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Is defeat to Newcastle down to Sir Alex’s tactical blunders?

New year, new resolutions! 2011 brought United their long awaited 19th League title, an 8-2 win against Arsenal, a dramatic Charity Shield win versus Manchester City in August, and much, much more. No doubt Sir Alex Ferguson will want to make 2012 an even better year for the club, as the now 70-year old manager looks to build yet another footballing force at the kingdom that is Old Trafford. However, the year did not start well for the Red Devils. Not at all. Despite City dropping points against Sunderland, they managed to ghost past Liverpool just two days later and get a three point lead over their neighbors. A win against Newcastle would be vital for the reds, especially given the unnecessary loss to Blackburn Rovers just this weekend. United usually respond after losses, but fell short to Newcastle who dominated themselves to a 3-0 win.

The loss may have come as a shock to many, but given the starting lineup very few people should be. It is not known whether that team was chosen because of fatigue, injuries, or just to rest players for the City game, but Sir Alex made a massive error with the teamsheet. What was he thinking?

First off, credit to Newcastle who played an absolutely great game. The players were up for it, the fans were up for it, and when you score two goals like they did you cannot really do much. The two first goals were of the highest quality, and despite finding it easy to get to the first shot, it was a strike that no goalkeeper could have saved. It was interesting to see how the Newcastle players chose to strike the ball at every attempt, Cabaye pulling off two or three strikes in the first 20 minutes. This seemed to get the crowd buzzing, and an advantage you get when playing at home. The Newcastle players gained confidence, and there was nothing to stop them.

Rio has not had the best of seasons so far, but did improve following the City loss. Not only did Vida’s return help him, but his position was switched from right centre-back to left and gave him more defensive responsibilities. With Patrice Evra not being the most intelligent of players, the left centre-backs duty is to cover for him, something Rio has done really well. His loss of pace has become a major worry for United, and removing his attacking contribution has definitely helped him. He never goes up for corners either, so you can see Fergie does not want him to do too much running. For the Newcastle game though, he was played on right centre-back. It has been the regular position for most of his career, but we have seen a weaker Rio there. Maybe it was to cover for Valencia, but to be fair the Ecuadorian has proved himself to be a brilliant full back with great power and pace, and intelligent positioning to match. So why on earth did we put Rio on the right to mark Ba? Both Ameobi and Ba are two physical beasts, but if the most powerful is by far Ameobi. Ba has the pace, so putting Jones on him would have made more sense. The Senegalese toyed with Rio, and should have had a penalty when he showed himself to be a little quicker than our experienced defender. Of Jones and Rio, the youngster is the quickest and Rio the strongest, and of Newcastle’s strikers Ba is by far the fastest while Ameobi relishes aerial battles. The marking by Fergie was disastrous, and it cost us the first goal. Ameobi won his header, Ba got away from Rio, and goal. Punished for a defensive mistake yet again!

Offensively, the front 6 raised questions. There was more than enough experience there, and on-form players like Giggs and Berbatov probably deserved a starting spot. But tactically, it was suicidal. Without Steven Taylor, Newcastle have shown themselves to be weak in the air. Both Norwich and West Brom beat them by goals from crosses, and even Liverpool looked threatening whenever they got wide. Despite having the two most defensive wingers in the Premier League(Gutierrez and Taylor), they have not shown themselves to be intelligent and cope from wide areas. Park, for all his work-rate, is never on earth a winger. He is not a wide man, like Ashley Young or Nani, to stay out wide and put in crosses. We would have been better off with Pilkington out on the left! Park’s biggest asset will always be tracking back and appear all over the pitch, and against the two most defensive wingers in the League he was not needed. Our threat became too obvious, it was going to come from the right and thanks to Ba and Tiote they always managed to find themselves three or four against two on United’s right wing. Both Valencia and Nani were stopped, and despite Nani getting to a few crosses they were always off target. The Portuguese had an off day, and seems to need a rest. He looks tired and weak, and he has not had a rest since the game against Everton.

Whenever Giggsy plays it means we will try to double on the wings, but it did not work for United on Wednesday night. He often found himself in the middle of the park, and did not help out the South Korean as much as he would have wanted. He stayed centrally, often leaving Park and Nani isolated. Newcastle have shown themselves to be weak centrally this season, but only against pace. Sturridge, Bellamy, Odemwingi and Aguero have all had a field day when playing against their defence, which is one of the slowest in the League. Collochini looked like a rock, and United did not win a single 50-50 ball against him, but then again it is no wonder. Every top team have exploited their backline with power and pace, but Fergie opted for Berbatov and Rooney. Berbatov has been in splendid form, but in a game like this pace and power was needed, and the Bulgarian lacks both. He got our best chance of the first half, a deflected header that hit the post, but other than that he kept quiet. We were never going to get behind their backline, and with width only on one side we were going to get into few crossing positions, and when we wasted every chance we got you are never going to score. Rooney had a horrible game, but the tactics did not help him. Without a quick, dynamic forward, more pressure is put on Wazza and the space he gets is at a minimum. Newcastle did not fear Berba’s pace, and could press high, leaving Rooney with very little time on the ball. His touch did not help him either, but as stated an off-form Rooney is as bad as any footballer in the country. His determination was not there, he did not looked properly fit, and match that with a strike-partner/tactics that does not suit him at all and you cannot expect too much from him, unfortunately.

