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Reactions To Victory Over Sunderland

1. United played some fantastic football at times on Saturday, displaying exquisite one touch passing and lightening fast attacks, in a game that deservedly saw us pick up all three points. Like so many games before though, we just didn’t kill it off, despite creating so many clear cut chances. It would be wrong to say we had a nerve-racking finish but it was nowhere near as comfortable as it should have been. Still, we’ve scored 10 goals more than any team in the league so it’s probably a tad spoilt to complain that we aren’t scoring more. When the chances go begging it can be frustrating but more often than not we are winning, 82% of the time this season actually (City – 59% and Chelsea – 50%), so I’ll happily take this weekend’s 3-1 win.

2. On a different day, we would have scored seven. Early on, the ball fell to an unmarked Evra in the box following a corner, but even with time to compose himself he smashed the ball over the bar. Ashley Young played in a perfect cross to Van Persie who headed down to Rooney, just a few yards out, but he swung at it and watched the ball sail past the post, much to the delight of the Sunderland fans. Antonio Valencia set up Rooney but his shot was deflected against the bar and when the ball rebounded to Young he missed the target, when really he should have buried it. Finally, Young should have had another assist to his name after playing through a great ball to Van Persie, who beat the offside trap and found himself with miles of room. Instead of hitting it low and hard he opted for the chip and couldn’t get it on target. You have to think that sooner or later a team is going to get an absolute battering off us.

3. Young, after being criticised by me every week on here this season, is going from strength to strength at the moment. As a candidate for our man of the match at the Etihad, Young proved to be even more effective against Sunderland, as you would hope. Despite having two men on him, and one of them even clipping his heel in the box, he managed to get a ball in, and after a John O’Shea cock up, Van Persie placed it in the roof of the net. It was too easy for someone of Van Persie’s quality. Van Persie nearly doubled our lead after forcing a great save from the keeper after heading a Phil Jones cross.

4. Rafael has been one of our best players this season and certainly deserves his place in the starting XI, but it was interesting to see Jones in this position again. His progress tailed off towards the end of last season but on Saturday he looked like the player we grew so fond of when he first signed. Jones loves bombing forward and the Sunderland defenders couldn’t contain him. He’s a better crosser of the ball than Rafael too, so is a great option to have. Chris Smalling also put in a competent display and after struggling to find four defenders to put in the starting line-up, we’re now inundated. Nemanja Vidic made his return, playing his first game since mid-September, with a beaming Rio Ferdinand making way for him. We’ve been without our captain for the best part of the year so let’s hope we can keep him fit until the end of the season now.

5. Jones and Smalling weren’t the only young players to impress, but Tom Cleverley too, who ran his socks off yet again and this time was rewarded with a goal. Since getting in to the first team his shooting has been wayward, at best, but his finish on Saturday was top drawer. A lovely one-two with Carrick before placing it just inside the post. It shows what he’s capable of, but minutes after the goal, he blasted an effort high and wide. There’s the Cleverley we know and love!

6. Lots of the pre-match talk revolved around Rooney, following his great display against City, but his frustration with Sunderland fans following their behaviour at the end of the last game of the season. Despite having just watched their own team lose, their fans started doing the poznan in celebration of City winning the league. Rooney scored our final goal of the day, thanks to lovely work from Van Persie as he skipped between two defenders, with Wazza getting a toe on the ball ahead of the two defenders. The strangest site of the day, aside from the two men dressed as Father Christmas giving Adam Johnson the wanker sign, was watching the Sunderland fans do the poznan in reaction to going 2-0 down. I thought Stoke fans were bad but this lot are by far the most small-time bunch we’ve had at Old Trafford for a while. I’m sure it was really encouraging for their players to see their fans celebrating the goals they conceded and singing about Aguero…

7. The biggest frustration of the game came when our players switched off, believing the ball was going out for a Sunderland corner, and then letting them get a cross in. Fraizer Campbell got up high at the back post and David de Gea had no chance. It was a shame for the Spaniard, who’d put in another good performance. He did well to stop a Gardner shot and then blocked Sessegnon from close range with the rebound. Another shot deflected off Paul Scholes but De Gea got there quickly to keep it out with his feet. We’ve had three clean sheets all season and Saturday should have been our fourth.

