It seems to be de riguer to score and concede several billion goals every time you step on the field in the top flight nowadays. United have decided to buck the trend out of necessity. The club and all of the players are still shell-shocked from the result against City.
After the start we had to the season this is all quite difficult to take. It now seems like a hundred years since we put eight goals past Arsenal. At the time I said that it is a fool who shouts from the rooftops in September and then went about clearing my throat. The fans at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, much as it hurts me to say it, were as quiet as mice.
But then, we didn’t have a lot to cheer on either. Whilst it is completely understandable that Ferguson would want to get some result between us and the derby, we have played dreadful football for several matchers on the trot. It is starting to go against the principles of the institution.
It also, somewhat, goes against the principles of team selection to play matches without a midfield. Call me Mr. Picky, but when we were taught the basics of the game you could play in defence if you were a clogger, in midfield if you could pass the ball, and up front if you could shoot accurately. The weird kid went in goal.
Anderson is starting to look like an ex-player, an also-ran, an expensive mistake and, personally, I have never been a fan of Michael Carrick. Those are just my opinions of course. The fact is that United haven’t bought a midfielder since I had a full head of hair. Rooney is an unbelievable footballer but he is one of the best strikers in the world. Putting him in front of the back four, well as he plays there, is mis-use of resources.
We have a surplus of assets up front this season (especially when Owen is not injured) so it makes sense to drop a striker back for the time being. You can’t hide from the reality that a temporary solution is a permanent problem though.
United now have three victories and three clean sheets in a week but we are not ourselves at the moment. It does nobody any good to whine about our lack of midfield reinforcements right now, but it is something that must be rectified in January. In the meantime the team needs to buck its ideas up and start playing like Manchester United again.
Sunderland at home is a good place to start.
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