Then there is the midfield, who had a terrible evening. Carrick did not have a bad game, not at all, but as a whole our midfield was slaughtered. Have no doubt, as a central midfield the pairing of Tiote and Cabaye is as good as anyone else in the country. Both are strong, both are determined, and where Cabaye has skill and class, Tiote has grit and power. Their energy is amazing, and for a two-man midfield they covered enough ground to stop 4 men. They did brilliantly against United, but again United made it easy for them. Two against two Tiote and Cabaye are always going to win against Giggs and Carrick, so staying out of that area would not have been too bad. United do not have the quality or power in midfield to beat, or even match them in that area, and although people may scream out for a new signing Jones could have made a big difference to United had he played in there. Neither Tiote nor Cabaye are the most intelligent of players, and this was a pure physical battle which Phil Jones could have relished. It is not like Newcastle forced us inside either, they opened up a lot of space on the wings for United to expose but nothing ever happened from it because of lack of width on the left. Rooney did not get enough room in the holding role to drop down and help the midfield out either, so it became easy for them. United did create a chance with Rooney though, again coming from a cross, but just like at Old Trafford Danny Simpson was on the line to block it. It was the day where nothing worked for United, and although the players will get most of the bashing Fergie really made it difficult for them.

Choosing Lindegaard raised a few eyebrows as well. Not because he is not good enough, because he is by far, but relegating De Gea to the bench may have massive consequences for his confidence. Sir Alex usually give players a chance to prove the doubters wrong after a bad showing, so there were shocks all around about the team-sheet. Lindegaard did not have a bad game, and could do nothing about the goals, but it would be better to give De Gea another chance against Newcastle and then rest him for City, rather than the other way around.

From a tactical point of view, the starting lineup is rather obvious. Play Rafa, Jones, Rio and Evra in defence with Nani on the left and Valencia on the right. United would never come close to compete in midfield against Newcastle without Jones in there, but they could have tried neutralizing them by having Park and his energy in there, with Carrick next to him. Rooney was right to start, if he actually was fit, but we needed pace up front so Welbeck or Hernandez should have been a landslide above Berbatov for this fixture. It is rare to see Fergie make such a big tactical mistake in a big game, and you cannot help but wonder whether he underestimated Newcastle or just believed too much in the quality of his own players. He certainly learnt a lot from this game, and hopefully he will use this experience to choose the correct team against City on Sunday.

RedDevilEddy (@Eddy93Ram)



  1. jackk

    6 January 2012 at 13:58

    Terrible article, Cabaye is one of the most intelligent footballers in the Prem right now, his vision is second to none. Very bias article, glad i don’t come here that often!

    • Ian

      6 January 2012 at 14:09

      Not a United fan then?

      • beatski

        6 January 2012 at 14:32

        @Ian: which united?

      • DA

        6 January 2012 at 15:35

        @Ian: Depends which United you mean 😉

        • Ian

          6 January 2012 at 16:28

          There’s only one

    • David

      6 January 2012 at 15:14

      Do you watch ball at all, then you are……. something else. His analysis was right

    • Stephen

      6 January 2012 at 15:18

      @jackk: Agreed, Cabaye ia a very intelligent player, only £3m, no value in the market eh?

    • Ian

      6 January 2012 at 16:52

      @jackk: ….come to see United, you only come to see United…..

    • RedDevilEddy

      6 January 2012 at 17:19

      @jackk: “His vision is second to none”, and you call me biased? 🙄 I admitted that Cabaye and Tiote are as good a central midfield pairing as anyone else in the Prem, and although Cabaye is a smart player he is not one who bases his play on intelligence. I’ve seen a lot of Newcastle this season, and despite Cabaye making things look easy and plays some amazing passes, he is not like Xabi or Carrick who try to stay away from challenges and pick them up. He is aggressive and a good tackler, and with the ball he likes to get in situations where he can show off his strength/teqnique. I guess I have to apologise for not writing it clear enough, as I’m not saying that either Cabaye or Tiote are “dumb” players, far from it. But they are more physical players, and compared to a lot of the midfields we have met during the years in Europe neither Cabate nor Tiote can be stricken as particularely “intelligent”.