8. So, when did it start to go wrong? When did Sunderland start to see the ball and start attacking us? The difference between our first and second half performances was striking, with Michael Carrick making way for Paul Scholes at half-time. Scholes has been struggling for form this season but that’s not to say it’s all his fault. It’s just that Scholes doesn’t do what Carrick does. In 45 minutes, Carrick passed the ball 41/45. Over 90 minutes, the players with the best pass rate were Rooney, with 46/54, followed by Cleverley (subbed off after 73 minutes) with 46/51. So, despite playing 45 (or 28 minutes) more, our players could only manage five more passes than Carrick completed in the first half. Only three players completed more passes in the final third than Carrick (although none of them were as accurate). When Carrick was on the pitch we kept the ball and he was central to that, but when he was off the pitch, the first minute of Premier League football he’s missed all season, it was telling. As it stands, Carrick and Cleverley have to be our first choice midfield, although Ando might be able to give Tom a run for his money when he returns.

9. We’re two games away from being half-way through the season and we’re six points clear. We’ve already played Chelsea, City and Liverpool away, probably our toughest games of the season, and we’ve left with maximum points. Too early to start getting giddy but this is a brilliant position to be in.

 

 


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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45 Comments

  1. Hans says:

    It was a real shame that we did not score few more goals, and went to sleep after going 3:0 up.

    All in all, I think our performances are steadily improving, and with the right attitude, I cannot see anybody beating us!

  2. Dela says:

    Yep, we are in a great position at the moment and completely agree that it is only a matter of time before we give someone an almighty battering with the attacking power we have now.

  3. c.megalodon says:

    Give Tom a run for his money? I dunno, but perhaps Tom and Ando in midfield would not be such a bad idea? Plus if we get Kagawa back…

  4. Daniel88 says:

    Tom Cleverley was popping passes, working between the lines, moving with the ball through the middle and was making darting runs past Rooney, RVP and into wide areas.

    Michael Carrick was excellent too linking defense to attack, creating space for Tom Cleverley, backing up the play, pinging balls into the strikers and mopping up Sunderland attacks. He looks like a totally different player when he doesn’t start trying to play long balls … just keep it short and on the floor.

    They were both excellent pressing the Sunderland midfield into submission, passing them to death and their link up for the goal was class.

    Paul Scholes unlike Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick when he makes a pass he doesn’t move forward into space gaining us ground. He has more talent than Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick combined but he is thirty eight.

    #changetheguard

  5. parjo says:

    I think SAF substituted Carrick for Scholes in order to build Scholes form, because of busy end of year schedules. Carrick’s been played in midfield more than anyone.

  6. United Till I Die says:

    Top finish from Cleverley, him and Young put in solid performances. And to think some on here where saying Young can’t beat defenders, as if he hasn’t been known for doing so in the EPL for years. Goes to show our lads don’t often get the credit they deserve, but with performances like that it can’t be denied.

    As long as we approach all so-called easy games with the same determination we’ll be in contention till May.

    Im glad Ferguson has put all the Walcott rumours to bed btw. The more you think about it, and the closer we get to summer. even the blind must realise we’d be daft to sell Nani.

  7. Warwick says:

    I enjoyed watching the lads playing with and for each other this match – great passing and anticipation of where players were running into. Would have liked to see a little more killer instinct though to really make our mark, score more goals, and be even more convincing

  8. Costas says:

    There’s a rumor that Carrick also felt his hamstring. That would explain taking him off when we did and if that’s the case, it was definitely a smart move. Out of everyone in the squad, he’s the one player we can’t afford to lose.

  9. Blotto says:

    I get the feeling that the Players are not foccused in a more relaxed way, therefore Forwards are rushing scoring type strikes while the midfield and more the defenders act as if they are caught in the headlights and freeze occaisionally, then collectively the whole Team backs off when comfortably in front! SAF has to be partly responsible for the amount of pressure said and unsaid he can unwittingly put on the Team, he has to show the way by visibly relaxing more, some hope as its not in his psyche,

  10. wayne says:

    Someone needs to change the record ffs every thread gets tedious and boring

  11. wayne says:

    Costas Sir Alex said Carrick had a tight hamstring

  12. Costas says:

    @wayne

    Ah ok. I just heard about it today. I thought it was only Rafa with a tight hamstring.

  13. wayne says:

    both of them mate,i wasn’t having a go at you the other night mate,just seem to get a lot of idiots show up game days gets tiresome

  14. denton davey says:

    I missed the last twenty minutes but it was getting obvious that replacing MC16 with TheGingerNinja had an effect on TheLads’ drive. Scholes was never fast but he used to be able to compensate for his lack of foot speed by thinking faster than others – his mental agility seems to be deteriorating at an alarming rate since his first-step is almost always too slow nowadays; this is a big change from last year when he still seemed able to compensate by reacting faster than most of his opponents/markers.

