Preview: Liverpool v United



There is an acute media focus on Manchester United’s trip to Liverpool this Sunday for well document reasons, with Sir Alex Ferguson demanding visiting fans do nothing to provoke embarrassment at Anfield. Yet, while less attention is focused on pitchside matters than usual there is still a pivotal game in play, with United seeking a fifth win in six Premier League games this term. Moreover, with the Reds having failed to win at Anfield in nearly five years Ferguson’s men are certainly due a result Sunday lunchtime.

Liverpool versus United has always evoked memories of great matches and intense rivalry. This weekend’s match is likely to be both poignant and tense given the contents of the Independent Hillsborough Panel report, released two week’s ago, together with controversy over United supporters anti-Liverpool chants sung against Wigan Athletic last weekend.

Add the background of Luis Suarez’ racial abuse of Patrice Evra in the same fixture last season, and the clash becomes something greater than the sum of its parts.

United’s 3,000 travelling fans are under the spotlight, although match-going Reds have long had plenty to say about the opposition’s behaviour regarding the Munich disaster. But this is no time for moral relativism; it is a time for mutual and solemn respect of those who have been lost. With flowers set to be laid by Ferguson and Si Bobby Charlton at the Kop, and captains Nemanja Vidić and Steven Gerrard releasing 96 red balloons, it is unthinkable that supporters on either side will behave in a way unbecoming of two great clubs.

On the pitch United has failed to produce either the performances or results at Anfield recently – Ferguson’s men have failed to win on Merseyside since December 2007. But neither side has started the campaign in top gear, although somehow United has ground out four wins from five matches despite some shockingly poor defensive performances.

As so often in recent seasons it is in midfield where the questions of Ferguson’s men will most be asked, with the Scot facing a key decision about how many men, and whom, to deploy in support of Michael Carrick in central midfield in what will be a keenly fought encounter.

“In tight games like this you know there are not going to be a lot of goals,” Ferguson told the press on Friday.

“It will be an odd-goal victory for either side or maybe a draw. Our away form last year was terrific, one of the best years we have had away from home. We hope that continues. We want to make sure we do our best and represent ourselves in the proper way. That is the key for us on Sunday, just to enjoy it. Once the whistle goes, go and win the game. That should be our attitude.”

Ferguson, blessed with no fresh injuries after United’s laboured win over Galatasaray on Wednesday night, brings. Rio Ferdinand back into central defence along side captain Vidić, with Jonny Evans dropping to the bench. Howevr, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young and Anderson remain on the sidelines with injury.

Ferguson will choose between Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa in central midfield.

“Everyone who was involved on Wednesday is available,” added Ferguson.

“I know there were reports in the paper about Rooney being possible, but that is not the case. He’s not far away, I think he may be fine for next week. He’s doing a lot of great training and has been working hard. It’s just a matter of getting him into the full football training side of things, which he has done part of.

“Ashley Young has got a bruised cartilage – I think it’s going to take two or three weeks more for him. We’re just taking our time with that one. You can easily play with it and train but we’re not going down that road, we want to make sure he’s okay. We get a lot of experiences these days of injuries reoccurring when they come back too quickly and we don’t want that with the players – we want to give them a full recovery. He should be okay with two or three weeks’ time.”

Liverpool v Manchester United - Premier League, Anfield - Sunday 23 September 2012, 1.30pmAlthough Darren Fletcher made a late appearance from the bench against the Turkish champions the Scot is not expected to feature at Anfield, where United has lost four matches in the last five visits. Ferguson side has also seemingly been unable to keep 11 men on the pitch for many of those encounters.

“Darren made a start on Wednesday which was great,” added Ferguson.

“He won’t start the match on Sunday but he’ll certainly play against Newcastle. I think that’s a perfect game for him to start back. Then we have the game against Tottenham next Saturday and he possibly could be involved in that, but it depends how he does on Wednesday.

“It’ll be his first full 90 minutes after 10 months out so it’ll be a big night for him. He’s handling the conditions at the moment and he looks fine as we saw the other night. It’s a matter of hoping the condition stays dormant. He’s handling his diet well and doing all the right things so hopefully he gets that break he needs.”

Meanwhile, Ferguson is seeking to build on an indifferent start to the season, with his side picking up four victories in a row but not always with performances that match results. The hosts can lay no claim for better form, having slumped to 18th in the Premier League after suffering two defeats in the club’s opening four matches.

Tough time, then, for Brendan Rodgers, whose tika-taka sensibilities are being tested by media criticism of the neat but unpenetrative Joe Allen, and Gerrard’s insistence on wastefully hitting the Hollywood ball at every turn.

Yet, it is not only United supporters, but players too, who believe that Liverpool reserves an annual ‘Cup Final performance’ for the Anfield rendezvous with United.

“Liverpool haven’t started so well so I’m sure this will be like a cup final,” adds Cleverley, who missed the fixture last season with injury and may stand aside for Paul Scholes on Sunday.

“Meanwhile, we’ve won our last three games so we’re hoping to build on that. It’s important we maintain that momentum. It’s a massive game for the team. But I think form goes out of the window in these fixtures. It’s more like a one-off game. They’re great occasions. Growing up as a United fan, I’ve watched about 20 or 30 of these games, so I know exactly what this fixture means to everybody associated with the club. I just hope we can get the right result.”

That result will depend on whether United can get control in central midfield – an area that looks threadbare with at least one of 38-year-old Scholes and 39-year-old Giggs likely to start.

And if that is shocking, then United’s supporters need not add to the feeling on what is likely to be an emotional day on Merseyside.

