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Manchester United
Posted by Mark Payne on 12/19/2011

There are many fond memories for me at Loftus Road. I was fortunate enough to be there for wonder goals from both Cantona and Giggs and once sat in front of George Best at the ground. This weekend, Michael Carrick of all people added his name to an illustrious list.

This would not be the first time a previously maligned player has made me eat a slice of humble pie. Carrick has got pretty short shrift from me over the years but it must be noted that he has been one of our better performers this season. In addition, Johnny Evans played very well in west London and one can only hope this proves to be a watershed moment for him.

There appears to be quite a lot of water passing under the bridge between Sir Alex and Roy Keane at the moment. I read both the manager’s programme notes last week and this Sunday’s interview in the Times. The whole situation is very disappointing.

Fergie has done unbelievable things for Manchester United, but he is not a perfect human being. Keano has done incredible things for Manchester United, but he is not a perfect human being. It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that they are rubbing each other up the wrong way.

However, I would far rather they weren’t bringing us fans into it. As a Manchester United supporter I do not want to be drawn into a ‘who do you love more’ debate about the two of them. If this situation was playing out in my personal life between two friends I would refuse to pick sides and probably give them both a wide berth until they calmed down. That’s just me though.

It’s good to see an in form Antonio Valencia in one of United’s wide berths at the moment. He plays well with Rooney and the early goal here was, I hope, part of an on-going partnership.

Alas, further back on the field Patrice Evra is starting to look every one of his 106 years. He has been a great player for us but now more than ever we need a fit Da Silva twin to step up to the plate.

Still, ‘Crisis Club Manchester United’ are doing alright at the moment. It is, as always, a busy Christmas period coming up. During the next month though our fixtures look a lot nicer than those of our main rivals. This weekend though, I am just delighted we didn’t lose any more players and put more points on the board. Who knows, things might even be looking up…

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Posted by dubs on 12/19/2011

Another solid effort from the lads. Not too many poor performances from anyone in the side, though i agree Evra didn't look as sharp on the wide left. All in all though, we defended well as a unit. And to continue getting the best out of players like Evans we must continue to do so.
Brilliantly done by Carrick this weekend. His positioning was little wrong and his strike was worthy of the sore throat i had from cheering so loudly. I hope this bolsters future performances from him. The Wazza/Nani link up was great to watch. It was unlucky Welbeck didn't find the back of the net. I suppose he's due as well. And great early Xmas gift to see Hernandez back in the side. As Prem/FA/Europa matches start rolling in we'll all be glad to have more players -available.
Fulham mid week - could be a test going to Craven Cottage. Nevertheless, we're flying high at the moment and I don't expect any lackluster performances to show up.
Happy holidays.

Posted by Ben on 12/19/2011

Between those @ United and those who once were the choice is easy. A great player and leader Roy was and is an A$$h*** It is hard for him to accept (understandable) that leading men without being on the field is a VERY different than when on it. MOST great players make average or poor managers. Many good managers made little if no contribution as players. Nuf said. One has to be happy about the way things are going (heck Basel may be beaten after all). Carrick scoring, players returning early from injury, City looking less flowing. Fulham and Wigan next. Rooney does and will continue to lead the league in December scoring. AND, with (testicle-less) Blackburn next week, even Berbatov must be smiling. The sadist in me wishes a 0:0 in Cup so we play City at home in a replay-and further load their January schedule. Her's to being top for Fergie (and my) birthdays. Happy New Year.

Posted by Nemesis on 12/20/2011

Dear Mark. I have been commenting forever on this page and said that you guys underestimate carrick and berba. I am pleased to be able to say i told you so. Just check out the last time Man U won the champions league. Fergi praised Carrick as being instrumental. He may not be very visible but the stability he brings in the midfield with his cool head is incredible. Also i agree with you about evra. he is getting old. And i cant understand why no one is criticizing Rooney. Truly execpt for a couple of good actions he didnt play well. constantly gave the ball away and was way too selfish.

Posted by USAUnited on 12/20/2011

Agreed that Evra hasn't been able to show us what he was two years ago so far this season. In short, he has not been at a world-class level and is probably more akin to most of the more talented left backs in the league (still ahead of Ashely Cole though).

Would love to see berba getting some more action these days, and you'd think that he might be able to put in some shifts during the fixtures this month, but only time will tell.

I've questioned Sir Alex a million times in the past, and the one thing I've learned is that it sure is a good thing that I am not him. He's often right about players, and I'm hoping that Carrick continues his form and Evans steps his game up.

Posted by David Smith on 12/20/2011

A nice away win indeed. I thought the back five, minus Evra played really well. Evans had another good game and Rio was solid too. Evra got absolutely skinned by Mackie the entire match: a complete and thoroughly embarassing performance. Carrick's been superb for us since returning to the first team. It just goes to show how many so-called "United fans" on here don't know their football. When you have people like "Nemesis" telling us that Rooney didn't play well, then the stupidity level on here has reached a bursting point. How on earth Nani can hide on a football pitch that's 112m x 72m for most of 90 minutes is also beyond me. After scoring against lowly Wolves, he was completely irrlevant at Loftus Road. YET AGAIN, HE CAN'T EVEN PUT OVER A DECENT FUCKING CORNER. No wonder Rooney's blood pressure boils at the mere sight of him. Fulham away is not as straight forward as it should be, but win on Wednesday and we'll be top come New Year's. Happy Christmas everyone....even you Nani.

