Five Things We Learned From United V Newcastle At St James’s Park

4) There were some negative aspects

It is possible that tactically, United got it wrong on Tuesday evening. Coming up against a well organised Newcastle team, one cannot help but wonder if it eventually became a case of Ferguson’s men simply running out of ideas, as showcased by some ambitious efforts from range. As mentioned earlier, the failure to carve out many meaningful chances was their downfall on a night when the chance to go 9 points clear with 5 games remaining will have been an opportunity worth taking.

Part of this failure to create may be put down to a lack of effective service from midfield. For example, whilst Anderson has provided encouraging performances for the reserves since returning from injury, one may wonder if his return to the first team came too soon, with an evening thought saw him fail to influence the attack and found himself lucky not to concede a penalty in the second half. John O’Shea cut a frustrated figure on the right, perhaps made worse by Nani’s selfishness at times that saw him avoid passing to the Irishman when overlapping near the corner to set up the cross, instead preferring to cut inside.

Patrice Evra, although solid at the back, also found himself unable to exert his influence on the left going forward in the way he is normally capable of, adding further to United’s frustration in going forward. Unfortunately, the introduction of Valencia proved to be ineffective in solving this, as the Ecuadorian winger found himself unable to adjust to the game in time, struggling to settle down the right wing.

5) Are we asking too much of Ryan Giggs?

Of course, one must be aware that Giggs has provided excellent service throughout the season, regularly putting in performances of the highest standard in a way that defies the logic that he should be slowing down in what are the dying embers of his career.

However, one must also admit that he has his limitations, and the thought that he be used more sparingly ought to be a consideration in what is a packed season for a club like United. For example, it may not be completely realistic to expect a full 90 minute shift from him the previous Saturday, only to be expected to do the same a matter of days later on Tuesday against Newcastle. Of course this is not a suggestion that Giggs played badly, far from it, but the possibility that fatigue would be an issue over the 90 minutes is a thought that persisted throughout, particularly considering the fact he was given the duty of playing down the left wing.

Naturally this thought process will have been influenced by the rumblings of Paul Scholes possible near future retirement. Without doubt, Giggs has proved the exception to the rule when it comes to ageing players, but one must also be mindful of the fact that even he is perhaps unable to provide the level of performance week in week out that is being asked. Although the other potential options for his position in the squad may not be deemed adequate as yet.

Final point: Penalties, diving and the title race

With moments to go, Hernandez went to ground after apparently being tripped by Danny Simpson. Indeed, replays suggested that contact had been made, and that a penalty would have been the correct call, but instead the Mexican striker found himself booked for diving, a decision that left United players, and Ferguson, outraged. It may be said that Hernandez went down too dramatically, that he made the most of it, thereby causing the referee to suspect foul play, and as such a yellow card would be the correct decision for his belief.

However, the lack of consistency in such matters is a point of confusion. For example, in the first half, Nani clearly dived to gain a free kick, something which failed to fool the referee and quite rightly so, and yet no yellow card was given. Why? Another point, Lovenkrands was tripped in the box by Anderson, and United were rather fortunate not to concede a penalty, yet if that was the case, why is it that Lovenkrands was not also shown a yellow card?

These were major talking points on an evening that saw a lack of consistency with certain decisions from the officials. Finally, United are now 7 points clear at the top of the Premier League. Ferguson will feel that 2 points had been lost on Tuesday night, and fans will be keen to find out if Arsenal are able to take advantage on Wednesday night when they face Tottenham at White Hart Lane. The title race is far from over, with many more twists and turns potentially still to come.


[bet_365 type=’odds’ size=’300′ af_code=’365_061447′]

7 responses to “Five Things We Learned From United V Newcastle At St James’s Park”

  1. Redscot says:

    1 The Team needs more investment, much more than than those “hijackers” have given United.£5.1Million per season under their tutelage, with a interest payment of £ 42(million) and rising to service their hostile sabotage of the biggest Club, 300 million fans. point. 2 takeover, someone else not, a family that dont love United.That see United as a high profile wankfest, andlOOK” at me!.Invest in the club, like any good buiness man should, and not just rob it, through with “Management fee’s” and backhanders to family members.God I need to pray, to rid United of those thieves of our club.
    Its got nothing to do with one result at St James Park.
    Its a love affair.

  2. Redscot says:

    I gave you the opportunity to take me earlier “rah rah boy!, your post on here RFFH.You did not read what i posted.Like most United supporters wont read and digest.Fail Zayd

    • Zayd says:

      Rah rah boy?
      1) apologies for actually not having tHe time to read and digest comments, seeing as I have other commitments
      2) if you want to be taken seriously don’t be a keyboard warrior and say things like “rah rah boy”, it takes away any validity in your argument.

  3. Charlie says:

    He was booked because it was considered very cynical to be hitting the floor in the final 20 seconds of the game. Nani should have also been booked and in all honesty Lovenkrands had a clear penalty waved away. We were lucky to get a point

  4. John Tring says:

    Again, the frailties and inadequacies showed. SAF has made the club great but also must be responsible for the current weaknesses. Failure to strengthen at right positions( midfield, right back, attack ) is beginning to show. The bench last night was just pathetic. Even Spurs have a much stronger bench these days. Still can’t say with any surety if Utd will stumble across the line to the title but it is just not good enough. And I truly believe SAF should retire this time and Utd must get JM or someone to rejuvenate the team. If you love someone really deep, you have to let go at the right moment. The moment is summer of 2011…

  5. Baldrick says:

    On The plus side, VDS could have brought a deck chair to the game 🙂

  6. d says:

    Couldn’t disagree more with John Tring. SAF is the reason United are in the hunt to be the most successful club in Premiership history. Amazing how supporters have these knee jerk reactions to a bad outing. Carrick gives away a pass, lynch him! Ando doesn’t boss the mid-field like Scholes in his twenties, send him back to Portugal! United lose, SAF needs to retire!? It’s ridiculous.