I pride myself in being one of the most red bespectacled United fans around. That is because I usually take long to snap. I will defend a poor performance or a defeat because I think I'm patient enough to wait for the team to click into gear again.
The last time most fans appreciated a performance from us was that 5-0 away win at Bolton. Since then, we have slowly but surely moved our game to the away performances of last season. But for our sheer determination and resolve to post results, we might not be as healthy as we are both in the league and in Europe.
The injury to Tom Cleverly and the constant changing of our back line has given me reason to be patient with the team but I've reached that point where I cannot take another drab performance.
Last night, United had me nodding off for the first time in ages. Neutral fans that were watching the game with me thought that Otelul Galati played better than us on a whole. Whilst they didn't have much possession of the ball, they hurried us in possession and were fit enough to play a defense-attack game against us. They seemed better organised especially at the back and were unfortunate t concede more than the one goal.
United on the other hand, for all their possession, were forced to pass the ball around in their half and had no imagination of any sort going forward. It speaks volumes that David De Gea was more involved than Dimitar Berbatov. I thought Anderson, Berbatov, Nani and Valencia were complete let downs. Valencia seems to have lost that directness that made him a starter for 2 seasons. Nani has once again failed the inconsistency test and is as timid as Valencia on the wing as well. Anderson has also lost the spark that restored hope in us at the start of the season. It all seems to have got horribly wrong. It cannnot be that in our 25 man squad, it takes Tom Cleverely to make everyone else tick---I refuse to accept that. But if it is the case, then I hope we do get somebody in during the next window because as we are, we're only going to dread the knock-out stages of the Champions League. At the moment it takes just one organised team to make us look like a mid-table side.
The manager has pointed to injuries to a few players but every team has injuries and we pride ourselves in having a big squad so that excuse cannot stand. I was more lenient with the team after the win at Everton for the simple reason that we had not won there for the last 4 seasons but I did expect us to express ourselves more last night. That we failed to do so yet again kind of sends a chill down my spine as we prepare for the visit of Sunderland on Saturday.
Only Phil Jones stood out for me last night. I know Wayne was playing in the middle but he was too deep for my liking as well. His deep role made it impossible for Berba and Chicharito to get any sort of link from the middle.
Last night also had me wondering if it is possible for any of the Da Silva twins to maintain composure in the penalty box after a surging run. Its not to have a go at Fabio for his brilliant runs but it is the end product that really counts. I've seen Rafael make the same comedy when in the side.
Credit though to Galati who made us chase and work for every ball. For sure, there are no mugs in the Champions League but one hopes that by the time Basel and Benfica come around, we would have got our game together.
Sunderland at home is another chance for us to play like we've grown to love to watch United play.
Labels: UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE