I couldn’t get to see the entire match because of work commitments so I’d suggest readers to look over yesterday’s comments to get varied opinions on the game.
But, by and large, despite the result, I wouldn’t be too concerned about the result and I would take positives out of the game. Also from Ferguson’s comments post match, it appeared so too.
Firstly, we did play well overall. There was good movement and some players showed enough desire to want the ball. Park was especially impressive in that regard.
We didn’t have the spark for all our efforts, and it would have been a shame had Villarreal gone in front. Ronaldo’s entry changed that, but more on him later.
Nani’s performance was encouraging, and the likes of Berbatov would be encouraged by the consistency of his delivery over the crap service of the likes of Aaron Lennon.
Hargreaves started which was good to see because we need his presence in midfield against Chelsea. I would say the same of Fletcher too — and it would be unfair to drop, arguably, our most consistent performer of the season so far. He’s a big game player too — in the words of the boss himself — so I hope Fletch starts against Chelsea.
Jonny Evans was impressive and whilst Villarreal cannot possibly compare with the physicality of Chelsea, with Neville looking out of sorts, it looks like his steady performance today could tempt Fergie into taking a chance on him against Chelsea. I am not sure about the need for the chance, but I don’t see a better right back at the moment than Brown. Neville, despite my love for him, has done little to suggest he belongs in the first XI.
Finally, Ronaldo’s entry: the moment he warmed up and stepped on to the pitch he was applauded and more importantly I am pretty sure I heard Ronaldo chants [correct me if I’m wrong].
I am sure I am going to get detractors jumping on my back, but then I can’t be too bothered about saying what I want to say here anyway. The applause was heart warming, but Ronaldo chants already? Give me a break! Can players get away with anything then? Personally I just can’t imagine dedicating chants for him yet.
Ronaldo’s prescience proved right “When I play the fans will love me again“. You win Ronaldo. Oh well… it’s something I’ll have to live with then.
On to Chelsea and while this game was about testing waters with players returning from injury, I would have preferred a win like any fan would. Chelsea is a different beast in every sense of the word. John Terry got his card rescinded (un-fuckin’ believable!) and the US treasury is now our official shirt sponsor (since it now owns AIG). But more on that tomorrow.
Adios Red Chums!
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