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Wayne Rooney scored two second half penalties as 10 men United got their European campaign back on track with a hard fought three points against Otelul Galati. Much was made of Sir Alex’s team selection against Liverpool on Saturday, and on a day when Mancunian legends Stone Rose announced their comeback, the United manager brought back in many of the players that were rested at Anfield.

Evra and Smalling were the only two survivors from the starting 11 on Merseyside and were joined in the back four by Fabio and Vidic, the United captain playing his first game since the opening day of the season. Lindegaard replaced De Gea in goal, while Nani, Carrick, Anderson and Valencia operated in the middle of the park, with Rooney and Hernandez up front.

This was only the second time in their history that United were up against a Romanian side, with the only precedent being a Champions League encounter against Dinamo Bucharest 7 years ago. Ironically, due to the size of their home ground, Galati have to play their home games in the Champions League in Bucharest , which means their fans have to endure a 300 miles round trip. Pretty much what it would be like if United had their home games staged at Wembley.

United were going into the game on the back on two draws in their first two games and started brightly, dictating the tempo in midfield while trying to open up Galati’s defence by making the pitch as wide as possible. That first spark was quickly extinguished though, as Galati showed a commendable discipline and organization in midfield, making it hard for United players to find the space they so badly craved. Munteanu’s side weren’t afraid of putting 10 men behind the ball at times, and even had their first chance of the game as Florin fired over after beating two men, with 28 minutes gone. United were sloppy and lacked cutting edge going forward, with their best chances coming as the game approached half time. First Nani produced one the runs that we’ve now come accustomed to associate with him and pulled the ball back for Carrick who fired over the bar from a good position, then, 60 seconds later, the Portuguese winger shot straight at the keeper after another decent run.

The first half was gone and with it the thought that this would be a stroll in the park for United, as Galati seemed to grow into the game.

Whatever Fergie said in the dressing room, it seemed to take sometime to make its way into the Red Devils’ minds as they started the second half in equally subdued fashion, albeit with a slight more urgent approach. The first 15 minutes of the second half saw a shower of yellow cards being brandished by the referee. The only foul that deserved a yellow, if not a red, went unpunished when the referee inexplicably failed to book Rapa after he had clattered Nani from behind.

After 62 minutes United created the first great chance of the game, Rooney firing just wide after another superb Nani run. The Portuguese winger is becoming more and more crucial for his team, his ability of creating opportunities from nothing puts him up there with the very best in the world, and he can only get better. Some of his link up with Evra down United’s left flank was one of the brightest notes of the night. The set was stage for United to take they lead, which they duly did 60 seconds later. Nani played a clever little ball over the top of his man for Rooney who raced clear and tried to pick out Hernandez, who had made a brilliant run into the box. Rooney’s cross from the left of the area was met by Coustin’s outstretched arm, which left the referee no choice. Rooney cooly converted the penalty kick to give United the lead. All over? No, because Vidic was sent off after less than a minute for a challenge which deserved a yellow at best. It seems like this week referees feel the need of showing red cards for soft challenges. United held on, Jones and Evans replacing Fabio and Valencia to steady the back four and when, with little more than 3 minutes to go Perendjia was shown a second yellow for bringing Hernandez down, Galati’s fight looked over. A minute later Rooney made this sure, converting his second penalty of the night after being fouled in the box by Antal.

United now sit second in the group with 5 points and with two of the remaining games at home, you’d fancy them to win the group. Job done then, it’s now time to focus on the Manchester derby on Sunday.

This report was written by RedRants’ latest recruit Daniele C. Daniele has taken on the challenging role of match reporter, I hope you’ll join me in showing him a very warm RedRants welcome.

Welcome aboard Dan.



  1. godzilla

    19 October 2011 at 05:27

    Welcome to Daniele. Pathetic loose play by United till around60 minutes. number of times we gave away the ball was crazy. probably the pitch and new atmosphere added to it.

    • danMUFC87

      19 October 2011 at 08:22

      First of all thanks for the warm welcome!

      I agree with you, we kept giving the ball away too cheaply for the first 60mins, i guess that playing at such a subdued tempo didn’t help. We seem to have an attitude sometimes, which led to us playing at the pace that suits the other team more than it suits us. It’s a dangerous, particularly in games such as last night,when we are expect to win easily. I’m not suggesting that we should go gung-ho from the start, but we should definitely try to impose ourselves and dictate the tempo from the start.

  2. Stephen

    19 October 2011 at 08:56

    Good write up Daniele and welcome to the Mad House!!! 😀
    Not a great performance but a win is a win. I thought Carrick had a very decent game, the Vida sending off was a best a bit harsh, but he really did not have to make that tackle in that area.
    Will either one of the twins ever complete 90 mins? They make Saha look like Mike Tyson! 😐
    Rooney looked sharp, two great pens well taken. It will be interesting to see Fergie’s attitude against Shitty, will he flood the midfield or go for the jugular?!
    Anyway good to see the Stone Roses back, great band!!! And lads get some sleep!!

  3. Jonny

    19 October 2011 at 09:16

    welcome Dan, good to have a write up so soon after the game.

    Hernandez for me was outstanding tonight. he didn’t get much in terms of scoring chances, but he stayed onside and held up the ball better. this was especially noticeable before their player got sent off (he was involved in that too, not that getting a player sent off is a skill worth commending) when we were down to ten men. there were a few times where he got the ball with his back to the goal and shielded the ball till their defenders bulled him over.

    maybe it wasn’t pretty, but he did a job for us today, and i was impressed.

    also Carrick (shot aside) played a much better game. there were a few times where he displayed close ball control that made me double take because he was very good at making a little space and getting past or around his man to get a pass off. I haven’t seen that from him in a while – possibly ever – and I thought he was a good complement to Anderson today.

    overall, not a great game, but 3 points in the bag, well done sirs and I cannot wait for sunday

  4. Nuevo

    19 October 2011 at 09:50

    Welcome Daniele.

    @Jonny Abt carrick: you beat me to it. Was gonna write that I saw MC go past a man so the pigs must be flying 😈 😈 but yeah good to see some forward movement from him.
    3 points taken, now time to silence the Wastelanders.

    • Jonny

      19 October 2011 at 12:01

      Exactly, forward movement. Carrick couldn’t manage it during the champions league final, but few players can against Barca’s high tempo press.

      He managed it today, and if he can keep managing it, he is a fantastic 3rd option behind Cleverly and Anderson.

      It scares me how much Cleverly seems to be the missing link in the midfield for us when he wasn’t even playing for us last season and none of the other options (barring Giggs in a substitute cameo role) behind him inspire much confidence.

      It’s especially disconcerting that he last time someone was deemed that important to our midfield, we were talking about Fletcher missing out on the CL final. . .makes you think doesn’t it.

      • tonymontanna4united

        19 October 2011 at 19:34

        Problem with carrick is when its a tight game, where hes being pressed, closed down and given very little time and space, hes practically useless. In games like yesterdays though, where he practically always had about 10 yars of space around him, and the time to be able to stop and think about who he wanted to pass to, he was fine.
        If he was playing in italy he’d probably be consistently brilliant over there, what with that league being so bloody slow, but here in the PL, where its so fast paced and quick, is probably why we seldom ever see that sort of performance against anyone of any note.
        If you were to look up carrick in the dictionary, it’d probably read:

        Carrick, verb. To play a; Action describing an utterly mediocre style of football, based on the idea that passing backwards, and standing motionless in the center circle, never providing an actual threat, is the correct way to play football.
        Sentence ‘Oh my giddy aunt, have you seen this game, they’re playing a RIGHT Carrick!’ 😉 😆

        • RMJ

          19 October 2011 at 20:57

          I think you are underestimating Carrick a bit here..aside from that one game in the FA semis against Shitty, Carrick had a good second half of the season against all our opponents in the league last year. He was instrumental against Chelsea and was vital in the run in the champions league as well.

          I would never discribe Carrick as mediocore. He isnt flashy and doesn’t make those daredevil tackles that English supporters love to see but he has been in the center of what has been our most successful run in the last 10 years.

          I really dont want to go back to the Carrick debate, we can just agree to disagree 🙂

        • tonymontanna4united

          19 October 2011 at 21:44

          Well mate, i too have already had my say regarding carrick dozens of times. I dont hide my feelings for him, he’s not my cup of tea, and i think its high time he was moved on, and a younger, hungrier, better suited player brought in.
          But i can also accept others wont see it like that, and he does have his fans, so fair enough.
          As you say lets agree to disagree.

        • Craig Mc

          19 October 2011 at 23:06

          Thing I have against Carrick yesterday is that he MISSED a fookin sitter that Nani had laid on for him, so robbed Lil man of yet another marvelous assist 🙄 :lol:. How the heck did he miss RMJ – I mean my Grannie would have scored and with great panache from that kind of sitter opportunity! 😀

        • RMJ

          19 October 2011 at 23:38

          Rusty perhaps 🙂 he has mostly featured in Europe only of late and besides he was never known for his shooting..
          ..on a side not i pray everyday that fergie will always find a way to play Nani on the right side of midfield…always…forever..

  5. RMJ

    19 October 2011 at 15:10

    hollering from san diego was traveling yesterday and saw the game from an airport lounge 😛 ..the games goes to highlight how much we are dependent on our wingers for our creativity. Our midfield played really well, we kept the ball and were never not in control of the match, but due to the fact that Nani isn’t the same on the left and the game was being played at a slower tempo than that suited Valencia meant we were impotent in the final third.

    Our 442 doesn’t want our midfielder or even allow them to be expressively creative. Cleverly when he plays almost disconnects or detaches himself from midfield and sticks close to the opposition back-line to becomes almost a part of the attacking nucleus that consists of our strikers. This is very Lampard-esque but the difference being he is capable of dropping back much more easily.

    I really want to see how Cleverly and Carrick play together because that pairing looks very balanced on paper atleast

    • tonymontanna4united

      19 October 2011 at 19:27

      I just want to see cleverley back, period, regardless of who hes being paired with. I suppose that shows just how pathetically lacking our midfield is/has been, when were pinning our hopes on a kid in his first year properly at united dont it.

  6. Craig Mc

    19 October 2011 at 16:06

    Well wonders NEVER bloody cease – Sir Fergie singling out Nani as playing MARVELOUSLY as the boss puts it. He said that Nani had a particularly good 2nd half and was influential. Well course he bloody was – he made the pass to Wazza that led to the ist penalty, then was unlucky to hit the post as he darted thru on his own after a fine thru pass to him. He also laid on another ball to Wazza right at his feet in the area, and Wazza only just missed the bottom of the far post by inches. When Fergie singles out Nani – well I think that somebody on this blog is going to tell me that the end of the world is nigh – or some such fookin thing. Wazza and Nani are our two most influential players going forward – but Chicharito and Owen can be relied upon IF the MF manage to put them thru one on one with the GK. If any of you are wondering why Wazza is getting some acclaim from me – blame Stephen for fookin brainwashing me with his constant brain batterings and always batting for the ROON 😉 😉 😆 . What the hell am I going to do now Stephen on the terraces – now I don’t have the comedic assailing of Wazza to wind them all up with?

    • Stephen

      19 October 2011 at 17:05

      😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 Finally you have succumbed to the power of the ROOOOON ❗ ❗ The force is strong in you, Oh-Manc-one-Kenobi! :mrgreen:

      • Craig Mc

        19 October 2011 at 17:24

        😆 😆 😆 – well I wouldn’t go that far my friend! Lets wait until I see whether Roon goes missing again on his 1st touch and costs us eh? I will be able to tell you better after the game against that lot from the wastelands!

        • Stephen

          19 October 2011 at 17:45

          Goes missing eh?!? 11 goals in 10 games sayes it all my brother!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 😆 😀

        • Craig Mc

          19 October 2011 at 19:16

          How many of these goals were from penalties Stephen mi man – and I was talking about Roons 1st touch going missing 😆 – not Roon going missing in games per se!

        • tonymontanna4united

          19 October 2011 at 19:21

          Its very much rooney > craig’s gran again now is it matey 😆

        • Craig Mc

          19 October 2011 at 22:59

          😆 😆 😆 – yea my Gran will never get picked now Tony!

        • Stephen

          20 October 2011 at 11:20

          What penalties don’t count now!?!? How many of Ronaldo’s goals were pens?!? :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

        • Craig Mc

          20 October 2011 at 19:41

          Hah hah – so you fail to answer my question Stephen mi man – is that because Wazza has more of his goals from pens than free scoring – just asking. Also you can’t say Ronaldo got most of his goals from pens – because he was always free scoring, but then so was Wazza when he played with Ronaldo! 😀

  7. Craig Mc

    19 October 2011 at 16:14

    My view on the game is that I didn’t think we did too bad at all. Back to the backpassing mania a lot, but I thought we kept possession better than them – but then we should considering our highly priced players, and measuring it against the cost of their players. Still they fought well the opposition, dirty bastards at times, whereas our lads got knobbled for every FIRM tackle. At first I thought our travelling fans were getting a boring deal from the play – but I watched and heard the fans partying, singing and having a ball on the terraces – lots of good humour – so I changed my mind, and the 2nd half was really much better. I though Wazza was cool as a cucumber taking his penalties – not bad when you consider he missed his last one for us against Chelsea – he didn’t lack the balls to go at it again though and take the pens – good for him! We have lost Vida for the return, but they have lost their hulk and butcher titan CH too!

