FA Community Shield. Manchester United 2 Wigan Athletic 0

Well old purple nose is gone and the David Moyes era begun under the Wembley Arch and under the unknown future that lies ahead after 27 years of Fergie. The lack of signings, the Rooney saga, the inconsistent form during the pre season tour all hung over Moye’s head as he led Fergie’s team into the Wembley sunshine. Wilifired Zaha, a January transfer window signing from Crystal Palace was the only fresh face in a team that was largely comprised of last year’s champions. The game itslef was rather boring and low key. Wigan, FA Cup winners in a relegation season, understandably didn’t play at full pelt as they are already embroiled in a gruelling Championship season and have a UEFA CUp campaign to consider. They paid United too much respect and hardly made De Gea sweat. Yet it was interesting to note that at times Wigan’s midfield dominated United’s. The dire lack of reinforcement in this area in Fergie’s last years is being felt now and once again the evergreen Ryan Giggs proved the best United midfield player, why Geoff Hurst gave MoM to Carrick is beyond me. RVP carried on where he left off last season with two goals, a majestic header from an Evra Cross and a deflected second. Plus points, trophy won, Adnan Januzaj makes his debut. Negative points. Rafael out for 4 weeks, Zaha limped off, centre mid weakness made apparent for all to see and Danny Welbeck is still in a United shirt. Moyes said the victory was SAF’s but its time to make your own stamp on the team mate and sign us some players.

 

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

15 Nemanja Vidic

4   Phil Jones

2   Rafael Da Silva

11 Ryan Giggs

23 Tom Cleverly

16 Michael Carrick

29 Wilifired Zaha

19 Danny Welbeck

20 Robin van Persie (2 goals)

SUBSTITUTES

Chris Smalling on for Rafael Da Silva

Antonio Valencia on for Wilifired Zaha

Anderson on for Ryan Giggs

Shinji Kagawa on for Danny Welbeck

Adnan Januzaj on for Robin van Persie

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Manchester United 1 Galatasaray 0

Match corresponding to the UEFA Champions League.

A good start to the Champions Leauge campaign that ended so ignominiously last season in December. United played badly and Gala deserved much more from this game, certainly two very clear penalties were not given for the Turkish side, one committed by Vidic in the first minutes of the game! The Turkish fans provided a sterling atmosphere and did not stop chanting through out the match but a penalty given to United, and subsequently missed by Nani (the third spot kick United have missed this season), quietened them somewhat. This came after Micheal Carrick scored a rare goal rounding the keeper, he was also fouled by the goalie and could have gone down for a penalty and a sure sending off for the Galatasaray keeper so credit to Carrick there. Yet United were wasteful in possession and the final ball was very often bad an inaccurate, yes you Mr Valencia. The Turks had a solid control in midfield and were causing United some problems. David De gea pulled off a stunning double save from a Gala counter attack that stemmed from a penalty foul on Nani in the box that the referee ignored. Darren Fletcher came on for his first action in 10 months to a magnificent reception by the Old Trafford crowd. Three points but a very dodgy performance by the team, perhaps the nerves kicked in after last year’s poor showing.

Manchester United Squad

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

6   Johnny Evans

15 Nemanja Vidic

2   Rafael Da Silva

17 Nani

16 Micheal Carrick (Goal)

22 Paul Scholes

7 Antonio Valencia

26 Shinji Kagawa

20 Robin van Persie.

SUBSTITUTES

Darren Fletcher on for Paul Scholes

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez on for Robin van Persie

Danny Welbeck on for Shinji Kagawa

My take on the United Squad

1. David De Gea – guilty of come clangers but has proved his class in the second half of season. Will go from strength to strength next year.

3. Patrice Evra – worst season in a United shirt. Lack of competition has meant complacency has set in. A new LB is needed to give Pat a kick on the arse.

4. Phil Jones – good first season BUT he is not a centre mid player!

5. Rio Ferdinand – Waning years but has kept his fitness. Will probably play less next year but crucial for tutoring younger defenders.

6. Johnny Evans – made a massive improvement but in my opinion is not a United quality player. Will stay.

7. Michael Owen – goodbye and thanks for nothing.

8. Anderson – dodgy hamstrings and dodgy performances may mean he is on his way out. A pity as has not fulfilled potential.

