Posts Tagged ‘Tottenham’

United 3-1 Spurs: Player Ratings

Manchester United endured a bit of a test at Old Trafford.  In addition to the epidemic of flu Spurs weren’t pushovers either.  My thoughts below for the players.

van der Sar (7) – Not a lot to do but made a few key catches from dangerous looking crosses.  Initial fitness concerns in the first half seemed to disappear.

Rafael (6) – Excellent marshalling of Bale and Modric was tainted by poor defending for Spurs’ goal.  Had he stayed on the post he could have prevented the goal.

Vidic (7) – Not tested until Crouch came on late in the second half.  Looked assured and confident in his challenges with a delicious toe poke to disposess Gudjonson taking top honours.

Evans  (6) – Not much to do, fairly anonymous which is not a bad quality in a defender.  He continues to look the business as a replacement for Ferdinand.  Not vintage defending though.

Evra (6) – Typical energy and endeavour but was hampered by Chelsea hoodoo in the second half.  An evacuated stomach early in the second half tempered his involvement and was replaced by O’Shea.

Valencia (8) – Superb work on the right in both the attacking and defending thirds.  Popped up in the middle ahead of his own 18 yard box to make a crucial tacke.  Typical concentration and discipline.  Unfortunately injured in the second half and replaced by Carrick.

Fletcher (7) – Energetic and decisive in midfield.  As usual he provided the grit and drive in United’s heart.  Seemed to tire late on in the match.

Scholes (8) – If Fletcher is the “Lub” in United’s heart then Scholes was the “Dub”.  Metronome passing with rapier like accuracy.  Given acres of space to boss the game and pin Spurs back at will.

Giggs (6) – Beginning to look off the pace.  His legs can’t keep up with Scholes’ vision anymore.  He’s certainly reliable but will find his opportunities limited as we approach the finish line.

Nani (9) – He provided a glimpse of the magic we saw earlier this year against Arsenal.  His goal that made it 2-1 to United was really a thing of beauty and worth a “Youtube”.  His running also lured Palacios into the challenge that provided United with the second penalty.  The passing Nani displayed was something you’d expect from Giggs with several long passes bi-secting the Tottenham defense.

Berbatov (7) – A good showing from the much maligned front man.  No Rooney once again meant the spotlight was on the Bulgarian and he showed a slightly improved workrate along with some very good hold up play.  His backheel to Evra in the area flummoxed the Tottenham defense and created the first goal.


60th Carrick for Valencia (5) – Made little impact but avoided any blunders.  He should be concerned he wasn’t chosen to start this match

67th O’Shea for Evra (4) – Not up to the challenge of Aaron Lennon and Assou-Ekotto and looked shaky.

80th Macheda for Rafael (7) – Superb cameo for the young Italian.  Provided the through ball for Nani’s gem and showed some excellent hold up play and close control.  Certainly did his reputation no harm.  Well done.


Just One Match

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Oh come on! It isn’t as if Jermaine Defoe reinvented the sport by scoring 5 goals in a match. So after this weekend what have we been told? Some new things…some old things:

Liverpool are in a whole heap of trouble and should be concentrated on damage control.

Jermaine Defoe is super fantastically awesome after … well just one really good game. Oh and Tottenham are better than Liverpool. HOLY CRAP!! I know what I just said.  Check out what I lifted from ESPNSoccernet.

But Redknapp believes no other Englishman can match Defoe for poise and calm in front of goal.

“He’s an amazing finisher,” Redknapp said. “When you look at England strikers, Wayne Rooney’s fantastic – a complete all-round player – but as a finisher, Defoe is the best out there.

Mr. Redknapp with all due respect…no he isn’t.  He’s just not.  He had a great game and will go to the World Cup as a substitute.

Chelsea are boringly good. They seem to just dispatch teams without thinking or breaking a sweat.

Arsenal are yet again proving that they are not the finished product.

Boring boring boring. Bring on the World Cup already. Let’s see some upsets and unsung heroes. I can’t wait to see unpaid players playing for nothing more than the glory of their country. There’s nothing more pure and excellent than that.

Impending Failure, Liverpool are still Crap

Everyone once in a while I whip out one of my “Season Review” DVDs to remind myself of how far my club has come.  Everything has to come to an end though.  Life, and Football, is all about cycles.  In Sport its impossible to maintain total dominance.  There is always a flux where certain players do well, others do poorly and some circumstances just can’t be replicated (I’m thinking a beachball on the pitch that magically deflects a save-able shot into the net).  Sport always changes. That’s why we love it.

I can’t help but think that Chelsea will win the League this year much in the same way United won last year.  They will be the only team that is able to show consistency and therefore limp over the finish line before any of the other teams can drag themselves across.

Liverpool are crap, Arsenal are great at smashing anyone who doesn’t actually matter, Manchester United win despite their best efforts and  Tottenham, Aston Villa and Manchester City are fooling themselves if they think they’ll get anywhere near the pinnacle of England.

Manchester United will prove to be a challenger but will fail.  As a club they have a wonderful ability to beat teams despite appearing to not care either way (Wayne Rooney apart).  The only way Chelsea won’t win is if they manage to trip themselves up as they have done in the previous two seasons.

The Conclusion:

Chelsea are still winning convincingly

Arsenal are happy to beat teams when they’re allowed to

Manchester United have the momentum of three straight titles pushing them forward and over their opposition, but will it last?

And Liverpool: you may have noticed through the number of times I bring it up but Liverpool are crap.  They most definitely peaked last season.  They should be proud of their runner-up spot to Manchester United last year.  It will certainly be their best finish for some time to come.