I don’t know about you, but analysing a game is pretty difficult when you’ve got allegiances to one of the clubs. This goes for, if United are even playing Wigan, though I’m a bit more relaxed then. I can appreciate more. But please don’t ask me to give in depth detail of how Michael Carrick played against Madrid.
If he wasn’t constantly involved, I probably didn’t notice him. The game blurs by. Well when I say blur, I mean a very slow blur, especially when Ronaldo, Ozil and Di Maria are hovering around your box menacingly. I notice that. The next day is when these thoughts spring to mind. When my heart rate slows down I suppose. I Don’t know how Sir Alex does it. I’ll need a pacemaker by the time I’m 30.
But hey, that’s off the point of what I really wanted to talk about.
Remember a few weeks back, 1-0 up, backs against the wall, defending with spirit and then the villain that is David de Gea strikes again. Save after save he makes and then last second, he makes a bollocks of a ball that comes on top of him, with a weak punch. Headless chicken Lennon finds composure out of nowhere, Dempsey slots home and we’re all furious. Punching the couch, shouting – getting a bit rowdy and acting like a child. Football isn’t it? Grrrr…
Unless you were at the game, you would have watched Graham Souness talk about United giving a perfect away performance. He’s normally quite good, punditry wise. For a Scouse B*****d. However when I looked back on the game “perfect” wasn’t what I saw. I actually thought we played well and defended well…for ninety minutes. If only there was two minutes added on rather than three. We can laud our players to the hilts about their character but in that position, you have to be able to see it out. Especially at Man United. Could you see that happening with Keane in the team?
The result obviously wasn’t the end of the world, because Tottenham are quite good *Europa League – cough –cough*. I was just disappointed with the manner in which we dropped points. I actually blamed Rafael as much as our “unconvincing” Spanish goalie. The Brazilian has been a revelation this season, but if you thought the Vidic stare on David was bad, you should have seen the look I gave Da Silva.
Fast forward to the Santiago Bernabeau *Champions League cough cough* and a ball into the box, around 87/88 minutes gone, Ronaldo looks set to score but Jones gets across and blocks twice. Bodies are going on the line. We’re not giving away a second tonight. Not on your nelly Jose. There’s a resilience that’s lasting for the full ninety. Other than stopping the cross coming in, there’s little that can be done to stop Cristiano’s header. United had played that way all night. Players sacrificing themselves for the team. Rooney was said by some to have a bad game yesterday. I thought he was fantastic. He worked and worked and rarely lost possession. Welbeck held the ball up majestically to give the defence some respite and Rio has yet to let Benzema out of his pocket from the first half or Ronaldo out from the second. I’d finally got what I wanted “The perfect away performance”. Resilience, steel, hard-work, good shape and above all – focus. Oh and the unconvincing keeper wasn’t too shabby either, was he Mr Neville?