Archive for November, 2008

When will Michael Carrick get the praise he deserves…

Posted on November 30, 2008  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Players   8 Comments »

‘He’s too slow’, ‘He passes the ball back and sideways’, ‘He’s not Roy Keane’ – Michael Carrick is never short of comments telling him what he is and what he isn’t but I tell you something, Carrick is developing into a fine footballer.

When he signed in the summer of 2006 for a reported £18.6 Million did I think the price was inflated?  Sure, but then I thought the transfer of Buffon to Juventus for £32Million was inflated, the same as Luis Figo to Real Madrid for £39Million and the same as Rio Ferdinand from Leeds to United for £29Million – all of which have been a huge success for the clubs that bought them.

Buffon…living up to his Italian translation

Carrick was superb against Citeh today, he really was.  He passed the ball immaculately and spread ball really well.  He has come into some really good form as of late and I really do feel he has stepped up a gear from last season.  He does have unfair comparisons to Roy Keane as they are two totally different footballers.  Keane was a leader, a determined box to box midfielder who took no prisoners, Carrick – you could argue – lacks a number of these qualities.  However, I would argue that Carrick’s composure and passing ability surpasses even Roy Keane.

When Michael Carrick realises that he can actually dictate games with his passing ability and craft, more people may start to take note.  Yes he doesn’t drive forward like a Michael Ballack or have the ability, like Scholes, to turn up late in the box and smash one home but what he gives United has been missing since he injured himself against Newcastle and then against Liverpool.

For me, he was MOTM against Citeh today and fully deserves any praise he receives.  He doesn’t have the same qualities as Keane, only the same shirt.  The way United have evolved since the last days of Keane has been sensational.  Keane questioned the managers purchasing policy in the infamous MUTV interview, which has never been aired.  Many United fans raised eyebrows at the purchase of Carrick from Tottenham Hotspurs, who bought Carrick from West Ham United for around £3.75Million.  It may have taken a while for some fans to appreciate what Michael Carrick does for the side but surely now it is evident how important he is for United?

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Match Report: Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United

Posted on November 30, 2008  by Stretford-end  in Citeh, Man United, Match Reports   No Comments »
Match Report: Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United

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Wayne Rooney‘s 100th career goal earned Manchester United a deserved win in the derby against Manchester City at Eastlands.

Rooney’s goal was one of the two major talking points in the game – Cristiano Ronaldo was bizarrely sent off by well respected referee Howard Webb.

Sir Alex Ferguson had, ironically, applauded the FA’s decision to appoint him in charge of the encounter, but Webb seemed to have a loose handle on the game – making several dubious booking decisions, starting with one for Rafael for throwing the ball “away” – the young Brazilian merely threw the ball back to the out coming City players. Both bookings for Ronaldo will leave the United boss scratching his head – the second for a handball after the Portuguese winger claimed he had heard a whistle. Whether he did or not was one thing, but the decision to send him off when he was not trying to earn any kind of advantage clearly incensed the United contingent.

Webb’s calls almost overshadowed what was a completely dominating performance by the champions, rewarded with Rooney’s goal in the 42nd minute. The excellent Carrick found space and shot across goal, Joe Hart could only parry, and Rooney had the easiest of finishes – but celebrated as though he had scored a 30 yard volley!

Carrick was superb in the middle of the park, dominating play and sliding in some superb balls for Rooney and Berbatov to chase after. His performance today indicated how much United missed the England man, who is maturing into a fine midfielder.

City fans would have expected their team to push on in the second half but it never materialised, even after the sending off of Ronaldo when there were more than 20 minutes to play.

The most action of the second period occurred in stoppage time – City had a corner, keeper Hart was up, it was haphazardly defended, Dunne swung a leg and van der Sar pulled off an astonishing save. From the clearance, Giggs carried the ball amid screams for him to shoot, he unselfishly fed Rooney who shot from 55 yards – Hart only just got back to deny Rooney a wonder goal.