    Missing the last twenty minutes meant that I missed the latest episode of the sad-decline-of-Sir-Ryan-Giggs. Everything I’ve read has commented on his woeful twenty minutes.

    The other point that was noteworthy about Saturday’s match was AshleyYoung’s performance. He is still one-footed and reluctant to drive to the bye-line but, otherwise, he was dangerous. He seems to be at his best in the open-field, on the counter-attack and because Sunderland didn’t hide under the bus, there were lots of opportunities for him to run at pace. I’ll admit that he’s been better in his past few appearances but I’m still not convinced that he has more to offer than either Nani or KagawaBunga.

  15. Costas says:

    @wayne

    Lol, don’t worry, I never thought you did. At least you know my moaning is consistent. :)

  16. kanchelskis says:

    What do United and Sunderland have in common?

    Both have conceded the same number of goals in the league this season!

    Tighten up this defence, and the title is ours.

  17. Marq says:

    @denton

    Valencia is also one footed & currently reluctant to drive to the byline. Just thought it should be pointed out since you are highlighting this flaw on Young

  18. WeAreRed says:

    Just watched the match highlights again and I have to say some of our one touch passing was just sublime, and I still cannot get over TC23′s goal and the passing between him and Carrick. On that note, I have been a massive Carrick critic for a while now, but these past two seasons have really proved to me how indispensable he is to our United and Sunday’s game and the 2nd half in particular highlighted how he really makes that midfield tick.

    And Young is finally rediscovering last year’s form and its been good to see over the past two games. Him and Evra seem to be developing that same understanding on the left like that of Rafa and AV7. Missed Rafa on that right side but Jones really put in a beast of a game with his surging runs, and some of his crossing is just exquisite. It was also awesome to see Captain Vida back and the smile from Rio when he was being substituted says it all about how his return means to the team.

    I wont even comment on RVP and Rooney, their world class ability and understanding is just a joy to much, more of the same please… Only minor blip was the defence sleeping in the 2nd half and Giggs/Scholes rapid decline, would have rather seen Powell get some minutes in place of one of these legends. I feel their time is up, and they should leave whilst their legendary status is still intact.

    Anyways, 6 point lead and United are beginning to gain some momentum. Looking forward to the return of Kagawa, Nani and Ando. That 20 is definitely looking good right now. Awesome atmosphere at OT on Saturday btw, it should always be like that!!!

  19. 0161-Jon says:

    Was fantastic to see Rio’s reaction to being subbed for Vida. Now that, Ciddy, is what is called team spirit!

    What a bunch of small time cocks those Sunderland fans are. I spent most of the game, (in between drooling over some of the play – that Cleverley first time through ball in the second half was incredible) thinking of John O’Shea thinking about how it used to be. Poor bloke.

    And to think of all the players we’ve loaned and sold them over the last few years.

    Cocks.

  20. WeAreUnited says:

    A bit off topic, but

    I Gotta admit one thing about RVP, that when he played for arsenal, I didn’t realise how good he was, and imagine how the lad has won our hearts, a little while ago he was a gooner. Now he is our soul and rooney heart.

    Crazy to think, how gooners feel, when he left. We are familiar with the feeling, when Ronaldo left, but it wasn’t the same, we knew it all along and he went t o Real Madrid. That’s why I admire SAF in this, he rarely sells our best players to our opponents. That’s why if Nani is unfortunately sold in the summer, I can bet that he will be sold to another country.

    That’s why we will never feel what the gooners feel about RVP. We touched the subject with the Rooney saga, but he came around, some forgave him, some didn’t, and some like me forgave him in steps and has now forgiven him 99%, the 1% will always remain there.

    So it’s a hard place to sell your best player and see him sing gloryglory.

    That’s why we have to be thankfull, for our great team, and STOP moaning after every goal we concede, or if we tend to lose. Which I can’t see us doing for a moment. The never say attitude and our mentality are in a place that we know as the theatre of dreams, I think, it has been a while, when we thought, that we will never lose to anyone. I think that moment is now!!!

    Let’s enjoy the ride, the comebacks, the fights, the mockery of the ABU’s, the taunting and the media.

    We will never die, because,

    We Are ManUtd, and we’ll do what we want.

