Preview: West Ham v United

Rooney West Ham United

It wasn’t pretty, although little of Manchester United’s season can be categorised as such, but the Reds’ victory over Stoke City on Sunday surely ends any lingering doubts about the Premier League’s destination. United should now seal the title within the next three fixtures.

Defeat to rivals Manchester City last Monday came within an established pattern; United’s performances have dipped markedly since Real Madrid’s controversial Champions League victory last month. And while the Reds did little in the 2-0 win over the Potters on Sunday to break the paradigm, victory leaves Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to find just seven points in six games to secure league title number 20.

Indeed, Ferguson’s outfit will draw to within two results of the title should the Reds overcome West Ham United at Upton Park on Wednesday night. Less if City slip up against Wigan Athletic on the same night.

Upton Park is a ground that has not always held happy memories, of course, but with the Hammers just about safe, and United having righted a potentially listing ship, the opportunity will not be lost on those in red to profit from the trip to London’s east end.

Defeat to City, Chelsea in the FA Cup, together with underwhelming Premier League performances against Reading and Norwich City in the past month, proffered a strong impression that United’s was a season stumbling to a close. Victory at Stoke came not so much at a sprint, but at least with some comfort.

“Character,” said Ferguson, brought victory in the midlands, although critics might point to the palpable lack of that quality post-Madrid. Still, with Wayne Rooney dropping back into midfield, and United prepared to graft for victory, Ferguson’s team secured points that were always of more value than any praise for style. At least at this stage of the campaign.

“I always say you don’t leave your character in the dressing room and I think we saw that against Stoke,” said the 71-year0old United manager.

“The Britannia Stadium is not an easy place to go to and we had this swirling wind in the first half in particular, which was difficult, but nonetheless we had to find a way through it and we kept our composure. We weren’t over-anxious about the game – we kept playing the ball, passing it around.

“We didn’t make a lot of chances, but we’ve done that at Stoke over the last six years and made very few chances but usually won the games. The performance and the character the players showed was terrific.”

Sunday’s was United’s fourth victory in five visits to Stoke’s ‘new’ home ground, exposing the disingenuous claim that the Potters’ home turf is anything but a soft touch – at least for Sir Alex’ side. Still, with poor results having haunted Ferguson’s team of late, Sunday’s points will likely prove invaluable come the season’s denouement.

After all, momentum matters, which is why United’s visit to east London is certainly no time to regress into complacency, despite the Reds’ renewed 15-point Premier League lead.

“Now it’s West Ham and we have to play well again,” adds club captain Nemanja Vidić

“They play in a similar style to Stoke – we’re going to have long balls and set-pieces to deal with. Yes, you think you’re almost there but you have to win the games. It helps us build up the confidence and a few players had a great game – people like Antonio, Wayne and Robin. It’s important for players like this to be in good form for the games to come.”

West Ham United v Manchester United - Premier League, Upton Park - 7.45pm 17 April 2013Even so, Ferguson is likely to refresh his side for the trip south, with Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck in line for a recall. Meanwhile, Rooney could revert to a more attacking role should Cleverley come back into the side, with Shinji Kagawa most at risk of dropping to the bench.

Amid much speculation about the striker’s future this week – and role within the side – Rooney will surely welcome a striking berth in east London. After all, with a new contract to negotiate this summer, the former Evertonian’s hand is hardly strengthened each time he is deployed as a part-time midfielder.

Jonny Evans could return to Ferguson’s line-up, but Paul Scholes is unlikely to be selected after missing the past three months of United’s campaign.

“We have no injuries from Sunday against Stoke,” Ferguson told MUTV. “It was a tough game, certainly. But there were no injuries and that is a blessing of course We have a good, strong squad. We took 20 players with us to Stoke and those 20 players will go with us again on Wednesday night.”

Meanwhile, West Ham welcome the Reds with Premier League safety almost certainly secured. Sam Allardyce’s side boasts a six point advantage over the bottom three, with a healthy goal difference advantage to boot. However, the 58-year-old manager is likely to be without a clutch of defenders for United’s visit, including James Tomkins, Winston Reid and George McCartney. Mark Noble and Joe Cole remain on the sidelines.

Still, with United’s prize firmly in sight few will bet against the visitors turning in the first strong performance since Madrid’s unlikely win at Old Trafford.

“I think you have to say they are as good as they have ever been because nobody normally wins the title so easily and by so big a margin, or has this much of a margin at this stage of the season,” adds Allardyce.

“It’s pretty scary what total they might actually finish with.”

That United has won the last eight league meetings against West Ham, scoring 22 goals and conceding just three in the process says much.

Match details
West Ham United v Manchester United – Premier League, Upton Park – 7.45pm, 17 April 2013 March 2013

Possible teams
West Ham (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Pogatetz, O’Brien, Collins, Demel; Jarvis, Nolan, Diame, O’Neil; Carroll, Vaz Te. Subs from: Henderson, Potts, Collison, Taylor, C Cole, Wellington, Maiga, Chamakh

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

Match officials
Referee: Lee Probert
Assistants: R Ganfield, H Lennard
Fourth official: A Marriner.

Form
West Ham: LWLWDD
United: DWWLLW

Head to Head
Last 10: West Ham 1, United 8, Draw 1
Overall: West Ham 42, United 58, Draw 25

Stats

  • The Hammers’ 1-1 draw at Southampton brought the Londoners a point closer to safety last weekend;
  • Mark Noble has been a key player earning West Ham’s safety this season, boasting one of highest defensive contribution totals in the Hammers squad with 96;
  • In a similar vein, defender James Collins has racked up an impressive 30 blocks this season.
  • Meanwhile, Matt Jarvis has supplied 71 crosses this season – the 8th best in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index – but claims just two assists;
  • Speculation surrounding Wayne Rooney’s future may be rife this week, but only three strikers have bettered the Scouser’s 599 successful passes in the opponent’s half this season – Luis Suarez, Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez – while none surpasses his average rate of 3.13 minutes per successful pass;
  • Shinji Kagawa’s five goals is the highest of any United midfielder this season, the result of a solid 75 per cent shot accuracy rate;
  • Michael Carrick has amassed 944 successful passes in the opponent’s half and is rated as the second most successful tackler in the United squad behind Rio Ferdinand, having successfully completed 61.2 per cent of his 67 attempted challenges this season.

Prediction
0-1

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Comments

  1. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    West Ham 2 Man Utd 4

  2. Away form means we should win
    But I wouldn’t be surprised if we drew and everybody went in to meltdown, especially because City will probably destroy Wigan

  3. Damian Garside says:

    Making these rotational changes to bring people in regardless of West Ham’s particular strengths and weaknesses and changing a winning combination (particularly as we seemed to have lost momentum completely) does not strike me as being particularly smart.

    I hope AF doesn’t rotate us out of a league title.

  4. this will be west ham’s fa cup final as it always is
    bunch of game raising cunts when they play us at upton park
    hope rooney is up for this

  5. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadffs says:

    think young and andershite will get a game so we’ll need the subs to win it

  6. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    The usuall tough match, but I believe we will win 1-3.

  7. Its probably just wishful thinking but last game might just be the start of us waking up from our Real Madrid funk….a few weeks too late, but waking up nonetheless

    We’ll finish the season in style and demolish all opposition, including winning the trophy by convincingly defeating Arsenal and shaming Rafa trophyless mercenaries…

    it’s a nice fantasy to have while I wait for the game….:)

  8. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Anantax said:
    it’s a nice fantasy to have while I wait for the game….:)

    You should talk to Han about his fantasies…

  9. Would be nice if the Fergie picks players who play in their rightful positions.

  10. Damian Garside says:

    I just read a United fan responding to an ESPN blogger saying that Fergie can’t always get everything right (with reference, as you may have guessed, to the CM he selected for the City game). This got me wondering: are football managers like film directors or other people in the creative industries, where we tolerate the few odd bad choices if they from time to time produce stuff of real brilliance?

    Or are they in positions where we won’t tolerate mistakes (especially horrendous ones that blow crucial games)? One wouldn’t console an sir traffic controller who direted two planes into each others’ flight paths, or a bomb disposal guy who cut the wrong wire, by reassuring them that mistakes are allowed (actually it might be a bit difficult to do this to the guy who cut blue not red.

    A win tonight will set us up for a crunching home win against Villa and basically we are home and dry.

  11. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadffs says:

    takes a massive fuck up from him for us to drop points against the riff raff, usually we’ll just play shite but stll win, the games against the top sides arewhere he needs to get it right, he fucked up against city, again

  12. He fucked up against City, and it’s not like City are hard to figure out. Their team is basically unchanged. It’s still hard to stop them like, but some things were fundamentally wrong.
    And the way he didn’t make any changes to try and salvage the game makes me think he wrote it off deliberately so that he could bollock the fuck out of them and use it as a turning point.

  13. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    3-1 to the knuckle dragging bubble blowing cunts

  14. Any1 know what the fuck is going on with ando?!?!?!?? Hasn’t been in squad for a few weeks now? Getting worried!!! Andooooooooooow, don’t leave ussssss

  15. Commenter said:
    Any1 know what the fuck is going on with ando?!?!?!?? Hasn’t been in squad for a few weeks now? Getting worried!!! Andooooooooooow, don’t leave ussssss

    Max, I do not believe there is a single soul here who feels the same

  16. RobDiablo RobDiablo says:

    Ben Hulston said:
    Max, I do not believe there is a single soul here who feels the same

    None of the United supporters, anyway.

  17. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Commenter said:
    Any1 know what the fuck is going on with ando?!?!?!?? Hasn’t been in squad for a few weeks now? Getting worried!!! Andooooooooooow, don’t leave ussssss

    Oh ffs

  18. The problem with putting Anderson in the “Shop Window” is that buyers get to see what a total fuck up he is and his price will drop like a brick.

  19. altogether now
    “how much is that fat burger munching permanently crocked pretend brazilian bit part player in the window…”

  20. De Gea

    Rafael
    Ferdinand
    Vidic
    Evra

    Valencia
    Carrick
    Jones
    Kagawa

    Rooney
    van Persie

    Subs: Amos, Evans, Cleverley, Nani, Giggs, Welbeck, Hernandez.

    Strong team, I hope Jones has a stormer

  21. RobDiablo RobDiablo says:

    Kagawa playing some ‘D’; I like it.

  22. Shocking defending.

  23. Fucking hell

    Soft goal, shit from Rooney and Kagawa

  24. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    We’re going to get done to tonight! These cunts are more up for it then us.

    Hoof ball twats.

  25. Rooney Kagawa at fault for losing the ball so cheaply
    Rio for being absolutely skinned. vidic for not properly marking the onle west ham player in the central area..
    Ridicilous…

  26. It’s looking increasingly like one of those games were the forwards are absolute shit and can’t pass the ball or do anything useful

  27. sidney said:
    Fucking hell

    Soft goal, shit from Rooney and Kagawa

    There were enough defenders that we shouldn’t have conceded. Rio made Matt jarvis look like messi.

  28. sheesh said:
    There were enough defenders that we shouldn’t have conceded. Rio made Matt jarvis look like messi.

    Yeah, Ferdinand was asleep

    And the cunt keeps hoofing it

  29. Rooney is currently where all our possesion goes to die……has been crap.

    Come one…show us your quality and turn this game around!

