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Quick Reactions To Newcastle Defeat

1. Back to back defeats for Manchester United against teams we should not be losing to. Blackburn have been woeful this season and Newcastle have had a pretty poor record at home. We are of course missing important players but that isn’t a good enough excuse for not getting the wake up call we should have had after the Blackburn result. It was a poor performance from United and we deserved nothing from the game.

2. Little over a year ago, Wayne Rooney held the club to ransom and we gave in to his contract demands. You do that for special players, for your top scorer, for players who score in European Cup finals and for players who make your team work. Rooney ticks those boxes for us. Then this week he wasn’t fit to train after apparently having a bit too much to drink when out with his team mates and their birds. As punishment, he missed the Blackburn game and we lost. His first game was against Newcastle today and he wasn’t at the races. Our best two chances fell to him and for both of them he hesitated. It’s a bad few days for him. He needs to book up his ideas in the remaining 18 games of the season.

3. Anders Lindegaard had a decent game for United and will be sad to lose out on his cleansheets record in the Premier League. Ahead of kick-off, I noted that he picked up these cleansheets from games against Norwich, Villa, Wigan, Sunderland and Fulham, whilst David de Gea had made crucial saves against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. To be fair to him, there was nothing he could have done about any of the goals and he was let down by the central defensive pairing.

4. Rio Ferdinand probably could have conceded a penalty in the first half, despite one replay looking like he touched the ball first. He will be disappointed he didn’t get in front of Demba Ba for the opening goal but it was a great strike taken early, which Phil Jones should have cut out, but he lost out on the header which set it up. The second goal was conceded thanks to a sloppy Jones foul and the third was a shambolic own goal from Jones. Jones was poor against Blackburn but was far worse tonight. I suppose he was due all of this after all the rave reviews so early on. I’d take him out of the centre of defence as soon as possible though. He looks good in midfield but a liability at the back, which surprised me tonight, given he had the experience of Rio alongside him.

5. Whilst there are plenty of criticisms I can level at United (and I will, don’t worry), it has to be said that Newcastle actually just played well. They were solid defensively and made it very difficult for us to break them down. Their chances on goal were largely from distance, although most of them were on target, and they scored two spectacular goals. United never looked like producing anything special like that so fair play to the geordies.

6. You wouldn’t have really known Dimitar Berbatov, Danny Welbeck or Chicharito got a run out tonight. You can’t take away from their poor performances but then I suppose you have to look at the service they were getting too. I’d love to see some stats on how many crosses United attempt and how many reach their target. Being honest, you did know Chicharito came on, but that was mainly because you were shouting his name when he got flagged offside, again. The lad is twice as fast as anyone who would mark him, so why does he need to play the offside trap so closely? He could give most centre backs a five yard head start and he’d still get to the ball first. It’s so frustrating.

7. What a difference a few days make and it’s not over yet, with an away trip to City in the Cup to come this weekend. We’ll be torn apart if we play anything like we did tonight. Did this 3-0 defeat give us the wake up call the Blackburn defeat didn’t? You’d like to think so. But there didn’t seem to be much fight about that team tonight. So, Fergie, over to you…

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. dela says:


    Arak? Darn, I’m jealous.

    And get well soon, willie’s dad.

  2. dela says:


    Arak? Darn, I’m jealous.

    And get well soon, willie’s dad.

  3. CedarsDevil says:

    Whilst kidney stone matters are easily dealt with these days however the pain they cause seems unbearable. My late dad had them as did one of my brothers, I will never forget their screams of pain every time they simply had to take a piss or whenever the stone just moved…..


    I feel with your dad and please pass on my best wishes

  4. CedarsDevil says:


    Do not mention it pal, that is why you and I have a special bond my friend. We may agree or disagree on United related matters but that is irrelevant

  5. zelh says:

    looks like man sheikhy is missing barry and yaya on sunday.
    could be good for us.
    now we just need to find some form.

  6. Sparkz says:

    Willie – best wishes to you and your family mate, hope all turns out well

  7. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:


    No need to be a child mate, I read posts and respond to add balance. You aimed your post at the likes of myself as I have been saying word for word we are three points behind and in transition.

