Tactics Board: Moyes’ first tactical conundrum

Posted on August 25, 2013  by sleepy_nik  in Chelsea, Man United, Match Previews, Nik, Premier League, Sleepy Nik, Tactics   1 Comment »

David Moyes takes on Chelsea and Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

Author: Sleepy Nik

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There has been plenty of talk about the difficulty of United’s opening fixtures, and one view would certainly conclude that facing Mourinho’s Chelsea later in the schedule would have been more beneficial – but perhaps Chelsea’s early visit gives David Moyes a chance to show the rest of the league what he and the team are all about. Whilst it is true that United are currently lacking in the midfield department (and the transfer dallying has left a lot to be desired thus far), it can’t have been easy for the squad to stomach the ‘third favourites’ tag, particularly after such a comfortable ride last term.

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Man United 0-1 Chelsea: tactical change gifts Chelsea the win

Posted on May 05, 2013  by nameonthetrophy  in Chelsea, Doron, Man United, Match Reports, Nik, Premier League, Sleepy Nik   12 Comments »

david luiz rafael sending off

Authors: Sleepy Nik and Doron

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United played Chelsea for a fifth and final time this season. Chelsea needed to get something from the game to keep up the pressure on Spurs ahead of their big clash on Wednesday whilst United are champions already and although they had nothing to play for, a strong side was still put out, albeit with a few changes. As ever, we welcome comments from both sets of supporters.

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Chelsea 1-0 United: odd tactics and selections but no need to overreact

Posted on April 01, 2013  by nameonthetrophy  in Chelsea, Doron, FA Cup, Man United, Match Reports, Nik, Sleepy Nik   9 Comments »

Authors: Sleepy Nik and Doron

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To Stamford Bridge again, for the third time this season. Crazily, there’s still a fifth meeting between the two sides to come and Chelsea will go into it with two domestic cup wins, a draw and a league defeat against us. Benitez named his strongest side whilst Fergie rested van Persie and was forced into changes as a result of injuries (Rooney, Rafael and Evans) sustained whilst players represented club and country. As ever, we welcome comments from both sets of fans.

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Tactical preview: Forget Ronaldo, be patient & take risks

Posted on February 11, 2013  by Stretford-end  in Champions League, Man United, Nik, Tactics   7 Comments »
fergie-mourinho
Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United take on Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid in the Bernabeu

Author: Sleepy Nik

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United face Real Madrid on Wednesday, in the glamour tie of the round, and are tagged as underdogs in the eyes of most bookmakers and experts. Yet there remains a suspicion that they can cause Real Madrid problems given their own attacking flair and newly found confidence on the European stage, as well as the fact that Mourinho’s men currently find themselves in a relative state of flux. The tie has been billed as Ronaldo (20 hat-tricks since July 2009!) versus van Persie (19 league goals), but there is so much more to absorb in this fascinating contest.

We have the reunion of two of the silkiest, and tactically astute, players in the game in Carrick and Alonso; attack-minded fullbacks in the form of Portugal’s Coentrao (so good at Euro 2012) and United’s Brazilian maestro, Rafael. But perhaps crucially, we may well see somewhat of a reversion to the early 2000’s in terms of ‘game approach’, as both Mourinho and Ferguson – underrated tacticians in their own right – ponder the use of a classic No. 10. Whatever the specific selections, it is fairly certain that both coaches will seek to deploy the classic ‘4-2-3-1’ system, with two holding midfielders and ambitious fullbacks.

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Man United 2-0 Everton: old Vidic, Giggs reinvented, the Rooney role and the Jones job

Posted on February 11, 2013  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, El Rob, Everton, Man United, Match Reports, Nik, Premier League, Sleepy Nik   1 Comment »
Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones
Phil Jones sticks tight to Marouane Fellaini as Manchester United beat Everton 2-0

Authors: Sleepy Nik, Rob and Doron

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It felt like there was a lot to think about going into this game – City had lost at Southampton; United were off to Madrid a few days after; and United had dropped points in this fixture last year, leading to the title slipping away. This had the feelings of being a game that was that bit more crucial than some of the others lately. Everton too would want to win after Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea all did but they suffered a huge blow in the warm-up as Distin, who’s having a superb season, pulled out with an injury. As ever, we welcome comments from both sets of fans.

