Reds welcome Swans to last chance saloon

Sir Alex Ferguson must pick up his battered troops for the weekend’s fixture with Swansea City at Old Trafford knowing that two victories in the next week may still not be enough to secure the Premier League title this season. Defeat to Manchester City at Eastlands last Monday means that the title race is no longer in United’s hands, with City’s superior goal difference a distinct advantage for the Blues with just two games remaining this season.

City play Newcastle United earlier in the day, meaning United’s players may well know the game is afoot before kicking off against Brendan Rodgers’ impressive Swans at Old Trafford. Either that or Ferguson’s side will be unexpectedly back in the race should Newcastle take points off City Sunday lunchtime.

United will only have one eye on St. James’ Park though, with the Reds surely needing to beat both Swansea and Sunderland to stand any chance of securing a 20th league title in just over a week’s time. Yet, there can be no conceit about United emerging victorious from those two matches, despite City manager Roberto Mancini branding the fixtures “easy”.

Indeed, United won a tight match 1-0 against Swansea in Wales last November, and Rodgers’ side has garnered significant acclaim over the season for the short passing style and attacking philosophy in a 3-4-3 formation. But away from the often patronising media coverage, Swansea has also comfortably retained its Premier League status despite the comparatively small budget.

Swansea can finish as high as eighth this season, although a fall-off in form over the past two months means that hopes of top-half conclusion of the season are now unlikely. Yet, there is enough talent in the Welsh side to believe the campaign is no one-off. In Gylfi Sigurdsson, Michel Vorm, and Joe Allen, Rodgers possesses three players that are likely to attract large bids from rivals this summer.

“The way Swansea have played this season has been admirable,” told MUTV Ferguson on Thursday.

“I went to see them last weekend. They want to play football. The manager has stuck by his principles and they’ve had a fantastic season. They look as if they are enjoying their game. They all want the ball and want to play.

“When you talk about how you pick manager of the year, there always has to be a consideration about the resources. Brendan Rodgers came out of the Championship and only brought two players in, Danny Graham from Watford and Gylfi Sigurdsson from Germany, and even that was not for a big financial outlay. He stuck by the players who got them into the Premier League and they have rewarded him.”

Meanwhile, Ferguson spent Friday complaining about City’s financial clout – once again raising the spectre of ‘value’ ahead of the transfer window. Claiming that United is after “two or three” new players this summer, the United coach admitted that City’s financial muscle is out of reach.

However, critics of the Glazer regime will point to Ferguson’s staunch support for a family that has sucked £525 million out of United in debt related payments over the past six years. It leaves Untied set to sign Shinji Kagawa the Japanese contract rebel from Borussia Dortmund, and out-of-contract Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne this summer. Whether Ferguson is given the funds to reach the top of the transfer market is highly debatable.

Manchester United versus Swansea City, Premier League, Old Trafford, 6 May 2012, 4pm.But the transfer market is for later this summer. In the short-term Ferguson will be without defender Jonny Evans and striker Danny Welbeck, in addition to long-term absentees, for the Swans’ visit. A rumoured dispute between the manager and Tom Cleverley, who was left out of United’s matchday squad for the loss at Eastlands, and Wayne Rooney’s apparent consternation with an apparent last-minute change of tactics for the derby, will also make for intrigue in the build-up to Sunday’s game.

Yet, there has been no admission from the United manager that he got both team selection and tactics incomprehensibly wrong against City on Monday. Instead, Ferguson this week blamed the players for United’s draw with Everton a fortnight ago, and the non-performance against City at Eastlands.

“It’s been quite muted and a quiet place to be,” admitted Ferguson of United’s training at Carrington this week.

“It’s to be expected when we lose a game like that. Our job is to get the players up for the game on Sunday because it’s such a big game for us. We have to analyse it [the derby] as it’s part of the game. Even when we win, it’s to see good and bad points and we’ve done all that.

“It’s over with. It’s not something we address with the players, it’s for the staff’s knowledge – myself, Mike [Phelan] and Rene [Meuelensteen]. It’s for our knowledge in terms of could we have done something different? At the end of the day, there were some fantastic footballers on that pitch and we didn’t do well enough.”

