It's just one of those days when I fail to make a preview and a review due to factors that I must say are beyond my control. Anyhow, after the win at Stoke, United were preparing for a tough Champions League encounter against Wolfsburg--who by the way are the German Champions!
After watching that game on Wednesday night, I thought that we wouldn't get a tougher game than what the German outfit provided.
You have to feel for Sir Alex, he cannot maintain the same players throughout the season because he has to avoid player burn-out, but you feel he ought to start Berbatov and Rooney in important games. I think Owen will do well of the bench rather than starting the game. The reasons are obvious. He no longer has the pace that got him away from defenders back in the days but if he gets on with a quarter of the game left, you feel that fatigue in the opposition defence will enable him get past them and poke in winners. Afterall, he will be fresher.
I think that Berbatov is the creative spark at United and so we really look lifeless and toothless without him in. The groin injury suffered by Owen that night must be a blessing in disguise. All who have eyes did see the way Berbatov made our team click when he came on. Perhaps it should not be a foregone conclusion that the team should be built around Wayne. The Bulgarian does bring a handful of players into the game with his brilliant link-up play and it has to be said, it's beautiful to watch him make deft touches and buoyant passes.
You really have to appreciate his contribution to Michael Carrick's winner!

The only worry for United should be what we shall do when Ryan loses his unbelievable form at the moment. Obviously we cannot expect him to keep it up till May and of course there will be days when even he is not enough to get past teams. This is why Valencia and Nani should step up. Nani's problem is well documented. Valencia has this problem of thinking that he has to speed past a player before making that all important cross into the box. You wish he adopted the David Beckam mentality of hoofing balls into the box regardless of who is there--you only have to see our winner against Arsenal to know that it doesn't matter who heads the ball, it can still end up in the net.

The Defence: Has Rio Ferdinand become too big to defend? He seems almost afraid of the ball at times and I wonder if he is still as effective as he was for us a couple of years back. I'll give him the benefit of doubt though as he has been on this unbelievable run of injuries lately.

Tomaz K did well in goal and there is something about his confidence that I like which I don't see in Ben Foster. There was little he could do about the gaol but he did pull off some great catches that took the pressure off us. I prefer a keeper who makes a catch more often than a punch. It does increase confidence in the defence.

At this point, let me just make it clear that I am not be-heading our players but quite simply assessing them as they proceed to give us what we need this season!