Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Mike Dean plays a blinder to give City the edge
It was a night when i thought City may run riot over us, but instead they used their get out of jail free card to take the edge in the tie..
Simply put..Scouse referee Mike Dean had a shocker..or a great game if you are a Blue. Usually i put down bad decisions to the nature of margins in football..some you win and some you don't. So its my expectation that we are due a massive Roy Carroll ball-over-the-line sized slice of luck pie after last nights derby ding-dong.
Despite the result i was pleased with how United played. Its the first time in weeks that we have passed the ball with any authority. And for once we put our opponents under sustained pressure. Its still evident to me that we lack that bit of flair that our former Number 7 used to provide with gusto, but overall i thought we were the better team. But the truth is that the ref was their twelfth man last night.
Being no more than 15 feet away from Bellamy's 'fall' in the box, you expect a ref to not start 'imagining' fouls. What foul he saw after Rafa's initial tug 10 yards outside the box is one fuelled by Alice In Wonderland make-believe. Not much has been made of Bellamy winning the penalty, but dare i say its on a par with Eduardo? OK maybe not as theatrical, but none the less a dive and the same result. But of course he is a 'real honest pro' so we shall not talk of it (sickening)
And of course well done to the classless whore which is Carlos Tevez. People say he wants revenge on United. What revenge? For offering his agent the £25 million they wanted and Tevez the full contract requested. People are now overlooking this fact. The man was offered his deal in the February before he left. But he got offered double-bubble from City and scooted his way across the town. Via Stockport. So there is no validity of revenge. That's why we booed the fecker at the last derby. And thats why his United career has been completely devalued. If anyone should want revenge then it should be us..but players come and go. I'm not surprised that Captain Nev gave him the finger... Tevez should get over himself.
Bar the scoreline, the main downside for us was the performance of the centre back pairing, and particularly Jonny Evans. The Irishman has looked a bit of a mess lately. He looked nervous last night and his decision making is shot. The fact that he chased the ball down at the corner for City's second goal, smacks of a player who is not mentally all-together. He is still young so i don't think anymore than that he had a bad game. But like Ben Foster and Nani, he is having a chance at the first eleven and is not doing a great job of it. But lets not do a Gerard Pique with him, eh?
Anderson also baffled me last night. It seemed that he was given the freedom to support Rooney and he did a very average job of things. However i want to see him given this role more as it is what he was signed to do. At Porto he was an attacking midfielder but as we know Fergie's used him in a more conventional manner. Along with Berbatov, i think he has got til the end of the season to prove if he is worth the hassle.
Last point is about Wazza. He was excellent last night. But I was proved right in the last 20 minutes about my theory of what we should do upfront..and that is play Owen centrally and Rooney off him. Roo looked so dangerous playing inside left, and the fact United hammered City in that last period shows that we can play that system. I still have no clue why Fergie doesn't trust Owen, but long term i want to see Rooney playing off a lead striker. He is less effective when he has a centre back right up his arse..let him have that 5 yards of room to weave his magic. Its too simple not to do.
So yes, City won the battle..but not the war. I'm not bothered whether we progress in this competition, but i was scared before the game that the balance of power had shifted and that City would muller us. That didn't happen. We were more than worth the ticket price...oh and what happened to that wonderful City support?? All very very quiet in the second half, even for the BBC commentator to say "By the crowd reaction, you would think we were playing at Old Trafford as its United doing the cheering. The City fans sound dumbstruck like their team is!" Brilliant fans them Bitters, eh? Whatever next? Scousers booing their team off the pitch?
The first seeds of form were sewn last night, and that is the solace i take after the game. It stings to lose..but then again it always does. Bragging rights are rightfully with the Blue half today cos they got the result. However if we are holding the Premier League or Champions League trophies at the end of the season, then their words will be hollow. With Rio and Vida back soon, maybe our season is only just beginning.
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'