Preview: United v Tottenham Hotspur



Old Trafford welcomes Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s men chasing a seventh win on the bounce. Victory over Liverpool at Anfield last weekend lifted Manchester United into the top four, although the Reds are far from hitting form this season despite a series of wins since the opening day. And with Villas-Boas promising that his side will attack, Spurs will again provide a stiff test to United’s early season title credentials.

While Spurs will offer a genuine challenge, Ferguson faces another week of mounting defensive injuries, with Nemanja Vidić set to miss two months of the season with a knee injury. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling remain on the sidelines. It leaves the 70-year-old Scot with only two fully fit first team defenders in Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans for Spurs’ visit.

Indeed, such are the paucity of options in defence that 21-year-old Scott Wootton will make United’s bench after impressing in the 2-1 victory over Newcastle United in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.

It is the third time in as many seasons that United has faced a serious defensive injury crisis, with questions now being asked not only of the Reds’ luck, but medical facilities and squad planning.

“We had bad news earlier in the week about Nemanja – it’s a blow,” admitted Ferguson at the Scot’s Friday press conference.

“We’re having a terrible time with defenders at the moment. Hopefully, we get through the next three games and the international break comes along. By that time, we should have Chris Smalling back.

“On Wednesday, we played two young boys and they did very well. Scott Wootton reads the game well, passes the ball well and, having seen him in a situation against very experienced players, he did very well. That’s a bonus for us and he’ll be involved in the game tomorrow.”

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Old Trafford, 29 September 2012, 5.30pmBut it is not solely United’s defence that will concern Ferguson after Liverpool thoroughly dominated in midfield last weekend. The Reds’ manager is likely to recall Paul Scholes to the starting line-up as United seek to gain more control, especially with Spurs now sporting Moussa Dembele – the Belgian impressed for Fulham at Old Trafford earlier this season.

However, Ferguson is without Antonio Valencia who took a knock to his ankle in winning United a penalty at Anfield, although Wayne Rooney could make the starting line-up for the first time in a month. Nani, whose display at Anfield was described by one pundit as the ‘worst he had ever seen’, is likely to be retained if only because Ferguson has so few other options.

“Antonio Valencia is doubtful,” Ferguson added.

“He got a knock, first of all, when he went into the tackle with Agger and Johnson before he broke clear and got brought down. He got an ankle injury there. But, if he’s not okay for tomorrow, he should be okay for Tuesday.”

Lack of options in wide areas means that one of Shinji Kagawa, or more likely Rooney, will play wide against Spurs, with Robin van Persie again leading the line. The Dutchman has scored five goals in as many Premier League games this season since at £24 million transfer from Arsenal.

Better news surrounds Darren Fletcher who came through United’s cup tie with the Magpies on Wednesday. The Scot is unlikely to start against Spurs, although he could make the bench before appearing in United’s Champions League with with CFR Cluf in Romania next week.

Fletcher hadn’t started a first team match in 10 months before the outing against Newcastle, but impressed in a deep-lying role in front of the back-four.

“Darren’s in the squad for tomorrow,” confirmed Sir Alex.

“Obviously, having played on Wednesday night and contributed so well – also it was his first game of that magnitude for 10 months – I wouldn’t start him. But he may get a place on the bench and he could possibly go to Romania and play against Cluj. That could be an ideal opportunity for him. His enthusiasm on Wednesday night was fantastic. Darren sat in front of the two centre-backs and did a really good job.

“The great thing about Fletcher the other night was that his enthusiasm was fantastic. He played a great part in the victory and in a role different from how we’ve used him in the past. Darren was always the type to get about the midfield players but on Wednesday he sat in front of the two young centre-backs and did a really good job.”

Fletcher’s return will add further options in an area where United has struggled in recent seasons. Tom Cleverley and Anderson each scored in the Capital One Cup, although the Brazilian has started just two matches since January and has rarely retained fitness for any length of time. Cleverley has struggled to hold on to a first team place this season despite Scholes’ advancing years.

Meanwhile, the visitors arrive in rude health for the trip north. Villas-Boas rested most of his first team stars for the midweek League Cup victory over Carlisle.

Yet, mounting injury list aside – one that also includes Ashley Young – history is on United’s side, with Ferguson’s side having beaten Spurs on eight of the last 10 meetings between the teams. Few expect anything different on Saturday tea-time, despite the Londoners’ improved form of late.

Match Details
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League, Old Trafford – Saturday 29 September 2012, 5.30pm

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

Spurs (4-5-1): Friedel; Walker, Dawson, Gallas, Vertonghen; Lennon, Sigurdsson, Dembele, Sandro, Bale; Defoe. Subs from: Lloris, Dempsey, Caulker, Huddlestone, Falque, Townsend, Mason

Officials
Referee: C Foy
Assistants: A Garratt, H Lennard
Fourth Official: M Clattenburg

Form
United: WWWWW
Spurs: DDWDWW

Head-to-Head
Last 10: United 8, Spurs 2, Draw 0
Overall: United 84, Spurs 46, Draw 46

Stats

  • Goals from Rafael and Robin van Persie were enough to help United beat Liverpool last weekend – the Dutchman’s goal places the striker at the top of the goalscoring charts with five goals in as many Premier League games;
  • The former Arsenal striker has has scored five from just six shots on target – 50 per cent of the 12 attempts at goal so far this season;
  • Michael Carrick’s 6.53 miles against Liverpool was the best individual distance covered by a United player so far this season, and the 62.05 miles covered as a team is also a season high for United;
  • Meanwhile, Saturday’s visitors provided Villas-Boas with his first home win of the season when the north Londoners beat QPR 2-1 at White Hart Lane last weekend – a QPR own-goal and a Jermaine Defoe strike were enough to secure the points;
  • Defoe is the Premier League’s most prolific shooter with 28 shots at goal already this season, with 16 on target, both of which are the highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index;
  • Dembele has also enjoyed a good start to his career at Spurs, having won more tackles than any other attacking player in the Index with 13 won;
  • Gareth Bale continues to rediscover his form and confidence – the Welshman’s 11 shots on target makes him the highest ranked midfielder in that category on the Index.

