That is more like it! Forgetting the 20 minute spell in the second half, we actually put out a decent performance last night against Portsmouth. It wasn’t the greatest display we’ve ever seen but we managed to pass the ball to our own players more often than not, which makes a nice change!
I haven’t had chance to watch the highlights so I’m sure I’ll stand corrected, but it looked as though at least one of those goals flagged up for offside should have stood. Even if it shouldn’t, to be creating that many chances in a match is a massive improvement. We didn’t just dominate possession, we actually did something with it too.
Anderson is a confusing thing. He spent periods of the game playing truly dreadful passes yet still managed to dig out that incredible ball to Ryan Giggs, who was superb last night. A perfectly weighted ball in to the box made it almost too easy for Wayne Rooney.
Five minutes after coming off the bench for Anderson, Michael Carrick finished a lovely pass from Paul Scholes. Unlike the dithering midfielder we’ve seen of late, Carrick looked totall confident and knew what he was doing.
The only downsides were the injuries to Gary Neville and John O’Shea. Fortunately Wes Brown is getting more Reserve action tonight and hopefully he will be able to make the full 90 minutes, opposed to just the 60 minute run out he got on Monday. I like Rafael though and think is is important he gets some more minutes under his belt. He transformed our performance at the Emirates this season when replacing Neville, so it would be good to see him get a bit more time on the pitch before our crucial games against Arsenal.
Darren Fletcher is setting himself up for a starting role in that match too, given his work rate this season. Last night was another example of him not giving any opposition player a break. He was on them every time they touched the ball and that’s exactly what we’ll be needing over these coming weeks.
Before the game I wanted a performance and that’s what we got. It wasn’t a blinding display but it was much improved and we didn’t seem to be suffering from the same nerves we’ve seen in the lads recently, with their performances seemingly showing them always on edge.
Most important was the three points though and we got those too. Going clear at the top with a game in hand can settle all over us and I hope this recent blip has been enough to wake our lads up! We can take on Tottenham at the weekend with more confidence, whilst knowing there are no easy games left now.
The RoM Manchester United 2022-23 season preview is now available for just £6. It includes exclusive interviews with Patrice Evra and Kleberson, articles from the country's best football writers about our expectations for the season ahead and our brightest talents, as well as proposed transfer business and which youth players to keep an eye out for. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.