to be honest, I’m quite easy to please. Just give me 2 or 3 ‘United style’ performances in a row and the entire season’s shit-playing will be forgotten. That’s how fickle I admit I am.
    @Jonboi: I’m not moaning over Berba or Anderson. However, I personally really could not give a rats ass over our ‘clean-sheet’. Not in conjunction with our bland playing style and impotency in front of goal.

  16. @Jonboi: Mate, I believe we have tried to employ a 4-2-3-1 formation (similar to liverpools’) this season due to our lack of a proper defensive mid (hargo’s injury). This is what our formation really looks like when I watch us play:

    ———— VDS
    O’shea — Rio — Vida — Evra
    —- Carrick — Fletch —–
    Park —– Berba —– Ronnie
    ———- Rooney ———–

    Berba employs a Stevie G kind of attacking mid role, playing behind Rooney. This is mainly because we can’t afford Carrick or Ando to move to forward because of our lack of a solid defensive midfielder to cover him up. So we play with two deep central midfielders who attack and defend together as we have done for our previous two trophy laden seasons and have a attacking trio of Berba, Ronnie and Park hover behind Rooney. They tend to interchange positions frequently, with even Rooney dropping back sometimes and one of them filling the No.9 role, which is why sometimes we see even Park in the penalty area receiving a cross. The wingbacks support on the wings and are really the ones that do the crossing to be honest. They can afford to move forward much because of the two deep midfielders which cover for them in case of a counter.

    The only problem here is this works wonders when there is speed in the team (as proven with Liverpool and England) and Berba provides quite the opposite. In all honesty, if we just played Berba uptop permanently, we could still create well with the speedy trio of Ronney, Ronaldo and Park/Nani. But Fergie is an admirer of Berba’s touches and ball retention, hence sacrificing our pace on the counter for more ball possession and slow build-up play (which coincidentally is what we needed against the 10-man behind the ball tactics of opposing teams early this season). Now every team is desperate for goals, hence attacking, we need to switch it up, pronto. Put Berba in the box and let the three behind him get down to business with their pace and creativity, afterall it worked these last two seasons, didn’t it?

  17. @Stephen: To me, winning is not everything. Winning in style is.

    Even if we win all remaining trophies, they should still not get bonuses because we have not had one entertaining game this season. My reasoning is: We’re paying their salaries. Why should we if they don’t entertain us.
    To be honest with you, with Anderson I don’t know anymore. At first I wanted him to play in a CAM type of position. Lately in a LW type of position. I don’t know anymore. To be honest, I don’t even think he dooes either. Problem is, he is being mainly used for his defending/tackling capabilities at the moment. We’re not really using him as a true offensive midfielder. It’s like he’s been told to sit back and just cover for overlapping fullbacks.

    “I agree with Berba as talisman but what is Ronaldo then?”
    – To be honest with you, I think Ronaldo is gone. I think Fergie is preparing for life without Ronaldo. That’s why he’s been stuck on the wing for most of the season.

  18. @Gabriel: Berba in midfield attacking role? For me he is simply a creative forward and should be played as one, square pegs round holes lets play 4-4-2 what we are used to and get this league won, at this late stage in the season tampering with formations is suicidal.

  19. @Gabriel: Wow, you actually express my view of Berbatov and his deployment (and reason for deployment) to the tee. (Comment # 317).

  20. @Karl: I agree on both points mate, Ronaldo wants to play for Real Madrid simple and now really is it time for us at the end of the season we patted him on the back and said thanks a lot for the memories but lets all move on, as it is inevitable at some point he will leave for the hun.
    With Andy one minute I believe he is a decent player then the next I think he is a waste of space, maybe either play him or ship him off, amybe on loan for a season if he is not going to play regualar, it might do him th eworld of good.
    We all want to win with style as it is our clubs history but I will take the league this year playing as we are as we will equal Liverpool’s record and also if we don’t win it they will.

  21. @Stephen: I agree with you on the 442, but currently that is how Berba was being deployed. I think SAF reckons that he can bring more by focussing on his touches and creativity.

  22. @Karl: Mate, my question to you, is why not now? You say they are good enough to play for the first team, but now they’ve been given the chance, you say it’s not the right time. ๐Ÿ˜• Like I said in my previous post, fatigue and injury to various senior team members also played a big part in the team line-up. Carrick and Fletch were recovering from knocks, Giggs was fatigued after Porto, and only Scholes, Ando, Gibbo and Possebon were left and he picked the best combo out of that quartet to start. Never mind that Ando and Gibbo have played well together throught our cup runs.

