Preview: United v Manchester City

Manchester United v Manchester City

What a difference a year makes. Last April, with Manchester United leading the Premier League by four points after the 30th game, the title looked if not sealed then at least heading towards Old Trafford. Yet, by the month’s end Manchester City had beaten a limp United at the City of Manchester stadium and Sir Alex Ferguson’s goose was well and truly cooked. The rest needs no further repeat.

The story is different now of course, with Ferguson’s side leading the Premier League by 15 points and coasting towards a 20th domestic league title. No last-minute Sergio Agüero winner can save City now, with only local reputation and Roberto Mancini’s job left to play for. Mancini’s side is playing to become “Champions of Manchester,” as Vincent Kompany put it this week. Massive.

In reality, each side now has just the single trophy to play for. United, the Premier League. City, the FA Cup, with Mancini’s men facing Chelsea at Wembley next weekend. It leaves the derby unusually flaccid; a result either way will make little difference to the season’s out come.

Still, while United has crashed out of two cup competitions in recent weeks, with defeats against Real Madrid and Chelsea curtailing any thoughts of another treble, Ferguson says the campaign has been successful.

“I was asked about only winning one trophy,” said Ferguson.

“I think that’s a strange question in the context of the kind of competition we have as we’re up against teams from London – Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea – plus Liverpool and Everton. They’re massive challenges every year. For every one of those teams, the supporters want to win one trophy. I think we can win the one that really does matter to the fans.

“Yes, I’d love to win the Champions League again but I’d say that we were knocked out in circumstances everyone is still talking about. The disappointment at being knocked out by Chelsea is obvious but the league form has been fantastically consistent.”

That consistency has seen United gain four additional points after 30 games compared to last season. Mancini’s side, meanwhile, is nine points and 20 goals down.

Any campaign that ends with the Premier League title is success of course. Although behind the headlines United’s season is a little more muted despite the huge points advantage. Ferguson’s side is likely to finish the campaign having scored fewer goals and conceded more than last season.

It will take a huge effort from here to match Chelsea’s 2005 record points tally of 95, although beating last season’s total of 89 should be within sights if Ferguson’s side extracts itself from its current short-term funk.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League, Old Trafford - 8pm, 8 April 2013On the pitch the 71-year-old manager must do without captain Nemanja Vidić for City’s visit, although elsewhere the Scot boasts an almost fully-fit squad. Wayne Rooney will return alongside Robin van Persie in attack, while Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans will play in the back-four, with Rafael da Silva also returning after injury.

“Vida got injured at Sunderland,” confirmed Sir Alex.

“Early on, he had a clash and had a bit of treatment and then he had a clash with David De Gea near the end of the game. It’s not serious, just a nerve in his calf, so he should be maybe back in training over the weekend. I’ve got Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones so I’ve got the right cover, I think.”

Meanwhile, City arrive without Jack Rodwell who is injured, although the former Evertonian has appeared in just four Premier League matches all season in any case. Micah Richards and Maicon are definitely out, although David Silva and Samir Nasri should both overcome minor knocks.

Still, it is not form or players that has won United the league, says Mancini, but a mysterious fear spread throughout England. Conversely, City has been hit by fierce domestic competition. Mancini has long since given up on credibility.

“No one plays well against United because they only play with fear,” said Mancini.

“United are strong now because of their importance as a team, their importance as a club. Every team that plays against United plays very soft because they think the game is difficult, that they can’t beat them.

“If they play strong against United, they can beat them like they can beat us. This is normal, this is football, because United have been a strong team for a long time. For the other teams they play against it is difficult. I’m not saying they don’t play 100% but their mentality is poor in that game.”

Ferguson can challenge Mancini’s remarks as the sour grapes of a man now fighting for his job after one of the weakest title defences in recent memory.

Indeed, the Scot has warned City that his side intends to build on the coming success. Whether that ambition is matched in the transfer market is another matter. Not least with strong rumours circulating that Ferguson’s summer budget could be severely curtailed after pressing home Robin van Persie’s acquisition last July.

“The record over the last 20 years tells you we’re not going away,” adds Ferguson.

“So I’d expect us without doubt to have a real good challenge next year. Plus we’ll have players who are maturing nicely. Rafa has proved how much he’s developed this season; the goalkeeper David de Gea’s progress right through the season is absolutely superb and he’ll get better next year. Kagawa will be a far better player next year, I’m certain about that.

“We have to deal with the fact that one or two players are getting older, but I think we’re not so bad in terms of protecting most positions. So we’re not going to go away, no doubt about that.”

Neither will City, of course, with Mancini, or whomever replaces the Italian, likely to be handed a substantial transfer bounty. The club’s failure to land van Persie or a number of other targets last summer is to blame for the club’s failure, claims the Italian.

There’s some truth in that. But more in Ferguson’s assertion that United’s has been a strong response to last season’s narrow failure.

“The way we lost it resonates with a lot of people in the club,” said United manager. “The players focused, their team spirit was terrific and there was a definite purpose in terms of getting the title back.”

