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Reactions to the draw with Spurs

1. Today’s game against Spurs was described as a “must win” by some. The problem with dropping points against teams you shouldn’t is that when you have more difficult games, like Tottenham away, the pressure is on to win. We drew with Cardiff just a week before Arsenal breezed past them at the same ground. So today became a “must win”. The problem is that Spurs got battered 6-0 last weekend, meaning they were more hungry than they usually would be to get a result against United.

2. Spurs took the lead twice and twice United managed to recover. Depending on whether your glass is half full or empty, it’s either desperately disappointing that we fell behind twice, or encouraging that we had the mental resolve to come back from both goals. We needed that third though and after equalising for the second time I thought we’d be on for it. But the proper fight back never really came and as disappointing as it may be, 2-2 was probably a fair result.

3. Their first goal came when Phil Jones failed to command the edge of the area, following by a desperate challenge from Jonny Evans. The wall jumped over Kyle Walker’s freekick which lead to plenty of criticism. Personally, I think it was fairly harsh. If the wall stayed rooted and Walker cleared the wall and curled the ball in to the top corner, what would people be saying? I suppose the problem really was the lack of preparation. Apparently Walker was always going to rely on the power he can put behind his shot and blast it towards goal, so maybe they should have known better. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though.

4. Their second goal was a fantastic strike from Sandro and De Gea just stood and watched it fly in to the top corner. No keeper could get near that. It was frustrating to see Tom Cleverley give Sandro all the space he wanted to get the shot away though. It was a better performance from Cleverley than we’ve seen recently, with the odd clever ball forward, but he’s still miles away than what we should expect from our midfielders.

5. The game, from our perspective at least, was all about Wayne Rooney. Now only Sergio Aguero has more goals and assists in the league than Rooney, after scoring twice to salvage a point for us today. The first goal came from a good Jones cross, who was making amends for his dilly dallying for the first, which Walker kindly cushioned down in to Rooney’s path. He was never going to miss from there. The second came from the penalty spot and I won’t claim I was overly confident as he stepped up to take it. His penalty taking record is poor for a striker, to the point that he took himself off duty and passed it on to Robin van Persie after missing so many, so it was easy to imagine him missing. Not only did he score, but he thumped it down the centre of the goal, indicating just how confident he is at the moment. Nemanja Vidic and Danny Welbeck both deserve some credit for that goal too though, with our captain making a crunching tackle to win back possession ahead of Welbeck getting in to a great position and managing to take the ball away from the keeper to win the pen.

6. With most players putting in totally underwhelming shifts, most notably Shinji Kagawa, both in his preferred position and out on the left, Antonio Valencia did a good job down the right. He completed more passes than any opposition player, only one player on either side completed more passes in the final third, he created the most chances for United and he successfully beat his man on more occasions than any player on the pitch. He’s still not quite at his best but it’s encouraging to see such improvement this season.

7. Chris Smalling isn’t a right back. I like him a lot, I think he’s got a bright future at the club, but in the centre of defence, not as a full-back. It’s utterly baffling as to why Moyes persists in starting him there and leaving Rafael on the bench. The latter may not be match fit after picking up an injury against Fulham a month ago, but if he’s ready to be a sub, then surely he’s ready for some minutes on the pitch too.

8. There’s no getting away from the fact today’s result was a disappointing one, particularly when you consider that our rivals are picking up the points. We’re still just about keeping up with the pace but we’re long past the point where we can really afford to drop points. Our unbeaten run now stretches 12 games, which is positive to a certain extent, but far too many of those games have been draws. There were large chunks of today’s game where we played good football, passing the ball around nicely, but we need to get the points on the board.

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. Tommy says:


    While beating Arsenal always feels good, it was just another win against Arsenal, no where as good as Barca in 08 as you said, not to be anyway! The win against Arsenal feels a bit pointless now as we were 8 behind going into that game but now we are 9 behind, what a waste the last 2 games have been!

  2. Tommy says:


    I would have thrown Fellani on last 15 mins today, hes a handful for any defence, nothing else was working change it up a little bit, instead he brought on 2 wingers. I remember him causing our defence all kinds of problems, sure we dont play that style but when all else had failed try something new!

