Jones starts as defensive injuries bite



Manchester United supporters have become accustomed to the annual defensive injury crisis in recent seasons, with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, and the da Silva brothers each on the sidelines for long periods. This season’s incarnation – hardly a surprise to anybody perusing the injury records of Sir Alex Ferguson’s defenders – has come a little earlier than normal, with the Scot’s first choice back-four absent for Tottenham Hotspur’s visit to Old Trafford on Monday night.

Joining Ferdinand and Vidic on the sidelines is and Rafael da Silva, while Patrice Evra may face the Londoners depending on his recovery from a minor knee injury suffered on international duty. It is hardly ideal preparation for United’s opening home match of the new season but with nearly £50 million of youthful defensive talent still at Ferguson’s disposal injuries with open the door for Phil Jones’ first competitive start.

The 19-year-old summer recruit from Blackburn Rovers is likely to line-up alongside Chris Smalling or Jonny Evans in central defence, with Fábio vying for a spot at right-back.

Ferguson’s faith in Jones is nothing new though, with the 69-year-old United manager having tried to sign the teenager last January. The England Under-21 international’s composure and leadership skills, says the Scot, marks the player out as one United “couldn’t miss” in this summer’s transfer market.

“When he was playing against us in the 7-1 game, after the fifth goal he was running out and giving everyone around him stick and he was only 18 then. I was very impressed,” admitted Ferguson.

“After that I tried to get him last January. We put an inquiry in but Blackburn wouldn’t sell him at that time. He was just one that we couldn’t miss. He’s definitely got all the parts to his game, there is no doubt about that. He has got the desire to play and he’s a good trainer, with a great determination about him.”

Despite the manager’s confidence United is likely to field a hugely inexperienced defence on Monday night. Jones, Smalling and Evans are likely to be joined by Fabio da Silva. The five that finished United’s 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion last Sunday had an average age of just 20 years and 193 days.

It is hardly ideal for under-pressure 20-year-old goalkeeper David de Gea, who has mistakes in successive games since an £18 million transfer from Atlético de Madrid this summer. Despite the media pressure being heaped on the youngster Ferguson says he hasn’t discussed the issue de Gea in the past week.

“He coped with the crosses into the box at West Brom with no problem – he just didn’t get any protection,” added Ferguson.

“You saw the challenges – an elbow in the face and a boy went under him and he didn’t get the free-kick. It’s disappointing when you don’t get the protection, but he’s at home against Spurs on Monday and it won’t be a problem. It’s just away from home where he might get subjected to that.

“David will go through the same programme of core work as the rest of the players do when they come here. [Edwin] Van der Sar was a tall, skinny kid when he won the European Cup in 1995. He was the same – and don’t forget David is only 20. Schmeichel had a baptism of fire, too. He went to Wimbledon in his first couple of games with us and screamed like a pig. He got no protection. He had Vinnie Jones, Alan Cork and John Fashanu all piling on top of him and battering lumps out of him.

“David will be fine. I have no problems with him, none at all. We have never mentioned the criticism this week that David got after the West Brom game. He’s fine, he’s done his training – there’s no problem.”

Manchester United versus Tottenham HotspurMeanwhile, Ferguson will choose between Tom Cleverley and Michael Carrick in central midfield. Although youngster Cleverley performed admirably during the Community Shield and away victory at West Brom the senior man is now injury free and ready to face his former club. Darren Fletcher completed a reserve match in midweek but is likely to be a fortnight away from a first team return, as is winger Antonia Valencia.

The Scot also faces a selection dilemma up front, with Danny Welbeck and Dimitar Berbatov vying for a starting spot against Spurs. Welbeck began fixtures with both Manchester City in the Community Shield and last weekend but the Bulgarian replaced him each time.

There is, of course, no doubt about Rooney who has begun the campaign in fine form. Free from controversy surrounding his private life or contractual situation, the 25-year-old former Evertonian is playing in the liberated fashion with which he closed last season

“He’s been flying in pre-season,” said Ferguson.