  30. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    This is so…fucking…lazy

  31. I think shinji is at least trying to make something happen. Rooney has not done much.

    What does Nani have to do to get a start?

  32. Nolan needs breaking

    If he does that chicken dance just hit him

  33. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Valencia you cunt

  34. yessssssssssssssss

  35. Yesssssss

  36. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Great play Kagawa. Any chance we can kick on?

  37. what a break

  38. Class goal that really

    The fuck in

  39. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Well done Shinji

  40. Kagawa showing quality and composure then, like he was in a Dortmund shirt

  41. Upton park isn’t the easiest place to play football. Hopefully kagawa can kick on and get more starts under his belt.
    He’s a good player, just needed to adapt to who he is playing with compared to when he was at Dortmund.

  42. Carrick has been a bit shit
    West Ham are giving us the centre circle now so he should have a good game

  43. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Rooney is playing gash!

  44. Rooney has been shite. Gives the ball away so often.

  45. Rooney has decided he will play in midfield for the last 30 minutes and it’s great because the cunt is having one of those games were he can’t pass the ball

  46. Coach Herbie says:

    SAF is doing the right thing by playing the same team that beat Stoke. Not to worry, another away win in the bag. Wigan will take care of City and get out of relegation.

  47. SAF will shove that dryer up rooney’s backside thats for sure at h/t

  48. De Gea completely taken out ffs that is thuggery

  49. Carroll should have been sent off for that. Prick.
    Looks even worse on replay.

  50. Carroll you scouse Geordie fuckhead

  51. andy carroll still playing like a blind cunt

  52. Send the cunt off ffs

  53. how the fuck was that not a red

  54. “Poor challenge from Andy Carroll”, nail the cunt ffs it was thuggery, poor challenge ffs, it was violent, it’s just to hurt him, poor challenge ffs english biased cunts

  55. Spudiator Spudiator says:

    Listening to the game on TalkSport, and Stan Collymore’s voice is annoying the fuck out of me, not for the first time!

  56. that is the way to bully our goalie – via the big cunt carroll
    vidic should stamp on his balls

  57. Rooney has been absolutely SHIT. One good pass…thats it. Hope he wakes up 2nd half

    Carrick looks tired. Rio also looks….lazy….

    One burst of life and great play by Kagawa saved us

    Anyhow hope we burst to life again

  58. These commentators… if that’s a poor challenge then what is a violent challenge, getting a gun out and shooting him in the face

    Just slag the shit cunt off ffs even though he’s your mate

  59. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Tommy said:
    Carroll you scouse Geordie fuckhead

    Lol

  60. west ham’s game plan consists of hoofing the ball to that lanky ponytailed cunt and intimidating de gea

  61. Watching the replay of the WH goal…what the heck was Vidic thinking

    There was ONE west ham player within 5 yards of him and he was ball watching…

  62. Our attitude is all wrong. Rooney thinks it is a stroll in the park. I beg all ofnyou to watch Evra closely. The French man seems to have forgotten henis in the team primarily to defend. Watch how many times he steams or tries to go past Kagawa while the ball is still in our own half.

    Why is Carroll not getting booked for that assault on our keeper?

  63. Calvino said:
    Our attitude is all wrong. Rooney thinks it is a stroll in the park. I beg all ofnyou to watch Evra closely. The French man seems to have forgotten henis in the team primarily to defend. Watch how many times he steams or tries to go past Kagawa while the ball is still in our own half.

    Why is Carroll not getting booked for that assault on our keeper?

    i’m sure the fa will want to look at that…
    …and do fuck all

  64. Anantax said:
    Watching the replay of the WH goal…what the heck was Vidic thinking

    There was ONE west ham player within 5 yards of him and he was ball watching…

    Watch Wayne Rooney that gave the ball away and see how he jogs back with no purpose at all.

  65. The Rooney of old would have been enraged, not laughing and joking.

    Fergie needs to grab him by the balls.

  66. What’s the city score anyway?

  67. Tommy said:
    What’s the city score anyway?

    0-0 HT

  68. Anantax said:
    0-0 HT

    Come on Wigan!

  69. sheesh said:
    The Rooney of old would have been enraged, not laughing and joking.

    Fergie needs to grab him by the balls.

    he will play a blinder 2nd half just watch

  70. That’s what happens when CBs end up in the opposition box. Fuck’s sake

  71. Vidic is keeping us in this with his headers

  72. If this carries on from Rooney he’s going to have to be subbed because he’s ruining our football

  73. Rooney again…losing his man waaaay to easily

  74. fuck off

  75. Time to turn it on, if we still have it

  76. Surely there must be subs

  77. So slow and bollockless

  78. Seriously…nights like these is the reason the Rooney rumors gain credence,

    Is he worth all the salaries paid to him based on tonights performance? No

    Again hoping he proves me wrong and scores a stunner….

  79. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Commenter said:
    SAF is doing the right thing by playing the same team that beat Stoke. Not to worry, another away win in the bag. Wigan will take care of City and get out of relegation.

    Oh ffs..get out!

  80. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    han said:
    he will play a blinder 2nd half just watch

    We’re watching you cunt

  81. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    That counter then was utd of old…van persie you cock!

  82. If we lose will Fergie nail Carroll, I hope so

    Great counter there, great ball in too but offside

  83. captainhormone said:
    We’re watching you cunt

    just wait for him

  84. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    I am

  85. I see Giggs warming up. Say it ain’t so

  86. Minus The Bear says:

    Time for some subs maybe? Give some of these cunts a wake up call…

  87. Rooney’s biggest contribution to the team these days is appealing for fucking free kicks

  88. han said:
    just wait for him

    You were saying…?