  2. Stephen

    6 January 2012 at 14:25

    Again Eddy, my view you are way off the mark with Rio. He has been superb this season and was hardly our worst player against Newcastle. I simply don’t buy are view that Rio should attack and Jones sweep, Rio reads the game superbly and is one of the best in the business.
    Also De Gea was rightly dropped, you don’t know that he will start against City, he may be sidelined for a few games.
    Park was useless up against a Blackburn midfield and putting him in there would have been stupid. Giggs or Park is a no brainer in the centre, he could have gambled with Pogba or Rooney but Park, no chance.

    • RedDevilEddy

      6 January 2012 at 17:33

      @Stephen: If that’s your opinion on Rio then fine, won’t try to change it. We all know how stubborn you can be! 😆 But remember that even Fergie has come out earlier this season, “critisizing” Rio (or telling him he had to change his game). I love Rio, I think he’s been a brilliant servant for this club, but I don’t think he should be a starter anymore. Too injury prone and too slow unfortunately, although I would love it if he did well!

      • Stephen

        7 January 2012 at 11:15

        @RedDevilEddy: Stubborn me never! 😆 😆 😆

  3. Shane

    6 January 2012 at 14:35


    ‘Newcastle have shown themselves to be weak centrally this season’ – true when we played without any recognized CB or had Perch in CB we were weak, but other than that we have been rock solid in the center – remember until the city game we had the best defence in the league. We have kept 3 clean sheets in the last 5 in which Stephen Taylor has played no part. The Krul, Colo, saylor, Tiote, Cabaye, and Ba ‘Central Spine’ has been the reason we have done so well this season. When Colo, saylor, Tiote and Cabaye were missing we were centrally weak – all but Saylor are back. The center is most definitely where we are strongest.

    ‘Despite having the two most defensive wingers in the Premier League(Gutierrez and Taylor), they have not shown themselves to be intelligent and cope from wide areas’ – So now we are weak in wide areas as well as the center? seriously? how did you not score or at least create bags of decent chances?

    ‘Neither Tiote nor Cabaye are the most intelligent of players’ – is this the same Cabaye who has been lauded as the playmaker in the side, the one who can pick an intelligent pass and has a sweet strike of the ball? hmmm?

    Look, our midfield, (the one that you say lacks intelligence) completely dominated your midfield. Colo had Rooney in his pocket and Ba terrorized yer defence. End of

    • Ian

      6 January 2012 at 16:46

      @Shane: Don’t get giddy now boys. Your record this season is good I grant you that, but so it should be with the fixtures.

      So far you’ve only played City and Liverpool away out of the ‘big’ clubs and got bummed by both. You’ve played us at OT too but I remember a very dodgy penalty having a say in that one otherwise that would would’ve been 3 bummings out of 3 away from home to ‘big’ clubs.

      At home you stole a point from Arsenal on the opening day of season and fair play a good 2-2 v Spurs at the world famous Arena (I bet you’re dead proud of the history that name has now!). You got royally gubbed by Chelsea at home too.

      So, the only teams out of the ‘big’ teams in England you’ve played have all took most of the points except for the team who have approxiamately one full team missing due to injuries. Congratulations. You’ve beaten a ‘big’ club……dine on it all year will you?

      It’s true what they say…..Newcastle is only a ‘big’ club in Newcastle, Middlesboro and Sunderland are both bigger clubs than you.

      At least they actually moved ground to change their name and history……your club just whipped St James’ Park away from under your feet….you now sit in a laughable fooking advertisement.

      Big Club? My arse.

    • RedDevilEddy

      6 January 2012 at 17:35

      @Shane: 6th in the League, only 4 points in front of Stoke, and it seems you are implying that Newcastle have no weakness.

      Trust me, they do. If they didn’t they wouldn’t have been in the Championship 2 seasons ago. Your midfield is as good as anyone else in the country, but other than that they don’t really have much to offer besides Demba Ba. Taylor and Collochini work well together, but take out one of them and the other suffers.

  4. Mike D

    6 January 2012 at 14:49

    Pure comedy gold here from deluded rags. How about your sqaud is so paper thin and full off average players you are finding it hard to compete. That reputation/ fear factor that carried you last season and previous has gone and reality bites hard

  5. John Tring

    6 January 2012 at 15:50

    NC defeat was not an isolated one, a serial downhill slide. SAF is just in denial. He’s done for. And oh, a whole bunch of players must be culled from the squad, here and now.

    • Stephen

      6 January 2012 at 15:53

      @John Tring: Knee jerk much?