“His fitness is terrific, he has the same energy all the time, he is a restless player on the pitch, he can never stand still. He is a tremendous asset to our squad. It’s interesting to see how he is combining with [Danny] Welbeck at the moment. Both have done very well together.

“I have Berbatov who did very well in pre-season, he played really well. When Chicharito returns then I’ve a selection problem to work out the best combination. For me, Chicharito has goals written all over him, so it’s not a bad position to be in.”

Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp’s side arrived in Manchester fresh from hammering Hearts at Tyncastle during the week. Spurs’ 5-0 victory came despite the Londoners having yet to start the domestic season after the club’s opening Premier League fixture was called off due to the riots that swept north London a fortnight ago.

Redknapp should be able to call on Luka Modrić even though the Croatian missed the win at Hearts with a groin strain. However striker Peter Crouch, Ledley King, William Gallas, Sandro, Steven Pienaar and Alan Hutton are all doubtful for the match.

And star midfielder Gareth Bale says that the lack of experience in United’s back five is an advantage Spurs must take if the Londoners are to win at Old Trafford for the first time since 1989. Indeed, ‘keeper de Gea wasn’t born until 1990, underlining both United’s youth and the visitors poor record in Manchester.

“If any keeper’s having a bad time, you’re going to test them and it’s going to be no different,” bale told the Mirror.

“We’re going to go to Old Trafford and give our all and test their whole team. It’s obviously going to be nerve-racking for him to go to United and be in the first team, but he showed at Atlético Madrid and with Spain that he’s a world class keeper.”

Yet, despite the focus on United’s 20-year-old stopper, it is arguably Jones that is the key man should he start. For a player so young, a sense of responsibility already rests on the defender’s shoulders; few doubt Jones’ ability to see it through.

Match Facts
Manchester United versus Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Old Trafford, Monday 22 August, 8pm.

Likely Line-ups
United (4-4-1-1): de Gea; Fábio, Smalling, Jones, Evra; Nani, Cleverley, Anderson, Young; Rooney; Welbeck. Subs from: Lindegaard, Evans, Carrick, Giggs, Park, Diouf, Owen, Berbatov, Pogba.

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Gomes; Walker, Dawson, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Modric, Huddlestone, Bale; Van der Vaart; Defoe. Subs from: Cudicini, Kranjcar, Livermore, Friedel, Bassong, Corluka, Townsend, Pavlyuchenko.

Form
United: WW
Spurs: n/a

Referee
Referee: Lee Probert (South Gloucestershire)

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Comments

  1. Carrick should play. He can at least provide a bit of cover for the defense although Ceverleys early season form has been impressive.

  2. Carrick and Cleverley should play. Ando should be last choice if anything.

  3. dozer said:
    Carrick and Cleverley should play. Ando should be last choice if anything.

    Come on. Ando will shield the defense with his rear end.

  4. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    ed..your diagram, team selection and article contradict each other

    slightly pissed i may be, but it doesn’t make sense mate.

  5. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    First of all, I think Fergie will stick with Welbeck over Berbs… and…

    Somehow, I just can’t see Vidic at right back…

    Ed?

  6. smalling at rb and evans at centre

  7. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    not good enough ed…. you should apologise

  8. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Ed said:
    Alfonoso – this site is full of fucking pedants. Clearly I uploaded the wrong fucking image!

    Well since we’re being pedantic, could you please get my name right!

  9. RobDiablo says:

    So far – mostly preseason games, Sir Alex has given precedence to Evans when replacing either Vidic or Rio, so, if Evra plays, I’d expect Evans to start in the center with Smalling. If Evra doesn’t play, Evans could go to left back with Fabio on the right, but if Fabio plays on the left, will Smalling go to the right? It will be interesting to see who’s available, who Sir Alex puts out on the field, and in what formation.