Match Details
Liverpool v Manchester United – Premier League, Anfield – Sunday 23 September 2012, 1.30pm

Possible Teams
Liverpool (4-3-3): Reina; Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson; Gerrard, Sahin, Allen; Borini, Suarez, Sterling. Subs from: Jones, Doni, Enrique, Carragher, Coates, Assaidi, Downing, Shelvey, Henderson, Cole, Flanagan.

United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Scholes, Carrick; Valencia, Kagawa, Nani; Van Persie. Subs from: Lindegaard, Evans, Büttner, Powell, Giggs, Anderson, Cleverley, Fletcher, Valencia, Macheda, Young, Hernández, Welbeck

Officials
Referee: M Halsey
Assistants: S Child, M McDonough
Fourth Official: L Probert

Form
Liverpool: DDLDW
United: LWWWW

Head-to-Head
Last 10: Liverpool 5, United 4, Draw 1
Overall: Liverpool 62, United 72, Draw 51

Stats

  • Suarez’ second-hald equaliser earned Liverpool a point away to Sunderland last weekend, with manager Rogers praising the player’s influence;
  • However, the Uruguayan ranks first on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for shots off target this season with 12. The striker also tops the charts for yellow cards, with three and is the only striker in the top ten;
  • Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was the hardest working player from either side away to Sunderland last weekend, covering 6.16 miles;
  • Meanwhile, Allen has continued his adaptation to life on Merseyside, receiving the ball 211 times in Liverpool’s opening matches, a club-leading figure;
  • Allen is also third overall in Index for distance covered with 25.22 miles, having covered more ground than any other Liverpool player in three of his four games for the club;
  • Midfield partner Gerrard successfully completed 42 passes in the opponent’s half and three crosses against Sunderland;
  • Scholes’ midfield masterclass was the catalyst behind a thumping 4-0 win at home for United against Wigan last weekend.
  • At 37 Scholes continues to provide an effective return for the time he spends on the pitch – the midfielder makes a successful pass in his opponent’s half once every two minutes and 14 seconds;
  • Debutant Alexander Büttner was United’s second fastest player against Wigan, clocking 19.84mph;
  • Carrick continues to go about effective work in the midfield for United, having played more minutes than any other team-mate this season – 390;
  • Carrick also covered more ground than any other United player last weekend against Wigan, working hard for 6.39 miles;
  • The ever-reliable Antonio Valencia continues with a steadfast level of performance this season – the Ecuadorian has made 55 successful passes in the attacking third, more than any other United player.

Prediction
0-1

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  • DamnedUnited

    Expecting United to lose. Haven’t shown a pair at Anfield in a long time.

    Where’s Forlan when you need him?

  • Joey Deacon

    Oh dirty Maggie Mae they have taken her away
    And she never walk down Lime Street any more
    Oh the judge he guilty found her
    For robbing a homeward bounder
    That dirty no good robbin’ Maggie Mae.

  • leroy cain

    Generally dislike these games and really not looking forward to this one in particular. Nasty feeling we will lose. Think Cleverley will play instead of Scholes but the rest I agree with. Feel a bit sick.

  • Anantax

    If ever the time to get a win at Anfield it is now…Liverpool has been shite except for the game against City.

    But agree with above…dont have a good feeling bout this. Hope I’m wrong. a draw would be a good result

  • theredbranch

    Expect the team as above, but Wellbeck for the frankly appalling Nani and Cleverley for Scholes. Just praying that Fergie hasn’t been saving Giggs for this match.

  • marlon

    Think we’ll have a mid of Valencia-Carrick-Anderson-Giggs with Welbeck-van Persie up front. Having said that, of all the DMs he’s played against so far, I think Allen would be the easiest for Kagawa to play against and he would be the ideal player to have if we intend to defend and counter.
    Might be better at this early stage in Vidic’s return to play Evans-Ferdinand, especially given his history vs. liverpool and suarez.

    2-1 liverpool.

    • Gabagool

      I really hope you’re wrong with everything you’ve just said, which probably guarantees that Fergie will do it…
      This is a game where we should be looking for all three points, because Liverpool have been shite so far this season, but unfortunately we haven’t been much better. I think if we go for it we win, but no doubt he’ll be pragmatic and we’ll scrape a draw. 2-2

  • Banforth

    I echo everyone’s pessimism in light of United’s feeble capitulations at Anfield in recent times. I don’t expect Scholes to play alongside Carrick because: a) he’s already played 2 games in the last week; b) that midfield cannot and will not withstand the attentions of what I’m sure will be a highly charged, high octane Liverpool midfield / team (then again, I would have said the same before the Galatasaray match). A more defensively disciplined Cleverley alongside Carrick should offer better mobility in that department. Kagawa’s effectiveness behind Van Persie, as the lynchpin of United’s attacks, also relies on establishing a measure of control/possession in midfield (and a willingness to pass the ball to him!). I hope Ferguson goes with him – his cerebral qualities might be a welcome foil to the emotional frenzy that sometimes marks these occasions.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Rogers has a real problem… goals… Suarez is a good #10, but struggles to score… and Borini looks out of place in the PL… and there’s not a lot of pace in Liverpools attack these days either… that should suit Vidic and Rio.

    Rogers needs to get midfielders forward into scoring positions, without sacrificing defensive protection… Gerrard is probably his best option, but he doesn’t have the legs he used to… having said that, he allways finds a bit extra for the visit of United.

    Still… if Ferguson shows some guts, and plays to attack, then we should have too much threat to allow Liverpool to be too adventurous from the midfield.

    If Rio and Vidic play well, and we don’t allow the long shot, then Liverpool will do well to score… and I can’t see them keeping a clean sheet against our attack.