    • RedDevilEddy

      6 January 2012 at 17:59

      @John Tring: We scored 10 in 2 before Blackburn showed up, and everyone were saying we looked like the best team in the world, my God people are struggling to find out what they really think!!

  6. Chris

    6 January 2012 at 16:21

    U must be joking, cabaye not intelligent, he will be in midfield wen they rip england apart in poland.

  7. Ian

    6 January 2012 at 16:32

    WOW….Soooo many Newcastle IP’s hitting the site today…..maybe it is true what they say……maybe Newcastle do have a lot of followers for a small club


    • Stephen

      6 January 2012 at 16:47

      @Ian: I love Geordies, the best shirt they have to go out in at night is their Newcastle top, classy bunch…
      Most loyal fans in 😆 the land, unless they get relegagted… 😆

    • Jackk

      6 January 2012 at 17:50

      It just goes to show how fickle you lot really are doesn’t it just. For a club like Manchester united, you’d expect a ground to be buzzing every week? (I bet you’ve never ever been to SJP have you? nah.) You have to rely on other supporters to keep this blog active and alive. On sky sports people are wanting SAF’s head already? I’ve seen comments on sky sports saying they’ll be changing to the blue side? Sorry, what am i hearing hear? You’d never, ever find anything like that up here with Newcastle & Sunderland.
      Next you’ll be commenting on Newcastle blogs because they are much more active than this.

      • Ian

        6 January 2012 at 18:12

        I have been to St James’ but not as often as I would’ve liked due to the fact you’re rarely in the same league.

        As for me commenting on your blogs…..I do believe this is our blog you’re commenting on!! 🙂

        • Jackk

          6 January 2012 at 18:30

          Maybe you should have a little read of the reply again. It was in relation to some fickle fans moving from red to blue.
          Finally, that my friend sums up you’re all round knowledge of football. We’re never in the same league, please, don’t make me laugh. We’ve been relegated once, don’t spit your dummy out.

        • Ian

          6 January 2012 at 18:34

          Bye Jack 😛

  8. Moscow is my heaven

    6 January 2012 at 17:20

    Every top team have exploited their backline with power and pace, but Fergie opted for Berbatov and Rooney.

    Who else could we have played? Hernandez and Welbeck can’t compete physically and their touch and control is poor.

    • RedDevilEddy

      6 January 2012 at 17:38

      @Moscow is my heaven: I would have gone with Welbeck, how you can say that his touch is poor is beyond me!! I’ll give you the one about Chicho, but Welbz? 😕

      • Moscow is my heaven

        6 January 2012 at 18:40

        @RedDevilEddy: If I remember correctly, Welbeck was put through on goal and his touch was so heavy Krul gobbled it up.

        • RedDevilEddy

          6 January 2012 at 18:45

          @Moscow is my heaven: True, but he also had a smashing flick to Rooney only for Simmo to pop up on the line! 🙄

          By the way, why is Chicharito ALWAYS offside?

        • Moscow is my heaven

          6 January 2012 at 18:49

          @RedDevilEddy: I think you said this a while back, but I agree with the notion that Chicharito is the worst footballer in the team outside the penalty area. His offsides are becoming very annoying.

        • RedDevilEddy

          6 January 2012 at 18:56

          @Moscow is my heaven: Yeah, I mean it’s not like he is slow like Inzaghi, the little lad is quick as fuck so why does he need to get into 5+ offsides each game? Makes no sense 🙁

        • Craig Mc

          6 January 2012 at 23:23

          @RedDevilEddy: They never give him the benefit of the doubt though, sometimes the lad is called offside when he isn’t 👿

        • Ian

          6 January 2012 at 21:07

          WOOOAH! Can I stop you there Moscow. His first touch was almost fooking immense mate! That was a tricky tricky take and I doubt many could’ve taken that down. The fact he nearly did says a lot about his technique to me.

        • Moscow is my heaven

          6 January 2012 at 21:26

          @Ian: Huh, maybe… it’s not so much his first touch Rimmers, it’s his ability to impose his tall physique and be more aggresive with the ball that I’m worried about. He is still Rooney’s best partner, and I love seeing a local lad make it big.

        • Ian

          6 January 2012 at 21:42

          Yeah you’re right and I agree he’s got some way to go there, but that ball through doesn’t epitomise his first touch, I just thought you were a little bit harsh on him using that. The ball very nearly made its way to JH too, if that had happened and he’d cracked on like he meant it everyone in the world would be raving about his first touch!


