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Theatre of Nightmares as City Set Down Marker

Never in my wildest nightmares, never ever did I expect this. And yet it happened. Last night I played a match between Manchester United and Manchester City with FIFA 12 on my XBOX 360 as a precursor to the real deal which would be happening just 12 hours later UK time. I like to play our upcoming opponents as a tradition just before the real match just to get a visual feeling for what to expect. The result in my game made me laugh because I thought the chances of that score line happening was a million to one. United won 5-1 and totally humiliated City from the kickoff. What do you expect from a freaking video game anyway, realism?

Fast-forward fifteen hours as I woke up an hour after the match had concluded. These days there is no way I will wake up at 4:30am Pacific Time to watch this current version of Manchester United play anyone, sorry. So I turned on the tv and my Tivo and am ready to watch what I am confident will be an epic clash and hopefully a positive result for the home side. And what did I have to look forward to not only brought tears to my eyes but humiliation, horror, shock, dismay, panic and above all total and utter disgust. And those were my positive feelings.

Today’s result was the shot heard round the world. Germany’s blitzkrieg into Poland and France, Napoleon’s
sacking of a deserted Moscow and best of all comparisons William the Conqueror arriving on British shores to claim England as Norman. Today Manchester City shocked the footballing world. They not only beat cross-town derby rivals Manchester United but came in on their steeds and totally humiliated and destroyed a once proud and great side by a score of 6-1. The worst defeat by a Manchester United team ever at home and the worst ever loss suffered under twenty five years of leadership from Sir Alex Ferguson.

Make no mistake about it, today was Manchester City’s coming out party. Today they made their claim not only for the title but plastered on the billboards that this was an official changing of the guard and that this Northern town in England and all of England for that matter had a new sheriff in charge. Our noisy neighbours have taken charge of the town and look ready to rule it for a very long time. Proof positive that money can buy you anything and that sitting pat and doing nothing to improve your weaknesses will eventually come around and bite you on your big Scottish ass Fergie.

1-6….1-6….1-6. That score line will haunt me in my dreams and in my soul for years to come much like 8-2 will haunt Arsenal fans for decades to come. How do I and how do all of you get through the humiliation and the feeling of shame and total shock? And you know what bothers me more than anything? Fergie will sluff it off and make no big deal from it, make excuses like bringing up the red card and he will go on doing what he is doing, which is suffer from the incurable denial that has marred his legacy and tenure as manager of this once great team. Fact is United needed this wakeup call and a major lesson in reality. They needed to know that the way they were playing of late would finally have consequences and that it would finally bite them on the ass with a big time loss, not a 2-0 win against a Romanian minnow or an undeserved point vs a league minnow. Mediocrity caught up with them today when they faced a club totally in sync and ready to knock them of their perch. United have serious problems and have had these problems for a few years now and nothing has been done to rectify the situation.

For years now supporter like myself have been crying for the Glazer’s to show us the money and for Fergie to get his head out of Malcolm Glazer’s ass and to buy not one but at least two quality central midfielders. Hell why stop there. We needed a new Left back, a right back and an assistant manager that actually had a sense for strategy, tactics and understanding the continental game. What we got was another winger, and a goalkeeper and in the process forgot what was the bane of this club’s existence, the lack of any control from a central midfield that would be described a pedestrian and certainly well short of world class by most.

There were many warning signs that led up to this demolition. A number of terrible performances where we never lost but should have. Benfica, FC Basel, Stoke and Otelul. Even our resounding wins over Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal showed us all that something was wrong with this club’s defence. Going into this game David De Gea had made the most saves of any goalkeeper in the English Premier League. That is a shocking revelation because it taps into my point that in twenty five years under Fergie never has United’s defence been in such shambles and in such disarray as it is today. We are leaking goals at an exponential rate. Yes to be fair we have had way more than our share of injuries as Vidic, Ferdinand, the Twins have all been out for prolonged periods of time. This has forced Fergie to utilize muppets like Jonny Evans way to often for my liking and the fact that we do not have a consistent starting back four but a hodge podge rotation of healthy defenders was going to eventual come round and really bite us in the unmentionables.

Rotation has become a word equivalent to any four letter word not currently in any English dictionary. Lets face it, I am not the only one who is not a fan of Fergie’s rotation policy but until this season his rotation system was limited to wingers, midfielders and forwards and not to our back four. Because of injuries this has changed this season and because of it, we are leaking goals as if the great ship United has had just hit an iceberg off the coast of Greenland. What seemed once unsinkable, or should I say unthinkable has become a reality. We are no longer the top dog or the dominant team in English football. The Glazer’s and their penny pinching ways and Fergie’s stubborn streak has started to challenge Arsene Wenger’s in not doing what is needed to keep this team on top.

For years I as a supporter made a list of players that we should go and buy because we needed them and because I felt they were not just world class, but were players that would fit in well and make us truly unbeatable. Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Manuel Neuer, Bastion Schweinsteiger, Fabio Coentrao, Wesley Sneijder, Mesut Ozil, Mario Goestz, Jack Rodwell, Johan Gourcuff et etc etc have been rumoured by the media or mentioned by me as players who would really improve this side. Yet none of these players were signed and they all have done well plying their trade for other teams. Silva and Aguero of course really hurt because not only did we have a chance to sign them knowing that they wanted to play for us, but that our arch enemy bought them instead and that they both had such a hand in today’s humiliation cannot be underestimated.

So it’s obvious from a personnel point of view we are not as good as City and certainly not as deep, but there is more to this changing of the guard and this humiliation than just the quality of the players. Today was evidence that perhaps, just perhaps United players have quit on Fergie and refuse to give that little extra. At no time in recent memory have I seen a Manchester United team lack the snap and hunger for the ball. The desire and determination to hunt down a ball and beat their opponent to it. Nobody to take charge once we were one man down and settle the club’s frayed nerves. Instead, United did the unthinkable under Fergie, they quit. I have never seen a Manchester united club under Sir Alex quit before. They usually fight no matter what the score is and try to make the best of a bad situation. This garbage I expect from Leeds United or Newcastle United.

Welcome to the new Manchester United. No more hairdryer moments at halftime these days. Instead our manager looks on red faced with him sitting on his hands doing nothing to reinforce confidence or desire on a team that at 0-3 down needed an injection of wisdom, hunger and desire. Lets not make excuses for the red card which was no surprise because it has become a calling card for Jonny Evans as he is game in and game out incapable of doing even a decent job and is found wanting in so many key areas of the defensive game. When will Fergie clue in that this Irish lad is total crap and ship him off to Sunderland?

We have gone down to ten before. In fact many times and I do not recall us quitting or losing our focus and resolve so much so that we would capitulate so badly and stop working. We looked like a team collectively caught in the headlights like a deer in a lonely country road. My God to lose the plot that badly is just not a United thing to do and is not what a Sir Alex Ferguson team does. But we should have seen it coming. We never worked hard vs Basel, Benfica, Stoke or Otelul and their lack of quality allowed us to survive all those games with just minor embarrassment and no losses. I knew that if we continued like this our bubble would eventually burst, but God almighty, not like this. We completely imploded.

Yesterday I actually predicted we would lose 2-1. I had a bad feeling about the game and having watched City play this season, I was a believer that they were the true deal and that they knew collectively that their season hinged on a positive result at Old Trafford. Had they lost this match the critics would have come out and let them have it. Everyone would have called them pretenders to the throne and self-doubt would have strangled them due to their inexperience at being top dog. In the same light I expected United to mount a energetic and fierce defence of their crown at home. The last few games were evidence that perhaps the players and Fergie were saving up energy for a full out assault on Joe Hart and City’s less than great back four. How wrong could I have been? Our lack of hunger, urgency and ideas mad us look like bloody Wolves, not United. 6-1 at City would have been hard enough to stomach, but losing like that at Old Trafford is surreal and totally unacceptable.

What am I supposed to think? I know my critics right now are preparing salvo’s directed at me and my negative review of this epic match. They dislike my negativity and they constantly wrongfully accuse me of hair trigger knee jerk reactions. Fact is the truth hurts and I speak the truth whether my critics want to accept that or not. I do not have Red Devils emblazoned on my chest and I was not born in Salford where you grow up a United fanatic no matter what the result. I am one of those undesirables I’m afraid. I am a foreign supporter who has no real family ties or birthright connecting me to United. No, what connected me to United some 35 years ago was due to good taste and a love for attacking and attractive football. And for the most part over of the past 25 years, Ferguson’s United clubs have delivered in droves. But things have not looked so good and attractive over the past few years despite our success.

My anger and my negativity towards this club began the day Ronaldo was sold to Real Madrid. Regardless of the reasons and Ronny’s desires, that day marked the beginning of the end of this long and distinguished dynasty period for United. Thanks to the experience and smarts of the old dog Fergie, the only real embarrassments we experienced since that terrible day was the humiliation we suffered at Wembley to Barcelona. Yes we would lose the odd match in the league but overall, we won a league title and looked to be building another super club despite our weaknesses and our owners reluctance to really up the anti by securing world class talent like Sneijder, Ozil and a few others due to payroll limitations.