Prediction
3-1

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  • machedinho

    I’d play kagawa on the left tomorrow and I know its not his best position but its time for rooney and rvp to start clicking and tomorrow a lethal partnership will hopefully come to fruition. Good luck lads!

    Ash young is missing in action, hope the lad can get fit soon.

    Why even put DDG to start when we all know Lindegaard will start tomorrow! I blame Eric Steele for all of this! I watched a recent interview with him on MUTV and its def clear that he fancies Lindegaard more. Just wish SAF can see otherwise and stick DDG back where he belongs…

  • machedinho

    Lol it won’t come to fruition tomorrow but hopefully it’ll be the start of it and great things to come. Wazza looked fit and sharp vs necastle the other day. He looks lean does the lad! I also find it laughable how so many United fans don’t like him and don’t think he’s world class + want him out. What a joke! Can’t wait till Rooney starts banging the goals in again and for his critics to eat their words. Wazza is a boss people and hopefully tomorrow if he starts he shows us who the real Wayne Rooney is…

  • machedinho

    Lol it won’t come to fruition tomorrow but hopefully it’ll be the start of it and great things to come. Wazza looked fit and sharp vs necastle the other day. He looks lean does the lad! I also find it laughable how so many United fans don’t like him and don’t think he’s world class + want him out. What a joke! Can’t wait till Rooney starts banging the goals in again and for his critics to eat their words. Wazza is a boss people and hopefully tomorrow if he starts he shows us who the real Wayne Rooney is…
    WR WR – HE GOES BY THE NAME OF WAYNE ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOEH

  • machedinho

    Also looking forward to seeing Nani in his proper position – which is on the right. When AV7 was injured Nani was incredible on that right wing and that was the season when our own players voted for the lad as players player of the season! Come on lad! Shut your critics up and start playing like the real Luis Nani!

  • SP

    Bale won’t play at full-back.

    Could you please give us a chance this year and not get ridiculous refereeing decisions, and, more particularly, could you please let us have goals we score when the ball is a yard over the line.

    Ta.

  • machedinho

    Gonna be interesting to see how Anderson and Cleverley fit into the team after both impressed in midweek. In my opinion I’d start with one of them tomorrow and leave Scholes on the bench and bring him on if things aren’t working or if we need him. We need to be looking to the future and even though scholes is playing unbelievably well at the mminute and deserves to start, we simply can’t rely on the lad forever. Play either cleverley or anderson for the next couple gamesa and stick with them. You need matches to improve! Its all about consistency! You can’t expect to perform when called upon by SAF when you’ve been sitting on the bench for the whole season. The same can be said for Giggs! And to be honest, I’ve been saying this for the last couple years, Ryan Giggs is NOT a central midfielder! Simples!

    Was gutted Petrucci wasn’t involved vs nufc. He deserved his chance and so did Lingard who was on the bench. Can’t see Fergie going out and buying a midfielder next season with the likes of Tunnicliffe, petrucci, Powell, Lingard etc all waiting in line for their chance. Futures bright and looking forward to seeing Henriquez in action tonight for the 21′s!

  • Jay

    I fancy United to win, I just really hope it isnt a very bad refereeing decision again.

    On paper our teams are similar, I even believe we have the stronger side and will probably dominate the game for large periods as Dembele and Sandro are far too physical for the United midfield.

    I just know we will get screwed again.

    Lennon vs Evra is always mouth watering from a spurs fans point of view and I honestly believe Fergie would have gone with Buttner if he was fit

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    taggart is an absolute cunt if rooney plays on the left

    rather that than giggs tho, which is what i think will happen

    so hes a cunt either way

  • bman

    DDG/Lindgaard
    Raf — Rio — Evans — Evra
    Carrick — Clev/Ando
    Nani — Kag — Roo
    RVP

    I’d fancy Anderson over Cleverly, but it the fat bastard too out of shape to last 90 minutes? Fletcher coming back properly and us playing him consistently in the more defensive role that he does best at would be a huge boost for the squad.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Commenter said:
    Bale won’t play at full-back.

    Could you please give us a chance this year and not get ridiculous refereeing decisions, and, more particularly, could you please let us have goals we score when the ball is a yard over the line.

    Ta.

    Have a whinge…

  • Denton Davey

    It won’t happen but I’d like to see SAF use a formation similar to Wednesday – narrower than usual with an interchange front three: DarrenFletcherinho replaced with Michael Carrick, DannyTheLad -> KagawaBunga, and RVP -> Chicharito. Some version of a 4-3-3 with mobility up-front; sacrifice width if necessary.

