Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Neville reveals Fergie's secrets as unconvincing champions prepare for City...

IF Rooney scores against City - Money Back Special from Paddy Power

United were in action on Tuesday night in Bucharest in a vital Champions League Group C fixture against Otelul Galati, Wayne Rooney grabbed the headlines with a brace from the penalty spot as the Reds ran out 2-0 winners. Rooney has of course been at the centre of media attention for the wrong reasons over the last two weeks following his sending off against Montenegro, which has potentially dire implications for England at the Euro2012 finals next summer. UEFA subsequently banned Rooney for three games when many media pundits were only expecting a maximum of a two game suspension, the FA have yet to decide if they will appeal. From a Manchester United perspective, the club and many of its supporters will not be too concerned about Rooney's England commitments - especially if any ban cuts down the potential to miss games for United due to injuries.

With Manchester City set to visit Old Trafford on Sunday in the first derby of the season, it was great to see Rooney confidently converting those penalties against Galati, but it wasn't a great night for the champions who laboured for long periods against the Romanian champions.

Nemanja Vidic made a welcome return to action following a lengthy spell on the sidelines, but the Serbian defender looked rusty and was worse still was sent-off in the second-half for a rash looking challenge on Giurgiu, but in truth, it was a poor decision by German referee Brych. Vidic deserved to be booked for what was a high challenge, but it wasn't dangerous - it was one of those that looked much worse than it actually was.

United's defence has been uncharacteristically shaky over the last few weeks, and perhaps for more than any other reason, this has been down to too many changes in the heart of the back four. Vidic and Ferdinand have been the bedrock of United's defence in recent seasons, but in their absence due to injuries Ferguson has been chopping and changing.

Last night was no different, there was nine changes to the team that started and went on to draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday. United were collectively poor in what is always a very important fixture in any season. In the build up to Saturday's visit to Anfield some pundits had even gone as far as describing the fixture as the biggest in club football. There is no doubting the depth of bad feeling which extends beyond the confines of the stands and into the dressing room as recently confirmed by Paul Scholes who said that the two sets of players didn't mix well.

While the stage was set for what many hoped would be a blood curdling contest, as happens all too often, the fixture failed to live up to expectations and a large part of that was down to the team that Fergie had selected.

There was no starting place in the team for Rooney, Hernandez, Valencia or Nani; it was Manchester United light. With just Danny Welbeck up front, United really struggled to make any real impact in and around the Liverpool penalty area. Liverpool eventually took the lead thanks to Steven Gerrard, from what was a poor free-kick - one that is likely to haunt Ryan Giggs for many years to come, because the Welshman was guilty of jumping out of the way of the ball, rather than taking one for the team.

Thankfully, United went on to equalise and once against it was Hernandez who scored with more or less his first touch of the ball from a corner kick after coming on to replace Phil Jones. While the movement of Hernandez inside the Liverpool penalty area has rightly been praised highly, we shouldn't forget the part Danny Welbeck played in that equaliser as he fended off Jamie Caragher in the manner of a wily old Premier League fox - it was yet another sign of his growing maturity.

While there's no doubting Fergie's selection for the Liverpool game will have been greeted with several million collective curses from the massed ranks of the red army, many of us also knew that the great leader had a plan, one that had been drawn up with the trip to Bucharest and the Manchester derby in mind.

In the build-up to the trip to Anfield, Fergie even suggested that Rooney was down in the dumps following news of UEFA's three match international ban - this was of course complete and utter nonsense; it was the sort of rubbish reason that Fergie gives to the media from time to time when a big name player has unexpectedly been omitted from the United team, but nonetheless it was rubbish all the same. We knows this because Fergie has told us all on countless occasions that Rooney wants to play in EVERY game and there's none bigger than a trip to Anfield. Alas, it wasn't to be and United just about deserved that point, but the performance was collectively lacking and totally uninspiring, but a point at Anfield is rarely looked upon as a bad result. The Anfield part of Fergie's plan, may well have been imperfect, but it was effective as was the second part of the plan in Bucharest as United came away with the points, albeit thanks to another disjointed performance.

So why have United been all over the place in the last month or so? The answer is that there's been too many changes; the early season continuity coupled with that superb free flowing attacking football isn't happening on a consistent basis and the defending has become collectively sloppy too.

In total fairness to Fergie, injuries have been been the key driver - that has been the main reason for so much chopping and changing. While this seemingly constant shuffling might not be ideal, Ferguson has the managerial skills to steer the ship back on course

Ferguson has great faith in his players and to a man we have to believe they trust the manager. Following last night's Champions League win in Bucharest, Gary Neville revealed one of the bosses great strengths, that is his communication skills.

Neville is currently working as a match summariser on SKY and he says that Ferguson will take a player on one side and will always explain his reasoning when it comes to selection issues; sometimes a player might be told as much as two weeks in advance of an important fixture. While these pep talks might not sound that ground breaking, or indeed revolutionary, which they are not, you can bet that not many of his managerial counterparts show the same commitment when it comes to those oh so important communication skills.

Next up United take on City for what definitely is the most important derby for quite some time. City have a two point lead over United plus a superior goal difference. Game on.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Our Comment Policy. Do NOT post spammy unrelated comments for the purpose of link building - as they WILL be removed...Comments containing foul and vile abuse will be deleted.

Follow by Email