Sunday, 30 January 2011

POST BLACKPOOL AND SOUTHAMPTON NOTES!


From the beginning: We were all set on our way to witness the shock result of the Premier League season so far on Tuesday night until something not unusual happened and restored expectations.

The manner of that particular 2-3 away win on Tuesday night at Blackpool is exactly what I thought we needed to send a clear message to our title rivals. Prior to the game, we only had two wins to show for our away day troubles so it was apparent that nothing we did at home would significantly move our rivals. It had to come away from home. So seeing United 2-0 down with a little over 20 minutes to play must have been paradise for many of our rivals. Winning 2-3 in the end must have had them itching for the night. Wins such as the one that we saw on Tuesday are usually characteristic of Champions.

I don't have to add to the praise that Dimi has got from the press during the past few weeks but I have to say that I'm chuffed for the Bulgarian. I mean after enduring two seasons of vehement abuse from rival fans and United fans alike, I think he needed a something to go for him there and I'm glad it did. Its amazing how quickly one can rise from the most frustrating player to the best in your team in a little over a couple of months.

Wayne Rooney on the other hand has so far not done enough to justify his huge weekly wages and what more--a certain little Mexican is, basing on appearances and goals, a better striking option at the moment. contrast of fortunes really. I mean whilst Berbatov got stick throughout the previous campaign, Wayne basked in the glory that his goal scoring form won him. The exact reverse seems to be happening now and its not least because of the early season transfer saga that went some way in damaging his relationship with the fans. Obviously I hope he gets to turn it around but I won't be complaining if The Little Pea keeps banging them in, pointing to the sky and kissing our badge.

The reward for picking up all three points at Blackpool was a 5 point lead at the summit of the league. I thought it was crucial we got the gap to five points because that gives us some kind of insurance should there be an unprecedented blip between now and May. Chelsea largely kept the distance between us and them to five points last season and that in the end helped them edge above us even when they dropped a couple of points towards the end of the season.
We've now gone 23 games unbeaten in the league--now into February and with 15 games left now, the butterflies are starting to have their way.

With no league action this weekend the FA Cup took centre stage and Sir Alex picked a more or less reserve team to take on Southampton at the St Mary's stadium. As usual, we made it very hard for ourselves by playing poorly in the first half but we certainly did make amends with a couple in the second half that have given us a place in the last 16 of the Cup. It's been 6 seasons since we last won that particular trophy so I've been yearning for it but I wouldn't sacrifice the league for it any day and that is probably whey I wasn't so disturbed by Fergie's team selection.

Giggs and Nani did their part to turn the game in our favour but once again it was Javier Hernandez who got us yet another match winner. The best thing about Javier's 11 goals for us is that I can't remember any of them that wasn't vital for us. His goals rarely add gloss to scoreline--they win games, and that's why Sir Alex will have to seriously start justifying Wayne Rooney's position in the team.

We've got Aston Villa in the league on Tuesday---as February kicks in. Onwards and upwards!

POST BLACKPOOL AND SOUTHAMPTON NOTES!


From the beginning: We were all set on our way to witness the shock result of the Premier League season so far on Tuesday night until something not unusual happened and restored expectations.

The manner of that particular 2-3 away win on Tuesday night at Blackpool is exactly what I thought we needed to send a clear message to our title rivals. Prior to the game, we only had two wins to show for our away day troubles so it was apparent that nothing we did at home would significantly move our rivals. It had to come away from home. So seeing United 2-0 down with a little over 20 minutes to play must have been paradise for many of our rivals. Winning 2-3 in the end must have had them itching for the night. Wins such as the one that we saw on Tuesday are usually characteristic of Champions.

I don't have to add to the praise that Dimi has got from the press during the past few weeks but I have to say that I'm chuffed for the Bulgarian. I mean after enduring two seasons of vehement abuse from rival fans and United fans alike, I think he needed a something to go for him there and I'm glad it did. Its amazing how quickly one can rise from the most frustrating player to the best in your team in a little over a couple of months.

Wayne Rooney on the other hand has so far not done enough to justify his huge weekly wages and what more--a certain little Mexican is, basing on appearances and goals, a better striking option at the moment. contrast of fortunes really. I mean whilst Berbatov got stick throughout the previous campaign, Wayne basked in the glory that his goal scoring form won him. The exact reverse seems to be happening now and its not least because of the early season transfer saga that went some way in damaging his relationship with the fans. Obviously I hope he gets to turn it around but I won't be complaining if The Little Pea keeps banging them in, pointing to the sky and kissing our badge.

The reward for picking up all three points at Blackpool was a 5 point lead at the summit of the league. I thought it was crucial we got the gap to five points because that gives us some kind of insurance should there be an unprecedented blip between now and May. Chelsea largely kept the distance between us and them to five points last season and that in the end helped them edge above us even when they dropped a couple of points towards the end of the season.
We've now gone 23 games unbeaten in the league--now into February and with 15 games left now, the butterflies are starting to have their way.

With no league action this weekend the FA Cup took centre stage and Sir Alex picked a more or less reserve team to take on Southampton at the St Mary's stadium. As usual, we made it very hard for ourselves by playing poorly in the first half but we certainly did make amends with a couple in the second half that have given us a place in the last 16 of the Cup. It's been 6 seasons since we last won that particular trophy so I've been yearning for it but I wouldn't sacrifice the league for it any day and that is probably whey I wasn't so disturbed by Fergie's team selection.

