Sunday, 17 August 2014

A PITY

The boss perhaps summed it all up aptly when he labelled our opening day defeat at home to Swansea as a pity. For a side that has swept all before them in pre season against some of the best sides in Europe, it was a pity that they suddenly became nervous when it finally mattered. The decision making, the patience, nothing was like what we've come to expect of the side under the new regime. Perhaps it was a timely reminder of the shortage of guarantees in this league but there is a sense that United cheated themselves of all three points yesterday.

In tune with the narrative last season, the opposition defended well, bided their time, attacked when offered the opportunity and made it count. That was not least because for the first time under the new regime, we defended like the horror days of last season. It doesn't matter if your opponent attacks once, if you defend by retreating deep into your box, the opposition will inevitably score. That it did not happen throughout preseason now makes it seem like the players were saving it for the real business. It's a pity indeed.

It's a pity that Jesse Lingaard lasted just 24minutes of his competitive debut for United. It's a shame because it's youngsters like him who have been able to quickly learn the "new information' offered by the new regime.

For the new manager, he has now been given the leeway to dispose of a lot of the players he feels are not up to standard. None will lay claim to having not been given the opportunity to impress him. In the most subtle way, the boss post match took a swipe at his players by saying that it's not all about effort but use of the brain. There was hardly any use of the brain yesterday, save of course for the excellent Ander Herrera in midfield and the improvisation of Wayne Rooney to net the equaliser with an overhead kick at point blank range.

Obviously the defeat piles more pressure on the club's heirarchy to spend a lot more in this transfer window. The sad reality is that the Glazer business model is designed to get United in the Champions League. It means even the spending that shall be mustered from here on will only be enough to land a top 4 place. How LVG uses the resources available to deliver any form of silverware is going to be interesting to watch from a neutrals perspective. He has already privately ruled out the title for next season rather than this but as United fans, the league title shalll always remain a target until it is mathematically impossible to achieve it.

There's a full 8 days for the club to analyse that defeat before Sunderland away next week. The theory is that like las season when Old Trafford became a difficult ground for us, the away games should still go better as I imagine there shall be no nerves, less pressure from the crowd, but a brilliant away fans contingent as ever.
In the meantime, we can only hope that the injuries ease up on a couple of key players or that a few bodies are brought in to cover the apparent shortage.

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