    Ditto mate on reading my posts or not i dont care but if you are going to post opinions based on others like myself on what we believe then it will be responded to mate.

  8. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:


    Mate I always have an opinion on SAF and plsyers but its literally questions as opposed to numpties suggesting its over, were doomed, sell everyone etc etc

    The posts that got my back up was with yourself and slim in relation to blinkered support and 3 points behind etc etc like I say for the complete wankfest that is city right now with the media and for all thier talent they are only three points ahead and we have got a lot of improvement in us with players coming back, gaining consistency etc that I am not as worried as some appear on here.

    Comments like this is the worst we have been in fouty years? How the fuck is that possible when it was only in the seventies that we were relegated.

  9. zelh says:

    some must be kidding me.
    Man Sheikhy deeper squad?

    We are missing 9 fucking players and they miss only 1!

    and we are not missing any reserve players, but our most important one in Vidic and Cleverley who might have had the biggest impact on the team!

  10. Jeet says:

    @Giggs12: Agreed about the wankfest. Like they have been dominating everything for the last 2 decades or something. bastards.
    My position is actually a strange one. Unlike many, I’m genuinely not so bothered about this season, or the next. I don’t think the season is over by any stretch of imagination. and who says we are entitled to win everything, every year (speaking of which, I have often wondered why the FA doesnt rename the EPL The Sir Alex Ferguson Trophy :) ). I am though, somehwhat concerned about the 5 yr view, particularly, with what shape we are in when SAF decides, or God forbid, is forced to call it a day.

  11. TheCANTONA says:

    le arse, dippers, newcastle have better midfielders than us? Are u mad? Are u fuckin’ kidding me?
    Please explain that to us, bcause i’m beginning to hate some fickle United fans on here.

  12. Jeet says:

    @Zelh: Don’t forget Fletch. A fully ft Fletch could have made one hell of a difference.

  13. slim says:


    By all means respond to it and i don’t know what you’re on about big fella. i don’t remember making comments towards you or anything you said in particular. Funny thing is our views are similar – i think. From what i gather we’re both arguing the long term and not the here and now, at least i am anyway.

    Take a cue from your own post and put the childish antics to a minimum yourself. Your response to my one of my post was laced with mockery – Harlem globetrotters? Really? Lol. If you have a problem with me – though i can’t think why, thats your problem dude, not mine. For the record, i look out for your posts, usually spot on

  14. ironbrand says:

    “Sometimes its better to be silent and be thought of as a fool than to speak and remove all doubt”. So saying, I wanna remove all doubt with my tuppence contribution. Sir Alex Fergie should be sacked! Sacked for losing 2 straight matches and all the trophies he has won us.
    As to the other issues plaguing this team, they seem too many or perhaps I really don’t know what’s going on anymore so I chose to keep you guys in doubt. Thank you RoM. We are United. We never die!

  15. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:


    Mate I am exactly the same in opinion its all about 2013.


    Apologies mate I have no problem with you at all o was merely arguing against the 3 pts and transition comment.

    The Harlem globe trottets comment wasn’t for you pal that was for all the joke of comments about selling all the players and Fergie had lost it etc.

    I also look out for your posts mate and reading back our views are the same hahs

  16. Sparkz says:

    @Jeet – considering that Fergie is building a new, young squad (many of whom will be at their peak AFTER Fergie leaves)….I have a feeling that the club has a successor in mind.

    Put it this way – Sir Alex is not gonna go to all this effort of bringing through all these youngsters, if the guy after him comes in with a different approach, mentality and playing style. What a waste that would be.

    I think his successor will be someone who won’t change very much. Fergie will wanna leave the majority of the squad already in place, so his successor has an easier job.

    Therefore, it stands to reason that it’ll be someone very close to the club. Either somebody who’s currently at the club (say Giggsy retires this summer and spends 2 years on the coaching staff). Or maybe somebody from the outside who’ll join Fergie’s coaching staff in the next year or so, and learn under the master for a while, so he can take over.