  • marlon

    Our defence always plays better when Lindegaard is in goal. I can only assume that he is a better communicator and/or more authoritative than De Gea and this could be why he is currently preferred. We tend to face fewer and lower quality shots when Lindegaard is in goal. He may not have De Gea’s reflexes, but he often doesn’t need to, as the defence is marshalled better.

    Will be interesting to see if Nani still plays after hitting Petrucci. If not then with no wingers we could see 3 CMs (like vs. Newcastle) and maybe back to the 2008 formation with the flexible front three, although I can’t see Rooney starting after playing the whole game midweek. We might just get two of Buttner/Welbeck/Kagawa/Giggs instead, with RVP +1 up front.

    Starting Scholes won’t work. Won’t be effective under pressure from Tottenham’s pressing and combined with Carrick, won’t have the mobility to deal with Dembele and Sandro. Better to start Anderson and bring Scholes on when Spurs (and Anderson) are tiring. Ideally we’d just start with a 3 of Carrick-Scholes-Anderson but I can’t see Fergie being that defensive at home.

    Without width, Tottenham’s fullbacks will be able to come forward at every opportunity to support Bale and Lennon in attacking our vulnerable and unprotected full backs. Wouldn’t be surprised if Dempsey started ahead of Sigurdsson to provide the aerial threat that Defoe doesn’t. We still don’t know if Rafael is even available after being subbed against Liverpool.

    If Lindegaard starts we’ll probably keep a clean sheet (he is yet to concede an OT goal) so 2-0.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Rooney will start.

  • bman

    I haven’t seen Spurs yet this season, so I don’t know if they’re playing differently than usually. But I expect Lindegaard to start because he’s better at dealing with crosses, which Spurs might put a lot in. Then again, Defoe’s not much use with crosses, so maybe they won’t play that way.

  • Joey Deacon

    Sugar Cookies

  • Coach Herbie

    Play Buttner at left back and you’ve got your attacking options down the left side. Nani should play on the right wing where he is more effective. Rooney and VanPersie up front.

  • Anantax

    Hope RVP and Rooney plays together. If that partnership clicks we’d truly be awesome…

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    @Marlon, Nani hit Petrucci?? WTF for? Lord Almighty what is wrong with that lad? If Scholes starts Spurs will run riot in midfield. Heck even if he comes on when we are leading we will lose the momentum. But what do I know…..

  • machedinho

    Is Adebayor fit people??

  • marlon
  • marlon

    Don’t think we’ll see Rafael today. Probably get Wootton at RB.

  • sidney

    XI: Lindegaard, Rafael, Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Scholes, Nani, Giggs, Carrick, Kagawa, van Persie. Rooney on bench
    Subs: De Gea, Anderson, Wootton, Cleverley, Rooney, Hernandez, Welbeck.
    Giggs & Scholes again
    De Gea’s punishment continues
    But at least we have 4 defenders

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    already obvious how this is gonna turn out

    expect us to make halftime subs

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    dont think we’ll win

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Did our manager watch the match at Anfield? What has informed keeping the same team with the exception of the inured Valencia who was woeful there anyway? Goodness me!!

    Giggs and Scholes against Dembele and Sandro? Excellent.

  • Violent Banana

    Giggs again? Ugh. Why not Kagawa on the left and RooVP up top?

    Nani on his preferred right wing, let’s hope that brings a change in form.

  • Violent Banana

    I reckon Giggs will be on the left wing Cal, Carrick and Scholes in the centre

  • sidney

    Their midfield will out muscle ours, and there will be times where they have open space to run into.
    But there’s more to football than just a strength contest. If we actually keep the ball this time, and knock it around at a high tempo (which is what Carrick, Scholes, Giggs & Kagawa can do) then they won’t be able to live with us – no matter how much Sandro and Dembele run about – and we’ll beat em.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Sid,
    I hope you are right. However, I do not think we will be alright.. Until the 2nd half or late in the match.

    I really think Spurs just might fancy themselves today. They must not score first.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    scholes and carrick do not play at any tempo

  • Anantax

    Nani and Rio ffs…

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Ah well….

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Quality defending, that…

  • Just1n

    oh well. Things can only get better.

    • Violent Banana

      I’m not so sure about that

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Sid, what were you saying?

  • sidney

    There is no cohesion, no tempo

  • brianofnazareth

    I knew once those cunts on sky started the ” Spurs have never won at OT in prem league blah blah blah”

  • sidney

    We risk going 2-0 down on the break here

    Our balls forward are utter shite, they’re just vague hoofs in the general direction of a red shirt

  • Violent Banana

    Goal attempts – United 0, Spurs 5. Says it all really

  • brianofnazareth

    This is a depressing midfield “battle”

  • Violent Banana

    Both scholes and carrick play far too deep for me

  • sidney

    Fuck off

  • Violent Banana

    Lovely goal….we can’t cope with pace at all

  • sidney

    sidney said:
    We risk going 2-0 down on the break here

    Our balls forward are utter shite, they’re just vague hoofs in the general direction of a red shirt

    Fuck sake

  • brianofnazareth

    It was bound to happen soon, out run and out muscled in midfield.

    This is all on Fergie for his lack of bollocks in buying some proper midfielders!!

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    De Gea saves that… and Bale should be playing for us.

