Posts Tagged ‘Evans’
The last thing I wanted to be discussing this morning was the loss of yet another defender but, no sooner does Jonny Evans get himself fit and back into the team than he picks up a likely three-match ban for a red card.
Evans had, up until his dismissal, looked far more solid than he has otherwise this season, but now we are sweating on the return to fitness of Ferdinand, Vidic and friends after the international break. The worst case scenario seems to be that Wes Brown will be partnering the omnipresent Chris Smalling at the back, with Patrice Evra at left-back and Fabio or, perish the thought, Hargreaves at right-back.
The tackle itself has been done to death over the weekend, with all of the ABU’s lambasting “filthy” Evans, but anyone with two rational brain cells to rub together seeing the tackle for what it was; two comitted players going for the same ball. Neither challenge was exactly textbook, but Evans got plenty of ball before getting Holden’s knee.
Holden’s challenge was very similar to Evans’, and the injury could easily have been the other way around. It’s a red card because Evans got the tackle wrong, but there was no malice. The fact that televisions biggest ABU Alan Hansen agrees with me should speak volumes. Jamie Carragher take note.
More than ever, I would like to ask what the fuck people’s beef with Michael Carrick is? Carrick works hard, makes countless interceptions, keeps the play simple and keeps posession. He ticks our midfield over like nobody’s business. Against Marseille in midweek, Carrick completed 54 of 58 passes. That’s 93.1% of his passes. Only Scholes completed more passes, but at a completion rate of just 84.8%.
Twitter was full of idiots after the game slating Carrick and demanding to know when we were going to sign [insert world class defensive midfielder / Football Manager starlet here]. These idiots cannot have watched the game or, if they did, did so with the sole intention of slating Michael Carrick for failing to unlock the Bolton defense.
I hate to disappoint you clowns, but that’s not Carrick’s job. Carrick is there to break up play, pass the ball to the better players (Rooney and Nani) and hold his position and his discipline. If you want to turn around and blame someone for not unlocking the defense, then Rooney and Nani should be your scapegoats because that’s their job.
Of course, Nani came good in the end, his shot being spilled for Berba to snatch the points, but Rooney swanned about all game looking vaguely threatening in a non-threatening way. Giggs, unfortunately, looks like he’s slipping slowly but surely toward the knackers yard, and Valencia was quiet.
All these players are, for one reason or another, beyond reproach. Giggs has given us years of service and is one of our greatest ever players so, of course, we can’t blame him. Rooney is the children’s hero, and so will always be cheered regardless of any off-the-pitch antics which the kids probably don’t even understand. Valencia is just back from a horrific injury so patchy performances are to be expected. Berba gets loads of shit too, despite being the league’s top scorer.
So, given the above, why should it fall to Michael Carrick to win the game single-handedly for us? It’s not Carrick who went to the manager crying about ambition and demanding a vast pay rise to match the wage offered to him by City. It’s not Michael Carrick who is picked to torment wingers with pace and ability before providing a killer ball.
United kept Bolton at bay, rarely looking much like losing their clean sheet. THIS IS CARRICK’S JOB. If Manchester United do not conceed a goal, then Carrick has done what he is paid to do and is selected for. If Manchester United do not score a goal and you’re into your scapegoating, then you have to turn to look at Nani and Rooney and Valencia and Hernandez and Berbatov and find your scapegoat there. Don’t come to the defensive midfield looking for one, because you will leave either disappointed or looking very stupid when you open your mouth.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to deflect blame away from anybody towards anybody else. We played badly against Bolton but came away with a win. We should be happy with this, and praising our players for their determination and never-say-die attitude. Instead we’re slating our own players which is so fucking small time as to be almost untrue.
Teams do occasionally struggle. Hell, even Barcelona sometimes lose, but I’ll bet you one thing. I bet none of their fans go slating Lionel Messi on twitter or calling for Sergio Busquets to be replaced as soon as the game ends.