    Very similar to what Liverpool used to do with the Boot Room. I suppose you could say we tried it when Wilf McGuinness took over after Sir Matt…but you could argue that he was the wrong man for the job.

  17. Collyhurst Red says:

    At the beginning of the season, If anyone had said that in the first week of January we would be in 2nd place just 3 points behind the leaders, we’d have all said OK.

    Obviously the injury situation hasn’t helped but we should all keep the faith. We may well look back and see that this may well be a season of transition but you can’t win ‘em all.

    Must admit I am getting a bit frustrated at the number of times Hernandez gets caught offside though!

    Rol on Sunday!

  18. MarkoWire says:

    That result couldnt have come at a worse time for us with City up next this weekend. Our defence has been shocking the last 2 games. We’ve been completely out muscled by strong attackers, like Yakubu, Ba and Ameobi. Fergie needs to sort this and quick Cahill is going cheap at 7 mill and Sneijder hasn’t ruled out any move. Perfect signings. And as Beckham wants to stay in the US why not get him on loan for 4 months as cover? It would boost the team, fans and merchendise sales over the world would go through the roof.

  19. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:


    to be honest mate Cahil will not play with our team back after injury so not sure he would want ot be a stop gap. Sneijder is just one of those deals that is never going to happen.

    On the Becks suggestion I must admit I would love to see him come in on loan, he can still play and in situations like against Blackburn he would have got a good 70 minutes at least. wil it happen though? Not a chance there is no way SAF is bringing Becks back to the club simply because of the media circus that comes with it. Its that reason he was pushed out in the first place.

  20. Costas says:


    Yeah, the wind has more assists than Downing and Howard has more goals than Andy Carroll. ;)


    My sincere wishes for a speedy recovery mate. If your dad is anything like you, he’ll bounce back in no time.

  21. zelh says:

    Markowire – Sry but Cahill? He wants fucking 150k per week! that cunt can go whereever he wants unless it’s Old Trafford. Not for me. Never. He’s good at best.

    And Sneijder? That one is gone. No way we’ll go after him again. You reject United only once.

  22. Paul Parker says:

    @Willierednut, sorry to read that mate. Hope your Dad has a swift recovery pal.

  23. smartalex says:

    NotoriousRedDevil – sorry so long, just had another power cut here.

    Yeah, we both wish I was right. what can you do? I’m still expecting a lot of pressure to be exerted on Liverpool and the FA, so I won’t tear up the betting stub just yet!

  24. Booch says:

    Hi Everyone!!!!
    I hate newcastle so much wat the hell happen 2 united last nite!!!!!!!! Rooney and Nani and Park was shit anyone agree on the match with me and don’t belive that united are still the team Sir Alex will better fucking sign Sneijder Anyone agree or disagree on me!!! And united will be back scoring goals next weekend against City

  25. Danield says:

    Two terrible results over the new year period, but let’s stop this talk of crises. At the end of the day, no other team in the country could come within 3 points of the top spot with our injury list, long term injuries to most of the mid field and defence would have crippled any other team but united, yet here we are still in with a chance! That is the true hallmark of fergie’s united, whatever the crises we’re still there fighting for the top spot, keep the faith, in fergie we trust!!!!

  26. Danield7848 says:

    IMO forget Cahill as a transfer target, why spend large amounts of money on a temporary fix? Vidic will be back, Ferdinand can still perform and Evans, Smalling and Jones have all got world class potential. I also don’t believe there is a problem on the flanks or up front, the problem is central midfield. If schnieder is not the answer how about cabaye – young, technically gifted, and Would love to be here. It’s good to see Anderson back and Carrick hitting some form but giggs is now too old to be starting every game and cleverly (brilliant as he us) is too often injured, fletcher has to be forgotten about for the near future. In my view, jones should be regarded as a starter in midfield until either signings are brought in or enough people are back from injury!

  27. denton davey says:

    The desperate sense of doom in these comments is amazing. Chicken Little anyone ? Yep, the sky is falling down.

    For example: RedHarryForLife @ 23:13: “Nani – twat – has been pure shite for the last two games. When was the last time this pounce actually played a decent game. Not 1 cross in tonight.”