    Upfront, Welbeck, Macheda do have a chemistry from their time in th reserves and it showed. Tevez, who was fully rested was given his run out. Why Nani was missing, I don’t know. In defence, we kept a strong pairing in Rio/Vida and two promising and now, on that showing, more than capable fullbacks in the twins, with Foster in goal. I really don’t see how that’s so dramatic a change or a fail in tactics.

    I see you also fail to mention one of our former youth products that was good enough for the PL. The fact that they are playing in lower divisions now just goes to show they were not good enough. Apart from Rossi and Pique who both wanted to move on because they couldn’t displace way better first teamers, we have had none that come close to United standards. Hindsight is very convenient, but the fact of the matter is, United are always in the hunt for trophies every season and we demand excellence in the face of ever-increasing competition every season. We can’t have youngsters that don’t measure up busy holding us back. The ones that are good enough & patient always get their chances; Welbeck, Twins and co.

    I know it’s the frustration of losing out in the Semis but as Jonboi’s match stats show, we played better than Everton and deserved to go through with a bunch of younglins. Of that, we should be proud, that’s more than I can say for arsenal’s younglins. ๐Ÿ˜†

  23. everyone is played out of place this season , ronaldo doesnt have a free role , rooney is playing a center back one of these days , nani is playing on the bench , park running out of the pitch and tevez is looking for his first touch.

  24. You can make all the excuses you want for berbatov, but at the end of the day he is a over priced nihilist. He believes in nothing!

  25. @Stephen: The fee might not be his fault, but his general play is. You say give him till the end of the season but these are the matches that define our season, none moreso than yesterday’s. He was brought on in extra time to bring much needed penetration and energy in the final third and did he do that? NO! he gets the ball, passes it on and strolls forward, WTF? Why not hassle the tiring opposing defenders? why not get into threatening positions in the final third? Look at that Vaughan kid that came on for Everton in ET, at least he got in the box and had a shot on target that would have gone in if not for Rio. Then the penalty, summed Berbatov up really; lazy, arrogant and not as good as he thinks he is. I mean, why not fire a shot in one of the corners? I would never get why a professonal footballer, esp strikers who shoot all the time, would miss penalties!?! Even Rio’s penalty was better and was at least going in the corner.

    He said yesterday that he ‘let the team down’. That even pissed me off more, because those young lads deserved something more from their outstanding performances, only for the so called ‘senior’ players to come and mess it up. All I hope is that loss would turn a screw that he seems to be missing up there and make him realise that we are not entitled to win just because we are Manchester United. You need to put the effoirt in. You see winners like Ronnie, Rooney, Giggs and Co, they always put 100% in.

  26. @Stephen:

    Maybe he should try his luck at another sport…like Rhythmic Gymnastics, where his excellent pirouttes and turns might actually result in points…… ๐Ÿ˜†

  27. @Gabriel: He was brought on give give energy? Berba isn’t renowed for energy, or hassling and tiring Evertons defenders he was brought on to give the side some composure and he said he let everyone because he missed a penalty.
    I understand peoples views with regards to him being lazy but I have been to a lot of this season and he does run more than people think. As I have said before he could score a the winner in Champions league semi and a hatrick in the final, I am not giving up on him but do understand people getting frutrated, but I will give what FSW didn’t give Keane patience.
    also good players have arrogance, Ronaldo has been described that a few times.

  28. @Stephen: I know he runs more than people think but he’s not running in the right areas; the Final Third!! I’m giving him patience, he’ll come good but boy, is he frustrating!! If we are failng to adapt to his playing style/runs, why doesn’t he try to adapt at least a little to ours? Yesterday, I truly believe if he had got in the box or lead the line even for a little while, his class would have gotten us at least a decent chance; just like that Vaughan kid for Everton.

    About the penalty, that really wound me up!! In a situation like that, you go for a well placed, strong, shot in one of the corners, simple!! But no, this is Count Berbatov we’re talking about, cooler than ice. ๐Ÿ™„ Arrogance is good, but you have to back it up and he has been failing to do so for some time, none moreso than yesterday.

  29. @ROOOOONEY: Read the post before you knee jerk, if anyone hates him them you really are no fan.
    @Gabriel: I do agree with your views there, he is frustrating, and the penalty was poor but he didn’t mean to miss, but a miss is a miss regardless, but I still believe he will become to be a really decent asset for us but my glass is half full most of the time.