    • davek

      100% right there

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Where are those idiots who keep crowing about Scholes and Giggs? See how we are being schooled at home. No energy. Sid. U said we did not need energy right? What do you think again. We are absolute shite with those two rabble in there. We are also badly coached. Phelan is an idiot.

  • sidney

    Fans doing their bit now trying to inspire some actual football from United

  • Violent Banana

    It’s just utter utter wank, like it has been for most of the season. Now we’re playing a team who have enough quality to punish us

  • Just1n

    Teams with quality midfield and with pace know how to play us.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    he’ll never let the pair of em go, either they retire off their own back or he’ll keep playing them for as long as he’s manager, as he wouldve keane and gary, they’re like a comfort blanket for him, its pathetic, needs to move on fucking ginsoak twat

  • sidney

    Calvino said:
    Where are those idiots who keep crowing about Scholes and Giggs? See how we are being schooled at home. No energy. Sid. U said we did not need energy right? What do you think again. We are absolute shite with those two rabble in there. We are also badly coached. Phelan is an idiot.

    No, I said we need energy, you silly bell. I said we need to play at a high tempo if we’re going to beat them – that requires energy, ideas, fluidity etc. We’ve shown nothing.

    Up until 2-0 we were getting the ball off them easily – we just did fuck all with it.

  • madmax

    Calvino said:
    Where are those idiots who keep crowing about Scholes and Giggs? See how we are being schooled at home. No energy. Sid. U said we did not need energy right? What do you think again. We are absolute shite with those two rabble in there. We are also badly coached. Phelan is an idiot.

    yet you idiotically think that the utter utter pile of shit Nani who lost his man for the first goal should keep playing for us. We need a footballer not a lump of shit. No amount of coaching can turn that shit into a decent player

  • brianofnazareth

    Penalty all day…

  • madmax

    that was a penalty

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    tbf sid you said the midfield we’ve put out could play high tempo football which is obviously bollocks

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Am done with this.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    tbf sid you said the midfield we’ve put out could play high tempo football which is obviously bollocks

    That was he said. He and Madmax live in the 90s thinking that scholes and Giggs will do it again.

  • sidney

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    tbf sid you said the midfield we’ve put out could play high tempo football which is obviously bollocks

    High tempo as in quick, dynamic one touch football. Carrick, Scholes and Giggs can do that no worries. Kagawa too. But there is no tempo or fluidity.
    Cal’s a fucking mong, he reduces football down to a strength contest to fuel his tired old bollocks about Giggs & Scholes that few people read anymore. He can fuck off.

  • Just1n

    Wonder if SAF has the bollox to replace one of the pensioners.

  • davek

    and we thought the performance versus Liverpool was pretty poor but this is a whole new level.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Sidney and you are what expecting Carrick, Scholes and Giggs to play at a high tempo? You are a fool that’s what you are. What are their combined ages against that of the Spurs midfield players? You need to pass and move to play at a high tempo you know.. Watch football properly before trotting out cliches without backing.

    Age is killing us. We are like Glenn Hoddle’s Spurs at the moment.

  • Violent Banana

    Scholes can change games for us, Giggs should call it a day.

    I’m stunned Fergie didn’t include some pace in midfield, Ando or T Clev – just something to counter Sandro, Dempsey and Dembele.

    Last time we were 2-0 down to Spurs at OT we had Ronaldo, Berba, Tevez and Rooney to bail us out. And Howard Webb.

  • ichiro

    Too many older players on the pitch and we are missing Valencia badly.

  • Violent Banana

    Kagawa is a great player, but we’re pretty much asking him and RVP to take on 4 defenders and 2 covering midfielders at times.

    Would love to see Kagawa, Cleverly and Anderson together; surely would add some fluidity to our midfield.

  • sidney

    Calvino said:
    Sidney and you are what expecting Carrick, Scholes and Giggs to play at a high tempo? You are a fool that’s what you are. What are their combined ages against that of the Spurs midfield players? You need to pass and move to play at a high tempo you know.. Watch football properly before trotting out cliches without backing.
    Age is killing us. We are like Glenn Hoddle’s Spurs at the moment.

    To say age is killing us is letting the younger players off lightly. There are only 2 old bastards on the pitch.
    And, right… in their half Giggs, Scholes, Carrick can knock the ball about quickly, into the feet of Nani, Kagagwa, Van Persie, and we can take the game to them. You don’t need that much movement from midfield – it’s the forwards who need to make the runs in and around box so that the midfielders have someone to hit. But there is no movement. Van Persie dropped out of the game after Gallas smashed him.

  • Damian Garside

    The saddest thing is that old Lord Ferg cannot be trusted to take the right lessons from this. Tres delusional, if you ask me.

  • sidney

    There you go

  • Anantax

    Great move! Nani redeemed himself with that goal

  • Violent Banana

    FUCK

  • Violent Banana

    FUCK YES

  • sidney

    This game is just fucked

  • Just1n

    Kagawa is class.

  • Violent Banana

    We play rather well without Giggs

  • sidney

    Playing miles better with Rooney operating between midfield and attack

    Some of that fluid football I was on about

  • Violent Banana

    The crowd can win this for us

  • sidney

    Where is Spurs’ midfield now

  • sidney

    Would like to see the possession stats

    We’re arse raping em

  • sidney

    Van Persie shanks it

    76% possession, Cal

  • Violent Banana

    OhRVP

  • sidney

    Cal, Scholes has dominated this game for the last 25 minutes and Demebele is fucking nowhere

    Their midfield has completely disappeared, just so you know you tedious cunt

  • Violent Banana

    Rooney has changed the game, come on boys….big push

  • sidney

    Dembele off, huffing and puffing, been chasing Scholes’ shadow

    Bit more of that slick dynamic football that we can’t play and we’ll get something out of this game

  • Violent Banana

    Carrick hits the bar….

