Monday, August 27, 2012

August Football

Two games into the Premier League season, most United fans have recovered a semblance of normalcy and hope after scrapping a win against Fulham to register the seasons' first points. The loss away at Everton, where we have never really played well, regardless of the results achieved, highlighted all of the failings of the previous season and the gaps in the squad. Two things I've picked up on:

Micheal Carrick, our midfield pass-master general; sacrificed himself to play alongside Vidic in central defense, and was, quite predictably, overawed by the strength, leaping ability and movement of Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jellavic. No doubt Sir Alex had weighed up the pros and cons of doing so, but the fact that the midfield struggled to control the midfield, and struggled to create good chances ( chances that the strikers will score from 75% of the time) must not have been something Sir Alex foresaw, given the selection of Cleverley, Scholes, Kagawa and Rooney. Personally, I'd have trusted young Reservist Scott Wootton(who played frequently on the summer tour) to play between Vidic and Valencia allowing Carrick to slot into midfield and provide protection for the youngster, while making the most of his considerable midfield talents. He was beaten twice to headers that a more aware central defender would have challenged more conscientiously, being caught under the ball against Fulham and being muscled out against Fellaini.

David de Gea, our young, supremely talented, slightly naive goalkeeper, was twice beaten by headers that he could do little about, but most United followers believe a more imposing goalkeeper would be more authoritative of his six yard box and more responsible for crosses into the danger zone.

Rafael: Played very well against Fulham, helped Valencia going forward, and was positionally much better, making interceptions and tackles that were vital to the United defense. He will improve when played alongside a more adept central defender who controls his attacking instinct.

Shinji Kagawa, started really well, his speed of thought and passing technique really helped United going forward and his stamina helped the midfield as he sometimes dropped back into midfield to win the ball back. His goal against Fulham was an instinctive, reactionary poach and while none of his long range attempts really threatened, he's showing signs of becoming a real goal scoring midfieler in the mould of Lampard & Scholes.