Preview: United v Newcastle United



One down, three to play in this year’s festive programme – and if Sir Alex Ferguson’s side is holding on to any lingering disappointment following Sunday’s draw at Swansea City then there is little time to wallow. Not with Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, the Geordies in dangerously poor form, and United seeking to bounce back from a first draw in 21 Premier League matches. Not that Sir Alex Ferguson’s men will count any points secure just yet; not after last season’s 3-2 reserve to Blackburn Rovers at the same stage of the campaign.

Ferguson’s men will be smarting after dropping points in Wales despite a thoroughly dominant performance. Swansea’s equaliser came after Patrice Evra lost his man and Nemanja Vidić was slow to react, allowing Michu to score his 13th of a remarkable season – United’s 70-year-old manager will have gained little reassurance that the Reds’ defensive performances have improved.

Still, it will take a major turnaround in fortunes if Newcastle is to pull off a result at Old Trafford. After all, the Magpies have not beaten United in Manchester since February 1972. Moreover, Newcastle’s six defeats in the past 10 matches points to a team in dire form – and a manager under genuine pressure. Eight year contract or otherwise, manager Alan Pardew’s time at St James’ will surely be up should Newcastle suffer a poor festive period.

It is a shocking about-face for Pardew after Newcastle’s fifth place finish last time out – something Ferguson puts down to the Geordies’ ability to catch opponents off guard.

“The new players they brought in caught us all by surprise,” admits Ferguson.

“We didn’t really know a lot about them. I knew about Ba, of course, but I didn’t know anything about Cabaye or Cissé, to be honest with you. They had fantastic seasons. Second time round, clubs are starting to analyse them a bit different, plus, more importantly, he’s had some injuries.”

Meanwhile, title rivals Manchester City faces Sunderland on Wearside, with Roberto Mancini’s men seeking to improve on a mixed record on the road this season. The Blues clawed back two points on United in the Premier League table after beating Reading with a highly dubious goal at the weekend. But it is just that kind of fortune that swings titles either way.

Little wonder there is a tighter focus from United’s squad ahead of Newcastle’s visit. After all, further dropped points could see City close the gap to as little as a single point after Boxing Day.

“I felt that we deserved to win at Swansea and that is why I am really confident for the rest of the games we having coming up over Christmas,” defender Patrice Evra told MUTV.

“We have to move on from the draw and focus on our next game against Newcastle. It is important to win and it is important that we keep playing well. I think we need to talk about ourselves and not about another team. We face Newcastle at home, let’s make sure we get three points. After that it is West Brom and we must make sure we get three points then too. This is an important part of the season and it is an opportunity to get a lot of points.”

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League, Old Trafford - 26 December 2012Ferguson is likely to rotate for the Geordies’ visit, with games against West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic to come in the next week. Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernández, Darren Fletcher and Chris Smalling could all feature, with Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes also available.

Rafael da Silva must overcome a hamstring injury if he is to replace Phil Jones at right-back.Captain Nemanja Vidić may sit out the tie after completing 90 minutes against Swansea on Sunday.

The Scot must also decide whether to keep faith with Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia. The latter is in an extended period of poor form, while Rooney suffered his worst game of the season at Swansea. While Rooney may sit out Newcastle’s visit, there are fewer alternatives to Valencia, with Nani still injured and United short of wingers in the squad.

Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Pardew will be without a slew of key players for the trip to the north west. Chieck Tiote is suspended after picking up a fifth booking of the season at the weekend, while Steven Taylor, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye and Ryan Taylor are also absent through injury.

It is just the kind of ill fortune that has struck Pardew’s men this season, with Newcastle now just five points off the relegation zone following an exciting 2011/12 campaign. The fifth place finish that took Newcastle into Europe and proffered an eight-year contract for Pardew is now a distant memory.

“They’ve found it a bit tougher this year but I know they’ve had some injuries, which have played a part,” said United striker Welbeck, who spent a season at rivals Sunderland two years ago.

“You can still see potential throughout their team. They have some real attacking threats – everyone knows about players like Demba Ba and Papiss Cissé. All I can do is watch their games, look for any weaknesses and then do some damage on the pitch if I get the chance.”