9. Dimitar Berbatov -Feel sorry for him but SAF should have never signed him. A great footballer that does not fit United’s style of quick wing play and counter attack football. Hopefully he will leave.

10. Wayne Rooney – Top Scorer.

11. Ryan Giggs – He can shag and do what he wants as he has earned it but time to retire him.

12. Chris Smalling – Still al lot of naivety in his play but will mature into one hell of a player.

13. Ji Sung Park – Goobye Park. Awful footballer that can run loads but cannot pass, shoot, head the ball. If he can run so much then he can run the Marathon for South Korea at the Olympics.

14. Chicharito – Injuries and second season syndrome have hindered his progress yet he scores 11. The more you feed him the more he scores.

15. Nemanja Vidic – Cruciate injury meant he was out for 8 months. Expect him back to his beastly best next season.

16. Micheal Carrick – slow and ponderous but needs to stay as we have no other CM’s. More goals will be great. If United sign any other CM’s I expect Carrick to play less.

17. Nani – OK season but injury meant he never hit last year’s explosive heights.

18. Ashley Young – Still wondering why has was signed. He has not contributed much and always wants the extra touch. Too much money paid means he’ll be here next year.

19. Danny Welbeck – great season but like Young always looking for an extra touch. Would score a shit load more if he were more decisive.

20. Fabio – SAF has already said he would go on loan.

21 Rafael – breakthrough season but very positionally naive. Needs to work on that or he will follow his brother out.

22. Paul Scholes – Great to see him back but sad that he was recalled back. Indicative of United’s dire need of CM’s. Should go back into retirement with Ginger head held high.

23. Tom Cleverley – Needs to develop ankles not made of glass!

24. Darren Fletcher – Hope he recovers from illness.

25. Antonio Valencia – United’s player of the Season.

Players I think United should sell: Kuszczak, Macheda, Diouf, Park, Berbatov, Owen, Anderson and Young (though this last one will not go).

Sunderland 0 Manchester United 1

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at The Stadium of Light.

United did what they had to do, win. Missed a shed load of chances but alas Fortune, being the fickle mistress she is, deserted Sir Alex Ferguson after many years of being bedfellows. Contrary to all the accumulated footballing knowledge of the good and the wise Queens Park Rangers were 1-2 up with the clock at 90 minutes played but like that muggy evening on the 26th May 1999 at the Nou Camp in Barcelona its not over until its over. City scored two more goals, Aguero’s a belter to pip United to the title on goal difference. What ever deal was struck with the Dark Powers on the 26th May 1999 was called in today. In all honesty United should have had this wrapped up by last weekend. Defeat against Wigan, letting two two goal leads slip at Old Trafford against Everton. Allowing Blackburn Rovers to win on the 31st December and allowing Newcastle to draw a game in which they should have tonked all have contributed to this seasons lack of title. Yet one should not lose sight that this squad is perhaps the weakest in many years. It lacks leadership and has suffered through injury. Players have come to the end of their useful top shelf use and should be sold or retired. The Glazers leeching the club for interest payments need to invest and Sir Alex, graceful in defeat, needs to make sure he signs the right players. No more footy now until August, except the Champions League final next week and England’s usual cock up in the Euro’s. Premier League is back in August and hopefully the Reds will have a new left back and two centre mids to add to the squad.

Manchester United Team


1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

6   Johnny Evans

4   Phil Jones

18 Ashley Young

16 Micheal Carrick

22 Paul Scholes

25 Antonia Valencia

11 Ryan Giggs

10 Wayne Rooney (Goal)

SUBSTITUTES

Nani on for Ashley Young

Manchester United 2 Swansea City 0

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at Old Trafford.

Manchester City’s result at St James’s Park earlier in the day had pretty much taken the sting out of this one. United did what they had to, win. yet City should be champions by this time next week. It wasn’t lost last Monday at the Etihad rather on New Year’s Eve against Blackburn, losing at the DW Stadium, letting a two goal lead slip twice against Everton. The list is endless of idiotic results that have meant that after 16 point swing United handed City the initiative. Once can clutch at straws in that QPR are still very much alive but a team that has won at home with regularity in the past weeks has also lost with the same regularity away. Nothing is yet decided but as Sir Alex said before kick off, they have two hands on the trophy. The match was a bit anti climatic for the reasons given. Scholes and Young got the goals and De Gea prevented City’s goal difference advantage getting larger. The curtain comes down on Old Trafford for a season that could have seen the trophy being presented on that hallowed turf today but alas there are many problems with this squad and something Fergie will have to be done. Heres to a last day miracle!

