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Manchester United
Posted by Mark Payne on 08/17/2010

Like the abominable snowman, the lost city of Atlantis and Hillary Clinton’s libido nobody was quite sure that it even existed. At Old Trafford on Monday night the debate was laid to rest. Dimitar Berbatov finally smiled. Not only did he smile, he also outplayed Wayne Rooney, looked pretty useful all round and seems to have started the season meaning business.

Newcastle were pretty terrible and this match certainly doesn’t provide us with much of a test of our title credentials. On the other hand, West Brom certainly weren’t a test of Chelsea’s either. I remain surprised they didn’t take the field at Stamford Bridge strapped into parachutes such was the level of their awfulness.

Whilst I believe the collective strength of the league this year is just awesome, with an incomparable six top-quality teams competing at the summit, there are a fair few lame ducks in the pond too. The Geordies are one of them and both our geriatrics and our promising youngsters were allowed to look like Brazil circa 1970.

Despite bearing an outrageous resemblance to the young Michael Jackson, Nani’s trickiness is becoming more and more productive, at time Newcastle just couldn’t handle him. It was a joy to see him pelting down the wing to pick up another lavish
Pass from Mr. P. Scholes and in general I am delighted to see United playing with orthodox wingers in the league. I can’t see Fergie doing it say, away in Barcelona, but we look far more dangerous when spreading the play out wide.

I am officially out of vocabulary to describe how good Ryan Giggs is. There is no thesaurus big enough to fully illustrate what a legend he is. I try and hit first-time volleys like that every Sunday in the park and usually end up clobbering a bit of air before falling onto my face. If anybody else had scored that goal plaudits would be raining from on high. As it is Giggsie, you just shrug your shoulders, smile, and say ‘there he goes again’.
Dimitar Berbatov
The game was starting to fizz out by then and whilst I think we deserved four this was still a fairly by the numbers home win for us. To be fair, at least we were forward-moving and incisive. If Scholes, Giggs and Berbatov can play like that every week we’ll win the league by a country mile. Unfortunately they won’t.
Nonetheless, a good start and a welcome return to the top-flight for 6points United. I’m off to practice my volleys.

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Photography courtesy of Meffi at FlickrCcoms


Posted by Giggster on 08/17/2010

It was nice to see Berbatov playing at a high level once again!..... But was I the only one who noticed him BLOWING opportunities for Chicarito to shoot let alone score??? I hope i'm wrong but I will keep an eye on that one!! Play your game but, please ....... WINNING is more important than looking good or feeling threatened by the mexican lad!!

Posted by valentine on 08/17/2010

Hillary Clinton's libido... lol!! nice one there mark.

Good game altho there is one cause for concern- right back

Posted by Andrew. on 08/17/2010

Well said about Ryan Giggs! You aren't the only one who is out of volcabulary to describe how marvellous Giggs is.
Not to forget the hardwork Paul Scholes put in too!

I am already looking forward the fixture between Man Utd vs Liverpool on September already.

Posted by TheJepit on 08/17/2010

An all round good match apart from the numerous opportunities squandered. The team should have scored more with all the clear cut chances.

Giggster: Berba's confidence is on a high, it is his instinct to try every shot, be patient with him.

Rooney had an off day but he can play badly if he feels like it, we just wait until he hit form.

Posted by CroneKills on 08/17/2010

Mark, do you think we are witnessing another "Rooney drought"? I mean, it's not fair to say he's playing badly, honestly, I wish he'd not play at an international level anymore. But it's every kids dream to represent their country, so maybe I'm just being greedy. Then again, I've never boo'd one of my country's biggest stars. But I digress. Our midfield was SUPERB tonight, and there are not enough superlatives to describe both Giggs and Scholes. You can't replace class, but we can get damn close.

I was quite happy with the performance of the squad yesterday. I admired the continuity and fluidity that we played with. Yes it was the Geordies, but it is still 11 v 11, isn't it?

Posted by Mark Anthony on 08/17/2010

Yesternight's display was just the right message our opponents need to get. its not all about buying new players but making the players available have what is of most importance...the winning mentality. as for giggs and scholes, I think they should be given such recognitions like resting their jersy numbers when they get to retire(that is if they het to:they seem to get better with age).

Posted by HASSAN 'TIGANA' on 08/17/2010

well said but the lads dont need too much praise its the beginning of the journey ,we cant avoid hiccups. macheda is my boy,give him more grooving, and hwe'll deliver niamini (believe me)

Posted by cambell on 08/17/2010

we played very well yesterday and hope all supporters will be patient with rooney.All i can say is that Rooneys's gonna get us 19......

Posted by Opa2 on 08/18/2010

Giggs and Scholes continue to be a large part of this team. And a good thing it is. They continue to make significant contributions despite their so-called age. They may have lost a step but their football savvy more than makes up for it.

Posted by saimon sanga on 08/18/2010

I think the team played very well with a series of attacks. My worries is John O'shea. i think this guy is tired. poor crosses, poor defending and lacks vision to play good passes. What made Ronaldo a great player at Old Traford is Evra since they used to link up very well and that is what we are lacking at right back. O'shea should not start a game at Old traford, Fergie should use him only as a cover if someone is injured

Posted by saimon sanga on 08/18/2010

I think the team played very well with a series of attacks. My worries is John O'shea. i think this guy is tired. poor crosses, poor defending and lacks vision to play good passes. What made Ronaldo a great player at Old Traford is Evra since they used to link up very well and that is what we are lacking at right back. O'shea should not start a game at Old traford, Fergie should use him only as a cover if someone is injured

Posted by giggs on 08/18/2010

The first "sentence" or whatever it was, wasn't even a sentence, nor was it funny. Please never write for sports columns again

Mark Response:

Thank you for your kind comments. Unfortunately, I can't take advice from someone with the e-mail address 'noobcakes', I have self-respect after all.

Posted by tonye on 08/18/2010

allways the best

Posted by uche on 08/18/2010

lets just hope that the trio of giggs scholes and berba can deliver the goods but i am sure the other trio of rooney nani and valencia would join the party sooner rather than later

Posted by Jerry on 08/18/2010

Really looking forward to Anderson returning to action cos he is my man in the mid field.

Posted by Alvin Lim on 08/19/2010

Nice post :D Our players did pretty well but again, our defense was caught sleeping from time to time. Not sure if we can survive that against a much better team. Our midfielders were great and my major concern now is, can we ever find someone to replace Paul Scholes? It looks pretty impossible now. Berba is FINALLY settling in and I think Chicharito can link up pretty well with him. Roo is still one of our best, not just because of his goal scoring ability but because of his vision and his will to win. Hope we can see Cleverly in action soon. :)

Posted by MUFC_86 on 08/19/2010

Scholesy was wonderful. Apart from Xavi, I can't think of anyone who knocks the ball around with such purpose and accuracy. Carrick really has to step up his game.

Berba missed quite a few glaring chances, still its good to see his confidence back.

Looking forward to the next game as well as your next article.

Posted by Kirk on 08/19/2010

Great article again Mark.
We are all aware of how class Giggs and Scholes are. I thought that Berbatov was especially great. I did not think that Rooney was as bad as some were saying, it is only a matter of time for him to get his confidence back. Having said that, I am sure that this season the goals would come but will be shared by a number of players and not be dependant on Rooney only. I thought that O'Shea was poor but I also was not satisfied with Smalling, he is not ready and has a lot to learn.
What about Fletcher ? To me he is the hardest worker of all and never seems to give up. I think that he is the perfect partner for Scholes as he is able to cover in the middle and is always willing to join the attack. As I said before, I like this squad and look forward to seeing Fletcher's work rate.
I saw the video clip on Bebe and immediately thought that this kid has the strength and ability of Ruud Guillet. What do you think ?
MANU since 1962 and forever. Great Game to start.

Posted by bob saget on 08/19/2010

Regardless of where that guy is coming from, he's right about your first sentence. Don't take it personally. It's objective advice.

Keep up the good work.

Posted by andrily pirlo on 08/19/2010

Berbatov will shine this season.For me he is the best striker i've ever seen planet earth.So talented and skilled

Posted by Har8 on 08/19/2010

the newcastle result was very good but some players were below par!
Oshea was just too slow he made lots of errors.
Valencia was way off his normal game Jose Enrique did hold him really well!
Rooney needs to score, his morale is low at the moment but that is good for the team because berba scholesy nani are all in form now and i dont think they will continue to play at the same level all the season so when rooney hits form some other players will be in bad form and that will keep the balance in the team!
Fletcher still need some fitness work(even if he did score in the game) he is not fully fit yet i think his game will go from strength to strength and he will return to his best form of the last 2 seasons as this season goes on!

Posted by MiG on 08/19/2010

Unfortunately Giggs is passed it and Scholes (who remains the best player I have ever seen in a United shirt) needs time on the ball to produce a display like he did on Monday. Though he was afforded that by Newcastle not may other teams will. We will win nothing this season unless we find a replacement for Scholes, Carrick has shown it won't be him.

Posted by jjj on 08/19/2010

just one game for babaflopn he is again off!!

Posted by jerry ndon on 08/19/2010

Congrats united.i ve been a fan of united since 1999 when they won the champions leaque.i ve not seen a player like Scholes in the history of the game.Ithink ferguson should look for a replacement for veteran scholes.i love united with passion and i think this season will be a great season for united.keep going united.

Posted by muganga derrick on 08/19/2010

john oshea is our biggest problem now.............
we also nid to be sharp infront of goal.

Posted by TheJepit on 08/20/2010

MUFC_86: Veron and Beckham are still good passer of the ball though the ply their trade elsewhere nowadays.

Posted by abdollar on 08/20/2010

Some of our players were not in good form in the last game,i was very impressed by some of them like scholes,nani and giggs also berba.i think most of them will play very well and score many goals in the next game.

Posted by valentine on 08/20/2010

Its glad to know a lot of people agree that John O'shea is just the wrong guy for that Right back postion!! We have got Rafeal who giggs himself has called "the best young right-back in the world" why fregie doesnt play him is juat a mystery....

Oh, sum1 mentioned Bebe. That was an idiotic buy frankly. Rooney, Chicarito, Macheda are all young and great players and YOUNG! There is Also Berbatov and Micheal Owen. For the following seasons Wellbeck and Diof will be coming back from loan. Utter waste of money

Posted by gbenga on 08/20/2010

Great game, if berba and nani can improve on thir games, i bet it, we will win quadraple,ie community shield already in our hand, FA, Champions leaque and premieship

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