United Thump Arsenal; Close Gap on Chelsea

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United continued their dream run of the past few weeks; the ten days has been compared to the famous period in 1999 in this Richard Williams piece, but let’s not elevate this to those levels just yet. However, yesterday’s performance — if not the string of them over the past ten days — could perhaps be termed the watershed moment of our season, if this leads us to something of significance, come May.

United, prior to the 4-0 win against Hull, were a stuttering side — huffing their way one game, blowing away teams in another, and getting thoroughly outplayed a few times too. There were solid reasons to think the side were disjointed and seemingly going nowhere. We had to see something that made us believe we were the real deal. And to Ferguson’s credit, considering the lack of reinforcements we got following our sale of Ronaldo, and the myriad injury worries in defence, he still held the side, keeping it in touching distance of Chelsea.

I was vocally critical of some of the decisions he made prior to this run. Even after Hull I was only guarded in optimism because — let’s face it — Hull are a rubbish team. The two-legged tie against City changed it somewhat. There was a sense of new-found urgency. But more than just urgency, there was cohesion that actually produced something tangible. Be it Tevez’s now ill-advised hand gestures, Garry Cook making a colossal tool out of himself, yet again, or the return of Ferdinand — albeit briefly — there was something that changed.

Significantly, the form of some of the lads over the past week are worthy of discussion. And that segues nicely to Sunday, and the Emirates Stadium.

The weird thing about the past few weeks has been the success of the 4-5-1/4-3-3. I think it’s weird because, other than the Carlos Quieroz days, when we could have a rotating forward four, this formation has always been our plan B. But here it was, employed by Ferguson with renewed success. It’s actually become a potent force. We destroyed City over two legs [sadly, I only got to watch them recorded] and gave Arsenal a nice, shall we say, rogering. But this has worked chiefly because Nani has suddenly emerged like a new signing, and a midfield trio of Scholes, Carrick and Fletcher have gelled superbly well. But — and wait for this — Rooney has played the role of a lone striker flawlessly.

Often we’ve seen him bogged down doing fruitless defensive duties, running around at the cost of being there when a chance presented itself up front, or just missing the percentage shots whenever he is there.

There are still those percentage misses — and he is no Ruud or Gerd Muller. What he has become is a potent mix of the old 18 year old marauding fearless kid and the understated maturity and intelligence age has brought upon him. And while we’ve groaned in frustration over the earlier half of this season at his ‘lack of form’ or mused if he’s actually regressed, here he was, silently mutating into a masterful performer on the big stage — causing pundits to scurry away, taking refuge in platitudes about United becoming a one man team now. Right; and, as was rightly mentioned in the Soccerlens Facebook page, that one man has been changing every few games.

Oh, and what about Arsenal? Well, they had a brief 10-15 minutes of dominance earlier in the first half. That was it.

I don’t want to gloat here. But here was a United side with a fair few things to prove, and throw right back at Wenger. The thinly veiled barbs at Fletcher [that somehow he was a proponent of anti-football, when his disciplinary record is comparable to, er, Fabregas], the myth that Arsenal are somehow above long-ball football [observe Arsenal carefully during their run to the Champions League final in 2006, and Arsenal yesterday when they pinged balls to Bendtner’s head when things weren’t rosy.] They play long balls like every other team in England. They do it less than others, and they certainly have no right to those self-righteous horses that Wenger thinks he deserves to mount. A little bit of focus on defending, a defensive midfielder who does not become the invisible man, are just some of the things he needs to work on to give his side that formidable look.

I wouldn’t go to the extent of calling this men vs boys. It was just a fine footballing lesson from a side that had its head firmly on the football, and minimal whining [another accusation made earlier]

This was also Nani’s best performance since that FA Cup 4-0 hiding of — you guessed it — Arsenal. [Surely you remember this outrageous bit of show boating that got the likes of Gallas all riled up?] Over the past few weeks his biggest weakness [his head] seems to be showing signs of being ironed out; be it maturity, as Ferguson pointed out, or a renewed run of games, long may it last.

Hopefully Arsenal can rebound from this and, as the manager said post-match, give Chelsea a battering next week.

Here’s his post match that I’ll leave you with. Watch it before it gets taken down:

PS: There is of course the strange comments from David Gill that I touched on in the preview yesterday. I hope to do a more detailed piece on it later today and possibly post it tomorrow. But till then, soak it up. Have a great Monday.

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238 Comments

  1. @EduardoDaVinci4: I should reply in Gaelic. that would totally through you, it throughs me often. Yes I hear you regards Cheryl, cute and lovely porcelain teeth, nice plastic tits too, but hay u cant everything. :mrgreen:

  2. @Scotjimland: Seriously now, ok.
    Some lads have tried to explain to you. I think you might be playing the wind up man.Eddy its life, as Grog said it made me laugh, he has perfected being a great defender and a cunt! end off.
    The man is away on holday anyhow, to think things over.Everybody should get off his case, it’s not important what he has done.If you see some of the sad old Pricks that come out of the FA, Speaking about the subject, it just makes me think christ you look like you need a fuck.
    I have said this before the Terry family is blighted with human errors, but lets not take this away from the man, he has a talent clearly and used it.The girls may well know he carries the spare ball in his shorts.I say good luck to him.
    At the end off the day the man is a multi millionaire so he wont care one way or another.He has the full support of the Rent boy fans, that’s were is wages come from.I am bored with topic.
    This as about as usefull as an inflatable dartboard.

