Sunday, 28 September 2014

Rooney's Red Mist.

Manchester United 2 West Ham United 1

Old Trafford erupted and the players punched the air in triumph at the end of the match as we secured another three points by defeating the mighty Hammers!

That is West Ham United a team that has not won at Old Trafford since ex red Carlos Tevez scored a late winner in the last match of the season to secure West Hams premier league status back in 2007.

It all started so well again for the second week running we raced into a two goal lead with excellent strikes by Rooney and Van Persie.

Rooney scores
Only to find us pecked back to 2-1 then hanging on to the lead after being again reduced to 10 men. That is where we are at nowadays at United grateful to hang on for a win against lower opposition teams.

God help us when we play the so called big guns. Of course it wasn't helped by our captain Wayne Rooney lashing out at Downing and quite rightly receiving a straight red card.

Rooney fouls
Only he knows what he was thinking. Louis Van Gaal called it a "professional foul" but there was no immediate danger as the defence out numbered the attack.

So as our captain Rooney has no excuses for his action and it raises this question. Was he the right choice for club captain? We all know what he's like as this is not the first time he has had a rush of blood to the head but as captain he must conduct himself in a professional manner off the pitch but more importantly on it.

As a leader he should be an example to the team especially the youngsters coming through.
Rooney's gone
The club are struggling in the league and have so many injury concerns this was the last thing we needed, now we will be without Rooney over the next few weeks.

It's time for two things to happen first give the captaincy to Robin Van Persie, who should have got it in the first place, secondly put Juan Mata in the spot behind the two strikers and let us see what happens. It really can't get any worse. Sometimes positives come from negatives. 

Luke Shaw
On a much brighter note were the debuts of Luke Shaw and Paddy McNair at the back. I felt that McNair, at only 19, put in such a mature performance that he played better than Evans, Smalling and Jones put together so far this season and I was impressed by his assured style of play so much that you wouldn't have thought it was his debut.
Paddy McNair

McNair almost certainly stopped an equaliser with a superb piece of skill to head the ball away from danger while falling to the ground, brilliant. Shaw gave an almost faultless display and would have been man of the match for me if Blind hadn't had another all round great display. Rafael also made up for last week with a great assist for the first.

At the end of the day a much needed 3 points and a second win of the season that lifts United up to 7th in the table. heady heights indeed, Chelsea are showing there the team to catch after a 3-0 win over Roy Keanes' Aston Villa. Once again Liverpool couldn't hold on to a lead and what a goal by Jagielka to grab a very late point for Everton.

On a final note it was nice to see that Danny Welbeck hasn't changed his style of play by assisting in the Arsenal equaliser by missing his shot and the ball completely then falling on his backside, but as all United fans will know from experience he did all that to confuse the Spurs defence and allow Chamberlain to score. Well done Danny keep up the good work.

Looking forward to the visit of Everton to Old Trafford next week so until then take care.

Miles Dunton.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Man United lose to newbies Leicester City

Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3

Hi to all and welcome back on this depressing Monday morning.

Where do you even begin to explain yesterday's result against Leicester City. I'm writing this blog the morning after the match and I still can't comprehend what I witnessed or how it happened.

Man Utd were comfortable, but certainly not cruising, leading 3-1 in the second half then the unthinkable happened, the United team imploded.

United had started the match flying and ran into a 2-0 lead with strikes from Robin van Persie and a sublime goal from Angel Di Maria, which must rank as an early contender for goal of the season. The ball was played into his path by Rooney and as Di Maria entered the opposition area he delightfully chipped the keeper.

From that moment on the match started to crumble around the Red Devils. A combination of poor decisions by the officials and more worrying than that inexcusable defensive mistakes.

As regards the referee, Mark Clattenberg aided by his assistants, managed to turn the match on its head with highly debatable decisions. Starting with Leicesters' first goal did the ball cross the line prior to the cross that led to Ulloa's goal?

