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UNITEDRANT

Preview: Southampton versus United

September 2, 2012 Tags: , Matches 133 comments

The only constant, they say, is change and Southampton’s promotion to the Premier League after seven years in the wilderness is a welcome one for many supporters. Perhaps not for Sir Alex Ferguson though who has not always enjoyed the best of times on the south coast. Not least because two of the 70-year-old manager’s most ignominious defeats during his quarter-century in charge of Manchester United came at Southampton’s hands.

Indeed, Reds will not easily forget the Hampshire side’s 6-3 drubbing of United in 1996, nor the infamous grey kit that ’caused’ the Reds’ downfall six months earlier. Ferguson can be thankful that United’s players will at least be able to see each other at St Mary’s on Sunday; the team’s nifty new white kit will be on show for the first time this season.

Kits and colours aside, United head to St Mary’s seeking momentum after last weekend’s home victory over Fulham at Old Trafford. With the Saints having lost two Premier League games on the bounce, Ferguson’s side should make the lengthy trip south with confidence.

However, injuries continue to bite into the Scot’s defence, although Northern Irishman Jonny Evans should make his first start of the season after returning from ankle surgery this summer. Evans rehabilitation will allow Michael Carrick to join Tom Cleverley in midfield.

Elsewhere Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand will be unavailable until after the international break, while Ashley Young has a minor knock. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones remain on the sidelines.

“Centre-back is our main concern at the moment,” admitted Ferguson, who is managing United in the league for the 1,000th time.

“Jonny Evans played on Wednesday [for the reserves] and came through fine. He’s the strongest option we’ve got. Phil Jones has done some training but isn’t ready yet. Ferdinand’s in the same boat. At least we have one centre-back available, which is an improvement. It allows us to put Michael Carrick back in midfield.

“Wayne [Rooney’s] out for four weeks. It’s nothing serious on the actual gash – it’s a bad one but it was treated carefully very quickly. We don’t expect any complications from it. I think he’ll be back in four weeks. The fact it’s a gash and not a muscle or joint injury means he can do a lot of work in the gymnasium. We’re not too bad with that.”

In Rooney’s absence Robin van Persie should start for the second week in succession, while Ferguson is likely to move Carrick into midfield.

Elsewhere Nani could come back into the United side after missing out on Ferguson’s squad entirely for the match against Fulham last week. Young’s injury ensures the Reds are short in wide areas.

“It was nice of the FA to let everyone know that Ashley Young is injured,” added Ferguson.

“There is no point giving them any information now. We have a game on Sunday and why should we alert our opponents who is fit and who is not fit. It won’t happen again. He’s out, he got a knee injury last week, although it’s not serious. Obviously he will be ready in a couple of weeks’ time.”

Southampton v Manchester United, St Mary's, 2 September 2012Meanwhile, midfielder Darren Fletcher is unlikely to make Ferguson’s squad despite appearing in two reserve fixtures in recent weeks. The Scottish international has not played for United’s first team since November 2011 after taking time out for a persistent bowel condition.

Fletcher, who appeared disturbingly gaunt in recent months, has gained strength according to his manager and is in contention to make United’s Premier and Champions League squad lists this season.

“The first thing to mention is he has put weight back on now, he’s back to his normal weight from two to three years ago,” added Ferguson

“He’s training well every day. He played the other night and did really well but I don’t know where he’s at, to be honest. With the condition he has, and has to deal with, it’s wait and see. If he keeps doing as well as he’s doing then he will come into contention because he’s a fantastic player.”

Meanwhile, Southampton may hand a début to Zambia forward Emmanuel Mayuka, although Japanese defender Maya Yoshida and £12 million striker Gastón Ramírez cannot play for the Saints until after the international break.

Whatever the hosts’ line-up few expect anything bar a United win. Despite those headline-grabbing losses at Southampton, United has won on three of the club’s four Premier League trips to St Mary’s, including a 2-1 win in May 2005 that relegated Southampton to the Championship. In between, United has emerged victorious in two FA Cup ties on the south coast.

And who would deny Ferguson victory his 1,000 league match in charge of the Reds? In the intervening 25 years the Scot has emerged victorious 598 times, with 233 drawn and 168 defeats. Sunday is unlikely to be the 169th.

