In what would be Carrick’s last game, for now, as manager for United. The stakes were high as a loss would have seen Man Utd 8 points behind 4th place. As it turned out, they have clawed their way to closer to a battle they shouldn’t even be in. The most curiousest goal was conceded as a fallen De Gea didn’t even see Smith Rowe’s goal go past him. Good interplay finished off by Bruno put us level. We started the first half off lively and Ronaldo confirmed that, with a finish into Ramsdale’s bottom right. 90 seconds later, the fluorescent yellow Arsenal were level as Odegaard scored a carbon copy into De Gea’s bottom right. The winner was a penalty that Ronaldo blasted in. Now, Rangnick comes in and will begin home vs Crystal Palace.
The thing about a swing is that once you start it, outside of it being impeded, it will continue back and forth until it eventually comes to a stop. It will swing and swing before that eventual stop. A lot has been made of this team tactically and ability wise but mentally, there’s a lot to be desired about this bunch. As a player, different game states are to be expected and it is the best that are able to function in any as if the game is at its calmest. Something like this is not what I expect from the majority of United players. Between the respective sweeps into the net by Ronaldo first then Odegaard, only one minute and 30 seconds had past on the clock. It is something that has been a critical weakness of Man Utd for the past 5 or so years. In their lowest ebb, they are unable to fashion so much of a pass that finds their team mate. At the zenith of their confidence, they are able to play ambrosial football. But even in their confidence, it often edges over to over exuberance, overconfidence or a toxic mix of both.
Momentum is a curious thing all over the world when 22 players touch the field of play but United are so tied to it that it is the purest explanation why Gary Neville so regularly referred to them as a “mad bunch” last season. As unique as the Smith Rowe goal was, United’s timidity and lack of assurance in the minutes that followed afterwards was typical. The electric start to the second half was even more typical. Of course, when you have the personnel, it makes sense, in football terms, why we fall whim to the natural effects of momentum. Seldom do you see the Red Devils take the sting out of the game by passing around the opposition and wearing their legs out. The technical security of the team, something that I’ve bemoaned for as long as I’ve written this match day review, just isn’t conducive. Still, we will swing and swing between joy and despair with this collection of players.
The Only Problem Is Behind Me
The appointment of Rangnick has caused incessant talk of his style of play matching with the ageing Ronaldo. Alike wine from the fields of France, he is still the finest there is out there. 1 goal in his last 8 PL appearances was a streak far too long of a player of his calibre and a man built for the big occasion in front of his fans delivered. In more ways than one as well. He skipped past a prone Ben White in the first half and bamboozled Thomas Partey in the second that harkened back to the days when he first put on the red of Manchester United. The first one was when he pulled to the left hand side, something that he does far too much of when he does his best work more central.
The second half was the one where he finally got the fruits of the reward for being the focal of the United attack. The build up was far too slow beforehand and it kept him out the game. Dalot’s reverse pass into Rashford opened up the whole game and the latter’s cross into him found Ronaldo, who refused to rush into the six yard box in order to sweep the ball into the net as he did. Our first penalty since Bruno’s diabolical sky vs Aston Villa meant that we saw who would be the penalty take now and it was indeed the number 7. Hair coiffed to perfection, stripped in the same fashion, you saw perhaps the most uncultured Ronaldo finish you’d ever see. A smash and a Siu. Almost 17 years ago, Ronaldo scored two at the now demolished Highbury in a stunning game. This game was more agriculture but just as crucial.