What I saw yesterday was not too different to what I’ve seen from United this season, as a whole. There are periods where the lads go on a rampage and verge on the unplayable. There are other periods where they just couldn’t give a toss and think it’s another routine training session.
So, first half: exhilarating. Second half: zzzz
It’s really hard to say how good we were when the opposition looked quite ordinary. So it’s not quite so easy to say how good we were. So it’s a better time to reflect on some of the individual performances.
On Berbatov, and what else could one say other than that he is on his way towards the higher echelons of pure geniuses who’ve graced the Old Trafford turf. His composure in the area reminds one of Bergkamp (despite his being a part of that successful Arsenal side, one would have to concede that he was pure class). And how about that piece of skill that set up Ronaldo? How about it really? Did it really happen? Or was it an illusion despite the best efforts of modern television to prove you otherwise?
His nonchalance in celebrations goes with the nature of his game. Everything comes so naturally and easily to him. Ronaldo’s tricks and raw pace are a treat, Rooney’s energy and commitment is hard to match, but Berbatov just makes your jaw drop. Full stop. And it’s just not his first touch, but his general footballing brain and decision making. All those attributes, when they come off at once, make him look so awesome that it’s scary.
Tevez didn’t really set the stage on fire, but then again, he needs a longer run of games.
Ronaldo looked much more like the one that went on a rampage last season. His instinctive shot for the first goal is what you want from your star player. Nani, at times looked inventive, and at times fell victim to his most obvious shortcoming — a lack of decision making ability. Anderson impressed in spurts but generally bossed a feeble midfield that didn’t really test him.
Tomasz Kuszczack had hardly needed to do anything and he might have as well set up his bed and gone to sleep.
But, as Fergie conceded, they were far too relaxed in the second half and looked like they wanted to give West Ham a chance to get back into the game so that they could feel challenged. I honestly don’t understand why they’ve been doing this all season.
Rooney did a lot when he came on as would be expected and Michael Carrick made his much awaited return from injury. Which is always great news. The clock ticked down, and the match ended in what turned out a very one-sided affair — something that was, justifiably, overshadowed by the outstanding North London derby. Oh yes, isn’t it nice to see Arsenal drop some more points! If only had Portsmouth held their nerve against the dippers and Hull continued their over achievement against Chelsea. Oh well… you can’t have everything, can you?
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