Date: 1st May 2012 at 8:07pm
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One of them got their tactics wrong

One of them got their tactics wrong

It is safe to say that April 30th wasn’t a day to remember by any means for United. The sourly drained performance against our noisy neighbours came at a big cost with City now firmly in the driving seat to take the title after United surrendered an 8 point lead. In this blog I will be looking at the positive and negative points to come out of that torrid derby.

Defence- The defence was always going to have a difficult night against a strong City attack which included Aguero, Tevez and Nasri. We coped relatively well with what City threw at us until the 46th minute when Smalling got caught ball watching and Kompany nodded in from 6 yards. It was a massive blow as I think had we kept them out until half-time, we would have been able to contain them for the rest of the game and possibly sneaked it. Although the things I felt let down by was how we defended the wings. We gave the wingers far too much time and space to pick out a cross or a pass. This is the last thing we wanted to be doing and we all know that City know how to deliver a ball and deliver it well. We were also missing Evans. It was clear to see how much of a partnership Ferdinand and Evans have built up as at times, Rio looked lost. Rating- 6/10
Midfield- Fergie packed the midfield with Scholes, Carrick, Giggs, Park and Nani and at times, Rooney dropped back in to leave us without any attackers. On paper, this was a good idea and for the first half it worked as we had the better of City and they were struggling to find a way to get past us. But as the game went on, our frailties appeared worse than we first thought. The main thing we needed for the second half was pace and endurance and we didn’t have any of that until Valencia came on which didn’t even really make an impact as it was too late. Rating- 4/10

Attack- This is a tough one to analyse as there isn’t really much too analyse. No shots on target are a stat which we don’t usually relate ourselves to but it is after all the painful truth of how bad we were yesterday. Lescott had got the better of Rooney early on in the game and that’s how it stayed. Rooney’s lack of creativity and annoyance once the City fans had got on his case was clear. Rating 1/10

Fergie- I never doubt Fergie and I never doubt his tactics but when I saw the team 45 minutes before kickoff I knew it was going to be a very long night. We have been used to playing 4-4-1-1 but Fergie uncharacteristically changed it to a 4-5-1 formation and at times it very much looked like he was playing six in midfield with Rooney dropping back. As much as I dislike the man, it’s safe to say that Mancini won the battle of the managers as City always looked threatening when they attacked where as we looked like we were never really going to pose a threat to Joe Hart’s goal. Although the way he set the midfield and defence out to contain them was a positive as it worked for most of the first half. Rating- 5/10

So the league is now in City’s hands, and we’ve just got to hope that Newcastle and QPR do us a massive favour. But if we don’t get 4 points out of the Swansea and Sunderland games, then unfortunately, I can’t see anyway back for us.

Feel free to join in the discussion with me on Twitter @jonnyescott .


12 responses to “Derby Day- Where It Went Wrong”

  1. What gets me here is the fact that we need to think of playing thos way against them. This is basically saying they’re better than us which if we’re going to be honest they are. Hurts me to say it but hey have better players than we do. The absolute crime here is stark & it is the bastards that took us into horrendous debt that are to blame – simple as that. We have in Alex Ferguson THE best club manager of all time – FACT. Had he been backed with the same knind of clout as City from 5 years ago we would probably have at least one more European Cup & would not now be lamenting the situation we are in. It is because of him we are even in with a chance of this league. We have limped through a season with a set of players who under any other manager would be mid table. Lets be honest and stop all the bullshit about “value in the market” etc. Its obvious they will not stump up enough money for us to compete. The likes of Silva & Aguero could be United players if those bastards had done. Scholes & Giggs have been amazing but, come on – 37 & 38 year olds still showing as our best players, its pathetic. Anderson is crap, Fletcher would be a squad player at any other top club, Carrick is not fir to dub the boots of our central midfielders of old, Park is a headless chicken & a very average player, Young is a winger we didn’t need, Jones, De geah & Smalling are promising, Raphael is not good enough, Wellbeck is a prospect not a Ruud, Yorke, Cole etc. Nani is a constant irritant who it seems will never be consistent. Rio has found form but again has lost a wee bit of pace & is nearing 32. The simple fact here is we need major investment in the team & it is not going to come as long as those bastards continue to rip the heart out of the greatest club in the world. If Hazard, Kawaga, Gaitan & others are available & an auction does materialise, i’m sorry Alex, you enter it & win or we will fall even further behind.

    • karlomu says:

      True why do we play 4-4-2 for most of the season then in big european games or the other night against city we put 5 in the midfield and play a formation we are not used to playing. Should we ditch the old 4-4-2 formation and play 5 in the middle every game.You don,t see barca changing their formation for their big games cos theres no need .Top european teams are playin 4-5-1 which changes to 4-3-3 when their on the ball.I don`t douth fergie is gonna build another title winning team but maybe just maybe his tactics are dated .Time will tell hope i`m wrong…

      • Steve Waite says:

        Barca have been playing 3-4-3 this season. Against Chelsea in both ‘big games’ they changed this to 4-3-3. And lost. Other teams DO change formations. It isn’t usually a good idea – stick to what you’re good at and are used to.