    #GLORYGLORY #IAMUNITED

  21. WeAreUnited says:

    Will the real number 7 please stand up.

    http://www.eplindex.com/17188/real-number-7-step-nani-vs-valencia.html

    DOn’t get me wrong, I think Valencia is a great player and an asset. He has done really well n these 2 games, and I have been saying all the time, that this season our wingers have underperformed, and disappointing when looking their potential.

    Untile now, when Young has stepped up and Valencia is doing his usual work while injured. But this is a talk about Nani, and the inconsistent hype. I went to, the manutd.com forum and a lad from holland wrote this, his nick is @Rezyuz, if anyone wants to identify themselves.

    “Nani averages more assist/goal per season than valencia how can he do that while not being consistent?
    Nani doesnt defend like av but imo why should he? A real winger doesnt do that. A right mid does. Thats the issue where english football fans think different than for example me, a dutch fan. A winger for us is someone who can break a defence, score, technique, good finesse shoot, beat his defender and yes selfishness comes with the job (ronaldo, nani, robben, ribery, di maria etc).
    A guy who defenda excellent and makes constant rjns down the line with little technique, a great cross and high pace…thats not a winger thats a left or right mid.

    And with united evolving into a more fluid system (3 man mid), short passing, you need modern wingers.
    You need players like nani. Its great that av defends like a boss, its amazing how his attitude is, but this is united. One of the best cluns in the world.
    Your football skills need to be on par with the worlds best and running and crossing as only traits just doesnt cut it in my opinion. Last season he started making inward runs, what happend to that? :s ”

    Then he also made a great point about RVP and how he should be used:

    “At a very popular dutch football show “Voetball international” they were mocking united already on this subject few weeks ago. Showing clips of rvp running jnto space waiting for a troughball but nobody does a through ball but just pass wide or run backline. If you focus on it in a match, you will notice this shocking behavior of our right side. ”

    What do you think about this formation?

    De Gea

    Rafael/AV – Vidic – Evans – Evra

    Carrick/Ando – Cleverley/Ando

    Nani – Kagawa. – Rooney

    RvP

    peace.

  22. WeAreUnited says:

    @Rezyuz again, if you can show here,
    I would appreciate it, cause you make some really good points, without bashing Valencia, just pointing and breaking the inconsistent myth. Valecia is the terminator, the silent killer, and I would like to play him and Nani otgether, but Nani at the left doesn’t work, that’s why what you say is correct:

    “Second, Like i said before get your facts straight. Nani had more succesful crosses than Valencia in the season 2011-2012, and a better goal/assist ratio. And for you Mr. Football genius, 442 does not play with wingers. 442 players with left or right mid. The only country in the world who defines these spots as wingers is England. And although United is based in england, and the term is accepter there for a left/right mid its still incorrect.

    Yes you can be a winger playing in a 442, like Nani, Ronaldo, Young. But any person who has some football knowledge would notice that Valencia isn’t. And his defensive workrate simply only proves it more. Valencia is a right mid.

    Now smart ass, im asking you what would happen when we revert to a 4231 or 433? Theres no place for a right mid there and if you would try and squeeze it in you might (and will) take the risk of ruining an entire system for a player which isnt necessarily better than his rival who can perform in the new system.

    ps. can you stop saying Nani loses the ball all the time? Valencia lost the ball due inaccurate crossing 60 times this season, thats double that of Nani in less than double of the matches played. Out of 76 crosses, he managed to get 3 assist. Thats a horrible ratio. Now you shut up and watch him play without them red tinted glasses on. Stop talking like a little *** kid, because for the 4th time, your making yourself look like an idiot.”

  23. Ismail N says:

    Yes, we should hv score more. Maybe the players just tried to hard, Rooney in particular. Still, great to have another 3 points on board. GGMU!

  24. denton davey says:

    Marq @ 01:05: “Valencia is also one footed & currently reluctant to drive to the byline. Just thought it should be pointed out since you are highlighting this flaw on Young”

    I know that; one-footedness is a serious weakness in AV7′s game. I would say, however, that Valencia is a much more direct player than Young – AV7 is more likely to challenge his marker while AY usually doesn’t. Valencia is more powerful, Young is quicker but both present fewer problems – man-on-man – for their marker than Nani does. Unfortunately, Nani is less of a team-player and much more inclined to be an individualist which has a negative effect on the speed of the attack. Too often, Nani is the place-where-the-attack-goes-to-sleep.