  • marlon

    If Suarez gets the opportunity to run at our back 4, I don’t think I’d back any of them. Could see some free kicks on the edge of the box for gerrard or maybe even a pen.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    So, you think our defenders are shit…

  • marlon

    Defenders aren’t shit, but our full-backs have both been beaten by lesser players 1v1 and are often caught upfield. There is a lot of space between defence and midfield allowing Suarez to run at Rio/Vida who both have serious issues with pace. At set-pieces we haven’t marked players at all well and with Skrtel they could be a threat. Doesn’t help that Vida is still rusty.

    We should definitely go for it – if we do could get a 3-0 or something. Reina has been poor, their midfield is crying out to be dominated and they don’t have a striker. Never seems to work out that way though.

    Lindegaard out early to inspect the pitch on his own – surely starting then?

  • RobDiablo

    I can see marlon’s point. Neither Rio nor Vidic are as quick as they once were, and Vidic in particular has been getting by with a combination of shirt-pulling and officials either not seeing or letting his fouls go. Suarez can turn almost any defender inside out, and is a diving little c*nt to boot, so free kicks just outside the box and a penalty are not outside the realm of possibility.

  • Violent Banana

    No need to worry about Vidic’s pace, he’s not playing today

  • marlon

    Evans starting with Lindegaard and Giggs. Otherwise looks good.

  • marlon

    Evra captain? Haha.
    Does Vida still do the tribute?

  • Violent Banana

    Team:

    Lindegaard, Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, Kagawa, Nani, van Persie.

    Bench:

    DDG, Anderson, Chicharito, Welbeck, Scholes, Cleverley, Büttner.

    GIGGS FFS

  • marlon

    Definitely an attacking line-up at least. Strong bench too, if we need it.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Good enough for me. Shame Scholes is even on the bench instead of Fletcher. Am at work so will need you guys here to pull your fingers out and do some proper game analyses not some hysterical rubbish. Where the heck is “han” anyway?

  • kramer

    what the fuck? who is playing alongside carrick? neither giggs nor kagawa should be there. maybe valencia will be the central midfielder?

  • Violent Banana

    Worried we’re going to be overrun in central midfield, but that’s nothing new

  • Violent Banana

    Carrick Giggs and Kagawa midfield three Kramer

  • kramer

    Commenter said:
    Carrick Giggs and Kagawa midfield three Kramer

    cheers

    that’s going to be suicidal if the front 5 can’t keep the ball. need the front players closing every one of their midfielders down when we don’t have the ball.

  • Fred

    links please?

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    RobDiablo said:
    I can see marlon’s point. Neither Rio nor Vidic are as quick as they once were, and Vidic in particular has been getting by with a combination of shirt-pulling and officials either not seeing or letting his fouls go. Suarez can turn almost any defender inside out, and is a diving little c*nt to boot, so free kicks just outside the box and a penalty are not outside the realm of possibility.

    FFS… Suarez is a diving little cunt, whether you’re Rio, Vidic, Terry, Vermalen, Jagielka or any other centre back in England… why would you expect our two to be more succeptable than any other… unless you think they’re not as good?

    If we lose today, it won’t be because our defense can’t cope with Suarez… it will be because we didn’t score more goals than they did… and when you look at the two teams, and compare our defense to theirs, and our attack to theirs… that shouldn’t happen.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Commenter said:
    links please?

    bloodzeed is good.

    • Fred

      cheers!

  • Anantax

    RVP and the post just saved us going one behind…liverpool slightly edging us first 10 mins

  • Violent Banana

    Whenever we break Kagawa and RVP seem too close together, quite easy to defend against

  • madredmonkey

    Come on United.

  • Anantax

    Damn. Ferdinand clutching his thigh…

  • Violent Banana

    Ugh, just can’t seem to keep the ball at the moment

  • dozer

    How bad is nani. He still plays like a talented 5 year old.

  • Anantax

    Nani has been incredibly wasteful. Whats that…4 passes he gave away now…

    To be fair no one is standing out really at the moment. Defense looks okay-ish

  • Anantax

    Ffs Nani..make that 5

  • brianofnazareth

    Typical Anfield performance! FFS

  • Anantax

    Shellvey gone! Straight red!

  • brianofnazareth

    Evra and Nani on the left is fucking terrifying.

  • brianofnazareth

    See, even with them having 10 men I’m not that confident!

  • DamnedUnited

    Cue the conspiracy theorists. Hopefully Brendan Rodgers gave tinfoil hats to the Anfield Crowd when they came in.

    Liverpool fans disgust me.

    Still booing Evra for being racially abused I see. Classy.

  • http://twitter.com/dosdamt Ben Hulston

    Giggs and Nani have been truly atrocious in possession. IN another thread we were talking about Nani being a risk / reward player, a dribbler who gives you something different. If Berbatov had strutted around like this, done exactly the same as Nani has done today, you lot would want his fucking head for not having bollocks or some other intangible bullshit. The fact is he has been fucking appalling. Truly, insufferably, irredeemably wank.

    We’ve made this incredibly average Liverpool side look like fucking world beaters, we should be fucking embarrassed.

  • Violent Banana

    Before the sending off we’ve made a pretty average team look decent.
    After the sending off we’ve made a pretty average team look decent.

