rss twitter facebook mobile

RoM 2010 Awards: Scapegoat award

The Scapegoat award

Nominees: Darron Gibson, Michael Carrick and Jonny Evans
In 2010, Darron Gibson started five games in the first team (four of those in the league, one in Europe) and in this games has played for 90 minutes just once. Yet when he plays badly or the team doesn’t do well, fans are very quick to get on his case. I’m no Gibson fan, the jury is still out as far as I’m concerned, but when you think of how much time Darren Fletcher was afforded in the starting XI before he came good (03-04: 22 league games, 35 all competitions. 04-05: 18 league games, 30 all competitions. 05-06: 27 league games, 41 all competitions. 06-07: 25 league games, 40 all competitions), with fans berating him every time he played, I’m less inclined to judge Gibson so quickly. He’s certainly shown signs of more ability that Fletcher ever had done in his first few seasons, scoring that beauty against Hull on the last day of the 08-09 season, as well as the two he got against Spurs last season, goals against Bolton and West Ham, but more importantly, the goal against Bayern Munich in the European Cup quarter-finals, if not for the mistakes of Rafael/Carrick, would have helped us through to the semi-finals, and from there, who knows…

Michael Carrick has had a massive fall from grace, mostly down to a lack of confidence, which has seen him lose a lot of favour with even the fans who have always supported him. He rarely does anything dreadful but far too often his contribution has been massively limited. We don’t need a player in the centre of the park passing the ball five yards to the defender behind him or another midfielder beside him. We need someone controlling the pace of the game, spraying the ball forward and playing in killer balls which can lead to goals.

I don’t think Jonny Evans can win this award for being a scapegoat. If we had a rapid decline award, he’d get that instead. He’s been blamed for a lot of dropped points because, unfortunately, it has far too often been his mistakes and his man that have denied us the win.

Winner: Darron Gibson

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.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. Always Be Closing says:

    Until this season, it would’ve been Berba, how wrong many are about him as we all know.

    I’d put Rooney there though, which unless he starts scoring in early 2011 will heighten.

  2. Edpayasugo says:


  3. Costas says:

    Haha. Berba thankfully escaped this category, despite the overwhelming amount of abuse that was thown at his way after the Chelsea/Bayern/Blackburn games.

    He is not in the category, but O’Shea takes it for me. He is the one guy I’ve read the most negative things about this season.

  4. aig alex is god says:

    Evans coz he has been shite this season. Sorry Jonny

  5. bbabyj says:

    What are we voting for, exactly? Which player we think the fanbase as a whole has blamed more?

    I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve blamed J. Evans far more than Gibson or Carrick.

  6. KVN says:

    Has to be Carrick.

    Gibson is young and needs games. Carrick has had time and started so well but it just seems
    he no longer has that drive or hunger like before.

  7. jesmonta says:

    Got to be evans. He`s been shitty this season after having such a promising season last year.

  8. smartalex says:

    Scapegoat: a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, esp. for reasons of expediency.

    John O’Shea has been blamed for mistakes that were made on the other side of the pitch, so he deseves an honorary mention.
    Darren Gibson’s vilification after Birmingham was horrendous. If I wanted to hear lies and slander about our players I would be on ABU, not RoM. Possibly an Demerit Award for Bandwagon-Jumping or Goat-Scaping could be attached to user-names.

  9. Joel says:

    By scapegoat my understanding is someone who gets a lot of undeserved blame whenever we have a bad result? If so I agree with Gibson, I am not fully convinced either that he can be more than just a squad player for us, but he hasn’t done that badly to deserve so much flak.

    Carrick has been criticised but not as badly as Gibson. He hasn’t played badly this season, shields the defence well, but nonetheless would like to see him contribute more in attack.

    Evans, well he has been excessively criticised, but he has indeed played very poorly this season. A shadow of the defender he was in previous seasons.

  10. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    Carrick. I think there’s something wrong with the idea of scapegoat here. Scapegoat as in to blame someone although he’s not exactly at fault right? So it’ll be Carrick, cos though he does play okay, we tend to blame him for everything.

    Judging from the comments here, its like we’re voting for the greatest downfall award. That one, hehe goes to Evans. Though its not exactly downfall, but a slump in form. Hopefully.

  11. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    Haha actually, some of you here are right. Berba would be a MAJOR contender for this if this poll was held earlier.

  12. wakey says:

    I have to laugh at the comment that “certainly shown signs of more ability that Fletcher”. When Fletcher came through the ranks not only was he younger but he showed but he atleast demonstrated some basic skill as a Midfielder. Sure he wasn’t great and it was borderline that he was going to make it at United but Gibson shows little ability as a Midfielder. He has a great shot but his passing is limited, he isn’t imposing in the midfield, isn’t a great tackler and most worryingly his positioning is almost always woeful which sees the game bypass him.

    Its just no good having a great shot as a Midfielder if the rest of your midfield game is fairly weak. I certainly don’t think all hope is lost with Gibson, some of the areas he is lacking in could be sorted just by playing more but he can’t be allowed to do so at United while the rest of his game is so weak. He should have been the Midfielder who went on Loan rather than Cleverly as Gibson needs the playing time and fast because at his age now its make or break

  13. wayne says:

    i give it to gibson poor lad very rarely plays and then normally gets slammed when he does,in alot of fans minds he’s never going to be any good.evans is a lack of form and hes played alot,this was the year he was supposed to make a move and challenge for a regular place maybe even push rio out instead he’s now behind smalling in the pecking order.carrick is always a easy mark because he does the grunt work and is unspectacular but does get praised from time to time,so close between carrick and gibson nod going to gibson.

  14. Kings says:

    I am a fan of Carrick, but recently his performances have left something to be desired. He has great passing ability and shooting ability, but more often than not he is patrolling just in front of the back four, playing square balls or passing back. He has also shown lack of quick movement when attempting to get the ball forward, especially when we have men over, and because of this, giving the opposition the chance to get back and regroup. He had a great opportunity to have a shot at goal against Birmingham in injury time, but decided to lay the ball off to Giggs instead – infuriating when you take into account the cracking goals he scored against Roma and the winner at Wigan in the 2009 season. Hopefully he will pick up in the new year.

  15. willierednut says:

    Evans. He has struggled this season, so it has to be him.

  16. isnoor says:

    Darron Gibson will improve, there is sign of improvement always you played him.

  17. bigphil2003 says:

    Carrick rarely does anything dreadful? Hes basically handed away our last three goals conceded in europe and gave the dippers the lead at OT last season. He’s a far bigger liability than gibson and in recent times hasnt added a lot more.


You must be logged in to post a comment.