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CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Cluj

De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Wootton, Büttner, Giggs, Cleverley, Powell, Rooney, Welbeck, Hernandez

Bench: Lindegaard, Vermijl, Rafael, Young, Scholes, Fletcher, Macheda


 

219 Comments

  1. Proverb says:

    Morning rom!
    Our injury crisis hurts in the ass more so than our dreadful showing in our last couple games in the champions league.

    One for your diaries folks – One for your diaries people – The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League is on 20 December, and the games are due to be played on 12-13 and 19-20 February 2013, with the second legs on 5-6 and 12-13 March 2013.
    Courtesy of Bbcsport

  2. Ash says:

    Having Kagawa back before the Christmas break would be fantastic. Our wingers have been out of form this season and we have been playing unusually narrow, something that would play right into the hands of Kagawa who is best used in a narrow formation.His penetrative and direct way of attacking through the middle brought something new to our attacks. You only have to look at the impact of David Silva and Juan mata to see how important a central attacking playmaker can be to the team.

    The question is whether the fans will be patient? Sir alex has himself said that he is a an admirer of Silva so that could be a main reason of him buying silva lke player in kagawa. With kagawa being injured all the plans of Sir alex has gone to waste. I can bet if kagawa was still fit scholes and giggs would have played minimal role. I seriously hope he returns and returns with a bang. Kagawa could be the key for us this season.

  3. Tope99 says:

    Jones is best in midfield played alongside carrrick because van persie,Wayne and co still don’t make our attack better than theirs. 4-2-3-1 with Rooney in the central attacking role

  4. Tope99 says:

    I still don’t still don’t see kagawa close to silva @ash, kagawa is not penetrative or anything.he is a waste of money

  5. Ash says:

    Tope99

    Yeah he is waste of money and waste of player that is why he was awarded with the german league player of the year last season you silly. That is what I said that the key would be whether the fans would remain patient. If sir alex could bid 32 millions for an unknown kid in Lucas moura then Don’t you think is he wants he could buy a sneijder . The point is kagawa could easily become our star player. And it is very rare that an asian player is awarded in a european league. I have watched kagawa play for dortmund ( I bet you haven’t) so I can tell how effective he was. Sorry to say Tope 99 but we won’t buy a messi or ronaldo or a 30 million player just to impress fans like you. We are in transitional period and we fans have to be patient. Even I get frustrated when we lose but I do understand that we have players who are raw and need time to develop.

  6. Voice of Reason says:

    Sorry I just don’tbuy this transition stuff becuase its the fourth year of it … since 2009 we have gone downhill raidly in my view and the manager has to take responsibility – last night was another insult to those of us who paid good moneyand turned up – what was verytellingwas how many did not even bother.Fergie said he got out of it what he wanted – while I am sorry Alex thats just notgood enough – how about some entertainment or have you lost sight of what this club is fundamentally about…

    The list of failures at the moment is stark

    Goalkeeper – ludicrous rotation and np certainty
    Wideplayers – from Ronaldo, Giggs, and Nani to Valencia and Young
    Midfield – a joke – not a single top class player in their prime – this is Manchester United!
    Old players – people playing on way past their value date

    Overall rotation – far too much – the only reason Rafael and Evans have established themselves is due to injuries leaving no options

    No pattern of play – I have no idea what ourbest team is- players are bought without a clear plan – its a squad full of squad players

    This is not transition any more its the result of poor decision making over a 5 year period

    Yes we are top of the league but thats partly because our rivals have imploded – City are not great – Tevez left us because he could not get a game in 2009 and rightly so. Our ability to pay decentwages (unlike Arsenal) keeps us up there and we have not been fucked up by lunatics like Dalglish as Liverpool have but make no mistake Fergies own abilities have waned – anyone who does not see it is blind to the truth – age has caught up and I would like him to go at the end of the season hopefully with another title before this gets worse and a new man to come in who can address some of the issues

  7. Ash says:

    Voice of reason says
    “Sorry I just don’tbuy this transition stuff becuase its the fourth year of it … since 2009 we have gone downhill raidly in my view and the manager has to take responsibility ”