  • Violent Banana

    So close

  • ichiro

    We lost some of our penetration when Kagawa went off.

  • Anantax

    See in my opinion, its not Scholes thats the problem. Its the combination of BOTH Scholes and Giggs. Once Rooney came in we utterly dominated with Scholes pulling the strings…

    I hate that we lost, but i am encouraged by our attacking display. We had chances to draw or even win this. 2 crossbars, one RVP sitter

  • baloo

    Cal should come on and suck it up about Scholes……have some balls and accept you talk shite.

  • madmax

    Why cant we just start the match playing like we did in the second half. It was not like they sat back. We made them sit back. Passed the fuck out of them

  • sidney

    Unlucky not to get a point.

    Second half we were class. We battered them in every area, especially midfield. Rooney’s movement allowed us to play the one touch slick football that Knobhead and Cal said we couldn’t play. What do you make of that then, ey?

    Where the fuck is Cal anyway? The silly cunt has ran like he has done for the last 5/6 years whenever Scholes plays well.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    baloo said:
    Cal should come on and suck it up about Scholes……have some balls and accept you talk shite.

    Get right lost you turds!! John Obi Mikel at Chelsea will pass the ball well when given time. Spurs for some reasons stood off him cos they were worried about Rooney in the space behind. I have always maintained that when he has time he will pass the ball well cos that is what he is good at. How many of you praised Nani for his goal? Idiots. Scholes is past it. Other teams will look at This match and know they have to do the pressing for longer periods.

    In the end we lost the match did we not? Dd he not play in the first half what did he do? Morons!!

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    And Sid. I do not run away. This is the internet. Did you watch Chelsea today? We have lost TWO games already after only SIX!, scholes started in both defeats mind you.
    At the start you maintained that we would play that way even though Giggs has no energy for anything on a football pitch. Rooney came on and that gave us impetus.

    Dear Sir Alex Ferguson, the 4-4-2 formation with two strikers and two central midfielders is DEAD. Please stop playing this. Thank you very much sir. Regards,
    A Loyal Fan.

  • baloo

    *sigh*

  • ichiro

    I thought Scholes did alright in the first half as well actually.

  • Anantax

    Actually to be fair i dont think there are that many Prem players who can pass as well as Scholesy did today…definitely not Obi Mikel! He literally ran United’s offense in the 2nd half..

    I also thought Nani played reasonably well in 2nd half..his first touch is sublime. Everybody was awful in 1st half…

  • Coach Herbie

    I turned the tv off soon as I saw the midfield. I was never going to watch that team play that SAF put on the field. Giggs and Scholes starting? We need a new manager and coaches. We won’t win nothing this season, SAF has really lost it. We had the midfielders to deal with Tottenham but they did not play.

  • madmax

    Cal did you happen to notice that Rooney whipped in the cross for the first goal from the right wing where Nani was a turd in the first half. That what attacking players do. Create chances.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    scholes was great in the second half but tbf that second half was all about rooney, was basically a second striker and third midfielder at the same time

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    scholes was great in the second half but tbf that second half was all about rooney, was basically a second striker and third midfielder at the same time

    Spot on Knobby.

    Madmax, you are a retard. In the first half, Nani made crosses like that but no one attacked them like he did for Rooney’s cross. He SCORED. Yet you are wanking over Scholes.

  • sidney

    Calvino said:
    Get right lost you turds!! John Obi Mikel at Chelsea will pass the ball well when given time. Spurs for some reasons stood off him cos they were worried about Rooney in the space behind. I have always maintained that when he has time he will pass the ball well cos that is what he is good at. How many of you praised Nani for his goal? Idiots. Scholes is past it. Other teams will look at This match and know they have to do the pressing for longer periods.
    In the end we lost the match did we not? Dd he not play in the first half what did he do? Morons!!

    “Spurs for some reason stood off him” because they couldn’t get near him, you massive twat. Did you see Dembele when he was subbed? He was totally 100% fucked. I mean, painfully fucked. He looked like the 37 year old.
    Once Carrick & Scholes had someone to play with – an up for it, beasty Rooney – we played the dynamic idea-fuelled slick football that I said we could, and we tore Tottenham a new one. You don’t need Scholes and Carrick making runs or running about like wankers; you need them 30 yards from goal with their heads up looking for what’s on. First half there was fuck all on because Kagawa was a lightweight shite and Van Persie disappeared after Gallas smashed him. And Nani, fucking hell… But second half they were pretty awesome. Tottenham really fucking hung on, and we were unlucky.

  • sidney

    Calvino said:
    Spot on Knobby.

    So you agree Scholes was great in the second half then

    Sense, at last

  • brianofnazareth

    Cal, if you honestly think Scholes should not play, then who? come on…name me a player who can do what he does with his passing that we can call upon. All our play goes through him, now Giggs on the other hand is not worthy of his place any longer and it pains me to say it. He must no longer start the games against the stronger midfield’s.

