Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Manchester United News & Views

Contenders - Chelsea. (Sunday 8th Nov)

One headline billed this fixture as Judgment Day for United as a test of their resolve against the Champions elect. Chelsea are the only realistic prospects at this stage to dethrone United as Champions. They are looking formidable with the best goal difference of +20. An indication of their strength upfront in Drogba’s prolific scoring record of nine goals already this season & Lampards prowess in midfield chipping in with four. Their strength comes from the middle which I regard as one of the best midfield combinations in the world. Essien, Ballack, Deco & Mikel complete an all star cast capable of beating anyone on their day. Man for man they are stronger in midfield compared to United. But the Red Devils have the precious experience of seasoned campaigners who know what it takes to grind out results. Last season’s Champions League semi final against Barcelona was really a sorry sight for the Blues as in my opinion they were cheated out of a second consecutive final appearance. They have already stumbled twice this season at Wigan & Villa which is an indication of their defensive frailties. John Terry really doesn’t have a reliable central defensive partner, Ricardo Carvalho has lost his consistency & given his willingness to leave Chelsea on a few occasions Chelsea have lost that sense of invincibility they had under Mourinho. But United play them away & our poor record at the Bridge over the last 6 seasons will be a psychological advantage for the Blues. Picking United’s midfield combination for this game remains anyone’s guess. United have plenty of defensive options & if they can keep a clean sheet in this game a positive result could be in the offering. As Rio Ferdinand remains constantly dogged by injury let’s hope he is not once again rushed back into the first team.

Most pundits figure Chelsea will have a blip in January when the African Nations Cup comes around & The Blues will lose four crucial players, Drogba & Essien being the most notable. It will be a serious blow as the talented Drogba does carry Chelsea a lot at times as he displayed last night against Atletico. With their pending transfer ban on appeal their ability to successfully see off the start of the New Year will most likely determine the destiny of the Premiership title.

Games vs. Blackburn (2-0)

The Brazilian Anderson seems to be much more consistent this season. He has good drive carrying the ball into the opposition half but his finishing leaves a lot to be desired. His wayward swipe from about 20 yards in the second half of this fixture was really embarrassing however he delightfully carved out the second goal for Rooney. It’s great to see Gabrielle Obertan building his confidence & running at opposition defenses. Although he missed a sitter for a dream debut if he can keep Nani on his toes the competitiveness will provide a lot of depth on the left. Berba’s goal was magnificent & Rooney’s 7th of the season absolute class. The thing about Rooney is he has matured a great deal & plays with a lot more intelligence & all round awareness.

Vs CSKA Moscow

United seemed to take a victory for granted & were caught out with some relaxed defending. The Russians always looked useful on the counter as the Serbian Krasic yet again the focal point of their impressive movement upfront. The turning point had to be when the Red Devils were denied a stone dead penalty & Fletcher booked for diving which Sir Alex rightfully described as unbelievable. Had we got an early second half goal & the relentless pressure we put the ‘Army Men’ under victory would have been in sight. Michael Owen could have bagged a couple but as long he keeps scoring he keeps knocking on that England door. A call up by Capello would boost his confidence a whole lot more.

Looking Ahead

It’s getting tight at the top of the premiership, the Arsenal have been going about their business quietly & impressively. There impressive one touch game dumped Liverpool out of the Mickey Mouse cup last week & even their reserves are capable of that superb passing game they brand the ‘Arsenal Way’. Fabregas will be a colossus in years to come his solo effort against Spurs had me lost for words. Their only weakness seems to be a leaky defense but if they win their game in hand they could level United for points. So getting a result at the Bridge is crucial for United.


1 comment:

  1. Once again the Red Man speaks Haqq

    Swoosh i hope you are taking notes on how to write


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