Posts Tagged ‘Hernandez’
The PFA have announced their shortlist for the Player of the Year gong and, surprise surprise, Nani and Berbatov have both been omitted from the list. Samir Nasri, Charlie Adam, Carlos Tevez, Gareth Bale, Scott Parker and our own Nemanja Vidic make up the final shortlist. Apparently being top scorer in the league without taking any penalties and creating the most goals in the league are not enough to warrant a place on this list.
Almost insultingly Nani makes the Young Player of the Year shortlist, along with Jack Wilshere, Joe Hart, Seamus Coleman and the aforementioned Bale and Nasri. Definitely insultingly, there is no place for Javier Hernandez.
We really shouldn’t be surprised, though, because the PFA awards are voted for by players, and players are as much fans as we are, with a little bit of professional jealousy mixed in for good measure. They are a glorified popularity contest, and when did Manchester United ever win any of those? What player from Leeds, for example, will vote for a Manchester United player?
Whilst Nemanja Vidic might well take the Player of the Year award, and rightly so, you can’t help but worry that people who don’t understand football (and plenty of footballers don’t) will be flocking to vote for the permanently injured Gareth Bale because he had a decent August and September or Charlie Adam / Scott Parker for “battling the drop”. I can’t see Nasri winning because his form has fallen off a cliff since the start of the season, much like Carlos Tevez.
Nani would walk the young player of the year but for the fact that he’s not a young English player. As such, Jack Wilshere’s “emergence as an international” should see him rank ahead of Nani (nine goals, thirteen assists, 45 caps to his name already) because he plays for the popular and fashionable Arsenal side. That, in itself, should tell you how much of a joke these individual awards are.
Football is a team sport, and giving out individual awards makes as much sense as presenting Domino’s Pizza gongs for their pepperoni alone. Regardless, this last week has shown the contempt in which we are held by the footballing media, supporters around the country, the English game’s governing body and even the players in the Premiership themselves.
I wouldn’t get too uptight about it though. You can bet that, if we didn’t win so many trophies as a team, Nani and Berbatov would be at the top of the list. What player, when our lads are already so trophy-laden, is going to vote to give one of them them yet another?
It’s quite a big step for me to admit that, at the moment, perhaps Dimitar Berbatov isn’t part of our first XI. He’s certainly not the man in form and, perhaps fatally, not the man with age on his side either.
It would be almost unthinkable in most scenarios to consider the leagues top scorer to be any team’s third choice center forward, and it’s certianly not a negative reflection on Berbatov as a player or as a bloke, as he’s absolutely top bracket in both regards.
Part of the blame (if we are to call it that) must land at the feet of Sir Alex Ferguson, who has only sparingly given Berbatov the chance to shine in the big games this season. Mostly, however, it’s down to both the sudden return to form of Wayne Rooney and the inexorable rise of little Javier Hernandez.
I love Berbatov, but last night was not made for him. We scored two great goals which exhuded the cut-and-thrust of our attacking play at it’s best. The pace and movement of the front two and the wingers caused Marseille touble only sporadically, but when it did they were unplayable.
Pace and movement are two areas in which Berbatov does not excel, but Rooney and Hernandez base their entire games on being good in them. Rooney, when on song, dominates the space between the opposition lines much like Scholes, his range of passing second to none. Hernandez, on the other hand, is the master craftsman in the penalty area, possibly the most supremely talented poacher I have seen in many a year.
As an extra bonus, Antonio Valencia appears to have slipped seamlessly back into the team and is brilliantly linking with these two right from the off. Although admittedly we have no idea how he would meld with Berbatov this time around, this late in the season isn’t the time for experimentation.
Instead, we get to ride the crest of a wave of striking form towards the three trophies that we’re still in with a shout of winning. Whilst I still think we’ll come unstuck against some genuine quality should we meet Barcelona or Real Madrid, if we manage to avoid those guys until the final (they could draw each other in the quarters or semi still) we could beat anyone in a one-off game.
In all honesty, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see where Berbatov fits in to our fast, and mobile front four. Could it be that he would be the best value player to sell in the summer? I’d date to see it happen because I love to watch Berbatov play, but selling Rooney now he appears to be back on form and interested again, for all my personal distate for the guy, would be footballing suicide.
Last night was far more nervy than it needed to be and, once again, you can say that we got bossed in the midfield for long periods, especially in the second half. Marseille have a plethora of huge physical defenders of African origin, although some (Taiwo) fall over way too easily.
Quite how Marseille failed to score I will never know. Their finishing was about as deadly as a bath plug, and there is a school of thought that we were lucky to get through. Indeed, if Gignac and Diawara had both taken their woefully wasted chances, it would have left us needing a further two goals in the second half to progress. Of course, goals change games, and if Gignac had levelled our opener so quickly who knows how the game would have panned out?
Smalling etc etc.
Speaking of the defense, we’re now fucked again. With John O’Shea and Rafael out we have no fit right-backs. Wesley Brown can deputise, but it’s hardly his preferred position, and Fabio is more accustomed to playing left-back, so with Vidic out for three weeks it remains to be seen what shows up against Bolton at the weekend. Probably Evra, Smalling, Brown and Fabio, unless there’s a reserve we can chuck in. Wouldn’t fancy it at this stage of the season though.
If I had shown you this league table in October and told you that this is what it would have looked like on March 7th, you’d have bitten my hand off. Absolutely nommed it up and chowed it down. The fact that we have just lost two games on the bounce really DOES NOT MATTER on the grand scale of things. It would have been nice to have won them but that’s the beauty of this league.