This was followed by the first of the two penalties awarded to the home side surely Rafael had been fouled by Vardy before the Brazilian defender chased back and gave away a soft penalty, a penalty which when converted by Nugent gave Leicester City the motivation and momentum they needed and gave the home supporters more voice.

Then the red card for Blackett left the team in an even worse state. I'm in no way degrading Leciester and their win, which they deserved, but in the end United have to solve the defensive problems, because if it had been a team like Chelsea who knows what the score would have been.

We all know that United's central defence is weak. Yesterday it wasn't helped by the departure of  the poor Johnny Evans who was replaced by the equally awful Chris Smalling. On hindsight, I would have preferred the hard working Daley Blind to have been moved back and Mata brought on to play the match out in midfield. Those changes could have protected the 3-1 lead that Herrera had given the visitors.

What happened in the last half hour must have been unbelievable for watching neutrals and our rivals. For a United team to concede four goals and gift the three points to a hyped up Leicester City is totally unacceptable.

I still don't quite understand the substitutions that van Gaal made, Mata for Di Maria and Januzaj for Falcao. A little baffling as they had been our two best players and with them on the pitch anything could have happened.

Also, my biggest gripe is with our captain Wayne Rooney, I'm not a big fan of him playing in the position behind the front two and apart from the pass he gave to Falcao when he struck the bar, his short passing game was terrible.

Sure Rooney never stops running and chasing a lost cause, and he can sweep a thirty yard ball cross field brilliantly, but as a fan I want to see him up front leading the line as a striker and banging in the goals. He doesn't have the close control skills as some of his colleagues have and loses possession too many times.

Following Louis van Gaal's comments last week about always picking his captain for the team, after yesterdays result I think he should reconsider his words as Rooney, even as captain, has to hold his hands up and look at his own performance before walking across the back line giving out verbal abuse to all the defenders. No captain should be immune to being dropped and I'm not saying Van Gaal should drop him but at least select him in his best position.

Next week United play West Ham United at Old Trafford. Let's hope that the team sort out the defensive problems that were so obvious to all watching yesterday.

Thanks for reading.

Miles Dunton.

Monday, 15 September 2014

The season starts here!

Hi to all and welcome back.

At last! We have our first three points of the season and what a great way to get them with a fine 4-0 win over QPR.  Well done to the team and the manager. What happened yesterday was that the team played well together for the first time and that lifted the crowd inside Old Trafford and I'm sure the watching fans around the world, including myself. Cast your mind back two weeks to the last match we played against Burnley and compare that to yesterdays performance, totally different class. No Welbeck, Cleverley and Young and more importantly no negativity.

What was so pleasing and refreshing about the match was the way the new players showed themselves and their quality, especially man of the match Angel Di Maria, scoring one and helping create a hatful of chances, more of which would have been converted had Robin Van Persie had his shooting boots on and a rear view mirror to check who was coming in behind him. Even though Di Maria was my man of the match I thought the other new players put on solid displays especially Daley Blind who palayed with so much confidence it was like he'd been at Old Trafford for years. Rojo also looks a capable player as does Herrera. I was impressed at the passing and the speed our new look team has, also how many left footed players we are blessed with, I remember the days it was only Ryan Giggs now at least five, who played yesterday, are lefties. Falcao didn't get on the pitch until late in the game but he could have opened his scoring account if it hadn't been for the keepers block late on. It was also great to see Rafael back in defense and like Evans, Mata and youngster Blackett I think the new signings helped to lift those players' game.

So, overall a comfortable day and with the three points in the bag up we go in the table to within 1 point of Liverpool and only 2 points behind Man City as both teams had a very poor weekend, so it was good to see United benefit from that. Let's hope we can build on this win and keep going before Chelsea, with the help of Costa, pull too far away before we play them. Talking of Chelsea with the start Costa has made I predict that the premier leading goalscorer will be a fight between him and Falcao.

On a different topic, I've read this week of so many people saying that United have lost their soul by buying so many foreign players and not giving the youngsters a chance. Well maybe Louis Van Gaal has had a look at the younger players and decided that either they are not ready or that they are simply not good enough. I don't think United has lost any part of its soul as in the past we were lucky to have a group of youngsters from the class of '92 but since then apart from a couple of players we haven't had the same quality as in the past. Also, we have been buying youngsters from abroad for a long time now players like Paul Pogba who played in the youth teams and reserves but didn't make the grade to the first team before Ferguson sold him onto Juventus. We are not the only team to find it difficult to recruit young local talent and keep hold of them, this has been a problem in England for over a decade. We are Manchester United and we are the most supported team on the planet so we should buy the best players when they are available, players that can achieve great things for us and take us back to the top where we belong. We should also sell whoever the manager thinks is not good enough. At the same time I'm sure Van Gaal and his backroom staff are working hard to search for the new young talent whether they be British or not. What would people rather see Moyes' team of last year or the team that beat QPR yesterday? So ex players and coaches should stop harping on about the past and get behind the team 100% or shut up. I understand that everybody is entitled to their opinion, but what would these so called experts had said if we hadn't bought anyone during the summer. Sometimes Man United simply can't win either way.

Next match up is Leicester City away next weekend. Come on you reds another 3 points.

Until next time.

Miles Dunton.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Hi to all football fans,

Welcome to the first I hope of many of my thoughts on all things concerning Manchester United and the English Premier League.

Let's start with the season so far which is now on an international break which from a red point of view has come at the right time after the poor start to the season so far. Three matches that has seen us lose at home to Swansea and draw away at Sunderland and Burnley. So a measly 2 points in all, but lets be honest did we expect much more, sure they are 3 of the so called weaker teams but having said that our team wasn't up to scratch and the team was basically made up of the Moyes squad of last year. I strongly believe that in Louis van Gaal we have a manager that will deliver us back into the good times that we have been so spoilt on in the last couple of decades. Already his press conferences have made more sense than any of David Moyes' and he has a pedigree that shows he is capable of bringing us silverware. Already he has put Uniteds money where his mouth is and spent well in excess of 150 million pounds on some world class talent Di Maria, Herrera, Falcau, Rojo, Blind and Shaw. These are players who could walk into most teams and along with the current players they will drag United back into Premier League contention. We still need to buy a top class defender in the January transfer window which I'm sure the manager will do.

Van Gaal has also allowed some players to leave for example Hernandez to Real Madrid, Cleverley to Aston Villa and the one that makes me so happy was Welbeck to Arsenal. I have never held Welbeck in great asteem he was always a player who would infuriate me with not only his lack of goals, 29 goals in 142 matches, but also his poor decision making once inside the opposition box. I know he came through Uniteds' youth teams and he is a local Manchester lad but be honest if he had been at another club would we have bought him? I very much doubt it. Manchester United has always had players who could turn the result of a match with one touch of the ball but he needed 5 touches to put the ball out for a goal kick. While talking about failures another has to Ashley Young, watching the match last week against Burnley every time he received the ball he was looking to pass it backwards although he had three options up front in Mata, Rooney and Van Persie, if Young has lost confidence then leave him out or it will hurt us even more the same can be said of Antonio Valencia, since he broke his ankle his pace has never been the same.

So predictions for this season. Well the champions will not be United, but I would love to eat my words, I believe it will be between Chelsea and Man City with Man Utd making the top 4 with either Liverpool or Arsenal. Boring I know but I really can't see any other team breaking into that. Of course I would love Man Utd to be champions and all the others relegated but that's only a dream. Relegation will be made up of Burnley, Sunderland and West Ham. Man Utd to win the FA cup as a start to the silverware.

The next round of matches sees Man Utd at home to QPR and the welcome return of our former defender Rio Ferdinand. I hope he is given a warm welcome by the fans as he was a great player alongside Vidic in the defence.

Until the next time.

Miles Dunton.