Posts Tagged ‘Sir Alex Ferguson’
Nani is whingeing today that he doesn’t get to play like a spoiled kid on the playground whilst representing Manchester United in tight games.
“I try to enjoy playing now, but it is not always possible because I have a responsibility to the team. But something of the street remains in me. It is not easy to show at United because Sir Alex does not allow very much freedom and I cannot do the tricks and things I did with my friends. But when the game is under control I take a risk and it makes me very happy if things work out.”
In other words, Nani wants to go back to playing in the erratic, frustrating way he was playing two years ago, when he was warming the bench for us and generally deemed to be a failure. Playing that way got him to the brink of being sold, and it is this added discipline and end product that has turned him into the most dangerous winger in the league.
I’m worried that he thinks that, now that he’s had two thirds of one excellent season, he can start doing whatever he likes. I guess we’ll learn more when we see what wage he extends his contract for.
For him to turn around and suggest that he should be allowed to play like he can on the street for Manchester United is completely wrong. If he wants to do stupid tricks that don’t do anything, then do them in training on John O’Shea and have a laugh then. If you want to do tricks that work, that’s fine too. We never had a problem with Ronaldo doing them.
But if you just want to fuck about doing millions of stepovers and backheels to the detriment of the team beacuse it makes you happy, then do one. Not interested. Remember when he took the piss out of Arsenal with a seal dribble? Yeah, great, but William Gallas almost put him out for months in revenge.
Just play football, and play it properly. Doing that has put you in with a shout of winning player of the year. If you don’t fuck up you could go on to be player of the decade.
It’s criminal that I have waited until now to pust a reaction peice to this game, given how brilliant it was, and how much there is to discuss. That’s what happens when you get ill, unfortunately. On the plus side, it’s given me a couple of days to chew over the game, and certain performances, and any jerking of the knee has long since calmed.
Without wanting to burst everyone’s balloon, we need to remember that this was just one game against the biggest bottlers of the Premiership era. Even Keegan’s Newcastle team only really bottled it once – Arsenal are serial bottlers, throwing away trophies left, right and center as soon as they are in any danger of winning them.
We will learn a lot more about how much we’re revitalized after the international break. Could it have come at a worse time? I fully expect us to ride the crest of the wave and sweep a crisis-torn Marseille side aside at Old Trafford and Bolton at the weekend, but we’d then absolutely love a run of Premiership games, thick and fast, to keep us interested, winning, and put the league beyond the reach of Arsenal and City.
Instead, we get to add a maximum of three Premiership points to our total before we have to watch a pointless England friendly against, of all people, Ghana, and what should be a walkover in qualification against Wales. Of course, given the privelage of seeing our Captain, Leader, Legend back in charge of the England side, so I should really be holding my tongue…
So, perhaps the most important game of the season now becomes our first game back, away at West Ham on Saturday lunchtime. Win that well, and we’re all set for the run-in. I can’t stress enough the importance of being clear by the time we have to play Arse and Chelsea.
Onto the Arsenal game itself. The first, and most obvious point, is that Fabio and Rafael were both absolutely outstanding. I think the fact that it was Tony who came on has let many people overlook the injustice of Fabio’s withdrawal at half-time, and I have no doubt that if Valencia wasn’t waiting in the wings for his comeback, he would have played most of the 90.
Fabio is showing the eye for goal that we were always told he had ever since Les Kershaw first slapped eyes on them. Both he and Rafael are also showing the versatility which will stand them in good stead at the club (case in point; John O’Shea) with their performance on the wing adding to Fabio’s stint in central midfield for the reserves, a position also occupied by Rafael for the first portion of the second half.
Most importantly, they add the same tenacity to the flanks as Park Ji-Sung does, but without sacrificing any of the attacking threat. Now, Park is far too good a player to consider shipping out, but Ferguson now has options as to who to play out wide when up against a Bale or Nasri figure. In addition, should Nani be injured, the flanks will have fluidity if the da Silvas occupy them, with Evra and Valencia both capable of filling both spots when the da Silvas push on or drop deep.
I can’t stress enough how promising the twin’s performances were, and quite how beneficial the increase in options we now have is.
I don’t want to upset my self by discussing this in too much depth, but Edwin van der Sar was awesome. I fully understand his decision to retire to look after his sick wife, and I’d prefer it if our fans let him be, because these chants asking him to stay can’t be helping.
It’s getting boring having to point this out every week, but Chris Smalling was again absolutely brilliant. Arsenal were restricted to a handful of second half chances, and you had to be paying rapt attention to notice the work of Smalling. Like all the great defenders he got everything done with the minimum of fuss, distributed well and restricted van Persie to just one chance in the first half.
Is it fair to suggest that normal service has now resumed from Wayne Rooney? The goals are flowing once again, his first touch is back, and he looks interested again. Keep it up Wayne. You’ll have to do an awful lot to win my affections back, but you’re certainly going the right way about it.
I’d also like to mention Darron Gibson, who was assured and capable in central midfield. In the absence of Carrick, I was fully expecting him to be scapegoated should we lose (even beyond the ranting that would have awaited Fergie for his team selection). Instead, Gibson looked comfortable on the ball and tenacious alongside the steady John O’Shea, who never looks overawed. Ever.
I was as horrified as the next man when I saw the team=sheet, but once again Fergie proves us all wrong. It was definitely an experiment, but it couldn’t possibly have gone any better. Roll on Tuesday.
I cannot even contemplate losing to Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool within what feels like mere days. FA Cup or not, this one is a must-win for us.
I probably sound like a broken record saying that every single week, but in this case it’s absolutely true. If you asked me normally, then I would say yes, games against Arsenal are always important but in this instance, we need to take a look at the bigger picture. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
The ever reliable Daily Star is reporting that Ferguson is going to get rid of Gabriel Obertan and Bebe at the end of the season.
An insight into the way these papers come up with their headlines can be gleaned from conclusion the Star has jumped to based on the following quote;
“It was a terrible performance from us in the second half. Some players came in and didn’t do themselves justice, no doubt about that. In the second half, we weren’t at the races and it was disappointing. We might have some players who don’t understand what the FA Cup is all about. That is the biggest lesson for
Ferguson clearly stating that Obertan and Bebe are the two specifically he is referring to, and that they will be leaving in the summer.
Now, whilst Gabriel Obertan and Bebe came in and were both poor, he could just as easily be referring to the quiet Javier Hernandez, the pedestrian Darron Gibson, or Wayne Rooney who, in a 45 minutes of football against non-leaguers, contributed nothing but a stupid booking.
Fergie also uses the word “lesson”. This suggests that he is still happy to work with his players, and that he sees this as a possibly positive experience for them in the long term.
After all, Bebe was bought in as a project, and we can’t be jumping to conclusions yet, and whilst Obertan’s lack of progress is a little worrying (as I have previously mentioned), we can’t be making rash judgements on the back of one game.
Let’s see how they respond to this, and give them time to come good. After all, we gave Ronaldo three seasons to come good, and my word, he did.
We all knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean it comes as any less of a shock. Gary Neville has today announced his retirement from football with immediate effect. Read the rest of this entry »
Neil Warnock has revealved that Adel Taarabt has been watched by United scouts recently – and that a temper tantrum which saw him substituted in the first half against Hull has cost him his chance of making the move, at least in the near future. Read the rest of this entry »