    I don’t agree with you that we are going downhill. If you look with broader perspective you will find that we have been very unlucky with injuries.. The only thing that is poor is our midfield. Like many I also wanted atleast one quality midfielder to be signed after the departure of ronaldo. Look at our squad

    De gea- Raw talent will be top class in 2- 3 season

    Smalling/Jones- Again same. They need run of games like rafael has got. Look at rafael now. He has become our first choice rb

    Vidic and rio’s injury problem have given us a huge problem. Now I would love us to buy a hummels or a chellini but that would hamper the growth of two promising young defenders in smalling and Jones. People may not like evans but honestly he has improved a lot.

    Midfield
    Giggs and scholes will retire in year or two (Better if they retire next season). Hargreaves’s injury was a major blow to us. More major than Ronaldo’s going to madrid. We were never able to replace hargo type player. Sir alex waited for the development of gibson. But he never fulfilled his hype. Then flecther got virus which gave us another blow. Now we were left with Ando,Cleverly and carrick. Honestly if anderson plays full season without any injury he could be our best midfielder but injuries have again cost our team. Same with clev. He is raw who needs time to develop. I believe we need one quality midfielder. If you have notice my above post you will find out my love for kagawa. Again our misfortune with injuries continues.

    Even in the striking department Welbeck needs time to develop. Patience is the key. That is why I say this is a transitional side. Yeah sir alex should have bought atleats one midfielder but again that won’t change the fact that we have many raw players who need time to play and become top class.

  8. joner89 says:

    This is a massive blow if Cleverley is out, already missing any energy in midfield with Kagawa and Anderson gone. We will have to play Jones or Rooney alongside Carrick. Please God dont play Giggs or Scholes in Midfield or we will get teared a new one. I reckon he is gona pack the midfield and try to keep it tight for a draw. Fucking injuries always come at the worst time!

    ——-De Gea——–

    Rafael—–Smalling—–Rio——-Evra

    Valencia—Rooney—Carrick—-Jones—–Young

    ——————–RVP—————–

    I expect something like that, i honestly think if we play 4 in midfield we will get over run. Mind you if David Silva is out then we might be OK, Yaya has looked out of form lately too so we still beleive! If Silva is out then go two upfront and do the cunts, we have scored plenty this season no reason why it cant continue.

  9. CR9 says:

    I will just say brace ourselves for another whiplash against mancity, as the current squad has lots of things not going the right way, with a very weak defense, and almost non-existant midfield and winger.

  10. Diego says:

    Jones in midfield… You really have to wonder the logic behind that. He hasn’t got the ability to play in midfield, because he hasn’t got the technical ability nor the awareness required. He is a defender who still has a long way to go. Right now he is just working as a short time fix for SAF’s reluctance to buy anything that even remotely resembles a midfielder. When SAF finally calls it a day, I’m sure the first priority for the new manager will be to address that gaping hole in midfield.

  11. Ash says:

    I can say one thing for sure if we play for draw this sunday then we will lose. Let us play to our merits. I think there are many who are underestimating our team. I don’t know why but I have a feeling we will beat city this week. :)

  12. joner89 says:

    @Diego – Every time i have seen Jones play in midfield he has been good, i think he is a decent right back too but a centre back?!? When we lost 3-0 against Newcastle last season he was atrocious, he is incredibly dodgy at the back. In midfield he reminds me of Park but with more power, he has plenty of running in him and a physical presence, Rooney will supply the technical ability and Carrick the awareness.

  13. StatesideAussie says:

    Top sportsmen rarely know when to call it a day. They’re too competitive, too hardened to adversity, too used to fighting through every set-back. They don’t know when to quit. Which, sadly, is why so many of them keeping going long past their use-by date, unable to recognise what everyone around them can see: that they can no longer cut it. It happens in all sports. We’ve all seen it. The champion boxer who fights on too long until one night he’s left bloody on the floor by some mug he’d have eaten alive a few years earlier. The sprinter who used to burn his rivals off with sheer speed who now brings up the rear. It’s sad, sometimes even pathetic, but what can you do? At the level we’re talking about, the “best of the best” don’t know the meaning of the “quit”. But Old Man Time will not be denied, and at this level, there is no mercy: the competition is absolutely ruthless.

