Date: 5th November 2012 at 7:34am
Written by:
Pat enjoying his most prolific spell ever....

Pat enjoying his most prolific spell ever....

Cleverley isn’t ready: I hate to start on a negative – after all, this was an overwhelmingly positive day for Manchester United – but this issue needs addressing. As we all know, the England football team is a perennial underachiever, the kind of dream-crushing national embarrassment that makes you want to hide in the corner and cry. After each disappointing World Cup or European Championship exit, on penalty kicks or otherwise, the nation’s sporting press tries to identify the Point At Which It All Went Wrong. Last summer, the team’s failure was traced back to the English game’s long-standing weakness: the rejection of possession football. Tom Cleverley is one of the few English players who boasts an intuitive understanding of the midfield geometry that Spanish youngsters learn before they’re out of diapers, and, as such, he’s pretty much a national treasure. Everyone really wants Cleverley to succeed this year, because only after a full season of top-level football will he be fully equipped to SAVE ENGLAND’S SPORT. Maybe we’re rushing him; maybe we aren’t. Either way, he was terrible against Arsenal.

 Anderson is ready: Europeans have an image of the “typical” Brazilian footballer. He’s short and stocky, deceptively unintimidating. His backstory involves favelas and tin cans. He performs stepovers and sports a Mohawk. He’s not necessarily the best player on his team, but everyone thinks he’s the best because, you know, he’s a Brazilian. Anderson’s failure to conform to that stereotype – he’s a hard-working ball-winner who recently replaced his dreadlocks with something between an afro and a no fro – has disappointed English fans for years. Which is a shame. Anderson doesn’t possess the skill of, say, Ronaldinho, and he certainly ain’t no Pele, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. Maybe we should appreciate him for the functional midfield workhorse that he is.

De Gea is angry: One of my favorite moments in Saturday’s match arrived directly after Arsenal’s goal, which I know sounds strange, but hear me out. Cazorla’s shot flew into the net and David De Gea – the most expensive goalkeeper in Manchester United history, a skinny shot stopper who couldn’t defend a cross into the box if the ball literally caught him – got angry. Really angry. He swung his arms about and screamed at the back four. It was beautiful to watch.

Evra is goal-hungry: I used to joke that Patrice Evra only shoots on goal when Dimitar Berbatov happens to be lurking in the penalty area — wherever Berba is, he’s always lurking — ready to turn the inevitable miscued daisy cutter into a scissors-kick golazo. Of course, this joke was all part of my effort to big up Berbatov – someone whose talent I’ve never been shy about bigging up – and not designed to mock Evra, since, well, Evra’s a left back. Recently, however, I’ve had to shelve my old line. Berbatov plays for Fulham, and Evra has already scored twice this season. Wow.

Rooney isn’t the main man: Once upon a time everything – hopes, dreams, etc. – depended on our depressingly unreliable number 10. Old Trafford descended into hushed silence when Rooney landed awkwardly, or, even worse, when news of a super-injunction began circulating on Twitter. No more. We’ve got a new linchpin, and his name’s Robin van Persie.

Read more by David Yaffe-Bellany at In For The Hat Trick and follow him on Twitter @INFTH.


7 responses to “Five Things We Learned: United vs. Arsenal”

  1. mohammed says:

    Worst 5 things we learned ever.why so negative? Anderson can be good at times but he either gets injured or play sloppy . I Didnt feel clevz was that bad , he just needs to improve abit. Rooney one of our main men and was a reliable number 10.

  2. Jabba says:

    Good points and I agree

  3. ListenAndLearn says:

    You might want to watch the game again pal, Cleverley was excellent first half, completely outplaying the supposedly superior Wilshire. Overall he had a good game and was very tidy in possession and worked hard off the ball.

    The only reason he was subbed was because his next foul would see him sent off.

    Not quite sure what ‘he isnt ready’ actually means anyway. He isnt ready for what exactly?

    You just come across as yet another plastic OOT mouthpiece.

  4. Best will never be bettered says:

    IMHO Cleverley is playing too deep to get the best out of him in order to assist Carrick who will never be the all-encompassing athletic defensive midfield player he is currently being asked to be which means that our Tom’s quick first time passing is pretty rather than deadly because it’s 30 yards too far away from the opposition penalty area most of the time.

    Fergie likes to play with two wide men but that puts massive pressure on the two central midfield players both of whom have to be extremely mobile and defensively aware.
    Carrick lacks pace and mobility and Anderson lacks defensive
    awareness. Darren Fletcher is probably the nearest we have had to this player back in 2008/9 but remains a long way short of that capability currently.
    I would like to see Phil Jones given the opportunity of an extended run in that position since I think he could develop into the best solution and I cannot see him being first choice at either centreback or right back.

  5. chrisaus88 says:

    Van Persie, what a player. If we sign a central defender I’m starting to believe we could win the Champions league. Van Persie could actually get something against Barca’s shoddy defence this year.

  6. Peter says:

    Very poor article. Do you even watch the games? As for the idiot who wants to buy a centre half but not a central midfielder…..

  7. Petar Mendelson says:

    This article stinks like shet. Cleverly is one of the best players in ManUtd, and Rooney is very good pairing with RVP.