Webb’s trigger happy notebook will deny United of the services of Evra and Ronaldo for the trip to White Hart Lane in two weeks – but the gloss of this fantastic derby win, and in particular the performances of Rooney, Carrick, Evra and Rafael, will probably be enough tonic for Sir Alex.


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Why Fergie staying helps Arsenal, Chelsea & Liverpool…

Posted on November 30, 2008  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Managers   4 Comments »
Why Fergie staying helps Arsenal, Chelsea & Liverpool...

Before you scroll down -to the bottom and type a furious rant at me for going insane by stating that United would be better off without Fergie, let me clarify that I’m talking about when he retires as our manager and is offered a role ‘upstairs’ – wherever that is. I am an enormous supporter of Fergie and think the man is a legend – even prior to the double winning season last term.

What this post will hopefully explore is the comparison between Fergie and Busby in terms of the expectation level both managers set of the men that will proceed Fergie and the managers that proceeded Busby. Firstly, you may find the greatest manager of all time (written by Mancunian Red – a former contributer to a very interesting read that discusses a number of top managers such as Busby, Fergie, Clough, Shankley and Paisley.

The path that both men led were very similar…

Ferguson has been in charge at Old Trafford for 22 years now, since he took over from Ron Atkinson on 6th November 1986. Sir Matt was in charge of United from 1945 to 1969 and then for one season in 1970/71. Combined, post war (so 63 years) Busby and Ferguson have occupied the Old Trafford hot seat for 47 years. That is quite phenomenal considering all the challenges that have faced both managers over the years.

Ferguson had the tougher task of living up to the reputation that the ‘old man’ set at Old Trafford. Assisted by Welshman Jimmy Murphy, Busby looked to create a United side build upon youth and searched the British isles for this talent. Duncan Edwards was his most notable capture, under the noses of Wolves managed by Stan Cullis at the time. Others, such as Cliff Birkett in the late forties, didn’t really work out, however the youth system setup by Murphy and Busby was extremely impressive and many other clubs were envious of the system.

In the 24 years Busby was at the Old Trafford helm he won the following honours:

Season Honours
1945/46 Nothing
1946/47 Nothing
1947/48 FA Cup
1948/49 Nothing
1949/50 Nothing
1950/51 League Championship
1951/52 Nothing
1952/53 Nothing
1953/54 Nothing
1954/55 Nothing
1955/56 League Championship
1956/57 League Championship
1957/58 Nothing
1958/59 Nothing
1959/60 Nothing
1960/61 Nothing
1961/62 Nothing
1962/63 FA Cup
1963/64 Nothing
1964/65 League Championship
1965/66 Nothing
1966/67 League Championship
1967/68 European Cup
1968/69 Nothing

Thats a pretty impressive record, especially when you consider the League cup wasn’t introduced till the early sixties and the lure of financial gain wasn’t as extreme as it is today – since the power lay very much with the clubs. Busby had to come through many challenges, Munich being the most documented and obvious tragedy. However, the boss found the ambitions of some of the players too demanding for what Old Trafford could offer in the early fifities. This was never more evident that how Charlie Mitten left Manchester. It is believed that Mitten was being paid £750 per year at Old Trafford – he received an offer of £5,000 per year and a lucrative signing on fee to be setup in Colombia for Santa Fe. Mitten informed Busby of his decision to leave Manchester on a tour of the United States. The move hurt Busby, who liked Mitten, unlike Johnny Morris who left for Derby County, with Busby suggesting some tapping up had occurred. However, Busby knew that breaking the wage structure for players at Old Trafford wasn’t the way forward and his belief in youth was excessive.

Fergie, on the other hand, came to a club who hadn’t won the League Championship for 19 years – something that was made even worse by the dominate forces in Liverpool and Everton during the 80’s. Fergie was very different from Ron Atkinson, who Fergie replaced. It was said that Atkinson used to have regular drinking sessions in his office and preferred to be seen as ‘one of the boys’ rather than the manager the club was crying out for. Fergie caused a stir when he sold Paul McGrath and Norman Whiteside, whos excessive drinking was a concern. Bryan Robson has been quoted as suggesting the drinking culture was ‘no more or no less’ than any other British club at the time – although the gaffer had different ideas.

Analysing Fergie’s record over time, it appears even more impressive than Busby’s:

Season Honours
1986/87 Nothing
1987/88 Nothing
1988/89 Nothing
1989/90 FA Cup
1990/91 Cup Winners Cup
1991/92 Super Cup, League Cup
1992/93 League Championship
1993/94 League Championship, FA Cup
1994/95 Nothing
1995/96 League Championship, FA Cup
1996/97 League Championship
1997/98 Nothing
1998/99 European Cup, League Championship, FA Cup
1999/00 League Championship
2000/01 League Championship
2001/02 Nothing
2002/03 League Championship
2003/04 FA Cup
2004/05 Nothing
2005/06 League Cup
2006/07 League Championship
2007/08 European Cup, League Championship

Fergie’s record speaks for itself – it is quite phenomenal and the next United manager will have lot to live up to. Which leads us onto the main point of the article – what type of atmosphere will Fergie create if he oversees the United manager in an ‘upstairs’ role?

McGuinness, O’Farrell, Docherty, Sexton and Atkinson all came and went in the fifteen years between Busby and Fergie – will Fergie, who argueably has a more impressive record, have a similar effect on the next United manager?

Fergie once told a story that in 1991 when the players and staff were getting off the coach in Rotterdam the fans were going mad. Chanting, cheering and smashing the coach, all ecstatic that United had reach a European Cup Final (Cup winners cup). Fergie got off laughing and joking with fans, then all of a sudden this old figure of man scurried down the steps of the coach – it was Busby. The fans, who were banging and shouting all of a sudden stopped and there was a hush of respect as this great figure entered the scene. Fergie states that he always found the relationship with Busby helpful more than a hindrance – as some previous managers felt.

Fergie: Lived up to the reputation set by Busby

So when Fergie finally decides to hang up the managerial reigns at Old Trafford we will enter a new era at the club, something we haven’t seen since 1986. Mourinho, Lippi, Keane and Bruce have been branded around as possible replacements but will they have the same problems as Atkinson, Sexton, O’Farrell and Docherty between the Busby and Fergie era if Fergie remains at the club? Or is the argument that those managers weren’t quite as good as the two men that have dominated the Old Trafford hot seat since 1945?

Both men believed in youth and both men realised the importance of European football to test the football club and players. It is these two things that place both Busby and Ferguson together in terms of footballing philosophy. Both men defended their players impeccably over the years, whilst behind closed doors gave certain players a kick up the backside if needed. These two men gave a vast amount of the life towards the progression and evolution of Manchester United football club. Fergie said that he became obsessed during the mid-90’s, turning up to the club on a Sunday and ringing around other managers – a bit like Jimmy Murphy and Busby nearly half a century ago.

There is no doubt that once the gaffer steps down it will have an enormous impact at the club. Will United want to keep Fergie at the club in some capacity in order to oversee the development of the new manager? Or will, if reports suggest, someone like Mourinho want to have a legendary manager overseeing the transition? Since 1986 Arsenal have had three managers, Chelsea have had twelve and Liverpool have had six. Fergie has seen off challenges from Liverpool, Leeds, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, Arsenal and Chelsea. He has seen and done it all but will his presence at the club benefit the new manager or hinder the potential progress he could be making?

For me, Fergie is the greatest manager of all time. In terms of man management, transfer dealings, tactical awareness and drive and determination – he has it all. Ok, he might not be ten out ten for all those attributes i’ve mentioned but in his twenty two years since his appointment he has shown on numerous occasions what a superb manager he is. However, when he decides he has had enough of football management, whenever that may be, he should leave the club once and for all knowing that what he achieved in his time at the club was quite simply, magnificent.

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Match Report: Villarreal 0-0 Manchester United

Posted on November 26, 2008  by Stretford-end  in Champions League, Man United, Match Reports   No Comments »
Match Report: Villarreal 0-0 Manchester United

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Villarreal 0-0 Manchester United 

Manchester United are through to the last sixteen in the Champions League having again drawn 0-0 with Spanish side Villarreal.

It is the fourth time since 2005 that both sides have met and failed to find the back of the net. It is United’s second game in which they have drawn with the home side 0-0. The last time United drew 0-0 in two consecutive games was back in 2006 when they drew with Arsenal in the Premier League followed by an embarrassing 0-0 draw with non league Burton Albion.

United certainly played the better football against Villarreal and got off to a quick start with Anderson making some good runs from midfield to open up some chances with Evra bombing down the left. Anderson found himself in some space on the left hand side and struck a hard shot against Diego Lopez who saved.

Cazorla, the midfielder linked with Real Madrid in the summer, struck a good shot on the 16th minute, which had Kuszczak sprawling for the ball. The Pole had an opportunity to impress Sir Alex Ferguson, however flapped at a number of crosses during the first half which had to dealt with by Evra.

Cristiano Ronaldo, booed every time he touched the ball, had the best chance of the game when Anderson played a long pass to Rooney who was on the edge of the area laid the ball off to the on coming Ronaldo who struck a powerful shot which was saved and brushed onto the crossbar by the Villarreal keeper. A great shot which was equally matched by a great save.

Former Manchester United star Guiseppe Rossi showed why it is reported that Sir Alex Ferguson wants to bring him back to Old Trafford. The little American/Italian forward showed some amazingly quick feet to dance his way around Nani and Ferdinand on one occasion. Also, former United target Senna put in a controlled performance but had to be withdrawn due to a foul by Fletcher in the first half.

The second half started well again for United, which had Rooney making some good runs in behind the Villarreal defense. Rooney was also guilty of two dives during the course of the game – something we don’t usually see from the forward. There was no doubt that both challenges didn’t warrant a foul and Rooney was lucky not to be booked.

Michael Carrick was controlling things in midfield with Fletcher and Anderson pushing on. Anderson started the game well but drifted in and out of things as the game went on. Anderson is a firm favourite at Old Trafford and had a superb debut season last term – but many fans want to see him push on, start controlling things and score that first goal that has alluded him.

Chances were limited, however United had the best of them with Rooney attempting to chip the keeper which went wide, whilst also latching on to a through pass by Carrick which resulted in the frontman striking a powerful left foot shot – which was again saved by Lopez. Great effort by Rooney who, other than the dives, did a good job up top on his own.

Villarreal were then down to ten men after Capdevila was sent off for a lunge on Ronaldo. At first the tackle didn’t look like it warranted a red card due to the fact that it appeared Ronaldo was over exaggerating the extent of his injury. After watching the replay again it is clear that Capdevila knew exactly what he was doing as his left foot smashed into Ronaldo left knee – sending the Portuguese winger flying.

Sir Alex Ferguson has since commented that Ronaldo needs more protection from referees – something that I do agree with, however Ronaldo doesn’t help his cause when he walks off the pitch as he did on Saturday or if he smashed the turf with his hands when he doesn’t get his own way. Ronaldo doesn’t look a happy player at the moment, although his 6-2 defeat in Brazil by Portugal may have something to do with it as well.

Manchester United can be pleased that they put in a controlled performance against a good Spanish side. However, a number of chances were missed that would have given United that first goal, let alone win, against Villarreal. Sir Alex Ferguson will be concerned about the injury to Ronaldo, considering the Manchester derby is up on Sunday and will be hoping his star man can recover in time.