  • sidney

    We’re doing well at the back, but we need to actually keep the ball

    If we play with a high tempo going forward then we’ll slaughter em

  • davek

    just about the worst 45 minutes of football I’ve seen from utd but at least it’s 0-0 and surely SAF will get the old hairdryer out. Does anyone know what Cleverley has done wrong?Third game in a row he’s not started. Does anyone think giggs is a better bet nowadays in midfield? And nani? If you thought he was poor Wednesday……

  • sidney

    Baldy gobshite weirdo cunt Reina is good for a goal, if we actually test him

  • Violent Banana

    Our defence has been pretty immense. But just like for large parts of the Fenerbahce game, a lot of the football we’ve played has been embarrassing

  • sidney

    Fergie chuckling to himself as Shelvey points and mouths off in his direction

    Fergie still has the upper hand

  • madmax

    I’m pulling my hairs out. Just can’t understand why we were so poor. We just keep losing possession with shambolic passing. Defense is keeping us in the game.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Ben Hulston said:
    Giggs and Nani have been truly atrocious in possession. IN another thread we were talking about Nani being a risk / reward player, a dribbler who gives you something different. If Berbatov had strutted around like this, done exactly the same as Nani has done today, you lot would want his fucking head for not having bollocks or some other intangible bullshit. The fact is he has been fucking appalling. Truly, insufferably, irredeemably wank.

    This is correct… but some here just will not tolerate criticism of Nani… because he’s special… but Scholes, who rarely gives the ball away… should’t even make the bench… go figure.

  • Anantax

    We cant retain the ball
    We dont offer anything going forward

    Defensively we look OK – despite their domination there are also no clear cut chances

  • Anantax

    Bloody fuck

  • brianofnazareth

    LOOK AT THE FUCKING SPACE

    Fuck off.

  • brianofnazareth

    LOOK AT THE FUCKING SPACE

    Fuck off.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Gerrard… what’d I tell you???

  • Violent Banana

    You can’t say they don’t deserve it

  • brianofnazareth

    Fergie better not come out with the occasion played a part bullshit!!!

  • Anantax

    Rafael!!

    We look a different side with Scholesy

  • http://twitter.com/dosdamt Ben Hulston

    I’ll take that

  • brianofnazareth

    Fuck yeah!! Great finish now wake up!!

  • Violent Banana

    WONDER GOAL RAFAEL

  • brianofnazareth

    Can we get Evra off please?

  • http://twitter.com/dosdamt Ben Hulston

    Giggs needs to come off now. He’s been appalling today. Get Cleverley on.

  • brianofnazareth

    We’re getting via our fullbacks!

  • madredmonkey

    We needed that.

  • Anantax

    Rafael!!

    We look a different side with Scholesy

  • http://twitter.com/dosdamt Ben Hulston

    I see the Liverpool 3m diving team is out in force. Suarez and Stirling the fucking jokers, diving like they’d been hit by a bazooka

  • brianofnazareth

    We’re conceding next again…

  • Violent Banana

    With Giggs playing it’s pretty much 10 against 10

  • madredmonkey

    Scholes booked, take it easy we man.

  • Anantax

    Better possession. Justneed to find a good final pass….

  • brianofnazareth

    This has been woeful so far.

  • brianofnazareth

    Only one team scoring next….

  • Anantax

    I hope we practice pens…

  • Violent Banana

    Please robin, please

  • Anantax

    Phewwwwwww

    Lets hold on!

  • brianofnazareth

    Told you!

    Hold out!!

  • madredmonkey

    Yes.

  • brianofnazareth

    We’ll need another

  • davek

    well fancy playing that poorly at anfield and still winning!! oh well never mind- poor scousers.
    We really have ruined their special day, I’m going to enjoy redknapp crying next to red nev now.

  • Anantax

    Bloodyhell. Not quite sure we deserved the win, but i’ll take it!,
    Prolly deserved a draw to be fair…

  • brianofnazareth

    Thank fuck. Not deserved but I couldn’t give a shit!

    We need to raise our game significantly!

  • sidney

    That’s the worst we’ve played at Anfield for years… and we still won

    What does that tell you about Liverpool

  • Violent Banana

    Delighted with the result, thought Rio had a great game. How does Giggs still manage to start these big matches?

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    what does kagawa do

    • Violent Banana

      A great Park impression

  • Anantax

    Thought Kagawa was decent, even if he did struggle to truly get into it.

    He also provided the assist for the equalizer

  • brianofnazareth

    Just give Kagawa a chance to settle FFS!

    He’s only 5 games into English football, he’s a great talent.

  • sidney

    Ferdinand was class

    Lindegaard did well n all, handled the occasion well

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Rooney can’t come back soon enough for me… hope he comes back fit and hungry.

  • han

    Calvino said:
    Good enough for me. Shame Scholes is even on the bench instead of Fletcher. Am at work so will need you guys here to pull your fingers out and do some proper game analyses not some hysterical rubbish. Where the heck is “han” anyway?

    hello calvino

    i’m still here but decided not to get over emotional about the whole footie thing especially after last season as i still have nightmares about the way united screwed up

    anyway i hope you are well and look forward to digesting your well thought out critique on scholes, giggs and rio whilst continuing to espouse the virtues of nani, anderson and macheda

  • brianofnazareth

    Cal Scholes changed the game for us second half, whether you like that it not.

    I don’t like the fact that we rely to much on a 38 year old but, we do!

  • http://twitter.com/dosdamt Ben Hulston

    I thought Kagawa was good, even if Liverpool did make one of their bellends follow him around all the way through. We weren’t good enough all game, Giggs was wasteful in possession even though I thought he took up some nice positions. Scholes was a different class when he came on, it was also great to see Carrick picking and running with the ball more – I think having Kagawa acting as a pivot in front of the midfield may allow Carrick, or especially Cleverley, to come into the game more.

    Fergie needs to ween our reliance on Scholes and Giggs, though. Giggs needs to be on the bench for games like this, Cleverley, and others like Powell, need experience of this kind of game sooner rather than later.