  30. @ROOOOONEY: Sorry mate misinterpreted your view, you do really need to post more than one line to get your point across sometimes! ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†

  31. well i thought ” enough said ” explained everything really , for weeks now people hating on berbatov its enough already

  32. @ROOOOONEY: I know he is frustrating but I think we need to see what we win and how he produces here on in, he wasn’t great yesterday but comming on a sub for some players is not ideal, I am not making excuses but believe he is class and hopefully he will show that.

  33. @Stephen:

    Mate, sooner or later, yeah, he’ll improve and suit to our team BETTER. But when we bought him for that bucket load of cash, we weren’t investing in a prospect of lovely link-up play 2 years from now after we’ve bought the RVN type striker for another 42 million pounds.

    Berba was meant to be the solution. And solutions don’t give problems, like messing our attacking fluidity, they fix them. And I don’t see any problems Berba has fixed.

    This is not the case of a big money loan for Tevez type of move…where it took him awhile to find his feet and blend in, but ended up warranting a start in every match because he began to groove with Roo and Ron. This is the case spending big money; maybe even under the pressure to buy (cause a year without a big money move is disasterous right? ๐Ÿ™„ ) and that big money ended with us tinkering around with a working system (remember Tevez having to sit on the bench for ages just for Sir Alex to try his cocktail Roo-Berb combination??) only to confuse everyone else, Berba included, with a mismatch of tactics.

    It doesn’t matter if Berba improves or blends in after a while. He’d just be making up for problems his change to our system had cost. And that my friend, for me at least, is not worth 32 million pounds.

  34. Guys, I’m really raw around here…how come my comment is awaiting moderation? Don’t think I said anything harsh in there…=s Just a regular bug, or am I not allowed to use the word Tevez and disasterous in the same sentence? Haha… ๐Ÿ˜€

  35. @Stephen: Have to admit about my favourite player Anderson. He is frustrating as hell sometimes. But, I believe in him. Perhaps he needs better guidance. I also believe that perhaps a year on loan to a PL team will do him a world of good. Pity Keane left our ‘reserve team’ Sunderland ๐Ÿ™‚
    As frustrating as what it is, I suppose you’re right about the equalling Liverpool’s trophies. I will also endure it for the rest of the season. Let’s hope we play proper football next season.

    @Gabriel: I get your point. Thing is, I don’t think you get mine. I think this is a ‘glass half full scenario’.
    You view the team/strategy as half-working, I view it as half-fucked. Same thing, different angles.
    I’m not going to name players because inevitably they will be shot down by ‘not good enough to play for United’. Thing is, I believe that most did not really get a proper chance to make their mark like a certain ‘one-trick-pony’ got.
    Who exactly could Rossi not displace if the only people ahead of him at the time were Rooney, glass-man Saha, and an old Ole? I think Fergie could have done better to convince him to stay.
    On this whole youth policy, if – as you state – none of the youngsters could make the grade for the past decade, then does that not indicate a serious scouting/management problem? Especially for a team that focus on giving youngsters a chance? I’m hoping that this will get solved with Macheda/Wellbeck/twins, but somehow I don’t think that will be happening. If anything, I have a feeling the twins will make it. The others, too many expensive players already in their positions.

  36. @Stephen: Good to see that some havent lost faith Bro.I am a fan of Berba but lately i’ve been more frustrated than happy with his performances. But I’ll give him more time, is the real reason he drops so deep, like Rooney sometimes, is because they want to receive the ball more? I believe that he’s acting under instructions, but when our centre midfield drops deeeeeep, our attack has to compensate for the gaping hole left. This leads to most of our penetration coming down the wings, we need more from midfield!!
    I thought that our youth acquitted themselves quite well. I thought that Nani would have been a better option on the left wing, he’s one of the best crossers we have! Surely Macheda would have benefited from that! Even though i dissagree with some of Fergies decisions, i’m not slating him, he gambled and it nearly paid off.We should have put the game to bed during normal time, so i’m not gonna go on about the penalties. And anyone who thinks Fergie doesn’t care?? ๐Ÿ™„ You need to watch closer!!
    I’m dissappointed about the FA Cup though, because before the GLORY YEARS that competition was all we had for most seasons, and i reckon that the biggest blight in Uniteds history was playing in the World Club Championship in deference to this Great Competition, a chance for any club to make huge differences to its fortunes with a decent run.

  37. @Karl: I see your point mate but Fergies record with young players isn’t bad so to blame guidance maybe is a little unfair. I hope with Anderson that he is just young and inconsistant and simply needs time to develop and mature, and like Nani who to a degree is similar they need game time.
    Sunderland out reserves is funny ๐Ÿ˜† isn’t Bardsley their captain!?