        • Craig Mc

          6 January 2012 at 23:21

          @Moscow is my heaven: Yeah a big lad in height, but soft as a kitten and outmuscled every time on 50’50’s. He seems scared as a rabbit to get stuck in. He is a homer though! 😆

        • Ian

          6 January 2012 at 23:27

          Little story about said weakling –

          A team leader at work has a cute daughter.
          Said daughter plays the piano.
          Said daughter likes to go out in town.
          Said weakling bumps into said girl in said town.
          Said daughter informs said weakling she plays the piano.
          Said weakling asks said daughter out on a date.
          Said daughter refuses and spurns said weaklings advances.
          One week later…..
          Said weakling contacts said daughter and says…..
          I’m learning to play the piano…..can we please go on a date now?

          True story I shit you not!

        • Craig Mc

          7 January 2012 at 00:41

          @Ian: And the moral of this story is what??? 😆

        • RedDevilEddy

          7 January 2012 at 01:23

          @Craig Mc: Shit bricks and you only need cement to make a house?

  9. Dubtoon

    6 January 2012 at 17:25

    Newcastle fan here. Overall, i think that was a very balanced article. Sure there are a few things I’d disagree with (Cabaye unintelligent, Bellamy ripping our defence apart) but overall a very good knowledge of a rival club.

    For you guys, i agree starting berb wasn’t a good idea against us but he’s a player in form and sometimes in those cases it doesn’t matter if your attributes don’t match up, the player can be too hot. Jones in midfield mightn’t have been a bad idea but i still think cabaye and tiote would’ve come out on top, and what about your defence then. As for Park, you stated your belief that Newcastle were weak in central defence, maybe SAF shared that and that’s why he wanted someone cutting inside?

    Anyway, best of luck for the rest of the season, prefer to see you guys win it than citeh. Hopefully we can do the same to them eh? 😉

    • RedDevilEddy

      6 January 2012 at 18:10

      @Dubtoon: Thanks! 😀 Again apologise for making it sound like I said Cabaye was unintelligent, but oh well. Hoping for Newcastle above Liverpool!

    • Craig Mc

      6 January 2012 at 18:32

      @Dubtoon: Doubt you’ll ever do the same to them – N’Castle like most other PL clubs only turn up to play against United.

  10. RedDevilEddy

    6 January 2012 at 17:47

    I see there this one got a lot of critisicm but I don’t really get why. I’m not particularily mad about the loss, I’m waaay over it and looking forward to the City game, and if it looks to anyone like I think badly of Newcastle then you’re wrong. I like them. They’ve got good fans, a good attitude, and in Ba, Tiote and Cabaye they’ve got three of the best players in the League. But they are weak on the wide areas, at least when Ben Arfa doesn’t play, and despite Taylor-Collochini being a good pairing if you take out one of them the other suffers. Their wingers are usually Obertan and Gutierrez, if you don’t think that sounds poor then seriously get help! Tiote and Cabaye are one of the best midfield pairings in England, and definately their strongest area.

    Then there is the critisism for “intelligent”. Either Newcastle fans only watch their own team, or you are seriously deluded. Cabaye is a wonderful player, but relishes the physical battles way more than being quiet and playing on his brain. Carrick, Bosquets, Iniesta, Alonso, Xavi, Cleverley, Silva, Nasri etc are players that I would call “intelligent”, and no way Cabaye is good enough in that area to find his name amongst these players. A wonderful player who is smart, but he relies on his physique and attitude more than his talent and intelligence in games like this, and he relishes it.

    • Craig Mc

      6 January 2012 at 18:35

      @RedDevilEddy: Eddi don’t worry about it mi man – it is only the crowing migrant N’Castle fans who are complaining about your article. They think they have won the world cup playing an understrength Man Utd team 😆 . And Rimmers for fooks sake boss get rid of the bloody juvenile thumbs up thumbs down, and make people voice comments and explain why they like or dislike something – thanks mate!

      • Ian

        6 January 2012 at 21:05

        If the majority want it gone mate I’m happy to remove them, thing is, we took a vote on it months ago and they stayed with a 57% majority vote in favour of them.

        What can I do…..this is a democracy.

        • Craig Mc

          6 January 2012 at 23:12

          @Ian: So 57% of red ranter bloggers are JUVENILES eh? 😆 . Please take another vote AND WILL THE REAL MEN of Red Rants stand up and be counted please – who needs anybody elses approval or disapproval by the thumb – when said thumbers want to remain anonymous 😆 . Thumbers out – ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ ➡ 😉 😀

        • Craig Mc

          6 January 2012 at 23:16

          @Craig Mc: We got a bunch of Julias Caesers on here lads – you know thumbs up they live and thumbs down they die 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 . I have joined in the thumbing demonically to agitate people most the time 👿 👿 👿 .