    Finally, it’s always nice to get one over on the scousers.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    han said:
    hello calvino

    i’m still here but decided not to get over emotional about the whole footie thing especially after last season as i still have nightmares about the way united screwed up

    anyway i hope you are well and look forward to digesting your well thought out critique on scholes, giggs and rio whilst continuing to espouse the virtues of nani, anderson and macheda

    And Adam, and Downing…

  • Pikey McScum

    Scholes on for Nani says it all

  • Scott

    Did anyone else see what Rodgers said?
    I never had to ask the Liverpool supporters to behave because they really value humanity. At 2:40
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19691733

  • Anantax

    City arsenal 1-1

    Best result for us at this point….

  • madredmonkey

    Anantax said:
    City arsenal 1-1

    Best result for us at this point….

    Arsenal should have won.

  • madredmonkey

    Commenter said:
    Did anyone else see what Rodgers said?
    I never had to ask the Liverpool supporters to behave because they really value humanity. At 2:40
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19691733

    Like fuck they do.

  • Minus The Bear

    It’s a damning indication of United’s midfield that Scholes has to come on and boss it. Probably shouldn’t get too ahead of this fact as he’s playing against one less midfielder and a team with 2 points out of 5 games. It’s not a new revelation it’s been coming for the past 3 years. United were dire in the first half with no ball retention, and as such the forward players were lost.

    Why the hell it takes going a goal down for United to start trying, god only knows but they were dreadful today. Arguably Scholes got skinned far too easily for Liverpool’s goal by Suso… it’s not to say Nani would have done better, just a point.

    Fair enough Nani might be in a piss about his contract, but he’s not exactly proving he’s worth 200k a week. Could be worse though, he could be Gervinho.

  • Minus The Bear

    With regards to Shelvey and Evans, initially I thought it was a bad tackle by both. Evans has previous for doing shit like that with regards to Holden a couple of seasons ago. Thing is though, Evans has got the ball and is going down but studs are up. Shelvey hasn’t got in the fucking postal code of the ball and has caught Evans just below the knee. You jump in like that and you are inviting trouble… both players.

  • sidney

    Commenter said:
    Did anyone else see what Rodgers said?
    I never had to ask the Liverpool supporters to behave because they really value humanity. At 2:40
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19691733

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/wp-content/gallery/gimages/large_12.jpg

  • Minus The Bear

    I had another one on my timeline suggesting Mark Halsey shouldn’t have recovered from his cancer… in slightly less polite terms.

  • sheesh

    What a great day.

    United beat Liverpool (I’ll gloss over the fact that we played poorly), Arsenal and City take points off each other and England cop a hiding from India

    By the way, why didn’t Valencia pass the ball to Giggs before he went down for a penalty? Selfish cunt.

  • brianofnazareth

    sheesh said:
    What a great day.

    United beat Liverpool (I’ll gloss over the fact that we played poorly), Arsenal and City take points off each other and England cop a hiding from India

    By the way, why didn’t Valencia pass the ball to Giggs before he went down for a penalty? Selfish cunt.

    Hey Sheesh, you cunt.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    sheesh said:
    What a great day.

    United beat Liverpool (I’ll gloss over the fact that we played poorly), Arsenal and City take points off each other and England cop a hiding from India

    By the way, why didn’t Valencia pass the ball to Giggs before he went down for a penalty? Selfish cunt.

    Instead of going down like a sack of shit… why didn’t he shoot?

    India were lucky.

  • Denton Davey

    Alfonso Bedoya @ 2:33: “some here just will not tolerate criticism of Nani”

    I’m usually a big NaniFan but today there was no defence for his utter uselessness.

  • Denton Davey

    brianofnazareth @ 4:13: “Scholes changed the game for us second half, whether you like that it not.”

    WHAT ? TheGingerNinja was NOT a game-changer unless you consider that his part in the LiverPoo goal finally forced TheLads to take advantage of man-advantage. He totally fucked up that passage of play and his passing was pretty terrible by his incredibly high standards.

    Playing three matches in eight days was just too much for the GingerLegend. SAF needs to ration his playing time – and that of SirRyanGiggs – so that the Anderson/Cleverley duo can get meaningful game-time. Sooner or later, he has to bite the bullet and sacrifice some width by playing a trio of Carrick/Anderson/Cleverley behind a forward line of TheWayneBoy, RVP and KagawaBunga.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    yeah scholes werent all that

    seemed to give the ball away a fair few times

    only the back four played alright, except evra obviously

  • marlon

    Scholes gave away one foul and was dispossessed once. He misplaced two passes. Not bad in 45. Obviously playing 10 helped and he didn’t seem to do anything Anderson or Cleverley couldn’t. I was amazed he never subbed Giggs (who completed fewer passes than Scholes) -he was barely an upgrade on Nani on the left. I’m quite keen to see an Evra/Buttner partnership on the left – could work well – more energy and better protection for Evra.

    Rio/Evans/Rafael all continuing their good form. Granted, you’ve got to give Vidic a chance to get his match sharpness back, but Evans/Rio are our best options right now. Bit worried about our CBs again. Smalling/Jones not returning any time soon and Vida is having some issues with his knee again. Rio and Evans both took some hefty knocks today as well. Could see a Carrick/Evra partnership soon.

    RVP again not involved. Can’t make up my mind whether if it’s a good thing that he is maintaing positional discipline and that our midfield is at fault for a lack of service or whether like Rooney, he should drop deep and force it himself.

    Lastly with the diving again. Valencia this time. What is going on.

  • marlon

    “Shelvey came and blamed me. Why not? Why look at himself in the mirror? Just blame someone else.”
    Sounds a bit like ‘never your fault’ from Fergie there.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    kagawa just seems to give the ball back to whoever passed to him and then jog away

    never seems to try stuff considering hes meant to be a creative type

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    that cazorla from arsenal looks miles better

  • marlon

    Rarely runs with the ball and doesn’t seem to be able to turn with the ball under pressure. He’s not the kind of player we want receiving the ball with his back to goal. On the other hand, he leads the team for key passes. He’s also our only player with multiple assists. Difficult to really judge him until the players around him up their game. Always looked to feed Dortmund’s wingers and our wingers have had an awful start to the season.