  10. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    gayer
    massiveling
    JONES
    the next buchan
    ‘you know that quality fullback from brazil we’ve got? yeah his brother’
    fanny
    quinton fourtunes jamaican hair lardarse down syndrome sister
    not scholseys replacement
    gashley old
    ROONEY
    a black man

    LKHF

    faffing

  11. Modric is out, according to various reports.

  12. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    gayer
    massiveling
    JONES
    the next buchan
    ‘you know that quality fullback from brazil we’ve got? yeah his brother’
    fanny
    quinton fourtunes jamaican hair lardarse down syndrome sister
    not scholseys replacement
    gashley old
    ROONEY
    a black man

    i think you are right

  13. We have to overcome De Gea shitting his home league debut

    But Modric isn’t playing, so their midfield won’t be a lot better than ours

  14. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    I think we will hammer them

    4- 0

  15. NameOnTheTrophy says:

    that photo up there looks like a future captain-manager photo

  16. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    I can see taggart bringing in all the shitehouses to protect the young defence n keeper

  17. Matthew Riley says:

    Fergie get harry pissed after the game and buy Modric !

  18. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    All the papers saying Modric is on strike… if true, he can fuck off… wouldn’t want him.

    • Modric – I doubt he’s on strike, as in refusing to play or train although ordered to. That’s certainly not what Redknapp said….

  19. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    spurs have got kranchar and some livermore cunt in midfield if our cunts can’t dominate them two then ffs

  20. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Big, big game for De Gea… Spurs will shoot on sight, and he’ll get a battering on crosses and corners… if he concedes another soft goal through error, Fergie will have a fuck of a problem…

  21. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Myp2p has been pulled off Google…

    “In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.”

    Fuckers…

    Anyone else, got a link to open it?

  22. Stadium is very red tonight. What happened to green and gold?

  23. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Ha… Sopcast 6816 is working.

  24. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Myp2p has been pulled off Google…

    “In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.”

    Fuckers…

    Anyone else, got a link to open it?

    Fuck sake

  25. On their twitter account theyre saying http://www.wiziwig.eu/livesports but I cant get it to work. Must be some streams out there?????

  26. 6001 is working too

    My internet provider cunts have banned the myp2p site too

  27. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Ha… Sopcast 6816 is working.

    Nice one. Fuck google, never using that site again

  28. The enthusiasm in this team is ace

    They’re all avin it

  29. De Gea fuck off don’t do that FFS

  30. Jones, class
    Told Bale to go down the line then floors him

  31. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Knobby… what do you see in Welbeck?

    He seems a decent enough player… but you seem to rate him a lot higher than his performances warrant.

    I just don’t see it…

  32. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Rooney is like having a new signing.

  33. A goal is coming Spurs cant hold out much longer or can they ?

  34. De Gea is class with the ball at his feet

    For all our effort we haven’t created a lot

  35. You’re just a shit Michael Jackson at Nani from the Tottenham fans

  36. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    just in from work, hows the game going.

  37. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Not a lot on either way really.

    We started off, like we were going to bury them in the first 30 min, but instead became very ordinary.

    Spurs will never be anything more than a top 6/8 side until they get a proper striker.

  38. shit really… how the fuck is welbeck better than berbs???

  39. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    room for improvement then.

  40. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Not a lot on either way really.
    We started off, like we were going to bury them in the first 30 min, but instead became very ordinary.
    Spurs will never be anything more than a top 6/8 side until they get a proper striker.

    And without a Modric type player they look one dimensional
    In other news my stream is showing archived footage of Wenger from his early days at Arsenal and he looks every bit the paedophile
    A lot of people did in them days though

  41. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    he’s shown enough moments of xfactor in his short career to be worth a go, been crap today though

  42. bollocks x factor shit again..he isnt ready berbs is much better

  43. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    evras becoming an embarrassment like heinze, needs replacing

  44. Why is Young shit at corners and freekicks

  45. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Goal is coming… we’re turning the screw now…

  46. thats usually when we fuck up and gt caught out wih an evans blunder

  47. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    hehe

  48. eating my words now.. get in

  49. Danny Welbeck get fucking in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. ltel said:
    shit really… how the fuck is welbeck better than berbs???

    thats how!

  51. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Ha… Welbeck… get in

  52. Haha, Welbeck n all

    Redeemed

    I think he’s one of those players like Owen that does fuck all, then scores

  53. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Great header.