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Man United 2-1 Southampton: Saints match Barca for shape and deserve more

Posted on January 31, 2013  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Man United, Match Reports, Nik, Premier League, Sleepy Nik, Southampton   3 Comments »
Manchester United v Southampton: Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring against Southampton for Manchester United

Author: Sleepy Nik and Doron

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Southampton made the long journey north to Manchester knowing that even with a defeat they’d remain out of the relegation zone. Still, the pain that van Persie’s late winner caused earlier in the season lingers and fresh with a new manager, they’d fancy their chances of getting a result. United already knew they had a chance to widen the gap to City after seeing them draw at QPR on Tuesday. As ever, we welcome comments from both sets of fans.

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Man United 2-0 West Brom – getting the Christmas combinations correct

Posted on December 30, 2012  by sleepy_nik  in Man United, Match Reports, Nik, Premier League, Sleepy Nik, WBA   1 Comment »

West Bromwich Albion's Gareth McAuley, right,

West Brom’s Gareth McAuley scores an own goal against Man United

Author: Sleepy Nik

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United faced a potential banana skin at home to high climbing West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, with the latter having a tremendous season so far, and putting a slight wobble of late behind them in recent games. The reds were hoping to finish the year as strongly as possible and hoping to keep the gap between themselves and City at 7 points. For United, back came Cleverley, Young, Vidic, Welbeck and Kagawa, whilst Clarke unsurprisingly sought to pack the midfield and use Long as his lone target man.

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Man United 4-3 Newcastle United: Cleverley the game changer and offside analysis

Posted on December 27, 2012  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Man United, Match Reports, Newcastle United, Nik, Premier League, Sleepy Nik   20 Comments »

Jonny Evans celebrates scoring against Newcastle United

Authors: Stretford_End and Doron

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After the pre-Christmas draw at Swansea, United were hoping to get back to winning ways at home to Newcastle United. The Geordies, whilst fresh from a big morale boosting win over QPR, had injury issues and a pretty naff record at Old Trafford to contend with. This was to be a wet, sodden game that provided much more drama and entertainment than one could have imagined. We welcome comments from both sets of supporters.

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Swansea 1-1 Man United: the good, the bad, and the Carrick

Posted on December 23, 2012  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Man United, Match Reports, Nik, Premier League, Sleepy Nik, Swansea City   33 Comments »

Ashley Youn against Swansea

Ashley Young against Swansea

Author: Sleepy Nik and Doron

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The busy festive spell kicked off with arguably the hardest fixture of the lot – a trip to south Wales to take on one of the league’s leakiest home defences. Swansea are in the gabble of teams who are nicely above the relegation spots and just a few points off Europe despite being in the bottom half of the table. United were guaranteed to be top before kick off but with City’s late winner yesterday, only a win would do. We welcome comments from both sets of supporters.

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Man City 2-3 Man United: perfect tactics, superb performers, and a six point gap

Posted on December 10, 2012  by Stretford-end  in Doron, Man United, Manchester City, Match Reports, Nik, Premier League, Sleepy Nik   5 Comments »
Manchester United celebrate in front of the United fans after Robin van Persie’s goal

Author: Sleepy Nik and Doron

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It wasn’t just to be any old derby match – United’s visit to City would hold huge value to the fans after last season’s goings on. Even going into the game the signs were that a result would be big heading into the busy Christmas period – United held a three point lead over City but the blues were unbeaten in the league and had a very impressive record at home. Ferguson was able to call on Cleverley and Valencia who had both been doubts whilst City had Silva fit and Mancini opted for Balotelli over Tevez. Here we discuss the talking points of the game and welcome contributions from both sets of fans.

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