I think we all were led into a false sense of stability by the way the club started the season. Scoring goals at an incredible rate and playing champagne football on the way to their greatest start to the season after five matches. But even so, those great results had us doubting our defence because in all those big victories we leaked goals and many goal scoring opportunities for those beaten opponents. United clubs of the past were usually rock solid in the back and even if we scored 4 or 5 goals in a game, we shut the lid on our opponents and rarely gave up a goal yet even a goal scoring chance when we were at the top of our game. This current club has a lack of discipline and disjointedness in the back four that is alarming and incredibly suspect. David De Gea gave up six goals today and the truth is I cannot really blame him for any of them because our defending was totally amateur hour. Rio Ferdinand was the worst of the worse and it beckons the question we all dread to ask, is he finished?

After such a long and painful pouring out of my heart and spleen I usually take some time to offer up quotes from our esteemed manager and even a player or two but frankly, I’m not going to do it today. I don’t want to hear what Fergie has to say. I want no excuses, no fingers pointed at the referee, no sluffing off the loss due to a red card or statements that this just football and these things happen. Fact is these things do happen, but not to Manchester United.

My feeling on this loss and this team has really been festering for ages if not years now. And yet it seems that almost week after week Fergie would find a way to keep my fears at a distance and only frustrate me by the lack of style exhibited as we were still getting the points and winning silverware. Mr. Negativity was starting to get on people’s nerves so much so that one individual sang for my dismissal last week as my writing started to affect him in a terrible way. To him and other like-minded wimps I say too bad, the truth hurts and reality is often a dish served cold. I make no apologies for my decent or my anger towards the club, the manager and the ownership of this club. Today they let me down like they have never let me down before. I have been a loyal if spoilt supporter for a long time now and this result just made me physically ill and embarrassed to leave my house. This game has soured me on the sport of football as I have no desire to watch any games or play any games on FIFA 12 for a long time because I frankly feel so disheartened, disenchanted and so frustrated by the current state of affairs that it would take a really great run of good form to keep my head from hanging for years to come. Today we were all swept away by a roaring fifty foot powder blue tsunami and it left most of us battered beaten and faithless.

Things need to be done and yes, panic should not be part of that. I truly believe Fergie will right the ship of this I am sure, but will we go on from this and win the league or any other trophy for that matter? Seriously, I rather doubt it. City will not go undefeated and they will have bumps in the road that might help us in catching them but my gut feeling is we won’t. We just aren’t that good and our defence is a joke, which I’m not so sure can be fixed soon enough to prevent a slide down the standings. These are trying times for united and may be the beginning of the end of Fergie’s reign at the top of English football. All good things must eventually come to an end and our inability to pinpoint problems, correct them and improve has me seriously doubting whether we will win anything this season or next. Then again I wouldn’t put it past Fergie to have a loss like this wake us up and allow Fergie to motivate and reconstitute this squad for a late run, which might lead to glory again. If anyone can turn this embarrassment around it’s Fergie. And if there is any team capable of collapsing and breaking their supporters hearts it’s Manchester City. A terrible loss and a day when our noisy neighbour broke into our home and ransacked it but the fact is it’s a long season and United have the experience and the character to get beyond this and leave this humiliation behind them. God I certainly hope so. It’s squeaky bum time yet again.




  1. Jon

    24 October 2011 at 11:28

    Amen brother.

  2. pedmachine

    24 October 2011 at 11:39

    I’m a Blue, but thank for being honest enough to details your fears and worries here. Not many reds will do that. They will say “freak result” “one-off” “we only had 10 men”. Truth is City were better all along as you said and this team has come together. It is dangerous and wonderful to watch. What United got yesterday had been coming. Your team punched above its weight last season and that papered over a lot of cracks. It won’t do it forever.

  3. Yang

    24 October 2011 at 11:55

    The team was not compact enough. Let see, Both Young and Nani are pure attackers so they stay high up the pitch. Fletcher and Anderson are considered as AM. Rooney and Welbeck are forward. Evra is wing-back.

    As much as team attacking is primary objective. this team set up leave too much space between midfield area so United get raped.

    Watch Barcelona, they are all moving together. Team shape is very compact. Thing, players are need to realize, they work very hard to maintain shape.

    All players need to raise their work rate, Move quick and help each other, don’t allow time and space for opposition.

    Honestly, Most of players collectively fail to achieve this basic stuff and that is why Evans sent off.

  4. bluemoon70

    24 October 2011 at 12:12

    Thoughful article this. As a City supporter, of course I loved yesterday’s result. But how can you doubt Sir Alex? He’ll tinker with things, they’ll buy a few players in January and I fully expect them to be fighting for the League title come spring.

    I will put one caveat out there, though. You need to hope City advance in the Champions Leauge. If we don’t get to the knock out rounds, Mancini will put all focus on the league and we’ll be tough to catch.

    Looking forward to the re-match at the Etihad.

    • Redbilly

      26 October 2011 at 17:31

      Thanks for the comments bluemoon70. Hope oy udo progress in th CL. not too far though 🙂

  5. godzilla

    24 October 2011 at 12:35

    I wouldnt say this was as surprising. It was waiting to happen, except that the last 3 goals makes it look way too terrible. but there were signs of a beating coming up especially going through our last 4-5 games where we have looked like a mediocre team. we dont have anyone who can take on a player (except nani maybe) and we have a midfield which will never get into the starting 11 of top clubs so we have had a good start and now we are looking terrible. I am not sure where that SOMETHING SPECIAL will come from to chase down the 5 point lead.

  6. cockney red

    24 October 2011 at 12:43

    I think you’re not handling defeat very well. In fact, you’re showing about as much strength of character as arsenal fans.

    United haven’t just become a bad team overnight. Anything can happen in a derby, just ask City’s fans. Show a bit of backbone, for gods sake. Pull yourself together man. How are Utd going to bounce back with fans like you? City came back from the 3rd tier of english football to outplay and outwit you at every level yesterday, because their fans deserve it.

    The sense of occasion and conceding a goal at home, plus being scared of facing SAF at half-time, caused some utd players to lose their heads. Utd don’t normally start the league as well as this year, you usually kick up a gear after christmas. I’m sure you won’t lose the return fixture half as badly.

    And I think Utd are reaping bad karma. The “34 years” banner, and its unsporting removal. It should have been reset to zero, but instead it just dissappeared. Utd fans look like bad losers who don’t like it up ’em, captain mainwaring. The superinjunctions, vice girls, ref-mobbing. Shagging your wife’s Mrs,for god’s sake.

    Uts fans don’t mind, even like it. They forgive their debauched millionaire players, because they think they’ve made a faustian pact with the devil – or the red devils. “I’m a glory hunter who’s sold my soul for a lifetime of success,followed by an eternity in hell”. Tick tok. Welcome to Hades.

    But there isn’t a god, nor a heaven or hell. Man Utd are just an empire, and if this credit crunch has taught us one thing, its that debt is a real,tangible thing, and no institution is too big to fail.

    When utd sold out to the Glazers, and they bled you dry, it was inevitable that a truly great muslim man would pitch up across town, to contrast a benevolently-run islamic team against one owned by US-based Jews. This is a man with the US president on speed dial, and his own modern, well-equipped airforce. A trillion, lest we forget, is a million milion dollars – the sort of money that not only bends the rules, but can bend the very fabric of space-time itself.

    When kids in Manchester were deciding which team to support, the glory-hunters were never going to choose City. Nor were the fans in the lucritive chinese market.

    Unfortunately, Manchester City are a team with real magic. Its more than just wild-spending, something truly special is happening at eastlands. They have hammered nearly every team this season, not just a nervous Man Utd. Mancini was a truly audatious, ballsy striker, and he’s created a team who can beat any defence. This years team, with Kompany as captain, is built on a stroong midfield, and stirling character, like Utd teams of the past. Only Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney would get in City’s team.

    Its Utd’s midfield which is weak. City have everything in their midfield, from your De Jong’s and Hargreaves’ right through to your Nasris and Silva’s. Every city player had the strength of character to look at the future, rather than the past, and take a chance on Manchester’s second team, without the self-aggrandisation of champions league football.

    • Moscow is my heaven

      24 October 2011 at 16:07

      Every city player had the strength of character to look at the future, rather than the past, and take a chance on Manchester’s second team, without the self-aggrandisation of champions league football.

      Bullshit. They went to the money. You and I both know that.