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Match Report: Aston Villa 0-0 Manchester United

Posted on November 23, 2008  by Stretford-end  in Aston Villa, Man United, Match Reports   1 Comment »
Match Report: Aston Villa 0-0 Manchester United

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Manchester United drew 0-0 with Aston Villa and failed to capitalise on the dropped points of Liverpool and Chelsea earlier on in the day.

League leaders Chelsea had drawn 0-0 at home to Newcastle United whilst Liverpool were held at home by Fulham – the scoreline also ending in 0-0. Sir Alex Ferguson and United knew that a win over Villa would leave the team six points, with a game in hand, behind Chelsea and Liverpool.

The game provided little goal mouth action with Villa operating with a 4-5-1 formation – trying desperately to stifle United’s attack. Ronaldo was his usual frustrating self, going to ground under little pressure or after a good tackle. There is no doubting the boy’s talents but he’d go even further if he cut the simulation totally out of his game.

United had a few chances in the first half with Ronaldo unleashing a powerful shot, having cut in side from the left, with Brad Friedel making a good save to his left. Ji Sung Park also had an opening but was foiled by a superb tackle from Ashley Young. Moments later Park had another good chances after Rooney swung in a right footed cross, which flashed across the six yard box and the Korean was only inches away from converting.

The second half saw a great improvement from Villa who proceeded in keeping the ball much better. Young and Milner were industrious on the flanks with Agbonlahor causing Vidic some problems. The Serb was also accused of bring down the young Englishman in the penalty box, however television replays show that the defender did win the ball and any offense, for pulling a shirt, occurred outside the area.

Rooney had the best chance of the game, which he blazed over high into the stand. Michael Carrick lofted the ball over his shoulder which dropped to Rooney who proceeded in making some good ground towards the Villa goal. He should have then got behind the ball and struck it low past Friedel, however the ball ended up being blazed over the crossbar. A great chance squandered by United’s number ten.

A clearly unhappy Carlos Tevez was withdrawn to be replaced by Nani who operated on the left with Ronaldo given a free role behind Wayne Rooney. The Argentinian’s lack of playing time has clearly had an effect on the forward who was disappointing yesterday.

United pressed and pressed however couldn’t break down a stubborn Aston Villa defense. United can’t be disappointed with a point as the result was a true reflection of the game. United did miss their Bulgarian striker, Dimitar Berbatov, who was out injured from his international match in the week. Sir Alex Ferguson will be disappointed that United couldn’t close the gap, however will be confident that not many sides will travel to Villa Park and come away with a point this season.

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A blessing in disguise in a massive 8 days for United’s season

Posted on November 21, 2008  by Stretford-end  in Aston Villa, Man United   5 Comments »
A blessing in disguise in a massive 8 days for United's season

With trips to Villa, Villarreal, and Citeh in a spell of 8 days, perhaps it’s an easy statement to say the next week or so is massive for United’s season.

The fixture list has not been kind to us this season but we are in a position where we have visited Fratton Park, Anfield, Stamford Bridge, Goodison Park and the Emirates and we’re 5 points from the top. Dropped points at Arsenal and Everton can quickly be put down to sheer wastefulness and slack defending. A cutting edge could have seen us rack 4 or 5 goals up in either game.

Arguably our last toughest away games are our next two – and our position then will give some kind of strong indication of where we stand in the title race. Villa, in particular, are looking the real deal. I don’t think it will be an easy game against Villa – indeed, I’m concerned, it’s been 13 years since we lost against them in the league, and any run has to end at some point.

The trip to Villa Park comes with it’s injury concerns – Wes Brown out until next year, but also, the probable absence of Dimitar Berbatov for the triple header.

I’m not doubting the impressive performance of the Bulgarian since he’s arrived (and I was a fence sitter on the signing given the huge fee), however, will his absence be a blessing in disguise?

