Friday, February 12, 2010
Nothing lucky about United's own goals...
SO United's second top scorer with ten has the initials 'OG', that'll be Mr Own Goal. No doubting we can look forward to the experts having their say on what is admittedly an unusually high number of OG’s, on what will be a relatively quiet FA Cup weekend.
Darren Fletcher has put his finger on the reason why the champions have been forcing defenders into making so many mistakes; it is the weight of pressure being exerted on to United's opponents inside their own penalty area.
United currently lie in second place in the table, just a point adrift of Chelsea, but the champions have a goal difference of 41, that's two more than the league leaders, but there's absolutely nothing lucky about the number of goals Fergie's team have plundered, it is down to tactics and getting the ball into dangerous areas.
Unlike many Premier League sides, especially those outside of the leading contenders, United get the ball wide; players like Valencia, Nani and Giggs then play dangerous balls across the box and that is why so many defenders have been made to look foolish. In contrast, all too often, teams from the mid to lower reaches of England's top division tend to play balls from deep into central areas; they do not pull opposing central defenders out of position.
The secret is to make those opposing central defenders turn so they are not facing you and to get your attacking players in and around your opponent’s penalty area; this in turn creates space, and often panic. It is easier said than done and of course not every club has players like Giggs, Valencia and Nani. In Rafael da Silva and Evra, United can also apply pressure from over-lapping fullbacks; both have created goals this season.
United would score even more goals if they had the perfect foil for Wayne Rooney, but currently they don't. The fact that Fergie is relying so heavily on his only genuine goal-scoring talisman is a major concern. If Rooney gets injured for any length of time, there's no way Mr OG will finish up top scorer and it's doubful the club will retain the title.
Posted by MarkN at 11:21 am