  3. John says:

    @Tommy…mate, try to get the humour out of it!..the equation with Arsenal seems to have reversed this season after nearly a decade, is something I expected you to understand by mentioning Barca. However,…..

  4. Tommy says:


    Its late mate, was up all night watching the boxing then a stupid kick off time as I mentioned earlier so feeling drowsy, thats my excuse anyway haha

  5. samuel - united WE stand says:

    So you purchase footballer for that amount and with that experience and the best method to get the best out of him is to stick him up like a bamboo stick? Fellaini never dominated any premier league,
    as a central midfielder, he caused mayhem because he is 6ft 5 and powerful.. Of course he would trouble teams aerially..

    As a central midfielder, fellaini does not have the required attributes needed at united. Give him the season to prove himself but that won’t hide his lack of attributes needed.

  6. John says:

    Andre Villas Boas Vs (Neil Ashton + Martin Samuel)…haha, what the fuck is wrong with these 2 wolves with agendas of ‘arry Redknapp??

  7. NefariousVirtuoso88 says:

    @ Sparkz
    Our central midfielders are extremely average problems are in abundance. I’d counter this problem by having the whole team press. Besides with Anderson and Cleverley we will keep and move the ball much better. I would have them all press every game. We need to be positive and get the ball to our front two who can make the difference. They are the best of bad options.

    The changes were wrong and far too late. I wanted to mention this but my post was already too long.

  8. Tommy says:


    I stated he has a right to be pissed off that hes not in the team when a defender is playing midfield, all the other midfielders currently on the payrol at United also have a right to be cheesed off but as always you twist peoples words! The situation required something different simple as that! I didnt know you were a regualar watcher of Evertons games to pass judgement, judging a player after a few games embarressing really!

  9. Tommy says:


    Bet you didnt know Fergie tried to sign him in 2008 as a defensive midfielder after outstanding performences for Standard Liege including dominating Gerrard against Liverpool in a european game, I also recall him having man of the match performance against city, a game in which yaya played and he was a defensive midfilder, but I suppose I dont watch Everton week in and week out so I bow down to someone like yourself who goes to Goodison all the time!!

  10. John says:

    @Tommy…Felliani has been playing in the same league for about 5 years so there is nothing wrong in talking about his attributes. However, I think people should may be stop connecting his transfer fee and expection level coz of it from him as we already know what he is capable of. He is equal to what we have got already interms of let him settle with that expectation level as we all know the huffs and puffs of summer transfer window.

  11. Tommy says:


    Exactly whats his price tag got to do with anything? Mentioning it is sad, very sad, Also would you not trust the managers judgement, hes worked with him for 5 years and should know if hes got the attributes requireed but then again some people didnt want him and as such are not going to give him any chance, If he is outstanding on wedensday he wont get any praise from the likes of samuel who claims hes giving him a year haha he didnt even give him 5 mins before juding!!

  12. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Tommy – you wouldn’t know me to know what teams I keep my eye on.. You still live in the pre-historic times if you think it isn’t possible to catch up on a lot of games.. I’ve watched enough premier league games as a whole and i’ve never seen fellaini dominate a game in central midfield with pure quality… What I know is his ability to cause issues inside the 18yard box. People that mark fellaini out as “needing time” and tagging as much excuses to him make me laugh, He’s played 5 years of premier league footballer, he has no need to settle or understand the game in the premier league. He is 26 now and close to his peak like ashley young was when he arrived. These players, they are rightly expected to step up straight away.

    Fellaini will have the right to be pissed off when he actually puts in a decent performance to justify the hefty price tag. Defenders are played ahead of him because they are more effective. Jones is not a central mid but he has more of the attribute needed more so than fellaini..

    The situation requires something different and that won’t be fellaini.. Bringing a 27mill player and stick him up top as an “option” sums the belgian man up, that’s as low as it gets.. Paint it however you like. I’m not twisting your words as I don’t care enough to do so but what i’ve picked on is the idea fellaini, a supposed solution to a creaking central midfield would be an option up front when he can’t even perform efficiently in the position he was bought for.

    United have hernandez, why would they need fellaini up front?