  • Denton Davey

    Marion @ 8:40: “Lastly with the diving again. Valencia this time. What is going on.”

    What ?

    First, Glen Johnson took out his left, trailing foot and then, second, Johnson, put his hand on AV7′s back so as to accentuate the effect of his loss of balance. The fact that Valencia was trying to use his left foot/leg for stability while shooting with his right foot only served to maximize the effect of “minimal contact”. In no way was that not a penalty. Even that notorious ABU, Andy Townsend, admitted that.

    These stories about “diving” get repeated often enough for some people to
    believe them BUT, last week, Al Habsi took out DannyTheLads’ legs when he was running towards the end-line. That, too, was a stonewall penalty – at least according to the rule-book if not ABUs.

    If you don’t believe my account then go check on YouTube – I’m sure it’s there.

    What happens when a UTD player gets a favourable decision – which is NOT all the time – is that there is an immediate hue-and-cry that the impartial fairness of the referee is in doubt. Since UTD attack more often than any other club it’s only reasonable to assume that they are going to have more possession inside the opposition penalty area and, since that’s the case, its more-likely-than-not
    that a UTD player will be fouled inside the penalty area. AND, of course, whenever a UTD player goes down inside the penalty area it’s immediately assumed – and endlessly repeated – that “they have the referees in their back pocket”. Go check the comments on today’s match in the Guardian Online for a perfect example of that practice. YET, somehow, when last season’s penalties (and controversial decisions) were reviewed it was “discovered” that the impartial referees had made decisions that cost MUFC five points. THAT, of course, is conveniently forgotten or ignored.

    I expect ABUs to regurgitate this garbage but it really does stick in my craw when a fan of TheLads spins it. I suppose that you also think that JonJo Shelvey didn’t deserve a red card for his GBH on Jonny Evans, eh ?

  • marlon

    Just watched the replay again – didn’t see any contact with his left foot, although there was the hand on his back. Still don’t think it was enough to send him tumbling.

    A few of the penalties I would consider dives this season, have technically been penalties, but I don’t think a player should go down the second he feels contact. Basically, I don’t think that they would’ve hit the floor if they weren’t in the box – they would’ve played on and let the ref deal with it. The way the game is right now, diving is rewarded and very rarely punished. If you stay on your feet, you probably won’t get the pen. Even so, it’s just not something I like to see, especially from Utd players.

    Just to be clear – I’m not blaming the referees, or claiming they are favouring us. I’m blaming Utd players for deceiving them.

  • bman

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    that cazorla from arsenal looks miles better

    I agree that Cazorla looks brilliant and might be better that Kagawa, but I saw Kagawa play brilliantly loads of times for Dortmund. Our team just seems so shite all over the pitch at the moment, I find it hard to blame any one player. There has to be something on for Kagawa to make any good passes, he just seems to be playing it cautiously at the moment.

  • Anantax

    Kagawa has looked decent in all but one game. More importantly he has the assists (& goal) to prove it.

    Give him time. He will come good

  • Herbie Simms

    The team is in a good position despite the poor performances. If Arsenal beat Chelsea next week or even draw, we will be top of the league. At Old Trafford, we will destroy Tottenham. I agree with the comments made by most and I do believe that Nani’s heart is not with United. And yes, we need to give Buttner and Powell more playing time. As for the defence, I keep telling you that Vidic will not be the same again because of that knee injury and Ferdinand has this recurring injury problem. SAF seriously needs to look for replacements in these positions in the January transfer window. Yes Smalling will be back soon, but we need experience in these positions because these are critical positions. But we must keep the faith and keep pressing on. The only threat I see is Arsenal, they are doing some good stuff. Someone needs to slow them down. Rooney will be back soon and it will be interesting to see the team selection at that time.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    I need ANYONE here to point out TWO matches against ANY top FIVE side in the Premier Legaue that Paul Scholes has had a decent game against in the last four years.

    It is a disgrace that we will have young players like Anderson and Cleverly on the bench and we go into a cauldron that is Anfield – where we have been overrun every time with sheer energy in the past five seasons – and start with Giggs. Absolute madness. They go a man down, and when we need speed and width, we take off Nani and bring on the slowest member of the squad in Paul Scholes. You guys come on here crowing that “we have settled now that Scholes has come on” Absolute rubbish! They were down a man!! Against Gala in midweek he turned in another shite performance as he did at Goodison yet most come here to talk about him. Nani was bad. He was trying things and he was playing on the left. What did Valencia do all game until the pen?

    Liverpool picked Shelvey and Spearing simply because Rodgers knew that either Giggs or Scholes will play and then with Carrick we will NOT have the energy to match them. And he was right. I have been pointing this out for many years now on the lack of coaching, lack of planning in our play that is astonishing. Watch the Arsenal yesterday as they set out to nullify the threat of that overrated lump Yaya Toure by being compact and having energetic ball players and denying him space to stretch his legs on the counter. The trio of Arteta, Diaby and Carzola were so close together, knitting passes and then closing the gap in that midfield. If City had played us yesterday with the same formation they would have ripped us a new hole because we are badly coached and we will have Giggs/Scholes/Giggs in the middle!!

