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Reactions To Victory Over QPR

1. Whenever a side sacks their manager you have to worry about what impact it will have on their players ahead of the next game. Mark Hughes, who has had a dismal time at QPR, was sacked before the game and new manager Harry Redknapp was watching from the stands. “There’s only one Harry Redknapp!” the away fans sung and their players seemed genuinely motivated to perform. They had only picked up 1 point from their six away trips before yesterday but on their first half showing you’d struggle to point out which team was going for top of the table and which team was at the bottom. QPR didn’t look good but neither did United, although the away side looked handy enough of the break and we offered little when in the final third. Still, as Ferguson said after the game, we played properly for ten or fifteen minutes and this was enough to win us the game, illustrating just how poor that QPR side is.

2. Paul Scholes is a genius and for much of this season he has been one of our most effective players. His performances against Southampton away and Spurs in the second half were a joy to behold. He so often pulls the strings for us and despite having just turned 38-years-old, he still has so much to offer. Yesterday was a rare off day for him though and he seemed fairly determined to pick up his fifth yellow card of the season that sees him banned for a game. With just ten minutes played he had already been given his last warning by the ref but managed to last until the 55th minute until he was booked. Fergie subbed him off almost instantly and as the manager commented, Anderson changed the game. We had been so slow on the attack, which wasn’t helped by the formation and lack of wingers, but Ando upped the tempo. Instead of looking to pick a pass, he just charged forward from midfield with the ball at his feet and really gave the QPR defence something to think about. Within 15 minutes of him coming on, United went from 1-0 down to 3-1 up, with him assisting the third goal. The Brazilian is long overdue a start in the league. Can we expect that for West Ham and Reading? Let’s hope so. Anderson’s United career has fallen in to a horrible cycle of him playing well, picking up a long term injury, returning to look half arsed and not good enough, picking up and playing well, then getting injured again. Hopefully he can be given a long run in the team now to prove what he can do and break the cycle of injuries.

3. Whilst I’ve singled out Scholes, that is more to provide a direct comparison with what Anderson brought to the game, but there were much worse performers than him on the pitch. Ashley Young, yet again, looked very poor, and I do wonder what it is the manager thinks he brings to the team. He won’t run past players, his crosses hit the first defender, his freekicks go in to the wall and he loses possession regularly. In the attacking third, he completed as many passes as Jonny Evans and half as many as Rio Ferdinand. I don’t doubt his effort, I genuinely believe that Young is trying hard when he’s on the pitch, but he just doesn’t seem good enough. He’s 27-years-old and has been at the club for over a season, so now he should be at his peak. Maybe a string of games will help him improve but right now he looks to be a poor man’s Nani, but it’s the Portuguese winger we’ll sadly be kicking out in January/next summer.

4. Danny Welbeck didn’t do himself any favours yesterday either but then he was played out of position. He could have had a goal to his name seconds before he was taken off if Robin van Persie had played it across goal for a simple tap in, instead of lashing it in to the side netting. It was a frustrating afternoon for our strikers, with Wayne Rooney probably having the best day of the lot thanks to two great corners but he was prone to having the ball pinched off him too easily. Maybe the blame for that can be the slowness of the game before the changes with half an hour to go, but they just didn’t seem at the races. Rooney had two shots on target in 90 minutes and Van Persie had one. When you consider this is the worst team in the league we were playing, at home, it doesn’t look great. The conditions probably didn’t help though, with Van Persie slipping and sliding all over the place, but it would be good to see them back on the scoresheet midweek.

5. That said, who needs goalscoring strikers when you have a homegrown defender and midfielder coming up with the goods? Evans has now scored 3 goals in his past 7 games, a record that mirrors Rooney’s recent form, having previously scored just one goal for the club. He was solid in defence but is looking more and more confident coming forward too. He looked chuffed to bits when wheeling away in celebration and, had we not still had a game to go out and win, would have likely indulged in the crowd’s adulation more than he did, but it was straight back for the restart. It was a Rooney corner and a Welbeck head down that set up our equaliser. The goal that put us ahead came directly from a Rooney corner and it was Darren Fletcher, scoring his first goal since the consolation one he grabbed for us in the game we do not speak of last season, whose header found the back of the net. He had a fairly unremarkable game, although did see the ball more than any of our players, but it was brilliant to see his name on the scoresheet again.

