Manchester United drew a fourth Premier League away game this season, with an early season blip becoming a pattern. The broken sewer in the United dressing room before the match hardly helped the Reds’ focus, although the proverbial shower flowed predominantly on the pitch, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side fortunate to escape with a point.
The dressing room disaster aside – which delayed proceedings by almost half an hour – United produced another frustrating, shapeless display on Wearside. Indeed, the Reds could easily have lost the game in a first half that Steve Bruce’s outfit thoroughly bossed. So much so that Ferguson declared himself happy with a point, after United’s worst performance of the season to date.
“We had to defend very well and the pleasing thing for me is that the back four were fantastic,” said Ferguson.
“The consistency of not losing is something we can take. I am not pleased but I am satisfied. Sunderland had the most chances in the game and I have to say we were fantastic defensively.
“That’s the area in which we have been leaking goals and throwing games away this season, so I am pleased with that.
“It was a very determined Sunderland team, their home record this season has been very, very good.”
United maintained a record in which Ferguson’s side has lost on Wearside since 1997 but has now taken just four from 12 points on the road, drawing at both Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland, where Ferguson’s side won last season. It points, even at this early stage of the season, to a frustrating level of inconsistency even if United remains undefeated.
Ferguson’s side began with four changes to that which beat Valencia on Wednesday, with Michael Owen and Federico Macheda paired in attack for the first time this season. Wayne Rooney, who Ferguson has insisted takes a rest, remained in Manchester, while Dimitar Berbatov dropped to the bench along with Patrice Evra, who has looked jaded this season.
The changes appeared to break whatever momentum United picked up in Spain, with Sunderland dominating the opening 45. Both Steed Malbranque, who brought a fine save out of Edwin van der Sar, and then former Liverpool winger Bolo Zenden could have scored in the opening half hour. While the Dutchman struck the upright from 25 yards, captain Nemanja Vidic also cleared Manchester city loanee Nedum Onuoha’s effort off the line.
It was a frantic start by the hosts who had United under the cosh from the start, in front of a disappointingly sparse 41,000 crowd.
By contrast United offered almost nothing in attack, with Owen completely ineffective on his recall to the starting 11. It was perhaps no surprise then that Berbatov replaced the former Liverpool striker at half time. On this evidence critics of the crueller variety might point the Owen’s brace against Scunthorpe United in the Carling Cup and wonder if he had found his level.
If United found a new impetus in the second period then chances still flowed for the hosts, with Darren Bent firing low to van der Sar’s right and just past the post, and then Malbranque’s shot deflecting off Rio Ferdinand and over the bar.
Berbatov fashioned perhaps United’s best chance, firing low and wide from 25 yards, while Nani’s vicious effort drew a save – one of very few – from home ‘keeper Simon Mignolet.
Even Scholes, recalled to the side after a calf injury, produced an off-colour display, with fellow midfielder Anderson unable to build on the performance in Valencia. The Brazilian is unlikely to have enjoyed being shunted to the left wing for much of the game.
“We had no attacking purpose in the first 25 minutes of the match,” added Ferguson, whose side could slip five points behind Chelsea if the Londoners beat Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
“It wasn’t until towards the end of the first half that we got any semblance of keeping possession of the ball. In the second half we did a lot better, there was more threat by us, but they had chances from set-pieces.”
The draw leaves plenty of questions hanging over United, with the Reds not playing again until Ferguson’s side hosts West Bromwich Albion in a fortnight’s time. By then Ferguson may have a fit Rooney available and will hope that the former Evertonian awakes from the longest period poor form in his career.
If United has fixed the leaky defence with Ferdinand’s return then the inconsistent levels of performance remain. There is much to ponder over the international break.
Sunderland – 451 – Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, Onuoha, Bramble; Cattermole, Zenden (Reid 82), Malbranque (Gyan 82), Henderson, Al-Muhammadi; Bent.
