Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Fergie Must Carry The Can For Rangers Farce
It would be very easy to just go off on one now about last nights game. There is nothing worse than seeing a half-arsed team selection before kick off to then witness a half-arsed team display over ninety notoriously dull minutes. It was predictable at 1930, and the prophecy was true come 2145.
We've now already drawn three matches this season. It is still very early days but I think most United fans are starting to get edgy after surrendering points at both Fulham and Everton, and now...and worst of all for me personally...a drab, lifeless performance at home against a 'functional' Rangers side, in a match that will only be remembered as the game that Tony Valencia tragically snapped his leg in half.
As many know, I am the whole hearted advocate of Sir Alex, and yes there are many of us. He doesn't often get it wrong but he dropped the ball last night. To make TEN changes from the previous line up and not even have your form players (Berba, Nani, Vidic, etc) on the bench smacks of some ill planning and preparation. When I saw the team sheet before the game last night I immediate thought Fergie was playing a poker style bluffing game, whilst knowing he didn't hold much in his hand. We played two full backs who have had zero game time recently. We played a brand new centre back pairing..one playing his first game in months and one making his European debut. We played two central midfielders who don't have a trick between them (no matter how hard they work) We played Park in a wingers role, one that isn't really his style in a midfield 4. And we played a brand new strike partnership, again one making his European bow and one coming back from the most almighty of personal scandal.
Rangers must have killed themselves laughing when they saw all that! (I must say I have no problem with the way the Scots set themselves up on the night..parking the bus in front of the goals. What did we really expect??!)
And all this against a manager who knows Sir Alex inside out..a man with a bottomless pit of knowledge on us. The score was written before a ball was even kicked.
On other nights, United would have struggled through, put a batten charge on for the last ten, and got a goal or two. But with zero invention, and an empty vat of creativity, that team was never gonna prevail. I expect better of our manager. I know his strengths and his minuscule weaknesses. His foresight is normally invaluable. Yet he put out a Carling Cup line up for what is a must win game...a home match in your opening game of The Champions League. Ive already seen United fans say oh well so what we will still walk the group. That is a stupid thought. These same fans were saying we would thrash Rangers as well last night. We have to find that happy ground between arrogance (which comes from following the biggest club in the world) and complacency (which again comes from following the biggest club in the world) Its a trick to stay between these two goalposts. Yet as the fans fall over the line on one hand, the team falls over the line on the other side. It worries me...it always worries me.
So after months of us all praying that Dimitar Berbatov finds some form which he has, we decide to give him the night off! Same can be said for Nani. All eyes look forward to Liverpool now. The beauty of football is that despite 'only being as good as your last game' there's always the challenge of a new opponent around the corner. United..and Ferguson..need to start slipping through the gears soon. History dictates that we are always slow starters, but one year that wont be an excuse and we will be out of the reckoning before we can blink
Now is a time for action
PS.. all the best to Tony Valencia. Brought back horrible memories of Alan Smith and David Buust. Lets hope for a full recovery for the lad.
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'