  54. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    hehe

  55. Ichiro said:
    thats how!

    hes done fuck all for the rest of the game..

  56. Cleverley and Welbeck- when will the doubters admit they are good enough?

  57. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Right… let’s give these southern pussies a reaming now.

  58. Great header. Well done Welbeck.

  59. Brilliantly worked freekick

    Then an awful corner from Young

  60. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    FFS… Young is rubbish at corners…

  61. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Wayne fancies it now.

  62. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    jones is a fucking monster big bollocked cunt

  63. We’re murdering ‘em now

    Need a second

  64. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    come on now united.

  65. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    FFS… when you’ve got a big unit like Smalling in your team… you’ve got to do better with your set piece delivery.

  66. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    jones is a fucking monster big bollocked cunt

    Aye… our defensive squad is fuckin awesome now… if only we could keep the twins fit.

  67. Welbeck showing x factor

  68. funy how our passing is so much better when our best passer Carrick is not in the team

  69. you know we are playing well when Anderson scores :) )))

  70. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Sneijder doesn’t know what he’s missing… he’d be loving it out there right now.

  71. Thats great. Brilliant goal.

  72. anderson son son.. started well this season

  73. Ando- great goal crap dance

  74. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Lovely back heel from Danny…

  75. Ace goal, from back to front

    This is a very good team when they’re avin it

  76. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Great goal, 2-0.

  77. ffs De Gea has his fucktard moment

  78. De Geas got to learn to lead with the fist

  79. De Gea fuck up

    He’s been good today though, better than I anticipated

  80. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Right… De Gea needs to be told that he has to TAKE the ball, not wait for it to drop into his hands.

  81. Ha Hernandez coming on. He’d love to play in this team

  82. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    madmax said:
    ffs De Gea has his fucktard moment

    ooohh, fucktard… Alfy’s got wood…

  83. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    2nd half very impressive! Young is looking very good….also very impressed with Jones!

  84. Rooooooooooooooooooneyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  85. rooooooooooneyyyyy

  86. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Rooney 3-0

  87. the pass was sublime, on his right foot too.

  88. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    spurs completely caved in here, why do we think our bollockless pair are like they are ffs

  89. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Roooooooooooooooooooooooooooney… get in you beautyyyyyy…

    Captain of my fantasy team… I needed that.

  90. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    great header.

  91. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Is one more too greedy?

  92. What’s happened to Van Der Vart

  93. fook me defoe nearly took de gea head off

  94. Defoe the cunt could have broken De Gea’s fucking hand

  95. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Great game second half…. with the young boys we have a very good team just a little tweaking needed!

  96. Good win

  97. fantastic win given the age of the team

  98. seriously its been ages since I enjoyed 3 consequent games like this season. If Nani can be a bit more sensible and we get a class midfielder, it’ll be even better.

  99. Some performance!

  100. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Good night… not just the result… lots of positives.

    Clean sheet for De Gea… even though he looked a bit ropey on a couple balls, he got another 90 minutes in, gained a bit more confidence, and learned a bit more… but they need to get him attacking the crossed ball, and not just hoping to catch it.

    More time for Jones and Smalling, and Evans looks to be back as well.

    Anderson is a new player since scoring last year…

    Cleverly still doesn’t blow me away, but he’s keeping Carrick and Gibson out… that can’t be a bad thing.

    And Rooney looks like he’s got his natural enthusiasm back… and that could be the biggest boost of all to the team.

  101. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    nice win in the end, good to see the young players doing well.

  102. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    fffuckingsake

    misssed it catching a fucking rabbit in the garden

    ffs ffuckcuntytwat shit cuntfucking fuck fuck

    arrrrrghghh

    • mongoletsi says:

      // misssed it catching a fucking rabbit in the garden //

      You weren’t at OT (which was nicely lively)?
      You weren’t watching in a pub?
      You weren’t even watching on TV?
      You were catching a fucking rabbit?!