    • tonymontanna4united

      19 October 2011 at 19:19

      Well i suppose its a bonus that we werent resorting back to the normal long ball/hoof ball football when we werent breaking them down, as i really hate seeing us bringing ourselves down to that level.
      I still dont get fergie and his tinkering though. I mean nani on the left, our 2nd best player, being played in his worst position for the sake of tony v (how bad has he been this season).
      Why do we play evra week in week out. It’ll be 3 games in a week after city, and for anyone that’d be taking it out of them, let alone that lazy bugger. Surely young fryer could have filled in there.
      Same with the midfield. I cant believe im saying this, but carrick was half way decent last night, as was anderson, but after recent reports this week regarding paul pogba possibly moving on, i have to ask, why oh why did pogba not even travel with the bloody squad.
      I mean fergie was so quick to discuss him at great lengths a few weeks ago, and went on about how good a player he is. Well, why not give him his european debut, if even as a sub, against dross like this. Is he ever going to get a bloody game then? Are the stories real about him possibly moving on?
      So i dont know, im probably going a bit OTT again, but its getting to the point now, where im really dreading seeing what our team sheet, and style of play is going to be, every game.
      Our last 4/5 performances have been average to say the least, and with city coming up in a few days, thats something we really have to correct, and bloody quickly.

      • RMJ

        19 October 2011 at 20:13

        We start resorting to long ball when Fletcher is playing. Its unbelievable how bad he has been this season..i will take Gibson on his worst day than Fletcher these days.

        Valencia has struggled mainly because he piked up a knock at the start of the season(similar situation to hernandez) and has been playing right back as well. Fergie doesn’t want to pick Fabio in the league yet cos he has no other back up for Evra and so we have been rotating a bunch of people there.

        • tonymontanna4united

          19 October 2011 at 20:46

          I cant disagree with you there, fletcher is one of the main culprits, but i think alot of it is that when we usually go with a 4-5-1 with fletcher, we play an incredibly flat midfield, and the front 3 (more like 2, as park is never a winger who stays where hes bloody well supposed to) are far too high up. Thus the space between the midfield and the forwards is so massive, the team probably has no choice but to hoof it up long to the front men, in the hope they can start an attack from that.
          Its an abysmal system, and one of the reasons i always complain and know whats coming when we go with that formation, but i suppose the buck stops with fergie at the end of the day, and the roles he gives his players.
          So i wouldnt just blame fletcher for that. Rio ferdinand on saturday was the biggest culprit, even though he had options ahead of him, he wouldnt even look at the options around him.
          Just look up, see welbeck and young trudging around past the half way line, and hit one in hope. And that was our game plan for pretty much the first 60 mins.
          As a result, liverpool started commiting more and more players forward, and the likes of kelly and luis enrique were practically getting forward acting as wingers, providing them with width. If downing and kuty hadnt been so god awful, and had come inside, we’d have really been troubled by that, fortunately we werent.
          But anyway i didnt want to go into one about the liverpool game again, just still annoys me now and summed up everything that is wrong about us at times.
          Fletcher, rio, valencia, all play far too many long balls, i just wish fergie or one of the coaching staff, would tell to them to bloody stop it, as its just so pointless and annoying.

          As for valencia, well yes thats true, but i have to say i agree with something craig said last season about him. Hes too much of a homer, fantastic in home games at OT, but away from home, never seems able to keep up. He also looks afraid to me, to take players on and get past them. Several times last night he went for the easy option and passed it back to fabio, one of our midfielders, rather than taking the full back on.
          Maybe the injury he suffered last season is still on his mind? Hope not, as whilst id never have him as a first teamer ahead of nani, he could be a fantastic squad player to bring off the bench in certain games. More so than park anyway who i think has been pathetic for most of the last year (but then ive never really been a big fan of his anyway, so maybe im being cruel).

        • RMJ

          19 October 2011 at 23:47

          my gripe with fletcher is that he doesnt work well with anyone..not carrick, not andy, he hasn’t played with cleverly before and he was horrible with Gibson the one time i remember them playing together…without that tenacity and energy of old, he looks even worse than a mid-table team midfielder

          and i wasn’t to excited about Jones’s performance in midfield as well. Its clear he has a lot to learn if he has a future in the middle of midfield…i think people underrate john o shea’s capabilities in adaptability and i don’t think Jones is that adaptabile

        • Stephen

          20 October 2011 at 11:33

          Jones is twice the player O’Shea was. He was a poor centre back, who filled in at left back. Personally I never rated him and was glad to see him go.

        • tonymontanna4united

          20 October 2011 at 19:27

          Agree stephen. Its weird though as i watching some 30 min highlights from a few of our games back in the 02/03 season, and o’shea looked quality in every game at LB. Think he was a starter that year, in his break out year, but as i say, he looked quality. Shame he went and became very much an average squad player, a jack of all trades master on none as it were.

          Regarding jones and his performance in midfield, well saturday wasnt exactly a great performance, but lets not forget it was his first game there in about 8/9 months (even at blackburn he was reverted back to defence from the new year) and to do so at anfield is never easy.
          Ive always believed though since we bought him, he could do a job in the midfield, and from what ive seen of him this season, i still believe that to be the case. Long as hes paired with the right players and in the right system, which with some of fergies selections, is a big ask.
          Hes definitely something different though, and such a good player i think he could definitely do a job there. Just needs some time.

        • Craig Mc

          20 October 2011 at 19:36

          We have to remember that Jones was instructed by Fergie to stick to Charlie Adam and to stop him spraying those passes about which he has been good at doing against us, and also with his set pieces – and with this in mind I think Jones did the job he was instructed to do at Anfield, marking Adam out of the game. So to say he failed in MF after one game I think is unfair – give him more opportunity to assess whether he can be something for us there!

      • donibrasco

        20 October 2011 at 06:59

        It doesnt matter how Evra plays,fans here think he is pants.But advocating for any leftback over Evra in this league is insanity.People need to get over themselves and realise he is one of the top players in the world even if he has his moments.

        • tonymontanna4united

          20 October 2011 at 19:32

          Rubbish, if he or carrick, fletcher or anyone else gives a good performance, then he will be praised, regardless of whether hes a favourite of ours or not.
          Problem is, evra’s good games have been few and far between for nigh on, ooh about 2 years now, so even if he does give a good performance one week, hes highly likely to give a totally shite one the following week.
          I suppose we all see things differently though, and that in a way is why we all love this place so much, as it offers such a different array of opinions we can all debate over.
          So your entitled to your opinion mate, but i think labelling him one of the top players in the world, is massively wide of mark, and if he is genuinelly considered that by others, then me thinks its based on his reputation and past glories, moreso than current form which has been woeful.

  8. colver

    19 October 2011 at 18:52

    Yeah. We weren’t great. But East European teams are not easy to play against and we got our Champions League campaign back on track. We didn’t really exhaust ourselves out there. We didn’t succumb to any injuries. Hard to complain really.

    • tonymontanna4united

      19 October 2011 at 19:25

      I for one was disappointed and bored rigid by the game last night, but its not a result i will fret over for long. I just get a bit bored and feel a bit disappointed at the way we always approach these games season in season out whereby we get by doing the bare minimum and putting in as little effort as possible.
      With city coming up i suppose thats understandable, but id still expect our B team and even a few promising kids throw in, to come out and turn over a team as poor as them in any case.
      But i suppose i knew we wouldnt, as lets face it we never bloody do do we. We knew we would beat them, just wish we’d do it with a bit of bloody style again.

