Posts Tagged ‘Carling Cup’
Posted by hakanrylander on September 23, 2010
This was a very enjoyable Carling Cup night. One reason was the fact that City, Chelsea and Liverpool were all knocked out! But more importantly, this was probably a breakthrough night for another up-and-coming United star. I am of course refering to Chris Smalling.
It gives me great pleasure to watch a centre-half who is comfortable on the ball, able to hit long accurate passes and score goals. The pass to Gibson that led to the first goal would have made Paul Scholes proud, and Smalling scored the second with the ease of a goal-poacher rather than a defender. This game will have further strengthened his confidence. I’m looking forward to his first PL start. It won’t be long.
Posted in Manchester United, Match Reports, Player Analysis | Tagged: Carling Cup, Chris Smalling, Manchester United, Scunthorpe | 3 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on September 23, 2009
A Carling Cup tie against Wolves is unlikely to provide anything near the excitement of last Sunday. It’s not a trophy that too many fans care a lot about, but what makes it interesting is of course that it’s the main opportunity to see some up and coming stars in action.
Sir Alex might have a bit of a selection headache. He should pick some youngsters on the fringe of the first team and also some newcomers who are unlikely to start a single game in the PL this season. But he should also consider that some more established stars need games to keep sharp (Owen), find their form after an indifferent spell (Foster, Carrick, Nani, Tosic) or regain full fitness (Brown). Among these players the case for inclusion is strongest for Brown and Owen. Owen needs to play a bit more than just the last 20 minutes of big games while Brown is probably still our best right-back but need playing-time to get back to full fitness. Perhaps Tosic also deserves another chance to prove himself after being left out of the CL-squad.
Among the young fringe players Macheda, Welbeck, Fabio and Gibson virtually pick themselves, which leaves room for three more outfield players. My choice would be Corrie Evans in central defence, Magnus Eikrem in midfield and Ritchie de Laet (who improved beyond recognition towards the end of last season) at left back.
Ferguson has made some disturbing comments about Macheda and Welbeck lacking focus and forgetting “where their real place is” due to international commitments. Hopefully it’s just his way of stirring them into action tonight. Time to step forward for these two exceptionally promising youngsters.
My line-up: Kuszczak; Fabio, Brown, Corrie Evans, de Laet; Welbeck, Gibson, Eikrem, Tosic; Owen, Macheda.
Posted in Previews | Tagged: Carling Cup, Danny Welbeck, Darron Gibson, Fabio da Silva, Federico Macheda, Manchester United, Michael Owen, Ritchie de Laet, Wolverhampton | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on March 2, 2009
The Carling Cup is perhaps not the most prestigious trophy in world football, but it was still a very satisfying win if not a great performance. In the end the game was won by United’s coolness in the penalty shoot-out, and the decisive factor was experience of high-pressure situations. All four United players who took the penalties (Giggs, Tevez, Ronaldo and Anderson) faced the same task in Moscow nine months ago. Yesterday must have felt like a Sunday League shoot-out by comparison.
Two players stood out. Ben Foster delivered a breakthrough performance that won him the Man-of-the-match award in front of Fabio Capello. If he (Foster, that is) can stay clear of injuries, and get a few more games for United, it surely won’t be long before he plays for England again. After all, the competition for places isn’t terrifying. My personal MotM-award goes to Rio Ferdinand.
I applaud Fergson’s decision to play some of the youngsters and fringe players in this final, but it was obvious that both Welbeck and Gibson were out of their depths. More worrying was the slack defending that allowed Aaron Lennon lots of space that he used to good effect. The main culprit was Nani. There is no way that Lennon would have been able to shine so brightly if Park Ji-Sung had played in left midfield as he would have provided a lot more support for Evra.
Meanwhile in the PL, Liverpool, Villa and Arsenal all dropped points. Not a bad weekend, really.
Posted in Match Reports | Tagged: Ben Foster, Carling Cup, Football, Manchester United, Nani, Park Ji-sung, Rio Ferdinand, Tottenham | 1 Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on February 28, 2009
Alex Ferguson is expected to keep faith in the players that got us into this final. But as both Evans and O’Shea played with minor injuries in Milan I don’t think they will feature at Wembley. This means that Ferdinand and Vidic should provide a strong foundation. In midfield and attack some of the regulars of the CC campaign (but not in the PL first XI) will start, such as Gibson, Welbeck, Tevez and Nani. Ferguson is likely to stock his bench with stars, meaning that Ronaldo as well as Spurs oldboys Carrick and Berbatov could be sent on to turn the game around in the last half-hour if necessary.
Spurs is an enigma this season. Individually their players are a lot better than their position in the table suggests. When playing for their national teams both Modric and Pavlychenko have proved that they are among the top players in Europe, and Palacios (ineligible tomorrow) is one of the best midfielders in the PL. In a one-off game at Wembley they could prove very difficult opponents.