    Rio Ferdinand needs to be replaced as soon as we have some defenders back, the cunt looks like he has arthritis and it’s horrible to watch, he gets bullied and out fought on a regular basis these days. I don’t blame Evans, it’s not his fault he’s shite and that wont change anytime soon. We’ve had fuck all luck with defenders and that has to change soon. Vidic has to be fit as soon as possible.

    Nani, well I’m finally going to admit it, I’ve backed that brain dead prick for the last few years hoping he would fulfil his promise but he wont. He has all the attributes but he sadly lacks a footballing brain, even with years of Fergie guidance he’s not grasping it.

  • sidney

    Calvino said:
    And Sid. I do not run away. This is the internet. Did you watch Chelsea today? We have lost TWO games already after only SIX!, scholes started in both defeats mind you.
    At the start you maintained that we would play that way even though Giggs has no energy for anything on a football pitch. Rooney came on and that gave us impetus.

    Giggs was shit, and I was wrong about him. He has more energy than people give him credit for, and he gives the ball away because he tries creative stuff that nobody else does.
    But yeah, for us to play proper slick United football he had to fuck off the pitch sharpish.
    He’ll come good at some point this season though, I guarantee it. He’ll have a game or two where he looks unplayable.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Sid. Last i checked a football match lasts 90 minutes. What happened in the first half. Who won? We were not unlucky. Spurs deserved to win!! Did Scholes play only the second half? Rubbish.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Sid. Lets leave it. My weekend has been ruined and I do not want to fight anymore. I am totally gutted cos what i feared so much has indeed happened. We escaped a pasting at anfield last weekend. We could not today. Two defeats already!!

  • sidney

    Calvino said:
    Sid. Lets leave it. My weekend has been ruined and I do not want to fight anymore. I am totally gutted cos what i feared so much has indeed happened. We escaped a pasting at anfield last weekend. We could not today. Two defeats already!!

    Fair enough, let’s leave it… until the next time Scholes plays.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    sidney said:
    Fair enough, let’s leave it… until the next time Scholes plays.

    Not even then. Am just done with it all. I need to stop taking United seriously. Not sure it is worth it all..

  • sheesh

    We cannot play both Giggs and Scholes in the starting eleven against the top sides. City will batter us with that starting eleven.

    I can’t believe neither Anderson nor Fletcher started.

  • Damian Garside

    Of course, after a dominant second half performance where we start to really play, you know Lord Ferg is going to change the team.
    A pity that mere mortals like us cannot understand the workings of true genius.

  • http://MegalomediaDesigns.com Oliver Smith

    Christ, got a bit vitriolic in here with some of those comments! It’s a major bummer to have lost but a highly entertaining match nonetheless. Great to see Rooney back playing with some fire. Just hoping we can take this fire and playing speed into the champions league this week and hopefully have our first convincing European performance in ages! Things at the back seem awfully frail, though, not only during the first half, all three goals were agonisingly easy.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Rant is at it’s vicious best, when we lose.

    “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.”

  • http://MegalomediaDesigns.com Oliver Smith

    Also, I think all those wondering if playing van Persie, Rooney and (all we need is shinji) Kagawa together in the same team would work have had their questions answered. How does everybody feel about Nini? I think his straw broke my camels back today, granted he scored but Rooney served it up on a plate garnished with magic. I just think he was extremely wasteful, and after that Zenit saga and now he’s allegedly punched a reserve? I feel like everybody is sick of him but without Valencia are we stuck with his shenanigans?

  • http://ashleygrimesfanclub.co.uk Truth

    This match would have been so different if we’d have had a player like Ashley Grimes on the pitch, would’ve never lost!

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    rooney and persie should start the next game together, no more of this reluctant bollocks from taggart, theyre the best players in the league

  • marlon

    We deserved to win. Two pens, post, bar, RVP miss, Evra miss. Different day, different ref. They had 4 shots on target and the one that didn’t go in was parried into Dempsey’s path for their 3rd. De Gea would’ve done better with their second two goals as well. Hopefully conceding 3 goals will be reason enough to give De Gea the bigger games now.
    Our team plays so much better with Rooney in it – he is one of our only players who truly leads by example in the work rate department. Without it (something none of our midfielders and forwards had in the first half) our system which relies on pressing is entirely useless when we don’t have the ball. Carrick is no longer able to sit and protect the defence as the system breaks down if there is too much space between the lines. He has to push up to press and when no one in front of him is helping, it’s futile. The 2nd half showed the system can be effective when the forwards press – Tottenham were forced into making 73 clearances in this game.
    It’s possible that this is just a transitional problem as this XI isn’t used to playing a game so reliant on pressing. If we are going to press though, our CBs have to be close to the CMs or like we saw today, it will be easy to run at them and they clearly can’t handle that. Such an easy and effective solution is to play 3 CMs. With our options this wouldn’t curtail our attacking ability as most of our CMs are far better attacking than defending. Even if Fletch doesn’t recover enough to sit in front of the CBs, it seems the ideal role for Carrick and maybe Jones as well.
    The blame Giggs is receiving is unfair. As a LM he is never going to decide the game and I imagine Fergie put him there to protect Evra from Lennon and Walker, which he did effectively, especially given what happened on the other flank where both of their goals came from. The improvement in the 2nd half had much more to do with the fact that it was Rooney coming on as opposed to Giggs coming off and the attitude change in the whole team. He clearly had a bad game, but he received the ball 12 times – like RVP, he just wasn’t in the game. The issue in the 1st half was a lack of energy and that wasn’t just Giggs.
    Scholes was brilliant but all of our play goes through him and he almost exclusively sends the ball wide. On their day our wingers are the best in the league but we only had one today and he has not been in form, so why waste the ball out wide. He is a big reason Kagawa doesn’t see much of the ball. No surprise when Kagawa moved out wide, he suddenly saw more of the ball and started to look dangerous. Our team relies on Scholes and he is stuck in a 442 mindset. I get that when he picks out a winger, he bypasses an entire midfield, but when there is no in the box to win it, what’s the point in crossing it when it has such a low success rate (we’ve completed 29 out of 129 crosses this season). Maybe the blame is with the wingers for crossing it when it’s clearly not going to find a target. If we’re are going to rely on wing-play then how about having a left winger. Mental. It’s like we don’t have one tactician amongst our coaching staff. If we have stupid players, don’t let them think for themselves, tell them what to do.