Match Details
Southampton v Manchester United – Premier League, St Mary’s – Sunday 2 September 2012, 4pm

Possible Teams
Southampton (4-1-4-1): K Davis; Clyne, Hooiveld, Fonte, Fox; Schneiderlin; do Prado, S Davis, Lallana, Rodriguez; Mayuka. Subs from: Gazzaniga, Richardson, Shaw, Seaborne, Ward-Prowse, Puncheon, Sharp, Lambert, Lee, De Ridder

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

Officials
Referee: M Dean
Assistants: J Collin, J Brooks
Fourth Official: M Halsey

Form
Southampton: LL
United: LW

Head-to-Head
Last 10: ;Southampton 1, United 9, draw 0
Overall: Southampton 24, United 52, draw 26

Stats

  • Southampton lost 2-0 to Wigan Athletic last weekend, although ;Morgan Schneiderlin ;impressed with an ;incredible 7.29 miles covered in the game;
  • Schneiderlin covered ;7.31 miles against Manchester City on the opening weekend of the Premier League, meaning the Frenchman holds first and second position in the EA SPORTS Performance Index for distance covered in a single game;
  • Captain Adam Lallana covered ;the second highest amount of ground after Schneiderlin in both games and registered the fastest top speed of any Southampton player with 19.05 mph;
  • Meanwhile, Ferguson’s side is making a habit of nervy victories this season after scraping to a 3-2 win over Fulham last weekend;
  • Robin van Persie scored on his full début for United and covered 5.99 miles, second only to Tom Cleverley who covered an impressive 6.4 miles for the Reds;
  • Cleverley also completed 46 passes in the Fulham half, the most of any player in the last round of games, while the midfielder has completed ;90 passes in his opponent’s half so far this season;
  • Adam Lallana is Southampton’s top passer, but he has completed just over half Cleverley’s number with 50 passes in his opponent’s half.

Prediction
1-2

133 comments

Minus The Bear - September 2, 2012 Reply

It will be nice to have a defence filled with four actual defenders for a change. Ideally United should be able to shut this game down, realistically we will make it as nervy as possible.

I think the 4-4 with Everton has given quite a psychological hit, 3-1 against Fulham should have been dead and buried, bringing on Welbeck and Rooney was to try and push on. Instead they tried to hang on and invited pressure.

Anantax - September 2, 2012 Reply

Havent seen southampton this season. But we were impressive going forward last week, dont expect that to chnage. 3-1 United

max - September 2, 2012 Reply

Anderson>Cleverley

max - September 2, 2012 Reply

And also, I can see Scholes starting today. He never last week so that’s why I feel he might do so. Even though he’s still unbelievable and controls games as if he was 27, we need to move forward and play the andersons, cleverley etc.
C’mon the lads! Let’s av it today and bring back the 3 points!
RvP go on mate! Bang in a couple today fella!

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

If we can keep it tight at the back , we should win.

Alfonso Bedoya - September 2, 2012 Reply

0-3

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

young being injured is great news

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

And Rooney tbf

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

Any news on why Lindegaard is starting ahead of De Gea? Makes no sense to me whatsoever

De Gea stopped the Everton game from being a butt raping and made sure we got 3 points against Fulham. Fergie’s gone fucking senile

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

OFFICIAL MUFC XI:

Lindegaard

Rafael
Ferdinand
Vidic
Evra

Valencia
Carrick
Cleverley
Kagawa
Welbeck

Van Persie

We have a defence, and a midfield

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

why is lidgraard playing

kramer - September 2, 2012 Reply

welbeck on the wing again, ffs

Minus The Bear - September 2, 2012 Reply

Did well against Spurs U21s?



I still think Lindegaard is a decent keeper, but I honestly don’t understand. Finally get an actual defence, and De Gea has to sit on the bench. Fine he made a bit of a cock up against Fulham for the Vidic OG but surely promote some consistency.

Also Nani really has pissed someone off hasnt he.

Minus The Bear - September 2, 2012 Reply

Bench:

De Gea, Evans, Giggs, Hernandez, Nani, Scholes, Powell.

Be nice to see Powell and Hernandez get some game time.

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

I just don’t get why De Gea is getting shit about the Fulham OG. The Fulham striker jumps INTO De Gea. He’s not even going for the ball. He’s just blocked off, and it’s a freak goal off Vidic’s heel. I really don’t understand why Lindegaard is in goal at all.

Minus The Bear - September 2, 2012 Reply

I think the issue is harking back to the days when you had keepers who were beasts and would just clear out people in front of them to get the ball. His only fault is looking a bit tentative coming for it.

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

“I think young David made a mistake last week and he knows it. He’s been in good form and made some great saves, but that mistake could have cost us a game. It’s just a learning process for him. He will be back in the team in a couple of weeks’ time.”
So Fergie is punishing him then

Herbie Simms - September 2, 2012 Reply

Not to worry, this is a good team. We are too strong for Southampton.