      Years ago I’d slate you, but I’m guessing “family happened”… sympathies ;o)

  103. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    owifpqiohwcvpisohcpiosdc

    cunting fucking twastting cunt

    ffs
    fuckssake

  104. NameOnTheTrophy says:

    massiveling what a player hes turnin out to be.
    but this really wasnt the toughest of tests..

  105. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    jones ticks every fucking box

  106. Jones, Smalling, Young, Cleverley, Anderson, Rooney and Welbeck for 20 minutes all had MoM performances.
    We were lacking a ball winner in the middle.

    Sir Ryan Giggs? No no no. Sir Paul Scholes say.

  107. Jones made the spurs players his bitches. Smalling is Mr consistency. Good to see de gea
    get a clean sheet. All in all a good night.

  108. Great result, Fergie gave the young lads their Weetabix at half time. Where were Spurs usual midfield players? Wasn’t the same quality Spurs team we saw last season, but they’re still a solid side that our young lads ran off the pitch in the second half. A lot to be encouraged about going forward.

    Still need Sneijder if we’re going to beat City in the PL though.

  109. Brilliant second half display. Spurs weren’t in it because we never allowed them to be. Very, very good performances throughout, but some of the attacking football in both halves was wonderful to watch. I am so excited about this team and what it can achieve playing football the United way. Early days, of course, and there will be all kinds of terrifying moments along the way, but I am happy.

  110. Everyone bangs on about how Bale is a world class player. Where was he tonight?

  111. sheesh said:
    Everyone bangs on about how Bale is a world class player. Where was he tonight?

    In Jones’ pocket

  112. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    captainhormone said:
    fffuckingsake

    misssed it catching a fucking rabbit in the garden

    ffs ffuckcuntytwat shit cuntfucking fuck fuck

    arrrrrghghh

    turned you on did it, at least the sheep had a night of then.

  113. Jones can be our ball winner in midfield as a backup position when Rio and Vidic are fit. He certainly looks the part.
    I’m still hoping we buy a destroyer though, Fletcher isn’t a good enough ball winner.

    Sir Ryan Giggs? No no no. Sir Paul Scholes say.

  114. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    bales not world class but he’s box office when he gets a head of steam going and hed love it at utd

  115. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    jones plays in midfield from cnetre half anyway like wayne runs midfield from upfront, this is fucking special cunt lkhf has found

    and to think fergie and danni wanted rodwell

  116. I think Bale’s a good (but not great) player but some of the valuations that were bandied about last season were absolutely ridiculous. £40 million, for example, is a total piss-take. There is no question that he has the sort of pace that would suit our style of play but a United winger should have much more than just good pace.

  117. dozer said:
    Jones can be our ball winner in midfield as a backup position when Rio and Vidic are fit. He certainly looks the part.
    I’m still hoping we buy a destroyer though, Fletcher isn’t a good enough ball winner.

    Jones could be the answer, who knows. Would shit on Fletcher in that position anyway.

  118. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    sheesh said:
    I think Bale’s a good (but not great) player but some of the valuations that were bandied about last season were absolutely ridiculous. £40 million, for example, is a total piss-take. There is no question that he has the sort of pace that would suit our style of play but a United winger should have much more than just good pace.

    He’s still only 22, and will get better.

    He’s too good for Spurs… and I’d swap Young for him in a second.

    Bale and Nani,(if he could get his decision making right)… now that is killer width and balance.

  119. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    He’s still only 22, and will get better.
    He’s too good for Spurs… and I’d swap Young for him in a second.
    Bale and Nani,(if he could get his decision making right)… now that is killer width and balance.

    Alf, last season people were comparing Bale to Giggs (when he was very young) and saying who was better. I’ve never heard such a ridiculous comparison in my life.
    Bale benefits because he is well-built but his biggest attribute is that he has pace to burn. Take his pace away (let’s hope he doesn’t suffer a serious injury) and then what have you got left?
    Bale is a good player but I don’t like the way some people get carried away about him.
    As for Young, they were talking about Juan Mata on Radio 5 after the match and it got me thinking about why we didn’t go for someone like him. I’ve not seen a huge amount of Mata so I don’t know how quick he is but he is clearly rated very highly, can play either wing and is quite versatile.