      • gator

        24 October 2011 at 21:32

        lol at this… nasri went to city to triple his wages… TRIPLE. 🙄 united wouldnt match i doubt anyone in world footie would.

        city have bought a good team and they are begining to learn how to win matches together. lets see them get out of their group in the CL. lets see them get past the financial fair play regs… lets see them deal with baloteli burning down their training ground for a laugh. 🙄

    • Stephen

      24 October 2011 at 19:53

      What a load of rubbish, Yaya Toure signed for Shitty because they paid hin £220k a week, get real.
      Lets not over knee jerk, people this time last season were saying the same about Chelsea and we all know what happened there. Yes City beat us, we all feel the pain but we had it coming due to our form over the past couple of weeks.
      A lot happens in a very short time in football, if people write a team managed by Fergie then more fool them. The manager has made mistakes no doubt, but the he will be hurting and remember there is nothing more dangerous than an aging tiger.

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      24 October 2011 at 21:04

      WHAT are you on about? Muslims versus Jews? Airforce? President on Speed-dial???

      It’s football, bloody hell.

    • Deepest Red

      24 October 2011 at 21:30

      Cockney Red, you’re clearly not a United fan – you use ‘you’ and ‘yours’ throughout. Then you go on to heap praise on City, their fans, their owner, et al. City did not come back from the 3rd tier because their fans deserve it, what a ludicrous assertion. They’re where they are now thanks to the endless millions that have been – and will be – pumped into the club. The current ensemble is nothing for a City fan to take pride in – their team was nearly all playing elsewhere 2 years ago and have come for the money and no other reason. At least when United sign a player we know he wants the honour of being a Red.
      As for the author of the original piece, well he sounds like a typical spoilt glory hunter tho admittedly I couldn’t stick reading it through. Never before seen United quit under Fergie? Not too bad, is it? One bad day at the office doesn’t begin to wipe out the decades of trophies, great football, impossible come-backs, goals-of-the-season. For pity’s sake, man, grow a pair. Fergie knows what he’s about – how many more times do you want showing?

  7. Stephen

    24 October 2011 at 13:09

    I would love to have an argument with you Grog and say that you are way off the mark ect like we do with Mourinho. The fact of the matter is you are spot on with your analysis. 😥

  8. Tory

    24 October 2011 at 13:53

    We definitely could use a player like Ozil or sneijder. It seems we watch these talents sail by apparently satisfied with our midfield. A majic player like Ozil to feed Rooney and Chicarito is what we need. Oh well… if we want him now, there is no way we can have him for even close to what Real bought him for…

    • tonymontanna4united

      24 October 2011 at 22:35

      Well apparently we dont go for these players because they dont fit in with the club, because we never play with attacking midfielders. Yet we line up with 4-3-3’s, 4-5-1’s in about 50% of the games we play in a season, so surely there is space in a midfield 3 for an ozil, sneijder, gotze, in place of the carrick, fletcher, anderson trio we would most likely line up with. We dont have to play 4-4-2 every game, and thus its not a rule that we must go for a player who can play in a 2 man midfield (although it is an advantage).

  9. Moscow is my heaven

    24 October 2011 at 14:05

    Absolutely spot on, Grog 🙁

    I said the 4-4-2 was outdated, I said we needed to evolve, what else was going to happen when we field two midfielders, completely out of ideas, lacking composure and with inferior physicality against a midfield QUARTET from which you could pick Yaya Toure who would single-handedly neutralise Anderson and Fletcher.

    I’d also like to give my two cents about our strike force. We do not have a single striker who can play up top on his own. That for me is a big disadvantage. I think Ronaldo was the perfect lone striker, then Rooney played well there in 09-10, but we have not had one since. We can’t play with 3 across the middle because the front man becomes too isolated. I believe that this problem would not exist if we had a Torres/Drogba (Chelsea), Higuain/Benzema (Real), or even a David Villa, who all have a great first touch, pace and power, which combined gift them with the turn of pace which lets them create opportunities for themselves ie. make something out of nothing or feed off scraps in their isolated role.

    If Fergie-favourite Mourinho arrives at the club, I fully expect us to transform into a 4-2-3-1, with 2 destroyers/1 destroyer 1 engine, a counter-attacking playmaker sitting in front of them in the Sneijder mould, and a powerful and ruthless three-pronged attack, ie. what he has realised at both Inter and Real Madrid.

    I mean just what are we going to do, if in the Champions League, we come across Real Madrid or even Bayern Munich? We lack the personnel for a matching formation, so we’ll play 4-4-2 again? We’ve been found out fellas, the 90s football is just that, history, we need to EVOLVE, I thought Fergie would pick up on the blitzkrieg tactics of the successful Dutch and German national teams in the World Cup, but I guess he was probably sunbathing on some island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, plotting his next bargain buy.

    • Grognard

      24 October 2011 at 19:41

      Great points. First off let me say a few things about 4-4-2. Yes it is outdated much like our coaching staff. The real problem with the way we play 4-4-2 is that we do not play a pure 4-4-2. We play this sick and twisted Fergie hybrid of English 4-4-2 mixed with Italian pragmatism and pace. 4-4-2 at it’s core was a British style that devoted itself to pace and wingers creating width. Well we do that but these days we do it slowly, with zero movement off the ball and central midfielders who play Catenaccio by sticking way back as if they are sweepers.

      Many have commented on how our team looks to have too much separation and the work rate is not up to par. All accurate assessments but for me the most glaring difference between the way we play and the way Barcelona plays id the movement off the ball. Our ball carriers are not moving at a fast pace but too often they are separated too much by the nearest player and that nearest player or two is just standing around watching the ball rather than zig zagging his way into space the way a Messi or Villa do. Frankly, we are lazy and we are just too caught up waiting for Nani and Young to conjure up the perfect ball into the box while everyone else just sits around and does nothing. The only player I have ever noticed who does a decent job of moving around without the ball and off it is Chicharito but even he does it more so in the box than out of it.

      One of the things I noticed and was so happy about early in the year and the key reason for our major goal outburst was that we were moving well off the ball, utilizing a lot of one touch instinctive passing much like the second City goal yesterday. Killer instinct and the desire to get into space was working well despite the fact we were struggling on defense. Well ever since the Benfica game which was my first negative outburst of the season, the music has died and the movement has slowed down to a crawl. I blame this on the rotation policy, Cleverley being injured, Fletcher and Carrick being sloths and Fergie wanting to stop the leakage of goals by slowing things down and trying to be more pragmatic. Great job Boss, it worked wonders vs City.

      I refuse to call City Shitty anymore because they are not and instead we are. We are shitty, and trust me it hurts me to say such a thing.
      A few on here who do not like what I have to say or who think I am being impatient disloyal or just a knee jerk idiot seem to think that Fergie will right the ship and the ship United will again make course for the EPL title and second place in Europe. Sorry to be a downer but I don’t think so. This club has severe problems and now to add to all those issues there is doubt, low morale and a lack of confidence and most alarmingly, the total collapse of wotrk ethic and pride.

      What happened in the last five minutes of that match yesterday has not happened to Ferguson run team or a Busby run club either. Those two legends ran their club and demanded “pride, poise and a commitment to excellence” (had to steal that from the late owner of the Oakland Raiders Al Davis). Yesterday what I saw was a Manchester United team that after being beaten up just quit at the end. For me that was a shocking indicator that a lot more than many think is wrong here. And the guiltiest of culprits in the collapse and lack of effort were Rio Ferdinand and Pat Evra, two players that the team hinge on and depend on for leadership.

      To you fans out there who feel all we be fine, I sincerely hope you are right. I by nature am an impatient man and I also suffer from a Steve Jobsian desire for perfection which I have never come close to achieving but which nevertheless exists in my heart mind and soul. I demand a lot of people around me, myself and above all, the clubs I support in sport. I set high standards for the clubs I support. Not unrealistic ones, just high ones and as for United, my expectations are no higher than our esteemed manager. This reminds me of a skit on Saturday Night Live or some other late night show in the past that was called “Lowered Expectations” It poked fun at the patient and those who always settled for second best or the plain looking girl etc. By tolerating what is presently happening with this once proud and highly successful club many out there are exhibiting symptoms of lowered expectations. And personally, I find that a little sad and a whole lot pathetic. Lets set the bar higher guys and lets get this thing turned around so we can be proud and arrogant again.

      • tonymontanna4united

        24 October 2011 at 22:27

        Well i must say, im a fan of the 4-4-2, for the simple reason it’s about the only formation we play well with, and that its definitely suitable enough to beat about 80% of the sides in the PL, and most of the dross we face in the other domestic cups, early rounds of europe.
        But i agree, it is out dated, its not going to be enough against the milans, madrids, barcas, now citys of this world (always seems to work against chelski though) and it is high time we started playing with different systems.
        Problem is, weve shown time and time again that with our current staff in place, we absolutely bloody hopeless playing anything other than 4-4-2, and every time we line up not using that system, we get a disjointed, awful united performance.
        As ive said before, im not for one minute to overplay carlos quieroz’s importance to the side, but i will say though, i dont think its a coincidence that since he left, our play has become so much more doggish, aggressive, better suited to sitting on a lead (or before this season anyway when it was always going to be hard doing just that after losing edwin, seeing evra, rio losing form).
        We also lack the players to get anything out of the 4-3-3 properly. No proper ball winner, not enough creativity (apart from cleverley, at times anderson) and not 1 goalscoring threat from midfield. We also lack a proper front man, as you say moscow, capable of leading from the front, although rooney can play there to a decent standard.
        I definitely think for it to ever work, we’d need another 2 top quality midfielders (my personal choices would be tiote and gotze) and a top quality tactical genius to come in and replace the totally inept phelan.
        But weve been saying this since quieroz left and weve seen nothing so ive said all this hundreds of times before.

