Trying to find the perfect word to describe the match at Old Trafford last night isn’t going to be too hard. In the mix so far we have: dreadful, boring, snoozefest, scrappy and Bruce Dyer…. however I am going for underwhelming.
When Robin Van Persie scored after 31 seconds you could be forgiven if you thought a classic encounter was on the cards.
Would United go on to score six or seven; or would West Ham give it a go and turn this clash into a goal fest (which is what we come to expect this season with our leaky defence).
Neither happened and the game finished 1-0 with limited chances for both sides.
As the fans from East London sang “Is there a fire drill” to the United faithful who were sneaking out with five minutes to go, it dawned on me that our most outstanding performers were the same two guys from the weekend victory over QPR.
Anderson; picking up a deserved start following some fine form was energetic in the middle of the park.
His enthusiasm to go forward rather than sideways is something that I am a fan of – however it seems Big Sam wanted his side to turn this game into a dogfight, rather than a football match; meaning the creative element of the game was limited and it was more a case of winning your tackles and picking up the second ball.
With Sir Alex opting for a narrow side, the midfield area was very crowded leaving space down the flanks for the full-backs to get forward as often as possible.
West Ham had £16m winger Matt Jarvis playing down the left which could have caused problems for the galavanting Rafael – but the young Brazilian kept the former Wolves man quiet all game.
A full-back who is willing to get forward is all well and good as long as the defensive duties are not ignored.
A full-back who can master both aspects of the game is a rarity.
Yes I appreciate most full-backs try to get forward and help out in attack, but how many are actually effective? Rafael is.
Given the number 2 shirt at the start of the season, the curly haired lad has not been the first choice of every United fan, with some making the claim that Chris Smalling is better suited to the right-back role.
However, at this moment I do not think any United fan can argue Rafael is performing extremely well in a team that has been lackluster at times.
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