Date: 23rd August 2012 at 12:44am
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Would this man have let us get bossed at Goodison?

Would this man have let us get bossed at Goodison?

Monday night was an extremely disappointing performance. The summer optimism was replaced with last season’s recurring problems. As he was so often last season, Rooney’s overall performance was poor; his touch was all over the place, and he was clearly lacking in fitness, but Sir Alex refused to replace him.
Patrice Evra was hopelessly caught out of position on several occasions and offered very little going forward. Büttner could seriously turn out to be our most important signing. Nani, for all his undoubted talent, delivered absolutely nothing as he so often does when United need him. Antonio Valencia, United’s player of the season and new number 7, was inexplicable deployed at right back, when our first choice sat on the bench. Cleverley showed that as good as he is he doesn’t have an eye for a goal, which is not too much of a cause for concern as it’s not his primary concern. It’s less acceptable in the case of Danny Welbeck, his goal tally needs to increase, however, he was just waiting to be replaced all game. We were bullied all over the park and Sir Alex failed to change a game with his substitutions. It’s been a while since he’s been able to do that. Of course, as usual when we lose a match, we are written off.
While it’s true that we were suffering from injuries; they can no longer be used as an excuse. It’s gone way beyond coincidence that we always have players injured. It’s impossible that we’re just that unlucky. Something’s not right and it needs to be looked into.
A very worrying aspect of Monday night was how easily Everton bullied our players in the middle of the park. That Anderson, or Andesron as was written on the back of his shirt, highlighting that it wasn’t just United’s players who had a bad day at the office, is the closest United have to a player bullish enough to combat Fellaini shows just how weak our midfield is. I’m so happy we’ve bought Van Persie, but it is still that strength in midfield which may well leave us behind in the race for the Premier League and Champions League.
However, our biggest problem is that we are devoid of on-field leadership. Nemanja Vidic is a very good defender, but he is not a leader. Everyone knew that Fellaini was Everton’s biggest danger off corners, and the Belgian knew Vidic was the only player United possessed who could come close to dealing with his aerial threat so he stayed clear of the Serb, and stood next to Michael Carrick who he had tormented with all game. Vidic should have taken the responsibility upon himself and sought after Fellaini at every corner. Vidic is prone to reacting badly to mistakes and does not display leadership characteristics, yet he is the best of a bad bunch. It’s not just in defence where players are refusing to take responsibility. With 15 minutes left, Everton set up camp in their own area and United had to try hard to find any sort of gap to exploit, yet no player was willing to take the risk of squandering possession. The ball was knocked about from one wing to another and Everton really weren’t defending for their lives at all. Corners and crosses were lumped high into the box, with no real aim; Everton’s defenders were always going to beat our attackers in an aerial battle. Too often last season we failed to put pressure on opponents when trailing.
Kagawa was the only positive from the performance. He was the only United player actually trying to make something happen and I’m really excited to see more of him this season. David de Gea is another player of whom we have high hopes. He has the natural ability and has become a fan’s favourite. Gone are the days when we worried about his mistakes. His shot stopping second to none. That’s the one element of goalkeeping you can’t teach. The rest comes with experience.
We have a talented squad; make absolutely no doubt about that! Youngsters with a lot of potential. However, when the Nevilles, Butt, Beckham and Scholes were thrown into the first team fray they had Cantona, Schmeichel, Bruce, Keane alongside them. Leaders who nurtured their development and helped them overcome poor form. Our current crop of youngsters, like Phil Jones, who’s been hopelessly out of form after his own goal against Benfica, need guidance on the pitch.
With everyone fully fit, and the chance happening at the moment seem minimal, we have a very good team. Certainly talented enough to compete on all fronts, but we are just lacking that strength in midfield and leadership. At certain grounds in the Premier League it’s a battle and when it comes to a battle, our soldiers just aren’t tough enough.

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12 responses to “Where Is United’s Leader?”

  1. Aussiehopper says:

    First of all let me say i am a Manchester United supporter through and through, and have been for nearly seventy years, so my observation
    is not a critisism of my club, just a concern at what i perceive to be a weakness in the makeup of
    the team at present, my concern is Wayne Rooney,
    regardless of his past form his unreliability is becoming questionable, there is no doubt Wayne goes missing in crucial games why only he knows,
    his impact in games is diminishing it might be pressure who knows, but whatever the reason Wayne Rooney needs to find some form Quickly for Man United to be successful.