  • sidney

    In Fergie’s post match interview he’s had a go at the refs for not adding on more injury time. He’s got a point, but the press will slaughter him for that and he knows it. I reckon he’s trying to grab the headlines to take the heat off the players who’s shitness in the first half has cost us overall. And 2 losses in 6 puts them under a bit of extra pressure.

  • sheesh

    I feel sorry for Van Persie and Kagawa. They are wasted at United. Fergie doesn’t know how to get the best out of them.

    Van Persie is feeding off scraps playing on his own up front and Kagawa needs someone to do all the dirty work of winning the ball.

  • 19 and Counting

    Why is everyone so surprised that we lost? This is the worst United team since maybe 2003-04 team. A rubbish and injured defence, rotating keepers, relying on two old guys in MF and still we haven’t fixed our central MF problems. What do we expect? It’s going to be a long season guys and Fergie should prepare a longer list of excuses to use because he will need them.

  • Denton Davey

    Sidney @ 8:32: “To say age is killing us is letting the younger players off lightly. There are only 2 old bastards on the pitch.”

    Actually, if you consider that age = speed then there were four geezers: Scholes, Carrick, Giggs, and Rio. Given the defensive injuries, Rio is iron-clad to play but only one of the other three should play since all three of them are just too slow.

    After the up-beat, aggressive, energetic play of Anderson, Young Tom, and DarrenFletcherinho in mid-week, this line-up was just a huge downer. My heart just sank when I saw Carrick, Giggs, and Scholes in the midfield – it just doesn’t work much any more.

    When will SAF realize that he’s got to bite-the-bullet and let Anderson/Cleverley sink or swim ? The alternative is a recipe for more embarrassments like today.

  • Denton Davey

    Marion @ 11:33: ” If we are going to press though, our CBs have to be close to the CMs or like we saw today, it will be easy to run at them and they clearly can’t handle that. Such an easy and effective solution is to play 3 CMs.”

    With two slow midfielders, who both have very large turning circles, playing any version of two-in-midfield is asking for trouble. Why is Scholes partnering Carrick ? Michael Carrick defers to Scholes and seems reluctant to accept a more attacking-midfield role. My own two-cents’ worth is that Carrick should start and if Scholes is needed then it should be a direct, one-for-one substitution.

    Playing Ryan Giggs this season is like watching ThreeLungPark last year – out of his depth. A season too far ?

    While I don’t agree that two losses already – and not playing very impressively in some of the other matches – the season is not “lost”. BUT there are lessons to be learned from these early matches – why is the Anderson/Cleverley combination not being played in the EPL ? AND, of course, how is SAF going to integrate a front three of RVP/TheWayneBoy/KagawaBunga in what seems to amount to a “striker-less” system ?

  • Denton Davey

    One last quickie – anyone out there still think that Moussa Dembele is “the answer” ?

  • Coach Herbie

    I totally agree with “19 and Counting”. Couldn’t have summed it up any better. I turned off my tv soon as I saw the starting line up. With the speed and pace of Tottenham, SAF had to be out of his mind to put that midfield of players on the field. Buttner should have played left back and he would have controlled the whole left side. There was no need to use a left winger. Fletcher should have played as the central defensive midfielder along with Anderson and Powell inteaed of Giggs and Carrick. Scholes had a good game but we need to find a quality replacement. I told you already that we need a quality replacement for Ferdinand. Vidic when he comes back, will never be the same. You see what happened to Hardgreaves with all these knee operations. With bad knees your career is downhill. Why was these positions and problems not taken care of before the season stared? These players were injured at the end of last season. Why did we start the season with no fit defenders? Why did we not get quality defenders on loan until ALL injured defenders were fit to play? Why did we not completely resolve our midfield problems before the season started? If SAF cannot answer these questions with good reasons then he needs to be fired immediatley. This is Man.United we are talking about, not some neighbourhood amateur club. Heads need to roll now! Iam sick and tired of the same BULLSHIT every season. I coach my under 14 team and we are undefeated now for two seasons in all competitions. These are just kids but we would never start a season with no quality defenders even though they are only kids! I don’t need anymore excuses from SAF. Time for him to move on. Everyone is talking, the team is playing some crappy football and if this keeps up, more licks are coming.

  • Fred

    Rooney made the difference in the second half.
    He’s got to start behind RvP cause he can do the 2nd striker/3rd midfielder job by adding greater workrate and not getting outmuscled.