  38. Guys, Iโ€™m really raw around hereโ€ฆhow come my comment is awaiting moderation? Donโ€™t think I said anything harsh in thereโ€ฆ=s Just a regular bug, or am I not allowed to use the word Tevez and disasterous in the same sentence? Hahaโ€ฆ ๐Ÿ˜€

    @Stephen:

    Mate, sooner or later, yeah, heโ€™ll improve and suit to our team BETTER. But when we bought him for that bucket load of cash, we werenโ€™t investing in a prospect of lovely link-up play 2 years from now after weโ€™ve bought the RVN type striker for another 42 million pounds.

    Berba was meant to be the solution. And solutions donโ€™t give problems, like messing our attacking fluidity, they fix them. And I donโ€™t see any problems Berba has fixed.

    This is not the case of a big money loan for Tevez type of moveโ€ฆwhere it took him awhile to find his feet and blend in, but ended up warranting a start in every match because he began to groove with Roo and Ron. This is the case spending big money; maybe even under the pressure to buy (cause a year without a big money move is disasterous right? ๐Ÿ™„ ) and that big money ended with us tinkering around with a working system (remember Tevez having to sit on the bench for ages just for Sir Alex to try his cocktail Roo-Berb combination??) only to confuse everyone else, Berba included, with a mismatch of tactics.

    It doesnโ€™t matter if Berba improves or blends in after a while. Heโ€™d just be making up for problems his change to our system had cost. And that my friend, for me at least, is not worth 32 million pounds.

  39. @Jonboi: What happens if he stays for 5 years and we win the league four times and the Champions league three times then he will be a steal, and we always pay over the odds โ“ โ“
    We did not buy a solution we bought another option, Berba is completly different from Rooney and Carlos, with his touch and height for starters, we need to be patient and if he is simply not your particluar brand of Vodka then that is up to you, but I like my players with touch and skill, and Berba has that in bag fulls he is just simply off form.

  40. @Stephen: Of course if we did win the CL 3 times, everyone would be wasted from celebrations (imagine 2 Barcelonas and 1 Moscow…my heart (and liver) would die) ๐Ÿ˜›

    And I do like players with touch and skill, but don’t see as to how a player so expensive is worth an epoch to settle in. We all know he hasn’t settled in, hence he hasn’t demonstrated his fully array of ability, hence we bash him for being lazy. It’s not his fault I know, but it’s just on my mind as to how the team has to play around him just because he is worth so much cash. I really do hope berba can bring us those 4 PLs and 3 CLs, but for now, I don’t really think so. Cheers mate, you’ve got good insight, looking forward to discussing with you more in the future. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  41. @Jonboi: And you say you’re not enlightened?
    Either you under-estimate yourself, or you over-estimate a lot of others on this blog.
    ๐Ÿ˜€

  42. @Jonboi: Jonboi, Ha ha you are a man after my own heart, and liver! ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜†
    Welcome aboard bro! ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. @Johnsom33: no footballer is worth his transfer fee in most cases.If you put Rooney for sale at 29mil,can you get a buyer?It is just that some players get criticised for the wrong reasons.Ferdinand cost as much and he missed should we sell him?
    I do not get what everyone is pissed about.With that kind of pitch,had we gotten Rooney or Ronaldo injured at this crucial stage,what would be your reaction?
    Nani should go to a team where skill and end product rather than energetic meaningless running is appreciated.Park over him with the latters horrific displays would even beat Einstein.
    Anderson is another midfielder mis understood.When he had a good run last season,they froze him out at the end.Say what you say about Fergie,but he is the worst motivator.When players have good games,especially the foreign contingent,he will say they need time to settle in and they will find themselves on the bench.Nani,Anderson,Tevez,he would do that to Vidic if you let him.
    BERBATOV.Another hard to like striker for many,but to me,he is one of the best in the league.Check out your stats and you will find he is at par with most of them.We dont have a striker as good as Torres,Adebayor,or Drogba. outside that bracket is where our strikers lie and unless we can tempt one of the above,Berbatov and Rooney are the next best thing.
    The youngstars were simply immense yesterday.Gibbo to me had a solid game and at the moment must be our best holding midfielder.We dont have another.
    Welbeck-Macheda combination was outstanding.Tall strikers with an instict for a killer pass,especially Macheda.For someone his size to be that fast is unbelievable.

  44. @Stephen: oh yes, gonna miss that,for sure. Wembley is gonna miss us now, it wont have the same look! All Blue, terrible.

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