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

12 Chris Smalling

4   Phil Jones

18 Ashley Young (Goal)

16 Michael Carrick

22 Paul Scholes (Goal)

25 Antonio Valencia

10 Wayne Rooney

14 Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez

SUBSTITIUTES

Tom Cleverley on for Paul Scholes

Dimitar Berbatov on for Wayne Rooeny

Rafael Da Silva on for Rio Ferdinand

Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at the Etihad Stadium

Disastrous result. Gutted. United weakest in all areas with Smalling looking like the non league level he came from in City’s goal. If SAF said he wasn’t playing for draw in his post match interview he was kidding us all. Surely this his to be Park’s last ever game for United. City now in the driving seat and deservedly so. The old codger even had a spat with Mancini on the sideline telling the idiot with the scarf to fuck and piss off. Pity his players didn’t show the same character on the pitch. Gutted. City ow have a difficult game away at Newcastle, United at home to Swansea City. City top on goal difference. What I don’t get is the Sky wankfest over City and they vilify Ambramovich at Chelsea for doing essentially the same thing.

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

12 Chris Smalling

5   Rio Ferdinand

4   Phil Jones

13 Ji Sung Park

11 Ryan Giggs

16 Michael Carrick

22 Paul Scholes

17 Nani

10 Wayne Rooney

SUBSTITUTES

Danny Welbeck on for Ji Sung Park

Antonio Valencia on for Paul Scholes

Ashley Young on for Nani

Manchester United 4 Everton 4

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at Old Trafford.

What a crazy match. United are guilty of very sloppy and very careless defending. A match during which they led by two goals twice and a match that now gives Manchester City the necessary motivation to go and beat Wolves and then United at the Etihad to be in the best position to win the title. United started very cagily, maybe believing in their record at Old Trafford versus Everton. The only keeper to touch the ball in the first 10 minutes was De Gea, the only team to have shots on goal in the first ten minutes were Everton. As such it was with no surprise that Nikola Jelovic scored an almost impossible header to give Everton the lead. A high cross eluded defence and keeper and from the most acute of angles Jelavic, who was later to get Everton’s third, looped the ball over De Gea into the net. This seemed to spark United into life and the football began to flow and roll. Valencia and Nani took over the wings and it was a cross from the left that saw Rooney head in the equaliser. At half time United were ascendant and Danny Welbeck’s sublime finish early in the second seemed to signal the beginning of the end. He sold Hiteinga a dummy and sweetly curved in a shot past the diving Howard. Top class finish that was accentuated by Nani’s close range lob making it 3-1. It seemed job done and City’s hopes dashed. Yet credit to Everton for plugging away without cease. Rafael and both central defenders however then entered brain fart mode. Fellaini was allowed a clear, though a very high quality, volley amidst four United defenders surrounding him. De Gea stood no chance. Everton hope sprang eternal, only to be dashed by a great one-two in the Everton area that left Rooney to blast the ball into the back of the net. 4-2 order restored. But this Everton side does not give up. Another defensive error let them in again and Jelavic pounced to make it 4-3. Everton’s fourth was product of good play down United’s right and a well worked move allowed Pienaar to worm his way between Ferdinand and Rafael to leave De Gea unable to make a save from a close range shot. United surged forward again realising the importance of the win today. Evra his the post with a header and Tim Howard pulled off a last ditch save against a Rio Ferdinand shot. Yet to no avail. 4-4, unthinkable before kick off or even during the match. What price Wolves getting something out of their game this afternoon?

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

6   Johnny Evans

21 Rafael Da Silva

17 Nani (Goal)

22 Paul Scholes

16 Michael Carrick

25 Antonio Valencia

10 Wayne Rooney (2 Goals)

19 Danny Welbeck (Goal)

SUBSTITUTES

Phil Jones on for Paul Scholes

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez on for Antonio Valencia