United – 442 – van der Sar; Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, O’Shea; Nani, Fletcher, Scholes, Anderson (Bébé, 80); Macheda (Hernández, 64), Owen (Berbatov, 45).
Man-of-the-match: van der Sar
Possession: Sunderland 50% – 50% Man Utd
Attempts: 14 – 10
On target: 8 – 4
Corners: 10 – 4
Fouls: 10 – 6
50 thoughts on “Reds’ poor Premier away form continues”
We’re lucky to get a drawn. Sunderland played much better, especially in the first half. There’s so far no away win for us this season, and the bottom line is simply… WE’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!…
Comparatively to our own squad, I think this season we’ve got the weakest team if we compare to our own squad in the last 5 seasons. Three seasons ago we still got Ronaldo who can be rated as a “SUPER PLAYER” in the side which he can score goals and win the game for us even when the team didn’t play well. We’ve still got Tevez which, of course I hate him as he signed for City, but we’ve got to accept the fact that he is much better than Owen, Obertan, Tosic, Chicharito, Bebe, etc. that SAF waste our limited amount of money (due to an enormous debt created by Glazer’s family)to bring them in. We should have had go for m uch better players like Ozil, Chamakh, Ben Arfa, etc. whom some are available for FREE, but we didn’t. David Gill keep saying that we will bring in only players who can improve the squad, but, for me, none of these players can improve the strength of our squad (They just come in to increase the number of players sitting on the bench, that’s all) WHY??? CORRUPTION BEHIND THE TRANSFER SCENE??? Think by yourself!!!…
In addition, Scholes, Giggs, Van Der Sar, and Neville are getting older and older, and with the limited of their ages, so they cannot perform well consistency.
On the contrary, in EPL, the big favourite Chelsea, and Arsenal are signing good players. City and Tottenham keep on improving the strength of their sqauds. In UCL Barcelona and Real Madrid are comparatively much more stronger than us. So, let’s face the fact, last season we won only Carling Cup which no big team is interested. This season’s I’m afraid to say that’s could be the best thing that we can really aim for…
you’re being generous, we haven’t had a worst team than this at least since the prem began, even a couple of years ago when we were carrying dross like carroll djemba and kleberson we still had rio keane scholes giggs ole ruud rooney ron, rio vidic and nani and a fucked up wayne is all we’ve got right now, and fergie won’t or can’t even do what he’s done every time wweve been in a position like this since he’s been at the club, buy his way out of trouble, he did it when he first turned up spending loads on webb pally irwin hughes ince mcclair and he’s been doing it since, he’s no wenger he can’t build a great team with no money
and vidic was motm not vds, he’s flying right now vidic
The team now is far better than in 2003-2005 when Keane was coming to the end of his career, Rio had his 8-month ban and we were waiting for Ronaldo to come good.
Newsflash Tosic left and we got about the transfer fee we signed him for.
Yes Fergie’s buys are questionable but your suggested purchases are ridiculous. Ozil wanted to go to Spain, Chamakh has not proved himself yet, Ben Arfa is talented but a loose cannon. The obvious one, which you’ve left out, is VDV. He would have been a good signing for any of the top 6 clubs.
Are you seriously suggesting that Hernandez does not improve our squad? And what are you basing your dismissal of Bebe on, less than 30 mins first team playing time? Look at the ins and outs this summer – we’re clearly stronger than last year. Nani is a far better player in 2010. VDS and Scholes’ form are just as good this season too.
VDS, GNev, Scholes and Giggs are all getting older. Yes indeed they are. We have replcements for Gnev and Giggs already in place (Rafael and Nani). But I agree Fergie hasn’t found suitable replacements for VDS and Scholes and that it worrying.
Chelsea and Arsenal are signing good players? Really? Because Ramires dosen’t look too hot so far and we all know Benayoun is average. Chamakh has potential but the new defenders look a bit dodgy, plus Arsenal still have a clown in goal.
