Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ridiculous tactics

Two defensive errors, two goals, two points lost!

That should be enough to sum up United's latest sad result. But it is nowhere near enough. Let's look at some other numbers.

United had 75 percent of possession and sent in 81 crosses. Those are ridiculous numbers for a draw match. For all the possession and attacking moves, two goals were really not up to mark.

So Fulham parked the bus. So what? Every time a United player sent a cross in, there were six or seven Fulham players in the box, including that 6ft 7in giraffe named Burns. Burns alone cleared 22 of those crosses, apparently.

What in heaven's name were United thinking, sending in crosses into a packed penalty box with six or seven opposing players and not more than three Devils? Those tactics were all wrong.

I believe the starting line-up was a problem as well. Why Young is even in the squad is an enigma to me, let alone on the starting line-up.

Adnan Januzaj has been going great guns for United and should be starting every game.

Ultimately though, it was the defence that really let us down. Fletcher should have tracked Sidwell's run, and a defensive error gifted Fulham the second goal. De Gea did well to parry the initial shot, although there will probably be some who would say he should have pushed it out or over the bar instead of in the path of Bent. The way I see it, you can't blame De Gea. That initial shot was ferocious and De Gea did not have enough time to try to bend it around the post or over the bar.

One thing I have to ask though is where the ref got that extra five minutes which he added on. The norm is to add on 30 seconds for each substitution. Both teams used their allotted three subs, but Fulham made one change before the start of the second half, so that means only two and a half minutes.

Injury concerns would probably add a minute. So where did the extra minute and a half come from.

That is no excuse though for a miserable result.

David Moyes, if you're reading this (yeah, right!), please come up with better tactics. For a start, leave Young out and start with Januzaj for the match against Arsenal.

Also, how about a sort of diamond-shaped midfield lineup, with Valencia on the right, Carrick playing a holding role just in front of the back four, where he can splay passes, since that is his strength, and Mata just behind the top two (Rooney and RVP of course).

In defence, leave Rafael at right back and Evra at left back with Smalling and Ferdinand/Vidic in the middle. In years gone by, Vidic and Ferdinand would have been my automatic choices for the central defensive pairing, but to have "oldies" in the middle of defence against an Arsenal team which is skillful and fast would be suicide.

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