Match details
Manchester United v Manchester City – Premier League, Old Trafford – 7 April 2013 March 2013, 8pm

Possible teams
United (4-2-3-1): de Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Cleverley, Carrick; Valencia, Rooney, Kagawa; van Persie. Subs from: Lindegaard, Büttner, Jones, Smalling, Powell, Young, Scholes, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Nani, Hernández, Welbeck

City (4-4-2): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Barry, Touré, Milner, Silva; Tevez, Agüero. Subs from: Pantilimon, Lescott, Nasri, Kolarov, Razak, García, Guidetti, Džeko

Match officials
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistant Referees: S Child and J Brooks
Fourth Official: H Webb

Form
United: WLDWWL
City: WWWWLW

Head to Head
Last 10: United 6, City 3, Draw 1
Overall: United 69, City 45, Draw 50

Stats

  • Joe Hart has made 85 saves this season, with 13 clean sheets, and conceded 26 goals at an average of 3.26 saves per goal;
  • David de Gea last conceded in the Premier League against Southampton on January 30th, keeping six clean sheets in a row in the league, which is two-thirds of his total for the season;
  • De Gea has only conceded three goals in the Premier League 2013, compared to 17 through the end of December – he averages 4.65 saves per goal conceded;
  • Rio Ferdinand has contributed more defensively than any other player for either City or United, with 137 defensive contributions, including 64 interceptions;
  • Pablo Zabaleta is just one tackle, interception, block or clearance away from matching Rio, having notched up 136 defensive contributions this season, including 64 tackles, 59.8 per cent of those attempted
  • Vincent Kompany has made 126 defensive contributions this season, including 28 clearances and 54 interceptions;
  • In midfield Carrick is ranked sixth in the EA Sports Premier League Performance Index for passes completed in the opposition half at 889 exactly 150 behind Yaya Touré;
  • Carrick has also played 201 more minutes that Touré this season, while David Silva also ranks above Carrick in number of passes completed with 970, having played around 400 minutes less than the United man;
  • Robin van Persie’s shot against Sunderland may have gone down as a Titus Bramble own goal but he remains the second top goalscorer in the Premier League;
  • The Dutchman is one of only four players in the Index to have taken 100 efforts at goal this season, unleashing 103 shots with 60.1 per cent on target;
  • Strike partner Wayne Rooney has hit 12 goals this season –  the same tally as City’s top goalscorer Edin Dzeko;
  • Rooney has played 1691 minutes and attempted 68 shots, while Dzeko has played 1556 minutes and taken 62 shots;
  • City’s goal threat comes from three players – Dzeko, Aguero and Tevez, with the Argentinian achieving 65 per cent shot accuracy rate.

Prediction
1-1

Sharing is caring

Comments

  1. max says

    Fergie will play his favourites in Welbeck and Jones from the start. Will Rooney be fit? Did he train on Friday/Saturday?! Without him we’ll be pretty fucked. As it showed against cfc in cup at the bridge. Vital player! Makes us tick. Simples!

  2. Leroy Cain says

    This seems like an oddly irrelevant game but it would be bloody irritating to lose it. We’ve been playing like shit since the Real game so hopefully this will focus them properly.

    Mancini is getting more hilarious every time he speaks; don’t know how he keeps a straight face with the amount of utter bullshit he spunks out of his mouth all the time. City spent more money than United last summer, ffs! Every single manager in the world could complain they don’t have the exact playing staff they want. Embarrassingly pitiful deflection away from his own incompetence.

    Come on United, please avoid defeat…

    (Nb, surely City are playing the Chavs rather than Wigan, aren’t they?)

  3. Denton Davey says

    Max @ 2:01: “Fergie will play his favourites in Welbeck and Jones from the start.”

    Not DannyTheLad = SAF loves TheLegend more ! Giggs to start.

    In other matters, it was reported that UTD have discovered a source for more commercial revenue:

    “Manchester United sell naming rights to training ground for £150m
    • Club secure eight-year agreement with Aon
    • United ‘will never sell naming rights to Old Trafford’ ” (Guardian Online)

    The pot of gold at the end of the Glazer’s rainbow just gets bigger and bigger.

  4. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    I don’t like the idea of Kagawa in front of Evra against Zabaleta et al. We need a winger who can also defend—Welbeck or Giggs, please, but even Young would be better suited to this occasion.

  5. Damian Garside says

    A City win and Thatcher rising up from the dead as a Tory Zombie would not be all that good, in comparison.

  6. Damian Garside says

    Just suppose …. 15 pts with 8 games is not enough. What diabolical stuff would you wish on those at the club who will have let us down worse than we ever thought it possible for United to let us down?

  7. Damian Garside says

    One quote from Thatcher though, that the boys could adapt tonight is : “this tean is not for turning”. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we drilled them 6-1. A dish served cold.

  8. madmaxmadmax says

    Considering how we like to make things difficult for ourselves, I’d be surprised if we win this one. Infact I’d be surprised if we win the title without at least 3 or 4 heart-attack inducing moments.

  9. sheesh says

    We will play shit like we have done at home all season. Our best performances have been away from home.

    In other news, I managed to pick the one seat on the train where i have to sit next to a pisshead. Well this is fun ffs.

  10. ltel says

    Man Utd XI: De Gea, Rafael, Vidic (c), Smalling, Evra, Welbeck, Carrick, Jones, Giggs, Rooney & Van Persie

  11. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    citys team looks strong tbf, three in midfield and two wingers wholl come inside, carricks got a fucking job on here, yet again

  12. Sidsidney says

    A City goal is coming, they’re dominating, they’ve got an extra 20 men in midfield and we’re giving it away

  13. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Jones is doing well..tbf it’s no surprise city are dominating considering we only have 10 men

  14. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    To be fair, city are knocking it around better. They should be the nervous one anything but a win here and it’s the end of their title chances IMO.

  15. marlon says

    We’ve had 9 shots to their 4. They might be dominating possession, but we’ve been much more effective.

  16. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    Commenter said:
    0-0 best we can hope for: says it all about our “supremacy” this season.

    Well, apparently we are playing the one side that isn’t afraid of us.

  17. Sidsidney says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    we have zero passing options, rio and jones are on about 20 hoofs each upto persie

    Yeah, too many hoofs from centrebacks

    What’s the point in De Gea rolling the ball out to Rio if he’s just going to hoof it

  18. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    marlon said:
    We’ve had 9 shots to their 4. They might be dominating possession, but we’ve been much more effective.

    Are you actually watching the game or just reading the stats? Both sides have one shot on goal apiece (you know, the kind that can actually end up in the back of the net).

  19. AnantaxAnantax says

    Giggs has been awful since he signed the extension…no big surprise

    If thsi doesnt convince Fergie to buy a midfielder then nothing will..

  20. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    Wow, how surprising.

    Dispite what the league and form says, this City team is better than ours.

  21. Minus The Bear says

    I also think City have got a case for it hitting Jones arm and all. Anything to keep Mancini’s burning sense of injustice going.

  22. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    We’ve been shite. Playing for the draw and that’s what he gets. Should’ve taken Rooney off instead of Welbeck.

  23. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    United was unable to execute at speed as well as City, and their lack of pace was especially noticeable in midfield where they were constantly beaten to the loose balls.

  24. Sidsidney says

    Fergie has done us today

    Wrong formation, wrong personel, no fucking wingers. A dysfunctional team that couldn’t pass the ball from back to front because there were huge fucking gaps and cunts bodging out wide.

    It’s one of those you know we’re not going to win as soon as the teamsheet comes through

  25. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    We are shit..possibly the worst side to be champions elect..disgrace..the premiership is a shit league

  26. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    Didn’t deserve a win. Fucking shower of pussies. I don’t give a fuck what the league table says, if Chelsea or even Man City had not be so dire we’d be lucky to finish 3rd.

    We’ll still win the league but certain players are not good enough.

  27. AnantaxAnantax says

    Giggs awful

    Young Rooney poor again

    Jones was great…beaten by Aguero’s brilliance was his only blemish

  28. Sidsidney says

    Stoke away next, and they need wins. City have got Wigan at home.

    The gap could be 9/10 points with 6 games left which is bottleable.

    We’ll probably draw away at West Ham n all.

  29. Damian Garside says

    So back-to-back defeats v Chelsea and v City. Consecutive home league defeats to City. Oh happy day. 

  30. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    captainhormone said:
    We are shit..possibly the worst side to be champions elect..disgrace..the premiership is a shit league

    I’d have to go with the winners of the 19th as the worst ever to win the Premiership; RvP is the difference.

  31. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    Commenter said:
    So back-to-back defeats v Chelsea and v City. 

    Technically, United hasn’t scored for three matches in a row.

  32. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    sidney said:
    Stoke away next, and they need wins. City have got Wigan at home.

    The gap could be 9/10 points with 6 games left which is bottleable.

    We’ll probably draw away at West Ham n all.

    This could be a concern. As way happened last season, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

  33. Damian Garside says

    Anyone starting to get a really bad feeling about the 15 pt lead which is suddenly NW down to 12 and could further evaporate the way we are playing?

  34. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    sticking welbeck on the wing, so we can hoof it up to his head against the small fullback

    its stoke football

    and we’re back to playing xfactorless aimless crossing shite, because of young

  35. says

    Mancini will be telling them the bottle job is on now. And self destructive pap as usual from United.

    RvP and Rooney need to start scoring soon or get dropped, it’s as simple as. Hernandez must be doing his nut sat on the bench. Also, since when have our wingers looked like mediocre mid table pap… (I know the answer is because they possibly are, but I remember Valencia from days before. Chuck him the number 25 again and tell him to crack the fork on)

    City remain the best team in the league, it is Mancini constantly riding them for being pap that’s ruining them. They don’t want to play for him, except in the big games.

    They’re a dysfunctional bunch but I’d wager they won’t lose between now and the end of the season, and that means the pressure is on that set of bottle jobs sat in the United dressing room.

  36. Coach Herbie says

    We just blew it! City will close the gap because United has lost its confidence and Van Persie is becoming another Torres, no goals now in 10 league games. Teams fighting relegation will beat us. Every pundit around the world had this right. They predicted City would win 2-1 away. I wait to see what will be Fergie’s excuse for this one.

  37. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    tbf id be fine with taggart leaving if we blow 15 points

    I wouldn’t, because things would really go to hell afterwards, but, it would be fair because, if United do bottle it, it will be on account of the midfield, a problem everyone has seen for years and one which he has repeatedly failed to address.

  38. says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    tbf id be fine with taggart leaving if we blow 15 points

    not until we get another glazers article from ed and some cock sucking from the usual ranters. everytime we get a new summary of how shit united is under the glazers, we start winning.

    also, we need more cunts to say Mancunty is a great manager because everytime the cock smellers on here say he is shit and overrated, he slaps up Fergal again.

  39. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    he put so much emphasis on the madrid game, the prem means fuck all to him compared to the cl, weve been shite since madrid beat us

  40. says

    It isn’t that though, Dean. It’s the lack of form and goals up front. It’s the lack of class in midfield. And it’s the lack of commitment throughout the team. Looks like last season, smells like last season, let’s hope it isn’t a rinse and repeat bottle job.

    RvP can’t buy a goal, Rooney doesn’t look like he’d score in an old person’s home, Welbeck is still raw at finishing. The production from the midfield has been dire, embarrassing, whatever you want to call it.

    Some serious work is required over the summer in midfield.

  41. Sidsidney says

    Fergie has increased the pressure on the players now

    Everybody is expecting a bottlejob, that’s what all the talk has been about for weeks

    So he goes and picks a dodgy formation which leaves us short, and then to make it worse, puts in a few bodgers as well so it doesn’t even work effectively

    And then he doesn’t change it, just tightens it up a bit in the second half

    Totally dysfunctional, couldn’t pass the ball out of our own half, and he was content with that ffs

  42. Damian Garside says

    Lack of commitment .,, don’t they get paid huge salaries and stuff? Rooney quoted as saying United being back to their best for derby and he himself hardly features. As if we could win on hype alone.