  11. Craig Mc

    6 January 2012 at 18:41

    You all realise why the Toon fans are migrating to our blogs in their droves – because their own boards are so fookin boring, why else would they be coming visiting ours.

    • Moscow is my heaven

      6 January 2012 at 18:46

      @Craig Mc: Let’em have their moment Craig mi man, hell, they even made a fookin DVD about this victory!!!

      😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

      • Craig Mc

        6 January 2012 at 20:35

        @Moscow is my heaven: Wow how flattering – to think their ist victory over us in like DONKEYS years – they were a mothballing team in United games – we didn’t just beat them season after season we fookin WALLOPED them – and you won’t see any self acclaiming dvds of those games in our club shop – Toon eh – have as much class a little gremlin 😆 PMSL – DVD – hahahahahahaha – they are so short on victories and trophies that they have to make a dvd about beating Man Utd. We are famous eh – be you wont find dvds of them beating any of the other top teams. I mean United scalp is like winning THE BILLIONS of quid in the worldwide lottery 😆 😆 😆 .

  12. [OPTI]Madschester United

    6 January 2012 at 18:52

    is this jailrants????

  13. colver

    6 January 2012 at 18:55

    Nice article Eddie but there is no point criticizing the team selection when we had so many players injured.

    As Stephen points out Carrick and Giggs were the best central midfield we had available. Anderson clearly was not match fit and Jones had to play central defense with Vidic, Smalling and Evans out. With Valencia as right back Park was the only other player used to playing out wide. The team pretty much picked itself with the exception of upfront where as was pointed out it was difficult to drop Berbatov at a time when he is the only striker scoring goals!

    I agree though that with a fully fit squad we would have done better to stick a bruiser in midfield like Fletcher, Jones or Anderson to counterbalance the more cerebral Giggs and Carrick.

    And Valencia is too good to waste as a fullback. Our goalfest before the Blackburn game was in large part due to having Valencia and Nani on the wings really stretching teams.

    • RedDevilEddy

      6 January 2012 at 18:59

      @colver: I want our fucking players back!!! I mean seriously, Smalling, Vidic, Anderson, Cleverley, Young and Evans out is a nightmare! How we are even second is totally mindfucking incredible 😆

      • Moscow is my heaven

        6 January 2012 at 20:34

        @RedDevilEddy: I don’t think Anderson and Evans especially will be big misses for us considering their role in the 1-6 defeat.

    • Craig Mc

      6 January 2012 at 20:28

      @colver: Come on Vally and mi man Nani, come on Wazza – give us some at Eastlands lads – Rafael will do okay for us a RB as long as he doesn’t get injured, because in 2nd half against B’burn with Raf at rt back and vally returned to rt wing we were smouldering on the flanks. Listen we did okay against B’burn in 2nd half – but De Gea cost us with his flappability. I want Anders to play again at Eastlands – anybody else???

  14. Yang

    6 January 2012 at 19:09

    Yeah,think Newcastle played great game. It remind me last season against Pool game. Liverpool score bunch against United since Smalling struggled to cope with Dirk Kyut’s movement.

    Newcastle has been improved this season, pressing well but main reason of defeat is not a game plan or so called United average players.

    Young defender made some mistakes and Rooney act like moron. Two things combined into one game. Think Basel Game was same, wasn’t it.

  15. Fred the Red

    6 January 2012 at 19:29

    @Craig Mc: This is my reply to your previous comment in the last article.

    Again I agree with you. Sir Alex cares more for United than probably most fans,so I dont believe for one second that he doesnt care any more. And theres no doubt that the Glazers buy out of the club with predominately borrowed money has seen far too much money needlessly going out of the club. But on this point I would have to quote the manager who has stated many times that the Glazers have never refused his request for a player,and that if the right player came along that the funds would be available. So I will take his word for it and then ask the question why has he not made some top level purchases? The player having a resale value is something I do believe is happening at OT, if its not then I would wonder why Wesley Sniejder is not at United. He practically said come and get me last summer and even now I think that if United offered 25 million for him and gave him what Wayne Rooney is getting that they would get their man. Can you imagine the lift the fans and the players would get if it was announced that Sniejder was signing? I dont think the club realise the phsycological lift the club would get if it was to happen.
    But my main concern is that I dont think that SAF can see how average certain United players are. I cant remember in thirty years of being a United fan, a midfield so lacking in attacking guile and quality. No more than good honest pros are getting regular starts at OT. The last of he magic left along with Scholesy and what remained was never going to be good enough to get the job done. And giving new contracts to players like Giggs makes me question wether the manager has a vision for his new team. One things for sure, until some quality players are signed, United fans are going to get more restless. Only yesterday on talksport, United fans were attacking SAF more than at any time I have been listening What I would say in his defense is that it appears that there was genuine moves to bring Sniejder and Nasi to United in the summer, so he must see the need. Lets hope that he does, and that he brings them in, either in Jnuary if he can, or at least in the summer. Interesting times ahead.