    That is why, when the time comes, someone has to take such people aside, thank them for all the good times, and then escort them through the “Exit” door. And unfortunately, that time has arrived for Giggs and Scholes.

    It’s not a question of disrespect. It’s not a question of repaying loyalty. It’s just recognition that time has moved on and they can no longer cut it — at least not week-in, week-out. Furthermore, they are standing in the way of younger players who need the opportunity, the experience, and the pressure. It’s not about whether those players are “good enough” now. If they are going to be good enough in future, they need to grow into the position. And if they are not going to be good enough, the sooner they are found out, exposed and shunted on, the better.

    Giggs and Scholes will always be hinoured. They will always be legends. But I do not want to see their legacy tarnished. It is time to say “thanks, but no more”. And then SAF needs to focus on the younger players, reduce (not eliminate) his rotation policy so that the same guys play together more often, and then we, as a club, need to run with it. It will be a rocky road. It will require patience, persistence, and faith, from us fans too. And some of the younger players won’t make it. But those who do will forge their own legends, and the others will be replaced with fresh talent.

  14. Ice Cube says:

    @StatesideAussie

    I wish I could have wrote that. Very well put and totally correct. Bravo.

  15. StatesideAussie says:

    @Ice Cube, cheers!

  16. fergie is the boss says:

    StatesideAussie – Like I said on the new topic, fergie has wasted the last 4 years of his manager career, the squad is not even being rebuilt for me. There is a revolution, or an evolution. We have neither

    he is picking the wrong GK, no idea how lindergaard deserves his spot ahead of DDG, and the reading game summed up how average lindergaard actually is, poor at set pieces, average shot stopper, he never communicates with his defense.

    The defense is past its prime physically, in ferdinand vidic and evra, none of these guys have been replaces, jones and smallen are nowhere near of the standards of the 2 at the back. Midfield is a mess, not just the central area, the wingers in all sorts of problems, not able to get kagwa young and nani’s form on track, valencia is our only shining light, while giggs is past his prime.

    Thank fuck for the attack, but fergie must have a long had look at himself, and realize, he has let the squad stagnate, to just doing enough. and we have gone from a great European machine, to a very mediocre side, we can say we are top, but the way we defend, and continue to pick either scholes or giggs and not rebuild our shattered spine, is ruining our chances

  17. StatesideAussie says:

    FITB … G’day mate, how’s things? What I said about top sportsmen not knowing when to quit — that may also apply to SAF one day. I know some on here think he has reached that point already. I’m not sure. But there is a lot in what you say, even if I also think you’re being a bit harsh on some of the younger players.

    What’s most disappointing is that we’ve been fed that line for so long, about rebuilding the squad with younger players, about how our policy precludes us from buying established players over 27, and yet here we are: half the squad is made up of young players who can’t get a regular start (and are often disappointing when they do get a look in); the other half is made up of a couple of aging legends who frankly are past it, along with a handful of other loyal servants who are rapidly heading the same way, and one or two who ought to be in their prime (but if they are, then lord help us). Were it not for RVP, we would probably be behind the top 4 already this year.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love RVP to death. (I was critical of the purchase to begin with, but have to admit his class and quality have shone through.) But for me, it speaks volumes that we are being propped up by a guy who doesn’t fit our much-trumpted youth policy, whose purchase at the age of 29 clearly gives lie to everything we’ve been told over the last few years.

    If the club is serious about rebuilding with younger players, then do it. Don’t fuck around with it. Don’t keep buying young, inexperienced players simply because they’re cheap or no one else wants them and who knows, over time a few of them might actually turn out to be someone. If we want to rebuild with younger players, then get on with it and take the plunge! They (including SAF) need to put their balls on the line and do it: Giggs, Scholes and Rio should all be pushed (gently but firmly) aside; Carrick, Vidic and Evra need to be told their time is coming to an end, not because they’re no good anymore but because they are clearly getting older and it is time to bring the younger players through.