Indeed, Welbeck is likely to start, with the youngster having featured from the bench more often than not this season. Longsight-born Welbeck has become the principal victim of £24 million Robin van Persie’s outstanding start to life with United.

Could the striker could fill his boots with a weak Newcastle side in town? Certainly, many will feel that an early goal could open the proverbial floodgates at Old Trafford. Then again, supporters said the same of United’s last Boxing Day fixture – the 2-3 reverse to Blackburn Rovers in Manchester.

Still, Newcastle has emerged victorious only once in the ;last 22 matches against United in all competitions – the 3-0 Premier League home victory in January. And the north east side has not beaten the Reds in 28 visits to Old Trafford.

Indeed, no club has secured more points against Newcastle than United in the Premier League era – 75. Few will bet against that total being 78 by Wednesday evening, with Pardew seemingly a lone voice of dissent.

“I’m actually going into it probably more buoyed than any other point of the season,” claimed the 51-year-old.

“We’ve definitely picked up, we look a little bit more resiliant, we picked up a very important clean sheet on Saturday and I think we’ll be in good heart for what is one of the toughest games of the programme: Manchester United away.”

Match Details
Manchester United v Newcastle United – Premier League, Old Trafford – Wednesday 26 December 2012, 3pm

Possible teams
United (4-4-2): De Gea; Jones, Evans, Smalling, Evra; Young, Carrick, Fletcher, Welbeck; Hernandez, van Persie. Subs from: Lindegaard, Wootton, Vidić, Ferdinand, Buttner, Scholes, Cleverley, Valencia, Powell, Giggs, Rooney

Newcastle (4-5-1): Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Cissé, Anita, Perch, Marveaux, Gutierrez; Ba. Subs from: Harper, Ferguson, Bigirimana, Obertan, Sh Ameobi, Sa Ameobi, Elliot

Officials
Referee: P Dowd
Assistants: G Beswick, S Ledger
Fourth Official: A Taylor

Form
United: WWLWWD
Newcastle: LWLLLW

Head to Head
Last 10: United 6, Newcastle 1, Draw 3
Overall: United 79, Newcastle 40, Draw 37

Prediction
3-0

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Comments

  1. A good opportunity to give some players game time (particularly looking forward to seeing Welbeck in the starting XI; even though playing Danny on the wing is not, in my humble opinion, the most efficient way to utilize him).

    Hopefully, Antonio will be given a much-needed rest and Wayne will be among the subs – when he’s shit, he’s shit, but we all know that when he’s shit, he needs games to be good again – so, maybe, on for Hernandez, but on the left and some quality 15 minutes up top for Welbeck? Double win (or not).

    Here’s to three points tomorrow.

  2. I could see Chicharito starting up front to give him some game time, either to showcase him for the January window, or to try to appease him prior to the window. Rooney coming on as a sub is a good prediction.
    With the way United has been leaking goals this season (even allowing Sunderland and Reading to get goals) I have a hard time seeing them keep a clean sheet, though anything is possible.
    Score prediction: 3-1

  3. Is there really no TV coverage of this match in the UK? Is anybody willing to share their streaming website?

  4. You can find stream for all matches on http://www.wiziwig.tv – click on sports – find the match you want and click the little tv, then you’ll see a long list of streams (usually for united) Enjoy. Happy Xmas

  5. Commenter said:
    Is there really no TV coverage of this match in the UK? Is anybody willing to share their streaming website?

    ranters on here make scrooge look generous
    cept for unc
    he has a heart of gold

  6. complete guess work, but he could adopt the fabled diamond formation which has been employed successfully on the 2 occasions we have played / beat Newcastle this season. Cleverley thrived on both occasions so I would expect him to start. Carrick, in my view, has emerged as the player most pivotal to united’s prospects for success this season, so he may earn himself a rest in either this game or WBA (not Wigan away).