  9. donibrasco

    20 October 2011 at 07:06

    Every game that goes keeps worrying me as we show no signs of improvement in our game,but still iam happy we are getting the results.The sole cause has been rotation of players barely 10 games into the season.Why cant the manager pick a team,let it play and gel and replace only the injured players until we get some kind of stability?
    In the late 90s,you didnt have to wait for team news.Now apart from Rooney and Evra,you are not sure who is playing the next game and in which position and for me thats a worry.

  10. colver

    20 October 2011 at 10:45

    Yeah. Also all our players are so incredibly different. It makes sticking to one system the entire season impossible. The football we played at the start of the season was only possible because of the dynamism of Anderson and Cleverley in midfield. Once players like Fletcher and Carrick and Giggs re-entered the mix it was no longer sustainable.

    • Stephen

      20 October 2011 at 11:39

      Anderson has lost form, so are now saying he can only play with Cleverley? For me this is yet another excuse to hide the obviously failings in his game…

      • gator

        21 October 2011 at 23:47

        looking for the touch and go passing. its not going to happen with carrick fletch or gigs anymore. ando and clever make it happen. and he will be back for the shitty match i hear 8)

  11. ash is the man

    20 October 2011 at 16:32

    The fact is our midfield is still as poor as ever with us missing a real box to box player and a playmaker to dictate play. The only reason we looked so good at the start of the season was because we played fast football utilising the strength of our wingers and practically by passing our centre midfield.

    • Stephen

      20 October 2011 at 17:24

      Agreed mate, once Anderson has a few decent games his supporters come out in force. Once again when he looses his from it is either Fergie, who he plays with or some other excuse.
      The fact is that our midfield is good. Carrick, Fletch are good players, Cleverley shows great potential but not in a position to dictate the midfield in the Champions League yet.
      We should have invested in the Summer, even another squad player. If there was an issue with monies which held back the Sneidjer, when why did we not sell Berba? He is not starting games, Fergie has admitted that he simply cannot effect the game from the bench!?

      • Moscow is my heaven

        20 October 2011 at 18:36

        I don’t have much to add to that, spot on Stephen.

        • tonymontanna4united

          20 October 2011 at 19:51

          Yeah, definitely agree stephen. Were still a good 2 midfielders short as far as im concerned, with a big strong, bad ass, ball winning midfielder needed (im not usually a fan of out and out DMs but think we could still do with one), and another creative option a must as far as im concerned.
          Tiote and any one of bannan (was calling for this guy in the summer), gotze, pjanic, martinez, any one of them would have been fantastic.
          It seems though fergie always has, and always will be, content with the carricks, giggs’, fletchers of this world, and is well and truly against actually buying what is badly needed.
          So i guess, we’d all better hope and pray, we see another cleverley situation, and any one of tunnicliffe, pogba or morrison, is able to make the step up in the future.

        • gator

          22 October 2011 at 23:05

          I think we held off to promote pogba this year. I read this morning how his contract is up at the end of next year i believe and if he isnt gitting a sniff of action he will go elsewhere. the boss thinks he will be good for us and doesnt want to risk loosing him to arsenal. So he, cleverly and morrison/tunner are our new midfielders for the next yr i think.

          of course i would love to see some new blood come in but i agree with the boss. we need to give these boys a chance or loose them. im sure we will see pogba playing in the carling cup and if he impresses then he could get matches vs the bottom half in the league.

          This season should be a weeding out of the current crop. at least one of ando, carrick, fletch, should make way at the end of the season. im a fan of all 3 but we need more class. fletch hasent shown his best form since the virus. ando and carrick are inconsistent but in the opposite matches; ando thrives on high tempo and fades in a slower match, while carrick is ineffective vs a press but is a nfl quarterback when given space to pass.

        • Ian

          23 October 2011 at 00:25

          Pogbas ‘people’ are sniffing round any team who’ll listen right now because of the contract situation…….I think they think their boy is Sneijder! 😀 World’s gone mad.

  12. ash is the man

    20 October 2011 at 16:32

    The fact is our midfield is still as poor as ever with us missing a real box to box player and a playmaker to dictate play. The only reason we looked so good at the start of the season was because we played fast football utilising the strength of our wingers and practically by passing our centre midfield.

    • tonymontanna4united

      20 October 2011 at 19:44

      Also fergie wasnt afraid to throw the young lads in and let them off the leash. A few goals conceeded though, and going out with a very open style of play soon put paid to that, and that old cautious italian inside him we all know and love, came to the surface again, and with it came the return of the slow, uninspiring, cautious, long ball football that now seems a united trademark.

      “We cant continue with this gung-ho style”
      “Id gladly win every remaining game 1-0 to the end of the season”

      I guess its not surprising were now like a different team, when you read quotes like that, straight from the horses mouth.

  13. Moscow is my heaven

    20 October 2011 at 20:01

    The midfield which was humiliated at the San Siro, 2nd leg of the UCL semi final in 2007:

    Fletcher, Carrick, Scholes and Giggs.

    Almost half a decade later, and we are still limping on with the same lot. Astonishing 😯

    • Stephen

      21 October 2011 at 10:30

      It does odd that Fergie really has neglected that position for such a long period of time. His midfield signings have been I suppose hit and miss since he arrived at the club. For every Keane and Ince, there has been a Djemba Djemba, Kleberson, Neil Webb oh yes and Mike Phelan. With this position he has to some degree been lucky, Fergie successes have generally been home-grown such as Scholes, Butt, Fletch or already at the club like Bryan Robson. Veron was a disaster, but a great player but failed to settle in English football but Fergie hardly helped. Lets not forget him converting Giggs and Brian McClair from wingers to centre mids with some joy, but Alan Smith again was total flop. Carrick has enjoyed some highs but he does polarize the fans, similar to Anderson.
      Really in my view if we invested correctly in this area we could have have more European Cups than we have, Fergie is a genius, no other manger gets out more out of his players than he has. But he has for me ignored the main area of the side which is the heart beat.

  14. Jay wire

    20 October 2011 at 22:00

    @Colver- yes the players are very different and that’s why they ought to work well. Look at Chelsea’s midfield for instance. Mikel, Lampard, Mata, Ramires,Meireles are all different. But they seem to work well, especially lately. The problem for me is simple. The minute you start juggling players and shuffling them around with very little regard to logic, they’ll look at best, ordinary. It doesn’t matter who the players are, from Anderson to Iniesta.

    • Moscow is my heaven

      20 October 2011 at 23:14

      Anderson’s seems a little picky with who should be his midfield partner considering none have worked for him apart from Cleverley?

      Or perhaps he is going through a bad run of form, very quickly after such a great start, possibly confirming our fears of his inconsistency?

      I always have distrust in Brazilians. So unpredictable.

  15. Moscow is my heaven

    20 October 2011 at 23:17

    I’d like to give a shout out to those people who shot me down a couple of weeks ago when I said Berba is finished at United. Where are you guys now? 👿

  16. Jay wire

    20 October 2011 at 23:36

    Stephen- Have you ever thought that maybe Ferguson and his coaches are not doing their job perfectly? Results aside. It seems noone ever questions why in the world Manchester United is the only team that sets up the way we do. Firstly, if you look at our preseason, we had promising performances from Anderson and Cleverley. Against City, they stood toe to toe with the best of them, playing some great football. In fact, because of their performances, they started the first games in the league. None of them disappointed. Whilst most were impressed more by Cleverley, who was great, I was very impressed by Anderson’s adaptability. First game, he played a deep playmaker’s role, dictating the pace of the game. Against Spurs, he was box to box and he played attacking mid the minute Clev limped off against Bolton.

    But that’s the problem for me. In less than 5 games, Anderson played 3 distinct roles. Jones has already played 3 roles as well,Smalling 2, Carrick 2, Fletcher, not even sure what he was assigned to do. Nani’s role has stayed constant. Same as Rooney, Young and Hernandez. Evans and Evra too. So why the commotion in central midfield? It seems we never pay any real respect to this zone. To make matters worse, a thousand combinations have been played in midfield. Fletcher-Carrick, Carrick-Anderson, Jones-Fletcher-Giggs(probably the worst midfield combination I’ve ever seen) and countless more.

    So first you have the average central midfielder at United, who plays a different role every game, partnered with one or two other midfielders, who also play different roles every game. As if that were not enough, the roles are often mismatched and detached. At times even non-existant(what in the world were Jones and Fletcher assigned to do against Liverpool). So do you honestly and sincerely believe these things should have no significant effect on 1. individual players 2. the collective unit 3. partnerships? Do you expect consistency to be achieved within a body of inconsistency?

    I don’t claim to be an expert,but I have to wonder,why is United the only team that does this? Since 2007, I’ve seen Xavi and Iniesta doing the exact same thing in every single game. Passing and linking(creating),respectively. They’ve always played in front of a holding midfielder, whether it be Yaya Toure, Busquets or Mascherano. I’ve followed Kaka since 2004 and I’ve seen him only do one thing. Attack goal from midfield. The same as Gerrard,whether wide or central. Pirlo has always been a playmaker, deep or advanced, since Ancelotti’s days at Milan. How many times have we seen Mikel-Essien-Lampard line up for the “old” Chelsea in a holding mid-RCM-LCM combination? Countless times. Right now City have consistently used De Jong-Toure-Silva in a DMF-CMF-AMF axis. No messing about. In recent memory only 3 teams have strayed from this logic of consistency. Manchester United since Moscow, Argentina(particularly under Diego Madman) and Juventus last season. That means in world football, only United and Argentina are left. Just look at Messi’s performances and you’ll see the difference consistency makes

    • Grognard

      21 October 2011 at 08:30

      My goodness mate. If I made those comments I would get flayed by all the trolls and thought police on this blog. I commend you on your courage. You are right of course but it amazes me how when I say these things I get so much heat but when others do, it is overlooked. Fergie has a lot to answer for but his tenure and past success is like an elephant’s skin surrounding him and protecting him as he can do no wrong in the eyes of many.

    • Stephen

      21 October 2011 at 08:53

      Jay, “Stephen- Have you ever thought that maybe Ferguson and his coaches are not doing their job perfectly? Results aside” Er is this just me, but isn’t Fergie in the results business, that is the point bro he is getting results.
      Mate like many you just look for excuses in why the Brazilian has been for the majority a failure. You always fail to mention, his lack of goals, consistency, he is still clearly over weight, has poor attitude in training, he inability of being able to dictate a game, seems to only perform when the team does and never drags the team up when it is under performing, like say say Keane.
      Is Fergie perfect, of course not, but other players have knuckled down and been a success. Blaming Fergie is a lazy excuse in defending a player who at best is inconsistent and can only play with one other player, which is laughable. He simply mentally isn’t strong enough to play for a big club, good luck to him I a sure he is great lad but simply, not a Unite player. You and others can make all the excuses you like, but my eyes don’t fail me like he has.

      • Grognard

        21 October 2011 at 17:35

        Actually it is fine time Fergie realized that the results business he is in is actually the entertainment business and results are often connected to entertainment value as well. It’s naive to think that winning against a minnow 2-0 with two penalties is getting a result when it doesn’t make any kind of statement to our opponents other than we didn’t try or we aren’t that good. Does that put the scare of God in any of the real opponents in the league like Barca, Bayern and Madrid? I seriously doubt it. By playing at 60% of efficiency and effort only accomplishes one thing. It makes the lads a little less tired in facing City.

        • Stephen

          21 October 2011 at 18:34

          Well you are the biggest Mourinho fan on this site and his sides hardly have a history entertainment. Maybe if you personally like someone the rules can be bent?
          Also we have played 8 league games this season and scored 25 goals, with an average of over 3 per game, yes really boring mate. 🙄

        • Grognard

          21 October 2011 at 20:30

          Yes indeed, Inter and Real Madrid were thoroughly boring sides. Scoring like crazy sure is boring. Come on man! Mourinho sides may care about defense but Chelsea scored over 90 goals a season when he was in charge and Inter played flair football when they won the CL. Last year Madrid scored around 100 goals and Ronaldo scored over 50 in all competitions. Does this sound like a manager that puts the shackles on attack and entertainment? Perhaps you should go watch their 4-0 demolition of Lyon to see if there was boredom in that match. Sorry but that’s a lame argument that can be put down with pure stats.

        • Stephen

          22 October 2011 at 10:09

          Did they play with flair when even he admitted to paring the aeroplane against Barca? His Inter side were hardly attacking, how people cling onto this idea he played three up front. At home it Inter side played 4-4-2 but away he went back to his usual cautious approach a more pragmatic 4-3-3 and even though it seems to suggest three strikers it can be more defensive because two of those forwards have the duty of marking the opposition full-backs when out of possession. His Inter sides were built on a solid defence. Any good side can beat another well, but his footballing philosophy has always been defence.Lets be real about Real, Spain is like Scotland and two team league, with two great sides, the rest are at best average.

        • Grognard

          23 October 2011 at 02:48

          He played a counter attacking 4-2-3-1 and it worked like perfection vs Barcelona because he had the creative players in the middle of the park as well as the defensive midfielders who could hassle Messi , Xavi and Iniesta. It all comes down to talent at the end and Mourinho had it in polayers and had it in his own mind with what tactics to use. He has a lot of talent at Madrid too but lacks the players to neutralize the big three for Barca, which is the only thing holding him back from more silverware. Yeah the guy is a bum isn’t he? 🙄

        • Grognard

          23 October 2011 at 02:50

          That’s just an unfair assessment as there is no debating with somebody who cannot respect the others point of view without judging it as biased.