6. After scoring so many goals from the bench, Chicharito was rewarded with a place in our starting line-up last weekend when Rooney was missing. The whole team were unimpressive but Hernandez did little to show the boss why he should move up in pecking order. Yesterday, he had one attempt on goal and it wrapped up the game for us. Hernandez is a brilliant finisher, who often needs just one chance to score, and I’d be tempted to keep him on the bench. Start him in the cup games and give him half an hour or so in the league to keep him happy. If he doesn’t play regularly for us, there are plenty of other teams who will be keen to give him more minutes on the pitch, so we have to get the right balance. Van Persie and Rooney are rightly our first choice but Hernandez is a brilliant option to have. He averages a goal every 60 minutes this season which is incredibly impressive when you compare him to other strikers like Dzeko (one goal per every 68 minutes), Suarez (one every 108 minutes), Ba (one every 121 minutes), Van Persie (one every 129 minutes) and Tevez (one every 154 minutes).

7. Rafael da Silva and Patrice Evra quietly got on with their job and were rarely caught out of position, which is probably the biggest flaw for the both of them. Rafael has gone from strength to strength this season and Evra, whilst suffering from poor form for the best part of two seasons, has really upped his game in recent weeks. The goal conceded was down to poor positioning though, but from goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard and probably Rio Ferdinand, who was marking nobody as Mackie came in unmarked behind him for a simple tap in. Lindegaard didn’t have much to do but was unimpressive for their goal. David de Gea is our number 1. Business as usual next week please.

8. Throughout the first half and particularly when we were 1-0 down, my mind kept wandering to the obligatory Harry Redknapp interview that would follow. Unable to keep the grin out of his voice, he would hail the triffic performance and the triffic team spirit, and I just couldn’t bear it. Watching MOTD last night I saw that odious melt-face didn’t even bother smiling when QPR took the lead, let alone applauding. It goes without saying I will be delighted if we are champions in May, but I would also be very pleased to see that lot relegated.

9. For an hour we looked poor yesterday. We had no ideas and our play was very slow. This season will be the easiest in years to win the league, for the team that really wants it, because everyone at the top looks fairly naff on a pretty regular basis. When you look at the talent in our team, and in that of City and Chelsea, it’s hard to believe the standard of football has been so low. It was a huge defeat last weekend and one we couldn’t really afford right now. We got the result we want at Stamford Bridge today and now we have to win our up coming games to stay there, but we should be top by a comfortable margin. Essentially, all that matters is the points, but I want us to get in to a run of good form so we don’t have to be worrying that every game is going to produce a result like the Everton, Spurs and Norwich games did. The title is there for the taking. Let’s bloody well go and get it!

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. Rohan_19 says:

    I think wee toms ligament is right..
    Scholes is still our best passer. However, i think we need to switch to a three man midfield to accomodate him.. At 38 he cAnt be expected to do all the running.. A midfield of fletcher scholes ando/cleverly would work very well at cutting out the midfield lapses i feel.
    Our wingers havent set the epl alight this season so we could play the diamond once more..

  2. Rohan_19 says:

    For west ham,

    Smalling rio evans evra
    Anderson cleverly
    Rvp welbeck

    Jones in place of rafa to counter west ham’s long haired pillock on set pieces..

  3. LexxytheRED says:

    Laughing whenever you criticise a frankly abysmal performance and the next thing that comes out of some people here is that you are a troll or muppet or stuffs like that.
    Listen to yourself, what I think you lots don’t like hearing others opinion, the self righteous I am always right mentally.
    Telling you Giggs and Scholes needs to do a Gary Neville doesn’t make us plastics……. It shows we have better eyes and a little bit of courage than you to say it without being afraid of being called a plastic or troll.

