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Reactions To Victory Over Newcastle

1. That was the best United performance for months. Newcastle had lost one game at home in 2012 and today we bossed them. We started the game brilliantly, at long last, and even when Newcastle started to come back in to the game, we managed to stop them from scoring. The ten minutes leading up to half-time were vital, with Newcastle looking more confident, so to go in 2-0 up was crucial. Sir Alex Ferguson picked the right players in the right formation to get the job done and it was great to watch.

2. Both full-backs were excellent defensively and offensively today, which is not something you get to say too often. Ben Arfa, who is clearly very tricky and talented, was kept out of the game. Whilst Rafael da Silva has gone from strength to strength this season, showing himself to be a competent defender as well as being impressive on the attack, Patrice Evra has been poor. Today, whilst he was caught out of position once or twice, for the most part he was spot on. The goal was just the icing on the cake. It’s not often you see Evra dashing in to the penalty area to get his head on the end of a cross and it’s even more rare to see his attempt end up in the back of the net.

3. Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans were also solid at the back again today. After receiving criticism for being outpaced by Bale last weekend, Rio was back to his best and Evans also managed to cap his performance with a goal. It was an excellent ball in from Robin van Persie and a top header from Evans. It looked just like the kind of goal we concede all too regularly. It’s rare that we’d get two goals from corners and maybe that tells us who should be on corner taking duties. Hint: not Nani or Giggs.

4. The Man of the Match award went to Wayne Rooney and that was justified. He played deep and in Paul Scholes’ absence was dictating the pace of the game. Since returning from his injury he looks very sharp. All he is missing now is a goal. A player who rivalled him for the best on the pitch today was Tom Cleverley who looked very comfortable in our midfield. Ahead of kick-off, looking at the likes of Gutierrez, Tiote and Cabaye in Newcastle’s midfield, there was the worry we’d be overrun, as we so usually are, in the centre of the park. We got it just right today and Cleverley really looked to be enjoying himself. He scored our third goal and it was a beauty. Did he mean it? Van Persie was taking up a good position in the box so there was the suggestion he was trying to get in a cross. Who cares, it will go probably go down as our best goal of the month.

5. Amongst all the positives, Danny Welbeck will be disappointed he didn’t get his name on the scoresheet today. He just isn’t clinical enough in front of goal at times and that is incredibly frustrating. He does all the hard work, hassles and harries the opposition, gets himself in to brilliant positions, but he just seems to lose his nerve at the last minute. With just over ten minutes played he should have been on his hattrick. The first chance came after a brilliant ball from Cleverley was brought down by Van Persie, backheeled on nicely by Evans, only for Welbz to scuff his shot. Soon afterwards, he forced Harper in to losing possession and had an open goal to aim at. He wasn’t even close though. His work ethic is great and when his finishing comes, he’ll be pretty unstoppable. Patience.

6. Shinji Kagawa had a fairly anonymous game out on the right but was only filling in for Antonio Valencia, who came off the bench to show he has recovered from his injury which saw him leave training on crutches a couple of weeks ago.

7. On a different day, we might have been made to pay the price for some indecision from De Gea. He should be our first choice keeper, he is the best one we’ve got and we’ve got to be patient with him. But after a good performance midweek, he seemed more nervous again today. He’s an easy target for opponents, who love to push in to him and pull on his shirt to put him off. Too often he was caught flapping instead of just taking charge of the situation. Post match, Ferguson said he was happy with his performance though. The sooner we stop this stupid rotation, the better.

8. Being entirely honest, I’m surprised by our performance today. Not because I haven’t thought we’re capable of playing like that, but because I haven’t been able to work out why it took us weeks in the season to put in a shift like we did in the second half against Spurs. We have some fantastic players but you just start to wonder how long it’s going to take to click, and if/when it does click, whether it will be good enough and not too late to make a difference. We picked up where we left off against Spurs, it was reassuring to see us play as we did today and I hope we get to see more of the same over the coming months.

