Four games, seven points, one title



‘The title is ours’, not exactly Sir Alex Ferguson’s words after Manchester United beat Everton 1-0 on Saturday at Old Trafford but they could well have been. United’s late late victory, not for the first time in a season that has rarely sparkled yet promises to bring more silverware, brings the Reds to within just seven points of claiming the Premier League. Or in other words, with games against relegation threatened Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool to come, United can probably win one and lose one of upcoming fixtures with title-rivals Arsenal and Chelsea in the next fortnight.

Ferguson’s position is understandably bullish after Javier Hernández 81st minute strike on Saturday. It was the Mexican’s 19th goal of a campaign that is increasingly defined by the 22-year-old’s performances.

“Games are running out for our rivals and we’re up for it,” said Ferguson after Saturday’s victory over Everton.

“I enjoy this critical stage of a season when we are involved in big games that come thick and fast and I think we will be OK. The thing that puzzles me is they [the media] keep saying Arsenal and Chelsea have got to play us still, like we’re going to lose to them but why shouldn’t we win those games? Why can’t we go to the Emirates Stadium and win, as we have done previously?

“As I said to the players, forget all that nonsense. Just try to win your games and you’ll be all right, keep your heads and don’t get carried away.”

Indeed, yesterday’s laboured win over in-form Everton should remind Ferguson’s players – as if any prompting is really needed – that points and not performances is what counts come April and May. It is a lesson so rarely learned at the Emirates. After all, despite United’s dominance against Everton there would be no Arsenal-style sympathy had United thrown away the points.

Not so against David Moyes’ spirited outfit. Much as is United’s type this season, the Reds continued to probe for openings, patient in the knowledge that chances would eventually come. More than 60 per cent possession and 16 chances created against Everton, who had not lost in seven matches, attest to that. Other United sides have demonstrated more talent; few have shown more character. It is a trait for which Ferguson can taken much praise.

“There is that winning attitude about them,” added the 69-year-old Scot.

“We will keep our heads down and not get carried away. There are only four games left and the way they are going about their business and the effort they have shown, it gives them an outstanding chance of being champions. You can test people’s character but they keep coming through.

“We had some great openings and could have had this match finished by half-time but it is in the traditions of Manchester United that we don’t do that. We always wait until the very end and keep everyone high on the edge of their seats but we get there.”

On Hernández Ferguson rightly praised the role the sprightly Mexican has played this season. Buy of the summer? Buy of the decade more like. For all the Scot’s disingenuous talk of the transfer market’s lack of value, deliberately hiding as it does the Glazer family’s financial agenda, Hernández has proven a genuine bargain.

“Javier has done better than everyone expected,” added Ferguson.

“We thought that because it was his first year, he would just get used to the English game and get strengthened up. He has passed all those tests. He is first in at nine o’clock every morning and he is the last to leave. He is a truly dedicated boy.”

After all, Hernández has not only scored late goals for United but winning goals. This is no kid, brought on with 10 to play in a dead rubber, that is helping himself to easy pickings. In his first campaign with the club, United would not be in position to win the title without Hernández.

Meanwhile, Hernández is genuinely humble in his achievements, preferring to enthuse the team ethic and not his own contribution that should have brought a PFA Young Player of the Year Award.

“Of course it’s a dream come true, this season,” said the former Chivas striker.

“If we win the Premier League, that’s an unbelievable thing. If I could swap all the goals for us to win the league then I would do it. We know we are almost there, but we can’t afford to think like we’ve already won it. We go day by day, week by week.

“I’m very happy, but I’m happier because we got the three points. Here at Manchester United we need to win every game and it doesn’t matter who scores.”

In that there is a false modesty of course. Hernández’ goals have taken United to within a whisker of glory. Grab more than a point over the next two matches and United supporters worldwide can start to celebrate.

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  • Steve

    Can’t pretend otherwise but when I saw Anderson and Gibson start the game I wasn’t happy. And neither of them exactly set the world on fire. But as you say points are the name of the game right now.