Of course Real and Barca’s squads are better than ours. These two clubs don’t live in the real world. Their greed with TV money has destroyed La Liga making it as big a two horse race as Scotland.
Last season United lost the league by a point. We failed to reach the final of the CL (for the third year running) because Rafa got himself sent off – we werent outplayed. I think the team this year has the potential to do better than last year.
We just need Rio, Rooney and Fletch to find fitness and form and things will pick up. God I wish Fergie had bought a midfield dynamo but have a bit of fucking faith. It’s 3 October for christ sake.
After the positive result midweek in Valencia, I was surprised with team selection yesterday. It should/could have been an opportunity to get 3 points on the road for the first time this season and get some momentum and form going. So making 4 personnel changes in hindsight wasn’t the brightest idea. There was also no balance to the team. Clearly injuries to Valencia & Giggs don’t help matters, bu
If we go for Ozil before, he will join us. Infact, we sell Tosic and get less than half of the fee we pay to sign him. Why we paid 17 million for player like Anderson? That’s doubtful really.
In my opinion, Chamakh is a better and well known player and Arsenal get him for free. Can any of you remember how many Goal keeper we signed and loan them out, which eventually let them go for free? (I think at least 2 of them).
In the past, when we compare our team with others, we can proudly said that in midfiled, we’ve got Keano, Beckham, Giggs, Scholes… then it comes to Ronaldo who can be a real super star. Nowadays, who can be that.
Last season we lost Chelsea by a point, but they become stronger and we weaker. I hope January come sooner rather than later as it will give chance to SAF to sign new players.
we’re not better than we were last season, we’ve just stockpiled yet more shite players in a squad that was already too big and full of quantity over quality, none of the signings have improved us and smallings the only one with any chance of ever doing so
re last season let’s get it right, chelsea are much better than us, rooney almost performed a miracle and won us the league in spite of that, the minute he got injured we had no chance, it was madness to just assume hed have another wonder season and carry all the dross surrounding him again and not get injured or have a hangover after the world cup and again get us to run close a team who are better than us, the fact chelsea signed crap players don’t change anything, its not them that needed to improve to win the league, they’re already the best team in the league by a stretch its us that needed to improve to catch up not them and we haven’t we’re even worse now and without rooney the seasons already a writeoff
So Hernandez is not an improvement on Owen?
Smalling not an improvement on Cathcart?
By playing 30 mins for the first team, Bebe has already done more than Tosic did.
Rio looks like he could now be fit. He’s missed like 60 of our last 100 games or something stupid like that. OK some players are older, but you can’t tell me that VDS and Scholes are worse than last year.
Are these players dross?:
Skip the midfield
Other than VDS due to his age I’m pretty sure that the top clubs in Europe would all want these players as they are top quality or have big potential. Then we still have Rooney. He’ll undoubtedly come back into form and when he does he’ll have an in form Berba alongside him.
Chelsea are much better than us? They didn’t look it. Let’s wait and see. I didn’t see too much evidence at Wastelands last week. There’s no way we’ll give them 6 points this season. OK Essien is excellent, but Terry and Mikel are still weak points in their team. Did you see their bench against City? – if they get a few more injuries, it don’t look good.
The same people questioning Ando and his fee are the same people who questioned Nani this time last year. The guy has talent, he could still come good. I’m not saying I don’t have doubts though.
What people need to realise is that the bedrock of our success in 2006-09 was not just Ronaldo – it was the defence. We’ve got that defence back together now. Things will improve.
Yes Fergie should have bought a midfield dynamo and a creative central midfield player – but it’s not the end of the world. We will still challenge.
and whereas wekre without our best player, they’ve got their best player essien back and he’s flying, so they have improved anyway
Cont’d…even an underperforming Park, playing left side helps the system and provides natural balance/width in a 4 or 5 man midfield.
Why not give Obertan or Bebe a chance instead of shifting an Anderson or Fletch etc? The likes of Obertan & Bebe show glimpses of promise but will only improve as players by experiencing first team football as opposed to regular appearences in the stiffs. The width issue, also
questions the wisdom of letting Cleverley go out on loan?
Rio has made a huge difference defensively and surely Rafael has to be given an extended run at right back after his mature display in the Mestalla.
We will get back to winning ways and I’m happy with the quality and depth in the squad. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later…
Dammm!!!… It’s no point to praise our team which infact they are not that good!!!!
Vidic and Rio are brilliantly playing together, Evra is a top class full back who can attack efficeintly. However, O’Shea and Rafale are simply not good enough.
In midfield, Nani has a great potential to replace Ronaldo, but needs much more improvement, especially in terms of final ball and final decision making. Scholes and Giggs are good, but, with their ages, how far they can go on and on. Fletcher always working hard, but is only a good player. Apart from that, they are just good or fair player and no one can be rated as top class player really.
Rooney still struggling to re-discover his form, while Owen has already past his peak. It’s a long way to go, but based on the current situation, May be Gazzaro is right, we need a big improvement..
The difference this season is that the desire and passion are simply not there. we have almost the same squad but for some silly reason our players can’t play 2 games in a row. Chicharito played a magnificent 10 minutes in Spain; he’s on a high and eager…whay the hell drop him come Saturday? It’s not as if we have a game on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Then there’s the Fletcher problem. he’s been so off colour since the beginning of the season and yet we keep playing him week in week out. Carrick, Anderson etc are just not doing what they are paid 1000s of £ to do.
We played without a left winger at all yesterday…can yo imagine that? there was no one on the left flank! We made people like Bent, Zenden and Malbranque look world class.
Fergie’ expectation seem low as well. He could only see the positives from yesterday-we didn’t concede. Better we concede 4 and score 5 than having to go through 90 mn of utter and painfun shit…
The news is: SHIT ON THE STICK stuff hs been transferred to Old Trafford (at least when we play away)!! Rejoice Liverpool fans…we’re clearly heading your way…the American way-if your expensive toy (bougtht on ‘cheap’ loan)doesn’t make money, toss it away and get a new one!!
It’s all doom and gllom I’m afraid…you can’t put a positive spin on this one even if you recruit the guy who fooled us into believing that Saddam was sitting on so much WMD he could blow the galaxy away!!!
Apart from the defence yesterday, the starting line up was one of the worst I have ever seen United start with. As Fazal said, United played without a left winger for pretty much the entire game. Anderson was there for the first ten minutes, then went central and was truly awful for the entire match. I cannot understand why Fergie left him on until the 80th minute. Mind boggling stuff. In the second half it seemed like Macheda was played out the left and was understandably ineffective. When an almost 37 year old is your best/only left sided midfielder/winger you know your squad is seriously lacking.
Owen was also rank. I wouldn’t start him at home against teams like Sunderland never mind away to them. Slow, failing first touch, offers nothing in the air and is easily marked by opposition defenders.
All in all it was a horrendous match. Totally outplayed in the first half by Sunderland. I also don’t know why Fergie is lauding the defence. If Sunderland were a better team they would have won the match in the first half with the chances they created.
The fact you said “skip the midfield” sort of ruins your argument
How are the forwards meant to succeed when the midfield doesn’t function properly?
And how is the defence meant to succeed when it gets no protection from the midfield
Its the most important area of the game now, and those are Fergie’s words
The way you say “we will still challenge” despite not having a strong midfield is wrong IMO. You can’t win a major trophy without a strong, adapatable, technically adept, athletic, powerful midfield that protects the back 4, dominates the ball and feeds the forwards.
So how is the midfield different from last season or the season before? And don’t pretend that Hargreaves 26 starts made the difference. He started the CL final on the right.
Yes it’s substandard compared to the rest of the team – but it’s been good enough to get by.
BTW, I dont doubt that we need to improve the midfield – you’re totally right about that.