        • tonymontanna4united

          24 October 2011 at 22:29

          Ahh that is awfully worded, paragraphs been written in the wrong order for some reason, but anyway you get the point im trying to make.

        • Moscow is my heaven

          24 October 2011 at 22:40

          The problem is that Fergie wants his golden boy Rooney playing in his best role (CAM/CF), which is all well and good, but I feel it is holding us back from adopting anything other than a 4-4-2.

          Also, if we play a 4-3-3, it means Hernandez is permanently restricted to the role of super-sub, which again wouldn’t go down well with many.

  10. BabyFace

    24 October 2011 at 14:08

    Everybody is hurting; it was a humiliation no question.

    We were poor in the first half, but still in it; it was a close half. You do not need to be Sherlock Holmes to work out the Red Card was a turning point. I know we have went down to 10 men before, but this was against a top, top side (it turns out) and we were already losing, it is not easy to claw your way back from there.

    We should have modified out game plan but we did not, and instead ran about like headless chickens we were poor, and it was truly embarrassing to lose those goals at the end, but by god will we come back.

    Fergie has made some poor tactical decisions recently and central midfield is clearly a problem, but remember ‘pitchkrieg’ was barely over a month ago, remember when we were all getting a bit carried away. We all know, on this website that we over-egg the good times and get carried away with the bad, and this is as bad as it gets.

    Ferg hates losing more than anyone and is the best man motivator in the game; we’ve got the experience and know-how. How many times have we won the league with iffy teams? Yes, many.

    So do not fear my friends, nothing is set-in-stone, come the end of the season we will be there as champions, as usual. Yesterday will still hurt of course, but we will have 20 leagues and what will City have, the taste of a mere fleeting victory.

    Mark my words, as of yesterday we come back with a vengeance…

    • Grognard

      24 October 2011 at 19:48

      Me thinks you are living in the past mate. In the past we had EVDS in goal, a healthy Rio and Vidic, a better Evra and a back four that never leaked goals like a siv. We had a team that worked hard and played with passion and a never quit attitude. Fergie has a lot of work to do and a major overhaul may be necessary because somehow he has lost some of these players who no longer seem to care or work hard. Rio, Carrick, Evra, Anderson seem totally uninterested. Jones, Smalling seem confused and are trying to hard to become attackers, Fletcher has just lost a step and is not in shape and Rooney as Rooney always does, has returned from injury and gone into his cocoon. For me this club seems totally dependent on the form and service of Nani and Young and when they are having a hard time it’s just over. There is no leader on the filed, no Roy Keane and there is no fire and brimstone from the manager anymore. He has gone soft like his team and until I here rumors of the hairdryer being brought out of mothballs, I will continue to spew this anger. I demand more fo this club and what’s sad is they are despite their deficiencies, better than this. If only Fergie would stop rotating, and tinkering and let them play.

      • Stephen

        24 October 2011 at 19:55

        Fergie must not settle with a side to gain confidence, he has over rotated his side for seasons. For me play a side until injuries or obvious lack of form set in, but who would we have in the centre of midfield, they are all struggling…

  11. colver

    24 October 2011 at 14:44

    Good write up.

    There has been some excellent commentary in the press as well.

    Redknapp (who is usually a muppet) pointed out that all Ferguson teams are built on a consistent centre back pairing. Bruce-Pallister. Stam-Johnsen. Rio-Vidic. But we have played every centre back combination imaginable this season. Why do we always have such terrible defensive injury problems? It is no good saying to retire Vidic and Ferdinand. Because that just leaves Smalling, Jones and Evans and one of the first two needs to play as a right back because the twins are always injured. And Evans is slow and weak so no wonder Balotelli made a fool out of him.

    Our midfield got a lot of stick and rightly so.

    Our blockbuster start to the season can be attributed to only one factor. TEMPO. Anderson and Cleverley were getting up and down the pitch and we were lucky enough not to face a team with the composure to slow the game down and take us apart on the counter attack.

    It was basically 90s football. Great to watch. But hopelessly obsolete at the highest level. Not to mention that Fletcher Anderson are a horribly inferior version of Ince-Keane.

    • Grognard

      24 October 2011 at 19:52

      Excellent points mate. One of the things I have been crying for over for years is that I believe 100% that United have a terrible physio and exercise trainers on staff. Their doctors are a whole other ball of wax too. This club has more than it’s fair share of foot and muscle injuries and I attribute that to poor physio and training regiments. Too bad we do not have the miracle system of AC Milan who have the fountain of youth over there. It’s a legit concern and yet to say such a thing would be considered bollocks by our antiquated and very old school coaching staff and manager.

  12. Bjarki

    24 October 2011 at 17:32

    I’m particularly shocked at how long it took to make some changes after the red card. Why wasn’t Jones on straight away? A 3 man defense with Rio at the heart of it was never going to work. And picking Evans as a centre-back ahead of Vidic, Jones or Smalling is plain silly.

  13. One United

    24 October 2011 at 18:58

    Boy O Boy!!!!!! where does one start?

    First and foremost, it is great to be able and vent with fellow manchester united fans who feel the pain i feel today. Two teams in the world i absolutely hate to loose to are Man Shitty and Liverpool.

    Fact of the matter is this loss has been a long time coming….. Were we tactically outclassed? Was it the sending off ? Was it the midfield that poor? or Did man shitty simply have better players? i firmly believe IT WAS ALL OF THE ABOVE!!!. As much as it burns me to say this…….. hats of to Mancini…..Not only has he bought very, very well.. he gets the formation right and destroying teams left, right and center including US. He is assembling a team that on its day can rival Barcelona for pace, work rate, passing ability, team work, individual brilliance PLUS can match the likes of Chelsea for steel, grit, pure determination and that winning mentality. The strength, depth and Quality of that Man Shitty is damn right frightening. Thats where we have criticize “the god” that is Sir Alex..

    Manchester United should have signed David Silva a while back, we should have signed Sami Nasri (irrespective of the fact that he was an arsenal player), we should have signed Michael Essien (well… the beast that was Michael Essien), some would even argue for Yaya Toure (who i personally regard as the most complete midfielder in world football along with Schweinsteiger) We should have replaced Cristiano with another goal machine, we should have replaced Carlos Tevez with a similar type player….. we shoulda, we shoulda, we shoulda…….. Arguably most importantly we should have replaced Carlos Quieros with an assistant manager who is tactically as astute as him and could manage the flair players as effectively as he did…. because Fergie seems to be able to get the best out of average, but hardworking players (steel and grit).
    The excuses of player wages are too high or clubs are asking too much are out dated now. Fact is you have to pay top dollar for quality, there are now too many clubs paying over the odds for players and giving them the wages that will attract them to them club..Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Man Shitty are all examples.

    If he is not getting the financial backing and the support that he as manager of such a successful club deserves, he should make a stand and retire.

    I strongly advise we do what we can to get modric and sneijder PLUS diarra or tiote. pls pls pls the calls for Rodwell should stop…. get these proven world class players players, AND PAY THEM WHAT THEY WANT to attract them here or else they will somewhere else and make that team stronger 9 and us weaker)!!!!!!!!! We are apparently the most profitable club in the world, even if we have to drop to sixth.. it”ll be worth it in the long run.
    I mean, the fact that we were calling for the return of Tom Cleverly signals desperation( pls note Sneijder would have more goals and more assists than Cleverly, Anderson, Fletcher and Carrick combined!!) QUOTE ME!!!!!

    As for individual players, Patrice Patrice Evra has no competition, so why the hell will he improve and play at his full potential, we got the best out of Evra when he was fighting Heinze for the left back role. Rio will be fine when he has a stable partner in the middle, or the sooner we stabilize a centre back pairing the better it will be and the better David De Gea will be!

    I’m tired of seeing the Fletchers, the Carricks, the Andersons, the Evans AS STARTERS. I would rather them come of the bench….. Fact of the matter is we are settling for less (hence why Tom Fucking Cleverly is our savior, when Sneijder and Nasri were available in the summer)…on current form these players are simply just not united quality. Let me remind you of this Midfield – attack ( Giggs, Keane, Veron, Beckham, Scholes, Van Nistelrooy) NOW THATS UNITED QUALITY. And i can give you several other lineups that were

    Fergie needs to wake up, get his FIST out of his arse and realize football is changing. Liverpool, Tottenham, Man FUCKING Shitty, Chelsea are all getting progressing and stronger! we are remaining stagnant or regressing

    RANT OVER….. replies welcome!!! replies needed

    ONE UNITED>>>>>>>>>> kEEP your heads up

    • Grognard

      24 October 2011 at 19:55

      Now that was a quality rant mate. Well said. 🙂 🙂

    • Stephen

      24 October 2011 at 19:57

      Agreed, where are all the posters who at the beginning of the season were saying our midfield was good enough now? 😐

      • Moscow is my heaven

        24 October 2011 at 20:59

        ‘Sneijder doesn’t fit our system’

        🙄 🙄 🙄

  14. fahime shuhaime

    24 October 2011 at 19:18

    I wonder if City can hit us 6 times if the formation is like this yesterday. 4-3-3 formation.


    • Andrei

      24 October 2011 at 21:23

      So would settle for 1-3 instead of 1-6? This is the lowered expectations Grog was talking about…

      • tonymontanna4united

        24 October 2011 at 22:02

        4-5-1/4-3-3 is never going to work with us until we invest in another 2 top class midfielders.
        A roy keane type ball winner (tiote anyone) and a goalscoring midfielder (would love gotze) and maybe we could think about it.

        De Gea
        Jones Smalling Vidic ???
        Cleverley Gotze
        Nani Rooney Welbeck/Young

        • Andrei

          24 October 2011 at 22:43

          What is missing on your team is a true leader. Vidic? He is a great player but not a leader of Keane’s caliber. Rooney? Don’t think so. Rooney is a time bomb – he tends to lose his head when dealing with adversity. On Sunday I was surprised that he managed to stay on the field as he seemed to be really pissed off and was toying with getting a red card. His anger was all negative and couldn’t lift the team.

          One particular concern is that United are no longer a team made of steel with never quit mentality. You could see the signs of this way before last Sunday. A good example is the loss at Stamford Bridge last season when United allowed to be bullied by Chelsea into submission. Granted it was with the help from ref but it doesn’t really matter. More to the point. To be honest I don’t expect to see from this United team the same fighting spirit Chelsea showed against QPR in the second half on Sunday. Down a goal, playing with 9 men and being on receiving end of one sided officiating and many dubious calls they still dominated the game and came very to equalizing. I know they were playing QPR not City but it was quite impressive nevertheless. Whatever Chelsea are lacking in quality they have in in the fighting spirit. I’m afraid I cannot say the same about this United team.

        • tonymontanna4united

          24 October 2011 at 23:08

          Agree andrei, but unfortunately id be scratching my head to think of many players who possess the leadership qualities we’d like. Unfortunately the keane’s, vieira’s, adams’, bruce’s etc of the world seem few and far between.
          I think keano had a point with what he said last week, that players these days are too soft.

      • Grognard

        24 October 2011 at 22:22

        Settling for a draw would be suffering from lowered expectations.

  15. [OPTI]Madschester United

    24 October 2011 at 21:09

    Pretty good post and it captures your anger really well.

    I disagree with a lot of your reasoning and theories about who United should have bought, United’s weaknesses, etc.

    In 90 minutes the game was 3-1 (or 4-1, I forgot). Horrible results, but within the bounds of reality (Liverpool 4-1, Chelsea 3-0, etc… i.e. it happens).

    Poor team effort in the end and Vidic was sorely missed. This would have been a different game with him instead of Evans, that is for sure. Man City are not some mythological God from folk-lore, Bayern Munich showed that a couple weeks ago.

    Shit happens. We clean up and move on.

    United will respond, because we always do.

    • tonymontanna4united

      24 October 2011 at 21:55

      I agree with what you said about city. To be honest when we gave our predicition about who would win the league this season, i never really considered them a realistic threat, and tbh even despite the mauling i still dont think theyre as good as they claim, think they are.
      What they are though, is a good team who want to be great, who want stop until they have achieved everything they dream of. So very beatable this season, and even now im not sure id say theyre favourites for the league, i just think alot of us are angry at the way weve allowed them to close the gap so quickly, as a result of us standing still for so long, and that long term, unless we stand up and right alot of the wrongs in our team, they will over take us.
      Not a nice thought, especially for those of us who are from manchester, as i can tell you, city fans are amongst the biggest group of wankers ive ever known, so id hate to see them celebrating winning any bloody thing. Nearly up there with the scousers.

    • Grognard

      24 October 2011 at 22:28

      Sorry mate but that is just optimistic denial at work. Wake up, open your eyes and take a look at this club. This is not the club with the stellar back four we have been used to since 1991. Even through our poor periods we always had a defense that for the most part could be counted on to keep us in games where our attack had gone south on. Our defense is giving up goals at an alarming rate and the separation, lack of intensity, drive and work ethic is evident. This is not something that can be fixed over night and it may require Fergie to reassess some of his personnel and make some hard choices. Rio, Evans and Evra for example may be at the end of their tenure with United. The Twins need to stay healthy or be sold and Smalling and especially Jones need to learn to defend as well as they attack. I have little negative to say about De Gea other than his lack of communication with his back four could also be hurting the club where I know EVDS was a loud organizer back there. Correcting this malaise and disorientation and disorganization will take time and possibly money. To think it will just sort itself out because it always has in the past is rather naive and a case of living in the past, just like our manager.

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        25 October 2011 at 15:57

        What you see as decline, I see as growing pains.

        City bought expensive talents with a lot of experience, whereas, we bought (relatively) cheap potential with a lot of youth. Growing pains.

  16. tonymontanna4united

    24 October 2011 at 21:49

    Id just like to say grog, i gave you 5 stars for this and bookmarked this article. Great read, sums up everything i have said for months, if not years. Usually though, you’d be shot down for writing something like this, but a mauling to our bitter (and i mean bitter) rivals, and you get positive reviews en masse 😆
    Everything you say though, and have been saying for nigh on 3 years, is true.
    Fergie is getting on, hes no longer the ruthless, take no shit, mean SOB he once was. Not his fault really, it happens with age, but 10 years ago, we’d have never sat tight and been content with coming from having keane, scholes and veron, to resorting to carrick, fletcher, anderson and park.
    Never would we have put up with rooney’s BS about his new contract, never would we have let ferdinand lose his head and become a bloody celebrity with all his interests off the pitch, never would we have put up with patrice sodding evra, throwing away points each and every week for us.
    Never would we have been happy to play this italian, non league, conservative, cautious, long ball shite for nigh on 3 years since the departure of quieroz (not saying its all a result of his leaving, just that our football since his departure has been dour).
    Never would we have put up with a muppet like phelan, instead of bringing in a tried and tested number 2, with a bit of tactical nous, and wit about him.
    Never would we have been content at standing still since our 2008 CL win (its not just us, chelski and arsenal have done precisely sod all an all, but who cares about them) and let city close the gap so massively in such a short space of time. Especially when city themselves, arent even that great imo.
    Never before would we have played barca twice in 3 years, and gone into the game the same bloody way, with the same bloody holes, and be outdone for the same bloody reasons, and still doing nothing to address them.
    Never before, would fergie use his press conference before the game and come out with negative BS, about how it doesnt matter if we lose to city, as we’ll claw it back later.

    Well you get what im saying, just a bit pissed off about the result yesterday (i tried to stay calm in the aftermath last night, but soon found i couldnt) so had to let off some steam here.
    Its frustrating that us fans have been going mad about all these concerns the last 2 odd years, and very little to sod all has been done to correct them. Those of us who’ve been saying all this have been slated as being negative doom and gloomers, who are wrong because weve had some nice shiny trophies to show for it.
    Its true, weve remained successful, but for a long time now ive looked at us as being only the best of a bad bunch. That the league was not what it once was, and winning trophies every season, were only masking over the cracks, that long term were going to out do us.
    City have shown that they are serious this year, about taking our title, and stepping up becoming the big boys in town, so now i guess its up to us to show what were gonna do about it.
    Are we going to stand up and show those bertie bastards whose boss, or retreat into our shell, let the holes in our team grow even bigger, and lose our bottle?
    I guess fergie will show us in the coming weeks and months ahead.
    But whats damn sure is, now the time has come for us to address those holes in our midfield, in our defence, in our team selections, in our staff.
    Its going to take cold hard cash for the wrongs to be righted though, so whether we see it or not though remains to be seen.

    • Grognard

      24 October 2011 at 22:54

      Unfortunately all good things come to an end and things change inlife. Perhaps yesterday was a case of the trumpets sounding out a new sherrif in town and a changing of the guard. Won’t be the first time. Blackburn, Newcastle, Arsenal and most recently Chelsea have all made significant strides or moves at some point to usurp our control and authority over the English game but even so, their rule did not last and we were always able to learn, retool, adapt and take back what was ours.

      Bu tthis time I am feeling quite bad, very nervous and incredibly scared about our future prospects. I’d be a liar if I said I hadn’t been seduced by our early form this year when we were playing attacking champagne football albeit with a little less emphasis on defense. But I never expected us to derail at the speed we have. This was only one loss and our only loss this season so I can understand the optimists and eternally blind faith loyalists crying betrayal at me and others who are down and distraught. We have lost before and we have always rebounded and the season is long and blah blah fucking blah.

      But right now I can’t help by quoting a number of Star Wars characters by saying “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”. Yesterday wa snot just a loss, a bhiding and an embarrassment. It was a whole lot more and the way we ended that game was like a shot heard round the world and a sounding board to the rest of the footballing world that perhaps, just perhaps Manchester United are no longer what they were cracked up to be.

      Just maybe United is not unbeatable at home, not invulnerable and that parking the bus is not the way to play them but attacking them bares fruit and in yesterdays example, lots of it. And why am I so scared of the future has more to do with our owners and a manager that is getting on in years and who is so stubborn and incapable of taking advice or learning from his mistakes that he just rolls on and ignores things while he swims in his pool of denial. Learning nothing and repeating the same mistake over and over again has become a calling sign for him. All we have to do is look back at the last two European finals we played in to realize that this man has lost the plot a bit and just DOESN’T GET IT ANYMORE. I mean how many years do you go on without properly replacing Roy Keane or fixing your midfield problem? How long do you allow a Pat Evra to screw up without benching him or selling him?
      How long do you rotate for the sake of rotating while never allowing the club to get into a comfortable and familiar groove? How long do you pick the short straw tactically and strategically by allowing and old English school muppet like Mike Phelan be your number 2 man? How long do you believe in Anderson before giving up on the dream? How long do you stick with two twins that spend more time on the infirmary table than on the training pitch? How long do you tolerate the highly mediocre offerings of Carrick and now Fletcher before you realize that they cannot take us to the promise land? How long do you tolerate undisciplined decent and childish behavior from Rooney? Why do you continue to torture and punish a fine player like Berbatov by benching him and literally waste millions of pounds rather than play him or better yet selling him and buying an LB or a midfielder? How long do you continue to waste the talents of Michael Owen?

      How long do you continue to utilize your best players out of their normal positions? How long do you waste the talents of Nani by not starting him always and how long do you allow your lack of proper training and physio staff to continually not prepare you boys well enough to avoid foot and leg injuries that seem to be attributed to poor conditioning and preparation? How long do you allow the owners to continually shoot your endeavors in the foot by not giving you enough money to buy world class talent and above all a salary structure that is more in line with the other big clubs in Europe. And finally, how long do you go before you say enough, I’m as mad as Hell and I’m not going to take the Glazer’s anymore?

      My plea to Fergie is to do himself and me a favor and retire and then hopefully the Glazer’s will have the good sense to sell the club and new ownership with deep pockets will hire a man like Mourinho to basically change things around here and move us into the 21st century. 4-4-2 is dead Fergie. Didn’t you get the memo?

  17. colver

    24 October 2011 at 22:15

    Fun fact. We played almost exactly the same team with Hernandez in place of Welbeck and won 3-1. Of course we could have easily conceded five goals and unlike City Chelsea failed to neutralize our wingers and are almost as dodgy defensively as we are. But it gives a little bit of solace.

    Manchester City were at the top of their game. I have never seen Barry and Milner play that well. Toure and Silva of course are elite footballers and either of them would walk into our team. We all knew Balotelli was hugely talented and our defence is very green.

    I think we must just accept that City are going for short term success and have assembled a very talented, experienced squad. Whereas we are taking a long term view.

    Even with the huge number of youngsters in our squad the only teams I would say are better than us are Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

    Hansen wrote a great article comparing the situation in 1995 with now. He admits he was wrong in 1995 but says the reason he was proved wrong is because back then we had a hugely experienced back line of Pallister, Bruce, Irwin and Schmeichel all of whom managed to stay fit most of the season with the Nevilles the only fledglings in defence. What he didn’t say was that we also had a Premier midfield general in Roy Keane.

    He does have a point (for once).

    We need to show patience and let our defense mature. Although Evra does not deserve the same favour as he is old enough to know better and needs to be jettisoned as soon as possible.

    But until they mature they need some protection.

    Carrick is the only bona fide defensive midfielder we have as Fletcher is too ill-disciplined. Pogba is nowhere near ready for first team action and we have enough youngsters. I really do think a defensive midfielder should be a main priority. Carrick can do a good job against most teams.

    Everyone knows I am not Carrick’s greatest fan. The guy is slow, static, hopeless at closing down. But one thing I will say for the guy is that he is very experienced, intelligent and has good positioning. Sadly world class defensive midfielders are like gold dust. But Carrick is better defensively than any of our other midfielders and as defence is our main problem at the moment he needs to start every game.

    It is clear to me that Anderson has zero defensive ability. Personally I don’t think he has any attacking ability either but if relieved of defensive duties he at least has the opportunity to prove me wrong. Cleverley similarly needs to be given the opportunity to develop as an attacking midfielder.

    Ferguson fucked up Fletcher two seasons ago when for no apparant reason he converted him from a defensive midfielder into an attacking midfielder. Oh for the days when Fletcher used to slot into a three man central midfield and break up play.

    While the natural reaction is to clamor for new signings the reality factor says it ain’t gonna happen. Good midfielders cost money and we hate spending money. We much prefer to bargain hunt for cheap strikers and defenders.

    So instead lets teach Fletcher how to defend. Play Carrick every game. Match midfields numerically (to be outgunned in quantity AND quality is just asking for disaster) with Fletcher and Carrick breaking up play. And put our scouting team to good use to find some full backs.

    • Moscow is my heaven

      24 October 2011 at 22:32

      Agreed, and as one of Carrick’s supporters, I feel somewhat vindicated by what happened yesterday.

    • One United

      24 October 2011 at 23:18

      My GOD… Are we seriously still making excuses for players that have no understanding of what it means to be a Manchester United player!!!!

      Carrick is not angry enough, not determined a character enough to play in our midfield!!!!!! The last game i watched and was amazed at Carricks all round game was when we beat thrashed Roma- he passed, he defended, he scored TWICE!!!!!!

      As for fletcher…. there are players who offer his work rate as well as an end product.. Bastien Schweinstieger, Danielle De Rossi gosh even Charlie Adams.
      NO MORE!!!!!! we shouldn’t be settling for less any more… Yes they love the club…. BUT are the good enough? NO! NO! NO!

      The talent that is berbatov…. Now as much as i love berbatov and i think he epitomizes what football should be (with his touch, his flair, his footballing I.Q) he is not being used, so sell him.. it really is a shame!

      Sneijder….. lol! well Sneijder ( i made a remark earlier, that Sneijder singlehandedly is capable of scoring and assisting more than all of our central midfielders put together- I wasn’t joking!!!) people said Tevez wouldn’t fit into MAN UTD because we had Rooney, people insist Veron was a flop but i tell you this he was instrumental for us in the champions league and he wasn’t half bad in the premier league…. its just people expected more, its a similar case with berbatov.. AS for those insistent that Sneijder wouldn’t fit in a two man midfield- i ask this… would you be more confident in beating barcelona or even a man shitty with a cleverly or a Sneijder in a TWO MAN midfield and who even says we should be playing a two man midfield. And i insist on Sneijder only because we KNOW FOR A FACT what he is capable of and we know he was\is available and Modric seems to prefer Chelsea and as it seems would be harder to get because Tottenham seem reluctant to play ball… however theres still Gourcuff, Goetze, shitttttt even diego!!!!!!! is more creative that our central midfielder…… i haven’t seen enough of Ganso (Silva, Ozil should have been no brainers IF they wanted to come)

      i JUst think that whole midfield needs revamping with players capable of breaking up play and at the same being able to keep possession comfortably. And plays who can beat a man and release a defense splitting pass. i mean Carrick as good as we THINK he is gives a world class pass one every hundred attempts (you catch my drift). Having said that i also think most of our “strikers” are way too deep lying!!!!! baring Hernandez whose first touch and ability to hold up the ball is suspect.. gosh i also miss the ruthless efficiency of Ruud and Ronaldo.
      MAN UTD need to be very careful and NO we are not OVER REACTING!!!!!! we just got thrashed by Man Fucking Shitty, we should have been beaten by Liverpool, Norwich and Stoke as well, we scored two measly penalties against a weird european whose name i cant even remember….its laughable actually.

      As for the defense, i mean barring Evra having no competition, we have enough cover and i believe is good enough.. we just need a settled back four and someone capable of challenging Patrice as i’ve said.

      i have a headache (excuse the typos, i”m just mad right now)

  18. Moscow is my heaven

    24 October 2011 at 22:50

    When Grog says:

    Mr. Negativity was starting to get on people’s nerves so much so that one individual sang for my dismissal last week as my writing started to affect him in a terrible way. To him and other like-minded wimps I say too bad, the truth hurts and reality is often a dish served cold.

    Translation: I told you so


    • Grognard

      24 October 2011 at 22:55

      How very astute of you. 🙂 Your damned right it means that.

