Thursday, November 04, 2010

Bebe and Obertan: despite the goals the jury is still very much out....

United did a thoroughly professional job on Bursapor on Tuesday when winning 3-0 away in Turkey. The result ensured United remain top of Group C and following a less than impressive opening Champions League performance against Rangers, it now looks like the Red Devils could finish as winners of the group.

Apart from the goals, it could be argued that the most notable aspect of this clash was the performance of the home supporters, who were quite simply amazing throughout despite the fact that they were watching their team lose.

As for the performance on the pitch, United controlled it pretty much from start to finish but without ever really turning on the style. Ferguson elected to start with Berbatov as the lone striker and he was flanked by Obertan on the right and Nani on the left. United's Portuguese winger never really does as well when he's played on the left and that certainly was the case again against Bursaspor. Nani had a poor game by his recent standards and was replaced by Park due to sustaining a groin injury on 30 minutes.

On the opposite flank and contrary to reports, Obertan didn't have a great game, he lost possession cheaply on too many occasions. However, the Frenchman scored his first Champions League goal for the club to make the score 2-0 and when it arrived it was worth the wait, because it was a stunning effort from fully 20 yards out. Hopefully, Obertan's goal will give him the confidence he needs to progress because in his previous outings he has shown signs that he has ability.

Fletcher had given United the lead just after half-time following United's most coherent attacking move of the game; the Scot raced into the Bursapor penalty area and was picked out by Michael Carrick, the Scotland captain's finish was clinical.

Fletcher picked up an ankle injury and was replaced by Bebe on 62 minutes. Bebe went on to score to seal the points for United and he also supplied one good cross following a surging run down the right.

The signing of Bebe has been mired in controversy following revelations that Ferguson had never actually seen him play before sanctioning a relatively hefty fee.

The jury is still very much out on Bebe, United's £7.4m winger has pace, but he lacks touch and pushes the ball too far in front of himself which allows defenders to easily pinch the ball; just like Bebe's first goal for the club, there was a huge slice of good fortune about the one he scored on Tuesday as it took another deflection; as Sky's Martin Tyler gleefully pointed out during the commentary, there is no dubious goals panel in the Carling Cup - it was an oblique reference to Bebe's first goal for the club.

Perhaps most worrying of all for Ferguson was the almost seemingly constant head-shaking by Berbatov; for the second game in a row the Bulgarian striker looked really out of sorts with his game. Perhaps Berbatov has become frustrated with his team-mates who should be doing better on the ball. There can be no doubt there's a great deal of room for improvement where retaining possession is concerned, like Obertan, Fletcher was guilty was giving the ball away cheaply on several occasions.

In summary, United played as well as they had to against a very average Bursapor, who have yet to score in the Champions League this season. United will need to raise their game by several notches if they are to stand any chance of progessing in the knockout phase of the competition.

8 comments:

  1. What was disappointing was the needless giving the ball away. The analysis from this post is spot on. I can slightly understand the nervousness of Bebe and Obertan. However both these two will need to show more to deserve to be in the first team. I rate Fletcher very highly, but the last two games he has also started to give the ball away needlesly.

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  2. I agree, and like I say, the jury is out. But unlike you, I don't rate Fletcher that highly: he gives the ball away far too much, but his work-rate is first-class; as Eric would no doubt say he's a water carrier...

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  3. Definitely United need improvement in Ball retention. But the youngsters are doing better than what i expected.

    with this injuries we definitely cannot challenge for titles. if every body plays to absolute maximum potential and Chelsea slip up then we have a chance.

    manchesterunitedindia.blogspot.com

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  4. Mr Rydell, My my you are a hard man.Let us face the facts. The young frenchman has had very few opportunities and has suffered some injuries holding him back. I think he showed that he certainly has excellent qualities. I like what Evra has said about his fellow Frenchman.

    Bebe has surprised me with his pace and strength and, in time, with coaching-as Sir Alex has admitted-he will prove extremely useful.

    BUT. With players like Rooney, especially, and now Berbatov moaning and groaning all the time if the pass does not go directly to his feet. If anyone has a go at scoring a goal without passing the ball to him he gives them a look that must be less than encouraging!

    Vidic was complimentary towards the younger players and showed immense common sense. Of course they are not the finished articles but, like anyone new in any job, they need help and encouragement.

    The sooner that Rooney goes and Vidic gives Berbatov a kick up the backside the better.

    And, if I may, the sooner supporters help these young players along and give them support and not derision the sooner that will blossom into greater confidence from the young players.

    It must be extremely stressful walking out onto the Old Trafford Pitch as a new player into that wall of noise.

    Give them space!

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  5. Cash strapped,

    You are entitled to your opinions and I'm entitled to mine: We won't always agree...but that's a healthy state of affairs - if everyone went around slapping each other on the back I'd be worried.

    With that stated, I have serious doubts about Bebe and I'm not convinced about Obertan. But I am willing to give them space, however, it's true to state that the jury is still very much out on both players.

    As for Berbatov, I suspect he's more than a bit ****** off with some of his colleagues.

