I wonder when we will look like scoring again. The only league game in the past month or more where we’ve caused our opposition serious problems was against Stoke, when we battered them 5-0. Against the likes of Sunderland, City, Villa and Arsenal we have completely dominated the game, in terms of possession and shots, yet have struggled to pick up the points.
Today was yet another example of ‘one of those days’. Of course it was predictable that bag of shite keeper Heurelho Gomes would have the game of the season against us, making great saves for chances from Giggs, Park, Carrick and Vidic. But that doesn’t excuse not finding the back of the net with the wealth of talent we have on offer.
Looking at our past five games in the league, we’ve created more chances than our opposition and dominated possession.
Arsenal (away) 53%
Villa (away) 63%
City (away) 54%
Sunderland (home) 72%
Spurs (away) 67%
Out of a possible 15 points, we’ve picked up 8, scoring just 3 goals. That is not good enough.
I’m not concerned at this stage, because like every year, I still think we’re going to win the league, however, that doesn’t mean that our football isn’t entirely frustrating at the moment. We’re making life needlessly difficult for ourselves and it’s going to be an uphill struggle when we return from Japan.
I’m not one of these sad Dimitar Berbatov critics, but we do need to see more from him soon. I think he’s a touch of class and I’m pleased we bought him, but he’s had enough time to settle now and I’m looking forward to seeing him step up to the plate. It needs to be sooner rather than later though. He was booed as expected, but this didn’t make him buckle to the pressure and get rid of the ball. He was confident and competent, but lacked that extra special something.
Paul Scholes did make a difference when he came on and hopefully he’ll be fully fit come the new year. Having his creative eye on the pitch can only be a good thing for us.
Whilst it most come as a surprise to many regulars, I’m getting pretty much full to bursting with annoyance where Cristiano Ronaldo is concerned. Aside from the fact his form isn’t one we would hope for of late, his behaviour on the pitch is getting embarrassing. How can we be taken seriously when we criticise players for kicking lumps out of him when he’s petulantly swiping out at the opposition, as he did with Dawson in this evening’s match. What at first appeared to be an accident was clearly shown as intentional with a replay, Ronaldo kicking out at Dawson as he jogged off. Unacceptable.
We don’t seem to have anything new. It’s the same old stuff from us every week and our opposition have us sussed out. We probably won’t be beaten by their tactics, with teams at home and away choosing to absorb our pressure rather than come out to beat us, but we’re not winning enough either. We are dropping points because of our inability to think outside the box.
Dawson and Zokora were outstanding today, we should have the ability to counter-act that and get the better of them. The same can be said of Aston Villa’s Lauren and Young. But we should have something on offer that betters these players, even when they are having a cracker of a game.
Fortunately, Chelsea and Liverpool aren’t too special at the moment either, but today was a big opportunity missed. Must do better.