  43. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    sidney said:
    Fergie has increased the pressure on the players now

    Everybody is expecting a bottlejob, that’s what all the talk has been about for weeks

    So he goes and picks a dodgy formation which leaves us short, and then to make it worse, puts in a few bodgers as well so it doesn’t even work effectively

    And then he doesn’t change it, just tightens it up a bit in the second half

    Totally dysfunctional, couldn’t pass the ball out of our own half, and he was content with that ffs

    tbf it was more one sided that the 6-1

  44. madmaxmadmax says

    Despite today’s win, 12 points behind us.I’m still wondering how one can call Mancini a great manager.

  45. says

    Am fed up to my back teeth with Wayne Rooney. Really am. I kept on watching him during the game and it was so obvious that he was a problem cos he never stayed in that position beside Toure. It made it hard for us to get any movement going. Carrick had little or no out ball options. That iis the same reason he was dropped against Madrid and people were wailing.

    Am annoyed to be honest.

  46. Denton Davey says

    12 points – and most of you guys are pissing in your diapers. That said, this was the third big-game (RM, RentBoyz, and now Shitty) in which SAF has been slow to react to opposition changes – and when he does make changes they’re just plain silly. AND how many fucking games has Fergy sat on the sidelines and watched quite passively as AshleyBloodyYoung has done the square-root of sweet-fuck-all ? What’s the point of having real attacking danger-men like KagawaBunga and Chicharito if they have to watch on the bench ?

  47. sheesh says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    he put so much emphasis on the madrid game, the prem means fuck all to him compared to the cl, weve been shite since madrid beat us

    You forget that we were shite in so many matches before the Madrid game as well.
    I knew we would play shit before the teams were even announced. We play some pretty horrible football at home.
    We really are a bollockless outfit. There were 2 instances when we should have applied the pressure on City. The first instance was in the opening 15 minutes (including that one moment when Welbeck fucked up a counter attack which we should have scored from), the second instance was immediately after we equalised. We stopped having a proper go after the first 15 mins and it took City’s first goal to wake us up.
    It really pisses me off that we don’t spend sustained periods of time taking the game to teams anymore.
    We lack any sort of killer instinct, our ball retention was fucking abysmal (it has been for years tbf) and our wingers are fucking shit. Offensively, we are fucking hopeless… as if we’ve forgotten how to score.
    Think back to that amazing counter attacking goal Ronaldo scored v Arsenal in the Champions League (which Rooney repeated in the league). Does this side have the quality to score a goal like that? Does it bollocks.
    Fergie really fucks me off with his late substitutions (and then he brings on Valencia tonight WTF). He literally waits until the game is lost before he does anything. He did the same thing v Chelsea in the FA Cup and against Madrid.
    We’d better not bottle the league but some United fans will start worrying now.

  48. Bill says

    Formation? Substitutions? Good job we have the points on the board really. Tactically outclassed again in a big game.

  49. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    tbf id be fine with taggart leaving if we blow 15 points

    I’ll be fine with him leaving…!

    “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.”

  50. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    danniitronix said:
    not until we get another glazers article from ed and some cock sucking from the usual ranters. everytime we get a new summary of how shit united is under the glazers, we start winning.
    also, we need more cunts to say Mancunty is a great manager because everytime the cock smellers on here say he is shit and overrated, he slaps up Fergal again.

    Could you possibly be more of an idiot???
    Seriously… you’re a fuckin moron!
    If we’d have won tonight, I bet we wouldn’t have heard from you… tosser…
    Mancini has spent hundreds of millions to build a team that, by his own admission isn’t good enough… he needs more, More, MORE!!!… his record in the Champs league is SHIT!… and almost everyone agrees that his man management skills are rubbish, and no doubt largely responsible for Citys’ weak defense of their title this season… but according to YOU, he’s quality, because he “slaps up Ferguson”…
    Isn’t it funny how Moyes, a manager you claim is complete shite, who works on a budget that wouldn’t pay for Citys laundry bill, consistantly “slaps up Mancini”???
    Why don’t you take up lawn darts, or competetive shampooing? Cause you know fuck all about football… in fact… why don’t you just fuck off alltogether, because, well, you’re just fuckin shit… period!

    “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.”

    • Damian Garside says

      “competitive shampooing”? Got to love that! But it’s no enough silver to line the monstrous grey cloud I’m sitting in.

  51. sheesh says

    Sir Alex Ferguson is already making plans for the Potteries after marginally losing the Manchester derby on Monday night.

    The United manager is confident the Reds can bounce back in Sunday’s away match at Stoke City, after seeing his side perform well in the 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City.

    “We played well, no question about that, we played some good football,” Sir Alex told MUTV. “It’s a shame to have lost [after 18 league games unbeaten], particularly in a local derby game because you always want to win those.

    “We’ve got seven games to go and it’s a healthy lead. But we’re not taking anything for granted.

    “We just have to kick on. The most important thing is to try and win our next game. We’ve got Stoke City on Sunday and it’s a game we want to win and the performance tonight is a good indication.”

    He admitted United left some room for improvement in the first half against City, during which the Blues enjoyed more possession “without really killing us.”

    “I actually thought we controlled the game in the second half,” Sir Alex added. “A lot of these big games need a goal to open up and it opened up well in the second half, when I thought we played really well.

    “It was a very intense game, both sides were really committed, there wasn’t much in it.”

    The local rivals dominating the national league were ultimately separated by a piece of individual skill by Sergio Aguero, who entered the fray as a substitute after Vincent Kompany’s own goal cancelled out James Milner’s deflected opener.