But we’ve still got enough to challenge. All the central midfielders are out of form at the moment which obviouls exacerbates things
The case for a strong midfield (a strong, adapatable, technically adept, athletic, powerful midfield that protects the back 4, dominates the ball and feeds the forwards-as Siddards rightly said)-.who can run up and down the field is so blatently obvious that anyone arguing against must get their heads checked!
If we wait oo long to sort it out we may not attract top players because we’ll be too far down the pecking order. I’m tempted to say we’ll end up like Liverpool after their last league title in 1990 but all credit to Ferguson (he is a genius no matter what) who has pe-empted our financial demise and brought in quality youths. In a few years time we’ll have Morrison, Pogba, Petrucchi, Clervely, that dutch left winger bloke we just bought…all coming through, coupled with Valencia, Nani, etc we’ll probably have the best midfield since Keane, Scholes, Cantona, Beckham, Giggs, etc…But a ‘few years’ may see us miss out on Champions league football and revenues that may spell disaster.
The fact is we need players like Anderson and Obertan to start providing some real alternatives and options. If Obertan was decent he could have provided cover on the left flank yesterday and we would have been less preictable. As it was it was so easy for them to see where we would attack as there was only 1 option…For fucks sake we could evn have played Evra there instead of leaving it void.
So investment is needed…if Hargreaves (thats a long shot) and Carrick performs again then only 1 creative midfielder in the Modric mould could fix all our woes..but we can’t even afford that!! Thats scarry…
“The broken sewer in the United dressing room before the match hardly helped the Reds’ focus, although the proverbial shower flowed predominantly on the pitch, …”
Ed – Concise, evocative, and accurate – the perfect analogy fo United’s performance yesterday. Lovely piece of writing.
Anyone who thinks we can mount a serious challenge with the midfield options we have is deluded.
When all fit, our best central midfielders are Fletcher, and Scholes… one has the legs but limited ability, the other has the ability but no legs… so basically that’s one player between them.
All the rest are average, or worse.
Look around at all the top teams… many of them have two or three players better than any one of ours.
Barca, Real, Arsenal, Chumpski, City, Tottenham… not one of our midfielders would get into any of those teams first eleven… except maybe Nani… maybe.
Ferguson claims there’s no value in the market, and he won’t pay silly money… and there you have it.
The rest of the football world builds strong dynamic midfields… and we make do with what we have… and Ferguson himself says the reason is money… no value, and too expensive.
The worlds most profitable fooball club is operating on a restrictive budget… The Glazers say the money is there… Gill says the money is there… Fergie says the money is there… but we won’t buy because there’s no value, and Fergie’s happy with the players we have.
Ferguson has NEVER been cautious with money when United needed strengthening… NEVER… so why now… when our weakness is so glaringly obvious.
Because… there is NO MONEY.
“GOOD ENOUGH TO GET BY”???
Are you fuckin kidding me?
We are Manchester United… we not supposed to just “get by”.
Do you think Chumpski, Real, Barca are happy to just “get by”?
Fuck sake Mate… have a word with yourself.
How exactly do you have a word with youself?
Don’t give me that “we are” crap. You sound like a Liverpool fan. Anyone who says shit like that sounds like a prick.
The midfield aint great but its been good enough previously. It needs improvement yes. But I dont buy this the sky is falling in attitude which is prevalent on this site.
Fergie is not stupid, he knows we are falling far behind some of the others and it’s only going to get worse, I really feel this is a new era and we just have to get used to that fact, the Yanks have fucked us.
I’m pissing myself at Liverpool’s plight….but I fear we’ll soon be there.
Gutted does not describe my feelings.
It wasn’t enough last season though
We lost a record number of games (including getting dicked at home to Leeds) and we never mounted a serious, credible challenge. It was Chelsea’s to lose.
And so far this season fuck all has changed – that’s the point. We’ve already missed an opportunity to put real pressure on Chelsea by being shit and weak away from home.