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. Proverb says:

    Newcastle manager Alan Pardew accuses Robin van Persie of elbowing Cabaye-
    Its sad to see, its a manager asking for a player to be punished, not the same as asking for a yellow card to be shown during the game?
    Only the goal which imo I think the official should have given it. But in the has been a lot of incidents where the ball does cross the line but without touching the ground and being given. The were really starting pile on the pressure had it been given it would of been a whole different scenario

  2. Zibbie says:

    STR your cunts and wurms are in full force,

    They are slowly killing what is RoM, I have to skip 50% of all who post. I have thick skin and laugh at the low life scum HAHA!


  3. Zibbie says:

    prevert going as a women for Hollows Eve? Just so hard to pick between, nasty nurse, Dorothy or Cher. NO NO Liza!

  4. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Hamzah, Agree with you about Stam and Ronny Johnsen. My problem with Stam was his abrasive attitude toward Fergie. If Fergie and Stam could have stood each other for 2+ more years we would talk about Stam much more than we do now. Absolutely top class for us but not long on the book unfortunately.

  5. Zibbie says:

    Hello Fletch, great game.
    Rio and Evans
    Rooney go find the game!
    Fletch off to the Nat side!!!?!!

  6. FletchTHEMAN says:


    Hate the FA meddling with a passion, but you could see this one coming from a ways off:

    ASHLEY COLE Charged.

  7. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Zibbie, Cheers mate. PS Hope you bring some sanity on here. Some lads having a bad day at the office I fear. ;)

    We can all laugh at Chelsea…… I almost felt sorry for DiMateo at the presser when journos told him about ColeGate. Robertos whole posture just slouched, Done like a kipper! :lol:

  8. altyred says:

    RVP will be banned for 3 games because of all the bitter ABUs spouting their nonsense about an ‘assault’ and the FA is weak and will cave in to the pressure. Nothing in it for me, Tiote’s stamp was much worse, but there you go.

    We’d better start preparing for life without him but I think we’ll be OK – as we saw yesterday the whole team is chipping in with goals and Rooney is more key in linking up the play than him, it would also be good to give Chich a run of games in the side and help him to find his form.

  9. Corea says:

    So refreshing!
    Time for Nani to do just that ? Oh, really ? :)

    Love Ashley Young.

  10. Proverb says:

    Corea :P cheers for that link brought a little smile just in time after the pleb had tried to piss me off..[I understand this kind, its one who need garlic oil spread around their body so they feel important]
    Great seeing ash having some fun there :D

  11. FletchTHEMAN says:

    GREAT NEWS. Hope it’s true:

    No further action on RvP. FA confirmed. via Mark Ogden

  12. Joffrey Baratheon says:

    Good news about Van Persie. It would have been a joke had he received a three match ban for tickling someone. At last some common sense from the FA.

  13. Proverb says:

    Oof, thankfully!!
    Wayne rooney & van persie’s partnership will really gel now
    Ha #FA trending on twitter wankers calling it the ferguson association jeez, why would anyone in their right mind think RVP deserve punishment for that incident which imo think there was nothing intentional

  14. FletchTHEMAN says:

    @Joffrey, You can bet it didn’t have anything to do with the FA as they are only too happy to ban United players.

    Reports from BBC are as follows:

    The FA will NOT be taking any further action against Van Persie, Huth or Tiote from this weekend.
    Howard Webb reviewed Robin Van Persie incident and didn’t consider it to be act of violent conduct.
    Regarding Tiote and Huth, at least one of the match officials witnessed the incidents and so the FA don’t take retrospective action.

  15. Redbilly says:

    Flletch- of course the media will imply Webb is in SAF,s pocket as will certain fans but thats bitterness for you. Right decision .

  16. SHINJI THE NINJA says:

    @united til I die

    Ironically I am not looking for everyone to agree with ME
    seems that you are though.

    and because you have been found out you have to resort to the name calling.
    I cant argue with an idiot like you as you are just trying to drag me down to your level and then of course you will win by experience.

    great post. Really insightful and well made comment.
    You are what makes the forum great.
    “Shit covered cocks” – Classy

  17. utd will never die says:

    Ninja you’re not a Red the comments about wanting to see Mike Phelan cleaning the coach and emptying portable toilets was vile and no Utd fan would be so disrespectful against a loyal servant also a decent bloke.Pretty well all your posts show disrespect so why don’t you fuck off,people just need to ignore your vile dribble

  18. Adam says:

    samuel – united WE stand says:
    “yet another overreaction and extreme exaggeration regarding regarding danny. How can he lack in several key components needed at the highest level yet be a marksman at the club. Those that only judge a player based on if they have scored, overlooking their all round contributions.”