    I have seen nothing to convince me of the need for Scholes and Giggs in our squad let alone playing matches. They are spent!! These have nothing to do with the Glazers before someone comes on with that. This is more to do with a coaching crew that is not thinking much.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino
  • madmax

    Cal you forget to mention that Nani was piss poor against a 10 man Liverpool. Giggs and Scholes play because Nani, Young and Anderson are all utter utter shite. They dont have a single braincell combined. The day Nani gets sold we might get a proper left winger. Did you watch the match? In the first half Nani lost the ball every time he got it. Not by trying something audacious just by being an utter cunt. Midweek against Galatasaray when we were on the attack he simply took the ball in his hands. Just like that he broke an attack.If Scholes and Giggs had done that you would have gone mental.

    Giggs and Scholes are spent but they are sstillbetter than the young players by a mile because they have intelligence. You can bang all you want about energy. We are not Bolton to play with brainless idiots. We get over run repeatedly but still manage to create something. With Nani and co we simply will keep running around the park.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Carry on madmax.
    You still have not given me an example of TWO matches against a TOP FIVE team in which these two players have played well in the last four years. Scholes was utterly wank against Everton the other day – again he could not cope with the energy of the Evertonians. I guess in your book, the likes of Pienaar, Osman, Fellaini, Pip Neville should be playing for Bolton.

    With Scholes on your avatar how can you possibly see that the wee man is a proper hole in the head in proper matches. THREE times against Gala we nearly lost goals because he gave the ball away in dangerous areas but you will remember Nani handling the ball. Very intelligent Scholes. Give Danny Murphy time and he will pick a pass. Heck, give Mikel at Chelsea time he will also pick a pass. Paul Scholes picks those passes you lot drool about when he has time. However everyone knows that these days and they press him turning him into a liability. But you can’t see it can you? By the way, what exactly was the something we managed to create yesterday?

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    madmax said:
    Cal you forget to mention that Nani was piss poor against a 10 man Liverpool. Giggs and Scholes play because Nani, Young and Anderson are all utter utter shite. They dont have a single braincell combined. The day Nani gets sold we might get a proper left winger. Did you watch the match? In the first half Nani lost the ball every time he got it. Not by trying something audacious just by being an utter cunt. Midweek against Galatasaray when we were on the attack he simply took the ball in his hands. Just like that he broke an attack.If Scholes and Giggs had done that you would have gone mental.
    Giggs and Scholes are spent but they are sstillbetter than the young players by a mile because they have intelligence. You can bang all you want about energy. We are not Bolton to play with brainless idiots. We get over run repeatedly but still manage to create something. With Nani and co we simply will keep running around the park.

    Good reply.
    Giggs and Scholes shouldn’t be in the squad… this is true … but the problem is, the players that should be making Scholes and Giggs obsolete are not pulling their weight.
    Nani is getting worse, not better… Young is not United quality, and was a shit 2nd choice, panic alternative to the failed Sneijder signing, Anderson is just not interested in football, and I’m thinking Cleverly was caught pissing in Fergusons Glenfiddich.
    I’d like to see more of Powell though… from what little we’ve seen, he hasn’t at all looked out of place.

    “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.”

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Cal… you keep banging on about Scholes and Giggs being past it, and again, no one is disagreeing with you…

    But then you carry on singing Nanis praises, calling Yaya Toure over rated, and you’re on record as saying we should have signed Charlie Adam, and Stewart Downing… you’re in no position criticise anyones opinion.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Good reply.

    Giggs and Scholes shouldn’t be in the squad… this is true … but the problem is, the players that should be making Scholes and Giggs obsolete are not pulling their weight.

    Nani is getting worse, not better… Young is not United quality, and was a shit 2nd choice, panic alternative to the failed Sneijder swigning, Anderson is just not interested in football, and I’m thinking Cleverly was caught pissing in Fergusons Glenfiddich.

    I’d like to see more of Powel though… from what little we’ve seen, he hasn’t at all looked out of place.

    Alfie,
    what do they say to a man with crutches who is trying to work properly again? Get rid of the crutches!!! As long as our manager keeps these two players there he will ALWAYS go back to them. How will Powell, Cleverly and Anderson get the games that will give them the experience when he is so quick to go back to Scholes? Nani is frustrating as heck. Leave him on. Start him next game. No footballer improves when he is under so much pressure to perform because there are some 38 year-old manager’s favourites coming on for them each time.

    Despite his age and experience Ryan Giggs still gives the ball away and wastes corner-kicks more than anyone I know. If he gets one right and it leads to a goal you all come here and start to bang on about it. Nani makes the winner at St Mary’s the other day does anyone here talk about it? It is the most stupid argument saying that the younger ones are not good enough. How much confidence is reposed in them?

    You think Shelvey and Gerrard and Allen would have out worked Powell/Carrick/Cleverly yesterday? Or even Anderson in that mix. The one thing the Brazillian has always brought into our midfield is an ability to pick the ball and travel with it at pace and he also has sufficient body strength to hold people off. But you guys ignore all that to crow about Scholes’ passing and Giggs something or whatever – qualities that are so clearly rare to see in big games.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Cal… you keep banging on about Scholes and Giggs being past it, and again, no one is disagreeing with you…

    But then you carry on singing Nanis praises, calling Yaya Toure over rated, and you’re on record as saying we should have signed Charlie Adam, and Stewart Downing… you’re in no position criticise anyones opinion.

    Yaya Toure is an overrated lump. Why would Barca get rid? Asked yourself that at all?
    I will always choose Downing over Ashley Young anyday. He is quick, direct and is left footed. That he is being misused at the Liverpool of Dalglish is their fault.

    Charlie Adam? Even Sir Alex bought Djemba-Djemba, Liam Miller, Kleberson, Manucho, Alan Smith… So, bring up another lame argument please.

  • Pikey McScum

    Calvino said:

    Yaya Toure is an overrated lump.

    I will always choose Downing over Ashley Young anyday. He is quick, direct and is left footed.

