Rant Cast 127 – playing for the shirt

On this week’s packed Rant Cast regular presenters Ed and Paul look back on Manchester United’s matches against Stoke City in the Premier League and SC Braga in Europe. Sir Alex Ferguson’s team came away with two victories, but once again looked suspect at the back.

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand and Ferguson were embroiled in a media row over the Kick It Out t-shirt that never was. Ferguson came within a whisker of a PR disaster, while Ferdinand maintained a quiet dignity. We analyse what the row means for United, Ferguson, Ferdinand and race relations in English football.

We talk about David Gill’s appointment to the Football Association and the inherent conflicts of interest involved, while we laud Ajax fans rejection of “modern football”. And Wayne Rooney’s endorsement of Barrack Obama – does that seal the presidential election?!

Finally, we preview the week ahead with a double-header against Chelsea in the Premier League and Capital One Cup. Also: all your Twitter questions and another competition prize!

Hit us up with any feedback below or follow the pod on Twitter: Paul – @UtdRantCast, Ed – @UnitedRant.

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Comments

  1. marlon says

    I wonder how much the lack of a preseason and summer break has affected Giggs. I’m sure he wasn’t nearly this bad last season.

    The closest stats have come to a correlation between winning and a statistic is shots on target from inside the box. There have been occasions this season when our midfielders have failed to track runners into the box and the free man has scored. For the most part however, preventing shots in the box is the job of the back 4. I’m not disagreeing with your criticism of the defensive work from our CMs, but you are letting the defence off very lightly. In our last 5 games we have conceded 14 shots on target and conceded 8 goals (57%) – defensively speaking that is an appalling ratio, especially compared to our own attacking stats – 35 SOT and 14 goals (40%). Even worse considering who is taking those shots for us compared to other teams. We are making it easy for teams in the box – think Alan’s brace for Braga.

    • Paul says

      V. interesting points – and specifically the Braga game I was trying to make the point that actually defensive personnel (Carrick!) were a huge part of those problems. But I do think that the CBs are under way more pressure than they would be if we weren’t playing such with so much openness in the middle of the park, and also the combinations have been so unsettled by injury and keeper rotation that whomever our centre back twosome is, they’ve got an extremely tough job on their hands, and it’s being made more difficult by circumstance.

      Still as long as we keep scoring at the rate we are it’ll all be fine :-)

  2. marlon says

    I agree with you to a point, especially on the impact of rotation/injury, but I think (my memory may be biased) we’ve been conceding more from wide areas than play through the middle – which would suggest that while our CMs aren’t winning the ball back, they are at least forcing the ball wide, at which point the responsibility falls to the wide players to prevent the cross and failing that, the CBs to clear. Looks like we’ll have to wait ’till the CL knockout rounds to see our CMs face world class counterparts, so we should be OK in the league.

    At least it’s good to watch – I’m almost complacent when we go behind, we never really look like losing a game.

  3. Coach Herbie says

    Can’t keep going into a game and talk about coming from behind to win. We are giving away goals because asshole Fergie failed to solve the problem before the season started. All this makeshift defence is bullshit! Can we get a manager that can put things right? We would not be 4 points behind the leaders if Fergie had any common sense. We could be a further 7 points behind if we don’t get our tactics right against Chelsea. If we lose a third game this early in the season, we are in trouble. Roberto Di Matteo made some clever signings bringing in Hazard and Oscar. Chelsea now boost a total world class squad. But we have quality also, enough quality to go there and take all 3 points, but Fergie must get his team selection and tactics right.

  4. Sidsidney says

    The Red Bull teams are particularly depressing examples of how modern football is total shite. The drinks company bought them both (a fucking drinks company ffs), changed their names, their badges, their team colours, their stadium names, their sponsors and even their ‘official’ nicknames to reference Red Bull in a totally unforgivable act of deplorable cuntishness. Boycott them forever.

  5. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Aye… ultimately, it’s always down to the fans though… if they won’t stand for it, it won’t happen… but they do, and the corporate swine know it.

  6. marlon says

    Neville on our midfield/defensive problems:
    The United midfield have also been criticised for not protecting them but, in fact, when you break down the passing statistics, it reveals something different. There have been 792 passes completed in United’s defensive third by opposition teams — that’s the fewest of any other team in the top flight. Chelsea have the next best record, with only 893 passes being competed in their defensive third.
    That suggests that United’s midfield are doing something right in stopping the opposition from playing, meaning the spotlight is on the back four to defend properly, which means getting tight, holding their line and defending one-on-one.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2224071/Gary-Neville-Why-Chelsea-Manchester-United-accept-1-0-win-Bridge.html

  7. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    That’s not conclusive at all… horses for courses… it might well be that teams aren’t playing the elaborate passing game as much against United… preferring the direct approach to target our indecisive back four and flappy keeper… why fuck about with endless passing, when you can just fire in crosses and capitalise on our dodgy back 5.

    “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.”

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