    Sir Alex acknowledged, “They brought on Aguero who’s always a threat and maybe we can look at ourselves for the space we gave him for his goal but nonetheless he is a good finisher.”

    Kompany’s own goal was initially credited to his United counterpart Phil Jones, who forced the issue by meeting Robin van Persie’s free-kick delivery to the far post. His involvement in the equaliser capped a fine display by the versatile England defender.

    “He was tremendous,” praised Sir Alex. “He’s a fantastic player, the boy. He’s not had a lot of football at centre-back but today he’s come in, into a difficult situation when some of the other centre-backs are injured, and, like we expected, he was very good.

    “There were some terrific performances tonight – Robin van Persie was fantastic – so there were a lot of pluses in that respect.”

  52. Will says

    I, for one, am going to be a bag of nerves next weekend – so many players off colour, out of form, or simply not good enough.

  53. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    so taggarts plan to get them playing better is just to keeping tell em theyre amazing, is he turning into redknapp ffs

    he said valencia was brilliant against chelsea then dropped him anyway, rightly tho tbf

  54. Just1n says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    so taggarts plan to get them playing better is just to keeping tell em theyre amazing, is he turning into redknapp ffs

    he said valencia was brilliant against chelsea then dropped him anyway, rightly tho tbf

    and then quality like Kagawa and Chicorito are left warming the bench while Ashley useless Young plays the full game. WTF!

  55. Sidsidney says

    Fergie isn’t going to criticise the team publicly because it just adds to the pressure.
    He can relieve the pressure against Stoke by picking the best fucking players and putting them in a sensible balanced formation that reflects our strengths and the oppositions’
    Or he could play Young, put Giggs in midfield, leave Carrick isolated and put Welbeck on the wing ffs – and then not change it

  56. steggo says

    Tonight was pathetic.Fergie sets the team up as if United are the visitors to Old Trafford. That defeat against Madrid really seemed to suck the energy and confidence out of the club.Stoke are going to have a real go at us at the weekend.

  57. Coach Herbie says

    The difference between the two teams was our weak midfield.
    It really showed in this game. No quality in midfield compared to City and also Chelsea. This midfield problem is dragging on too long. Either SAF bring in the players our retire and let someone else come in and fix this problem.

  58. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Commenter said:
    The difference between the two teams was our weak midfield.
    It really showed in this game. No quality in midfield compared to City and also Chelsea. This midfield problem is dragging on too long. Either SAF bring in the players our retire and let someone else come in and fix this problem.

    Hey herbie..you heard of this wheel they’ve invented???

    • Paul M says

      Oh come on now! Of course he’s heard of the WHEEL! It was by watching one that he began to wonder if the Earth actually goes around the Sun…

  59. Twisted Blood says

    Giggs was the difference and not in a good way. He’s trailing off the way Scholesy did last season. TClevs23 in for him, one proper right winger and the game goes differently for sure. City definitely has more stardust but this United side reminds me of those Reds of the 2000-2001 vintage who would steamroll the lesser teams and lose periodically against title rivals yet still win the league at a canter. All hands on deck and we’ll be fine. I think Fergie could afford to experiment even more a la Jones tonight with a possible Chico/Kagawa lineup up front. We’ve got match winners on benches lately and out of form stars starting…..

  60. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    Two positives from last night – Welback and Jones.

    Aguero’s goal worthy enough to win any game.

    Fuck ‘em.

    • Paul M says

      Yep. Young… what was the point? Really… Nani would’ve been massively better.

      And wtf was bringing on Valencia for Welbz going to achieve?

  61. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    captainhormone said:
    Hey herbie..you heard of this wheel they’ve invented???

    He’s right though… what the fuck was Ferguson thinking, starting Giggs against that mob, and leaveing Cleverly on the bench… even if his form has been shit, at least Cleverly would have given us some fight in the middle… on our patch, City had over 60% of the ball… that’s fuckin ridiculous.

  62. says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    He’s right though… what the fuck was Ferguson thinking, starting Giggs against that mob, and leaveing Cleverly on the bench… even if his form has been shit, at least Cleverly would have given us some fight in the middle… on our patch, City had over 60% of the ball… that’s fuckin ridiculous.

    Thank God this is not coming from me. The last big league fixture Giggs started was at home to Spurs. We all know how that turned out! Absolute ridiculous decision to have him alongside Carrick.

    When r we going to have Welbeck in his natural position again?

  63. Damian Garside says

    Now we know what the worst case scenario will be: we implode, thanks mainly to Ferg’s “divinely inspired” team selection and City go on to win the double.

    Best case scenario is that Ferg resists the desire to show us whatdepths of his genius we have not seen yet — and steadies the ship enough to get 13 pts from the 7 games and win the league by 4 (City look good for full points from their 7). No record-breaking total…as if.As celebrations go, it’ll be really low key: compared to what the vibe will be like at Stamford Bridge or the Etihad if either of those two win the cup (must be 99.99% likely that one of them will)

    Fergie once created United teams that gave us such great joy — now it’s almost as if he resents the joy his younger self once gave us — now what we once got by the gallon we can only have (where at all) by the thimbleful.

  64. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    He’s right though… what the fuck was Ferguson thinking, starting Giggs against that mob, and leaveing Cleverly on the bench… even if his form has been shit, at least Cleverly would have given us some fight in the middle… on our patch, City had over 60% of the ball… that’s fuckin ridiculous.

    Ffs..clearly we all know that

  65. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    Calvino said:
    When r we going to have Welbeck in his natural position again?