  7. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    give giggsy a game on the wing, get rid of valencia

  8. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    newcastle play horrible hoofing shite and have a midfield full of plodders, so theyll probably boss carrick and score off a set piece

  9. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    but nonetheless usual lazy faffing 3-1 with a shite last half hour when taggart starts making strange subs

  10. Minus The Bear says:

    As above. Should batter them with the injuries and suspensions they have but won’t. Rooney says he wants to make amends for doing more harm than good against Swansea, hard to justify when he had such an awful game but Fergie will probably relent.

  11. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    newcastle play horrible hoofing shite and have a midfield full of plodders, so theyll probably boss carrick and score off a set piece

    Ben Arfa is quality… I’d swap him for any of our wingers… except Nani.

  12. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Minus The Bear said:
    As above. Should batter them with the injuries and suspensions they have but won’t. Rooney says he wants to make amends for doing more harm than good against Swansea, hard to justify when he had such an awful game but Fergie will probably relent.

    Rooney, with a chip on his shoulder, and a point to prove… is one of the most dangerous players in England.

  13. We should have murdered them at home last season. I think we will do so today, especially as we were so wasteful v Swansea.

    4-0

  14. But can you justify playing Rooney after that performance against Swansea. Can you reward that. What will the other players make of his inclusion.

  15. Minus The Bear says:

    De Gea, Smalling, Evra, Evans, Ferdinand, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Scholes, Hernandez, RvP

  16. Minus The Bear says:

    Giggs and Scholes in midfield. Together… will the man never learn.

  17. Minus The Bear says:

    Lindegaard, Vidic, Cleverley, Fletcher, Buttner, Wooton, Tunnicliffe are the subs. Currious lack of attacking players.

  18. He’s dropped Rooney, he’s learnt fine.

  19. Denton Davey says:

    Sidney @ 2:47: “can you justify playing Rooney after that performance against Swansea. Can you reward that. What will the other players make of his inclusion.”

    Easy – TheWayneBoy is the most important player on this team so he has to be given as much game-time as possible.

    Without Rooney, the result is often awful. With him there’s no guarantee but he can’t be worse than he was last weekend – is that possible for him ?

    Giggs/Scholes = problems but maybe not disaster. Obviously, SAF must consider this to be UTD’s easiest fixture of the four.

  20. Our manager has hit the bottle again last night it seems!! Lack of energy in the middle and what sort of bench is that? Where is young Danny? Oh dear

  21. Commenter said:
    Sidney @ 2:47: “can you justify playing Rooney after that performance against Swansea. Can you reward that. What will the other players make of his inclusion.”

    Easy – TheWayneBoy is the most important player on this team so he has to be given as much game-time as possible.

    Without Rooney, the result is often awful. With him there’s no guarantee but he can’t be worse than he was last weekend – is that possible for him ?

    Giggs/Scholes = problems but maybe not disaster. Obviously, SAF must consider this to be UTD’s easiest fixture of the four.

    Nah, you can’t give any player an automatic start in the 11 because their standards will drop no matter how great or nice or hardworking they are. It makes the player too important, too powerful, plays to their ego and shits on the next generation like Welbeck who are trying to break through.

    Fergie’s right to drop him. We don’t need him and Van Persie at home against this Newcastle 11 ffs.

  22. the pea starting means he won’t get a goal either
    that is an absolute lightweight 11 he has put out
    newcastle pissing themselves laughing in the dressing room thats for sure

  23. No striker on the bench is a risk

    We might struggle to change the game

  24. wheres welbeck got to?

  25. Minus The Bear said:
    De Gea, Smalling, Evra, Evans, Ferdinand, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Scholes, Hernandez, RvP

    We could have battered an injury-riddled Newcastle at OT, but have instead chosen to risk dropping more points. Well done, sir!

  26. Violent Banana says:

    Saw the line-up moments after watching the final episode of the Killing. Grim day so far…

  27. And now we have no striking options to bring on

  28. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    What shit keeping.

  29. Violent Banana says:

    Terrible from Carrick, De Gea should have done better

  30. Fucking De Gea….very similar to the Swansea goal isnt it?

    AM I arsh or are both DdG’s fault?

  31. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    ffs.