    “RedHarry” didn’t seem to be watching when it was Nani who fed the ball in to TheWayneBoy on the penalty spot that brought about a remarkable save from Danny Simpson (one of Salford’s finest !).

    In the parallel universe I inhabit, Nani has been UTD’s best player since the match against TheArse in January 2010. Is he supposed to be perfect ?

    “Red Harry” and his kind of trolling completely fly-in-the-face-of the evidence from the match. “Red Harry” is hardly alone – whenever TheLads don’t win every match by three or four goals then the sky is falling down and the end of the world is nigh.

    And, of course, it’s not as if SAF’s teams haven’t lost games in the past – or reeled in bigger leads than that.

    TheLads’ inconsistency is galling and frustrating. So what ? Is the end of the world really nigh ?

    In times-of-troubled-waters like this, t’s not a question of simple-mindedly screeching “Believe !” but, rather, watching a team-in-transition coughing and spluttering in the middle of an injury crisis of epidemic proportions. Of course, it’s not always pretty to watch but, fortunately, SAF has been there, done that.

    It was amazing to see how completely calm SAF’s face was whenever the camera panned to him but if past experience is anything to go by, he must have been roiling on the inside. Twenty-five years of experiencing the highs of victory and the lows of defeat will, no doubt, keep his hand on the tiller. KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.

  28. denton davey says:

    Kevin @ 1:21: “Nani kept clogging up the middle and had very few really important touches. He really needs to stay out wide and come into the middle with the ball but start his runs out wide and keep the defensive line more stretched.”

    Oddly, what I saw last night – and against Blackburn, too – was that playing Antonio Valencia at right back seems to clog up the wide area for Nani. They seemed to be getting in each other’s way.

  29. Gee says:

    Our midfield is shite, it is that simple!! Giggs was fucking awful and Im sick of people giving him the benefit of the doubt coz he does 1 or 2 good things a game, he was shite against Basel as well!! at times it was as if Carrick played alone in the centre and as someone else posted, we were playing the ‘O’ formation!! We are leaving Tunni on loan, Pogba isnt getting played, Clev’s was supposed to be back but isnt and its January but hey lets play our 38 year old in the centre!! I love Giggsy like a God but he SHOULD NOT be starting and playing the whole game!! Those fucking flicks that fail to make it to one of our players are starting to rub off on the whole team for fuck sake!!

    Oh and when SAF says there’s no value or its difficult to get players in that will make a difference, well there was two in midfield for Newcastle that kind of blow that out the water!! I love you SAF but you need to stop being so stubborn, our squad isnt good enough and the kids dont even get played, no wonder they are rumoured to be fucking off!!

    That said, lets fucking have it you Blue Bitter bastards!!

  30. denton davey says:

    MrC @ 0:47: “Rooney? I’m in a minority on here as I think Wayne is a better, more effective ‘footballer’ than out and out striker or target man and as such prefer to see him playing deeper driving forward. However, I’m not sure Rooney sees things that way. Regardless, in my book, if Wayne’s fit, he starts. But if he’s not playing well then normal rules must apply – bring off or drop.”

    I’m in two minds about your argument since one of the “issues” with TheWayneBoy is that he is essentially a selfish player – not a team player. He doesn’t seem to follow instructions but plays according to his own sense of importance/priority. That’s why, in my opinion, he needs to be played with guys who will both complement his game and largely operate in other areas of the pitch. The reason why I’ve been “sceptical” of Dimmy is that his game doesn’t dovetail with TheWayneBoy’s game – they get in each other’s way whereas Chicharito and DannyTheLad don’t.

    “if Wayne’s fit, he starts” – yeah. SAF made the decision last October/November that TheWayneBoy was the key part to his next great team. Fergy went to the wall to keep Rooney so he’s basically pinned his colours to that mast. He has previous in this regard: SAF did that with Keane-o, too – even when the CobhBoyho was well past his best.