  17. Jay wire

    20 October 2011 at 23:51

    @Moscow-Anderson played well against Bolton with Carrick in a holding midfield role. For me that team, with the roles each player had, should be our first choice,with Anderson and Cleverley competing for a spot alongside Carrick. The only change I’d make is Welbeck in for Hernandez,who should compete with Berbatov for a place alongside Rooney. Anderson is inherently inconsistent, but then again he gets inconsistent roles as well. Rooney is also inconsistent and has also traditionally suffered the same problem. Inconsistent roles and partners.

  18. Ian

    21 October 2011 at 13:03

    Has anyone heard from Eddie recently? He didn’t put a preview up in midweek and he hasn’t replied to an email I sent.

    It creates an opportunity for someone to write a preview for Sunday as a one off article. Anyone interested?

    • Stephen

      21 October 2011 at 13:49

      I can hardly put a sentence together mate! 😆 😆

  19. Craig Mc

    21 October 2011 at 18:08

    Our reserves against Blackburn last night were AWFUL. We once again have strikers who can’t strike and seem to think it is ok to turn up and just pass the ball about with no end product. I hope the coaching staff and Fergie are asking questions about this – why are our strikers not able to get shots on goal or get into the box often enough to make something happen? Come on Fergie where is your HAIRDRYER when it is needed. I didn’t see anybody in the game last night who was anywhere near DETERMINED to be noticed and stand out in performance to warrant consideration for our 1st team. I think the lethargy in our 1st teamers getting goal opportunities is effecting and engineering the same outcome with the reserves. On last night’s performance most of them do not merit consideration for 1st team outing. Soz but it is true. Did anyone else see the game against Blackburn last night? If so lets have your thoughts on that non performance. When Paddy Crerand says nothing is happening and he is bored – well speaks volumes to me about the players on display last night!

  20. Moscow is my heaven

    21 October 2011 at 18:57

    As much as I am disgusted by our midfield and our recent performances, there are some cold hard truths as well. We are UNBEATEN, we have played Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, dropping only two points, knocking 15 goals past them, and after we play City, we have a realistic chance of wiping out everyone until 2012. Should we beat City as well, by the time we hit the 2nd half of fixtures, we should have a mammoth lead.

    Europe can suck my dick, we have no-one to fear except Barcelona.

    • Stephen

      21 October 2011 at 19:08

      Too many people enjoy wallowing in the negative and feel being positve is “conforming” Truth is, we have a fantastic manager who more importanly installs team spirit. It is easier to criticise and over intellectualise football, but factually the best players don’t always win trophies, it is the best team. Fergie frustrates me as much as the next man, but this club would not be what it is without him. I am old enough to remember United under Big Ron, we had a good side, but did not have a winning mentality. Only under Fergie last season would that side have won the league, the man is a genius.

      • Grognard

        21 October 2011 at 20:34

        I agree except that Fergie always gets a free pass with fans like you when he fiddles around too much and shows his zebra stripes a bit too much when a panther shows up. I know what he has accomplished and perhaps that is why I find it intolerable to see our club play football in a very un United and un Fergie manner. He has spoilt us and has made us expect more from him and the team than what they have been delivering of late.

        • Stephen

          22 October 2011 at 09:13

          Agreed, we all get frustrated especially after the terrific football we played earlier in the season. It find it odd that he seems to cater around other sides rather than letting them worry about containing us.

  21. Ian

    22 October 2011 at 10:41

    Stephen Grog

    I’m in the same place, let them worry about us, but SAFs not done that since we had Ronaldo and even then there were still games where he setup according to the opposition rather than to our own strengths. What does this tell us?

    IMO: he doesn’t trust the players he’s got to concentrate for the full 90 minutes but that’s because he prefers to continually develop young players who suffer more from ‘moments’.

    It’s a trade off between assembling mature, seasoned professionals to do a job or creating a team of rising stars mixed with maturity and professional know-how. This team has fundamentally changed from last season in that respect. The CBs are younger than the considered age a CB reaches his peak due to injuries to RF and NV. DdG is 21 and learning ‘on the job’ that’s usually not available to someone much older. Welbeck, Hernandez, both young. Anderson, Cleverley, Jones, Smalling, Twins etc are all young and relatively inexperienced.

    To go to Anfield and play to your own strengths needs 2 or 3 disciplined players in top form (ie: not returning from injuries), established within the club/team, and football mature in key positions. SAF just doesn’t have that anymore except for Rooney (except when there’s off-field activities to consider). Those players are only nurtured over time. He had Giggs, Neville and Scholes doing it for the last few yrs but that luxury isn’t available now.

    Evra tries but his defending is riddled with mistakes.
    Carrick should be doing it by now but has never had the confidence or the personality, he just looks after himself.
    Berbatov just doesn’t fit in the new style we’re playing.
    Etc etc

    Most of the squad have either only been at the club for a short time or/and are still young/developing.

    So that’s why, I think he doesn’t trust the players he’s got but he accepts it. I wish he would try to keep a more settled side though, I know injuries seem to strike us a lot when a player’s in good form but SAF makes too many changes from game to game for me. If he keeps this team of about 14/15 regulars for the next 2yrs they’ll be awesome.

    Possible lineup in 2yrs:





    You might not fancy that 11 but it’s mobile/agile and full of teamwork.

    • Stephen

      22 October 2011 at 10:53

      Fergie does over rotate in my view, I am not sure if he wants to keep players fresh, which is the party line, or he simply does know his best eleven. For me the side which had Clev and Anderson in the centre, Nani and Young out wide seemed to be the best option. This coupled with Vida and Rio now back fit should give us more of a spine and De Gea now showing confidence. I would just stick with that side until either injury, or total lack of form.

    • Eddie

      22 October 2011 at 20:11

      No Cleverley in there?

      • Ian

        22 October 2011 at 21:42

        EEDDDDIEE! Are you doing a match preview for the Derby?

      • Ian

        22 October 2011 at 22:18

        Cleverley could make that lineup definitely but so could a few names. I stuck Morrison in there instead because I honestly think if he gets his attitude in order and grows up he’ll be the first name on the team sheet….he’s THAT good.

        • tonymontanna4united

          23 October 2011 at 01:38

          Hes been back in the team again, the last 2 games against bolton and blackburn, so here’s hoping hes back starting again soon (is there still no official reason as to why he was out the whole of the summer, september?).
          I agree about him though, he could be an absolute star. I was just on youtube this week watching his performance in the games last season, against chelski and shef utd in the FA youth cup, and he was just sensation in both (in the chelski game he didnt even look in the mood and still looked quality 🙂 )
          I remember already having a discussion with you, some weeks ago, about morrison and his problems, and we both agreed hes been a bit of a tit, and lucky to still be at the club. I cant help but thinking though, regarding his problems, it’d really help throwing him in for a first team game or 2, sort of as a wake up call, showing him this is what he risks missing out on. Am talking about some serious game time and not the final 10 seconds here.
          If that didnt wake him up, nothing bloody would, and we’d know he was a write off.
          Better than leaving him in the reserves imo where its clear hes too good, and at times, losing interest. If hes got no loan deals coming his way, why not throw him in and give him a game?