    Note: wayne

  4. mansuy united says:

    I’ve posted a few comments about Young and have to concur with Scott, he’s not United material. Or rather, he does little to nothing to justify a starting place. I’ve heard plenty of folks say that he tracks back, his positional sense is good, etc. but nothing to validate him as an attacking winger. Nani, almost counter-intuitively, is more selfless a player when he’s filled with confidence and playing weekly. He tries to earn his spot back with tricks and goals when he’s been out a while, and really just ends up hurting his chances. Give him a solid run and let him lay claim to that left wing spot.

    Am I the only one who wouldn’t mind seeing Evra get a run on the left wing as well? His attacking play, even these past two seasons where he’s been generally poor, has been very impressive. His crossing, dribbling, and passing is good. He has been a pretty poor defender recently. I’d get rid of Young, bring in Baines, and let Evra and Nani handle the left wing. (Welbeck/Rooney if need be.) I know it’s kind of a ridiculous idea, but I’d love to see Evra as our left winger, if only for a spell.

  5. LexxytheRED says:

    mansuy united

    Its not a bad idea, in fact its great. Play Buttner at LB and Paddy in front am sure they will compliment each other like Rafa and Valencia. Young is struggling

  6. bayoRed says:

    There is NO excuse for not starting Anderson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. lordrt says:

    Ando and Chicharito were the one to bring on the attacking punch required, but it does seem that RvP looks tired, may be he needs a rest in midweek before eventually bring called back for the weekend. However Chicharito is best played super-sub, as the last time he started he gave nothing while coming on from the bench seems to energize him.

  8. eatom says:

    I find the support for De Gea as the #1 keeper inexplicable. He is an average keeper at best, constantly unsure and out of position. He makes saves he should be falling on with his feet and general lacks any authority in his box. Lindergaard is the superior keeper.

  9. Costas says:

    Wouldn’t call Scholes one of our most effective players this season. Not in terms of the defending he does. Or I should say, doesn’t do.

    Fergie has to strike the right balance in that midfield. Because we either play a winger system with either Scholes or Giggs in midfield or a diamond with Tom, Anderson and Fletcher in it.

  10. Dela says:

    @Saurabh —> Lad, that’s exactly what people were saying on here before we went to Anfield and Stamford Bridge. We managed to beat Liverpool even though they were in cup final mode as per usual, and we put 2 past Chelsea within 12 minutes at Stamford Bridge, They came back into it but we held on for the win. The point I’m making is we can perform when we need to. The problem we have now is a phenomenon that affects so many clubs… we are winning games we worry about the most, and struggling against the weaker teams.

    Yes, City put 6 past us just over a year ago, but everyone seems to forget the team we had out, and the fact that when we went down to 10 men after Evan’s red card, we had exactly 2 real defenders on the pitch, and no options on the bench. It was hard enough to imagine even a draw when it was 11 v 11, but when we lost Evans it was over. I actually wish fletch hadn;t scored, because as soon as he did, the players pushed forward looking to try to get back the 2 goals that separates us and we were caught out very badly. 3 of City’s goals came in the last 5 minutes of the game, when our ten man thrown together team were run ragged. It sucked, but it was predictable as soon as Evans went off

    What annoyed me to no end was how Fergie took the pace off the team when we were beating City 3-1 at the Etihad in the FA Cup. Had he not done that, we were looking at putting 6 passed them too, but instead Fergie decided to play defensively and they almost pulled it back to 3-3 instead. But then again, it’s end product that matters.

    But ye, don’t worry too much about the game against City. We can beat them, we have the players, and we have the team. The team I hope we can put out is…

    DDG; Evra, Evans, Rio, Rafa; Young, Anderson, Cleverley, Valencia; Rooney, RvP

    With Chicharito, Scholes and Nani the subs I’d like to see come on.

  11. parryheid says:


    There is every excuse for not starting Anderson.For starters he is at best an thirty minute player.

  12. United Till I Die says:

    For the love of God do not start Anderson at West Ham.

  13. calebkzh says:

    parryheid, he *was* a 30 minute player, last time we saw him start, but you have to ask yourself when that was. Haha.

  14. parryheid says:


    maybe because it was thought he could improve on the 15 minute appearance he got against ten men Arsenal.