    Positives of the day were Rooney and Hernandez and it is always good to see Fabio getting a game. Would love to beat Chelsea to win it

  • Liam

    Have to say that SAF has pulled a masterstroke with the purchase of Hernandez, he’s been invaluable to the cause and a real team player who seems genuinely delighted to be playing in the red shirt. On the subject of gibson, for his want of trying he’s just not united quality and even his shooting is not what it was. Looked great in the reserves and deserved his chance but is too one dimensional to anchor what needs to be a world class midfield. Hope SAF gets 20-30 million to try get Sneider in the summer. I think with him and of course a good goalie we’ll be ok for next season

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  • bruce thomas

    Gibson and Evans not up to it. Time to move them on.

  • Victor

    The last time such an article was written (9 games to win a treble, something like that) we lost to City.

  • Victor

    Oh, and thanks for saying “United supporters WORLDWIDE”.

  • Bill

    Yep isn’t it just ironic that just as Ole Gunnar leaves the club we discover his modern day clone. So similar in the way he has excelled expectation in his first season, his attitude and most importantly, his ability to put the ball in the back of the net. Class!!!

    Smalling has done really well too. Personally I’d like us to sign Jack Rodwell as could well be the midfield equivalent with his excellent physical attributes, balance and potential. If we sell Gibson in the summer, Hargreaves leaves and Scholes retires, an additional of Rodwell and Sneijder the squad will be a major upgrade.

  • Spudiator

    That’s not ironic, there’s nothing remotely ironic about it.

  • squigels

    I’ve never being overly impressed by Rodwell. I think he has being stagnant the last 18 months. I am not convinced that he does much with the ball once he has it. He seems to have many bouts of poor confusion and he hasn’t come on like people thought he would.

  • herbie simms

    The title is not won yet, Chelsea are still in it and are presently in good form with Torres finally scoring his first goal. Any slip-ups by United will put Chelsea back in a good position to retain the title. A win against Arsenal will just about rap it up but playing against two relegation threatened teams, Blackpool and Blackburn could also present a big challenge, especially away from home.

  • ltel

    squigels said:
    I’ve never being overly impressed by Rodwell. I think he has being stagnant the last 18 months. I am not convinced that he does much with the ball once he has it. He seems to have many bouts of poor confusion and he hasn’t come on like people thought he would.

    huddlestone is as good as him. and i like tiote from newcastle too

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Blog Commenter said:
    Yep isn’t it just ironic that just as Ole Gunnar leaves the club we discover his modern day clone. So similar in the way he has excelled expectation in his first season, his attitude and most importantly, his ability to put the ball in the back of the net. Class!!!

    I don’t like the Ole comparisons… yeah they’re both good goal scorers… but Ole was so much more than that.
    Chico’s been with us one season, and done well… but he’s got a lot more to prove to United, to be mentioned in the same sentence with Ole.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBrFlDpQudY

    “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.”

  • ltel

    you love that vid alfy

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Ironic was prob the wrong word then!

    Smalling wasn’t that great at Fulham but look how he’s played here. Rodwell has plenty of first team experience, Smalling played not much more than 10 games for Fulham and wasn’t even first choice. Rodwell is a year younger and has had 60+ first team games in a better side. They are in the same Eng U21 side.

    OUT:

    Gibson sold, Scholes retired, Hargreaves released

    IN:

    Sneijder, Rodwell, Cleverley

    • Victor

      I think the word he was looking for was ‘providence’ or a ‘sign of providence’.

  • han

    gibson should be put down

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    ltel said:
    you love that vid alfy

    I do.

  • sidney

    ltel said:
    huddlestone is as good as him. and i like tiote from newcastle too

    I like huddlestone; he puts himself about a lot, but also has a beautiful right foot, a great range of passing and is capable of scoring belters

    What about this for a pass

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-Ezcr8ba74

  • kramer

    he’s a fat cunt

  • Ashish

    Chico has been absolutely phenomenal this season.

    Hats off to you and your performances this season.

    We are surely going to be winning the league from this position as it is not a question of “if we are going to” but a matter of “when are we going to”.

    This season has been very strange for many reasons.
    - United’s ability to get results despite tepid performances.
    - Arsenal fucking things up royally from a hugely advantageous position.Seriously,had Chelsea been in their position then theres every chance that United wouldn’t be sitting at the top right now.

    There are other reasons aswell but these 2 stand out.

  • ltel

    kramer said:
    he’s a fat cunt

    so is rooney

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Huddlestone is a not bad player but he is prone to giving the ball away like Carrick. Not a good attribute if you are a defensive midfielder!! And he plays for Spurs. Leave well alone I think!

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    ltel said:
    huddlestone is as good as him. and i like tiote from newcastle too

    Huddlestone for me has no equal in the PL in terms of range of passing. I first set eyes on him when he played for Derby as a 16 year old and I could not believe the technique on him. If only he was more athletic and he would have been the perfect modern day footballer. He strikes the ball so sweetly it is unreal and with either foot. That goal against Arsenal the other day was just unreal. No backlift and yet as true a strike as you will ever want to see. fantastic talent. I like Tiote too but the man for us is Sandro. He has Tiote’s tenacity, a bit of Big Tom’s passing but he is more athletic than both of them and can play at high tempo. Something these two do not seem to have.

    I just believe that if we win at the Emirates on Sunday Chelsea will just give up psychologically. That Emirates game is their biggest hope. We have to take that hope away from them.

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    I just doubt that Fergie would bring Tiote, Huddlestone or Sandro as he will consider Carrick to be at least their equals. Rodwell might be an option as he is young, can play various positions and Fergie might help out Moyes.

  • ltel

    carrick is not the same type of player.when carricks passing is off as it has been he offers fuck all else.he is just used to cover space on the pich.

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Both are holding midfielders who distribute the ball with short to midrange passing, but rarely get into the 18 yard box. Neither’s strong point is tackling. I would expect their heatmaps to be similar.

  • ltel

    ahh fuck heat maps and stats, they just fool peope, just because he gets himself in the same position on the field doesnt mean he does the same job
    carick cant tackle, break up play, mark a player, his tracking back is terible. no leadership qualitys and cant take a game by the bollocks and drive us forward, ths is what we are missing in the middle of park and carrick ticks very few of the boxes

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Huddlestone isn’t renowned for his tackling, break up play, marking, backtracking, leadership qualities and forward play either.
    If you matched them up Huddlestone might be slightly better, but he’s never won a trophy apart from the Carling Cup and you don’t know how he will stand up to playing in a red shirt. The last 2 signings from Spurs have flattered to device.
    Unless you are going to buy someone who is late teens/early 20s for potential (ie Rodwell), any central midfield purchases have to be clearly better than what we have. Huddlestone isn’t. We have enough midfielders who are 6 or 7/10.

  • ltel

    hudd has only turned 24 i think, im not saying he is the answer im just pointing out the many options we have and that i think hud is as good as rodwell. tiote mvila de rossi poli are all options

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Yep he’s 24, a good player and should be on our radar but I think Rodwell would be a better long term bet, and a more likely signing. Going to be a very interesting summer even if if we only sign 2/3 as there should be several leaving too.

  • ltel

    im not sure about rodwell yet, hot and cold and i have watched him quite a few times.
    we need at least one established player in mf. a fucking nucear bomb of player, then buy a few younger players as we have been doing

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Yep I think Rodwell would be a long term bet, and not an immediate starter. He can play at the back and in a variety of central midfield roles.

    We need to ship out Gibson, release Hargo and with Scholes retiring bring in Sneijder and Rodwell. Do that we will move closer to another European Cup. At the moment the central midfield just isn’t good enough to do that.

  • ltel

    i think we need the essien type player in

  • http://www.sourceofgravity.com Bill

    Do you think Anderson could be that kind of player?

  • ltel

    i dont think so. ando should lose the weight and be used further up the pitch
    its a difficult question. im not sure what andersons position is, when he came to us he ws a left footed atacking player.. what is he now?

  • sidney

    The problem with Anderson is simple

    We signed an attack minded forward who likes to dribble and score goals – a role which there is no call for in England

    So we sat him in front of the defence with the idea of becoming a box to box midfielder

    And he can’t speak English, so it’s gonna take fucking ages

  • Czuk

    Anderson is disappointing, i can’t help but think he should be moved on to a continental club… where he’ll do really well and make selling him look like a mistake. He was a great prospect in his first season when he had Gerrard and Fabregas in his back pocket.
    but now he’s like a less extreme version of Forlan.

    Huddlestone would cost as much as Sneijder i bet, courtesy of him playing for Spurs and being English.

  • bman

    You keep hearing about Brazilian coaches saying Anderson is some great attacking player, Fergie’s using him wrong, new Ronaldinho etc. but regardless of anything else Ando does right or does wrong, nobody can deny that at United he’s shown time and again that he can’t shoot for shit, so how attacking can he be?

    The sense I’ve always got reading between the lines is that Ando consistently impresses in training, shows bags of talent, and that Fergie thinks it’s only his own psychology/mentality holding him back. If Fergie extended his deal, he probably thinks that Anderson is now getting his head right, and that the football will follow. There’s nobody I trust to judge a player’s mentality more than Fergie. A similar thing happened with Nani. It’s worth remembering that these lads are far from home at a very young age, having money, fame, and girls thrown at them, and often don’t come from the most stable backgrounds. Imagine Rooney playing at in Brazil at age 18, he’d have lost the plot altogether.

  • ghost

    so gibson’s twitter account was canceled just after 2 hours. he couldn’t take the abuse from some fans.

  • captainhormone

    ffs….we need 3 world class midfieders not 2

    ffs

    gibson needs to go to a club like Sunderland or Everton…top player there…like a cahill or arteta

  • captainhormone

    fuck huddlestone, adam etc too

    we are better than that

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    captainhormone said:
    fuck huddlestone, adam etc too

    we are better than that

    We used to be… not sure anymore.

  • herbie simms

    Will Sweet Pea be sold to Real Madrid for 50 million?
    Mourinho has put in a 50 million pound bid which will surely tempt the Glazers because they need the money. Rooney was the first one to respond to this rumor and he was very upset about it. Sweet Pea responded by saying he is very happy at United but he will go wherever he is sent. Interesting!

  • kramer

    where the fuck do you come up with this shit herbie? at least post a fucking link

  • bman

    He always does that, it’s weird.

  • captainhormone

    http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s6i94891

    basically Herbie is a fucking knob

    Herbie, the clue is in the title of the website you cock!

  • Spike

    Aye, but if sweet pea scores more next season….

  • Just1n

    Theres no value

  • herbie simms

    You are going to be in for a lot of surprises this summer and rememder I told you so. And its beginning to look like Berbatov will move on. If so, I hope SAF signs Neymar before Chelsea grabs him, if not the HULK from Porto.

  • captainhormone

    herbie, i will suck your cock if you are right…if not you are gonna get raped bitch

  • squigels

    No lose for you Hormone. you deviant. If I had a choice I would actually prefer Ganso from Santos, Neymar is an amazing talent but only one of a number at Santos. Ganso is in his own right a serious talent and what we need.

  • herbie simms

    Captainhormone,I don’t want to lose Sweet Pea but I don’t trust those Glazers. When these big clubs start flashing 50 million plus for United players, I’m sure those Glazers are smiling all the way to the bank. In the Spanish news, it claims that Jesus Escobar,accountant at Real Madrid has put together a 50 million pound package to tempt the Glazers to sell Hernandez. As for Berbatov, he refuses to sign his new contract which means he maybe on his way out. It has also been reported that he is not happy to be left out of the squad and being replaced by Hernandez, as he is the leading goalscorer at the club.

  • captainhormone

    yeah, but herbie, they picked up the story from the spoof site….

    being hispanic i know this

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Herbie… any dick head who claims Real are offering United £50mill for a player based on one good season…

    … is full of shit… and even YOU should know better…

  • http://www.visual-intrusion.com Robbo

    Blog Commenter said:
    Captainhormone,I don’t want to lose Sweet Pea but I don’t trust those Glazers. When these big clubs start flashing 50 million plus for United players, I’m sure those Glazers are smiling all the way to the bank. In the Spanish news, it claims that Jesus Escobar,accountant at Real Madrid has put together a 50 million pound package to tempt the Glazers to sell Hernandez. As for Berbatov, he refuses to sign his new contract which means he maybe on his way out. It has also been reported that he is not happy to be left out of the squad and being replaced by Hernandez, as he is the leading goalscorer at the club.

    Who let Herbie out of the Asylum again ??? come on own up.

  • herbie simms

    Not out of the asylum but Mourinho knows Hernandez is a star in the making and money talks. And when I mentioned before we need decent scouts to find world class youngsters at resonable prices like WENGER does at Arsenal, well today SAF signed world class 18 year old French defender Raphael Varane from Lens for just 3 million as cover for Vidic. He is 6ft.3ins. tall and another great player in the making. SAF actually snatched the player from Wenger because he was about to sign for Arsenal. Rated as one of the best young defenders coming out of France. Check it out!

  • http://www.visual-intrusion.com Robbo

    Herbie why the hell do you feel the need to spout in various threads the same thing over and over, that we are interested in this lad is known but there is nothing saying that we have signed him yet.

    Have you ever considered stopping playing Fifa Manager because slowly but surely your losing touch with reality.

  • han

    herbie
    can i come into your world please…
    it’s probably much nicer where you are…

  • brianofnazareth

    Blog Commenter said:
    well today SAF signed world class 18 year old French defender Raphael Varane from Lens for just 3 million as cover for Vidic. He is 6ft.3ins.

    Link inbred?

  • Just1n

    brianofnazareth said:
    Link inbred?

  • sidney
  • bman

    If we beat the Chavs this weekend we’ll have won the PL (no.19) and gotten to the finals of the CL for the third time in four years. That will be massively successful season in its own right, especially given how our prospects looked at the start of the season and the undeniably shortcomings of our side currently.

    That said, having gotten this far I’ll be fucking gutted if we lose the PL. Winning the CL would definitely go a long way to making up for it, but I’ll be gutted if we end up potless now. We must stuff the Chavs, 1-0 win will do me nicely, lads, no need to get carried away.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Now starts the debate about team selections.

    Both B’burn and B’pool are fighting relegation… they won’t be fuckin about… but Fergie might.

    Specifically B’pool… if we clinch the title next week… what team will Fergie play? Second string will piss off a lot of people… especially if we lose.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    ffs, ‘integrity of the premier league’ is all we’ll hear for the week leading up to the game, then our third string will fucking win anyway like against hull

  • squigs

    We are allowed a 25 man squad. Surely we should be allowed to play any permutation of that squad.

  • bman

    Our second string team played in the Champions League semi-final and won 4-1, so no one can say they’re not good enough for the job.

    I hope players like Berba, Fletcher, Ando start against Blackburn and are hungry to prove themselves and make a claim for the squad to face Barca.

  • kramer

    fuck them, they can fine us, give fergie a touchline ban or whatever – the final is now the priority

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    “United to field reserves against Blackpool
    Sir Alex Ferguson’s preparations for the Champions League final are threatening to have repercussions for some of the Premier League’s relegation-threatened teams after it transpired he was planning to play a virtual reserve side against Blackpool in Manchester United’s final game. If United secure a record 19th league title by getting a point or more at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, Ferguson intends to rest almost his entire first-choice team against Blackpool, despite the controversy when he did the same on the final weekend of the 2006-07 season and a 1-0 win for West Ham United at Old Trafford meant the London club avoided relegation at the expense of Sheffield United. There are potential implications for five of Blackpool’s rivals in the lower reaches of the table, with Ian Holloway’s side currently in the relegation places with Wigan Athletic and West Ham. Wolverhampton Wanderers are a point clear in 17th while Blackburn and Birmingham City have a further two points.” – Daniel Taylor, The Guardian

    And so it begins…

  • sidney

    Fuck ‘em, Alf

    At half time, when it looked like we had the league sewn up, the pundits started speculating about what team Fergie might put out against Blackpool and whether or not he would be fined FFS

  • captainhormone

    FUCK EM..THE LEAGUE IS 38 GAMES..ITS NOT OUR FAULT THEY ARE SHIT