    Actually my earlier comment, and the one you quoted mention many other things about Wellbeck that are frustrating to watch, least of which is his lack of goals. Rooney for example can go games without scoring, yet nobody would argue his contribution to the tempo of the game or overall contribution to the team. Wellbeck however, different story. Does he have skills? Yes, he’s not a “pub” player. But something is wrong there. Could be his confidence level, that’s why I’m thinking he should be offloaded for a year loan to see if things change. Having him “learn on the job” and fumble, trip, make the wrong pass, be wasteful with shots, linger on the ball and be “surprised” losing the ball etc leading the line at united is not acceptable imo. You need to get your shit together quickly and show you deserve a spot.
    He definitely hasn’t merited keeping other “potential” talent on the bench and starting a game.

  19. rohan_19 says:

    Shinji : cut it out doomsayer. no one jumped on you.,
    you type such comments to illicit attention. sadly you are getting it.

  20. denton davey says:

    DannyTheLad’s contribution was key yesterday – defending-from-the-front.

  21. King Eric says:

    Fuck me. There are some fucking pricks on here. A great win and performance yet some (you know who you are) feel it necessary to pick fault. Ha. We should win summat EVERY season. Yeah Football is like that. Welbeck should be offloaded? Ha. Danny is fucking quality and we are a better faster more dynamic side with him in it.

    Rooney is fucking top drawer, simple as.

    My man Clevs coming good.

    Nuff said.

  22. King Eric says:

    I know fine well who SHINJI THE NIJA IS. LORD GAGA!!

  23. Wee Toms Ligaments says:

    On a more positive note …

    Evra appeared to be out of position only twice. A marked improvement from last year.

  24. King Eric says:

    What the fuck are you on about Adam? Danny go on loan? Why? been there done that. Danny runs at players with pace and power. Is dynamic. Never stops working. Has the opposition on the back foot. A great player who gets me off my seat. His finishing will come with maturity. He is a much better rounded player than Hernandez.

  25. Adam says:

    Is he more rounded then hernandez, totally..and yes he gets me excited when he starts to run at players, but then seems to draw a blank..more often than not all the good work he does is completely wasted…

  26. LonestarRed says:

    Well Played United.

  27. Daniel says:

    De Gea
    Rafael Evans Ferdinand Evra

    4-4-2 … Cleverley Anderson Kagawa Valencia Rooney Van Persie. This is all action for teams at home when we want to drop the hammer.

    4-1-2-1-2 … Fletcher Cleverley Anderson Kagawa Rooney Van Persie. This is the wingless monstrosity we have been playing recently. This formation suits Kagawa.

    4-3-3 … Fletcher Cleverley Anderson Rooney Valencia Van Persie. The standard away from home formation. Pack the middle fill in the sides good for control or counter.

    Insert Carrick, Nani, Young, Hernandez … well not Hernandez and Wellbeck as per your preference.

  28. Legend(Giggs) says:

    Shinji is a moron, dont waste yo tym with him coz this fucking ninja is from merseyside(Liverpool fan).
    You idiots dont realise hw much Danny gives 2 da team, his work rate and marking is incredible but you forget that Danny is only 22yrs, he will get better, we should not condemn da player but encourage him, i do admit though Danny can frustrate you at times just like Nani but unlike Nani Danny work hard for da team.

    Anyway why are you fuckers so negative so early in da season, never write off United.

  29. Football In Numbers says:

    This was an excellent performance by United. They looked sharp and totally dominated Newcastle for large parts of the game.

    My colleague at Football In Numbers had the pleasure of writing the match analysis for this game. Have a look as there are some interesting observations;


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