Posted by Oz on 12/20/2011

I have to agree with David Smith about the number of stupid comments coming through on this site. Someone above claimed that Evra was still better than Ashley Cole. HELLO!! Cole is a dickhead, but he is still one of the best left backs running around. Evra 2 years ago was good at getting forward and a more than capable defender, but he could never cross the dam ball to one of his own players, the play always breaks down from his crosses. In the last 2 years, he still cant cross, but he has also forgotten how to defend, in particular he is not marking his man at the back post - the number of goals conceded due to him not picking up a man is ridiculous e.g. Basels goal after our keeper stuffed up could easily have been prevented if Evra was not ball watching and was tighter on the attacker. Also, I feel some of Johny Evans stuff ups have not been helped by Evra leaving him exposed or Evans needing to try and cover Evra.

Posted by Aegean1985 on 12/20/2011

I really feel robbed of the opportunity to watch Utd in champions league this season.

This team that SAF has played for two games in a row (against Wolves and QPR) would have beaten Basel and Benfica hands down.

In the end we got eliminated because of bad squad rotation. What a waste!

Posted by smalls on 12/20/2011

I have to disagree with you David Smith... besides the opening goal (thank you valencia) and a few one touch triangle attacks with the wingers, Rooney was far from himself. the rest of the game he lost the ball in midfield when multiple options were open, he kept doing backheels and no-look passes squandering attacking opportunities, and in my opinion didnt shoot enough. however, i am glad that he had an "off" day when we still win 2-0 away. im glad i can take the day off tomorrow and watch the game against fulham. GGMU, i will always believe.

Posted by Namex on 12/20/2011

Patrice Evra? Thatz a sad tale of a once brilliant footballer turned joke! I need SAF to shore up the team with some good buys. Evra needs competition for his shirt and he would improve, trust me. If he doesn't want to use Berba, he can as well sell him, and buy a Cavani or Soldado.. Someone that can contribute with goals and help us build up play. And we also need mid fielders for Christ's sake! GGMU.. Merry xmas y'all

Posted by Daniel on 12/20/2011

Probably we now see better results because players rotation is forced just by injuries, and the base is more constant, probably...anyway it is time to support, not to demand. SAF or Keano selection hurts every ManU fan.

Posted by One-eyed Kiwi on 12/21/2011

I agree with David Smith on Nani. What a lazy player who just plays for himself always looking at scoring exceptional goals but is HOPELESS at crossing! He should learn from Beckham how to whip crosses into the box instead of taking the easy options. You would expect him to take the ball to the byeline but how often does he do that? Some of his play reminds me of an early days Ronaldo but at least Ronaldo was prepared to drible pass defenders. And also Ronaldo learnt to play in a team and not for himself! Evra is another player who talks more than he plays! Just analyse the goals conceded from the left in recent and more importantly the Big games! Observe where Evra stands. Nuff said!

Posted by alx on 12/21/2011

On a positive note:

i do so hope that little problem has been resolved


Posted by johanzul on 12/21/2011

Alas! Thanks Carrick for that goal, at least a start from Central Midfield. Time and time again, the opportunity from central position arises but no midfielders dare enough to take the chance in which we, the fans saw P.Jones taking that role from defender position.

The game against QPR saw 4-5 goals should be bagged. Thus, MU players should be sharp enuf to take those chances and covert em' into goals. Overall in terms of crosses done by MU players, not yet consider as constant threat, anyway, thank you Valencia for your assists on Rooney goal.

Therefore, if MU can defend well, provide constant threat from left, right flanks and center, not wasting chances derived from that constant threat, winning EPL is more than possible.

In addition, having 1-2 exceptional players shall aid the team more, thus, some say that football is not a 1 person game. True enuf but exceptional players like Messi for Barca, CR7 for MU previously do make a lot of differences when other can't do, they can.

Posted by Kevin on 12/21/2011

surely MU needs a defender,midfielder n striker.look at Rio.some times he does stupid mistakes n cannot even run.For De Gea he needs to master the crosses.Nani shd stp beein selfish n cross the balls.Marry X-mass Fans.

Posted by David Smith on 12/22/2011

Another nice away win in West London. Can we play there every week? Pity about the injuries though. Johnny Evans had another strong, mistake-free game; Evra redeemed himself, as did Nani who looked rejuvenated. With Jones and Young out now, Nani is about to become a real key player for us. If he can get himself going, we'll weather the storm. Lindegaard wasn't needed until the second half, but looks like he genuinely believes he should be the number one. Great characteristic. Welbeck, Giggs, Carrick, Smalling and Valencia were superb in the first half. Apart from his glorious, late strike, Rooney looked out of sorts and was disappointing for me. Berba's goal was class, but his time with United has been a VERY mixed bag. When he's scoring goals like that, you wish fate would of been kinder to him. Fulham were absolutely shite in front of goal and teams like Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and Citeh will punish us in the future if we keep gift wrapping chances. Wigan next....4-0.

Posted by aussiered on 12/22/2011

11 goals in three games against two lowly and one potential banana skin. The next three games also have goals in them. The toon squad without Taylor seems a simplier game than the earlier OT game. So whilst Evra is getting skinned on a regular basis and the squad is getting an injury induced work out we are still picking up the points.
My prediction post xmas games 1 point clear of Shitty with the wind in our sails. And perhaps if we all do a collective "I believe in Santa" a new midfielder amongst our ranks.
Other than that what more can we ask for post The Basil Brush off. Merry Christmas to you all Believe in United and Santa and who knows we may yet play the Germans in CL and go onto win like the Great Danes back in 92?!!!

Posted by oz on 12/22/2011

aussiered - you really do believe in Santa :)

Posted by ismaheel on 12/24/2011

Micheal carrick make statement to is doubters that he is one of the best in is position

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