    Just as soon as the Glazers free up £120M for Sir Alex to use in the summer to buy a left-footed left wing of quality and two world class CMs. Unfortunately, he’ll use what little money he gets plus the proceeds from the sale of Nani and Anderson to buy Lewandowski, Charlie Adams, and either Chris Samba or West Ham’s James Collins,

  66. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    Calvino said:
    Thank God this is not coming from me. The last big league fixture Giggs started was at home to Spurs. We all know how that turned out! Absolute ridiculous decision to have him alongside Carrick.

    When r we going to have Welbeck in his natural position again?

    standard giggs tbf, brilliant til he gets his one year deal then a busted flush for the rest of the season

  67. Damian Garside says

    It’s like Fergie was given a jiogsaw puzzle where half the pieces were missing and he thought he could fix it by making copies (and copies of copies) of the pieces that he does have.

    City put their best team up against us — and none of their best players have to sit on the bench because they don’t “fit” and are “extra”. With us, though, we put our best team out, positionally speaking, — and half our best players have to sit on the bench. On the other hand, if we decide to accommodate and play our best players, what we have isn’t really a team at all– positionally, it’s a nonsense. Of course, there is possibility that a team could be chosen that does not have our best players and is also positionally a nonsense — perhaps, as with the team chosen for the game v City. We took the field with 3 centre-forwards (Wellbeck, Rooney, Van Persie) and, excluding converted wingers, only one true midfield player (Carrick)– up against their five midfielders there, including Toure — on his day almost unplayable, and Silva — on his day perhaps the most dangerous creative midfielder in the country. In retrospect, we were lucky their possession was only 60 or so percent.

    What makes me so angry is that we were at home and they had to win to keep the slightest of slightest chances of overhauling us. We had two options (a) to make sure they didn’t win or, if we absolutely had to lose, lose in a way that said to the 7 teams we have still to play — we may have lost to City — but if you saw how we played, you can see that we have what it takes to crush you and steam on home. Three big victories — that’s all we need: win three games five -nil and even if we lose all the rest, City will have to make up a goal difference of 20. Win 4 aand that’s it. Now they are going to be ready from us (cajoled/chided into losing their fear by Mancini’s little “you are afraid of them” mindgame. 75 mins without a goal against Stoke and we are going to start to get worried that we will might not even be able to score against anyone. Can anyone visualise this team — with the listless players that we have suddenly finding the energy and creativity to wrap it up with a confident swagger, as we used to in the old days (the odd blip like 1995 notwithstanding) — if they couldn’t rise to the occasion against City where even a draw would have sewn it up?

    I do hope Fergie has an idea.

  68. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    RobDiablo said:
    Just as soon as the Glazers free up £120M for Sir Alex to use in the summer to buy a left-footed left wing of quality and two world class CMs. Unfortunately, he’ll use what little money he gets plus the proceeds from the sale of Nani and Anderson to buy Lewandowski, Charlie Adams, and either Chris Samba or West Ham’s James Collins,

    even the journos have given up, we dont even get linked to midfielders anymore

    its been five years since we signed one ffs

  69. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    Commenter said:
    It’s like Fergie was given a jiogsaw puzzle where half the pieces were missing and he thought he could fix it by making copies (and copies of copies) of the pieces that he does have.

    City put their best team up against us — and none of their best players have to sit on the bench because they don’t “fit” and are “extra”. With us, though, we put our best team out, positionally speaking, — and half our best players have to sit on the bench. On the other hand, if we decide to accommodate and play our best players, what we have isn’t really a team at all– positionally, it’s a nonsense. Of course, there is possibility that a team could be chosen that does not have our best players and is also positionally a nonsense — perhaps, as with the team chosen for the game v City. We took the field with 3 centre-forwards (Wellbeck, Rooney, Van Persie) and, excluding converted wingers, only one true midfield player (Carrick)– up against their five midfielders there, including Toure — on his day almost unplayable, and Silva — on his day perhaps the most dangerous creative midfielder in the country. In retrospect, we were lucky their possession was only 60 or so percent.

    What makes me so angry is that we were at home and they had to win to keep the slightest of slightest chances of overhauling us. We had two options (a) to make sure they didn’t win or, if we absolutely had to lose, lose in a way that said to the 7 teams we have still to play — we may have lost to City — but if you saw how we played, you can see that we have what it takes to crush you and steam on home. Three big victories — that’s all we need: win three games five -nil and even if we lose all the rest, City will have to make up a goal difference of 20. Win 4 aand that’s it. Now they are going to be ready from us (cajoled/chided into losing their fear by Mancini’s little “you are afraid of them” mindgame. 75 mins without a goal against Stoke and we are going to start to get worried that we will might not even be able to score against anyone. Can anyone visualise this team — with the listless players that we have suddenly finding the energy and creativity to wrap it up with a confident swagger, as we used to in the old days (the odd blip like 1995 notwithstanding) — if they couldn’t rise to the occasion against City where even a draw would have sewn it up?

    I do hope Fergie has an idea.

    dont worry, taggart has an idea

    scholes will be fit soon

    • Damian Garside says

      Brilliant! Thanks for a good one. Actually, maybe it would be good to die laughing now — before the horror of a Man City double gives the phrase “eternal damnation” a new, more horrible meaning.

  70. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    we bought 80 million cones for phelan

    LOL

    Either that or we’re looking after every single member of Bebe’s immediate and extended family and friends

  71. definitely not tommyTommy says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    we bought 80 million cones for phelan

    Just burst out laughing on a crowded train like a dickhead.

