Monday, 17 August 2009
Roo better believe it!
Manchester United 1 Birmingham City 0
There was a subdued air about Old Trafford on Sunday. Although the loses of United’s two latin megastars has been apparent for sometime now, this first opportunity for the new look United (well, not so new look if you look at the squad!) to shine in front of The Faithful was a red letter day…and what the crowd found out was not much had changed..
Despite the game only ending 1-0, there was enough creativity, movement and flair (albeit without much finishing product) to suggest that The Red Devils will beat most teams again this season. Rooney and Berbatov clicked beautifully at times in the front position, again both playing at the top of a 4-4-2 formation. In fact, Mike Phelan (United’s assistant manager) confirmed after the game that they had instructed Roo to “stop going wide to pick up the ball”….something which i have bemoaned about when ‘The White Pele’ has previously played as the central striker, and had not held his position. Berbatov’s contribution is becoming evident. He did more running in one game that i have seen him do for most of last season! He seems comfortable in his environment now, and that must mean only good things for the fans.
Throughout the rest of the team, Ben Foster deserves a special mention. After some of the vitriol that has been spreading like wildfire after his awful distribution et al in the Community Shield, he had a fine game. A couple of very important stops saved the team from leaking points, and halted the tabloid papers from printing their pre-prepared “United are finished after drawing with new boys” headlines. Once again. Fabio looked very comfortable at full back, considering he is only 12 years old, and Valencia seemed to be at home on the right of the midfield, without producing any match defining moments.
Birmingham deserve a few words. For a promoted team, they played rather well, especially in the second half. If they had had an extra slice of the Luck Pie for lunch, then they would have got a share of the points. Alex McLeish will be pleased with the performance and the impact that new signing Christian Benitez made from the bench. They may just be able to survive this year….just!
So another season is underway…Bravo!! And with the Scousers dropping points to a Tottenham team with a truly disgusting home kit concoction of white with odd yellow bits, United, Chelsea & Arsenal have all stolen a march.