  13. samuel - united WE stand says:

    I will mention fellaini’s pricetag if I want.. I’m not here to tag with anyone’s thoughts. 27 fucking mill.. it’s significant cash that could have purchased the player with the right attributes. I’m not stating the pricetag is the be all and end all but it is still significant..

    I have enough to analyse fellaini, his 5years at everton was enough for me to know he lacked the attributes of a top class central midfielder. He’s played 3 of the 5 seasons as a second striker for everton. Bulldozing teams and timing late runs. How can fellaini be purchased to solve a central.mid when his best form or shall we say the hype he gathered have come as a centreforward?.. I said it when he arrived, he will be given one season as a united player and I hope he steps up but i’m not afraid to state he lacks what united need, he just hasn’t got what united need to really kick on further and if you will spend significantly, why not get a player with the right attributes. The excuses are getting ridiculous for the belgian and it’s getting drowsy.

  14. Tommy says:


    On about the price tag again haha, jealous no one considers you worth buying, Mentioning the price is about as tedius and embaressing as writing a player off before they had even played a game. @Wayne is spot on when he said those who criticise players without giving them a chance are not proper fans, city fans do that and I and many other reds laugh at them for it but now we have the likes of you doing that (Use the term fan very loosely with regards to you), A lad mentioned the other day if United went into a period of decline it would get rid of the cunts, spot on! I value Moyes opinion who has worked with the lad for 5 years over yours any day of the fucking week!!

  15. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Tommy – two games against liverpool and that somehow gives justification to issue a transfer? In the standard liege game, I actually though axel witsel was better than him and looking on, witsel is the better player. While fellaini caused mayhem aerially and ran himself like a nuisance, witsel was the more technical, cultured, better passer and reader of the game. I don’t remember fergie showing interest in him and if that was true, I would have my doubts.

    He didn’t domibate yaya. Let’s be frankly honest now, he’s no where near the ivorian in quality. Tom cleverley dominated yaya at city when united won 3-2, would we say cleverley is even near him overall?… You’re nit-picking fellaini games but fact is, most of his games have been as a false striker.

    Moyes buys him and drops him deeper and in turn, restricts fellaini from charging into the box like pamplona bull and that cuts out his effectiveness.. That’s why we are seeing a watered down fellaini, he’s been played in centralmid, a position he barely played at everton, a position that has now exposed all his frailties e.g lack of mobility, defensive awareness, lack of discipline, lack of dynamism and drive and insufficient technique. Fellaini looks out of place in central mid for united as he lacks tge attributes for the top level, this was evident even at everton..

  16. Tommy says:


    I said I dont watch Everton on a regualr basis, those are just games that stick in my mind! I dont believe Moyes is going to sign him twice unless he was good enough unless you think Moyes is a complete idiot, which hes clearly not in my opinion

  17. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Tommy – again, I don’t really care for what you think or who you believe. How low can you get? Trying to get personal because you struggle to come up with adequate debate.. I back up my opinions well and not afraid to post it… Like i’ve said, choose whatever tickles your belly. I’m basing my views on fellaini at everton, he lacked the atttibutes as a central.mid even before he arrived at united.. Your idea is that i’m not giving him a chance, you want to play the “better fan” cheerleader again and you make me laugh.. You really do.. I’ve always stated and I will break it down for your mini mind. Fellaini was linked to united as an everton player. I analysed him as an everton player and didn’t think he had the attributes required at united. Rumours grow and he signs for united, I accepted suggestions by many that you give him a season but what I will do is stick by my views and i’m doing so again, fellaini as a player does not have the required atrributes. At 26, he’s past the developmental stage, he isn’t potential, the fellaini you see now is the fellaini you will get.. Time will NOT transform fellaini’s lack of attributes. Give him the season however and I have no issue with that..