  120. Bale’s gonna burn out a couple of injuries later and he’s nothing special at all.

  121. sheesh said:
    Jones could be the answer, who knows. Would shit on Fletcher in that position anyway.

    I don’t know why people keep going on about Jones in midfield. Smalling’s obviously a far more skilful ball player, if anyone gets shifted into midfield it has to be him.
    Fletcher’s got a great midfield brain, which is absolutely necessary. It takes more than being good in the tackle to cut it at this level.

  122. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    bales a stronger faster better valencia with better crossing and finishing and more bollocks, a belting player to watch, he’s like wayne, he gets the ball and everyones buzzing to see him charge past some cunt, proper player

  123. uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    bales a stronger faster better valencia with better crossing and finishing and more bollocks, a belting player to watch, he’s like wayne, he gets the ball and everyones buzzing to see him charge past some cunt, proper player

    I’m no sure he has the football. He’s not done a great deal since he almost owned Inter.

    This season will be telling

    He would be class at Old Trafford though. I can picture him on ball bursting 50 yard runs into space. He’d fucking own tbf

  124. What’s great about these kids is the energy and enthusiasm they exert
    But Cleverley and Anderson can’t do it every week home and abroad over the course of a season
    At some point Carrick will have to play, and Giggs will have to bodge and Fletch will have to attempt early 40 yard balls out wide
    So we need another midfielder, and it will happen this week. Sneijder time, telling ya.

  125. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    sheesh said:
    Alf, last season people were comparing Bale to Giggs (when he was very young) and saying who was better. I’ve never heard such a ridiculous comparison in my life.
    Bale benefits because he is well-built but his biggest attribute is that he has pace to burn. Take his pace away (let’s hope he doesn’t suffer a serious injury) and then what have you got left?
    Bale is a good player but I don’t like the way some people get carried away about him.
    As for Young, they were talking about Juan Mata on Radio 5 after the match and it got me thinking about why we didn’t go for someone like him. I’ve not seen a huge amount of Mata so I don’t know how quick he is but he is clearly rated very highly, can play either wing and is quite versatile.

    I don’t like stupid comparisons either… but the thing about Bale is he’s a proper winger… wicked pace with a great cross.
    Valencia is similar on the right… Young is a hodgepodge of a player, neither centre mid, nor winger… but a half decent bit of both… makes him versatile, but not ideal.
    Nani would easily be the best of the bunch, if he wasn’t so thick.
    What you get with Bale is exactly what you want from a LEFT winger… proper width which equals proper balance.
    Young gets the ball, and has the pace to get down the wing, but he needs to check and turn back, to make a decent cross… and even then they’re not great… his corner taking is shite.
    Bale and Nani would be an awesome pair… put a good pass master (like Scholes… *sigh*) between them… and Rooney behind a proper target man like Carrol or Benzema and you would destroy teams…

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  126. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    bales a stronger faster better valencia with better crossing and finishing and more bollocks, a belting player to watch, he’s like wayne, he gets the ball and everyones buzzing to see him charge past some cunt, proper player

    This…^^^.. although, I don’t know about stronger… Valencia is no slouch.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  127. bman said:
    Bale’s gonna burn out a couple of injuries later and he’s nothing special at all.

    Totally agree. Knobby is right that bale is probably better than valencia and young but that says more about the wingers we sign than about how good bale is. Typical push and run player with no brain.

  128. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Fuck me, Phil Jones is SOME player!!

  129. You lot are never happy! We just hammered Spurs 3 nil and we want more players. Bale will be silly money anyway.

    • odbpowell says:

      ^^^^^

      Yes. Exactly. Well put, Bill. We’ve just played one of our best 90 minutes for some time and people are still saying we need this player, that player etc. It’s retarded. Slagging of Ashley Young as mediocre when he’s been our standout attacking threat in our last three games, Charity Shield included?