    Nah but seriously, we were woeful and for the first time in three months I’m starting to get a liiiittle bit nervy…

  72. han says

    ffs we got a new £150m sponsorship deal yesterday renaming the training ground and all you cunts on here just go on about the footie
    its all about the money with this great institution – football is secondary

  73. Damian Garside says

    You are old, Father Fergus
    the Stretford End said
    and your defence is no longer tight
    the goals have dried up, are all in your head
    and you cannot tell left wing from right

    It is true in my youth I won many cups
    Loved to attack in a French flair style
    But those players retired, were sold
    Or passed on
    Some with much libel to write.

  74. says

    If United give up the horror double to City, after my recent move to Vancouver I’m going full Canadian here in Canuckistan and insisting that “soccer is for girls” and unsychronized ice violence is the only one true sport.

  75. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    even the journos have given up, we dont even get linked to midfielders anymore
    its been five years since we signed one ffs

    I know the prospect terrifies him, but Sir Alex will have no other choice. Even if he converts O’Jones into a CM, he’ll still be short of numbers in that position once Scholes retires (for good, this time), Andershite is sold, and Fletcher fails to come back in anything like the form he once had. Giggs is still most effective on the left wing, and Cleverley is squad quality. At present, it is close to suicidal to go into any match—regardless of how far down the table the opponent might be—without playing Carrick in midfield. What happens if Carrick gets injured, has to fill in at centre back, or has an off year? I’m not saying he’ll get a good one, but Sir Alex will have to buy at least one CM in the summer.

  76. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    Calvino said:
    Thank God this is not coming from me. The last big league fixture Giggs started was at home to Spurs. We all know how that turned out! Absolute ridiculous decision to have him alongside Carrick.

    When r we going to have Welbeck in his natural position again?

    I cannot understand fergie playing Giggs last night. Next to Carrick, you need someone who’s going to make a physical impact due to Carrick’s fear of getting his shorts dirty… and that person is not Giggs.Giggs fucked up for their goal last night, he won’t need telling.

    I dream of the days we go for players like Sergio and Silva.

  77. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    even the journos have given up, we dont even get linked to midfielders anymore

    its been five years since we signed one ffs

    Isn’t Kagawa classed as a midfielder?

    • ForeverRed says

      So along with Young, we’ve spent nearly 40m in the last couple of seasons on players who are having minimal impact on the team. Go back a bit further and you can add another 50m for Bebe, Anderson & Nani. I’ll give AV7 a break based on just one poor season, but he has a long way to come back. Point being is that it’s near enough 100m worth of players that are contributing essentially nothing to this team (+ the wages they’re on of course). You could argue that Kagawa is ‘one for the future’, but that can’t be said of the others. If it were my money I would not be happy with such a poor return on investment. And I feel just the same way as a fan.

      • Damian Garside says

        It’s a devastating argument when you add up the money wasted and think what better players –game changers –we could have bought instead.

        • ForeverRed says

          Exactly.

          And it also dispels the argument that we haven’t had money to spend. Maybe not at City’s or Chelsea’s level, but its been there and enough of it to have 3 or 4 world class players at current prices.

  78. bman says

    Imagine if Carrick had picked up a serious injury early in the season, wtf would our midfield look like then? No way would we be winning the league, Carrick’s been more important than RVP in my opinion.

    • Damian Garside says

      Yes, we are becoming a sort of Alice in Wonderland team these days! (Fergie as the Red Queen yelling: “onto his head”

  79. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    Commenter said:
    So along with Young, we’ve spent nearly 40m in the last couple of seasons on players who are having minimal impact on the team. Go back a bit further and you can add another 50m for Bebe, Anderson & Nani. I’ll give AV7 a break based on just one poor season, but he has a long way to come back. Point being is that it’s near enough 100m worth of players that are contributing essentially nothing to this team (+ the wages they’re on of course). You could argue that Kagawa is ‘one for the future’, but that can’t be said of the others. If it were my money I would not be happy with such a poor return on investment. And I feel just the same way as a fan.

    can add hargreaves berbatov and tosic to that, thats another 60 odd mill

  80. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    why do our bollocksy players start going bald before they hit 21

    Testosterone. The few United players that have any have had or will need to have their pitch relaid.

    • Damian Garside says

      The idea that our bollocksy players are going baldi is just bollocks.

      Definition of bollocksy player: one who would be played by Russell Crowe in the movie.

      Lots of bollocksy players in the ’94 team. Not so many now: more scope for Paul Rubens/Pee Wee Herman than Russell Crowe.

  81. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    I’ve heard stories about Marlon’s point

    Most describe it as “comparable in size to that of a flea” as opposed to “excellent”

  82. Damian Garside says

    The ’94 team in our current situation: absolute worst case scenario: 3wins 3 draws 1 loss. if this team were to do that (and win the title by at least 3 points) we would go crazy with delight and much hero worship.

  83. han says

    RobDiablo said:
    Testosterone. The few United players that have any have had or will need to have their pitch relaid.

    wanking too much – ask spikey pikey

  84. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    han said:
    wanking too much – ask spikey pikey

    I know you’d love to, but you can’t.

    And stop PM’ing me too, that’s fucked up

  85. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    Commenter said:
    The idea that our bollocksy players are going baldi is just bollocks.

    Definition of bollocksy player: one who would be played by Russell Crowe in the movie.

    Lots of bollocksy players in the ’94 team. Not so many now: more scope for Paul Rubens/Pee Wee Herman than Russell Crowe.

    but rooney is bald and jones is going bald yet ince keane schmeichel giggs pally robson hughes cantona all still have full heads of hair, how do you explain this

  86. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    We last bought a great midfielder when we bought veron

    And fergie ruined him!

    Last world class one we bought that was a genuine bonfide success was Keane…and he’s turned to a bitter cunt

  87. sheesh says

    Phil Jones looks like he’s been taken out of that picture Cap once posted of all the Ranters…you know the one I mean…with those kids.