  3. Okey, after a seriously long time waiting for my fans, I’m gonna start working on a FIFA video! πŸ˜€ It’s been a long time since I’ve had time to make such a video, but I’m ready to do so now. My only problem, is something you can all share in on and help me with. My question to you all is:

    What music/artists/song would you connect to Manchester United?

    All suggestions would be really appreciated! πŸ˜‰

  4. @Scotjimland: Meget flot dansk πŸ˜‰ Vidste ikke at der var meget dansk stadigvΓ¦k i skotland.

    @EduardoDaVinci4: We can have secret conversations when need be about the others on here πŸ˜‰

  5. @EduardoDaVinci4: Honestly, your videos are amazing, but for music selection I find commentators and crowd noise much better selection.

    HOWEVER, if you insist on music go with United chants/songs… Glory glory, que sera sera, ryan giggs ryan giggs running down the wing… etcetera.

  6. @[OPTI]Madschester United: Du vet han RedRanter, ekte sjef! πŸ˜† Han er kul, men kan gΓ₯ litt over styr noenganger. Synes fortsatt det jeg sa om Terry er riktig, han er en jΓ¦vla morraknuller men jaja, det fΓ₯r gΓ₯ slik som det gΓ₯r πŸ˜› Hehe, dette kan bli kult! πŸ˜†

  7. @Scotjimland: πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    Looking for a little bit more “Modern” and Powerful music… When I say United related I don’t mean Manchester United songs, but strong songs with a certain rythm and lyrics connected to strength, power and such. πŸ˜‰

  8. EduardoDaVinci4: I know you are not, just my humour. try this Mr brightside, the killers.
    or Glasvegas flowers and football tops. Tops as in KIT. before you get carried away! :mrgreen:

  9. @Scotjimland: If you think Dughtry is gay, and Glasvegas is not, then I gotta say, you have a problem mister! πŸ˜†

    But I think I’m gonna stick with Feels like Tonight as the main song, an intro with “Fireman” – Lil Wayne and just get some commentary in between.

    Good night peeps, the homie brotha is gonna tuck in for the night. See ya bitches tomorrow, eh? πŸ˜‰ 😎

  10. right that’s me for just now, i wont change my mind for nobody. We are gonna do this. Or i am homeless( paul simon). I put my life and possessions on this 12 league title. With bet fair, makes sense eh! :mrgreen:
    away to boozer.

  11. @EduardoDaVinci4: Scottie is right — crap song (flΓΈde-musik). Have you heard of
    1. “Carmina Burana: O Fortuna” — very powerful.
    2. “O Solo Mio” only the music or “Four Seasons” by Vivaldi — very beautiful (slick passing, curled shots, etc…)
    3. “Que Sera, Sera” the United version — fun song and teasing Chelsea fools
    4. “I Dont wanna miss a thing” by Aerosmith — good footie background

    I still prefer some fan noise/commentators

    Good luck

  12. Christ at out our Scandivanian m8s. bring oot the thon shite that u look at, an say that’s neat, an privatly, hide in the Sauna.
    Its called some. wif board.
    GROTESQUE. :mrgreen:

  13. @Red Ranter: Well said Boss. i will hold your line as i love you. πŸ˜€ I moved on ages ago anyway to pub an portsmouth blog.
    AS i said Boss people trust what they want. As a Scot i trust facts.
    remind me lads of our postion in league, carzeing,and I think SAF can do it in the big Prize.
    BELIVE. JUST BELIVE

  14. Bad news on Hargo, again. SAF pulled him out of the CL squad and replaced him with De Laet.

    Will he ever make it back in the team?? Probably not this season!! πŸ˜₯

  15. Can everybody understand me, or should I re-comment in 6 other N. European dialects?? πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  16. Don’t know quite what to make of this, but apparently this “the bond” is not doing well.
    Hope this is worse news for the Galzers than it is for us. I can foresee a scenario where the long future for them starts to look dark and they will be much more motivated to sell.

    We’ll see!!

  17. It’s good to see Nani playing well, he gives us a rather different option to Valencia, he can deliver a ball miles better as well. I’ve always stood by my opinion of Nani being a diamond in the rough.

    Let’s just wait for Anderson to sort his head out now. And if anyone loses sight of what the lad can do just take a look on youtube, he has bags and bags of ability, it would be a shame to sell him off, a loan may do him some good.

    If Nani continues to gain confidence I really think he could be regarded as one of the world’s best, the same with Anderson, it’s just a shame he’s not really delivered this season, apart from a decent performance against Burnley.

    It’s amazing to think how young our team is though, if the unnecessary luring debt is kept at bay, the future looks very bright.

  18. Top post m8, as far as ” our young team”. Nani is only so far coming good, 3 games dont make a Summer in South Africa.He was scintalling against le arse. For our benifit let’s hope this form contiues, and not so spasomodic.
    As for Anderson, he needs to work on his @ss, as a Scot lads say’s who ate all the Pies. But you must hold out hope eh.
    In my honest opinion he is not Manchester united class, from what i have seen.
    Believe m8

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