  89. Fucks sake… Giggs on. Our other sub will be Welbeck in the 82nd minute and Hernandez in the 89th

  90. Anantax said:
    You were saying…?

    wishful thinking

  91. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    One of Rooneys worst ever games.

  92. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Oh ffs giggs get on with it you cunt

  93. Fergie has O’shea’d Rooney. Discuss.

  94. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    One of Rooneys worst ever games.

    We’ve said that sentence a few times too many though this season….

  95. Here comes pea

  96. yesssssssssss rvpeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  97. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Kagawa and Welbeck have to start every game imo

  98. The fuck is in

  99. Kagawa’s play in tight areas is ace

  100. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Our

    Vee

    Pea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  101. Just realized its 2nd assist for Kagawa…

  102. Van Persie was well off

    But then Carroll shouldn’t even be on the pitch so fuck em

  103. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Giggs ffs

  104. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Lol rafa

    “Fuck off”

  105. City 1-0 Wigan

  106. Come on cuuuunts.

  107. Giggs has been predictably shit.

  108. A late winner, come on, or a Wigan goal ffs

  109. I told you the bottle job was on

  110. Hernandez, that was the chance

    Great ball from Giggs

  111. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Bottle job on

  112. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    Wank

  113. captainhormone said:
    Bottle job on

    The meltdown is on, like I said if we drew

    4 points from Stoke & West Ham away is about right

  114. Cunts

  115. So Villa at home next, City with Tottenham away

    So don’t get too hysterical just yet

  116. 13 points and they have a game in hand

    so 10 points

    Bottle job is completely, one hundred percent on

    There’s no spine, character, conviction in those players

    A bit of physical play and wah wah wah we can’t perform

  117. Not sure of bottle job….only 6 points needed. Might take us to last game of the season but surely even Rooney in current crap form can manage 6 points from 5 games…

  118. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    We’re going to bottle it. NQAT.

  119. 6 points required from 5 games
    rooney was piss poor to be fair but he can’t play that badly on monday against villa
    sweet pea needed to come on a lot earlier
    a point is not a disaster away especially after being 1-0 and 2-1 down
    kagawa should get a decent run hopefully now

  120. Ben Hulston said:
    13 points and they have a game in hand

    so 10 points

    Bottle job is completely, one hundred percent on

    There’s no spine, character, conviction in those players

    A bit of physical play and wah wah wah we can’t perform

    You are wind up merchant are you? City got a point here, Chelsea got beat. Only Arsenal and Spurs won here I think so what is your game?

  121. Tommy said:
    Giggs has been predictably shit.

    Why exactly was he offered another year? Goodness me!!!

  122. Ben Hulston said:
    13 points and they have a game in hand

    so 10 points

    Bottle job is completely, one hundred percent on

    There’s no spine, character, conviction in those players

    A bit of physical play and wah wah wah we can’t perform

    A bit of physical play and we got one win and a draw

  123. han said:
    6 points required from 5 games
    rooney was piss poor to be fair but he can’t play that badly on monday against villa
    sweet pea needed to come on a lot earlier
    a point is not a disaster away especially after being 1-0 and 2-1 down
    kagawa should get a decent run hopefully now

    Rooney should be dropped after that. You can’t reward him with a game, not when there are others players eager for a chance.

    Thinking about it the cunt has been dropped a lot in the last few years.

  124. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    De Gea is going to be phenomenal

    Carroll shouldn’t have been on the pitch.

    If we attack teams from the off instead of when we’re getting beat we destroy them, no question

  125. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    2 wins from 5 games, we can do that.

  126. “robust aerial challenge from Andy Carroll” is how the BBC described it

    So robust challenge and a poor challenge

  127. Auntymingefaceforcuntssake says:

    Yet another piss poor performance! I keep hearing this is the best squad we’ve ever had? It seems to me to another case of ‘say something often enough and it becomes the truth’, just like there are no United fans in Manchester and United are favoured by all referees

  128. Why take Kagawa off? Who else was going to create a winner? How can we play Jones at CM chasing a game. We can’t dominate possession with him there. Cleverley doesn’t do much, but he does help us dominate possession. Jones should only be in the middle if we set up to defend for 90 mins.

    Valencia looked better today. He’s been slowly improving over the last couple of weeks. Kagawa surely should get a chance at 10. Through all his bad form, Rooney gets played at 10, can’t remember the last time he was played on the wing, although I’d rather have Welbeck there right now.

  129. city made hard work of beating wigan but i can still see them winning their remaining games as the only tough match is next sunday
    we still have to go to the arse and have the rent boys at OT but ffs the bollocks being spouted on here about fucking things up is incredible

  130. 28 points recovered from losing positions is pretty phenomenal

  131. han said:
    city made hard work of beating wigan but i can still see them winning their remaining games as the only tough match is next sunday
    we still have to go to the arse and have the rent boys at OT but ffs the bollocks being spouted on here about fucking things up is incredible

    The pressure is off City
    It’s off the players too because it’s the manager who takes the flak and who’ll get sacked before they get shipped out

  132. The two West Ham goals had Rooney involved. Watch how he jogged back after losing possession for the first and the way Diame lost him for the second. Absolutely shocking. All game he did one excellent thing: the pinged pass to van Persie early in the second half. After that he was just getting in Kagawa’s way.

    I was surprised that Jones completed the match as we chased goals.

  133. sidney said:
    The pressure is off City

    It’s off the players too because it’s the manager who takes the flak and who gets sacked

    well they still played like tossers until tevcunt scored
    spurs have to play for 4th spot so it will be an interesting game on sunday

  134. Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini on Manchester United’s 13-point advantage: “If they hadn’t scored an offside goal it would be even fewer points.”
    hahaha
    so much for teams being scared to play us
    what a twat
    west ham should have been down to 10 men after that ponyshagging cunt smacked de gea

  135. Calvino said:
    Why exactly was he offered another year? Goodness me!!!

    I have to agree that Giggs was a pointless substitution when we were chasing the game

    sidney said:
    Rooney should be dropped after that. You can’t reward him with a game, not when there are others players eager for a chance.

    Thinking about it the cunt has been dropped a lot in the last few years.

    I think he’s lost that fire in the belly. He’s not half the player he used to be even though he’s popped up with goals this season. Goals can be replaced.

    I wonder if Fergie is considering selling him. If we were to get a semi-decent bid, I would imagine we should consider it.

    It’s a joke that we’re looking at him as a midfielder. Massive rebuilding job needed in the summer to ship out the dross and buy some hungry, quality players.

    Why haven’t we seen that determination that we saw in the last half hour throughout the season? The way we went for it made me wonder why we waste so much time messing about.

  136. We only get that determination when we’re behind (can’t say it was that noticeable this game though). Saw it plenty in the first half of the season. Saw it at the end of both Madrid games. Frustrating that we can’t keep it up for more than 25 mins though.

  137. sheesh said:
    I have to agree that Giggs was a pointless substitution when we were chasing the game
    I think he’s lost that fire in the belly. He’s not half the player he used to be even though he’s popped up with goals this season. Goals can be replaced.
    I wonder if Fergie is considering selling him. If we were to get a semi-decent bid, I would imagine we should consider it.
    It’s a joke that we’re looking at him as a midfielder. Massive rebuilding job needed in the summer to ship out the dross and buy some hungry, quality players.
    Why haven’t we seen that determination that we saw in the last half hour throughout the season? The way we went for it made me wonder why we waste so much time messing about.

    Fergie said after the Stoke game that Rooney needed freshening up, that’s why he played him in midfield. Give him something new to get to grips with.
    Today though, he was just awful. His good spells are getting shorter. He’s been dropped a few times in the last 2 seasons, and he’s simply sat out of some games. That’s perhaps the sign of a player who is on the slide. He’s been a pro for 10/11 years now, so it wouldn’t be a surprise.
    How much would we get for Rooney in this state though? Ed said £25m. Might not be far off.

  138. RobDiablo RobDiablo says:

    marlon said:
    Why take Kagawa off? Who else was going to create a winner? How can we play Jones at CM chasing a game…

    I thought for sure Giggs was coming on in place of Jones, who was alright in United’s half, but sometimes looked as if he no idea where to move to or what position to take up in the West Ham half. Jones should probably only play at CM if there is someone he is supposed to mark out the match.

  139. Fairly dismal performance, but I still think we’ll beat Villa (unspectacularly at home) and draw 0-0 with Arsenal. Think City will turn Spurs over though, so it would be nice to go into the Chelsea game with the title sewn up. May be worth playing Kagawa in position (behind Van Persie) for the next two games, we don’t have many who can genuinely play in tight areas.

  140. sidney said:
    A bit of physical play and we got one win and a draw

    Calvino said:
    You are wind up merchant are you? City got a point here, Chelsea got beat. Only Arsenal and Spurs won here I think so what is your game?

    I’m more concerned about when this is happening, and moreover, it follows the pattern of abysmal ballhooks we witnessed at the end of last season.

  141. I looked at our results before and after the 4-3 vs. Newcastle that changed our style of play. We dominated (ball more in opposition third than ours) 14 of 19 (league) games before the change. We’ve only dominated 3 of the 14 games since (vs. Wigan, Liverpool and Norwich).

    Part of that is personnel. In the 5 games we were dominated in the first half of the season, Scholes didn’t start 4 of them. He hasn’t been available since December. In the 14 games of the second half, we’ve had one of Jones, Giggs and Rooney play in 7 and been dominated every time. We’ve also dropped points in 3 of those 7 games (the only points we’ve dropped in 2013).

    So far, this change has improved our results. Our points % has improved marginally, from 80.7% to 83.3% (worth about 3 points over a full season) and our goal difference per game has improved from 1.05 to 1.43 (improvement of +14 over a season). It might be dull, but the football we are playing is more successful now than it was.

    I also looked at our goal difference when different CMs were playing (in GD/90 mins) over the whole season.

    Scholes 0.66
    Jones 0.64
    Giggs 0.58
    Anderson 1.59
    Cleverley 1.8

    Given Cleverley played most of his minutes when our GD/game was just 1.05 and he was trusted in most of the biggest games, his number is impressive. On the other hand Giggs, Scholes and Jones shouldn’t be playing at CM (although Jones has generally faced tough opposition when at CM).

    We just gon’t have the players to consistently dominate territory and play effectively. Scholes helps us dominate but costs us defensively. Cleverley (and to a greater extent Anderson) have consistency and injury issues that are unacceptable for a 1st choice player. Jones helps defensively, but is ineffective in possession and adds nothing going forward.

    The team is playing the only way it can. We don’t have the players to play better football.

  142. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    sidney said:
    Fergie said after the Stoke game that Rooney needed freshening up, that’s why he played him in midfield. Give him something new to get to grips with.

    Today though, he was just awful. His good spells are getting shorter. He’s been dropped a few times in the last 2 seasons, and he’s simply sat out of some games. That’s perhaps the sign of a player who is on the slide. He’s been a pro for 10/11 years now, so it wouldn’t be a surprise.

    How much would we get for Rooney in this state though? Ed said £25m. Might not be far off.

    It could be that he just needs a fresh start… I bet if we did sell him, another team would get quality from Rooney again.

  143. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadffs says:

    Tommy said:
    Fergie has O’shea’d Rooney. Discuss.

    no hes kevin davies’d him

  144. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    no hes kevin davies’d him

    Funny, that’s my opinion of Andy Carroll

  145. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadffs says:

    and why has no one told rio to stop hoofing up the line to no one in particular

    its like an endless tribute to oshea

  146. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    and why has no one told rio to stop hoofing up the line to no one in particular

    its like an endless tribute to oshea

    It’s because he used to be able to pass the ball – de Gea’s aim is better

  147. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadffs says:

    Pikey McScum said:
    Funny, that’s my opinion of Andy Carroll

    tbf im not gonna give rooney stick when we line up with him in midfield and jones seemingly playing in rooneys position, absolute shocker from taggart

    persie was shite an all

  148. uncleknobheadffs said:
    tbf im not gonna give rooney stick when we line up with him in midfield and jones seemingly playing in rooneys position, absolute shocker from taggart

    persie was shite an all

    Really? RVP started the good run (& nutmeg) that led to the 1st goal and scored the 2nd…

    Not back to the deadly form he was on, but how can that be shite?

    Rooney was absolutely shit except for one good pass

  149. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadffs says:

    offside goal yesterday and a pen against stoke

    look hes fucking great but hes been shite for about three months

    rooneys played about five different positions in that time yet hes the one who gets all the stick, was excellent against stoke and for some reason was playing deeper than jones against west ham

  150. uncleknobheadffs said:
    offside goal yesterday and a pen against stoke

    look hes fucking great but hes been shite for about three months

    rooneys played about five different positions in that time yet hes the one who gets all the stick, was excellent against stoke and for some reason was playing deeper than jones against west ham

    You keep making excuses for Rooney. He dropped deep to pick possession as he likes to do so Jones goes forward seeing that van Persie will be isolated otherwise. He was ok against Stoke. He has been horrible all season save two or three matches.

  151. Rooney’s lost his spark. His heart’s not in it. He was sloppy for both their goals and he just isn’t the player he was few years back. I’d sell now for 25-30 to PSG and be done with it.

    Kagawa has the potential to be the better footballer and is young. He also will look after himself in the long term. Fergie is currently ruining him.

    Nani and Anderson should go too, they both would benefit from a new start. Nani’s contract runs out next season so sell now or get nothing next year.

    Carrick holding with Strootman and Kagawa in front of him with Young/Valencia and Zaha wide is alot better than what we currently have.

  152. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    It could be that he just needs a fresh start… I bet if we did sell him, another team would get quality from Rooney again.

    He’s still a brilliant player (relative to some of the shite in our side) but he used to offer so much more than he does. He’d get even more stick if he wasn’t chipping in with goals.
    Rooney hasn’t bossed games the way he used to. I miss the man who was a mouthy prick to refs and had an attitude. He’s been too bloody soft this season. What was all that nonsense with Carroll yesterday? He should have hit the twat, not patted his arse. Maybe he does need a new challenge but he won’t be getting any better with age, I reckon.
    He still pisses me off with his occasional tendency to chip the ball. He did it once to David James and now he thinks he is messi.

  153. Bill said:

    Kagawa has the potential to be the better footballer and is young. He also will look after himself in the long term. Fergie is currently ruining him.

    One of the few players we’ve got that possesses any finesse.

    I really hope he lives up to his ability and potential but it’s not his fault he is surrounded by some very ordinary players.

  154. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    It could be that he just needs a fresh start… I bet if we did sell him, another team would get quality from Rooney again.

    I agree. Rooney could do with a complete change of scene to get out of bad habits (footballing and otherwise) and feel the need to prove himself on the pitch to a bunch of French, Spanish, or whoever fans that are going to judge him much more objectively.

  155. bman said:
    I agree. Rooney could do with a complete change of scene to get out of bad habits (footballing and otherwise) and feel the need to prove himself on the pitch to a bunch of French, Spanish, or whoever fans that are going to judge him much more objectively.

    Correct. And then everyone will go we should never have sold him. His most encouraging display was when he was in CM. As a forward he is an enigma. Not sure if he will be sold but you can see the case for it. Maybe a new manager could get more out of him.

  156. Maybe he is tired of been to utility player in the squad.

  157. He’s getting paid 250,000 a week – he should try being a professional for a change He plays 10/9 95 percent of the time.

  158. uncleknobheadffs said:
    offside goal yesterday and a pen against stoke

    look hes fucking great but hes been shite for about three months

    rooneys played about five different positions in that time yet hes the one who gets all the stick, was excellent against stoke and for some reason was playing deeper than jones against west ham

    The penalty was created by RVP as well…and even if it wasnt so what? As we can see from Rooney, who has a much spottier record from the penalty spot, penalties aint easy…

    Rooney played in different positions…yes that contributes and that isnt his fault. But throughout this season how many times has Rooney played well? Even in his natural position? The first derby vs City is one. What else? Maybe 2-3 other games?

    My point….RVP might have been awful for 3 months (although I would argue he’s coming back) but Rooney has been awful for the whole season with very rare bouts of brilliance once in a while

    I would love to see Rooney in Man Utd next season, hopefully in much better form. However, given cost benefit analysis, I wouldnt be devastated if he was sold, provided we use the money and salary space to buy 1-2 v good players

  159. Why not just play him at CM until the end of the season? He played well against Stoke there – maybe it’s what he needs. You get more space and time at CM than at 10, so when his touch is off, he won’t be punished so much. Kagawa is clearly much better under pressure in tight spaces and van Persie is a more clinical finisher.

    We need to figure out what kind of CM would best compliment Carrick. Rooney is the closest thing we could get to having Toure in there. We’ve seen him with Jones, who has tried to be a box-box presence and also added defensive cover. That makes us a bit predictable (like Real with Alonso and Khedira). Cleverley’s energy and movement compliment Carrick well, but he doesn’t bring enough to the table to go head to head with the best teams and there are some glaring holes in his game.

    If we’re just going to sell him, we should play him up front so he can pad his numbers.

  160. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:
  161. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Commenter said:
    Yes. I’d like to see Kagawa behind Van Persie

    Kinky

    brute

  162. Young is out for the rest of the season. Only 4 United players (excl. GKs) haven’t scored a goal this season: Young, Rio, Smalling and Jones. Vidic, Smalling, Powell and Fletcher are the only players not to have have an assist. Smalling is the only outfield player in the squad to have no goals or assists.

  163. Spudiator Spudiator says:

    marlon said:
    Young is out for the rest of the season. Only 4 United players (excl. GKs) haven’t scored a goal this season: Young, Rio, Smalling and Jones. Vidic, Smalling, Powell and Fletcher are the only players not to have have an assist. Smalling is the only outfield player in the squad to have no goals or assists.

    To be fair, Smalling’s been dogged by injuries this season and has hardly played. That Young hasn’t scored once this season is testament to his mediocrity.

  164. Wasn’t a knock on Smalling – just pointing out the depth of our scoring. A few CBs don’t have assists/goals. Powell/Fletcher have barely played, yet both have scored even if they don’t have assists. I doubt there’s another club in Europe where only one outfield player hasn’t scored or assisted.

  165. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Pikey McScum said:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/kevin-garside-wayne-rooney-could-certainly-have-a-future-at-manchester-united-but-not-on-his-terms-8579138.html

    I think that article is bollocks… I do think there is a problem with Ferguson, but by no means do I think Rooney is on the decline.

    Rooney has had one of his worst seasons by his standards, but it’s been interrupted by little injuries… and even though Ferguson himself claims Rooney needs to play regularily to be at his best, he’s consistanly pissed him about to accomodate weird tactics and formations.

    And still… as far as, goals/assists/MotMs, per game… Rooney is among the top 4 in the league.

    What would he have accomplished in a full season, properly managed and motivated???

  166. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    I think that article is bollocks… I do think there is a problem with Ferguson, but by no means do I think Rooney is on the decline.
    Rooney has had one of his worst seasons by his standards, but it’s been interrupted by little injuries… and even though Ferguson himself claims Rooney needs to play regularily to be at his best, he’s consistanly pissed him about to accomodate weird tactics and formations.
    And still… as far as, goals/assists/MotMs, per game… Rooney is among the top 4 in the league.
    What would he have accomplished in a full season, properly managed and motivated???

    Easy tiger.
    I merely provide the source, I didn’t write the fecking thing.
    You sexy whore x

    “Fuck that… there’s something about him, gets on my wick… weasly little cunt, needs a good slap”

  167. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    And I never mentioned you.

  168. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    And I never mentioned you.

  169. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    And still… as far as, goals/assists/MotMs, per game… Rooney is among the top 4 in the league.
    What would he have accomplished in a full season, properly managed and motivated???

    Was curious with this statement so ran the stats (EPL only)
    If we combine goals + assists then Alf is right, Rooney would be joint 3rd with Mata and Walcott, behind RVP and Suarez
    If we just do goals Rooney would be outside the top 10 with 12 goals, tied with Lampard, Cazorla and Dzeko, behind Lukaku and Berba
    From an assist standpoint he is also tied for 3rd with Gerrard, Podolski and Hazard
    From a motm perspctive he is outside the top 15 with 4 to his name, tied with Snodgrass, Jaskelainen, Verto ghen and Silva
    If we combine goals + assists + motm I think Rooney will be 6th just behind Cazorla
    So yes agree he is still a very importnt player. Would be interesting to see how it compares with previous seasons (too lazy to do)
    My question remains though:: in current form is he worth the salary? Is he worth the propsect of losing him for a free in 2 years?
    I would say barely yes he is worth it, butt thats with the hope of him regaining better form next season.

  170. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    You’re an accountant… aren’t you?

    Fuckin hell.

  171. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    You’re an accountant… aren’t you?

    Fuckin hell.

    Nope….

  172. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    By the way… did you notice, I said per game???
    United have played 33 games so far this year, and Rooney has played 0 minutes in 9 of them, and 45 minutes or less in 4 others… that’s close enough to say he’s missed a third of the season… A THIRD!
    You want to quibble and pedantify the fuck out of it, be my guest… but the simple math, over a full uninterrupted season would give Rooney stats of… 18 goals and 13 assists… probably minimum, concidering the perceived wisdom that he’s better when he plays every game.
    Not bad for a rubbish season.

    “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.”

  173. Goals or not, he’d still be lethargic and disinterested.

  174. Alfie leave it. Rooney is burnt out. He is very unprofessional and he looks like he has lost his mojo. If he needs to move to get it back then so be it. Stop looking for Stats to back him up needlessly. God knows I have defended him many times previously. Now he is just so annoying. And frustrating.

  175. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Cal… you want to use stats to defend Young, who’s been a complete waste of a shirt this year… but dismiss them when I show that Rooney, although admittedly not having one of his better seasons, has still contributed plenty…

    “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.”

  176. Sincerely, Rooney looks spent. He does. He will not get the fire back at United. His stats are helped by the fact that he plays for United in the PL. let us ignore the stats and watch how he rarely does the simple things. It was always going to happen.

    A move might rejuvenate him.

  177. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    It would certainly rejuvenate this board

  178. Pikey McScum Pikey McScum says:

    Lol

  179. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    By the way… did you notice, I said per game???

    United have played 33 games so far this year, and Rooney has played 0 minutes in 9 of them, and 45 minutes or less in 4 others… that’s close enough to say he’s missed a third of the season… A THIRD!