    And if we’re not going to do that — for whatever reason — then stop pissing around: sell off the younger players who clearly aren’t going to make it and go buy some experienced players who can do the business.

    I can get behind a young-team strategy. I can also get behind a buy-experienced strategy. But what gets me is that right now, we don’t seem to be doing either. Cheers!

  18. fergie is the boss says:

    StatesideAussie – hey dude, yea been great thanks, yourself?

    I hope you are still going back on this page, has want a real discussion on this squad. It happens to us all, fergie is worrying me, and someone of his calibre has really slumped since 2009, I could say summer of 08 when he really got the berbatov situation horribly wrong. But for rebuilding the squad, summer 2009 will always be a huge peak where the boss has got things wrong. I may have a user name FITB, that still does not stop me questioning his methods that have made no sense what so ever.

    Let us look at the 4 area’s of the squad stateside,
    first GK – DDG I think has been a very good signing, lindergaard average GK, but clearly nowhere near DDG’s level. And I really do not get how lindergaard deserves to play ahead of DDG, when he has been abysmal.

    defense – look at the names, rafeal, smallen, ferdiannd, vidic, evans, jones, evra, butner, and fabio is on loan. Now in ferdinand vidic and evra, 3 of these have not got much left in the tank, when these 3 drop off, look at the options, even if smallen and jones become top class defenders, we are still short of not only a world class LB like evra, but we have very little back ups to guys like rafeal smallen and jones if the latter 2 break through

    midfield – needs allot of rebuilding, carrick is slower than he has ever been before, it never helps carrick when he has scholes next to him, cleverly is still in and out of the team, fletcher is just returning, while anderson once again is injured. Out wide has become a real worry, nani young and kagwa’s form has gone to hell, TonyV never lets us down, but he is injured

    attack – is our only beacon of light, which is atleast something we can take positives out of

    With a mix of picking the wrong keeper, stubbornness of keep giving both scholes and giggs games, when we should have players taking their places, and players at the back either peaked, or about to peak. we are deeply short of 5 or 6 players. And that really concerns me. So in other words, fergie needs to wake up, and realize he has and continue to make huge mistakes, which could cost us the league, Europe forget about it, not with this spine

  19. StatesideAussie says:

    FITB … yeah, I’m doing fine, settling back into Oz after moving back this year. I have continued to read this blog though I haven’t been making many comments, partly because I’ve been very busy getting myself and my family settled in, but mostly because with the time difference between Oz and the UK, I often find that most people aren’t around when I make a comment (and I am not around when they are commenting). But I’ll try get back more often :-)

    There’s no harm in questioning things — even things that are so sacred to us, like SAF. You’re not one of the rabid fools who come on just bagging stuff and slagging people off. For mine, what worries me the most about SAF is that he appears to be increasingly conservative in his policies. He seems much less wiling to take a risk, a gamble. It is exemplified by his insistence on persisting with Giggs and Scholes (some of the others too, as you’ve mentioned, but mostly those two). I just don’t get it. The SAF of old never had any hesitation in moving star players on once they’d reached the peak of usefulness and were starting to decline.

    Indeed, his greatest achievement was that he kept the squad fresh. It was often brutal to watch, even callous. But he did it, because he knew it was necessary — and because he was always prepared to back his own ability to make the transitions work, to bring the new guys through. To do that, when you’re at the helm of the biggest club in the world, takes real balls. You’ve got to have a real “screw you” attitude, not only to the players (loyal servants) that you let go, but also to the fans (who often don’t want to see their favorites depart and don’t get why it’s necessary).

    But these days, it seems he’s simply not prepared to act. Is that because he genuinely believes Giggs and Scholes still represent his options? Or is it because he no longer has the drive and ruthless bloody-mindedness to do it? Either way, I think it’s a problem.

    Back to work … cheers!

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