My line-up: Foster; Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Fabio; Welbeck, Gibson, Scholes, Nani; Rooney, Tevez. Subs: Kuszczak, Evra, Evans, Carrick, Possebon, Ronaldo, Berbatov
Posted in Previews | Tagged: Carling Cup, Football, Manchester United, Tottenham | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on February 18, 2009
…than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Even so, The Times today publishes 25 simple steps for United to reach heaven. Which in this context is to win five titles: the World Club Championship, the Carling Cup, the FA-cup, the Premier League and the Champions League. I still consider this to be just about impossible, but presented in this way it can look a deceptively simple task.
The WCC is already in the bag and both the Carling Cup and the PL look within reach. But United are still a very long way away from repeating last year’s CL triumph, with Inter Milan as the first, very difficult, obstacle. It’s a nice dream, though.
The first step on the ladder is tonight against Fulham, who have not yet won away from home in the league this season. Several United stars are expeted to return after being rested against Derby, such as Van der Sar, Vidic, Carrick, Scholes, Berbatov and Tevez. Rooney might be on the bench.
Please also note that the Bible doesn’t specifically mention rich football clubs.
Posted in Previews | Tagged: Carling Cup, Champions League, Derby County, FA-cup, Football, Manchester United, Premier League | 2 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on December 6, 2008
This kind of headline might seem a stupid way of tempting fate, but I really cannot see us loosing a two-leg Carling Cup semi-final against Derby County. Holders Spurs play giant-killers Burnley in the other semi-final. Even though Spurs is a completely different side compared to a couple of months ago, I still feel that Dimitar Berbatov has a great chance of picking up the trophy for the second year running.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Burnley, Carling Cup, Derby County, Dimitar Berbatov, Football, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on December 4, 2008
Last night against Blackburn Rovers it finally became obvious that Gary Neville’s career hastens to its end. He was at fault for two of Blackburn’s goals. The signs have been there to see all season, but I’ve thought that maybe he needed time to get back to full fitness and therefore I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt. Until now. He is now just third, after Rafael da Silva and Wes Brown, in my right-back pecking order, and unlikely to be asked to play in central defence again unless there is an emergency. Jonny Evans has been sensational this season and John O’Shea often plays in this position for Ireland. I expect this to be Gary’s last season.
On a more positive note, it was of course an absolute delight to see Carlos Tevez score three (or was it four?). Hopefully this confidence boost will make him return to his high performance levels of last season.
Posted in Player Analysis | Tagged: Carling Cup, Carlos Tevez, Football, Gary Neville, Manchester United, Rafael da Silva, Wes Brown | 5 Comments »
Posted by hakanrylander on November 11, 2008
Not the most exiting game of the season, but an opportunity to see our most promising teenagers alongside some of the established stars. The best news is that Rodrigo Possebon is back in the first team for the first time since he was injured in the Carling Cup third round tie against Middlesbrough. Hopefully tonight’s performance will be further proof that the present crop of teenagers is the strongest since the early 90′s. Rafael and Evans have already proved that they can be trusted in big games with the first team, and I personally believe that Possebon also falls into this category. Welbeck looks great but has not yet been tested at the highest level. I’ve not seen enough of Darron Gibson to have an opinion either way.
My line-up: Foster; Rafael, Evans, Vidic, O’Shea; Park, Possebon, Gibson, Nani; Tevez, Welbeck.
Posted in Previews | Tagged: Carling Cup, Danny Welbeck, Darron Gibson, Football, Jonny Evans, Manchester United, Queen's Park Rangers, Rafael da Silva, Rodrigo Possebon | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on October 24, 2008
Despite the sensational performances of Rafael da Silva I still feel that Rodrigo Possebon might just be United’s brightest young star. Great to see him back in action for the reserves this week. He scored in a 3-0 win against Manchester City. It was feared that he had broken his leg after a reckless tackle by Emanuel Pogatetz during a Carling Cup tie against Middlesbrough. But as it turned out the injury was a lot less severe. I hope, and expect, to see him in the first team again before long.
Posted in Match Reports, Player Analysis | Tagged: Carling Cup, Football, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Rodrigo Possebon | Leave a Comment »
Posted by hakanrylander on September 24, 2008
This was the worst possible outcome of last night’s Carling Cup tie against Middlesbrough. United’s brightest young star, Rodrigo Possebon, was carried off and taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after a reckless tackle by Emanuel Pogatetz. It’s a tragedy for both United and the lad. During the last few months it has become increasingly obvious that Possebon is a very special talent. This would have been his breakthrough season. Let’s hope for a quick and full recovery, and that he still has a great future in the game.
United won the game 3-1, but this now seems completely insignificant.
Edit: Possebon’s injury now appears less serious than the first reports suggested. A club spokesperson told manutd.com “We can confirm that Rodrigo did not suffer a break to his right leg. He was kept in hospital overnight for observation and to assess whether there was any ligament damage to his knee.” Good news, indeed.
Posted in Match Reports | Tagged: Carling Cup, Football, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Possebon, Rodrigo Possebon | Leave a Comment »