Sunday, February 27, 2011

Did we deserve it?

Watching the game last night, I was left feeling sorry for Wigan.

The Latics played some wonderful football, and poor Roberto Martinez has really brought some style to their game. But they just can't seem to score.

The 4-0 scoreline was not a true reflection of the game. I have to say that Wigan only crumbled after Chicharito's second goal. Prior to that, they played some impressive football.

Having said that, all four goals were fantastic. In fact, if Nani had not wasted so many chances, MU would have won by a bigger margin. Yes, it would have been even more unfair on Wigan. This was just a measure of how deadly United can be in front of goal.

In truth, Wigan could have scored several times if not for some fantastic saves from VDS and some fantastic defending from both Vidic and Smalling. The last of those three looks like a good buy. Smalling has a bright future ahead of him if he continues to improve.

But let's talk about that young wonder called Javier Hernandez. The Little Pea is another astute piece of business by Fergie and has already repaid Old Red Nose's faith and investment in him several times over. Both were well taken goals coming at the end of some fantastic play, but they would never have come if he didn't have amazing foresight that allows him to see just where he needs to be, as well as great finishing.

Speaking of great moves, Rooney showed yesterday just how effective a team player he is by being involved in both of Hernandez's goals. The second was especially fine as that through ball was inch perfect and timed to perfection. So even if he isn't scoring all that many goals, he is still an invaluable player.

It was also good to see Fabio score. Not too bad for a leftback playing out of position! As for the player he replaced, Nani was apparently at the wrong end of the famous hairdryer treatment while still on the field, then made his exit a short while later. He needs to learn more. Seriously. He is just not enough of a team player. He has improved in that aspect this year, I'll give him that. But the boy still is incredibly selfish a lot of time. He shoots when he should pass simply because he believes too strongly in his ability. Nothing wrong with that except if there's a better choice, you should always go for the better choice.

Now then. It's on to Stamford Bridge for what is hopefully a cracker of a game this week!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another away draw

Another away game, another draw.

Thankfully this time it's a two-legged match, so the draw actually suits United fine. Now we have the advantage as we'll be playing at home in the return leg. A score-draw would have been better, but I'm confident we'll be through to the next round.

It was not, however, a good game. Utterly boring. Our midfield was just non-existent as far as I'm concerned. The back four did relatively well. The front three of Rooney-Berba-Nani I think would have done a whole lot better if they had better support from the middle three of Fletcher, Carrick and Gibson.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. We need better midfielders. We need a general in the mould of Keano or Robbo.

The midfield did much better though when Scholes came in and we reverted to a 4-4-2 formation. Scholes has, according to newspaper reports, told Sir Alex that he will sign a one-year extension to his contract and I'm glad he has, but I don't think he'll last longer than that year. Not to mention the fact that he can't figure in all the games. So we'd better bring in someone new soon. Someone good, of course.

But now that the game is over, it's time to focus on the next away game. Wigan. It's the EPL (I hate calling it the BPL) again, so we can't afford another draw.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Away days

That lacklustre FA Cup tie against the other Red Devils is now behind us, and now we have a home match against either Leyton Orient or Arsenal in the next round.

That aside though, we have to concentrate first on a tricky first leg encounter in Marseille, a team that has only lost twice at home all season, once in the French Ligue 1 and the other in the CL group stages. A score-draw against Marseille should be enough for us to qualify for the next round as I believe we'll win it at Old Trafford. Still, there can be no discounting any team in the CL at this stage of things.

Marseille, mind you, is only the start of a series of tricky away matches for United. At the weekend, the Devils travel to Wigan. In previous meetings, MU has found games at Wigan to be easy wins, but the Wigan players did well in Old Trafford this season until they went down to nine men. Who knows what they'll do on home ground.

After Wigan, on March 1, United play their rescheduled match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. It doesn't matter that Chelsea have not been doing too well of late. When the big teams play each other, the games are still tough no matter what form the teams are in.

Five days later, a trip to Anfield is on the cards and like any MU-Pool game, it promises to be a cracker. Liverpool have been doing well under King Kenny and will pose a serious problem. Frankly, I'm glad Liverpool are doing better. They are a team with history and it would be a shame for them to be doing badly. I have a grudging respcted for them.

MU's away form has been quite horrendous and hopefully they'll be able to do well against these teams. They need to because four points over Arsenal is not that big a gap.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Was it the greatest?

Was Rooney's goal the greatest at Old Trafford?

Let's just say it's definitely up there with the best. But to say it was the greatest, well, it's arguable at best. There are those who swear they've seen better. There are those who say they have not.

Sir Alex's comment was that it was the greatest he had ever seen in the time he has been at Old Trafford. That's not saying it was the greatest ever, is it? I think it was just the media blowing it all out of proportion.

It was spectacular, mind you. I'm hard pressed to come up with a better goal at Old Trafford. I recall a similar spectacular goal from Berba this season but I can't seem to remember whether it was at OT or away.

Leaving that aside, let me apologise for not writing for such a long time. Amazingly, my last posting was in November. This is my first posting of 2011 and it comes midway through the second month of the year!

I have been busy but I don't want to use that as an excuse. So please, forgive me.

It that time, I have gotten several "heart attacks" thanks to the antics of the United players. Thankfully, the old ticker is still working fine! At least, until the next game.

Also in that time, poor old Gary Neville has quit football. Some call him the greatest rightback England has produced. I highly doubt that, but certainly the best of his time. He's received glowing tributes, and although I believe he should have retired a long time ago, it's still nice to see him get what he deserves.

Thankfully, I believe United have a great replacement for the long run in Rafael. The boy impresses me every time I see him, but he still needs to mature a little. His youth makes him reckless and that attitude may just get him in hot soup a couple more times before he finally realises he needs to control his emotions.

Anyway, that's it for now. It's an FA Cup weekend before the Champions League next week. We should be able to make it past this round, but more on that later.