When we came back from 2-0 down to win at Blackpool, THAT is the kind of result that buys you the breathing space that you come to rely on after weeks like the one we’ve just had. We are still top because we have earned the right to be there. We haven’t had a shitty spell where we’ve dopped loads of points to shit teams like Chelsea have.
What is important now is what we do against Arsenal. If we lose that then, yes, we are in a spot of bother, but again, I remind you that Arsenal WILL drop more points before the end of the season. They are bottlers of the higest order.
I’m starting to enjoy this hilarious media witch-hunt that’s now going on. We’re apparently the ultimate evil, responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the north-west of England (or so you’d imagine from our press coverage) and the other clubs in this league can do absolutely no wrong.
If you want an example of hypocrasy in action, look at the two challenges made by Carragher and Rafael. Both were vile, and both were clearly worthy of red cards. The difference is that the media jump all over Rafael’s challenge, demanding he be banned retrospectively (something that, if it happens, will be in direct contravention to the rule book), whereas Carraghers is dismissed as “crude” but “accidental” as he is “not that type of player”.
It’s an insult to Rafael, as it implies that he is that type of player.
Who gives a shit if Carragher apologised to Nani? It doesn’t mean he didn’t assault his leg. Equally, the fact that Nani is injured doesn’t make the foul any worse. It would have been equally vile if he’d escaped.
Fergie is quite within his rights to not speak to the media, be it in the rules or not. It’s ludicrous. Say what he thinks and he’s slapped with a fine. Not talk to the media and he’s labelled “pathetic” and will quite possibly be fined. Yet when, in a post match interview, Dalglish COMPLETELY SIDESTEPS A QUESTION it’s let go. Why is that any worse than just not speaking to them at all?
The one positive on the pitch after yet another game in which our midfield got bossed was yet another goal from Hernandez. The kid is a genius. Even on an afternoon as bad as this, he continues to enhance his reputation, and with the goal difference being so, so close, that could be the goal that wins us 19.
All in all, it’s been an absolutely fantastic week to be an ABU, the best in six years. We need to remember that we could still very easily win this title. It’s still ours to lose as we still get to play Arsenal.
On the topic of Liverpool; yes, Suarez looks the real deal, Carrol offers them something new, and yes, they might actually have a chance of winning something next year.
Players who spend hours working on their celebrations, or performing pre-planned celebrations, are all dicks. There’s one team allowed to do funny celebrations, and it’s that random Icelandic team that do things like this.
Now that Wayne Rooney appears to have adopted some sort of arrogant Cantona style pose whenever he scores, I hate the ungreatful, arrogant shit even more than I did before.
I’ll start with a disclaimer. I may be reading far, far too much into this, but sometimes the smallest clues betray the biggest truths.
This feeling of mine causes me problems, because it would appear that Wayne Rooney is once again scoring goals and playing well for Manchester United. I of course want him to do well for Manchester United because that would mean that the team is succeeding. I would rather have an in form Rooney than no Rooney at all.
Unfortnately, his demeanour would suggest that he thinks he is the be all and end all of United, and that we should be eternally grateful to him for everything that he does. This is so far off the mark as to be faintly laughable.
Whilst Rooney was still at Everton he did a gay little flip at Euro 2004 against Switzerland, which we tall took the piss out of, and then started behaving normally after goals. He would run off to the fans to celebrate, and look genuinely happy with what he had just done. Just like the way you or I would celebrate a goal on a Sunday morning.
Now, he stands there, arms outstretched, basking in his own reflected glory, like some switch has flipped in his head and he’s suddenly a big shot in his own eyes. This is not the behaviour or someone who is happy with what he’s just done. This is the behaviour of someone who is happy with himself. That’s a massive, massive difference.
Is Rooney really so deluded that he thinks we have all forgotten how bad he’s been this season, up until the past couple of weeks? Does Rooney genuinely believe that he’s now the number one, the main man, beyond reproach at United?
What does Wayne Rooney see when he looks in the mirror in the morning? Does he see that kid from Croxteth who’s made it good, through a combination of talent and sheer hard work, and now has the privelage of wearing the Manchester United shirt and leading us to glory?
Or does he see Wayne Rooney, footballer, celebrity, millionaire?
I fear that it’s the latter, and if I’m right, then I’m sorry, he can fuck off. In Hernandez, we have a talented young goalscorer who isn’t quite the finished article, but he just gets it. In Berbatov we have the consumate professional, always willing to sacrifice for the team. Michael Owen is the same, think what you like about his past crimes as a dipper.
Unfortunately, in Rooney we have a bad egg. He sleeps with hookers whilst his wife is pregnant, he courts our biggest rivals to earn himself a payrise and he plays utter shite for 12 months whilst behaving like Johan fucking Cruyff.
He does all of this, and doesn’t give a shit about any of it. Wayne, it’s time for an attitude transplant or for you to leave, because we cannot go on this way.
Back to business.
After the FA Cup diversion at the weekend, we have another huge game in the Premiership, although that’s not saying anything because, as the nights begin to draw out, every game is big when you’re at the top of the table. Read the rest of this entry »
Transfer deadline day is almost always quiet for us. Other than the Berbatov deal a few Augusts ago, I can’t really remember us making a big signing on deadline day. This is testament to Fergie’s ability when it comes to getting deals wrapped up before the start of the brinksmanship season and prices go sky high. Read the rest of this entry »