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Rock the Crossbar

Monday, January 22

UNITED IN CRISIS

Once again Arsenal have shown United that they are hasbeens. THe team is too old, Scholes and Giggs were anonymous, Neville was caught cold. Van DE Saar never moved. Arsenal with youth and a mix of good football and hoofing it to Adebayor deserved 3 points and showed Fergie that he NEEDS TO GO - I said this before after Arsenal thumped United in the first game that Fergie needs to be replaced now as his old 1970's style of football has no place in the modern game.

13 Comments:

  • Intelligent post as always Simon. I look forward to watching Arsenal follow-up on this win with their usual consistency against Spurs, Bolton and Boro.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 11:20 AM  

  • Ha! Nothing more enjoyable than raising the ire of United fans after ripping their heart out for a second game running at the death.

    In all seriousness, I feel Arsenal deserved at least a draw, United were anaemic in the second half and barely had a sniff - their goal had an element of fortune in that Toure deflected into Rooney's path. Arsenal bossed the ball but created little threat other than long range shots which were skied. However, Arsenal kept going and Rosicky and Fabregas fought very hard to win the ball back and set up Van Persie - and after that United's heads dropped and Fergie made a defensive sub taking off Ronaldo and sitting back for the the point cost them as Arsenal always looked like they could snatch it - and indeed they did. A draw was probably the fairer result but Arsenal took their chances. I still think United for the league and I hate doing Chelsea any favours but they have enough problems of their own that United should hold on.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 11:41 AM  

  • Ya, I thought United were very poor. To be honest, and you might not believe me here, but even when we were winning 1-0 I would have been pretty happy with a point.

    Fergie killed us with that stupid formation. Playing Giggs in a central role with Rooney out on the wing is baffling. The commentators were saying it was an attempt to confuse Arsenal - it was obvious from the beginning that we confused ourselves more. I certainly didn't have a clue what was going on and it seemed Rooney was confused too as he kept talking to Ferguson during the second half.

    Rooney is a red card waiting to happen right now despite his goal. He is not playing well and Fergie sticks him out on the wing where he is not a natural and he becomes even more frustrated. He also has to track back and tackle more from the wing which increases the odds of a red even more.

    A United win would have been a smash and grab. A draw probably would have been fairer but it doesn't matter what would have been fairer. I can't begrudge Arsenal the win as they fought to the end and United have broken more than their fair share of hearts in the past by playing the same way right to the end.

    We were completely unable to hold onto the ball once we scored and gave it back to Arsenal easily for most of the second half. I hate to say it but this was the first real occasion where I felt we really missed Roy Keane this season. He would have got his foot on the ball once we went 1-0 up and just made sure that we found white shirts with our passes instead of running into trouble or knocking high balls into Larrson.

    The test for Arsenal will be to follow up this performance with results in their next 4 games against Spurs, Bolton and Boro. Bolton at home and Boro away especially will be real tests for them.

    As for United, it was a gutting result but I think we will bounce back from it. The next league game for us is at home to Watford which should be a chance to put this behind us - not that you can take anyone lightly of course.

    Chelsea seem in disarray if you even believe half the articles being written at the moment. I think the best thing Mourinho can do is drop Shevchenko from his squad go with the guys who have got him this far. Those players will rally around their manager. He is going to get fired or leave in May anyway so why should he not just drop Shevchenko and show everyone who is boss?

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 2:29 PM  

  • Rooney is an interesting one - he was crap yesterday despite having a nice headed goal. He doesn't look that fit to me, in kind of the old Paul Merson way of not looking fit. Certainly playing him on the wing doesn't suit him, it should be him and Larsson in a 4-4-2 or rest him till he looks the part again. Saha is more capable right now.

    You'll beat Watford next, talk about the perfect fixture to come back with. Portsmouth in the Cup I think are next for you before that which will be a bit trickier.

    As for Chelsea - I am surprised he isn't playing Shevchenko as I thought Shev was opening up huge holes for Drogba, Shev may not have been scoring but Chelsea were winning. Kalou has been utter crap as a fill in and Shaun-Wright PartTimer is more filler. Maurinho if he could swallow his pride would play Shevchenko but the longer he doesn't the more the speculation will build and its a definite that Maurinho is gone this Summer - but I would love to see him dismissed before then.

    Back to United - the worry is the last few minutes for them - is it old legs letting the side down - West Ham, Newcastle, Arsenal twice...all late in the game capitulations. You were right about Roy, United really should have finished the game yesterday but kept giving it to Arsenal instead of having the strength in the middle to hold it up.

    And don't worry about us, rest assured we will be giving away points for fun to dross sides for a few games yet :)

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 3:36 PM  

  • Ya, I know Portsmouth next in the cup but I don't care about that this year. Unlike 99, we don't have the squad to challenge on all 3 fronts I think this year and the league is a priority even over the CL. At least for me anyway.
    Ya, the age is a worry and its tough to argue with the late goals stat. From today's Indo:

    "This was not the first time United have dropped points this season after fading in the closing stages of a match. Their three Premiership defeats, all by one goal, have come from late goals - Emmanuel Adebayor in the 86th minute for Arsenal at Old Trafford, Nigel Reo-Coker in the 73rd minute for West Ham United last month and now Van Persie and Henry in the 83rd and 90th minutes on Sunday. Throw in the late winners scored against United in the Champions League by FC Copenhagen (73rd minute) and Celtic (81st) and the pattern becomes disturbing. It cannot be said with certainty whether this is a question of concentration, tactics or, as Flamini seemed to imply, tired legs among United's older players. Ferguson would prefer to talk of inexperience among the youngsters in his team, but only in the hope that no one has noticed that his starting XI on Sunday included five players over 30 (European Champions League winners all) and only two (Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo) under 25. The average age of Arsenal's starting line-up was almost four years younger."

    Long term, I am not that worried as Fergie has always been good about getting youth in even if he will not be around to see them come through. He has signed a few young keepers, Rossi is at Parma, he insisted Johnny Evans, an 18 year old defender with a great reputation, sign a long term contract before allowing him to go to Sunderland on loan and we are chasing this Bale kid who must be an unreal player if United are looking at yet another left back and with a price tag of 10 million being reported. Whether we get him or not - it shows Fergie is looking to the future as well as the present.
    Vidic and Evra are only 26, Rio is 28, Carrick is 25, Saha is 28.
    The reason we are old is that 4 of our outstanding performers are pushing on - Neville, Giggs, Van Der Saar and Scholes. Larrson also obviously skews the average age a little but he is a short term recruit.

    Short term. Ya, of course it could hurt us and the stats don't lie.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 10:02 AM  

  • United in crisis...and Citeh on the rise! This is the year that we win our first FA Cup since 1969. And, with Pearce now heading the U21 squad, all of the young talent will want to head to the Eastlands. The future looks bright - and we got rid of Reyna! Fantastic week all around.

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 3:11 PM  

  • On second thought, the Citeh board have held the move back...oops!

    By Blogger George Cuddy, at 8:11 PM  

  • Er good idea City board if that is true. Pearce is borderline anyway and doesn't need to be distracted.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 12:01 PM  

  • For other intelligent "United in Crisis" posts from Simon see the following from early this season:

    http://rockthecrossbar.blogspot.com/2006/09/united-in-crisis.html

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 6:15 PM  

  • You laugh John but i was looking for that when i made this post! I thought where was it and remembered how happy i was after sticking United in the ground with just minutes to go that day.. how history repeats :)
    Big game tomorrow - Watford at home...hmm, perhaps not. Chelsea home to Blackburn, cant see that being a challenge either as Blackburn lost Neill and Savage.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 9:47 AM  

  • I don't know, I have a weird sick feeling in my stomach thinking about the Watford game but I have that with every league game now.
    My main worry is that Ferguson will decide this is a game to trot out Fletcher, Richardon and O'Shea. Please no.

    Blackburn could be tricky for Chelsea too.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 10:00 AM  

  • " A sick feeling about Watford" - at home as well!! I have to laugh, if you have such a feeling its a good sign, it means your club still has a Premiership to lose cos there is no way in hell anyone could be worried about this fixture unless you had everything to lose.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 12:51 PM  

  • Yeah I know but this is where United can be at their worst. Remember how our slim title hopes were extinguished last year? A 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 1:00 PM  

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