  32. Evans played him onside, bad defending too.

  33. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    When the fuck is Nani going to return?

  34. Violent Banana says:

    Will we ever see Nani in a United shirt again? TBH watching him turnover possession would only make this more frustrating

  35. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Commenter said:
    Will we ever see Nani in a United shirt again? TBH watching him turnover possession would only make this more frustrating

    Yea, unlike that Valencia chap!

  36. This is shit

    Can’t get our passing game going

  37. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Get the fuck in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Violent Banana says:

    J BOMB

  39. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    1-1 Evens.

  40. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Off side…. but LUCKY AS FUCK!

  41. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Fucking Dean has given it!!

    This is the shittiest United team I have seen in a while, where the fuck was Evra then for that 2nd goal?

  42. Violent Banana says:

    Surely he’s interfering with play??

  43. Defence is a shambles

  44. We’re getting battered at home to a second string set of cunts

    And there is no one who can change it from the bench

  45. that team is a shambles

  46. Evra was nowhere to be found there

    Scholes so far also missing from the game…

  47. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    han said:
    that team is a shambles

    I don’t know how Fergie can hide behind the fact that this team is fucking woeful.

  48. well at least SAF will have his excuses worked out with that goal

  49. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    He should just admit, Valencia, Evra, Evans, Giggs, Scholes,Rio and Young ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits…..

  50. Minus The Bear says:

    That is utterly cretinous refereeing. The BBC explained it away as Cisse did not touch the ball, but the fucker is clearly interferring with play. If he’s level with Evans then fair enough, but he’s a yard in front. What the fuck is going on.

  51. Rio and Evans, fucking hell

  52. Minus The Bear says:

    We’d be wise to take heed of Newcastle’s attitide. I.e. shoot on sight, instead of getting into position and then trying a cross field pass to Valencia which is always going to skip away on the ground.

  53. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    I wonder if Valencia is still getting wages?

  54. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Rubbish.

  55. how many more times do we have to concede before we start to play?
    absolute joke

  56. This is as bad as it gets from everyone, even Fergie

    There’s no cunt on the bench to change the way we’re playing

  57. Ridicilous defending and goalkeeping…..again

    Tbf i thought we’re okay-ish in possession & going forward, not great but not horrible.

    But conceding 2 soft goals just leaves too much for your offense to do…

  58. Violent Banana says:

    Cleverley for Scholes surely – but there’s little else on the bench.

  59. brianofnazareth said:
    I wonder if Valencia is still getting wages?

    Evra and DDG culpable for goals both today and at Swansea…plenty of blame to go around..

  60. sidney said:
    Rio and Evans, fucking hell

    Yeah. Nothing to say about the fact that Danny Simpson is having a ball cos Giggs utterly useless and comes inside ALL the time exposing Evra. Nothing to say about the fact that Scholes stands stock still and making passes like he is on a training ground thereby making it easy to for Newcastle to crowd him. Evans and Rio have NO out ball at all. Yeah. Carry on and blame Rio and Evans.

  61. Well at least Scholes and Giggs aren’t the problem so far. We look all over the place. Has Carrick passed to anyone in a red shirt yet? Ferdinannd shits himself every time Ba comes at him. Valencia looks woefully short of confidence. Hernandez just ain’t got it. And johnny Evans is…well….Johnny Evans.

  62. Minus The Bear says:

    Shamelessly stolen off twitter but whilst blaming individuals for the goals we should perhaps consider this, a woeful reflection of how we are failing to control games…

    “In their last three and a half Premier League games, Man Utd have allowed the opposition 29 shots on target.”

  63. To be honest, if Newcastle had gone in at half-time three up we couldn’t really have complained.

  64. Evra AGAiN getting caught, does he think because he scores a header a year he doesn’t have to defend, and why the fuck was he ever made captain? He’s shite at organising and motivating, I thought at least Giggs is wide and not in the middle with Scholes but who out of Scholes and Carrick is the driving force? when Carrick tries to go forward Scholes ends up getting caught out or getting booked, is that 3 yellows already all round, why didn’t we play it safe, play RVP upfront and play 3 in the middle? Hernandez is then your go to if you need a sub, they are by passing our midfield and its a gift for the forwards, hoofball is going to win this game for them, we’d be better doing it ourselves and get Scholes to punt them up to the front two, the United way can go fuck today as we need 3 points

  65. Minus The Bear says:

    Fergie is going mental.

  66. Evra AGAiN getting caught, does he think because he scores a header a year he doesn’t have to defend, and why the fuck was he ever made captain? He’s shite at organising and motivating, I thought at least Giggs is wide and not in the middle with Scholes but who out of Scholes and Carrick is the driving force? when Carrick tries to go forward Scholes ends up getting caught out or getting booked, is that 3 yellows already all round, why didn’t we play it safe, play RVP upfront and play 3 in the middle?

  67. Violent Banana says:

    There’s a time and a place to remonstrate with officials; and frankly Fergie’s completely out of line there.

  68. stick cleverley and buttner on

  69. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Good play by Giggs.

    I’d rather Giggs than Valencia if one of them has to go.

  70. Violent Banana says:

    City losing

  71. the pea is just not the same when he starts a game
    the ref is not going to give us anything either

  72. Violent Banana says:

    WOW

  73. Evra making amends….

  74. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Now go on and get the 3 points you fucks

  75. Fuck in, Evra

  76. brianofnazareth said:
    Now go on and get the 3 points you fucks

    that would be too easy wouldn’t it ffs

  77. Damian Garside says:

    Why does it have to be so hard? Why can’t F build a team that doesn’t skin-of-it’s-teeth everything.

  78. Violent Banana says:

    Parallels from last year’s game against Blackburn; if we concede a third we’re fucked.

  79. Damian Garside says:

    Adam Johnson has to be the happiest man in England right now.

  80. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    OH FFS.

  81. Violent Banana says:

    We’re fucked.

  82. ffs

  83. Violent Banana says:

    Fucking hell what next RVPPPPPPPPP

  84. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    ffs.

  85. Robiiiin!!

    Good cross (finally) from Valencia

  86. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    FUCK OFFFFFF!!!!

    I’m an emotional wreck!”

    Now lets go on and win it FFS

  87. Jesus, Van Persie

    Newcastle scored from a throw in

  88. Newcastle still the most likely to win

  89. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    Come on United FFS.

  90. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    David Bellion>>>>>>>>>>>Valencia

  91. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    sidney said:
    Nah, you can’t give any player an automatic start in the 11 because their standards will drop no matter how great or nice or hardworking they are. It makes the player too important, too powerful, plays to their ego and shits on the next generation like Welbeck who are trying to break through.

    Fergie’s right to drop him. We don’t need him and Van Persie at home against this Newcastle 11 ffs.

    what about valencia though

  92. so much for a relaxing Boxing Day

  93. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    wait scholes and giggs both started?

    hehe, fucking excellent, taggart is such a twat

  94. Violent Banana says:

    That has to be a penalty

  95. Fucking Hernandez. Two chances already…

  96. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Hernandez HAS to score that for me!! COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  97. Commenter said:
    That has to be a penalty

    not with this ref

  98. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    last minute shola winner

  99. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    OMG….Valencia just used his LEFT foot!!!!!!!! FUCK ME!!

  100. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    |FUCKING HEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  101. CHICHARITOOOOOOOOOOO

  102. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    hehe, utd are just a bollock filled pisstake

  103. Violent Banana says:

    Ridiculous, beautifully ridiculous

  104. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    4-3 yes.

  105. Fuck life

  106. Come on now, hold on Sunderland.

  107. Violent Banana says:

    Can we hold on though?

  108. Violent Banana says:

    CITY HAVE LOST

  109. Ft City

  110. Violent Banana says:

    Valencia should have got a second yellow for that. Dean’s had a shocker today

  111. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    It’s bang out of order what Fergie and the Newcastle staff are doing to that lino.

  112. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    thats 7 points sunderland have taken off city in their last three games, yet still taggart holds a grudge against em

  113. Wow what a game! Wondrful day in the end with City losing….

    Our defense is shambolic, but as I posted earlier I thought we were okay going forward.