Alfonso Bedoya - September 2, 2012 Reply

kramer said:
welbeck on the wing again, ffs

Where would you put him?

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

We’re usually shit against Southampton aren’t we

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

that’s outrageous from taggart tbf, it was a fucking foul, why has evra never been dropped after three years or shite, why has he admitted he’s dropped him in public, fuckin stupid ginsoak jock twat

he can’t fucking help himself, any fucking excuse to rotate, now degeas gonna go back to being shite and we’re stuck with this no mark average landgrudan cunt

and he expects us to believe he won’t rotate for the cl when he can’t even sort the fucking keepers out

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Kagawa caught FFS

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

1 down ffs.

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

We need to get a fucking grip of this game. Absolutely terribly shite start.

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

Van Persie – fucking hell. Different class.

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Another big man goal from Persie

Are you watching Rooney

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

1-1 rvp , better.

sheesh - September 2, 2012 Reply

Rafael is so shit. He can’t defend.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

now sort it out twats

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
Rafael is so shit. He can’t defend.

agree, don’t think he is good enough.

sheesh - September 2, 2012 Reply

madredmonkey said:
agree, don’t think he is good enough.

Don’t get me wrong, he can be useful going forward but his primary job should be as a defender. They were highlighting his mistakes vs Fulham on Soccer Saturday yesterday. He’s still too rash and his positional awareness and awareness of opponents around him….well…. that got exposed for the Southampton goal.

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
Don’t get me wrong, he can be useful going forward but his primary job should be as a defender. They were highlighting his mistakes vs Fulham on Soccer Saturday yesterday. He’s still too rash and his positional awareness and awareness of opponents around him….well…. that got exposed for the Southampton goal.

agree with what you say, needs to learn and quick, at this level

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

as usual passing the ball at zero tempo, can’t handle the pressing, can’t handle the lump up front

Anantax - September 2, 2012 Reply

Am i being too critical, or has Kagawa been outmuscled too easily in this game?

But agree without Scholes we cant handle opposing teams pressing. How many chances have we created? The few i remember has been lobs by Carrick

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Clev, Carrick and Kagawa keep getting caught on the ball, they’re just not alive to anything around them

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Too many aimless punts forward n all

Herbie Simms - September 2, 2012 Reply

I keep saying we needed to buy a right fullback but who cares? Rafael needs to improve his going forward and defending movement. Will only come with experience. He is still very young. Its a good game so far but we must keep the pressure on in the second half.

Mongoletsi - September 3, 2012 Reply

I can honestly say that nobody cares Herbie. Rafael has come on loads (still needs to improve his awareness), and both Jones and Smalling are good there, with Valencia pretty good too. Unless of course you’re advocating buying a proven world class right back. In which case; who is available?

RobDiablo - September 2, 2012 Reply

So, that’s one good half of football out of five so far. Playing possession football at half-speed doesn’t cut it, even against the bottom clubs.

Minus The Bear - September 2, 2012 Reply

Rafael is going too far forwards and fortunately they’ve not been caught out in that respect. Okay he got caught under the ball for Lambert’s goal but Lambert is making Vidic and Ferdinand his bitches.

Lindegaard’s kicking has been terrible. Carrick and Kagawa I’d highlight for having dubious games so far. Also I bloody love the fact you can get a yellow card for looking at players funnily yet Mike Dean has no problem with the committing of professional fouls when players are breaking forwards a la Fonte and Lallana…

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

We’ll concede again, scrape a draw at the end after panicking and putting some tempo into the game

Thing is, this lot aren’t up to much. They look pretty ropey at the back. If we injected some tempo into this, we’d really pull away.

kramer - September 2, 2012 Reply

shit game. van persie’s goal was down to his quality and the defender’s slip.

i don’t even know what the fuck to do, i can’t understand why the team is so static.

RobDiablo - September 2, 2012 Reply

kramer said:
i can’t understand why the team is so static.

They’re too afraid of fucking up to try anything. Much easier to just pass the ball sideways or backwards.

sheesh - September 2, 2012 Reply

All we have to do is just give the ball to van persie.

Oh, and defend properly.

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

Come on United.

sheesh - September 2, 2012 Reply

We would be fucked without Carrick. Cleverley has been anonymous today.

sheesh - September 2, 2012 Reply

Our defending today. FFS.

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

Garbage. Absolutely garbage. We look completely fucking poor

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

ffs.

Anantax - September 2, 2012 Reply

Extremely frustrating. We’re just not good enough

sheesh - September 2, 2012 Reply

Evra beaten too easily again. Nearly 3-1.

Wake up.

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

Basically teams just have to run around a lot in midfield to beat us

It isn’t good enough. Getting beaten just because teams know to press you is fucking atrocious. How Fergie has let this midfield get so fucking bad is beyond me.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

this is us now, pedestrian passing and uninterested defending

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Scholes on, wins it with his first touch and plays someone in

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Clev did absolutely fuck all, total waste of time

brianofnazareth - September 2, 2012 Reply

I’ll keep saying it, the likes of Welbeck and Cleverly are not good enough when you have Chelsea and Man City bringing in the quality they are.

We are not good enough, Chelsea and City will not fuck up like last season and we will punished this season. Lucky to finish top 3.

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Nani almost cosu ts

Nobody can pass the ball

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

Even a garbage penalty. We’re fucked.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

unjust if southampton don’t win, dominated us in cm

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

We’re throwing shit at a wall agaian

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

Nani – pointless. Straight away all he has done is give the ball away and hit terrible crosses. Fucking awful.

sheesh - September 2, 2012 Reply

Never thought we would lose to Southampton or put in such a shit performance. Shameful.
Nowadays, and Fulham game apart, if we go a goal down we struggle.

Dean Jackson - September 2, 2012 Reply

I’m struggling to find a shinning light here. Usually I believe we’ll get back in it… can’t see us doing that today. Furthermore, we don’t deserve it.

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

It strikes me that the attitude before always seemed to be work as hard as the opposition and our quality will show

Nowadays it just seems to be our quality will show, don’t give a fuck

Our players can’t cope with being pressed, and that’s all the opposition need to do. It isn’t good enough. We need a physical presence in midfield, and not just someone who kicks people. A proper physical presence, 7miles a game, 8 tackles a game kind of player who can also pass the ball.

Complete garbage from United and this will continue all season

sheesh - September 2, 2012 Reply

It’s like last season. Play well for 10 mins then take it easy until we go a goal down.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

won’t be til atleast new year that city lose two games

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

We don’t deserve that but I am fucking glad we did score.

Dinkinflicker - September 2, 2012 Reply

We don’t deserve that in a million years. We’ve been utter shite.

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

2-2 RVP.

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

Nani again giving the fucking ball away

I am sorry but he does not deserve a fucking minute on the pitch. He is full of stupid retard mistakes like that. Putting us under pressure yet a-fucking-gain.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

and now its soton pressing for the winner ffs

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

We’ve gone behind in every game so far this season

4 times in fact

Dinkinflicker - September 2, 2012 Reply

An absolute fucking travesty.

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

Fucking hell, we don’t deserve that at all. But what a goal

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

fucking yessssss

kramer - September 2, 2012 Reply

GET INNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

Ben Hulston - September 2, 2012 Reply

First decent corner I’ve seen from Nani in… well. Ever.

bman - September 2, 2012 Reply

fucking brilliant header!

Herbie Simms - September 2, 2012 Reply

Southampton gave the game away and let us back in.
Wellbeck not of United quality, we need to start with Van Persie and Hernandez until Rooney comes back.
A third goal by Van Persie!

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Fuck offff get in

kramer - September 2, 2012 Reply

VAN FUCKING PERSIE

Dinkinflicker - September 2, 2012 Reply

I feel a bit strange. Normally, salvaging victory from the jaws of defeat would have me ecstatic, but we deserved nothing today. Shambolic at the back, sloppy in possession, no urgency.

Papering over cracks once again and it can’t continue. All our deficiencies came to bear today.

kramer - September 2, 2012 Reply

unbelievable. so fucking undeserved. van persie is fucking amazing, but something needs to be done, this team is fucking dire.

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

RVP, thats why we bought him.

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Big man, biggest man at our club

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

kramer said:
unbelievable. so fucking undeserved. van persie is fucking amazing, but something needs to be done, this team is fucking dire.

true, but play bad and win, thank fuck for RVP,

Anantax - September 2, 2012 Reply

Football. BLOODY HELL!!!

What a bloody fantastic signing!!

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Every player was shit, they weren’t arsed, shit at the back, bowled over in midfield

And we won anyway

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

The benefit of buying a player in form… he can get us through til the rest of our forwards decide to turn up

madredmonkey - September 2, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
Every player was shit, they weren’t arsed, shit at the back, bowled over in midfield

And we won anyway

Apart from RVP.

sheesh - September 2, 2012 Reply

He really does score when he wants.

Rooney will have been raging watching that.

Robbo - September 2, 2012 Reply

sheesh said:
He really does score when he wants.

Rooney will have been raging watching that.

Which should hopefully give him something to prove when he comes back.

Minus The Bear - September 2, 2012 Reply

Well if Fergie is dropping players for making mistakes now might be a struggled to get a team out against Wigan next week.

It’s diabolical that it takes staring down the barrel to actually make them do something.

Dinkinflicker - September 2, 2012 Reply

Playing badly and winning is usually the hallmark of champions, but all of our flaws were on display today.

De Gea may be a top keeper one day, but whoever we play, we don’t have a commanding presence in goal. Ferdinand is gone, both our full-backs are suspect defensively, there’s no one in midfield who can win physical battles or pick the side up when we’re on the rack, defensively we cant cope with any physical presence nor do the midfield protect the defence well enough, the only midfielder who can dictate play with intelligence and use of the ball is Scholes, Nani wants something throwing at him before being shown the door, Welbeck will never be good enough and the side generally play with no real tempo or desire, especially in hostile games away from home.

We’ll be lucky to finish 3rd.

RobDiablo - September 2, 2012 Reply

If United look this lethargic after not playing for a week, I can hardly wait to see them when they return from Turkey. Strange that we got rid of Berbatov just when the rest of the side have decided to adopt his languid style.

Herbie Simms - September 2, 2012 Reply

Southampton did a good job in marking Kagawa out of the game but it was a good move to bring on Scholes as he made it happen. Southampton made a negative approach with the subs they brought on which allowed us back into the game. And yes, with this performance, something needs to be done but its too late because the transfer window is closed! If SAF would have put up the extra 3 million for Dembele or Tiote, we would be in good shape. Need to also get Buttner and Henriquez on the subs bench. Wellbeck needs to go back out on loan.

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Scholes changed things when he came on

Just1n - September 2, 2012 Reply

We so did not deserve that but the old adage of champions playing shit and still winning applies. Southampton threw it away with there negative substitutions. Chicco looks a better bet with RVP up front.

Anantax - September 2, 2012 Reply

madredmonkey said:
Apart from RVP.

Scholesy was good. Made a difference.

We are, at the moment, Vanchester United,

Lets hope the other players decide to show up soon

sidney - September 2, 2012 Reply

Van Persie just thanked Scholes for coming on and being brilliant. Said he was MOTM.

He also spoke well about his penalty miss. He doesn’t need telling that it wasn’t good enough.

Dinkinflicker - September 2, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
Van Persie just thanked Scholes for coming on and being brilliant. Said he was MOTM.

He also spoke well about his penalty miss. He doesn’t need telling that it wasn’t good enough.

You’re right, but just about every other player DOES need telling that they weren’t good enough. We were a shambles todayand if they hadn’t sat back looking to protect their lead we’d have got nothing, which is what we deserved.

Herbie Simms - September 2, 2012 Reply

We can only get better. Remember, Southampton had a plan to stop us from playing and dominating the game. Their plan was to stop Kagawa and put pressure on the weak defence. Rafael played much better in the second half but he is a bit raw. Buttner can play at rightback also. Ferdinand was not fully fit and Vidic, after having knee ligament damage operation, I’m afraid will never be the same. Therein lies our problems till Smalling comes back.
What Southampton found out today is that if you make the slightest mistake in the premier league, you will get punished. Van Persie is turning out to be a great signing.
Can’t wait to see the class of our other new signing, Angelo Henriquez. We may get to see a bit of him next week!

davek - September 2, 2012 Reply

Let’s face it that was pretty shite- apart from a scholes cameo and the wonderful finishing of RVP: he plays for who he wants and he scores when he wants. What a player, if he stays fit he’s good enough to drag us out of mediocrity on his own.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - September 2, 2012 Reply

fair play, if that’s wayne in there and not persie we lose

marlon - September 2, 2012 Reply

VP doing his job and getting goals, but not involved in general play at all. Probably what we need in this formation though.
If Welbeck can’t work out how to play LW he’ll lose in place in the squad (England too) as he’s hardly an impact player. Might only get games when one of RVP/Rooney are injured (could be a lot). Need to get Nani up to speed to give us a threat on the LHS. Says a lot about our performance given the talent on display that Valencia, our most functional attacker, performed best.

You’re all overreacting a bit. It’s early on in the season. We always start slow. Vida is coming back from a year out. His partnership with Rio will take a couple of games to get the understanding back. Carrick Cleverley Kagawa partnership on paper looks good and could still be. Remember it’s the first time they’ve all played together in midfield. Did Carrick and Cleverley even play together last season?
Remember that we had a useless pre-season and so these are the first proper games we’re playing with a new formation and two new key players. Consider also how many games Rafael, Lindegaard, Vidic and Cleverley played last season. Clearly the chemistry isn’t there yet. International break gives us some time to work on that.

Weird to say this about a United side but there was no leadership anywhere on the pitch. You’d expect much better from veterans like Rio, Vidic and Evra. Don’t know what happened to them, but when we lost Brown, O’Shea, van der Sar, Neville and all of their experience these were the guys who were meant to step up. Can’t blame Rafael for the first goal – 9 times out of 10 Lambert will win that. Makes you wonder what Fergie meant when he said that we’d been working on defending crosses to the back post. All our fullbacks are short – might be an idea not to give crossers so much time to pick out a player.

Why drop DDG? Nothing wrong with Anders (distribution was awful) but reckon DDG would’ve had the second one with his unreal reflexes. Assuming Anders was brought in to deal with threat from Lambert and crosses – he claimed one in the whole game. Was rooted to his line most of the time. Big frame but didn’t use it, so may as well play the more agile DDG who at least can pass the ball.

Terrible performance, but points rescued and we won’t play that badly many times again this season. Relying on Carrick to be the hero he was last season though.

marlon - September 2, 2012 Reply

Good analysis of our performance:
http://soccernet.espn.go.com/feature/_/id/1149776/delaney:-rvp-hat-trick-papers-over-cracks?cc=5739

“Had Ferguson signed the midfield presence United need to properly link that defence and attack, would Van Persie’s goals even be needed? Or, how intimidating would United be had they signed both?”

Herbie Simms - September 2, 2012 Reply

I believe he dropped DeGea to just rotate his goalkeepers.
Remember, this was a win away from home and not all the time a team plays that well away from home, even if they come out victorious. But if the team looks this bad playing at home, then I would think its time to be concerned. Van Persie in his interview said the team must play better. He was also angry at himself for missing the penalty. These are early days yet but it looks like Boas and Rogers could be in line for the first managers to be sacked!

BiscuitBarrell - September 2, 2012 Reply

Both fullbacks want shooting. It was an open door policy at times. I worry about the 2nd CB position – but I suspect Vidic will recover close to his former self. Great game for DeGea today – I personally think he hadn’t done much to justify getting dropped – probably just tinkering. I’m not buying Cleverly, Carrick and Kagawa in the middle – imagine if it had been Toure, Barry and Silva against them. Kagawa is too attacking to play in that system, it might work if Cleverly or Carrick were particularly dynamic. Wellbeck looked lost.

On the plus side I think RvP is probably the best finisher we’ve had since Eric, Valencia had a great game – as usual and Scholes continues to roll back time. On the basis of today I do not revise my prediction – 3rd.

Violent Banana - September 2, 2012 Reply

Delighted to get all three points when we were fortunate to get one. Van Persie and Scholes were magnificient.

Kagawa did a great Park impression today but I’m sure he’ll improve. Far more concerning, again, was the centre of midfield; we really didn’t have any control until Scholesy came on, and he can’t bail us out forever. The lack of penetration was again noticeable, the number of misplaced passes amateurish.

Defence? Jury still out – let this back four play together for a longer period of time. Vidic and Rio both need games. I can understand Lindegaard’s inclusion, he’s a top keeper. His distribution today was awful however.

And I only really noticed a sense of urgency and purpose when we were losing the game. It’s ok to want to win from the beginning you know.

Pikey McScum - September 2, 2012 Reply

sidney said:
Scholes changed things when he came on

Cal will have your balls for that

RobDiablo - September 2, 2012 Reply

BiscuitBarrell said:
On the plus side I think RvP is probably the best finisher we’ve had since Eric…

We once had a player called Ruud van Nistelrooy who scored a goal or two.

Damian Garside - September 2, 2012 Reply

Why does Fergie being getting his tactics wrong? It’s like every manager is out-thinking him these days and he has to sort things out half way through the game when we are a goal down.

BiscuitBarrell - September 2, 2012 Reply

RobDiablo said:
We once had a player called Ruud van Nistelrooy who scored a goal or two.

More prolific – yes
Better poacher – yes (shoulder, thigh, arse)
Better finisher – Eric and RvP = better, doesn’t make Ruud bad.

marlon - September 2, 2012 Reply

Having seen the goals again, CMs culpable for the first one – didn’t track late runners meant Rio had to cover the middle so Raf was left one on one with Lambert.

2nd one, obviously Evra slipped, but Valencia lost the ball with a terrible back heel, tracked back well, and then did fuck all other than to point the the space on his right. He gave Lambert two yards of space and unbelievable amounts of time to line up that cross.

Violent Banana - September 2, 2012 Reply

Guillem Balague tweeting that (according to a source) Ronaldo wants to leave Madrid.

RvP, Ronaldo, Rooney and Kagawa? A man can dream….

Violent Banana - September 2, 2012 Reply

Oh I forgot Bebe

Calvino - September 3, 2012 Reply

Pikey McScum said:
Cal will have your balls for that

Too right!! Am not having it one bit. How about starting a team with the right shape from the off. Why play Danny Welbeck on the left when Nani is fit? All through the match when that formation existed, Danny kept coming infield and exposing Evra. The home side kept on having men over with Puncheon and Clyne having a go at Evra while Danny was wondering where he should be. It is very easy to start crowing about Scholes performance when corrections had been made ahead of him and game had slowed down. You all forget that he started and was wank against Everton.

With the players we have when all fit, we have to stop destroying Welbeck’s game by asking him to play that left wing position. It is not right or fair!! Kagawa got hustled out of the ball a lot but we were unbalanced but the Japanese will get the balance right eventually.

I am still amazed at some of the decisions made before matches. We went away from home and started with FIVE offensive players and ofcourse without a recognised ball winner! Amazing. Annoying!

sidney - September 3, 2012 Reply

Had Scholes have started the game he would have been pressed, but Fergie saved him til they were knackered which meant he had lots of room to play

His first touch was to nick the ball and play Van Persie in – class. He’s so accurate, reliable and not scared of the ball. Clev, where the fuck was he. He didn’t even come looking for it.

RobDiablo - September 3, 2012 Reply

Calvino said:
Kagawa got hustled out of the ball a lot but we were unbalanced…

Southampton figured out that by taking Kagawa out of the equation it would leave United essentially where they were last season: passing the ball aimlessly from one side of the pitch to the other, and so slowly that it rarely opens up any gaps. Unfortunately for them, RvP was there to take two of the very few chances that presented themselves in the second half. Managers all around the league will have noticed that United don’t like to be pressed, can’t handle physical sides, and don’t attack through the center without going through Kagawa. If they mark Kagawa out of the game, no one else will try to play through the center.

threadoflength - September 3, 2012 Reply

We need a Valencia for the left wing… why not try out Buttner? He played as more of a winger for Vitesse anyway aaand he is a proper left footer. Can’t be much worse than Nani/Young or Welbeck trying to hack it as a winger.

wilboy - September 3, 2012 Reply

Lucky lucky United. I think we have like 70-80% possession in the first 10 minutes then suddenly, we seemed uninterested and Southampton started to pressure us and we began to mess things up from top to bottom. Somehow this looks like a deja vu. Ferguson says or wants us to play with speed but yesterday was nothing of that at all. Carrick doesn’t fit into that system. We were simply playing a flat 4-4-2 or more like 4-3-2 coz Welbeck simply cannot play as a left winger and made us look like we have one player short. Wasting his talents!!

If Fergie really wants to play with speed and go gung-ho, then I would love to see Welbeck or Hernandez or Rooney (when he returns from injury) up top with RVP. Nani,Young &Valencia at the wings with Kagawa,Anderson & Cleverly in the middle. I’m sure we will leak goals with this lineup but if we can score more, it’ll be one damn exciting United to watch. It’ll be like our first 6 games last season, scoring goals for fun, playing with speed and one touch passes and scaring the Sxxx out of our opponents. 8-2, anyone?

Alfonso Bedoya - September 3, 2012 Reply

I can’t help thinking our problem is the coaching.

Apparently we signed Kagawa and not a defensive mid, to play a faster tempo, possession game… lots of passing and movement… so what the fuck was that?

Fergie wants a Barcelona style game… and thinks Phelan is the man to train them for it???

Ultimately Ferguson has to take the blame as he’s the man that appointed him… but surely we need a better coach if we want to play better football.

Calvino - September 3, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
I can’t help thinking our problem is the coaching.

Apparently we signed Kagawa and not a defensive mid, to play a faster tempo, possession game… lots of passing and movement… so what the fuck was that?

Fergie wants a Barcelona style game… and thinks Phelan is the man to train them for it???

Ultimately Ferguson has to take the blame as he’s the man that appointed him… but surely we need a better coach if we want to play better football.

Alfie,
I have been saying this for at least three years now. No matter what match or who you think City or Arsenal will go away from home and not have the presence of mind to be cautious in their selection? People go on about Scholes’ introduction. Is Scholes more energetic than Steven Gerrard? Diaby and the rest of the Arsenal midfield made him wish he had retired yesterday afternoon. They physically crushed Liverpool with their energy and then battered them with their technique. Even when they wanted to close the game down they took off Oxlade and brought on Ramsey so they had legs and engine and technique.

Whose stupid hare brained idea is it to start Welbeck on the left? What purpose is that supposed to serve in the grand scheme of things? It is embarrassing. I have been saying this that we must the worst coached team in the top echelons of European football. The problem was not getting the ball to Kagawa. The problem was Kagawa gets the ball looks right good Valencia is there; he looks left and Danny has come infield and so he has to go back. It was amazing!!

Alfonso Bedoya - September 3, 2012 Reply

Yeah… it’s one thing signing new players… we needed some new blood in the team… but we need a complete staff overhaul as well.

It’s full of Fergies toadies, and yes men… problem is, there will be no new faces behind the team until the Glazers are shifted…

In fact… I wouldn’t be surprised if, after Fergie retires, the Gazers don’t put Phelan in his place.

Herbie Simms - September 3, 2012 Reply

Alfonso is right! Just what I keep saying. We need to change our style of football. We need to bring in new coaching staff. Phelan is an asshole! If we don’t have a natural left winger, than you play without a left winger and just use one winger on the right and play Buttner as the attacking left back/winger. What I read, Buttner is a leftback that gets into scoring positions down that left side. As long as he knows how to get back and defend, this could be the solution. So what you would do, you would play Nani as a wide left midfielder, but not necessarily a left winger, but leave Buttner to control that left side as an attacking fullback. To put Wellbeck on the left was useless thinking. I hear Bebe played some great games on the left wing during pre-season, but you would have to keep him in the reserves for quite awhile and monitor his performances. It would be good also to try new signing Angelo Henriquez up front with Van Persie.
They say Henriquez is world class, lets see what he can do.

Digga - September 3, 2012 Reply

why would you think playing buttner ahead of Nani/young/welbeck is the answer?! what makes you say that apart from the fact you have never seen him play, so he ‘might’ be alright?!

he has never played a premier league game, and was identified by our Dutch scout as “3rd or 4th best” in the Dutch league last year.

and the suggestion of bebe actually make me think your retarded!

Damian Garside - September 3, 2012 Reply

A truly great striker backed up by (mainly) a set of players who at present look too limited, hobbled, unfit, jaded, tired, fat, not in a good place, for us to get anywhere. It’s like having a Ferrari with pram wheels instead of racing mags and Pirellis.

Alfonso Bedoya - September 3, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:

and the suggestion of bebe actually make me think your retarded!

sheesh - September 3, 2012 Reply

It was a smart move keeping Scholes on the bench.

We could ask, in hindsight, what was the point in playing Cleverley and Carrick together?

We looked good for the first 10 mins and then Southampton grew into the game and we struggled to handle them. After they went 2-1 up, they could have scored another couple of goals the way we were defending. Defence was under pressure because our midfield was non-existent.

Bill - September 3, 2012 Reply

On the subject of the midfield. Did anyone see Dembele’s goal for Spurs – a bit special!

threadoflength - September 4, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
why would you think playing buttner ahead of Nani/young/welbeck is the answer?! what makes you say that apart from the fact you have never seen him play, so he ‘might’ be alright?!

he has never played a premier league game, and was identified by our Dutch scout as “3rd or 4th best” in the Dutch league last year.

Oh he’s never played a premier league game you say? Oh well in that case i suppose we should tell him to fuck off back to Holland then until he’s played some! Good thing we took the same stance on our other international transfers. Wouldn’t want anyone from a foreign league running around Old Trafford sullying our reputation.

But seriously.. why not play him? If he’s good enough for us to sign him then surely he’s good enough to play against premier league powerhouses like Southampton and Wigan? Or have we lost faith in our scouts so completely that every foriegn player we sign is automatically expected to become the next Obertan?

Digga - September 5, 2012 Reply

It’s still questionable whether he is good enough for UTD as far as I’m concerned, seems more like a glazernomic signing to me.

I’m not saying he shouldn’t be given a chance, just that he shouldn’t be given the nod ahead of our more proven players on the left, as has been suggested by some. He should be played at left back, where he presumably was bought to play given our lack of cover there, and evra’s form!

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