    Kagawa can start on the left And valenica on the right and this can offer fairly good balance in terms of width and dynamism in attack.

    Cleverly and carrick in midfield.Out of all the options i think these two should start. Scholes still has an incredible passing range but he and giggs shouldn’t be starting against the top teams now.They are better off as subs who can come on and keep the ball.

  • Anantax

    Commenter said:
    One last quickie – anyone out there still think that Moussa Dembele is “the answer” ?

    I thought he played rather well…if unspectacular…

    Still would prefer him over Ando at current form…

  • Bill

    That’s the main point, he’s better than carrick, Anderson, Cleverley, fletcher, and giggs at the moment, as is fellaini. He can play a variety of central midfield positions and has his best years ahead of him.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Coach Herbie???????

    Please tell me you’re havin a laugh?

    Do you really think putting “Coach” in front of your name, will make people take you more seriously?

    Fuckin hell Herbie… that’s embarassing… change it back Mate.

  • RobDiablo

    Commenter said:
    …anyone out there still think that Moussa Dembele is “the answer” ?

    I don’t think anyone believed that “the answer” could be purchased for a mere £15M, but I did hope that United would sign him, and I still wish that they had. He is better at doing certain midfield tasks than anyone United currently have playing there, plus he is a proper left-footed player—useful on those European nights when Sir Alex deploys him at left back.

  • marlon

    The biggest change we need is in attitude. We can change formation/system/personnel all we like, but if the players don’t give a fuck, it’s going to be shit.

  • madmax

    Calvino said:
    Spot on Knobby.

    Madmax, you are a retard. In the first half, Nani made crosses like that but no one attacked them like he did for Rooney’s cross. He SCORED. Yet you are wanking over Scholes.

    Like fuck he did. He didn’t put in a single good cross in the entire first half.You can keep kissing his arse all you want but that won’t make him a good player. According to you,when it comes to Nani everything is his team mate’s fault and when it comes to Scholes all the team’s fault are his. Whose the retard dunb ass

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Dumb ass who is expecting anyone fo think you will be objective about someone you have on your avatar!! I am way too old to be attached to ONE united player unlike retards like you. Read right through this thread and you will notice that most see that Scholes is over the hill…

  • baloo

    Calvino said:
    Dumb ass who is expecting anyone fo think you will be objective about someone you have on your avatar!! I am way too old to be attached to ONE united player unlike retards like you. Read right through this thread and you will notice that most see that Scholes is over the hill…

    I’m sure I read somewhere we put in 41 crosses – completed 4
    Nani is a self indulgent tosser with brilliant raw talent but not sufficient mental capacity to channel it correctly. Unfortunately, that just means he’s never going to be anywhere near the level of world class.
    He also sulks, which makes him a slave to his emotions and thus even more unreliable.
    Also Cal – he has an avatar of Scholes and you use that as a way to disregard his opinions because of ‘bias’, but you have consistently slagged off a player, regardless of his ACTUAL performance as judged on a game by game basis, for years and I’m afraid your opinion deserves to be disregarded by that same criteria. Actually, that’s unfair on Madmax, because his OPINION doesn’t necessarily have to be affected by his avatar. Your opinion is on record and clearly is one-eyed and underpins an agenda that can’t be altered….well, “…just because it’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it, independent of facts…..and if you disagree you’re retards and turds”

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Baloo . But I’ll keep wondering why it is so easy to pick on Nani but all his good stuff are so easily ignored. He scored yesterday. He made two of the goals are Soton the other day but Scholes is raved about and glossed over when he has his usual stinkers. Did u watch him at Goodison? Or against Gala and Liverpool?

    I started calling names yesterday cos I was called names FIRST.

  • dozer

    Scholes was brilliant and Giggs is out of form, but over a season he’s still a good player. I don’t think blaming Scholes or Giggs is fair – it’s Fergie’s fault for buying the wrong players and picking the wrong team IMO.
    Even with Rooney injured RVP was always a luxury signing. He’s bought 3 strikers this season – assuming Powell is a midfielder. I hope it was worth letting Pogba go for free, only to spunk 4m on Powell.
    He picked a team that wasn’t half as mobile as Tottenham. With Valencia and Young injured, I can see why he picked Giggs on the left wing. But he should have added mobility in midfield by playing 3 midfielders. Kagawa should have been dropped for Cleverley or sigh… Anderson. Or perhaps Kagawa could have played in the left wing instead of Giggs, he excelled there in the second half.
    On a separate note, Welbeck I don’t think will make it, he looks just a wee bit short of talent or quality to me.

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

  • dozer

    Fergie keeps saying that there’s no value in the market, but he let players like De Jong, Ramires, Fellaini and Pogba slip through his fingers over the last few seasons. He’s bought Anderson for 25m+, he still doesn’t feature – rightly so, because he’s shite.
    Fergie will never buy a vanilla defensive midfielder I guess, but there are proper box to box players available in the market. He would have bought a DM before, he did buy Mikel and he’s mentioned that he’d love to have Makelele but this was 6 years ago. He’s changed his system now.

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

  • madmax

    Calvino said:
    I started calling names yesterday cos I was called names FIRST.

    Read through the thread and you’ll find that you were the first to call people Idiots because they happen to have a different opinion. Anyway I’d take your name calling a bit more seriously if I didn’t find your tantrums on my avatar childish.