    Charlie Adam? Even Sir Alex bought Djemba-Djemba, Liam Miller, Kleberson, Manucho, Alan Smith… So, bring up another lame argument please.

    How can you expect anyone here to listen to your opinions when you spout bollocks like the above Cal?

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    First of all… Downing over Young, is like preferring Joey Barton over Lee Cattermole… 6, or 2 threes of shite.
    And your argument about Toure out of Barca is just as silly… Toure was never a Barca player… not one of our mids is either… except a younger Scholes… but that’s not the point… Toure was made for the Premier League, and I for one wish he was ours.
    I will give you the point of Ferguson turning to the old guard when the young ones let him down though… if the old weren’t here, then he’d be forced to give the young more of a chance… but I’m thinking there’s more to it than that.
    We only get to see what’s what on match day… what about the other 6 days of the week?
    I bet Fergie reckons Scholes and Giggs are worth their wages during training alone… who better for Cleverly, Anderson, Powell to learn from than these two, and it’s also during training that I bet Ferguson makes a lot of decisions about who should play… perhaps Anderson is just as uninterested in training as he seems to be when he plays.
    I don’t know, and I’m not claiming to understand how Ferguson thinks… but the evidence suggests that for whatever reason, Anderson is not improving as he should, Nani is actually getting worse, Young is just rubbish, and Cleverly seems to be out of favour.
    Scholes and Giggs should retire, and take up coaching roles… there isn’t much else to say on that… but the players brought in to replace them haven’t worked out as they should either… and the likes of Nani and Anderson have had plenty of time and opportunities to come good… they haven’t.

    “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.”

  • sidney

    Strachan said that Yaya Toure is a juggernaut going forward, and a hearse going backward

    Against Madrid he wasn’t interested in defending or helping out his teammates. He just walked. When the ball came into his ‘zone’ he did nothing, he just carried on walking. A passenger, but for his driving powerful bigman forward runs which ITV reeally enjoyed.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    tbf them runs dont really ever amount to much

    hes obviously a class act though, best cm in the prem

  • bman

    Barca sold Toure because he wasn’t a starter in a team with perhaps the best central midfield combo of all time, because City offered fuck off money for him, and because Spanish fans are racist as fuck. He’s obviously a very good player, though not Viera or Keano quality in my opinion.
    To compare Young to Downing is ridiculous. Young might not be United quality, he’s still far better than Downing.
    Alf said what I was going to say about training. Fergie makes his selection decisions based on seeing the players every day. We’d all love to see Scholes and Giggs replaced, but in the past 4-5 seasons nobody has forced his way onto the manager’s first 11 in central midfield except for Carrick and Fletcher. The young players get their “chance” every day of the week in training.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Young might be better than Downing, but at least Downing has a proper left foot, which is useful on the left wing…

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    our pregame preparation and training amounts to putting someone tall at right back if we’re playing stoke

    we always look unprepared for the oppo strengths or uninterested in developing any style of play besides swinging it in from wide, if we’re not even interested in that stuff i doubt taggart gives a shite about form, he picks who he wants,

    tbf we probably do work hard at preparation but we’re just shite at it, this is probably phelans job

  • threadoflength

    bman said:
    Alf said what I was going to say about training. Fergie makes his selection decisions based on seeing the players every day. We’d all love to see Scholes and Giggs replaced, but in the past 4-5 seasons nobody has forced his way onto the manager’s first 11 in central midfield except for Carrick and Fletcher. The young players get their “chance” every day of the week in training.

    Makes it all the more confusing then as to why he refuses to buy a new CM. If he sees the youngsters in training everyday and has decided they’re not good enough to take starts away from Giggs/Scholes on a regular basis then surely he has also concluded that the solution is to bring in someone from outside the club??

  • Anantax

    Calvino said:
    Carry on madmax.
    You still have not given me an example of TWO matches against a TOP FIVE team in which these two players have played well in the last four years.

    While this may be important in FA cup or UCL, for the Premier League this is less important. To win the league you need to win against as many teams as possible. In the context of the league, a win against a top five team, despite media hysterics otherwise, is usually no more important than a win against a bottom five team – they’re both worth 3 points. There are genuine “six-pointers” but usually only once or mabe twice per season. Taking last season as case in point – even if we lost Vs Chelsea (which we drew) but won against Blackburn (which we lost) we would’ve won the league.
    Doesnt take away your point of Scholes not being the CM we need, which is valid. But in comparison to the available alternatives, no other ManUtd CM comes close to Scholes in terms of overall reliability and consistency in performance, which is what is important in the league. Definitely not Nani

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    scholes was superb in the 3-1 at arsenal when rooney and nani got the goals, and the 1-0 at city when he got the winner having ran the game alongside shitehouses gibson and fletcher, tbf city have battered him since

    giggs was brilliant in the three games v chelsea at the end of the last title season, and that whole run in except the cl final, giggs is almost always great against chelsea

  • sidney

    Yeah, Giggs was phenomenal in those 3 games against Chelsea. Their beasty hard tough players couldn’t handle him; his ideas, movemet, skill. Definitely some of the best games he’s ever had in a United shirt. No doubt he’ll find some similar form this season and justify a new contract.
    Thing about playing Scholes a lot – other than him being our best midfielder – is that he doesn’t want to be a ‘bit part’ player; he wants to feature in 25 games a season so he feels like he’s contributing something, otherwise you’re just training for no reason. So Fergie, because he hasn’t signed a midfielder, is now under pressure to play him in so many games a season.
    But yeah, we’re not the only team without a midfield. Chelsea don’t have one, neither do City at the minute. Arsenal do, Everton do, Tottenham do but it’s a bit shit, so it’s not all bad.