Chelsea have strengthened in midfield over summer with the Ramires and the return of Essien – both of which provide more skill, technique, power & options.
We, on the other hand, have even resorted to sticking O’Shite in midfied like back in 2005.
We lost by one point. Get some perspective. I’d agree with if we came 3rd. But it was very close. It came down to a poor perforamnce at home against Chelsea.
We’re not unfixable Brian, but we have to get rid of the Glazers soon… United still makes plenty of money, and can dig itself out of this hole those cunts have put us in, but a lot of that money comes from fickle foreign fans who will switch clubs in a heartbeat, if United aren’t fashionable anymore… and it’s star players that make teams fashionable.
“The midfield ain’t great”… whoa… careful mate… you might strain yourself.
As it stands right now… I don’t mind sounding like a Liverpool supporter… look at the shit they’re in… all because they can’t bring in the quality they need.
We have a decent defense… plenty of strikers… but our midfield is dreck… and if you can’t see that… then you are deluded…
Now call me a “prick” for that.
If not for Rooney… how much would we have lost by?
You need some perspective – Chelsea are stronger than last season
Just give up
it is pushing it considering they’ve won everything in the game. fucking shit arent they?
Don’t worry, we can rely on him to score another 30 odd goals this season
We’ll be fiiine, psssh, don’t worry
Anyone need a season ticket?
midfield has been a weakness since keanes legs went EIGHT years ago, fergies had that long to sort our midfield out and he failed, he got lucky with scholes suddenly becoming amazing again when e won back the league and even then our midfield was the weakness compared to our attack and defence, which were the best around, but it was good enough to see us right, our defence and attack aren’t the best anymore, its time to sort the midfield out properly instead of hiding it behind rio/vidic and ron/wayne
If not for Drogba how much would we have won by?
No, that’s ridiculous.
Chumpski would be fine without Drogba… and what’s more… I’ve no doubt that they’d spend what’s neccessary to replace him.
Without Rooney, we’re not even a top 4 team… maybe not even top 6… and if Rooney went down tomorrow with a season ending injury… how much do you think we’d spend replacing him?… or would Fergie try to make do for the rest of the season?
The funny thing is despite being clearly the best team in the league chelsea are declining just like we are, but our decline in qquality if not league position is happening at such a fucking rapid pace chelsea will probably be abke to pick up a few more titles before they have to start properly sorting their team out, and when a challenge does come it’ll be from city not us
Agree, Knobby. This current Chelsea team isn’t a patch on Mourinho’s team at its peak, just like the current United team is nowhere near the 2008 double winning standard bearing team.
Chelsea have got issues that need addressing too; they need to replace Drogba & Anelka. Terry isn’t getting any younger either. They seem to be coping without Lampard.
But the difference between them and us is they will replace quality with quality – proven experienced top draw quality, not young nomarks who will take years to develop.
I’m not so sure about that… Chumpski have got some young players, but the likes of Terry, Drogba, Lampard are still excellent… they may not be as good as they were a couple years back, but why replace what is still very good?
They have bought some real quality, that we will see more of in the nest year or two… like Ramires and Kakuta, and I’ve no doubt that they’ll add more as and when they want to.
And by the way… as much as we complain that we’ve done nothing to fix our biggest problem… the midfield… we have brought in quite a bit of youth… whether they make it or not is a different matter… but should Smalling come good, then our defensive pair of him and Evans should see us right for many years… if the twins keep improving as they have, then that’s our fullbacks sorted as well. Nani is still young, and Cleverly is promising a lot… and then there is Chico, Macheda, and Bebe… they may all turn out to be shite, but if just one of them comes good, then Rooney has a long term partner. A lot of ifs, for sure, but with youth, you never really know until they’re tried, and that will come.
The problems are all in the centre, and it’s the one place that you would expect Ferguson to go for proven quality, and spend a few quid to get the right man.