  2. HeavyRiffs says:

    No money in the coffers for the likes of Hazard, he’ll be with us blue boys this time next year. Just like Yaya, Tevez, Aguero, Silva and Nasri were…

  3. Jonny Escott says:

    I agree with what your saying mate but Carrick has had a good season. We need to stop signing kids with a years premier league experience ( jones, smalling, barkley ) and sign players who have premier league experience and are in their prime. I look to the likes of Xabi Alonso for that type of experience and leadership. If we want attacking players with experience that’s when we need to look to the likes of Sneijder/Higuain/Benzema/Affelay all of these players have made it in europe so they wouldn’t struggle as much. We need to be signing players in their late twenty’s instead of late teens. Personally I think fergie is trying to make a team which will be reaching there peak when he decides to call it a day, so really it will still be fergies team even when he leaves. I’m not saying fergie should leave. The man is a god but I just think he should consider his transfer policy.

  4. tose says:

    agree with dave,…he also forget evra ,this was his worst year ,he playes maybe ewery game,but i haevent seen a worst passer or crosser in the final moment of the atack,so his pressure is somehow useless,,and ferguson is no doubt the best around,but he has became a bit complacent last month,,the game with everton showed it he was having fun 15 minutes left with the assistant referie,,instead to bring the game home with some subs,,,to sum it up i feel sorry only for the fans,who are left dissapointed,,,rooney and co gonna get their checks ewery monday for new horses

  5. Ez says:

    @Stretford Dave spot on :).
    But don’t we think if The Great one had played Valencia, Young, Welbeck, Cleverly and Rafael (the boys who outplayed City, Arsenal and Chelsea early in the season) We could have won it.
    Going defencive will get you 80% result;BEATEN.

  6. Tom says:

    We missed Evans !! Smalling is ten times a better defender than overrated Johnny. Evans is no more than a squad player

  7. elhair says:

    Sorry but Fergie got it wrong. We lost in Europe with that formation all season. We also don’t have the centre midfield players to cope with others playing 5 across the middle. We all know this and it needs to be addressed. Not havin a go at any players but everyone knew we needed a centre midfielder for the past 2 years. Until we sort it out we can expect to lose against stronger opposition.

  8. Anneeq Anwar says:

    As bad Man Utd were, Man City werent a whole lot better. They were worthy winners, there’s no debating that, but they were hardly 100% dominant.

    Also i think our defence coped very admirably, the City strikers didnt have many opportunities at all apart from Nasris one on one with the goally and Kompany’s goal. U have to expect defensive problems when they’re dealing with Aguero, Tevez et al.

    It aint all doom and gloom tho, we are united and we fight till the very end!!!! We have to rape both Sunderland and Swansea 6-0 each to stand a CHANCE of winning. And City have to finish the job, they have to win against a team challenging to champions league and a team fighting relegation. They are looking to win the league after over 40 years in the wilderness and with the constant scrutiny of their spending. Call me deluded but i still think we can win this. But the Man Utd players have to be positive, its now or never…………

  9. I agree it’s certainly not over yet. With Newcastle looking for a CL spot in a packed & vociferous St James’ Park or whatever it’s now called. City also can actually see the finish line now so we’ll see if their arses go. If we win it it will be amazing but it still won’t change my mind that Fergie has in a way let us down by protecting the Glazers with his soundbites about the lack of value in the market & only wanting players who will improve the squad. To me that is total bullshit & it is so obvious that he is acting as a shield to those thieves. Tell us Alex, was Bebe this value for money you speak of? I think with Sir Al there’s definately an element of stubbornness & dare I say arrogance. He seems to do the opposite to what everyone & his wife wants. Yes he’s the expert but he isn’t beyond critisism just because of what he’s achieved. How on God’s green earth did he spend over £50 million last summer but not a red cent of it on a central midfielder??? We obviously needed a keeper & De Gea looks like he will be the part. Also Jones & Young are both good players but would the combined money on them have not been far better spent on 2 central midfielders? We could’ve had Van Der Vaart for what we paid for Bebe! Over £30 million could’ve got us an established midfielder or 2. At turned 70 Alex needs to act on this right now. We have enough promising talent coming through. We should break the proverbial bank for Modric & Hazard or a combination of that level. Come on Newcastle!!!

  10. Anagafo Michael says:

    Sir Alex Ferguson should be held responsible for United woes. A manager who believes there is no quality in the market but will buy Bebe for $10m has lost touch with reality. In the same market, Man City has built a formidable team that has made United look very ordinary. He keep saying money does not buy titles. Chelsea and Man City have proved him wrong but he does not seem to realize it. I feel it is time for him to leave. If he continues with this squad next season, United will not make the top four