So this weekend produced a mixed bag of results. This can lead some people to push the panic button and begin to dismantle our team. Yes, we may have be subpar in such a crucial game but believe me when I say that there are still good times ahead.
After receiving the team news while waiting anxiously for the kickoff, I was slightly disappointed to see only one striker in Berbatov being played, although I thought Fergie would start the game off with a packed midfield due to City predictably doing the same. The back 5 had a familiar look about it and with a midfield of Scholes Carrick & Park, as well as Valencia and Nani on the wings, I was confident enough that would have enough to see off City.
1. Poor Performances
The obvious starting spot has to go not only to single players, but the team as a whole. We began the game brightly, dominating the first 25 minutes before City came back into it. In that time we had the better chances and should have taken advantage. We had enough firepower out there to break their defence but squandered the chances that came our way. The second half was a much less feisty affair, and after going a goal and a man down, we could not break the City defence which has been the strength for most of the season. Overall, even though certain players played a bigger role in our demise than others, we have only ourselves to blame.
Dimitar Berbatov. I have defended this guy time after time, and I still believe he has lots to offer and has answered many of his critics this season. However, there comes a time when his mistakes cannot be covered up. Two crucial misses in two minutes. Putting one of those chances away would have most definitely changed the outcome of the game. City this season have struggled to come back into games when they go behind. But he didn’t and I believe he must hold his hand up and take some responsibility. But I do understand that it’s difficult to play well in the big games when the manager never actually puts faith in you and you are only starting because someone else is injured. How can we expect him to have confidence in himself when the manager doesn’t? However, this is not an excuse as one needs to be professional, take your chance and show that you deserve it. He most certainly did not.
Michael Carrick. I’m so upset about this new setback for him because he is another player I have tried to defend for so long, and after finally showing some of his best form for United in almost 2 years, I’m afraid his confidence may have taken another knock. His poorly directed and easily anticipated pass which lead to City’s goal and ultimately our defeat, could see him struggle to shake this latest mistake off and come back stronger. I hope he does not revert back to his shy, uncreative, backward passing self.
Paul Scholes. Isn’t it ironic that the one time he actually speaks up and gives an interview pre-match; he manages to completely do the opposite of what he promised and was the consolidating reason for our loss. No one will feel sicker than him, but once his experienced head and creative ability was off the field there was only going to be one outcome. Unlucky challenge as both feet were raised, but the ref could have given a yellow. Now he will miss our next couple of games at least, and with Carrick losing confidence again, Anderson still not in form and Fletch still recovering from illness, we will once again have to rely on our 37 year old veteran, the ever reliable (Sir) Ryan Giggs, to fill in. Did someone say Wesley Sneijder?
Let me just say, don’t lose faith and don’t lose sight of the bigger goals. Before this game I said I would take us being knocked out by City and them winning the FA Cup for us to just win the league. That is the real prize and that is where our focus should lie. Number 19 is within touching distance and after Arsenal managed to mess things up (yet again) for themselves late into injury time, I feel we really have it all to play for and a win against Newcastle on Tuesday will be a massive 3 points. Considering Arsenal play Spurs the following night, which WILL determine the outcome of the league, the pressure is very much on them. Anything less than a win against their bitter North London rivals will surely be enough for United to see out the league.
3. The Future
We have the chance to put this sickening defeat behind us and move on in style on Tuesday. Rooney will be back, I’m sure Giggsy will at least get a place on the bench and Chicharito should be back from the start. Let’s put them to the sword, put 4 past them, and pile the pressure on the Gunners!
Leaked Picture of Possible Away Kit 2011/12