    • Craig Mc

      6 January 2012 at 20:19

      @Fred the Red: I think those so called United fans who go disrespecting and foulmouthing sir Alex on programmes like talk sport and sky etc – are no more Man Utd true fans than the hairs on my grannies backside. The things Fergie has done for our club – sais disreputable fans should go fook off and support one of the other clubs they are acclaiming. I mix with true reds – the lads who really mean it when they say RED TILL I DIE. That lot at the other side of the City have not won the PL yet, and we have all seen what can happen to them when they are put under pressure. Anyway’s Macini has got it all to prove – and already a few players missing and he is crying to his rich Daddy benefactor to go spend again – poor little sad Mancini – would love to see how good he really is IF/WHEN he had the injury lists we have had for nigh on 4 seasons now. I will say what I like and feel talking to TRUE REDS down the pub, and in discussion with true reds on this blog – but I sure as fook will never be heard whining on talk sport or sky etc. The Utd crown may have slipped a bit, but after the fall I await the resurrection which our club is renowned for – remember Chelski – their good twqo seasons and everybody saying United are finished. I am listening to the crowing Geordie fans reddening my ear lugs with their shite – that they are hearing that a lot of United fans are saying they are thinking of crossing over to City blue – well news don’t wait any longer just fook off NOW and don’t ever come back – you never were and never will be a United fan – from the Craigster – RED TIL HE DIES and means it! Those fairweather fans are viruses, worms and maggots that will stink the whole place out if they stay – let them get the hell out of our club. I say my piece about our performances – but crossing over to the other side or badmouthing our team on radio or tv talk shows – no fookin way – not EVER. Sorry this is so strong Rimmers and you Fred – I fully agree with your post comments Fred – but we are REDS discussing our present team on a United blog – not fouling all over them on media outlets. Let those NEVER will be United reds get the hell out of our club and off our terraces. OK RANT OVER 😆

      • Fred the Red

        6 January 2012 at 21:17

        @Craig Mc: Strond stuff indeed Criag. In defense of the people that were calling into Talksport, it was the day after one of the most inept performances that I can remember in a long long time. It wasnt that Newcastle were brilliant, they werent. They scored two wonder goals and created little else. What irked so much was the ease with which they snuffed out and dominated United. I think a lot of genuine United fans were stunned and frustrated with the way the game went and some of the managers selections. As for some transferring over to City, I have never heard any body seriously say that, and I doubt very much if that was going to happen.
        Reading between the lines, my take on things is this. SAF tried to get, or at least looked at getting Sniejder and Nasri in the summer, For what ever reason it didnt happen. He then looked at what he had in the squad and rather than going after some one else who he didnt really want, he decided to go with what he had. I remember in one of his press conferences that he said that he was happy to go with what he had, though he recognised that he was maybe short of midfield options. What he didnt need to happen was Cleverly and Anderson getting injured so early. It badly exposed the midfield problem and it is effecting the team badly. All in all, I would say that having missed out on his main targets that he was right not to go for second best. But the ones who were left and have gotten games in there have not been up to the task mate. So I am expecting him to go big in the summer, and I think its vital he does.
        As for City, they have been good this season, but people have been getting carried away by them. They have won nothing yet, and might just win nothing in the end. I still believe that United can win the league, because they are still a good team, and they have a tremendous will to win, even after a few defeats. For this the manager deserves all the credit. But even if they do win the league this season Craig, I would still be expecting SAF to go big in the summer, to make a good team great again.

  16. [OPTI]Madschester United

    6 January 2012 at 19:36

    Midfield solution: put Pogba in the midfield with Carrick. Let him swim or sink. Also, use Ravel.

    What have we got to lose now… surely we would not lose more than 3-0 to Newcastle with the youngsters and they would be learning throughout their games…

    • gator

      6 January 2012 at 20:11

      @[OPTI]Madschester United: it is time. I dont care about the reports of him leaving. If we play him now and he is good enough then we can pay him to stay. if he is not good enough then let him go and we can get someone who is.

    • Moscow is my heaven

      6 January 2012 at 20:29

      @[OPTI]Madschester United: Fully agreed. Fergie has hyped him up to the stratosphere, and if he is as good as people claim, he should have no problem improving our dismal midfield.

      • Eddie Griffin

        6 January 2012 at 23:15

        @Moscow is my heaven: He isn’t leaving in the summer or anytime soon. He will get his proper chance, I’ve no doubt about that. If we had put Blackburn away as we should have, he’d have gotten an appearance then. Same goes for Wednesday. But him being on the bench for the last couple of matches is a positive sign, and I expect him to get at least a few appearances soon…and if he makes the most of them, then we’re sure to see him more often.