I don’t remember seeing ando play on the left wing at all against sunderland. all I saw was him tucked in behind the strikers holding the ball and making awful passes.
drogba lampard terry cole etc are obviously top class and as I’ve said chelsea are better than they were last year but lloking over a five or so year period to when they were under mourinho they’re not as good, luckily we’re nowhere near as good
This is quite possibly the most dire United midfield in all most 20 years . Anderson running round midfield with his new found fat ass is a disgrace , Fergie should send him of to boot camp , carrick so predictable and slow on the ball , Park just ain’t a United player , fletcher needs to play with good players , Nani very wasteful at crosses 80 grand a week and you can’t beat the first man with a cross , scholes is the only glimoor of hope and hes 36.
I agree with the comments so far we are deluded if we think we can challenge for the title won’t even mention the champions league that might be a think of the ppast come next season.I have a Sneaky feeling we might sneak 4th place this eseason but I think we need to finish 5th in the league and maybe Fergie might wake up and smell the cheese we just ain’t good enough to compete with the bigger teams.I also agree with the comment We are United we should not be in this position at all.
Yes United played terribly but this has been going on for years whenever we’re away to a middle-or-better team. That is Fergie’s way of playing away and it’s been like this, not just this season, but even when we had the likes of Ruud and Ronaldo. Only difference is that we could’nt score against Sunderland like we sometimes did before.
Go check our away record for the last 10 years. We’ve always drawn lots of games, we’ve won lots of 1-0s.
The reason we’ve not yet won away is because of luck that’s all. When was the last time someone scored 2 goals against in injury time like Everton did? and if we had Rio we would not have allowed Fulham to pull off a late draw. Just those 2 unlucky results mean that we’re now on 13 points rather than 17. The draws at Bolton and Sunderland are normal, otherwise we would have won all our games which never happens. Okay it did back in 1985 but we still finished 4th.
The defence has been sorted out. I think once Carrick and Fletcher resume their onform midfield partnership, we would start dominating games again. That’s the missing link. I know Scholes has a lot of admirers for the great work he’s done, but the truth is that he is way past his best years. In fact, he stopped being a starter a couple of years ago. He didn’t even make the lineup for the 2009 Champions League final even though Fletcher and Hargreaves were missing.
However, due to Anderson and Carrick’s injuries and loss of form, he had earned a recall by default.
I still think that when Carrick and Fletcher are on fire, and the defence is stable, the forwards would have the platform to perform their magic up front.
If Hargreaves regains fitness and form (and its a big if) he could transform the midfield if he plays the anchor role (none of this right back or right wing thing please). Once again we just might be able to boss the middle of the park and he can cover in front of the back four as well. Failing which we are going to struggle. I mean can we rely on Carrick and Anderson to achieve any sort of excellence over the period of a season ? Scholesy’s doing wonderfully well but at his age he will only play intermittently.
We should have brought in some experience but Fergie, because of budget constraints, has concentrated on ones for the future who don’t demand “extortionate” wages and that’s the key. They will take time to settle in and develop.
Fergie’s remit is similar to Wenger’s these days. Buy young players before they break due to club transfer policy, develop them & hover around the top 4.
The trick is to make sure we don’t go trophy less for 5 seasons. I am sure that Fergie will using the Carling Cup to make sure that some sort of silverware is acquired each season.
Bad luck… You’re more deluded than Triggs
Bad luck isn’t the reason we were dominated by Fulham, Bolton and Sunderland. In fact we were lucky to come away with a point. Same with Liverpool – they dominated after the second goal and missed a great chance to go 3-2 up and probably win the match.
It’s true that the defence is sorted (for now) but Ferdinand won’t complete a full season because he’s an injured player. And even if he did, we were just as shit in the first 75 minutes against Sunderland with him on the pitch. They were all over us at times – and, again, we were lucky to come away with a point. Malbranque should have scored. It was the midfield’s fault n all as Fletcher didn’t spot the danger and follow his man.