    • Grognard

      23 October 2011 at 02:34

      I think Fergie has become this way since he lost one player, Roy Keane. Even in 07/08 when we won the big Double he was catering to the opponent but back in the days when we had Keane controlling the midfield, there was no such thing. A true midfield general is what this team is missing and in dire need of and they are so hard to find. It’s not just about talent and physical play, it’s about presence and leadership and those players seem to be a dying breed. Keane himself came out the other day and called modern footballers soft. I can’t say I disagree with him because I get what he is talking about.

  22. Ian

    22 October 2011 at 11:39

    Exactly, rotation’s a necessary evil nowadays to keep big squads happy but there should be a slightly more settled core. Problem with that is, we actually don’t have any standout players except for Rooney, Vidic and maybe Rio. In the past we’ve had standouts who play almost every game.

    • Stephen

      22 October 2011 at 11:47

      Well Nani for me is a stand up player, Hernandez and Young I would say fall ino that bracket too.
      Rotation is the vogue and when you are competing for all trophies on on offer then you obviously have to. The issue for me is it is Ok to rotate against Wigan, Swansea ect but not against Liver like last week. In the big games you must play your best players, Giggs and Jones in midfield simply are not that.

    • Craig Mc

      22 October 2011 at 19:15

      It shouldn’t be a question of just playing players TO KEEP THEM HAPPY, when fan faithful go home UNHAPPY with snooze football and poor performances. The ones that perform home and AWAY should play as long as they are fit and performing. I don’t believe in this keeping players happy malarky – if they want to leave then this will give some of our very good kids more opportunity! PLAY THE PLAYERS WHO ALWAYS PERFORM home and AWAY! 😀

      • Grognard

        23 October 2011 at 02:37

        Do you remember the old days when a game was played with only two players on the bench? Back then the weekly starting eleven was almost always the same barring injuries and seasons were 42 games long and players seemed to handle it just fine even with the European Cup fixtures thrown in. Players today are soft and they make a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to injuries which old school players would play with rather than sit out and watch tv from the infirmary.

        • Craig Mc

          23 October 2011 at 09:14

          Players make a mountain out of a molehill when they aren’t truly injured, good example is Mi man Nani and Rooney in Romania midweek – both rolling all over the place on the ground to get the decision and both getting up and running again like fuck – I don’t like that at all. Must say that hardly ever happens with Rooney who is usually straight up from hard tackles so I was surprised. I was even MORE surprised by Nani, as he seemed this season to have cut that out of his game more – so I hope we are not going to see a repeat of playacting. When someone is truly injured they can’t move let alone roll around – so NO REPEATS PLEASE Wazza and you Lil man Nani! Your both too good for that kind of shite.

  23. AndyCR7

    22 October 2011 at 18:59

    Saurez in one whiny bitch… 😆

  24. colver

    22 October 2011 at 19:06

    If you want proof of how damaging rotation is just take a look at our defense. We used to have the meanest defence in Europe. Hell in 2007/8 Barcelona couldn’t manage a decent shot on target in 180 minutes. Then we had that incredible run of games in 2008 without conceding. The reason? We were lucky without significant injuries and played an almost unchanged defensive line of Edwin-Brown, Rio, Vidic, Evra.

    Last two seasons we have been forced to rotate a bit more because Rio is getting on and Vidic picks up injuries as well and the twins are made of glass and we are trying to groom a new backline.

    The result? Our defense is now incredibly leaky.

    Is it any coincidence that historically Ferguson has done the most rotation in midfield and midfield happens to be our weakest area? Not really.

    The only valid reasons for rotation are 1) injuries 2) resting players for crucial games during the business end of the season when games come thick and fast 3) giving youngsters a bit of experience in the cups and against bottom feeders at home.

    Very little of the rotation we do really comes under those categories.

    The best teams have a strong core of players who play every game.

    Even when we used to rotate in midfield we always used to play the same defence and the same forwards.

    Now we play different defenders every game, different midfielders, different wingers, different forwards. Hell even different keepers.

    The only players we have who are never rotated are Rooney and Evra. Just two players. One of which only keeps his place because he faces absolutely zero competition. How crazy is that?

    In my opinion the following players should never be rotated except when injured/really really tired etc:

    Rooney, Nani, Anderson (simply because I want to find out this season if he has the goods or not because if he hasn’t the sooner we can buy a quality replacement the better), Smalling (whether at right back or central defence), Vidic.

    That gives us a strong core of five players.

    • Ian

      22 October 2011 at 20:38

      The best teams have a strong core of players who play every game

      >>> AGREED.

      The only players we have who are never rotated are Rooney and Evra. Just two players. One of which only keeps his place because he faces absolutely zero competition. How crazy is that?

      >>> Hence why the LB slots are vacant in two years.

      Made of glass

      Just can’t see either of them forging a long term career at United because of injuries.

      You agree with my point basically but you think there’s more standout players than me.

      It’s fair to say though, there’s 2 teams amongst our squad, both capable of playing in the Prem but only 11 spaces to fill….what a great position for a gaffer….terrible for the fans and the players….but fantastic for a gaffer surely?

      But even 5 standouts is not good enough in a team with the resources as United.

      Personally I’m having 1 standout and that’s it, Rooney….and he’s a c**t.

      Give me a ECL 11 and see how many United players feature heavily/consistently in peoples 11… guess is not many.

      • Ian

        22 October 2011 at 20:39

        BTW….I’m well oiled! Getting ready for tomorrow 😀

      • tonymontanna4united

        23 October 2011 at 01:15

        Ian, regarding the LB spot coming up for grabs, anyone you think who could possibly grab it, already at the club?
        I know you said you dont think fabio will take it, but what about young zeki fryers. Maybe a bit too early to be proclaiming him a soon to be first choice LB, but i really like him. Ok im basing my opinion on only a few games in the reserves, but id really like to see a bit more of what he could offer, ive already been calling for his selection in the recent basle, and tuesdays games.
        Hopefully he’ll get another start in tuesday/wednesdays game at aldershot, preferably in his favoured LB position this time rather than CB (although he looked comfortable even there at leeds).
        Anyway just wanted your opinion on the guy, you are afterall, our own youth team talent spotter, and no doubt will have watched him these last 2 odd years.
        Do you think then hes got what it takes to step up in the next year, as a squad player, further along as a first teamer?

        As for the number of stand out players we currently have, im afraid id have to agree with you. Rooney, nani, vida and smalling id consider as players who we should not ever drop. 4 players then, not alot really when you consider other team and the number of players they’d consider undroppable.

        As for the game tomorrow, take it your going then. If so have a good un, and make sure you atleast play your part and sing your bloody heart out (bet you’d be one of the few though, why is the place always like a bloody grave yard). City fans at OT usually give a decent account of themselves, which is saying something as ive always considered their atmosphere to be amonst the most over rated in the country. Not been anything to write home about since maine road anyway, and their away following is always 2nd rate.

        • Ian

          23 October 2011 at 21:20

          Zeki: He spent most of his time with the Academy injured so I’ve not seen that much of him either, when I have, he looks composed and concentrated. Not sure he’ll ever become the leftback fulltime but he’ll get his chances I think.