  15. kk says:

    Chicharito should start. You cant compare him to the others or just say he doesnt do it from the start. He gets no service when he start. We have been starting matches poorly. He gets to play when we are chasing the match and what does that show, the team has more urgency and they will try and get the ball to the strikers. It isn’t good just saying he is good as a sub, I would like him to be given the same opportunities as the others then we can make a good comparison. The game is a bit faster when we are down or going for the win.

  16. denton davey says:

    kk @ 14:52: “Chicharito should start. You cant compare him to the others or just say he doesnt do it from the start. He gets no service when he start.”

    Also, he often starts in games NOT featuring RVP and TheWayneBoy so that, in-and-of-itself, means he’s playing with second-stringers.

    To get the best out of Chicharito, SAF needs to play an “attacking diamond” with TheMexicutioner up-front, TheWayneBoy and RVP in the hole, and KagawaBunga linking midfield with attack. Playing Anderson or Cleverley in the midfield doesn’t hurt, either.

  17. Tope99 says:

    Our wingers are all poor,they should have a goal scoring threat + scholes and Giggs spoil the whole midfield,we play against fast teams and scholes just stares at people going past him.
    And everyone knows man utd wont win the champions league,our group just makes people have a little hope but if we don’t look competetive to any big team.juventus would do us more ham than they did to Chelsea because Chelsea play better than us and no one can argue about that & I will also state that SAF may have paid the officials that match

  18. wayne says:

    Tope99 wtf you rambling on about ffs correct me if i’m wrong but Utd are top Rent Boys were? and did you miss the game when Utd went to the bridge and won.Oh i’m fairly sure Utd are through to the next round of the CL and Rent Boys on the brink of elimination.Relying on a washed up trannyboy who wouldn’t get a sniff at OT a manager who comes right out of a Faulty Towers episode and a owner who is fucking clueless
    Yeah i’m really worried about the Rent Boys solid all the way through

  19. King Eric says:

    wayne – Don’t even bother mate. As you know I used to get vexed on here but it isn’t worth the fucking energy pal! Ha Rentboys better than United. They are fucking dogshit and miss Terry, Lampard, Drogba, Kalou, Malouda, Alex, Boswinga badly. Most of the aforementioned are shit BUT they were winners. Current Chelsea side are a bunch of fucking fags and I am getting seriously tired of Martin Tyler and his ridiculous “3 Amigos” comment for Mata, Oscar and “Azaar”. Only one of them is even fucking Spanish. Also every cunt saying “Oooh Madrid are SO good”. City battered them second half and they got done at Betis on Saturday.

  20. pablo says:

    lexxy the red cheers pal cos my opinion differs from wayne im some sort of troll.we dont always have to agree and ill say it how it not happy withthe current level of performances and some players just arent playing up to standard.for some reason wayne thinks im being negative.ill be there on wednesday cheering on the lads hoping for a win but hopefully a win with style and conviction that gives me hope for a derby game coming up that could literally decide the title.

  21. diablored says:

    Young should NEVA have been bought! The concept of team depth, is about having players who can put in a shift, when asked to eg. Chicha, Ole, Oshea etc. If we are 2-0 down, if you were the coach, would u even consider putting in Young to do anything?? The very best wingers(Ronaldo, Ribery, Neymar) don’t track-back, so its not something we can use as an reason for playing him as a winger. He’s just an upgrade of Downing which really isn’t sayn much! Y oh Y, dnt we jus get real players, and start challenging fo Europe again!? To truly honour Fergie we need 1more CL-his Holy Grail! Get Nani and Kagawa fit again, PLAY them in the Diamond, and give our superior front line good service….GAME OVER! We’l kill ev1!

  22. Adamcy says:

    Right on point Scoot as always, To all the Asley Young bashers, he did pretty well last season and added widht to our wing with plethora of options whit his crossing abilities and goals which contributed a lot last season, his not recaapture his form this season and looks below par but will get their with a little bit of push and competition from Nani and Danny, Rafael has improved in leaps and bounds this season and i can say is our best in defence with exception oif Evans and Vida this season. My real concern how we start games this season looking ordinary and below par only to be alert after going down which is bad for a long term prospects of winning the league and other competitions this season.


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