      Yes, I agree, Bale is an out-and-out winger, but what pleases me most about our recent performances is that we’re playing like a more fluid attacking unit within which a front four or five exchange positions at will. This is the modern football template, it seems, and it’s frustrated me that we haven’t gone in for it in recent seasons. A player like Young, who can play right across the front three — create, cross, shoot and interlink — is precisely what we need.

      And it’s not as if we’re missing crosses is it? They were raining in from both flanks, and I’d argue that Young’s delivery is on a par with Bale’s.

    • Bill – if you can honestly say that Cleverley and Anderson will hold up United’s midfield for 50 games this season then we don’t need any new players. If that’s not the case – which I believe is true, especially against far better opposition than Spurs – then we are still at least a midfielder short.

      • odbpowell says:

        But the debate here is about our wingers isn’t it? Buy Gareth Bale? See my argument above. I know we have disagreed on Sneijder previously, Ed. Will be interesting to see how things pan out this season. I don’t think Cleverley and Anderson can last on their own, no, but when backed up by Fletcher, Carrick and Giggs, I think they have a chance . . .

      • What player does play for 50 games a season? Thats a ridiculous question, especially when we have back up with Carrick, Giggs and Fletcher.

        Cleverley and Anderson have played against Spurs, Man City and Barcelona in there three matches together. Theyve scored goals, made assists, and weve won all three games. Even considering that two of those were friendlies that is remarkable given the amount of time theyve played together. If they improve by say 20% over the season they will be incredible.

        There is no guarantee that buying a new midfielder will improve the team. Very good players have not made it in this league eg Veron, Deco. And if we did get someone in, where would that leave Cleverley? hes 22 and needs games.

        http://www.talksport.co.uk/sports-news/football/premier-league/1013/95/exclusive-sheringham-cleverley-can-replace-scholes?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

        • ichiro – well Ferguson disagrees with you and Sherringham. It’s not a zero sum game. Cleverley will get games but expecting him, 3 games into his United career, to play a very significant part in United’s season especially towards the business end is unrealistic. Scholes didn’t play 20 Premier League games until his fourth season in the first team. He didn’t play 30 until his eighth. Cleverley’s a talented player but he’s done ok against a Barcelona side three weeks behind United in pre-season preparation and without its best players. Ditto with City. He was ok but no more than that against West Brom and did well last night. He’s also a young player – he will have periods where his form is average. Then where are we… back to last season’s midfield that was outplayed consistently. That’s the point. That’s also Ferguson’s point in making bids for Sneijder and Nasri this summer.

  130. Ok Sneijder makes sense at the right price, but what prompted my comment was the mention of Bale. Nani, Young, Valencia and Park will do me for wingers.

    Either way i can’t see us getting Sneijder due to wage demands more than anything else.

    • Bill – I don’t believe Sneijder or anybody else is coming. Ferguson spent this summer because he lost five well paid senior players. Net wages effect released about £10m a year – about what this summers spending costs when amortized over the five year deals handed out

  131. If we don’t get anyone in then Fergie will have to perform a rotation masterclass with no one the definite starter.

  132. Bale’s a great young player, but if we paid big money for him, I’d be really worried that injuries are going to take their toll very early on in his career, and without his speed, I don’t him turning into a clever player the way Giggs managed to when he got slower. I’ve heard two different sports-doctor types separately tell me that Bale runs in a strange way, and it’s bad news in the long run.

    It’s great how well the young lads are playing, and we’ve got great movement going forward, but I agree that we can’t expect our midfield options as they are to win the league for us. On the other hand, if Fergie genuinely believes that Cleverly and Ando are gonna be top class, I’d happily choose to be competitive but not win the league this season, if it meant giving our young players the chance to become great players.

  133. What I mean is, I wouldn’t mind us not bringing in a midfield star if we were still going to be able to give the PL a good go, and our young players really developed a lot in the course of the season. If it’s just to save money though, fuck that.

    • I don’t think we have the luxury of saying that we will willingly sacrifice the PL this time round just so that our young midfielders will develop. Firstly, the young midfielders need to play alongside really good expereinced players in order to develop more fully and in order so that the pressure in the massive games doesn’t all come to them.

      Secondly, I think we would then need to figure out who will win the league if we don’t and whether we could live with that. Odd on, it would be City. For some of us willingly accepting finishing below City is not an option. City’s money changes the urgency of things. In the long term, if it means that we can’t compete against them because of the parsimoniousness of owners, then the pressure on the owners to sell to a less debt-saddled concern will become huge and perhaps irresitible.

      Think of this extreme hypothetical case: we are runners up in everything including the CL. Not a bad season, one might think. But if we were runners up to City in everything, it would be a season too ghastly to contemplate. Still fancy waiting around to see if our current central midfield can cut it without a major signing here and hoping that if we don’t happen to win anything that our noisy neighbours don’t win anything either?

  134. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Commenter said:
    // misssed it catching a fucking rabbit in the garden //

    You weren’t at OT (which was nicely lively)?
    You weren’t watching in a pub?
    You weren’t even watching on TV?
    You were catching a fucking rabbit?!

    Years ago I’d slate you, but I’m guessing “family happened”… sympathies ;o)

    yes…ffs….family…..missus was welded to the sofa watching show me the funny

    stupid dumb twat bitch

  135. Violent Banana says:

    Gareth Bale? You cannot be serious. Young and Nani were excellent last night, and we’ve still got Valencia to come back. For all the criticism he gets, Park also can do a job for us – and was pretty important to us last season. Welbeck can play out wide, even Rooney can if he has to. We don’t need any more wingers!

    Been very impressed with the Ando Cleverly partnership, we’re playing with a greater tempo than we did last season that’s for sure. The football has been entertaining, skillful and enjoyable to watch.

    We still have Fletcher to come back, Carrick and Giggs on the bench, and Pogba and Morrison coming through. I don’t see the need for us to break the bank with Sneijder, we can bide our time for another year until we find the right centre midfielder at the right price.

  136. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    that’s only a good idea if we’re waiting for wilshere to bail out of arsenal and join us

  137. Yep I agree Ed, Sneijder isn’t coming, whether we like it or not. If the young United comes to the fore hopefully that will make up partially for the lack of a big name central midfield. If they can go at teams like they did vs Spurs in the second half it should be good to watch.

  138. Still, it’s hard not to cast envious eyes over at City – some of the players they have in that side would walk into ours and now Nasri’s joining them.

  139. Those bids were made before Cleverley ‘emerged’ in that central position. Fergie now clearly trusts him enough to start ahead of Ryan Giggs.

    I guess Im just surprised there isnt more enthusiasm about the young players coming through. Theres a lot of negativity. I think were so used to them failing or becoming journeymen, weve totally lost faith in our youth system to produce top players.

    • Ichiro – Sneijder bid is on the table still. And my point isn’t a lack of faith in Cleverley’s ability or lack of enthusiasm. It’s simply unreasonable to expect an inexperienced 22-year-old to compete all season at the rarefied level at which United competes. Would Ferguson throw him into a Champions League final and expect him to flourish… no he wouldn’t. There’s faith in youth and then there’s placing too much pressure on them to perform. Every other position has experienced options except for the creative central midfield role.

  140. you mean before you seen him emerge.. do you not think fergie knows exacly what he can and cant do. he does work with him in training ever day

  141. We’re still a midfielder short on last season

    They’ll want another body in the mix

  142. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    When the fledgling mids came through they had ince then keane next to em, the best mids in the league

    cleverley and andershite have no one

  143. RobDiablo RobDiablo says:

    Ed said:
    Every other position has experienced options except for the creative central midfield role.

    You might as well have left out the word “creative” in this sentence, as United are in need of both a ball winner and a top class creative midfielder.

  144. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    It seems to me that some of you are way too impressed with Cleverly.

  145. He has done ok, better than ok, in fact, but isn’t ready to boss a game yet. We still need someone in midfield to break up attacks. Don’t worry, he’ll have a shocker soon enough and these fickle cunts will be baying for blood…

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