    SO, if TheWayneBoy is the keystone then the big question is how is the “attacking six-pack” going to be organized to best complement him. Given the limited resources available at this moment, I’d go with an “attacking diamond” – DannyTheLad leading the line, Nani/Valencia wide and TheWayneBoy “in the hole” – backed by the most solid midfield which has to be Michael Carrick/MrJones. The absentees in central defence ARE problematic and worrying but, hopefully, Chris Smalling/Rafael can come back on Sunday to play alongside Rio/Evra. (That selection means I’d leave out Dimmy, Chicharito, SirRyanGiggs, and ThreeLungPark – I doubt that anyone would be surprised by my omission of Berbatov but the selection comes down to the choice between him and TheWayneBoy while Chicharito has had his lunch eaten by DannyTheLad !).

    Against ManShitty, the key area of contention will be central midfield – especially because Nigel De Jong will be played there, alongside ToureYaYa and MrJones and TheWayneBoy can provide the necessary physical presence to level-that-playing-field. Additionally, I’d like to think that SAF “went to school” on th way the Sunderland kept ManShitty at bay last weekend.

    The game on Sunday is not crucial but it is, in its own way, more important than that. Coming out guns-ablazing is not going to be the way to go – instead of trying to win the match in the first fifteen minutes, go slow, keep steady and calm, positionally-aware and look for a quick break at speed.

  31. denton davey says:

    Esteban @ 1:55: “It is absolutely contrary to the Glazers’ economic interests to let Utd fade from the ranks of global elite clubs. Hard as it is to understand for those who don’t deal with this kind of leveraged acquisition on a regular basis, it is not the case that the buyer wants to milk the asset for fees; the real money is to be made by watching the asset value increase (and having that increase amplified by the debt).”

    Av voice of reason in a cacophony of doom/gloom.

  32. smartalex says:

    Excellent comments denton davey!

  33. Saad says:


    Sorry for the late reply.

    Feelings of the heart don’t change so suddenly. Thank God for that.

    Couple hours ago I was thinking that the sting of these past two defeats might just fire up the boys enough to give a really good fight to Shitey away this weekend. That would certainly raise the fans’ spirits.

    I do however have one criticism. I’ve always been of the persuasion that people (players and fans) should learn to talk less and do more. I’m a bit tired of the cliches. Time to make some meaningful improvements in all four departments on the pitch.

    Good night to you all. Talk to you later.

  34. denton davey says:

    Finally some good news

    TOURE YAYA is going to be missing on Sunday. The Ivory Coast manager is a UTD fan-boy ! Although I’d suspect that some money-under-the-table will pass hands in the next 72 hours to resolve ManShitty’s selection crisis !!

  35. JC says:

    Good post Denton, one adendum – there will be no ToureYaYa nor Kolo on Sunday. On there way to the ACoN they are, as reported by Sky.

  36. JC says:

    LOL nvm DD, I should have refreshed before posting, it took me that long to read my way through all of the negative nancy posts. Carry on!

  37. parryheid says:


    About your auld man’s kidney stones is that a serious thing requiring operations or do they dissolve them or what?If its the former a speedy recovery to him.

  38. Debred says:

    Is it too early to plan for next season, from here on if we win the league its not because we played well, its because Shity was, you know what.
    One more thing is Sir Alex loosing his powers getting the best out of his fringe players?

  39. denton davey says:

    JC @ 18:08: no problem; we’re on the same page.

    The next little while could be very interesting – to my way of thinking, ManShitty have been incredibly “lucky” with injuries/absences while UTD have not.

    On another thread, someone posted the most incredible statistic:

    “With Vidic on the pitch this season – 9 games 3 goals conceded (that even includes Newcastles ‘penalty’ at Old Trafford)

    Without Vidic – 20 games 27 goals conceded”

    I know that CaptainVidic isn’t going to play any part in the rest of this season, but what happens to Shitty when ToureYaYa is absent ? He’s the lynchpin of their team. AND what would happen to them if Vincent Kompany were to get crocked ?

    It’s incontrovertible that UTD have played 20 matches and have one more point than at this time last year when they ended up winning #19. Does that mean anything ? Like the immortal Joaquin Andujhar once said: “if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you never know !”

  40. WillieRedNut says:

    Parryheid – Cheers mate. I think he’s getting them dissolved. He’s had them before, back in 2003. He’ll have to make do with the tablets they give him till then. As anyone knows, who’s had kidney stones, fucking pains excruciating.

  41. Mr C says:


    “I’m in two minds about your argument since one of the “issues” with TheWayneBoy is that he is essentially a selfish player – not a team player. He doesn’t seem to follow instructions but plays according to his own sense of importance/priority. That’s why, in my opinion, he needs to be played with guys who will both complement his game and largely operate in other areas of the pitch. The reason why I’ve been “sceptical” of Dimmy is that his game doesn’t dovetail with TheWayneBoy’s game – they get in each other’s way whereas Chicharito and DannyTheLad don’t.”

    You raise several interesting points there. If Wayne cannot – or worse still does not want to – follow team discipline there can only be one outcome. He’ll have to leave or we’ll have to get rid. Ultimately it’s a team game and no one player is bigger than the club otherwise discipline with break down all over the place. The boss has to be the boss. We’ve never built a team around one player – a group of players perhaps – and put simply Wayne is neither good enough -no one is- nor consistent enough to dispense with this doctrine at United’s level. Wayne’s certainly a top class ‘footballer’ and IMHO his all round game and work-rate points to a wider, more creative role than out and out striker.

    This being said, I don’t believe Wayne actually thinks he is bigger than the club, albeit he might over-estimate his value. I think he just lacks a element of discipline and self control. Wayne clearly takes the game seriously, seems to get pissed off when things are not going well and then takes it upon himself to try and sort things out regardless of team orders. This being the case he might as well be played deeper (play-maker) rather than right up front only to abandon his position to go looking for the ball.

    Just my two cents anyway.

  42. Sparkz says:

    @Mr C – Isn’t that where he generally plays anyway? Just off the front man?
    Unless of course you mean you’d prefer him even deeper, as in centre midfield?

    Tbh, if there’s one thing I couldn’t accuse him off, its selfishness or inability to follow orders. Look at the variety of roles he’s played over the years, the variety of tasks he’s been given by Fergie. He’s pretty much sacrificed himself for the team on many occasions, and he’s the one Fergie usually gives tactical instructions to as well.

    I do agree with your last paragraph though – discipline and self control when things aren’t going well. He’ll drop deeper and deeper to try and make things happen, almost become like Stevie Me.

  43. denton davey says:

    sparkz @ 21:28: “He’s pretty much sacrificed himself for the team on many occasions, and he’s the one Fergie usually gives tactical instructions to as well.

    I do agree with your last paragraph though – discipline and self control when things aren’t going well. He’ll drop deeper and deeper to try and make things happen, almost become like Stevie Me.”

    Doesn’t the point made in the first (quoted) paragraph contradict the point made in the following one ?

  44. Sparkz says:

    @Denton – Not particularly. What I meant in the first paragraph is stuff like – playing wide coz we needed to track an opposition full back/winger. Playing as the lone striker in 09/10 due to our lack of centre forwards, even though it meant he couldn’t get involved in the build up play as much. Last season in the Champions League games against Chelsea, where, in Fergie’s words – he was given a “semi defensive role” in addition to his attacking duties. Even the role he was asked to play in central midfield this season.

    In the second paragraph, I was talking more about in games where he’s not given a specific instruction (probably 80% of our games tbh). And if in that game we’re not playing well/losing – that’s where he tries to get all Roy Of The Rovers at times.

  45. KVN says:

    Having watched the game last night, it made the obvious even more
    Obvious. In that we do need quality players in midfield and defence.
    There’s so much to say. Lets look at the positives:
    1- after 20 games we are only 3 points behind
    city. It could have been worse and to be where we are given injuries and sickness to key players with some like Cleverly to come back will be bonus.
    2- SAF and the more experienced players know how to win and have seem many ups and downs.

    3- key players will come back.
    4- SAF knows what to do in these situations.