    In a sense, this emphasis on “reluctance to drive to the bye-line” is a bit unfair – on the left, AY doesn’t seem to trust his left foot and seems to much prefer to turn back and cut inside so he can use his right foot (although, oddly, he did exactly what a left-winger should do in the recent Ingerland match and put a left-footed cross on DannyTheLad’s forehead, which resulted in a classic goal); in contrast, my sense is that AV7′s increasing reluctance to “drive to the bye-line” probably stems from the way in which opposition left-backs have sussed him out by overplaying him to the outside so he’s now more likely to stop and either turn back inside (but, nonetheless, almost-never using his left foot) or else he tries to let the full-back over-lap him and so the full-back (RedRafa or MrJones in the last match) actually ends up playing the winger’s role by driving to the bye-line.

  25. denton davey says:

    Daniel88 @ 22:44: “Paul Scholes unlike Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick when he makes a pass he doesn’t move forward into space gaining us ground. He has more talent than Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick combined but he is thirty eight.”

    TheGingerNinja retired in May 2011 because he thought that his legs were ‘gone’; he’s no faster today and he seems to have lost some of his legendary mental agility, too. When Scholes plays, everything slows down and momentum is lost. Also, MC16 seems to be deferential to Scholes and so he’s much less inclined to move forward. It seems to me that playing Carrick/Scholes is a kind of subtraction-by-addition – there’s less there than meets the eye.

  26. bRed says:

    I miss the times when we had “Quick Reactions”. Now its just “Reactions”. I must be getting spoilt.

    I really love seeing DDG in goal. He has this quiet confidence in him, this real steel mentally, excellent distribution and his shot stopping is top stuff. I actually cannot believe we signed such a top quality keeper and I hope Fergie trusts him a bit more and retains him as our number 1. My only worry is if Barca / Real start calling…I dread that day.

    Its quite amazing how things change around – we now have an abundance of defenders as STR rightly pointed out. Smalling did really well imo. I thought his reading of the game was really good, and even if he did get his positioning wrong on some occasions, his pace would always allow him to recover. Jones was great too, bombing forward whenever he can. However, I still want to see him get games in CB. He’s most comfortable there, and I think he could develop into a top class CB if given the games there. His versatility however works against him – but I just don’t really want him to be another O’Shea if you know what I mean.

    Carrick, Cleverley, and Rooney, put in unreal performances. The only problem with Rooney was that he really should have been more clinical.

    My main gripe about the match, was putting on both Scholes and Giggs. Cmon, we haven’t had games where we’ve raced off to a comfortable position so early on in a match. Wouldn’t it have been more beneficial to have our youngsters like Petrucci have a go at that stage? What’s the deal with Petrucci anyway? Would appreciate if someone following the reserves can give us more information on his progress.

  27. LoneStarRed says:

    It seems the masses are waking up to Carrick’s importance. i have long said it: Makelele , Deco, Carrick, and erm… .Mr. Scott( Star Trek) . They are all critical in keeping the engine room running at maximum efficiency.

    We have a VERY long way to go before the end of the season. Enjoy each win but please do not get carried away with title talk .

  28. Saad says:

    Off topic:

    Why does Fellaini get a three-match ban for violent conduct but not Carlos Tevez???

  29. LoneStarRed says:

    @ Saad 07:31
    Simple answer to that . Everton does not have a former team executive at the FA and Citeh does.

  30. Marq says:

    @Saad

    Probably because the ref missed the headbutt by Fellaini, which alliws retrospective punishment, whilst Tevez kick was seen but reported as insignificant.

    @Denton

    Understand where you are coming from. Just wanted to make a point that potential is one thing, performance is another. Yes maybe Young is probably the 3rd choice behind Valencia & Nani if it is a straight fight based on potential, but he is currently the one delivering the most, so we should just give him the credit he deserves. As for what will happen when all of our wingers are fit & on form, including Kagawa, only God knows, so lets leave it at that

    P.S. Its funny how there is a disagreement on the difference between a winger & right midfielder. Its all the same to me. Ronaldo when he played for us had his fair share of defensive responsibilities, so there is no reason for Nani not to fo the same

  31. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Good write up Scott. Especially like the points about Carrick. Midfielder of the season for me. Now if he could score a couple more it would be tops. There is concern about the let off when our B team is on the pitch, but I never felt Sunderland would get more than a sniff, and so it proved.
    For me Jones did well going forward, but his defensive work had a couple of wobbles. Still none that lead to a goal so not a bad outing for his first full game at RB in ages.

    Looking forward
    We have 4 EPL matches in 12 days starting boxing day. Then a tricky away tie in the FACup 5 days after. It was crucial to give Carrick and Rafael a break and to use the squad.