  18. John says:

    imo, I think we will buy Baines this Jan and during games like today that whiping combo could have made the difference in those last 5 or 10 mins..We need a left back and purchase of Baines seems logical atm considering everything coz it helps manager to justify felliani price tag as banging goals like lampard does is all that matters in EPL instead of midfielders for possession football (atleast we appreciate goal getters from midfield more than those helping more in build up play for goals but won’t score much themselves), games like today and cardiff putting felliani upfront as second striker and whiping it in from wing could prove the difference in those dying minutes…furthermore, Baines has worldcup place to make a case for as well…as far as playing style is concerned it doesn’t seem to matter much to club supremos as long as we get those points ANYWAY and some fans from what I have seen so far…It is sad for club like Manchester United FC to compromise on playing style and be dogmatic to adapt to the way the game is evolving!!..we need 40 year old veteran, 18 year old kid and THREE MEN Roo to bail us out instead of trying to build unto playing formation and style of play, and buying and developing player accordingly.

  19. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Tommy – Moyes has his opinion, I have mine and so do many. Moyes opinions matters the most as he is the manager. Judging by what moyes has said, it seems he didn’t have fellaini as a first option.. If he wantes him badly, he would have bought him far earlier. Let’s,adnit fellaini was the last.option when others ran out.. I hope he comes good but i’m a realist and I cannot ignore my views.

    Anyway, united should have solved the centralmid issue a while ago, the pressure wouldn’t be on fellaini to be the answer then…coming in as the only central.midfielder had all eyes on him to solve united’s problems.

  20. Tommy says:


    You started the insults calling me “pre historic” Before going on to add that I have a “mini mind” Pot calling the kettle black their me thinks!! Not that I really give a shit what you think, I do however care what Moyes thinks and even my “mini mind” can work out that he would not sign a player who hes worked with for 5 years if he did not have the required attributes but clearly I will now bow down to your superior knowledge!!

  21. Tommy says:


    Yep that I do agree with you on, the miidfield should of been improved years ago,and Fergie takes responsibilty for that its unfortunate hes the only one thats come in so all the eyes are on him, also the teams been struggling so we have not been able to bed him in properly, easier for any new player to come into a winning team and we have been poor the majority of the time this season, everyone gets a season from me but by that time they should be showing something, hopefully he will go on to prove the doubters wrong!

  22. John says:

    @Tommy…atleast Moyesy took a risk and tried to address the central midfield issue with felliani…if he hadn’t, people would have been moaning, ATLEAST WE SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT HIM. he is not the type of player i like in midfield, however, he is definetly an addition to the squad anyway..jan is there nearby!..why the fuck price tag is that much of concern when even fergie got it wrong few times ..27mills on players worth half of that is ok than Glazers taking much than that for servicing their debt.

  23. Eric Nesh says:

    Personally think Fellaini will come good for what we need of him. If we get a more techinical midfielder in the mould of Cesc of Thiago.
    Am really happy with Rooney’s performances this season after all the bashing he got from people here-keep up lad.
    I was happy with the point against Spurs what still baffles me is why we still playing Smalling at full back 2!!

  24. gra mar says:

    I was disappointed to hear some of the away fans boo Ashley Young when he came on.

    I don’t want him playing for United as I don’t think he’s good enough but I don’t like to hear our own fans boo a player in a United shirt no matter how bad he is.

    I thought we did ok. I think Smalling defends well but he’s lacking going forward and we miss Rafaels energy down the right.

    Clevery continues to underwhelm. He played ok but you get the feeling that playing ok is the best he can do.

    Shinji was poor and didn’t get involved nearly enough. I was hoping he’d shine through the middle
    but he was quiet yesterday.

  25. martin the nairobian says:

    With each passing day,moyes doing a brilliant job of turning my beloved united into boring uninspiring Ingurland..performances and distinct style of play don’t seem to matter nowadays as long as the result is achieved.this pains me more than us dropping points every now and then.
    Fergie messed up picking this clueless scot,now we’re stuck with him for the next 2 years minimum to prove we are different from shitty n the rent boys.
    Everon(h),newcastle(h) ,shaktar (h),aston villa(a),stoke (a)(coc) in the next 14 days will define our season.we could potentially be totally out of the title race,second in our ucl group and out of the c.o.c if we aren’t cautious.
    Used to be always confident of us beating anyone esp at home but of late every game is a struggle.I’m not even sure if we have it in us to beat everton at home ffs.seems the best way to win some cash nowadays is betting against us.always bottling it up and being proud of a 12 game unbeaten run with an astonishing 5 draws.smdh