    Now for the negatives
    1- SAF known for a while our midfield is weak.
    2- leadership is not what it used to be.
    3- rio is becoming more of a liability due to his injuries and missing key games.
    4- goalkeeping position needs to be resolved.
    Anders is for now but DDG is the future.
    5- tactics : too much mix and match with players in wrong positions. Noes the time to trust the youth players like Pogba, Fryers and Morrison.

  46. Mr C says:

    @Sparks –

    I’d agree that in the past Rooney more or less sacrificed himself playing at the pinnacle of the attack, most notably when Ronnie left, for both United and England. No-one can suggest that he didn’t step up to the plate, but in my IMHO this was to the detriment of Wayne’s overall game. With his build and style of play I really don’t think Wayne could last much beyond 28 playing at the point of the attack , whereas we have better specialist options for that role which are ‘swappable’ in and out if things aren’t working. (Berba, skill-wise, holding up, bringing others into play, Chico – pure finishing ability). These guys are world class up front at these tasks, given the right service – Wayne isn’t.

    What Wayne does have is an exceptional talent as an all round ‘footballer’. I put the term in inverted commas as I believe he has the skill set and creative ability to dictate the play from deeper. CMF? Possibly but more like AMF or a free role behind the front two. One of the reasons I never warmed to the idea of Sneijder is that we don’t need the likes of him as I genuinely believe Wayne can do anything creatively that Wes can do. His career will last longer too.

  47. Sparkz says:

    @Mr C – Definitely agree with the first point. Although he scored 30 odd goals that season, I too thought it was hindering his all round game, we weren’t really making the best use of him. The team comes first I suppose, and Fergie did what was best for the TEAM – but there’s no doubt that his best position is a bit further away from the opposition goal (as he showed last season). I dunno about playing him in a free role behind a front 2 – coz that would require a massive change in our formation (no wingers for a start, which is unthinkable for a Fergie team).

    I also agree that Berba is a better option for playing the “lead the line” role. He showed that last season – he was playing high up the pitch where he could use his touch to hold the ball up and bring others into play. He also has the technique to stick the ball in the back of the onion bag.

    But for some reason, other than that 6 month spell last season – he hasn’t played there. Both he and the management seem to have this fixation with him playing in a deeper role, in the hole. And to be honest, he just doesn’t look at home there.

  48. Kevin says:

    @ Denton Dave – I think that is a fair observation with regards to Valencia. However in the first half when we were going forward Nani was in the middle of the park again and again prior to Valencia pushing further forward. Maybe a Park on the right with Valencia would be better because Park is use to finding space in the middle of the park, especially in the attacking third. Allow Nani more freedom on the left and cutting back on his right foot is his best attribute imo and is certainly very capable with his right foot.

    On Rooney I think he has sacrificed for our club. Maybe not much lately (last two weeks) but he has in the past. He has played out of position roles on numerous occasions and did so to great effect when Ronaldo graced Old Trafford. I agree with Mr.C regards to Rooney playing in behind the strikers in a deeper role as a creator. Further I agree with Sparks that he does sacrifice and even yesterday he was moved all over the field during the game and in games were things aren’t going particularly well he puts too much pressure on himself to “make things happen.” Further his off-field behavior puts even more pressure on him to perform.

    @ Sparks and Mr C – Rooney as an AMF instead of a second striker which elevates some defensive duties leads to him having to drop back further to get involved and playing as an AMF would have him deeper from the start. Deeper as an AMF behind two strikers leaves me concerned however as I think we would lose too much width. Especially when you consider our defense has been severely weakened due to Vidic’s injury we would have to play very narrow against City to deal with their threats. I think an AMF with one forward would be a good option with Carrick and Anderson behind him and one of the many options more forward but I like Welbeck the best for Sunday but Berba is certainly another good option to lead the line as Sparks pointed out he did a good job last season. I lean toward Welbeck because he has more speed and can do a better job stretching Kompany and Lescott (since the Toures’s will be on the way to Africa.)

  49. Sparkz says:

    Yepp, I’m a massive fan of Danny, him and Rooney is our best combo IMO. For what its worth though, I’d start with just one up top on Sunday and string 5 across the middle.

  50. sleeksam says:

    BA looks the real deal
    anyone……… :-|


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