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Manchester United 2 Spurs 0: The face of the devil

This is quite possibly the most c*nty face that I’ve ever seen in my life.

That for me was almost more objectionable than Clattenburg’s latest error. I don’t want to write too much about that subject, but I do think that whether you think that the ref was in the wrong or that Gomes should have played to the whistle, the one thing that you can’t imagine is Clattenburg giving a similar goal to us at the other end, which tells it’s own story.

The incident has dominated the reporting of the match, which was a depressingly familiar tale. As is often the case, we pretty much matched United in terms of the general play, but defended poorly and failed to create any clear cut chances.

Perhaps we should be more worried about the first goal we conceded rather than the second, as it’s a problem that lies with us and is one that we need to rectify. The marking was pretty abysmal, especially considering that Vidic is their best player in the air and should surely be marked tighter than anyone else.

In attack the final ball was never quite right and Keane failed to occupy the type of areas where you want to see a lone striker. In a way I can see why Harry selected him. Crouch had a stinker against Everton, while Pavlyuchenko is not going to work as hard as Keane, which is a consideration away from home.

I thought that in terms of his interaction with our midfielders, Keane looked alright, but he was dropping too deep and far too often Van der Vaart was left as our furthest player forward. Keane’s mentality is geared towards dropping back and he didn’t seem able to adapt his game.

Pav looked far more threatening when he came on and perhaps should be given a start against Inter. I’m not his biggest fan, but I thought he put in one of his better performances against Fulham and scored a goal, only to be dropped to the bench for the next three games.

The other surprise selection was Jenas. He had a poor game, giving possession away cheaply and lacking the defensive discipline of a Palacios or Sandro. We looked very open, which added to the quality of a very entertaining game, but could have seen us punished far more than we were.

Our best players for me were Modric and Van der Vaart, who both looked very at home in the wide open spaces of Old Trafford. Thanks heavens that VDV will be back in action on Tuesday having limped off in the second half.

In the end very little was learned from this experience. We know that we’re not too far off having the quality to come to a team like United and win, but for now, we are still agonisingly short of the required level. All we can hope is that one day we’ll get there and enjoy the sort of help from referees that the best sides can always count on.

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4 Responses

  1. kevin says:

    tell the reff to go and whistle for dogs football zat seems good to him. if he is not in a position to do the job he must go away. the federation is a bull-shit, every time problems with English referees. They must take tuitions with referees with another nation.

  2. Indyfan says:

    I thought Keane was an interesting choice, tho’ I think he is way past his best and expect him to be sold; point is our attack lofting hopeful balls into the box only to see Crouch fall down, miss them or head over the bar just isn’t working. We have a classy passing attack that should be capable of working the ball on the ground (a la Arsenal or Barca) for somebody to score from. When Defoe is back I hope he will be part of an attacking lineup yhat includes Bale, Lennon, VderVaart and Modric.

    Keane couldn’t hack it on Saturday, too bad.

    We need Hudd; and soon, Sandro.

    The biggest pain in the neck for me was the sight of Nani, whom I believe is the league’s biggest diver and crybaby, score a cheapo and run away with his tongue lolling out.
    I look forward to revenge at WHL on January 11.

  3. Cusop says:

    I would say with regards to Jenas you are dead right. The nature of the way we gave free kicks away around the box was awful. It would be better to focus on the fact that Wilson had a really good game coming on for Jenas and looked the player of old. VDV looked flat very early on in the 2nd half and should have been subbed then

  4. peter smith says:

    Gomes is to blame – he should play to the whistle. Dead basic. Gomes is a dead head.
    Harry should keep his powder dry on this one and save his beef for a real issue. Spurs were not winning this game anyway and hardly touched the ball in the last 10 minutes.

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