  26. sir matt martin says:

    i wonder why moyes stil keep, puting round peg in square hole.. why not play fabio R. if he is fit, insted of wasting smallin at rite back, and why not play kagawa @ 10, helpin rooney, when Rvp is injurd, and why not start wit Nani at the left. against spurs. and for God sake what has Wilf Zaha don to moyes. he is way ahead of ashly young. The mind bougles

  27. martin the nairobian says:

    Kagawa shone vs leverkusen majorly because he had giggs in midfield willing to pass the ball to his feet even with an opponent marking him.
    yesterday he had jones and clevs.terrible midfielders going forward.their first option is passing the ball out wide,then backwards if an opponent is anywhere near them.hardly will they ever pass the ball forward like carrick usually does .add welbeck in place of nani whose interplay with central midfield players aint the brightest and you have yourself a team devoid of ideas on what to do when they have possesion of the ball.
    I got to admit though kagawa struggled to impose himself on the one did really.
    Rooney scored the penalty and capitalized on walkers mistake but on the overall game no one united player stood out.
    As a result we created zero chances of our own and had zero shots on goal besides the two anyone can term that a good performance ill never understand.

  28. sir matt martin says:

    @John.. i think moyes Bought the wrong mildfider in Fellaini, i wud have gon with Cabaye at newcastle insted. of waistin £27+.

  29. Seysha Suleish says:

    i look at united and i see england preparing for the world cup!!

  30. Tommy says:

    People are getting confused between having a bad game and a quiet game, The Kagawas and Ozils types need to have the ball played into them and Shinji had very little of the ball, @samuel will say good players make an impact somewhere whilist that is the case with some players the Kagawa types need to be seeing the ball, hes not gonna be running back and tackling because thats not his game!

  31. Adan Yanuzai says:

    honestly…. what is moyes doing… welbeck for nani??????????!!! playing valencia who is predictable… just drill the ball hard into the box… thats valencia… smalling with rafael on the bench????? clerverly for fucks sake who put the alwaiz back of sideways pass in his head is the way to go… he made man city look shitty sometimes 2011-2012 in the community shield… fast one touch football… taught assenal a footbaling lesson… then came that bolton mercinary sucker… coming back from the injury clevs seems out of thoughts…. him and anderson can play one touch football… why dont we play to our players strenght… that season our defense leaking goals but our fast football mesmerised opponents… they score four we score five…. THAT IS THE UNITED I WANT BACK….

  32. tallestreD says:

    Well all have been said, almost. I don’t know why we give Cleverley stick as we all know he isn’t your scholes-esque type player. I also concur that Anderson should get a nod soon. Valencia and Smalling are tidy players. Fellaini cannot be our midfield general, he’s too slow for that.

    Zaha couldn’t be worse than what we field now, can he? Position-wise our players needs to be disciplined in that regard.

  33. John says:

    @sir matt martin…there were other options as well..however the context of what I said in above posts is keeping in mind that Felliani is already our player… price tag and expectation level are directly proportional and why shouldn’t be!..but what felliani has got to do with 27millions we willingly paid to everton as he may step up a gear but not much and we knew it before we signed him. I think it was Woodward and Moyes to blame for £27 millions not felliani who was playing in everton from last 5 years…so we all knew what type of player we have got and what he can do already, which is decent squad member, not more and not less…if reports are to be believed then Strootman, Thiago were also there for taking in lesser price than Felliani..However, the context is, it is all done and dusted now and the lad Felliani should be given a breather re his price tag when others are responsible for that…say, somehow in mad world Chelsea paid 27 millions for cleverly and all know how he plays and what he is capable of already,decent but not worth that much by any stretch of imagination, now how the fuck cleverly justify that pricetag??…Won’t Jose and Roman will be to blame rather than cleverly?? me self same is the case with felliani.

  34. Harriri Mohd Noor says:

    I think its safe to think that judging from the current team performance..we have no chance to win this season EPL or Champions League. Our only best hope is to finish top four so we have the chance to qualify for Champs League. Failing which we can forget about signing marquee players.


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