Fergie can now unleash last years front three of Tevez, Rooney and Ronaldo on Villa Park – and despite the supposed lack of a target man, those three were the driving factor behind two 4 goal pummelings of Villa. And throw in the City games and the trio might just have some kind of revenge in mind for last seasons double by our rivals.

Like I said, I don’t think it will be easy, but a potential return to the same line up that was so potent last season makes me look forward to this week with optimism, especially considering we now have a plan B in either Welbeck or Manucho on the bench – both unknown quantities, both prepared to wait for and take their chance with no sulking.

The ideal, realistic, scenario would be two league wins and a draw in Spain.

I believe the absence of Berbatov could inadvertently aid United’s season at a crucial point. Am I crazy?

By (Yolkie)

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Da Silva chant….will it catch on?

Posted on November 16, 2008  by Stretford-end  in Chants & Songs, Man United   16 Comments »
Da Silva chant....will it catch on?

I’m usually quite good when it comes to picking up chants for new players but was actually unaware of the latest Da Silva chant – for both twins.  Rafael has had a great start to his United career and it won’t be long till we see Fabio bombing down the other side – so it’s only right that the two brothers get a chant.

Flipping through my ‘UWS’, discussing the game with my mate in Samuel Platts – I then heard the following:

Vivaaaa Da Silva
Vivaaaa Da Silva
Running down the pitch
Can’t tell which is which
Vivaaa Da Silva

Will it catch on?  Should there be a more original one?  Also, should I add the chant to our Manchester United chants page?

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Match Report: Manchester United 5-0 Stoke City

Posted on November 16, 2008  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Reports, Stoke City   No Comments »
Match Report: Manchester United 5-0 Stoke City

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Match Report: Manchester United 5-0 Stoke City

Manchester United destroyed Stoke City 5-0 at Old Trafford after a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo, a goal a piece for Carrick and Berbatov and a first Premier League goal for Danny Welbeck.

Ronaldo notched up his 100th and 101st goal, both from set pieces, whilst putting in a man of the match performance to wipe away those post-Arsenal memories. His first goal came after a only three minutes when Carlos Tevez was fouled. Ronaldo struck a powerful shot over the wall and through the hands of Sorensen. 1-0 to the Champions and United never looked back.

Park had a good chance to put United 2-0, however Sorensen closed him down well. United deserved more from their first half performance and looked liked they would be going in at half time with only a one goal lead, however the impressive Carrick broke through to strike a left footed shot past the Danish keeper.

After the break United really started to dominate and didn’t have to wait long for the third goal – which Berbatov took very smartly. United were a class apart from Stoke – whose fans were more interested in singing anti-Ronaldo songs than watching the game. Ronaldo was simply unplayable at times, weaving in and out of players and creating play – whilst Fletcher and Carrick provided the running from midfield.

Ferguson made three changes during the game, bringing on youngsters Welbeck and Gibson whilst also giving Angolan striker Manucho a Premier League debut. Welbeck usually takes up a forward role, however the lanky seventeen year old took up a right side midfield role and scored one of the goals of the season to make it 4-0 six minutes from full time. Welbeck looked really impressive and United fans will be hoping to see more of him over the course of the season.

Stoke were now in damage limitation mode – although that didn’t stop Ronaldo creating a number of chances that should have been put away. Ronaldo then got his second, after a foul on Carrick on the edge of the box. The Portuguese winger then struck the ball to the left of the wall and into the bottom left hand corner – which had the Stretford End going wild. United fully deserved the win and the scoreline was totally justified.

On the day that Sir Alex Ferguson celebrated his fiftieth year in football he will not have been involved in an easier game. United dominated from start to finish and were well worth the points. United travel to Villa Park next Saturday and will be hoping to continue the good results achieved over the years against the midlands club.

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Hopefully United don’t ‘throw’ it away against Stoke City tomorrow….

Posted on November 14, 2008  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Stoke City, Tactics   1 Comment »
Hopefully United don't 'throw' it away against Stoke City tomorrow....

From my seat in the North Stand tomorrow I hope intently that United can defend against that long throw of Rory Delap. So far this season, Delap has produced a number of assists from his ridiculously long throw, which result in Phil Scolari claiming that ‘Delap is better with his hands than feet‘ – two against Arsenal in the same game a fortnight ago. Should we be concerned with this not so secret weapon? Considering that Evra and Da Silva may well be our fullbacks?

Rory Delap’s new DVD is sure to be a stocking filler.

Now, i’m not one of those fans that totally disregard an approach to Football thats, well….not quite football. I’ve heard a number of Gooners get frustrated with the amount of times sides defend, defend well might I add, against them and deny them the three points. Of course we don’t like to see a side get 11 men behind the ball, but it happens in football – if less technically capabale side didn’t they’d get destroyed.

Stoke City have an almighty fight on their hands as they lie two points off relegation in the Premier League and will need all the help they can get, which means utalising the resources they have at their disposal. Pulis spoke in the week about his admiration for Fergie and what a manager he is but don’t expect no favours tomorrow – United need to get all three points and give a good performance. We were unlucky against Arsenal last week – regardless of what he media believe and I expect a decent performance tomorrow against a side that will make it difficult for United.

Wenger decided to take procautions the next time the two teams met….

So how do you stop it? If it were that easy and I knew the answer I wouldn’t be sitting at home blogging on a Friday evening (the missus is out) however I hope to have a better solution than MOTD ‘jump higher than them’ advice. If Da Silva and Evra are playing tomorrow I would put them on the posts whilst still adopting a man marking system.

Lee Dixon suggested a Zonal marking setup with less players – so that teams can counter attack quicker – but to be honest, who is better at counter attacking than United? Fergie mentioned earlier in the season that counter attacking play isn’t all about the speed in which you get forward, it’s about how many players you can get forward at speed. So whilst Dixon has a point – I still think United should get tight and challenge for the ball. If Fuller jumps higher than Vidic, then at least we have narrowed the space in the goal that he can score with the full backs on the post – something Arsenal failed to do.

Nani tries to out muscle Fuller….

Lets be honest – this game at the start of the season, you would have expected three points, but both Stoke City and Hull City have done a great job so far this season and deserve to be in their respected positions. We have only obtained one point from a possible nine against the big four – not to worry – we got four from nine last season, although that will mean we have to beat all three at Old Trafford, something we did spectacularly last season.

I hope Fergie plays with Da Silva tomorrow, rather than Neville, who I thought was poor last weekend. I also hope that we do get a win and a good win at that. We played well against Chelsea and were unlucky not to win, we played well against Arsenal and should have got a draw – whilst we didn’t deserve anything at Anfield, as much as it pains me to say it. Stoke City fans will be hoping their current crop of heroes can emulate that of the 1976 side – the last Stoke City team to win at Old Trafford and if they do get a chance from a set piece….they’ll try not to ‘throw’ it away.

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Match Report: Manchester United 1-0 QPR

Posted on November 12, 2008  by Stretford-end  in League Cup, Man United, Match Reports   No Comments »
Match Report: Manchester United 1-0 QPR

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Manchester United 1-0 QPR

Carlos Tevez scored a penalty with just under 15 minutes to go to give a lethargic but under strength Manchester United a path to the League Cup quarter finals.

A lacklustre game was as expected dominated by the home side but their possession and high corner count never materialised into many real opportunities – though Nani and Anderson will both have cause to feel they could have both registered earlier than Tevez to make the night not as much an ordeal.

Park hit the post from fully 30 yards, before substitute Danny Welbeck was brought down in the box – Tevez‘s spotkick coolly outfoxing Radek Cerny.

The goal did spur the visitors into a late flurry though it really was too little, too late, and the 2006 winners go into the hat for the Quarter Final Draw.


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