Whether that performance results in a change of personnel is open to question. Certainly Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are in contention for a recall, while Javier Hernandez is likely to replace Welbeck in attack. Ferguson must also decided whether to stick with the much criticised Chris Smalling as Rio Ferdinand’s defensive partner, and whether to recall Rafael da Silva at right-back for the ineffectual Phil Jones.

Meanwhile, Swansea manager Rodgers will be make a last-minute call on former United youth player Alan Tate who may return from a calf injury, with right-back Angel Rangel the only other injury concern. The 39-year-old Swans manager says that a strong season has given Swansea the confidence to play at Old Trafford, especially that other teams have already won at the self-styled ‘Theatre of Dreams’ this season.

“Probably over the years teams have gone to Old Trafford not believing they can win, and that’s part of the reason Manchester United’s home record is so good,” said the Swansea manager.

“They have won so many games there, and won many of them so well, that they have built that feeling up. But what’s important for us is that we play the game tomorrow. The surface will suit us — we will be able to pass the ball and open the game up. We have shown no fear at any stage of the season and I don’t expect that to change now. We have to look at teams like Blackburn and Athletic Bilbao who have won at United this season.”

Meanwhile, all eyes will turn to City versus Newcastle at St. James’ Park Sunday lunchtime – surely United’s last hope of retaining the Premier League title this season.

“Newcastle will be a hard game for City all right, but City have had six days to recover from the derby,” added Ferguson.

“Newcastle played on Wednesday night, then had to travel back from London. Losing the title on goal difference would be a nightmare, when you think of the game we lost 6-1 to City, with three goals conceded in the last three minutes. When you consider all the opportunities we get in games there’s no doubt we are frivolous at times.

“Then there was that crazy game against Everton, when we were absolutely stupid. Giving goals away like that is hard to take when you think of how long the season is and how much work we have put in over the months, but that’s what could cost us.”

‘Ifs and buts,’ critics might add of a United squad that is patently less talented than Ferguson’s greats of 1994, 1999 and 2008. Yet, with a lengthy injury record this season, and talent slowly sucked out of squad by United’s tight-fisted owners, Ferguson has done well to keep the Reds in contention at all.

By 6pm Sunday it will either be over, or the Reds will have one final chance this season.

Match Facts
Manchester United versus Swansea City, Premier League, Old Trafford, 6 May 2012, 4pm.

Potential Line-ups
United (4-4-1-1): De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Young; Rooney; Hernández. Subs from: Amos, Lindegaard, Rafael, Fabio, Nani, Cleverley, Pogba, Giggs, Berbatov, Owen.

Swansea: (3-4-3): Vorm; Williams, Caulker, Monk; Allen, Britton, Sigurdsson, Orlandi; Dyer, Graham, Sinclair. Subs from: Tremmel, Taylor, Tate, Rangel, Routledge, McEachran, Gower, Lita, Moore.

Match Stats

  • Swansea has won only once in the last six fixtures, and will be looking to deprive United the points the Reds need to remain in contention with City for the Premier League title;
  • Jones has been the toughest United defender to beat this season. Jones has won 92 per cent of all tackles he attempted, more than any other United player (discounting any players to have made fewer than 40 tackles this season);
  • Striker, Hernández, who is likely to start against Swansea, is United’s second highest goal scorer this season behind Rooney – 56 per cent of Hernández’s total shots have been on target this season, and he’s picked
    up ten goals in the process. Hernandez has scored with 43 per cent of shots on target this season;
  • Nani is currently top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for crosses completed this season – the winger has completed 133 cross this season in 28 appearances for United this season at five per game;
  • Swansea’s Ashley Williams has won 77 per cent of all tackles he’s attempted this season – the highest tackles won percentage of any Swansea player (who has attempted 50 tackles or more);
  • Sigurdsson has scored seven goals this season, and the young midfielder has some impressive stats in front of goal – Sigurdsson’s shots on target percentage of 68.4 per cent is higher than top goalscorer Danny Graham (58.4 per cent);
  • Scott Sinclair has completed 111 dribbles this season and is second behind Gareth Bale in the Index for dribbling;
  • Joe Allen has been crucial to Swansea’s success, having completed the most passes for Swansea this season at 813 – he’s 13th overall for passes completed this season.

Form
United: WWLWDL
Swansea: LLLWDD

Officials
Referee: Chris Foy (St. Helens)
Assistants: D Cann, R West
Fourth Official: M Clattenburg

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Comments

  1. DeadRevel says

    His comments on transfers sent a chill down my back. It really does sound like it’s going to be the same old story.
    I genuinely thought this summer they’d HAVE to stump up the cash.

    And what’s this about Cleverley…? Fucking hell.

  2. han says

    the cupboard is bare
    the gimps have sucked it dry
    it’s a plain miracle what SAF has achieved this season

  3. 19 and Counting says

    Commenter said:
    His comments on transfers sent a chill down my back. It really does sound like it’s going to be the same old story.
    I genuinely thought this summer they’d HAVE to stump up the cash.

    And what’s this about Cleverley…? Fucking hell.

    I thought exactly the same thing. Same old excuses every bloody year. Perhaps Fergie’s hands are tied but I’m bloody sick of hearing the same shyte hurled at supporters each summer.

    No, he’ll make 1 or 2 decent signings like he has in the last few seasons – maybe Kagawa and another player – and we’ll continue to rely on an aging squad and the same issues will arise. However, our luck will run out and we’ll get found out more often than this season as our aging players will break down and the younger players will not be able to cope. If Rooney, Vidic and Valencia aren’t fully fit and on form, we’re royally fooked.

  4. says

    Yep I can see us needing to lose Hargreaves, Fletcher, Scholes plus Giggs and Pogba before splashing out on a proven CM. In the meantime it will be value buys all over the pitch. A some stage teams are going to stop fearing us and we are going to be found out. Our poor home form points to that already happening.

  5. 19 and Counting says

    Bill said:
    Yep I can see us needing to lose Hargreaves, Fletcher, Scholes plus Giggs and Pogba before splashing out on a proven CM. In the meantime it will be value buys all over the pitch. A some stage teams are going to stop fearing us and we are going to be found out. Our poor home form points to that already happening.

    ‘value buys” = squad players

  6. Snoopcousins says

    Tiote has a bit of steel about him…we could do with him..

    Obviously a creative MF beside him would be needed too!

    • 19 and counting says

      I think you’ll see Tiote go to a big club this summer and I’d be pleased if he arrived at OT… along with hazard!

  7. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Commenter said:
    His comments on transfers sent a chill down my back. It really does sound like it’s going to be the same old story.
    I genuinely thought this summer they’d HAVE to stump up the cash.

    And what’s this about Cleverley…? Fucking hell.

    Right or wrong, Cleverly needs to learn his place… jumped up little cunt hasn’t done fuck all, to warrant questioning Fergusons management… a player like Giggs has earned the right to speak his mind… but even then, he’d better be in the right.

    • DeadRevel says

      You’re right of course, though Cleverley would have been perfect for that game. If he was left out altogether due to an argument, think about it…. he might have cost the team the title, just as leaving Rooney out against Newcastle might have cost us it.

      Strong management or putting his ego before the best interests of the club? We’ll never know.

  8. DamnedUnited says

    LOL, the Newcastle game won’t end with 22 men. How Webb got selected to referee the WC final, I’ll never know.

    • DeadRevel says

      City have been mediocre, any other tie of the season I’d be loving this game. But in some ways it just makes it worse.

      As they said on Rant Cast, it’s the fucking hope that kills you.

      City will either score early or late in this game. I just hope Newcastle have a Cisse equaliser up their sleeves.

  9. Twisted Blood says

    I’m with you on Tiote. Spunky in this game even though it looks as if he’s carrying an injury. How much for him you reckon?

  10. han says

    Commenter said:
    You’re right of course, though Cleverley would have been perfect for that game. If he was left out altogether due to an argument, think about it…. he might have cost the team the title, just as leaving Rooney out against Newcastle might have cost us it.

    Strong management or putting his ego before the best interests of the club? We’ll never know.

    don’t you mean blackburn at OT?
    1 things for sure, mancini doesn’t have an ego to consider after what he publicly stated about tevez first and then balotelli

  11. DamnedUnited says

    It should never have come to this anyway. It’s Liverpool’s tradition to hope some team beats United so that their record stays intact.

  12. 19 and counting says

    Any tiny bit of hope I’d now gone. Let’s hope we have a good summer and look forward to next year. What a shame!

    • DeadRevel says

      When that first goal went in, that’s exactly what I thought. Not that we’d just lost the title, just that he would be perfect for our midfield.

      Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Young, Rooney, Hernandez. Subs: Amos, Berbatov, Giggs, Park, Nani, Rafael Da Silva, Cleverley.

  13. DamnedUnited says

    Can United please make it a priority to sign players who can pass with both feet? I’m tired of watching every one of them shuffle over to their ‘stronger’ side when under pressure.

  14. han says

    Commenter said:
    What I would give to have a player like Yaya Toure!

    too right
    may be an out and out mercenery but gets the job done
    oh for a fucking oil rich bunch of camel stalkers to get rid of the gimps
    we cannot even dream of buying big this summer

  15. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    the way toure runs with it through cm, that’s what fat andershites meant to do

  16. han says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    the way toure runs with it through cm, that’s what fat andershites meant to do

    he does though
    in his fucking dreams after stuffing his face full of big macs and monster munch

  17. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    finishing within touching distance of a team of billionaires show we don’t need new players

  18. DeadRevel says

    We don’t need 9 today!

    Just 6 and then 5 against Sunderland – City will win 1-0 against battling QPR.

    I’m not even worried. That’s how much confidence I have in super sub Park ji-Sung to come on and grab a hattrick.

  19. Sidsidney says

    United XI:

    de Gea

    Jones
    Ferdinand
    Smalling
    Evra

    Valencia
    Carrick
    Scholes
    Young

    Rooney
    Hernandez

    Subs: Amos, Rafael, Cleverley, Giggs, Park, Nani, Berbatov.

    Jones starts again FFS

    • DeadRevel says

      I know. It’s time like this I honestly think Ferguson picks team just to go against common consensus.

      There is absolutely no possible reason to pick Jones over Rafael today. None. It’s fucking obscene.

      • 19 and counting says

        Yep it’s puzzling. But SAF has to take the blame with jones because he has played him every bloody place on the pitch except at CB – where he should be!

  20. han says

    Commenter said:
    We don’t need 9 today!

    Just 6 and then 5 against Sunderland – City will win 1-0 against battling QPR.

    I’m not even worried. That’s how much confidence I have in super sub Park ji-Sung to come on and grab a hattrick.

    i just wish i knew when you were kidding and when you are serious

  21. han says

    qpr to park the bus next week at city?
    1-0 cisse
    not the cisse i wanted to score today but i’ll take it this afternoon

    • DeadRevel says

      Exactly what I just said to my mate. “Wrong fucking Cisse.”

      They will park the bus, but I don’t see them parking it very well. Double yellow lines, smashed wing mirrors and the like.

  22. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    maybe my last post shouldve been in quotation marks so the above fuckwits could understand it better

  23. han says

    i expect swansea to test jones from the off in that case
    shame about jones – had shown such promise and then started believing the hype – since then, he has really been shown up for his lack of real experience
    1 for the future, but i’m pretty sure i said that about a whole sackful of players who didn’t make the grade long term

    • DeadRevel says

      I don’t think that’s fair on Jones… doesn’t seem the arrogant type to me. Probably just trying to live up to media-hype, as opposed to really believing it.

      The main difference between Untied and City is that their team is at its peak, ours isn’t. And who knows if and when we will again. We have great young players, but we are in danger of becoming the new Arsenal. In fact considering how we’ve bottled it this season, maybe we already are.

      This comment was not a joke.

  24. han says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    maybe my last post shouldve been in quotation marks so the above fuckwits could understand it better

    have to hand it to you
    you haven’t lost it thats for sure

  25. definitely not tommyTommy says

    Fuck city and fuck the title, give the fans something to feel good about for the last home game.

  26. han says

    Commenter said:
    I don’t think that’s fair on Jones… doesn’t seem the arrogant type to me. Probably just trying to live up to media-hype, as opposed to really believing it.

    The main difference between Untied and City is that their team is at its peak, ours isn’t. And who knows if and when we will again. We have great young players, but we are in danger of becoming the new Arsenal. In fact considering how we’ve bottled it this season, maybe we already are.

    This comment was not a joke.

    sorry if my posting was a bit harsh on him
    jones is not arrogant at all and appears quite likeable actually
    just the inexperience when asked to do more than his counterparts can

  27. Sidsidney says

    There he is, Gill, the cunt, sign a midfielder you cunt

    If I was sat near him that’s what I’d shout

  28. han says

    Tommy said:
    I was bein sarcastic

    Fuck it’s embarrassing how quiet OT is at times.

    aye brian’s relatives out singing OT again

  29. DamnedUnited says

    It’ll be hard to score 1, let alone 10. And OT would be a lot louder if we had a nice playing 11 who could play good football without falling over every few feet.

    It’s embarrassing how OT claps for even the smallest display of decent football like making a proper vertical pass for example.

  30. Sidsidney says

    Clear pen that, Young is fouled

    He didn’t get it because he cheated before

    And he dint ask for it cos Fergie would deck him

  31. han says

    Commenter said:
    Chicharito is a man bereft of confidence.

    hence why he shouldn’t start
    bring him on as a sub – he is so much better from the bench usually

  32. DeadRevel says

    Fucking hell.

    Should be 3-0 and we night be looking at a goal fest. Instead one fuck up after another. Would have been a penalty if not for Young’s previous diving.

    Come on United… at least give us something to be happy about.

    Han is right – Berba would have been much better than Han today. Perfect game for him this.

  33. han says

    Commenter said:
    Fucking hell.
    Should be 3-0 and we night be looking at a goal fest. Instead one fuck up after another. Would have been a penalty if not for Young’s previous diving.
    Come on United… at least give us something to be happy about.
    Han is right – Berba would have been much better than Han today. Perfect game for him this.

    don’t deadrevel, please don’t mention the bulgarian
    some fuckwits on here just despise him in a red shirt so much that they cannot see the truth of your post
    and i’m just a berba rimming bender so my opinion isn’t worth jack

  34. madmaxmadmax says

    we could have scored at least a couple more. Not just half chances just utterly rubbish finishing

  35. han says

    madmax said:
    we could have scored at least a couple more. Not just half chances just utterly rubbish finishing

    sweet pea pretty guilty on that count

  36. Violent Banana says

    Good response given the circumstances; shame it’s taken being 10 goals down to play with this intensity non?

    • DeadRevel says

      Absolutely.. been saying it all season. Whenever we’ve played with intensity we’ve played well. Whenever we haven’t, we’ve been shit.

  37. Sidsidney says

    Scholes doesn’t even celebrate his goal, or the Young one
    He just looks pissed off, fed up, depressed, slightly bitter… probably thinking about the Everton game
    I reckon he’s smashed some heads in the dressing room since then

  38. DeadRevel says

    We really should be 4 or 5 nil up by now. and then we might have an exciting end to the title on our hands… but more importantly a bit of pride. If we can make a fist of it in the last two games I’ll feel much better.

  39. DamnedUnited says

    If Jones is going to be played as RB, I hope they are giving him some crossing practice.

  40. han says

    we need some goals this half
    and no fannying around
    please take jones and sweet pea off
    raphael – who can cross better and berba on

  41. DamnedUnited says

    And this game shows why we’re down due to goal difference.

    Of course the 6-1 was effectively a 10 gd swing.

  42. han says

    so if our regular forwards can’t do the business, why keep berba on the bench against the lesser clubs; really doesnt make any sense

  43. DamnedUnited says

    Something’s gone wrong behind the scenes. Fergie seems to be losing his stranglehold over the players.

  44. han says

    Commenter said:
    Something’s gone wrong behind the scenes. Fergie seems to be losing his stranglehold over the players.

    if thats true, it’s the players at fault

    • DamnedUnited says

      Seems like they are blaming him for the team selection at City.

      TBF, he has come out an openly criticised his players. When was the last time he did that?

  45. han says

    madmax said:
    yep and we call city players mercenaries

    the game is more or less won
    a couple more goals would be a nice stat to have but it won’t make any difference
    we need qpr to do one for us

  46. madmaxmadmax says

    han said:
    the game is more or less won
    a couple more goals would be a nice stat to have but it won’t make any difference
    we need qpr to do one for us

    we are losing by goal difference and the players could at least make an effort to put just a bit more pressure. If we had won by 5 or 6 today it would certainly be in the back of the minds of the City players. We are definitely not going to win the league but we can atleast give them a fight. This meek bollockless surrender is shameful really.

  47. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    What a weird season!

    We’ll finish in the league where we deserve to, Newastle was our last hope BUT Fergie has done well with this current squad, he knows we’re not good enough but he can hardly come out and say it when the season is still live.

    This summer will show us where we are in terms of fire in our bellies! An what we want or could be a long wait till the 20th.

  48. DamnedUnited says

    LOL, QPR have won, so they’ll have something to play for next week. But they’ll get thrashed.

    • The Truth says

      On the contrary, QPR winning and Bolton dropping 2 points today means that QPR can go to the Etihad safe in the knowledge that even if they get spanked 6-0 (which they will) they will still be safe because the chances of Bolton winning at Stoke are virtually ZERO.

  49. han says

    oh ffs
    even if we had smacked them for 6,7,or 8, it would have been another week of getting hard ons thinking we can do it next week
    qpr are going to get buggered but it won’t matter cos bolton are fucked after the draw they got today and they will be the ones to go down irrespective of the arse pasting they will get next week
    the players know its gone, and theres little point in prolonging the doomsday scenerio, they didn’t even celebrate the goals
    we fucked ourselves after going 8 points clear and losing at wigan
    if we wanted to score goals today, you don’t start with hernandez and keep berbs on the bench for 90% of the games against the dregs of the division
    sending out a statement is just showing your bollocks after the event – it don’t matter a fuck

  50. sheesh says

    I really am sick of the lack of quality in the side. Huffed and puffed against a side whose fans came purely for a piss up.

    Fergie thinks he may only bring in 2 or 3 faces this summer. I fear that it will be an eternity before we win the league again. We don’t have the finances or wherewithal to do anything about it.

    • shauno says

      If we bring in 3 players in the summer I’d be delighted provided they are the right three. 3 midfield players and its all good again. As for some of the plastics on here, hang your heads in shame. I’m sure Damned United is a WUM. 4 league titles in 5 years and potentially only losing the title on goal difference this year to a club with limitless funds and a half a billion spending spree. I appreciate we have thrown this title away and thats frustrating but the absolute crap people are spouting on here is ridiculous. You can hark on about tactical selections all day long bottom line the players sent out at Wigan and Everton should have won. Thats were the league was lost. End of. Hopefully we will remain injury free for most of the season one year. My only concern with United is the FUCKING GLAZERS! Thats are only clear definable problem. Fuck City they are as likely to dominate long term as Chelsea are. Takes more than money, We will compete and win it back providing we get 3 class players next season.

      • DeadRevel says

        Unfortunately Ferguson has been talking about ‘youth’ again.

        I agree to an extent – the 3 RIGHT players this summer and we will be joint favourites for the title next season.
        People have forgotten the quality of football we played at the start of this season. The ingredients are already here, but Ferguson needs to make sure it’s not a recipe for a Shit Sandwich.

        Gk – sorted
        RB – sorted
        LB – SIGNING 1
        CB – sorted
        LW – sorted
        RW – sorted
        DM – SIGNING 2
        AM – SIGNING 3
        ST – sorted

        that’s what we need in my opinion, as long as Vidic is still a beast. No need for a Galactico overhaul, just more potency in midfield and cover / replacement for Evra.

      • DamnedUnited says

        lol @ WUM. For saying what exactly?

        I guess I’m so good I wound you up without even trying.

  51. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    rooneys not happy

    Probably down to his shite recent form….. Or he’s noticed his hair transplant was a waste of 10K!

  52. han says

    SAF bigging up hughesy post match for next weekend
    tbh he doesn’t look at all pissed off and looks in a good mood – maybe he knows something we don’t

  53. han says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    our football is shite, we have zero ideas other than crosses

    if its ideas we lacked this season, we should have tried playing berba in midfield – its not as crazy as it sounds and i have advocated that idea a few months ago only to be slagged off

  54. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    well I’ve already said I agree berbashite shouldve played more against the riff raff, today and the home wins v fulham and qpr weren’t good enough

  55. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    he put clev through late in the game for a chance that’s showed the two things we’ve lacked, cm runners and attacking creativity

  56. vlad says

    talking about cycles, looks like our cycle is exactly 8 years long.
    Do you see the pattern?

    1999-title-2007
    2000-title-2008
    2001-title-2009
    2002-no-2010
    2003-title-2011
    2004-no-2012 (?)
    2005-no
    2006-no

    2004-2006 period was Chelsea dominance, and it took Ronnie’s genius to interrupt it.
    Looks like we might face a couple of Citeh years.

    But this time even SAF is calm and seems to accept it.
    Did SAF finally decide to go?

  57. han says

    well its a bit too late even for him i guess
    no creativity with the team we had on the pitch in most of the games this season and yet our most technically gifted player was left to rot on the sidelines
    absolute travesty – how much worse could he have been playing in the middle than jones or fat fuckwit anderson?
    SAF really got that fucked up big time

  58. Sidsidney says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    our football is shite, we have zero ideas other than crosses

    We put in 50 crosses today, most of them aimless hoofs

    I can see why we’re in for a playmaker like Kagawa

  59. bman says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    our football is shite, we have zero ideas other than crosses

    Even worse than that, nearly all of our crosses come from the right side because we’ve no proper left-winger. We’re so fucking predictable as a side it’s depressing.

  60. Ichiro says

    I have to say Scholesys goal today was utter awesomeness what a fucking legend no celebration just flicked it in and get on with it.

  61. Stevie D says

    Dear me, a lot of you reds have been spoiled by Fergie!
    Now that the league is over, lets just accept the fact that City have been head and shoulders above us. We can’t win the league every year, and lets not pretend like the scousers that we have a divine right to win it every year.

    It’s a bloody miracle we’re anywhere near City. And by miracle, I mean Fergie. Of course the African Cup of Nations helped too, when Toure buggered off after Christmas and The Bitters stumbled.

    Fergie will be well aware of our shortcomings, and he’ll fix them if he has the resources. If he doesn’t have the resources, well lets just hope that we have a fully fit squad for 100% of next season!!

  62. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Commenter said:
    Dear me, a lot of you reds have been spoiled by Fergie!
    Now that the league is over, lets just accept the fact that City have been head and shoulders above us. We can’t win the league every year, and lets not pretend like the scousers that we have a divine right to win it every year.

    It’s a bloody miracle we’re anywhere near City. And by miracle, I mean Fergie. Of course the African Cup of Nations helped too, when Toure buggered off after Christmas and The Bitters stumbled.

    Fergie will be well aware of our shortcomings, and he’ll fix them if he has the resources. If he doesn’t have the resources, well lets just hope that we have a fully fit squad for 100% of next season!!

    Yep…

    However… if we don’t spend some proper money this year, bringing in proper talent to address our obvious weaknesses… and Ferguson still comes out with the same old bullshit, to defend the Glazers reluctance to support the team… then he can fuck off as well… because I’ve had enough.

    I can take losing to the better team… and I’ve got the necessary patience to ride out periods of transition… but the football we’ve been playing because Ferguson has to find ways of getting results with a team of sub-United standard players is frustrating enough… but knowing the cause of our inability to compete financially, is down to the Glazers pissing away our profits year after year, is making me sick of the whole fuckin football experience…

  63. sheesh says

    Here’s something I don’t understand. We sold John O’Shea, a player who could play right back, left back and centre midfield (in an absolute crisis scenario) to Sunderland for an undisclosed fee (although £4.5 million is the figure stated on transferleague.co.uk). In the same transfer window, we signed Phil Jones for £17 million.
    We played Jones as a right back today and the crowd were getting pissed off because he cannot cross the ball.
    As much as the Glazers are scummy bastards, can someone explain to me what Fergie was thinking?
    Surely you keep the more experienced O’Shea and use the £17 million either for a specialist defender or midfielder? Nobody can convince me that Jones is a better utility man (if that’s what we signed him for) than O’Shea. If he’s not a utility man, why are we playing Jones in every position bar goalkeeper and centre forward? It’s this sort of thing which makes me question the manager.

    • 19 and Counting says

      Yep couldn’t agree more. We have not spent well imo and SAF seems to have lost it at times with the team selection. Havign said that, we’re still tied with billionaire City at the top of the league.

    • Stevie D says

      Phil Jones will be top class centre half. The Pile made a move for him last summer, which probably forced Fergie’s hand on the issue. Perhaps Fergie feels he is not ready to play centre half yet due to a lack of experience, so he’s letting him get some experience at right back where he might get away with more.
      I thought Jones looked immense early in the season. He faltered a bit after Christmas, possibly because he is only 19, and when the reality of playing at a huge club like United kicked in. He’ll be a legend in years to come.
      As for Sheasy, I was sorry to see him go. He’s a great squad player for all the reasons you mentioned.

  64. kramer says

    sheesh said:
    Here’s something I don’t understand. We sold John O’Shea, a player who could play right back, left back and centre midfield (in an absolute crisis scenario) to Sunderland for an undisclosed fee (although £4.5 million is the figure stated on transferleague.co.uk). In the same transfer window, we signed Phil Jones for £17 million.

    We played Jones as a right back today and the crowd were getting pissed off because he cannot cross the ball.

    As much as the Glazers are scummy bastards, can someone explain to me what Fergie was thinking?

    Surely you keep the more experienced O’Shea and use the £17 million either for a specialist defender or midfielder? Nobody can convince me that Jones is a better utility man (if that’s what we signed him for) than O’Shea. If he’s not a utility man, why are we playing Jones in every position bar goalkeeper and centre forward? It’s this sort of thing which makes me question the manager.

    completely agree. i’m getting the o’shea vibe from jones as well. the kid is clearly talented, and he needs to be allowed to develop in his best position – centre back. it hurts my brain when i try to understand the idea of leaving out a proper right back, and playing a centre back out of position, but fergie’s been pulling this shit for years.

    also completely agree about crosses from the wing being our ONLY attacking option. its like watching a slightly more refined version of stoke. today at least carrick was pushing on and trying to create something from the middle, and cleverley is naturally good at that. didn’t help that rooney was shit and hernandez couldn’t finish to save his life.

    gah, its been a good attempt at a title challenge considering how far behind city we were earlier this season, but seeing us drop an 8 point lead with 6 games to go is a kick in the balls.

  65. 19 and Counting says

    kramer said:
    completely agree. i’m getting the o’shea vibe from jones as well. the kid is clearly talented, and he needs to be allowed to develop in his best position – centre back. it hurts my brain when i try to understand the idea of leaving out a proper right back, and playing a centre back out of position, but fergie’s been pulling this shit for years.

    also completely agree about crosses from the wing being our ONLY attacking option. its like watching a slightly more refined version of stoke. today at least carrick was pushing on and trying to create something from the middle, and cleverley is naturally good at that. didn’t help that rooney was shit and hernandez couldn’t finish to save his life.

    gah, its been a good attempt at a title challenge considering how far behind city we were earlier this season, but seeing us drop an 8 point lead with 6 games to go is a kick in the balls.

    It’s great to have such talented wingers like Valencia, Nani and AY. But when that option doesn’t work we don’t seem to have a plan B. We are lacking that world class playmaker in central MF who an open up defences with runs or passes or that powerful leader who can dominate possession and dictate play. To be honest, we really, really need to find and sign those 2 players this summer. But are they available and do we have the funds? I think we know the answer.

  66. says

    sheesh said:
    Here’s something I don’t understand. We sold John O’Shea, a player who could play right back, left back and centre midfield (in an absolute crisis scenario) to Sunderland for an undisclosed fee (although £4.5 million is the figure stated on transferleague.co.uk). In the same transfer window, we signed Phil Jones for £17 million.

    We played Jones as a right back today and the crowd were getting pissed off because he cannot cross the ball.

    As much as the Glazers are scummy bastards, can someone explain to me what Fergie was thinking?

    Surely you keep the more experienced O’Shea and use the £17 million either for a specialist defender or midfielder? Nobody can convince me that Jones is a better utility man (if that’s what we signed him for) than O’Shea. If he’s not a utility man, why are we playing Jones in every position bar goalkeeper and centre forward? It’s this sort of thing which makes me question the manager.

  67. sheesh says

    FWIW, I think we have missed O’Shea. Even for such an average player, he is a far better defender than any of our full-backs (with the exception of Smalling who can play at right back but is a centre back) and that’s a depressing thought in itself. An appalling error of judgment by the manager.

  68. says

    According to transfermarkt.co.uk recent sales:

    John O’Shea Sunderland 3.960.000 £
    Gabriel Obertan Newcastle 2.992.000 £
    Mame Diouf Hannover 96 1.584.000 £
    Wes Brown Sunderland 1.320.000 £
    Ravel Morrison West Ham 690.800 £
    Darron Gibson Everton 528.000 £

    If you want value in the market here it is! Internationals who’ve won multiple league titles and played in the UEFACL for discount prices!

  69. Abba says

    What i think saf should do is mould big jones into a def midfield get a left back a kagawa or hazzard in midfield or both if possible and finally a good striker after owen and berbs are out anderson should be tested 4 another year

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