    To be honest with you I'm getting a bit fed up with football at the so called top level: The skill levels aren't there and the standard of technical ability leaves a lot to be desired and yes, I am referring to United.

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  6. Mr Rydell,

    Worry not. I can remember the transition just prior to the time that Scholes/Beckham/the Nevilles followed Giggs into the team. Obviously this excellent blog and the internet were stuff of dreams, but I am sure your concerns were around at that time.

    Personally I worry more about Caddick- who is too lightweight for my liking. Evans who is too accident prone. O'Shea whose passing makes me weep at times,
    Anderson who only comes to life once every three games.

    I think that Ferguson will enter the transfer market but will sell off quite a number of players, those above amongst them. I, like you, will not be surpised nor upset to see Rooney leave.

    As for whom he will bring in. He always suprises us.

    One person I would be happy to see return would be Quieroz. The football was always more attractive when he was there, in my opinion. He will get the best from Nani, Bebe and Oberton.

    Your not thinking of turning Blue are you?

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  7. Cash Strapped,

    I have famously been proven wrong on numerous occasions and my opinions are just that....

    Regarding Beckham et al and when Hansen said "you win nothing with kids", I was predicting a relegation battle...the rest is history.

    However, this time it's different because back then the backroom team had built up confidence in the youngsters have seen them developing over a number of years.

    Personally, I seriously doubt anyone in the backroom staff and Fergie himself really believes in players like Obertan and Bebe, not in the same way they had confidence in the likes of Beckham and Giggs. Rather than have complete confidence Fergie thinks these new players have potential - I'm not getting into the size of the transfer fee for the players concerned, suffice to say Wenger wouldn't have paid anywhere near what United have splashed out, but that's another debate.

    The problem for these players is being a good player is never going to be quite good enough at a club like United because you have to be exceptional.

    You highlighted Carrick - he's a good example as is Fletcher: both are not fit to lace the boots of Robson, Ince and Keane - they shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence.

    Obertan and Bebe, have a chance, but from what I've seen I doubt either will be here for the long haul. The same can be said of Anderson and Gibson - we have too many journeymen types - it's okay having a two or three and every squad needs them, but when you've got a squad full of them then your standards have slipped and that is precisely what we are seeing post Ronaldo and Tevez (the former carried the team to a large extent).

    I don't know what Fergie will do in the transfer market because he's been sending out mixed messages: when Rooney signed that contract extension the club gave him assurances that they would be signing some new players, yet two weeks later Fergie says "getting Hargreaves and Valencia back will be like signing two new players"... and to cloud the issue even further two days earlier he'd hinted Hargreaves is more or less finished. I don't know if Fergie is starting with the onset of alzheimer's but it's hard to know / predict what will happen.

    As for Quieroz, he was something of a whipping boy at times - when things went well on the pitch it was down to Fergie, but when it went wrong Carlos was blamed - at least that is how the picture was painted by the media. Not really sure if he'd make things better with the current squad. At time there was strong rumours that many of the senior players didn't get on with Carlos, but who cares if you're getting results?

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  8. Cash Strapped,

    I have famously been proven wrong on numerous occasions and my opinions are just that....

    Regarding Beckham et al and when Hansen said "you win nothing with kids", I was predicting a relegation battle...the rest is history.

    However, this time it's different because back then the backroom team had built up confidence in the youngsters have seen them developing over a number of years.

    Personally, I seriously doubt anyone in the backroom staff and Fergie himself really believes in players like Obertan and Bebe, not in the same way they had confidence in the likes of Beckham and Giggs. Rather than have complete confidence Fergie thinks these new players have potential - I'm not getting into the size of the transfer fee for the players concerned, suffice to say Wenger wouldn't have paid anywhere near what United have splashed out, but that's another debate.

    The problem for these players is being a good player is never going to be quite good enough at a club like United because you have to be exceptional.

    You highlighted Carrick - he's a good example as is Fletcher: both are not fit to lace the boots of Robson, Ince and Keane - they shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence.

    Obertan and Bebe, have a chance, but from what I've seen I doubt either will be here for the long haul. The same can be said of Anderson and Gibson - we have too many journeymen types - it's okay having a two or three and every squad needs them, but when you've got a squad full of them then your standards have slipped and that is precisely what we are seeing post Ronaldo and Tevez (the former carried the team to a large extent).

    I don't know what Fergie will do in the transfer market because he's been sending out mixed messages: when Rooney signed that contract extension the club gave him assurances that they would be signing some new players, yet two weeks later Fergie says "getting Hargreaves and Valencia back will be like signing two new players"... and to cloud the issue even further two days earlier he'd hinted Hargreaves is more or less finished. I don't know if Fergie is starting with the onset of alzheimer's but it's hard to know / predict what will happen.

    As for Quieroz, he was something of a whipping boy at times - when things went well on the pitch it was down to Fergie, but when it went wrong Carlos was blamed - at least that is how the picture was painted by the media. Not really sure if he'd make things better with the current squad. At that time there was strong rumours that many of the senior players didn't get on with Carlos, but who cares if you're getting results?

    Finally, no I'm not turning blue and I'm looking forward to hopefully taking all three points off City next week.

    ReplyDelete

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