    Beautiful cross by Valencia, then beauty of a pass from Carrick….

  114. What a game

  115. Minus The Bear says:

    Never mind the result, we’ve got rid of Bebe (on loan)

  116. fuck that for a game
    this is not good for the nerves
    sweet pea came good but that was just so gut wrenching

  117. Minus The Bear said:
    Never mind the result, we’ve got rid of Bebe (on loan)

    he should play in our defence

  118. Violent Banana says:

    We are a completely ridiculous football team

  119. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    wheres bebongo spliffstar gone

  120. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    chelsea seem to mean business

  121. Evra is GREAT going forward bit really really suspect in his defensive positioning…

    I absolutely adore Scholes, but today he was MIA. Giggs had flashes of goodness. Valencia was horrible for 70 minutes then put in some wonderful crosses. Carrick reliable as ever, with a brilliant pass for the winner

    Its a wonder I am saying this but we are missing Rafa at right back…better at bo def and offense vs Smalling…

  122. fantastic game but no good for my dodgy ticker

  123. 9 mins added time really

  124. Minus The Bear says:

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    wheres bebongo spliffstar gone

    Rio Ave apparently

  125. 48 goals scored in 19 games is fantastic
    shame 28 conceded takes the shine off the 1st stat somewhat
    SAF has given up on the defence this season thats for sure

  126. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    the worst and yet highest profile player theyve ever had, probably

  127. Minus The Bear said:
    Rio Ave apparently

    what country/league are they in?

  128. Portugal.

    Am so annoyed today. But at least we won. How our manager can still find a reason to play Scholes in any match I will not know. That second Newcastle goal was NEVER a goal. Dean has had a shocker today.

    If we blow this from here it really will be sad.

  129. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    han said:
    fuck that for a game
    this is not good for the nerves
    sweet pea came good but that was just so gut wrenching

    thank god for our forwards, how the hell did we win that, if we don’t sort this defending out,we are wide open, this will happen all season, need new midfielders, how are we 7 points clear, everyone else must be shit,

  130. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    play shit and win, well that will do.

    BUT PLEASE LEARN TO DEFEND.

  131. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    I thought Giggs done alright today, mind, I was judging him against Valencia.

  132. Calvino said:
    Portugal.
    Am so annoyed today. But at least we won. How our manager can still find a reason to play Scholes in any match I will not know. That second Newcastle goal was NEVER a goal. Dean has had a shocker today.
    If we blow this from here it really will be sad.

    we’ve had bigger leads eaten into in recent memory and im not talking about last April
    scholes and giggs starting together will never go down well but SAF and that willy tickler phelan needed to accept that and play cleverley and fletcher instead today
    we got out of jail again today but im getting tired of watching our defenders running around like headless turkeys most of this season and looking at each other open mouthed when we concede
    what the fuck has happened to the coaching at OT?

  133. Seeing Fergie celebrate at full time – and he ran down the tunnel – he knows those images will get back to Mancini

    Why would you retire when you can be involved in stuff like this and get one over on your enemies

  134. sidney said:
    Seeing Fergie celebrate at full time – and he ran down the tunnel – he knows those images will get back to Mancini

    Why would you retire when you can be involved in stuff like this and get one over on your enemies

    he’ll blow something the way he goes on
    its not normal to see that

  135. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    MotD…
    And Shearer makes a fuckin cock of himself… “time and time again”…

    “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.”

  136. Denton Davey says:

    Anantax @ 5:59: “Our defense is shambolic, but as I posted earlier I thought we were okay going forward.”

    Shambolic is pretty accurate BUT there are extenuating circumstances

    first, when Rio plays he requires a minder because he’s just not very mobile anymore; and,

    second, when Scholes plays he also needs a minder because he has no recovery whatsoever.

    Playing both together creates another problem – no pressing from midfield and an open run at the defensive zone for the opposition with two guys (Evans and Carrick today) more concerned with “minding” than playing their own game, secure in the knowledge that their partner will not require special assistance.

