Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Sunday, 8 November 2009
Referee 1 Man Utd 0
The guilty look on Drogba's face sort of says it all....
Its difficult to not just 'go off on one' when you write immediate after a match. My writings are not 'match reports' as some other blogtastic peoples claim to write. They are a reaction to whats just happened on a green pitch. Its not my duty to tell you what has happened..you have Google news for that.
Today, we saw that United are far from being the spent force that everyone on Planet Football seems to think. In fact, the performance level was way above anything i would have expected today. But once again we come out of a Premier League match with huge question marks over refereeing decisions. It is getting boring...dull as dishwater.
Its easy to have 'a pop' at the ref when you lose...we've all been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. But when you are writing up a 'reaction' to a game, it is an emotional response...so here goes. Today we saw that incompetence is sometimes the only way to separate two teams, and I'm not talking about anything the players did. The decision to firstly give Ashley Cole a free-kick for some amateur dramatics (and yes he is an Englishman..who allegedly don't do that...tish!) and then not give a free-kick against Drogba for hauling down Wesley Brown...AND THEN not give an offside for a player who is 6 yards in front of the goal attempting to get his toe on the end of the ball....well.....its all just beyond me. I wont go into John Terry hauling down Valencia for a stonewall penalty in front of the Assistant Referee or the fact that Rooney was called offside early in the game when one on one with Cech, where replays show him clearly onside. Nope..not talkin''bout that. Crap.
I could go on about this subject day and night, but i wont. Just one more point. His decisions for some of the bookings were also crass...what exactly was Drogba booked for? Oh yes..getting a foot in the chest from Jonny Evans. A foul by the Chelsea man but not a card. It is all just borderline shambolic rubbish and soaked in ridicule. But lets not use it as a smokescreen for a defeat as it is not worthy or needed.
It is the best United have played this season, though Fergie proclaimed after that it was not as "it was a defeat" The midfield has not run so efficiently since last season. Darren Fletcher was described by Jamie Redknapp (on Sky Sports) as "the most improved player in Europe" I totally agree. His energy is vital to us. The boy has truly earned a place in the heart of the United fanbase purely from his application and his big pair of youknowwhats in his shorts. He is now our dog of war. Anderson also grew in confidence through the match and fought hard. Carrick...well...im not 100% on him at the mo. He has had three tremendous years at the club, but if Hargreaves gets back fit and well, he is the one that loses out at the minute...that's life.
Rooney looked isolated at times on his own but he worked hard. His link play was good but not wholly effective. Id have liked to have seen him start wide left and let Owen have a go through the middle. As some of you know im not from the school which think Roo must start right up top every match. Its very easy in hindsight but Giggs did not do enough for me today and Roos muscle wide would have added to Chelsea's woe.
Overall i am equally as delirious about the performance as i am gutted about the defeat. Chelsea have been excellent recently but i think we have shown that if you get in and about their midfield that you can hurt them. I'm sure they will drop points over the Christmas period and give us an inch back at them. If we can get up that level of intensity every week then we will be very close to a fourth straight league title. I am very buoyed by what i have seen today.
Fergie said afterwards that the players were "sat in the dressing room wondering is it is all worth it with refereeing like that" I think that that injustice may just serve us well in weeks to come. We always play well when we think the world is against us. Its the Manchester United siege mentality.
Its never over in November. Our best is yet to come. Glory glory.
Manchester United fan since the age of 9 when he saw Norman Whiteside curl the ball into a Wembley goal in the dying minutes.
He is an Old Trafford season ticket holder in the North Stand Tier 3...and cried tears of joy, on his knees with the many in Moscow.
Rob is a contributing author/editor at Man Utd blogzine 'The Faithful'