Sunday, November 29, 2009

Time defying Giggs on fire (again), but Chelsea look ominous....

John Westwood aka Mad Pompey fan added to the fun on the South Coast when he came in for ridicule from the visiting United fans singing "that's the worst f*****g hat we've ever seen' and 'have you ever seen your ***k have you ***k?!'.

United ran out 4-1 winners at Fratton Park on Saturday, the final score didn't exactly flatter the champions, but it didn't tell the full story of what turned out to be an incident packed game.

Referee Mike Dean gave United a soft looking penalty on 25 minutes for a trip on Wayne Rooney, which he converted in style. In a bid to balance things up, and as so often is the case, the home side were awarded a very dubious spot-kick just a few minutes later; If Rooney's penalty was soft Dean's decision to penalise Vidic (or was it Wes Brown?) was harsh in the extreme.

Tomasz Kuszczak was given a rare start in goal; the Polish stopper had to make two first-class saves to ensure United went into the half-time break on level terms. By some distance it turned out to be Kuszczak's best game for the club, but it remains to be seen if his future lies at Old Trafford.

Banished to the stands Ferguson had elected to start with a 433 formation, despite the fact that Portsmouth are bottom of the table, and despite fielding arguably his first-choice midfield that included Fletcher, Carrick and Scholes it didn't stop Pompey carving open the better of the first half goal scoring opportunities.

Most worrying of all was the centre-back pairing of Vidic and Wes Brown who were not on the same wavelength. On too many occasions there appeared to be a complete lack of communication and understanding, at times the lack of basic positional sense was alarming, this was at the heart of United's problems at the back in the opening period.

Apparently Fergie has gone on record stating that Brown is the most natural defender in the league; so is Brown more natural than Vidic or John Terry? Many an observer might well concur that Brown is better at rightback rather than in the centre.

If there were problems in defence it was the same up front where Rooney was crying out for support. It wasn't all bad though, far from it. Ryan Giggs and Atonio Valencia played well; it was a day when the Welshman's flicks came off - which isn't always the case.

On this day Giggsy could do no wrong, he played well from start to finish, just about everything he tried came off, it came as no surprise that he was involved in the move of the game when setting up Wayne Rooney for his second goal following a great supporting run and lay-off just three minutes into the second-half. From that point on there was only going to be one winner, the constant threat of Giggs and Valencia had the home team pinned back.

Just ten minutes later Frederic Piquionne brought Giggs down inside the penalty area and Rooney converted, in so doing bagging a hatrick. It was fitting that Giggs hammered the final nail into Pompey's coffin late on with a well placed free-kick.

It wasn't a good weekend elswhere with Chelsea hammering Arsenal and Liverpool winning at Everton. Hopefully, the self-styled 'Biggest' or is it 'Greatest club in the club in the world' aka Man City will beat Chelsea on Saturday, but don't bet on it... United face West Ham United earlier in the day in the three o'clock kick-off. The Hammers have been shipping goals at home so hopefully the champions will come away with the right result, before that Spurs are the visitors to Old Trafford in the Carling Cup.


  1. I think Brown had a far better game than Vidic at centre-back. Did you see that early yellow card Vidic got? In the first half an hour or so, Vidic was just all over the place, almost lost, it was very disconcerting.

    Otherwise, the 4-3-3/4-5-1 was extremely puzzling, does Ferguson really have so little faith in the rest of his strikers?! Anyway, we got away with it, onwards to the next match.

  2. Uday,

    I think they were both poor first-half, it's a combination that needs more work, much more. I'd also suggest Evans and Vidic is a more solid option.

    As I've stated umpteen times this season 442 is the best formation for the current squad of players, I haven't changed my opinion.

    I think we more than got away with it after a dodgy first half.


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