    You want to quibble and pedantify the fuck out of it, be my guest… but the simple math, over a full uninterrupted season would give Rooney stats of… 18 goals and 13 assists… probably minimum, concidering the perceived wisdom that he’s better when he plays every game.

    Not bad for a rubbish season.

    I assume this is directed at me, but if not I do apologize

    But if it is what the fuck are you on? Some angry pills?

    First of all I was providing stats that supported your statement that he’s one of the top players so I dont get the hostility….

    As for your “simple” math, Rooney has started 20 games and subbed into 4 games in epl. Thats quite similar to Podolski 21/7′, Tevez 23/5 and Cuellar 21 who all have more motm and similar to walcott 19/8 who has more assists, and more or similar to Ba, Lukaku, Dzeko and Lampard eho all has equal or better number of goals

    So yes, still supports the point that he’s a top all-rounded player as when you combine all the stats he’s definitely up there, although on individual stats he might be outside the top 4 or 5

    As for “pedantify” I simply use facts and figures to support a hypothesis. Fact-based analysis…..some might call it good practice

    I also never said he’s had a rubbish season. I simply wonder aloud whether this is as good as his past contributions (whcih I was too lazy to do) and I also wonder whether he is still worth his salary, and whether he is worth risking losing on a free in 2 years.

  180. 6 players in the PL with at least 20 goals and assists (combined):
    Player——-G+A——G+A/minute
    van Persie —-29——–92
    Suarez——-26——–110
    Bale———-20——-119
    Mata———21——–105
    Walcott——-21——–88
    Rooney——-21——–87

  181. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Anantax said:
    I assume this is directed at me, but if not I do apologize

    But if it is what the fuck are you on? Some angry pills?

    First of all I was providing stats that supported your statement that he’s one of the top players so I dont get the hostility….

    As for your “simple” math, Rooney has started 20 games and subbed into 4 games in epl. Thats quite similar to Podolski 21/7′, Tevez 23/5 and Cuellar 21 who all have more motm and similar to walcott 19/8 who has more assists, and more or similar to Ba, Lukaku, Dzeko and Lampard eho all has equal or better number of goals

    So yes, still supports the point that he’s a top all-rounded player as when you combine all the stats he’s definitely up there, although on individual stats he might be outside the top 4 or 5

    As for “pedantify” I simply use facts and figures to support a hypothesis. Fact-based analysis…..some might call it good practice

    I also never said he’s had a rubbish season. I simply wonder aloud whether this is as good as his past contributions (whcih I was too lazy to do) and I also wonder whether he is still worth his salary, and whether he is worth risking losing on a free in 2 years.

    Sorry Mate, I didn’t mean it to sound as hostile as it did… having said that, I do hate some of the fiddly little nit-picking statistical numptery, that some roll out to debate the difference between one or two percentage points… as if the one or two points really matter.

  182. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    marlon said:
    6 players in the PL with at least 20 goals and assists (combined):
    Player——-G+A——G+A/minute
    van Persie —-29——–92
    Suarez——-26——–110
    Bale———-20——-119
    Mata———21——–105
    Walcott——-21——–88
    Rooney——-21——–87

    You see… lol… this is what I’m talking about… ffs… that list puts Rooney out of context… if you were to calculate Rooneys stats, roughly giving him stats based on him playing 30+ games, you could assume he would have racked up over 30-G+A points… but that’s not the only issue… it does however suggest that, for a player having supposedly such a rubbish season… he’s still contributing right up there with the best.

  183. And so he should do on 250k a week! The issue with Rooney is not that he contributes, but is whether he contributes as much as someone who is on that money and the supposed best English player of his generation should. One would argue that he doesn’t. Really he should be pulling us through ties like Madrid – that is why he is paid the big bucks.
    In the background we have his questionable off the field habits, his request to leave a few years back and his poor attitude to looking after himself physically. His flawed mindset is driving this. He should learn from Ronaldo’s level of professionalism.
    He seems burned out and we might have seen the best of him as a striker. I’d play him in midfield where he can influence the game more, its not as if we are flush in AM. If not ship him off, we have enough strikers and Kagawa is a natural number 10. Use the money to address the midfield. The rest of the squad is very strong.

  184. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    You see… lol… this is what I’m talking about… ffs… that list puts Rooney out of context… if you were to calculate Rooneys stats, roughly giving him stats based on him playing 30+ games, you could assume he would have racked up over 30-G+A points… but that’s not the only issue… it does however suggest that, for a player having supposedly such a rubbish season… he’s still contributing right up there with the best.

    Look at the goals/assists per minute – that was the point of the table. He’s the most productive player on the list for the minutes he’s played. I was putting all of their stats in the context of the time they’d spent on the pitch – thought that was what you were getting at.

  185. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    marlon said:
    Look at the goals/assists per minute – that was the point of the table. He’s the most productive player on the list for the minutes he’s played. I was putting all of their stats in the context of the time they’d spent on the pitch – thought that was what you were getting at.

    Yep… your right… fuck sake… must have woke up with the hump, and didn’t know it.

    “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.”

  186. Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Sorry Mate, I didn’t mean it to sound as hostile as it did… having said that, I do hate some of the fiddly little nit-picking statistical numptery, that some roll out to debate the difference between one or two percentage points… as if the one or two points really matter.

    No worries mate

    To be totally honest, if your post hadnt prompted me to do the stats, I wouldntve thought Rooney was performing that well this season….so was pleasant surprise to see he was one of the top players…

  187. uncleknobheadffs said:
    offside goal yesterday and a pen against stoke

    Surely today was good enough for you unc?

  188. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadffs says:

    obviously, hes brilliant at football, ive never said otherwise

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