And Everton wasn’t bad luck either – it was a collapse – it was our doing. Bad luck isn’t the reason they managed to score 3 goals without a striker on the pitch. The midfield owned that day but bullshit, preventable defensive mistakes cost us.
This soft thinking is exactly the problem… if this, if that… we’ll get by… we’ll still be top 4, or there abouts.
The Glazers rely on this mediocre, acceptance of our place as also rans to maintain power. As long as the majority of United fans are happy to just hang around the top, the Glazers have no worries.
Problem is… the other teams around us aren’t happy with that lot. I guess we should count our blessings that there’s only a couple teams with more ambition, (and cash) than us… so we should be OK… and hope that Tottenham don’t get any better.
Yeah… that’s it… trust in the Glazers and Fergie… they’ll keep us top four… no worries… we’re Manchester United and we’re the fourth best team in England… yippie.
Couldnt agree more with you man…its so saddening when I see this lack of ambition, “we went to Sunderland and we didnt concede and that’s a big positive for us”. Bloody hell, this is Manchester United you are talking of!!! Is that so fucking difficult to understand? “We had three games in a week, and that made the players tired” – well guess, what, that’s what the priviledge of playing CL football means. This attitude shows up in our transfers, our ultra-defensive tactics, and our results, and I am getting just sick of it. Again, we are MANCHESTER UNITED – do you understand what that means???
You know what – there might actually be money. But, if I were the Glazers (heaven forbid!), I would ask a very simple question – when you have Scholes, Fletch, Gibson, Carrick, Anderson and Park, why do you need to buy another MF-er? And it’s nothing to do with the Glazers being bastards – its just asking for a very simple busines case. As much as it saddens me to say this, I am afraid Fergie has lost his hairdryer. He just doent come across as the same ruthless, hardnosed bastard – if he was, he would have shown a couple of those players the door and brought in fresh blood. That, and the constant tinkering tactics and positions for individual players is the root cause of what we see before us. One day, Fletch lies deep, next day he is AMF, same for Anderson, Giggs (LW and AMF confusion), Rooney, Berba (front man and hole confusion), Park (wing and MF confusion). By doing this you give no time to anybody to settle and make even talented players look like Mr. Versatile O’ Shea. And I am sick of hearing, “Ooo, we are Man Utd., we always start slow” as if its something to be fucking proud about. Why the fuck can’t we change that? Scott obstinacy and an ego the size of an elephant, that’s why. I still worship the man, but even God tries the patience of his subjects, and SAF is getting increasingly close to makeing me an atheist.
Surely you’re not suggesting that my soft thinking is the reason United have drawn 4 games? Well, I’m chuffed! I never knew that my thoughts typed here on this keyboard affect the entire Manchester United galaxy.
I bet you didn’t go check the stats, did you? I specifically told you to look at previous seasons and you’ll see we’ve always served drab, dull away games… with minor exceptions.
So you want us to spend money instead of happily settling on a top four spot. Do you remember the summer of 2001 when we spent 50 millions pounds on Veron, Ruud, and Carroll? Do you recall that later in January we spent another 7 million to get Forlan? Where did we finish that season we spent 57 million pounds?
You’re a winner if you answered ‘3rd’!
The solution is not to spend like ‘our rivals’. Even if the Glazers hadn’t come around we would never in a million years have sanctioned the kind of prices Abramovich and the Arabs are spending.
I’m not defending the Glazers. Screw the Glazers. But we won 3 titles with this lot and we can win it again.
Btw, Manchester United have been bankrupt twice, have been relegated 5 times, and once went 41 years without winning the title. I’m Manchester United and I don’t care where we finish… yippie.
“The solution is not to spend like ‘our rivals”.
Well spending money isn’t always going to give a gurantee that you will win trophies but it definitely increases the chances of winning one as compared to the times when one doesn’t spend.
Man Utd may have spent 50m pounds in 2001…..well Real Madrid spent 75 million Euros on Zidane that summer and they won the CL that season !