Giggs and Nani did their part to turn the game in our favour but once again it was Javier Hernandez who got us yet another match winner. The best thing about Javier's 11 goals for us is that I can't remember any of them that wasn't vital for us. His goals rarely add gloss to scoreline--they win games, and that's why Sir Alex will have to seriously start justifying Wayne Rooney's position in the team.

We've got Aston Villa in the league on Tuesday---as February kicks in. Onwards and upwards!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

LAZY BERBA NOW SHARES RECORDS WITH RUUD AND SHEARER!


For some reason, Dimitar Berbatov continues to get the cold shoulder from a few Manchester United fans despite netting hat-trick after hat-trick for the club. His name was only sung twice yesterday at the ground whilst Wayne Rooney who is on a mega bucks earning contract and who still managed to miss a free header from all of 2 yards out had his name sung throughout by the same fans. It beats me really, and I can only wonder how much more the Bulgarian will have to do before he is regarded in the same way (mind you he turned down City to play for us and has never wanted away).

Arsene Wenger claimed on Friday that luck and a good defence was what had got us this far unbeaten---suggesting that we are poor offensively. I wonder what went through his mind when he saw that we were leading 3-0 at halftime. The truth is that whist our current game would suffer at many away grounds that are not as expansive as OT is, our home from has certainly compensated added to the argument that we'll likely win games when our players have the space to stretch the opposition. Blackburn, Birmingham, Newcastle, Sunderland and the like have not been sure whether to attack or defend at Old Trafford and yet the Brum and Sunderland had us pretty much under check on their own grounds.
It might be for the same reason that we could find problems imposing our game on Blackpool on Tuesday but hopefully we shall come away with the result we want.

Our win yesterday coupled with the Bitter's fifth league defeat at Villa means that we are now two clear at the top and with a chance of extending that lead to five points on Tuesday. It's an opportunity you feel we must cash in on because a 5 point lead might not come around again this season.

Monday, 17 January 2011

vs SPURS COMMENT!


Mike Dean might have been labelled a United fan in the same way Howard Webb was labelled the same last week if he hadn't shown Rafael a second yellow card but that has not stopped Harry Rednapp from criticizing his decision to send off the Brazilian full back. Our defence was pretty much the only unit of the Manchester United machine that showed up at White Harte Lane and credit to them for restricting the hosts to just two serious attempts on target. Nemanja Vidic really does know how to play like a captain. He put his body on the line yesterday and so it was a shame that the people in front of his couldn't do their jobs. I thought Wayne Rooney would have done more with the couple of chances he got and Berbatov--besides holding the ball up well was pretty much AWOL. Our midfield without Scholes still lacks the creativity that our forwards ought to be getting. So it was an even bigger shame that Nani couldn't show up.

Ultimately though I think in the end we did get the minimum requirement from the game---the point that was enough to see us back to the top of the league. It was evident that our rivals had practically pencilled this as a defeat for us so it was good to frustrate them in that respect and that can only galvanise us to pick six points from our next two games.

The season has been---to put it mildly---ridiculous so far and it might stay tight at the top for some time to come but that doesn't mean its okay to drop points. We've lost our two point lead at the top but the point gained against Spurs means that we'll put ourselves at least three points clear of our rivals if we beat Birmigham at home and Blackpool away in our next couple of games---one of which is our game in hand! Given congestion at the top, even a couple of points lead should be seen as a big gap so hopefully we take our chance.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

MANCHESTER UNITED COMMENT!


So we did beat Liverpool in the FA Cup---a game not short of controversy but in the end we deserved to go through because we were the better team. Michael Carrick's performance on Sunday is what stood out for me. He finally got stuck in and it has to be said was more visible that Darren Fletcher.

Ultimately though the FA Cup is third on our list of priorities this season so nothing it comes up with should stand in our way wen it comes to the League and the Champions League titles. Its why I was desperate for the game not to end in a draw as that would only crate even more fixture congestion for us.

We've got Southampton away in the fourth round so one would expect us to go there and win.

The league takes centre stage this weekend and this time it's a visit to one of the grounds that seriously challenges our unbeaten run in the league. Generally we do have a good record against Spurs but winning there these days is as difficult as winning anywhere else in the league.

Finally I couldn't care any less if David Beckham joined Spurs or not!
Onwards and Upwards!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

NEW YEAR COMMENT!


So United negotiated the busy Christmas schedule largely unscathed winning three and drawing one of their four games in a ten day period. The fans can't really ask for much more than that.

What's got people actually talking is the manner in which United are putting in workmanlike shifts to beat teams they would ordinarily blow away without breaking sweat.
It's a no brainer that United lack the creative spark in midfield that would have made it easy to see off teams. So SAF has gone for the energy of Carrick, Anderson and Fletcher to compensate. It remains to be seen for how long we shall cope but so far, so good.

Wee play Liverpool inn the FA Cup on Sunday and then its Spurs in the league next week--two games that could each give the press reason to tear us up if results don't go our way in any of those games.

2011 seems to have great tidings for us so here's to a memorable campaign-----and to Chicharito!