  19. One United

    24 October 2011 at 23:21

    Much rather loose 6-1 to norwich than fucking shitty

    • Ian

      24 October 2011 at 23:41

      I don’t want to get beat 6-1 by anyone, and if Norwich beat us 6-1 I WOULD be worried!

      Yesterday pus today in work has reminded me that ONE day sooner or later we’re gonna watch City win the league. Hate to say that but it’s going to happen, maybe not this year but one day. Not only that but we’re gonna fall from grace……..and EVERYONE will love it. The Scousers have gone mad for this result… it was them who did it to us! Fook me, it will be painful when it happens but get used to it lads, it’s on its way.

      *no this isn’t knee jerk or emotional or exaggerating or anything else – reasons why – Less money, More debt, SAF retires – take your pick – at some point, for whatever reason, we won’t be the dogs nuts for while – hopefully not as long as City left it though!!


      • Stephen

        25 October 2011 at 16:45

        Small club mentality mate, Micky Quinn on Talksport was almost ejaculating about the result….

  20. One United

    24 October 2011 at 23:27

    I tell you what!!!!! i’d be damned if we lost 6-1 to shitty if General Roy Keane was in our midfield or if Captain Marvel was there.

    I once remember Roy Keane scoring a winner against Shitty to a Ryan Giggs cross (Giggs had come off the bench)… WE came from behind to win…….

  21. colver

    24 October 2011 at 23:46

    tony, we cannot let our natural hatred of City blind us to the fact that they are progressing at a dazzling rate. In Silva and Yaya Toure they have the best midfielders in the league by a country mile. Nasri is a quality player even if he is a prize jerk. Their defence is probably the best in the league as well especially as it has been instilled with Italian discipline thanks to Mancini. I’ve always liked Richards as a player and think we should have tried to sign him when he was out of favour at City. Clichy isn’t great but a damn sight better than Evra!

    Aguero, Balotelli and Dzeko give them plenty of attacking options especially considering the quality of the service they are getting.

    I agree that Milner, Barry are not usually anywhere near as good as they were yesterday. But they are fairly solid, consistent players. And De Jong is not in the same league as Toure but again solid, consistent.

    They have a lot of strength and power and pace in their team. But also a lot of creativity.

    In contrast to previous seasons they seem to have discovered a nice blend. Whereas before they were too defensive, they have many more attacking dimensions now and aren’t as reliant on Tevez. Hell they don’t need Tevez anymore.

    I know I will get a lot of stick for this. But it is time we stopped being so damned complacent and woke up to the threat City pose.

    They are not the finished article but they have been improving every year. They have a lot of ambition. And their players are slowly becoming less mercenary and actually seem to want to win things now as opposed to picking up their pay cheques.

    They are the most serious threat to our domestic dominance we have faced since Arsene’s Invincibles and Mourinho’s.

    Ferguson needs to work out his best team. Stop this rotation crap. Fire up his players as sometimes I don’t think we have the same desire to win that the 90s teams used to have. Yesterday was not the first time we were flat and lethargic in big games.

    We also are desperately in need of good coaching. I don’t want Jones and Smalling to end up the same way as Evans. Funny to think at one point Evans was marginally better than Pique. Pique went on to become one of the best defenders in the world. Evans has gone backward since then.

    • tonymontanna4united

      25 October 2011 at 00:47

      Colver, im not so sure mate. My hatred of them isnt blinding me here, i just think as of now theyre a good team, but a team who is beatable, and who arent 100% guaranteed to win the league, in what is a long, hard season. I still think they lack the heart, and the experience to go the whole way, this season anyway. It is still october afterall, and they are still yet to play the scousers, chelski, arsenal etc home and away, so nothings decided yet.
      What really worries me with them though is the long term threat they pose. They are well and truly up for becoming the best in the land. No 2nd best crap from them, no they want to dominate the PL and europe. Theyre not content just standing still and being happy doing the business in the PL like us, they are really up for taking on the barca’s, real’s, bayern’s of this world, and beating them.
      With the sort of finance they have behind them i suppose you’d have to say they’ve got a good chance of doing that, not right now, but in the coming years.
      Which is my point really. Right now i think theyre a good team, but as bayern showed and as we showed in the community shield (yes its a friendly, but where city are concerned its never a friendly per se) they can be beaten, and with so many games left to go, im not sure they’ll keep it up. This season anyway.

    • Craig Mc

      25 October 2011 at 12:50

      Mmmmmm Kolo and Yaya Torre are talking about being more than willing to go to Marseilles now – for the very rich pickings they are being offered – City players are and always will be mercenaries who will follow the MONEY wherever it leads them. Look at Ronaldo talking about going to Russia is as the Russians have said they will double his Real M wages and give him all his commercicial earnings solely for himself!

  22. RedDevilEddy

    25 October 2011 at 00:15

    I am, like all of you, devestated by this loss. As a United fan, nothing hurts more than being shoved into the ground, kicked, spit on, and then thrown in the garbage by your greatest rivals. They humiliated us, and although it never was a 6-1 game that is what people will remember. City put 6 goals past Manchester United and David De Gea, in one of the darkest days in our history. Utter humiliation.

    I decided not to speak of this game because I didn’t want to make any rash comments which were unwarranted. Of course, when something like this happens it’s easy to lose your mind. I was in pure shock, looking for someone to point a finger at for us losing this game. Straight away it was Rio or Evra, then of course Evans, because of their obvious mistakes. But then I went about and read some articles and comments made by United fans. Names like Sneijder and Evans pop up everywhere, I even read someone blame Fergie for starting Welbeck(who was my choice for United’s best player on Sunday) instead of Hernandez. But what baffled me was reading people say we lost the midfield battle. I never really felt we did that, if there was one area where we did rule City it was in midfield. So in horror, I watched the game again, unfortunately. As a football lover I know that the best way to become better is to look at your faults, and improve them. So I went through the game again, and I came to the conclusion that Mancini is a fucking genious! I’ve seen him for Inter and City without being impressed a bit, but his showing on Sunday really turned my head.

    First off, we never lost the midfield battle because there was no battle to be won. United, as always, try to dictate the play by the wings, and City really closed that down. Milner and Richards, along with Toure at times stopped Evra and Young, while Clichy, Silva, and Barry really hurt Nani and Smalling. They trippled down the wing, leaving the middle totally exposed! When the ball was in the centre of the pitch, they let Anderson and Fletcher do what they want, playing Toure and Barry in the centre of defence making it a backline of 6 defenders, with Milner and Silva as wing-backs. So you can basically say they defended with 8 men. It’s viritually impossible to score against, and up to the point where they scored we had 75% of possession, without really creating any chances. Because they trippled on the wing, we started playing Welbeck out on the left, with Rooney in midfield sometimes, just to get some creativity down there. Anderson and Fletcher were woefully exposed in their creative department as all their passes were “safe”, always looking for the winger and spreading wide. Anderson ran past defenders at times, only to play a bad pass centrally because both Rooney and Welbeck were outnumbered, or a safe pass out wide that never really became anything. Same with Fletcher. They totally neutralised our wing-play, which has always been the essence of Manchester United. And without Cleverley in there we really lacked any direct creativity or movement that could unsettle a backline of 6 defenders.

    City never offensivly dominated us. They had such control defensivly they didn’t have to. If United had played like City did, they would have been bashed by United fans and experts alike. It was TOO Italian, if you can call it that. But because our backline is so fragile these days, with Rio, Evans and Evra all out of their fucking mind terrible!!! Rio was at fault for 3 of their goals, Evra was for 2, and their third goal was just magical to behold. Nothing we could do about it with 10 men. What impressed me with City’s attackling play was that they were very modern… They didn’t really have any specific positions, but rather roles, which make them incredibly hard to mark and stop. For their first goal Milner was on the left, for their second he was on their right. Silva was in the middle, then left, then right, then middle again. Balotelli was actually their left winger, but ended up as their striker or right winger, with Aguero dropping deep, being left winger, or being the main striker. All of their front 4 basically had free roles! And because Fletcher isn’t the defensive powerhouse he was before, Evans lacks focus, Rio isn’t fit enough to handle flexible strikers, and Evra just is out of his depth, it was a disaster waiting to happen. I’ll blame the last three goals for pure attitude, being worse than what you can expect from a United player. For their fifth goal, Danny Welbeck was the lad closest to David Silva when he slotted it between the legs of De Gea. Fucking Danny Welbeck! Our main striker did what Evra was where Evra was supposed to be, and it’s just shambolic. They gave up. City exposed our flaws, and that’s not really based on our personell. Rather the ones we chose, and what tactics we used. Why Fergie forced us into playing a low tempo game in midfield, but get our pace going just through the flanks is something I won’t understand. Why he didn’t get Nani and Young more central, leaving our wings for dead but giving us the cutting edge and creativity centrally, is baffling. City let us get as many long shots as we wanted, they let us play through the middle just as we wished, because they had trippled their men on the wings. Nani and Young are amongst the best shooters for us, why didn’t they get a more central role? Why?? 😕

    We could have won this game with 10 men, because City gave us the chance to do so. Rio is not able to play against flexible strikers these days, so choosing him in central defence instead of Smalling or Jones was very odd. His strength these days goes in reading the game, trying to stop players one on one or covering ground. We didn’t need that on Sunday. And Evans lacks focus, and against such opponents every inch of space you get can make a difference, and exactly that made City’s first goal. And Evra is becoming lazy, watching him jog back instead of following Milner, and marking absolutely NO-ONE for their second and first goal is frustrating to say the least. And for their last two goals, he was nowhere to be seen. I mean, the fuck Pat? You are the left back of Manchester United, either learn how to play your position or seriously fuck off. I don’t get what’s in his head.

    There is not much we could have done about Sunday. Better movement by Rooney and Young would have made a great deal of difference, and having a midfielder that could take a long shot would be great. Our goal came from a long shot, from the middle, again with them letting us play that way. We had at least 8 or 9 chances to have a go from 25 odd yards or less, but I only remember us taking 3 or 4, one ending up in the back of the net. Our shit defence is at fault for us concending 6, not our midfield. We need another left back, that I’ve been saying for months now, maybe even years, becayse as long as Patrice Evra is that man we will concede lots of goals like this. He will, eventually, be our downfall. I don’t have a big problem with Evans, as his weakness is focus, something that will improve by age. Rio on the other hand, is not possible to fix. Age has really caught up with him, and I don’t see any reason to start him. Experience only gets you thus far, then comes fitness and pace. Jones would have been a much better option.

    We’ll come back from this. City did their homework, and let us play the way they wanted to. Because we made some bad decisions, stupid decisions going forward, we only scored one goal despite having most of the possession. A shambolic defence made their 6 goals, and as soon as we fix that we will be alright. United have always had a solid defence, and Fergie knows how to make a good combination. He made some dumb choices on Sunday, but he has experience from pairing like Bruce-Pallister and Rio-Vidic of 2008. As soon as Vidic returns, we’ll see whether Rio can return to his best, or else he will be out of the team for good. I can see Smalling and Jones permanently take over now. We’ll learn from our mistakes, as always, and come back stronger, like always.

    City beware!

    • Stephen

      25 October 2011 at 08:54

      “First off, we never lost the midfield battle because there was no battle to be won” Good to see you back Eddy, but for me more excuses for you beloved Anderson mate, lets get real our midfield is getting outplayed.

    • Ian

      25 October 2011 at 12:06

      Nice to have you back Eddy 😀

    • fahime shuhaime

      25 October 2011 at 18:57

      If you noticed, the subs available for us on that day :
      Berbatov, Valencia, Park, Fábio, Lindegaard, Jones and Hernández
      There were no CM at all to replace Ando or Fletcher. This is rarely happens. At least the gaffer will put Carrick or Giggs on the list. Everything went wrong on that day. Don’t know why. Hope this is happen just once in a decade.

  23. colver

    25 October 2011 at 00:45

    That was a good analysis Eddie. I agree our midfield was bypassed for the most part. But City were set up to counter attack. So in that sense our midfield must accept some of the blame for getting caught so far up field in possession.

    I agree Mancini was a fucking genius for that game plan. We had no real answer for that and the sending off just exaggerated everything.

    Their movement was incredible and that is what we have to work on. Young and Nani need to cut inside more often when they aren’t getting joy on the flanks. Nani in particular has a great long shot and could have used the space City were leaving in the final 1/3. We need to stop being so predictable and we need an injection of creativity.

    I also fail to understand why we were so sluggish in the middle. It didn’t help that Rooney was having an off-day. But in Fletcher and Anderson I was expecting some dynamism in the middle. If we were going to play slow plodding football go with Carrick and Giggs who can at least pass the ball.

    Ferguson has too much respect for Barcelona. So he gladly accepts a regular beating from them without feeling the need to change anything.

    But if he is the same man he used to be he won’t take this defeat lying down and will make some changes.

    • Craig Mc

      25 October 2011 at 12:40

      Fergie is and always will be the same man he used to be mate. He is hurting more than anybody and will be sitting down and taking real stock of this debacle. I just feel that he needs to bring a top class coach in as his assistant who can outwit the Mancinis and Chelsea coach – and that PRONTO. I just hope Fergie recognises this! 😀

      • tonymontanna4united

        25 October 2011 at 19:20

        Craig, we shall see mate. 10 years ago, if he’d have seen a performance like sundays, theres absolutely no way rio or evra in particular, would be seeing any game time for the forseeable future. Whats the betting they both start against everton on saturday? Will be interesting though to see what team he goes with, hopefully neither play.

  24. redpenguin

    25 October 2011 at 03:12

    Fletchers goal was a fucking screamer tho!!

    • Stephen

      25 October 2011 at 08:56

      😀 😀 Goal of the game, should have counted for 6! :mrgreen:

  25. aimanunited

    25 October 2011 at 09:57

    Sir Alex should read this article, he probably still thinks that ando, fletch, carrick are world class. Some fans already calling Tom Clev world class, i mean come on, he just played 3,4 games this season and has done little do deserved such title. I’m not deluded and I still confident that this team can win PL but to win CL we need something more, something special…

  26. Chris

    25 October 2011 at 10:37

    God forbid any of you glory hunters and doom-prophets would dare to say they’re United fans when better days than these come.

    Slagging Ferguson are we? Suddenly you’re all better than the greatest manager on earth. Great stuff eh!

    • Craig Mc

      25 October 2011 at 12:34

      Glory hunters – don’t talk shite mate! Most of the posters on here are born and bred REDS – who have stood on the terraces supporting the lads home AND AWAY since we were knee high to grasshoppers. It is visitors like you – example you visit this blog what – once every decade and feel you have a right to spout about what you know nowt about on the personage of this blog? Fans here have genuine concerns and this in case you haven’t realised yet is unlike other United blogs – and is called rightly RED RANTS – where we can speak up about the things that concern us. If you don’t like the comment discussions here – you don’t have to visit mate – you can go and rally with the other fans of like mind to yourself. See the football world is all about options – but I can guarantee you will find FEW if ANY glory hunters here – we are Man Utd solid fan base!

      • Ian

        25 October 2011 at 15:54

        Here here

    • Moscow is my heaven

      25 October 2011 at 12:36

      May I refer you to the official Man Utd website? Maybe you’ll feel more comfortable there 😉

    • Stephen

      25 October 2011 at 13:45

      Yes he is the greatest manager on earth, but he is not beyond criticism. Towing the party line is one thing and we can all do that, but we all were born with brains and opinions and we should be allowed to exercise them. I am a massive Fergie fan, but of late he has made errors lets get real. He has surrounded himself with yes men, who bow to his every whim, rightly or wrongly. Fergie seems to have too much power, he will never be sacked which can work against a manager as there is no pressure. Signings like Bebe, Tosic have been expensive and incredible flops, which he deserves to criticised for. He deserves massive credit for what he has achieved and gets all the plaudits, but there also has to be a flipside.

    • Grognard

      25 October 2011 at 17:51

      Boy did you wander into the wrong blog mate. I believe is a more suitable habitat for free thinking lads like yourself. You’re worthy. 🙄 🙄 😆 😆

    • Grognard

      25 October 2011 at 17:54

      Well then, I guess this is not the blog for you then is it mate? See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya, you conformist plebeian chimp. 🙄 🙄

  27. [OPTI]Madschester United

    25 October 2011 at 16:00


    Have you thought of making a RedRants app for smart-phones? Could bring in some revenue (I’d pay $2 a good app for this site/community).

    • AndyCR7

      25 October 2011 at 16:32

      Android app please! :mrgreen:

    • Ian

      25 October 2011 at 17:49

      Will look into it 🙂

  28. Spizzy

    25 October 2011 at 17:39

    Find it rather funny how everyone-fletch n phelan included keep saying we will learn from this n bounce back. How? Will fletch now have the ability to dribble n control thd game like keane? will rio start competing with walcot for fastest player in the epl? Will anderson learn to dribble n pass like xavi? Will evra…well you get my point.
    This werent some extremely talented players who got cocky n took the opposition lightly, these are just average players who were put in their place by a more superior team.
    Unless what they mean by bounce back is bounce back to that mediocre shit wd have been witnessing for the last 2 years.

    • Grognard

      25 October 2011 at 17:47

      Loved that mate. I was thinking the very same thing. That is why I hate reading the Neanderthal quotes of players and our manager because it just brings home the fact that footballers are total idiots.

  29. baldmosher

    31 October 2011 at 13:10

    He didn’t say he was a utd fan, he said he was a cockney red. Which makes him an Arsenal fan.

  30. baldmosher

    31 October 2011 at 13:11

    One quick corrective addendum, it’s “upping the ante” and it’s “dissent” not “decent” (or “descent”)

    Otherwise a really well written piece!

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