    In addition, the last two matches have shown quite clearly that neither MrJones nor BigManSmalling is an adequate replacement for RedRafa at right back. Plus, NinjaEvra tends to go walkabout too often which just exacerbates the problems mentioned above.

    One other thing stood out in today’s match – AV7 used his left foot and showed us why he has no confidence with it. Valencia’s play was also quite “shambolic” – although he had acres of space he was reluctant to drive-the-line and square the ball. That creates a kind of dead-end since if he can’t play aggressively then he’s less-than-ordinary. The contrast between the latter-day AV7 and Anderson is quite astonishing. Of course, Anderson can’t get fit and stay fit so it’s an academic point.

    So, playing with three guys who were “half-men” (so to speak) this was a much more difficult match than should have been the case.

  137. Commenter said:
    Anantax @ 5:59: “Our defense is shambolic, but as I posted earlier I thought we were okay going forward.”

    Shambolic is pretty accurate BUT there are extenuating circumstances

    first, when Rio plays he requires a minder because he’s just not very mobile anymore; and,

    second, when Scholes plays he also needs a minder because he has no recovery whatsoever.

    Playing both together creates another problem – no pressing from midfield and an open run at the defensive zone for the opposition with two guys (Evans and Carrick today) more concerned with “minding” than playing their own game, secure in the knowledge that their partner will not require special assistance.

    In addition, the last two matches have shown quite clearly that neither MrJones nor BigManSmalling is an adequate replacement for RedRafa at right back. Plus, NinjaEvra tends to go walkabout too often which just exacerbates the problems mentioned above.

    One other thing stood out in today’s match – AV7 used his left foot and showed us why he has no confidence with it. Valencia’s play was also quite “shambolic” – although he had acres of space he was reluctant to drive-the-line and square the ball. That creates a kind of dead-end since if he can’t play aggressively then he’s less-than-ordinary. The contrast between the latter-day AV7 and Anderson is quite astonishing. Of course, Anderson can’t get fit and stay fit so it’s an academic point.

    So, playing with three guys who were “half-men” (so to speak) this was a much more difficult match than should have been the case.

    Agree with most of what you’ve written except:

    Smalling nonwhere near Rafa on both ends but I do see glimmer of hope for Jones…I thought he was OK. I’ll give him a few games yet…

    I still have (against abundant evidence otherwise) faith that Valencia will come good, sooner or later. The last 20 mins of the game shows his promise and potential..the cross that led to RVP goal and the cross that Hernadez headed to the post….still not enough i agree, but shows promise nonetheless

    Anyhow…great game, great character, and we’re 7 points ahead despite the shambolic defending. Life is (so far) so good….

  138. Fergie has nailed Pardrew after the cockney twat said Fergie should have been banned by the FA for ‘abusing’ the ref

    Fergie reminded everyone that Pardrew crossed the line the other month and actually physically shoved a ref – and then made a joke of it in an attempt to pass it off as high jinx

    Fergie won’t be retiring for another 5 years if he keeps going like this

  139. Minus The Bear says:

    Did Pardew mention his henchmen going mental at the ref and assistants when Valencia injured Anita or has that been glossed over by the general ABU’s? I do think Fergie went over the top but the decision was an absolute clusterfuck.

  140. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    no need to have a go at the club, pardews a fair cop though

  141. SAF should have just laughed this off and given that twat a call and told him to fuck off rather than come out the way he has
    just gives more ammo to the ABU party

  142. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Fuck the ABU party.

  143. The ABUs take the heat off the players though.

    We almost fucked up that 6 point lead. Within two games it could have disappeared. This is the team that bottled an 8 point lead last season n all. So that’s what the press would be focussing on if Fergie gobbing off.

  144. Say what you like about some of the decisions he makes, but there is no question that Fergie is the one and only true ‘boss’ (in English football at least) and the other managers know this – or should do, in the case of Pardew.
    Pardew has been well and truly put in his place. There’s a saying that you should pick your battles wisely. He just took on the wrong guy.

  145. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    sheesh said:
    There’s a saying that you should pick your battles wisely. He just took on the wrong guy.

    Agreed.

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