  88. Julian says

    It seems utterly churlish to be questioning a team that is about to win the EPL. However, following the derby game, and the previous defeats at the hands of Chelsea and Real, it seems clear that the current team/squad is inadequate in some regards. Quite how we find ourselves in the situation where there are so many question marks over so many players in the squad is rather unfathomable.

    Right now United are giving a pretty good impression of being a spent force. Looking at it pessimistically, it is not totally beyond the bounds of possibility that we could see an implosion which could see City snatching it. Hopefully that can be averted and United can at least win the league with a comfortable margin or in a worst case scenario by virtually limping across the line. The next two games are crucial. Two wins and its as good as done. However, dropped points against both and City might think “game definitely on”.

    Whatever happens, in the summer Fergie must weed out the underperformers and those that aren’t quite up to it. He must jettison the old brigade whom he has relied on to a certain extent as at least back up over the last couple of seasons and who may have “saved” him some money in the transfer market. These guys must now make way for younger talent of quality who can make the difference against quality opposition both at home and in Europe. The Rooney issue apart, Fergie needs to concentrate on the engine room where it has been clear United have been sorely lacking. He needs two quality central midfielders. And yet all we’ve seen to date is a winger joining and the rumoured possibility of another striker. This summer’s transfer window may be another defining moment in Fergie’s tenure at United. How well he handles it may well determine how successful (or otherwise) he is likely to be at the end of his glorious career at this club.

  89. Damian Garside says

    How is it that the players are a “spent force”: I would agree that they are now — and pray that a thumping victory against Stoke will show that they can revive themselves. But I expect we will all be biting our fingers to the bone against Stoke with 75 mins gone and still 0-0 or 1-1 or (please not) a goal down. But why are United starting to run out of steam just as they enter the finishing straight? What is going on here? Our history in the 90s and 2000s prior to 2012 was of a team who came preternaturally alive during the run in — we used to switch on the turbo-charger and watch the followers disappear in the read-view mirror eating our smoke and dust. No longer. Who really thinks we are going to clinch it 7 wins from 7/ 6 from 7? 5 from 7? Come on risk a bet — we’ve done exactly this so many times before.

    This team, however, seem as drained as if they were the hors d’oeuvres at a vampire convention. It’s not hard to imagine Fergie driving round to their palatial Manchester mansions to drag them out of bed for training in the morning.

    God, if I were a United player and threw it away to City two years running — I would do the honourable thing (first find out if Kagawa has a samurai sword that I could borrow). But there again, United beating City to the title probably means more to me than it does to any of them. Will any of them even forgo their wages if they blow it during the run-in? I think not. So, why so drained? Well the first point is that they have no “once more into the breach” leader-by-example to seize a game by the scruff of its neck. Secondly they have no human all-action dynamo whose absurd excess of energy is likely to infect others in the team. On the contrary, it’s probably that we have some “lead-weight” players who are pulling the team as a whole down.

    I sense I am starting to rant a bit much even for United Rant at this point — and I promise that all of these words — the whole lot — I will gladly eat them as soon as the net bulges at Stoke for our fourth goal.

    Better that than my poor fingers chewed to the bone as 12 pts with 7 to go becomes 9 with 6.

  90. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    its been a theme for the last four years that we stumble toward the finish, the absurd over rotation that had led up to it to supposedly keep everyone fresh, proving pointless

  91. sheesh says

    You look at our mediocre players and can’t believe that this is the same manager who ditched Kanchelskis, Hughes and Ince in one summer without thinking twice.

  92. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    sheesh said:
    You look at our mediocre players and can’t believe that this is the same manager who ditched Kanchelskis, Hughes and Ince in one summer without thinking twice.

    Too true.

    • Damian Garside says

      And that came not too long after Kanchelskis destroyed City with 3 goals and two assists. Maybe it was too devastating a display for Ferguson’s mind to handle.

  93. marlon says

    Departures the last three seasons: (Foster, Tosic, Diouf, Gibson, Obertan), Owen, Brown, O’Shea, Hargreaves, Park, Berbatov, van der Saar, Neville. At the end of this season we might add Scholes, Rio, Anderson, Fletcher and Nani to that list. A consequence of a bigger, stronger squad is there is more crap in the squad to get rid of. Too much turnover would disrupt the team.

    I think too much emphasis is placed on the “2nd XI” at United. At full strength, the likes of Young, Anderson and Giggs aren’t going to be playing. For the most part our 2nd string is made up of young, developing players. Ideally we’d have younger backup on the wing (like Zaha) rather than Young, but he is the exception rather than the rule.

    If you assume that Zaha is coming in to replace Nani and Anderson and Scholes will also likely leave, then Young is the only backup player over 25. (Giggs isn’t really here for his footballing ability anymore).

    There are much bigger problems in the squad: the injury problems/age of Rio and Vidic mean that neither can be relied upon to form a steady partnership with Evans and Jones and Smalling aren’t quite ready. We only have one starting quality CM. We don’t have a quality LW. When you spend every summer refreshing the depth of the squad as we have recently, you get big holes in the squad.

  94. han says

    sheesh said:
    You look at our mediocre players and can’t believe that this is the same manager who ditched Kanchelskis, Hughes and Ince in one summer without thinking twice.

    if memory serves me correctly, Kanchelskis was moved on because he asked for a move – rumour has it that he and his family were being threatened by some russian mafia who earnt out of every transfer move he made; sparky didn’t want to sit on the bench and hence was moved on as well as getting a bit too old in SAF’s view and Ince was sold because he wanted to be the head honcho in the team as was illustrated by his private number plate “the guv”.

Leave a Reply

Login with your Social ID

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *