Monday, December 14, 2009

Tevez underlines his worth as United crash at home to Villa.....

It had to happen sooner or later and the bad news for United is it happened on Saturday when Aston Villa ended a dismal 26 year sequence of results without winning at Old Trafford thanks to Agbonlahor's first-half headed winner on 21 minutes.

In the wake of the defeat the fans are raking over what was a poor performance and questions about being asked about the manner of the defeat and especially the manager's approach; notably, why did Ferguson feel it necessary to start with just Wayne Rooney up front in a 4-5-1 formation? Perhaps Dimitar Berbatov wasn't 100% match fit, because on a day of disappointment in front of goal, it was the Bulgarian who missed one of the champions few genuine scoring opportunities.

Berbatov came on when replacing the once again totally ineffective Park on 63 minutes, before that at half-time and in a bid to give Rooney more support Fergie brought on Michael Owen for Ryan Giggs who'd had a quiet first-half.

Ferguson also replaced Anderson with Darren Gibson but it was a day when nothing seemed to work. Despite a poor performance, United didn't deserve to lose and when Rooney hit the underside of the Brad Friedel's crossbar and bounced to safety on-looking fans will have wondered if it was going to be Villa's day and so it was.

Apart from Villa's well-worked goal, there wasn't a lot to admire about the visitors' who made it difficult for United when often putting 10 men behind the ball - which has been a common ploy used by Martin O'Neil down the years. Let us hope the Irishman is never offered the United job. However, we have to give some credit to Villa who have improved as the season has gone on - league positions do not lie.

While United were struggling so were Chelsea who could only manage a 3-3 draw at home to Everton; a result which was nearly as surprising as the United defeat. Meanwhile, Man City had to thank Carlos Tevez whose two goals salvaged a point at Bolton in another high-scoring 3-3 draw. Tevez is playing well for City and proving to be good value and how United could have done with his work rate against Villa at the weekend.

With the gap at the top of the Premier League is just three points between United and Chelsea it is very much all to play for; no wonder Wenger said that it was the most open title race for years.

None of the leading contenders are playing consistently well, but one of the most surprising stats that emerged over the weekend is that United do not appear to be missing Ronaldo's goals, not least as much as was feared in the closed season. While it's true to say we will only be able to make a proper judgement at the season end the scoring rate so far makes interesting reading:

Played: 26 Goals: 51
Goals per game: 1.96

Last season:
Played: 66 Goals: 119
Goals per game: 1.80

Lies, damn lies and stats anyone?

4 comments:

  1. A home loss against Villa, one of those days. They had 11 men behind the ball, we could have had 10 strikers on the pitch and we would have still struggled to break them down, it was a smash and grab and they defended it like their lives depended on it, fair play.

    I couldn't give a shit what those dickheads from across town are doing, fuck them, fuck Tevez.

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  2. Goal-scoring is useless if you can't defend on your end. And the defensive structure of United has been in shambles, so while it is good that we have been scoring well, Ferguson should, and probably is giving serious thought on how to organise the defence given the current constraints.

    Kusczak really flapped on the cross, which was decent, but if he stayed on the line, he could have saved it, or if he had moved quicker off the line and anticipated it better, he would have simply caught it. Inexperience causing indecisiveness? Not good enough for the theatre of dreams, surely.

    What's with our reserve 'keepers now?! We need Van der Saar, back, and fast, no wonder really that we are being linked to top goalkeepers across Europe.

    I remember Rooney overhitting a relatively straightforward pass to Berbatov in the second half, maybe Berbatov could have run a bit faster, but that missed pass was really surprising, and Rooney was off-colour today I have to agree.

    And I second the other commenter, fuck Tevez. He will have some moments of quality, but overall, he was never worth his inflated transfer fee, Lisandro Lopez is a similar 'terrier' of a striker, and he was bought for a much lesser price, and you can see how prolific he is, and how devastating he can be.

    If United wanted to replace Tevez with a similar striker with better technique and consistency, Lisandro Lopez would have been the one to go for.

    Tevez will have his moments of quality, but largely he will not be a game-changer the way Rooney, Torres or Drogba are, and City are even worse than United (and maybe even Birmingham City) when it comes to defending despite buying a new back four, so there isn't too much danger from them, at this stage at least.

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  3. Uday,

    As ever, you've made some interesting comments like "Kusczak really flapped on the cross" (did you see him against Wolves last night?...

    And as for Berbatov, once again he was losing possession cheaply as he did last night.

    As for Tevez. I think we will have to watch him for the remainder of the season, but my view hasn't changed; he is a class act and one that would have been very useful this season. The whole issue of transfer fees and Fergie's new frugal approach is a big talking point and will continue to be I suspect.

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  4. Tevez already score 8 goals in last 7 games.Total 12 for this season city only need to make defence soild uder new coach roberto macihini and then see result city will break in top 4 easily.

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