    Mike Dean is the red for Newcastle. Hope he has a good game as the Barcodes have been a handfull for us at times. We especially need a good game from the assistants as I feel we have been let down more than one error from their ranks. Not too bad, but still a couple of offsides and a disallowed goal can be crucial to getting through the holidays without dropping to many points. Never expect any favors, but do appreciate us being able to win on our merits.

    Happy Christmas or whatever your Holiday may be. We are all United!

    Right then! Bring on the festive fixtures!

  32. BayoRed says:

    Am loving the performances at the moment. If we tighten our defense which Im sure we will do with the return of our Captain we can beat anyone.

  33. Red Dead Kev says:

    Great game to watch, i just hope we don’t see a Scholes – Giggs midfield again this season. Hope Fergie noticed that sunderland only started getting back ino the game when those two were in the middle. Also arsenal fans singing “oh santi carzola” at the reading match, how original.

  34. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    Carrick is playing the best football of his career. Keeping it simple and keepingit moving all the time.
    Sooner or later he’ll be injued or rested and then we’ll see the cracks appear.

  35. Marq says:

    Carrick was the one providing the platform for our challenge last season. Yet, there are still people doubting him. So many ‘fans’ have been saying he only passes sideways, where are all those ‘fans’ now?

    Notice how the moaners are not around recently? Too hard for them to eat their own words?

  36. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Marq – fans have doubts about a player and rightly so but it takes,a bigger man to give credit where it is due. Carrick,is,the lynchpin of the midfield, he’s the glue and crucial to the,team.

    I think he’s also got better with age, subsequently resulting in great consistency. He’s an efficient player that may not feature on highlights,regularly but that’s more of a compliment to him. I think the british love for hustle and bustle will never let carrick get the,credit he deserves but he’s not one for the limelight, he’d rather get the job done. I think he’s the type that gets cherished by the manager, coaches, his team mates and keen football observers. It’s a rare ability to see the bigger picture in football, some have it and some never will. Hope michael is fit for swansea, that will be an incredibly tough game and united need to hit the ground running for that gsme.

  37. FletchTHEMAN says:

    There is a story going around that Carrick was subbed off as a precaution because of a tight hamstring.

    Overused comes to mind. Could be a dicey holiday fixture list. :(

    Just speculation, but people will talk….

    http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/What-The-Papers-Say/2012/Dec/papers-sir-alex-ferguson-fears-michael-carrick-hamstring-injury-blow.aspx

  38. King Eric says:

    Spot on. Finally folk are seeing just HOW good Carrick is. Not you Scott as you have always rated him. He is simply top drawer. Always in the right place at the right time, reads the game, one touch player, in acres of space. Both footed. One of the best in the game in his position. Good thing is he is only 31 so has years left. Rarely injured either. Good to see Tom coming good after beating his drum for the last 3 years.

  39. King Eric says:

    Its OK saying play Tom and Ando BUT the glue is Carrick. Simple as.

  40. King Eric says:

    I don’t think you truly get to appreciate Carrick unless you see him live. The areas he picks up, the space he creates.

  41. King Eric says:

    I don’t see the need to compare Young, Tony and Nani. They ALL contribute to the balance of the side in their own ways.

  42. King Eric says:

    Marq – Spot on pal. No sign whatsoever of SHINJI and Pablo etc. Carrick has been class since the day we bought him but he has certainly improved playing with Scholesy. Just where is “CarBANGPrick” these days? Cunt.

  43. Daniel88 says:

    @ Denton

    ” When Scholes plays, everything slows down and momentum is lost. Also, MC16 seems to be deferential to Scholes and so he’s much less inclined to move forward. It seems to me that playing Carrick/Scholes is a kind of subtraction-by-addition – there’s less there than meets the eye ”

    - Totally correct. In the last game when Scholes replaced Carrick it left Cleverley up shits creek. He could no longer make his surging runs.

  44. calebkzh says:

    Wonder if Tunnicliffe is being trained/groomed as Carrick’s successor. Haven’t seen a whole lot of him since the few minutes he got earlier this season, but I hear he has plenty of industry and promise in the holding midfield role, as a shield for the back line.

  45. Adamcy says:

    Yeah as everyone pointed out we should have scored 7 goals with the chances we created but the 3 points is all that matters. Really impressed with Jones on the right and i think he should be rotating with Rafael and Smalling put in a good shift, Carrick and Cleverly combination is gelling well with good interchange between them and understanding and Young s starting look like his best after a poor start this season.

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