  17. Moscow is my heaven

    6 January 2012 at 20:33

    Yaya Toure has been announced to be injured by Mancini and City, but Fergie isn’t falling for it. I just hope he is injured, because the schooling he gave Anderson and Fletcher at Old Trafford inflicted a lot of damage.

    We will be destroyed if David Silva has the protection of Yaya.

  18. RedDevilEddy

    6 January 2012 at 21:32

    Jordan Rhodes… Wow!

  19. RedDevilEddy

    6 January 2012 at 22:19

    So Manchester United and Wayne Rooney have issued a joint statement in which both parts deny any conflict or thoughts about a transfer for the latter. Wayne Rooney said:

    The manager and I have no issues and anyone who says different don’t know what they are talking about

    Good to know, now be a doll and score on Sunday! 😀

  20. Craig Mc

    6 January 2012 at 23:28

    Can anybody tell me if the RULES of the game have changed, because I see players now pulling the shirts nearly off each others backs – tripping with taps on the ankles and shins with no sign of players going for the ball, pushing in the back of players with both hands, and rugby type tackles in the penalty area. With no action taken at all by our refs, whereas in CL with european refs etc you will never see that kind of contact allowed to go unpunished. So why are our refs so fookin BAD when they allow physical contact beyond the pale, and did allow the Ncastle players to get away with awful physical manhandling??? Just asking???

    • gator

      7 January 2012 at 22:42

      @Craig Mc: ABU man you should be used to it. people love to see the underdog win and anyone in england vs united is an underdog. i am sic of it too but we should be good enough to get past these tactics. i hate it when teams are overly physical then dive when on the ball. 🙄 such shit would cause an onfield skirmish in my younger days.

      Dont get me wrong i love the tough playing as much as anyone. i think we are seeing it now bc we are missing our hardmen; vida, fletch… hell even anderson doesnt get pushed off the ball as easily as we did v nc.

    • gator

      7 January 2012 at 22:43

      @Craig Mc: alan smith cant seem to get a match at nc and he used to be hard as we had

  21. Ian

    7 January 2012 at 23:19

    This post has been added to chatroom.

    Who’s predicting what tomorrow then?

    I think it’ll be a bad tempered game with little in it. But I do fancy us to ’cause an upset’

    Beware the wounded beast!


    • RedDevilEddy

      8 January 2012 at 00:28

      @Ian: Depends on the team if you ask me, I think Jones and Rio can do a good job if City play with their usual team, but I have serious questions about the midfield.

      This is a game I want Welbeck to start, but I also want Rafael to come as a “surprise package” for us in right back. Play Giggsy on the left with Ando and Carrick in the middle, and Valencia on the right. Want Nani to come on in the second half to do some serious damage to either Clichy or Richards, for all their pace I’ve noticed a real drop in focus for them in the last 30 minutes this season. Gonna need pace, power, and intelligence in this game. I don’t expect it to be pretty, but if we play our cards right we might just go away with the win!

  22. godzilla

    8 January 2012 at 08:53

    IS this what it is coming too. Has any top club ever been so desperate?

    • Moscow is my heaven

      8 January 2012 at 11:25

      @godzilla: WOW. If this is true then how embarassing. I thought our midfield was in tip-top condition, eh Fergie?

  23. Stephen

    8 January 2012 at 11:28

    I am praying for the lads today……Come on boys do us proud.
    This is a make or break for this side.
    If this team ever has to produce it is today, Fergie time to prove me wrong…..
    I am sure the bus will be parked..

  24. RedDevilEddy

    8 January 2012 at 12:06


  25. RedDevilEddy

    8 January 2012 at 12:15

    Jesus Christ and Joseph, fucks sake that was a kick! Smalling back as well, my God I’m buzzing! COME ON UNITED!!!!

  26. AndyCR7

    8 January 2012 at 12:22

    Scholes back! I’m happy but god this is embarrassing… What next? Sell Rooney and call back Sir Bobby?

  27. colver

    8 January 2012 at 12:25

    It will be good to see Scholes back. As Ferguson clearly has no desire to ever sign a central midfielder or give games to players like Pogba or Morrison I think we will see Scholes and Giggs play well into their 40s.

  28. colver

    8 January 2012 at 12:30

    Well we finally got our Scholes replacement and without even spending a penny. Talk about value in the market!

  29. AndyCR7

    8 January 2012 at 12:55

    So the player who scored 6 goals in last 2-3 weeks and who is our most in form striker is not even in the squad! Well done fergie!

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