  2. David says:

    Wow, you started off the article criticizing Rooney, and suggested SAF should have subbed him off. Never seen anyone else say that in a blog or website, usually other players are blamed, but not Rooney. Rooney should be benched once in a while, no player should be above the team. I agree with every point you make in the article, and hope that someone steps up to be the leader. I also hope it is someone other than Giggsy, we need Giggsy and Scholes to play supporting roles now, not hope for them to be the main actors, as they cannot be counted on to perform well against top opposition on a regular basis.

  3. chrisaus88 says:

    I’ve heard enough about the midfield now, let’s let it go untill next transfer window.

  4. RedDevil says:

    Vidic isn’t a leader? :/ If he isn’t one I don’t know who is

  5. Red Ken says:

    Would love to have seen Carrick and maybe Anderson sold in the transfer window and replaced with a couple of world class midfielders to nurse Powell and Tunicliffe through their formative years. We have plenty of central midfielders, just none who are world class. Carrick is a lightweight and Anderson continually under delivers. It’s depressing that we have all been saying this for at least two years and here we go again

    • lamar says:

      get used to it. it’s sad 🙁 saf trully believes that evans, ando and carrick are WORLD CLASS.

  6. zizu lee says:

    u’ve got to get ur story right…… fine rooney was rubbish… nani had 2 players on him all night and that is bcos our middle was posing no threat so they can afford extra player from dir middle to help with the marking of nani… about vidic he has to mark someone with a ball finishing ability i mean a striker not a midfeilder, talking about set piece it is easy to disturb a midfeilder compared to a player with great positioning(striker)… u can see rooney marking a central defender far taller than him, all he needs to do is disturb… look at a player like drogba u need more than disturbing but actual tackling/marking… it’s just the team tactics not a leadership problem… kagawa was spot on cleverly and Paul decent, andesron shud have started or introduced earlier(60mins)…… SAF got it totally wrong with the subs

  7. Ella patterson says:

    I have no problem with Vidic as a leader. What I cannot understand is carrick as Centre half. he does an admirable job there but he is much more vital as a holding midfielder. i cannot understand why fergie will not try michael keane or Scott wooton at centre half and leave Michael carrick as a holding midfielder. We might have a few mistakes from the young but we would not so easily be overrun in midfield with carrick there!

  8. I agree wt virtually all d points made except dt Vidic is a real& capable leader for d team. I think he is right not to abandon his position to run after rampaging Fellani. Though d team still requires a formidable midfield general dt can actually dictates pace of game like Scholes did in hey days. Rooney has definitely lost form, especially in big games& needs to be substituted on occasions like ds. Ds is an opportunity 4 upcoming strikers like Welbeck to step up as I know Fergie could deal wt Rooney’s situation if d lapse continues. All in all, man utd still need a pacy playmaker

  9. wizzywalez says:

    It’s truly sure that united are lacking behind and this cannot just continue because,when we are 1 point behind the premier league leader not to even talk of 3 point behind,i think it’s a difficult one for united.
    So therefore i think united have to give WOOTON a chance to prove himself what he his capable of in our next game coming up on saturday at old trafford against fulham and we really have to start both KAGAWA and RVP together also to also prove thierselves along ROONEY.As for WELBECK i think he should start from the bench and as for NANI the unform winger he should also start from the left wing forward as well as VALENCIA on the right wing forward then I think united can overcome fulham with a win of atleast 4 goals to nil.SAF incase you see these pls try it a bit.




  10. pls,i wish SAF reads this. He shud know when rooney wil not play well. Not before d match but durin ist half. Rooney wil seem to be afraid of defenders n other opposition players. This is a typical rooney if he is goin to contribute nothing. One very bad says:

    pls,i wish SAF reads this. He shud know when rooney wil not play well. Not before d match but durin ist half. Rooney wil seem to be afraid of defenders n other opposition players. This is a typical rooney if he is goin to contribute nothing. One very bad thing abt roo is dat on his bad day, he wil give absolutely zero contributn unlik other great players. So fergie, if u see roo afraid of challenges, take him off as soon as possible