          Other than him there’s Tyler Blackett but he’s a VERY long way off at the moment. Good player but nowhere near. There’s Ritchie de Laet at Norwich who could do a Cleverley if he impresses on loan. Sean McGinty plays LB for the reserves and he’s a good defender, not sure he’s much else but he defends well. Again he’s another one who’s utilised all across the back four.

          One player who I reckon will make it through in the next 2 years is Michael Keane on the other side. He looks ok at CB but usually plays at rightback. I think he’s got a lot going for him but still a long way off first team chances….except Carling Cup obviously.

          I didn’t go today, had 2 tickets offered to me and both for free but turned them down. I was coaching some kids until 12:30 and like I’ve said a few times……I don’t like being in OT anymore……not everyone will like me saying that but it’s the truth.

          😳 😡 🙄

    • tonymontanna4united

      23 October 2011 at 01:05

      Agree 100% colver. Its actually amazing when you look back at those days, only 3 years ago (seems a lifetime ago) when we were that bloody solid, we went over 3 months without conceeding a goal. Amazing stuff.
      I suppose its not surprising though thats in such contrast to today where we look like conceeding a goal every game. I mean, as you say, weve lost edwin, evra’s a shadow of the man he was then, we have no nailed on guaranteed RB (Is it smalling, jones, fabio, rafael?) and rio is coming to the end of his illustrious career.
      Not surprising then were conceeding more goals than before, but i think it just further illustrates how absurd our game plan has been these last 5/6 games.
      Going back to the style of play we used between late 2008-2011 whereby we were more conservative, robotic so to speak, whereby we would sit on a 1-0 lead.
      Back then though, we could depend on our defence to hold steady, now though? And yet still we go to places like stoke, anfield, benfica, with a half assed, defensive empathsis, and act surprised when we come away with only a point, and a shite poor performance?
      We know were going to bloody conceed, so to hell with sitting back, let the bastards have it. Fergie seemed to kick up a stink about it, but i for one loved the gung ho football we saw in our first 5 games, a real throwback to our 90s best.
      The we’ll score more than you mentality never did us any harm before, so why change it?
      I think thats whats going to hurt us for the next year or 2. Knowing that we can no longer play the way we have the last 2 odd years, where as i said, we were more conservative, able to hold on/sit on a lead, anymore. So were now in the position where we know for a while, we will have to sit tight and wait on smalling, jones, evans, de gea, fabio etc to grow into the players that rio, vida, evra, edwin etc once were.
      So fergie may find, in the meantime, he really has no choice but to go more gung ho. To let the lads off the leash, and send the lads out with one simple message; “Outscore your opponents”.
      Ok, so you cant outscore every team you play by 3/4 goals, but i still find it weird fergie still seems content, sending us out the same way as we have the last 2 odd years, when he knows were incapable of holding on out and sitting on a lead.
      Hopefully thats means we’ll soon be seeing a return to the style of football we saw in august. Heres hoping.

    • Grognard

      23 October 2011 at 02:39

      In fairness Fergie has not been an advocate of rotating the back four when his starting four have been healthy. But over the past two years he has not had a healthy back four and has been forced into throwing in Evans, Fabio and others to make it work.

  25. Craig Mc

    22 October 2011 at 19:22

    I have a feeling it won’t be a high scoring game tomorrow – I fancy a 2-1 win to our red half of Manchester. What do you all think – what’s your predicted scores? City players especially their BRUTE of a fullback are rallying their troops to put in the fiercest and most robust tackles especially on Rooney, Nani and Young. You know what that means – kick fookin lumps out of our players – because refs allow that against Man Utd. I wonder who the ref is for tomorrow – whoever it is I think they will want a City win – I’m sorry but I really believe that – nobody wants United to win the PL again this year!

    • Moscow is my heaven

      22 October 2011 at 19:50

      I’m gonna go out on a limb and say we will lose at Old Trafford for the first time since April 3rd 2010. Don’t ask but I have a horrible feeling about tomorrow, a feeling I haven’t had since the 4-1 Liverpool win at our place.

      Sorry for being negative 🙁

      Prediction: 1-2

      • Ian

        22 October 2011 at 19:53

        I hope your limbs fall off!

      • Grognard

        23 October 2011 at 02:41

        I love negative. You just put a smile on my face. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • tonymontanna4united

      23 October 2011 at 01:24

      Depends really. If we go out with the same cautious gutter crap that weve seen the last few games, then even a draw would be a positive result. City meanwhile have looked fantasic, granted, but have they even faced 1 decent all season?
      I suppose with a derby game though we know both teams will raise their games, so form really goes out the window. These games are usually tight affairs with late goals, so im hoping for the sake of our poor old heart its different this time.
      I’ll reserve making a predicition until i see the 2 team sheets. If we decide to shut up shop, go with a flat midfield 3 of fletcher, carrick and ando/jones, then id say a draw at best. Especially if, as theyre shouting off about, city come here with 2 fellas up top with silva/nasri cutting inside.
      Not sure our defence could limit their attack to not scoring, only conceeding at most 1 goal, so wouldnt fancy our chances.
      Of course if fergie decides to throw caution to the wind, and bloody go for it, then id fancy us, because regardless of the extra man in midfield stuff that people would come out with, when weve got 2 front men, with nani and young coming in from the wings in front of our home fans, we look like were going to score everytime we come forward.
      Sure were more open that way, but gung ho football is our trademark, so to hell with being conservative i say.
      But as i said, we’ll have to wait and see the team sheets, that’ll tell us more. Would be interesting though to see if city go for it, whilst we went with the extra man in midfield. Officially the day we became more scared of them, than the other way round, if so eh.

      • Grognard

        23 October 2011 at 02:44

        I fully expect us to come out with full guns blazing playing good football as I feel the past few weeks results had been ordered that way by Fergie to save up the energy needed for tomorrow’s game. That said, I also think we will lose but then again I always think we will lose against top opponents because I am a negative thinking glass half full miserable grouchy SOB who thinks the world is out to get him. 2-1 for City.

        • Craig Mc

          23 October 2011 at 09:18

          Shame on anyone who backs United for a loss at OT in a big game like this. Come on YOU REDS! Fuck off you blues – back to wastelands this City is OURS!

  26. gator

    22 October 2011 at 23:13

    jones vida smalling evra
    nani ando clever young
    welly roon

    would love to see that team manhandle citeh 8)

    • tonymontanna4united

      23 October 2011 at 01:28

      That’d be a beautiful side mate, beautiful, cant see it though.
      According to the papers though, rio is apparently pissing about doing some stupid publicity stunt to do with this nfl game in london, about 3 hours after the game, so maybe that might play on fergies mind. Giggs is apparently out for 2 weeks, clevs is apparently back in full training (has been since midweek) although is probably unlikely to start.
      So, a few things to think about there for fergie, but i doubt that’ll be the team, but man, that’d be great and a fantastic watch.

  27. Stephen

    23 October 2011 at 09:27


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