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Some reads to while your time…

… whilst I write the report for the Burnley game.

1. The Republik of Mancunia interviewed Rob Smyth. Smyth, of course, is a freelancer who also writes for the Guardian. He’s a United fan, and regular readers will recall our interview with him last year (you can read that here.) I like Smyth’s willingness to speak his mind on issues concerning United and football in general.

2. United Rant takes a look at the Vidic rumours that are doing the rounds and wonders what the future holds for our defence.

3. The Guardian‘s Sportblog asks about the Premiership action: “What have we learned from the Premier League’s tales of the unexpected?” I have two answers for that

  • Upsets can happen. Shock. Horror.
  • Hacks will open up drafts of published articles from last week, do a ‘find’ for ‘Rafa Benitez’, replace it with ‘Alex Ferguson’ and then hit publish.

4. Lawrence Donegan, of the Guardian again, looks at the Glazer influence on this summer.

Match report will follow later in the night/day, depending on where you are.



  1. colver

    20 August 2009 at 07:38

    I’ve cooled down a bit and while my criticisms still stand a more reasonable explanation of the result is as follows:

    1. Ferguson treated it like a Carling Cup game fielding a team which has never played together including a makeshift defence, a makeshift midfield which was completely different from the one that played the game before and two strikers who haven’t played together in about three years. You can excuse the defence because injuries forced our hand. But he could have done a better job with our midfield. Carrick and Anderson never play well together. Giggs is too old to be playing on the left and Park is best saved for the Champions League.

    2. If we treat games like Carling Cup ties you get Carling Cup results i.e. the occasional upset

    3. If we want to avoid getting scalped by little clubs with a lot to prove we need to field a more settled side and a more balanced side and ideally only make a few changes each game. Fielding different midfields every game is hardly a recipe for stability especially this early in the season when players aren’t really match sharp.

    4. Fergie therefore needs to rethink this rotation policy, figure out his best side and only make strategic deviations of no more than 2 or 3 players to keep players fresh. Only then will we gain the fluency that has been so lacking thus far this season

    5. As usual we made a mess of the pre-season. That is probably why we always start so slowly because Fergie treats the pre-season as training sessions for the youngsters, plays sub-standard opposition to gain the club revenue and rotates like crazy. Id much rather we played a couple of friendlies against good quality opposition fielding a full strength team and took the games seriously so we are fighting fit for the start of the season.

  2. Traverse

    20 August 2009 at 10:29

    I think point 4 is the biggest problem at the moment. Pick a team and stick to it. Play it as many times as you can. We need to be playing as a unit, and we’re not. That’s because nobody is playing next to the same player week in week out. Giggs and Scholes became great players by playing consistently in the same position with the same players around them. That’s how understandings develop.

    It’s no surprise the most successful part of our team was Vds, Brown Vida Rio Evra, because they played pretty much every game together in 07/08. It is then also no surprise that a midfield that changes every week has a complete lack of understanding, and in turn doesn’t work with our strike force.

    Mcclair, Hughes and Ince were still good when we let them go to bring in the new blood… why do we have to wait for Scholes and Neville to be physically incapable of movement before we move them into the coaching staff?

    We need to give Rio the captaincy and stop messing about with the team, unless we want to get a severe case of ‘stuck on 18 titles’ syndrome….

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