Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

Four conclusions from Burnley and City

Posted by hakanrylander on January 20, 2010

1. We have defensive problems. Not surprising given the continued absence of Vidic and Ferdinand. Even so I feel that a back four of Neville/Rafael, Brown, Evans and Evra should be strong enough for most games. But Burnley (with a dreadful away record) were often given a lot of space and created quite a few clear-cut chances, and we were lucky that they didn’t manage to convert a couple of them. I also believe that a lack of understanding between Evans and Brown gifted Tevez the winner. They both went wide to cover the cross but if one had stayed in the middle Tevez would hardly have been left with a free header.

2. Wayne Rooney is too isolated. Against City we used the 4-2-3-1 system that I prefer, but Anderson didn’t provide enough support for Rooney through the middle. Rooney did well, particularly towards the end, but he can hurt the opposition more if given more support. Fabio Capello seems to agree.

3. After three brief appearances I’m already optimistic about Mame Biram Diouf. Most of all because he gets into good positions. Should have scored, though, when he got a free header with minutes remaining against City.

4. It was good to see a MotM performance from United old-boy Chris Eagles. He had a couple of decent games for United, but in the end he didn’t quite manage to become a first team regular. It was obvious that he really wanted to make an impression in this game, and he did.

2 Responses to “Four conclusions from Burnley and City”

  1. RedJack said

    I agree with your points,

    On the defence I think they should be good enough but there is a massive crisis of confidence which will settle if we can get at least vidic back to settle nerves and give leadership.

    I mean no disrespect by this but, after the Leeds game and other performances I have seen, Neville needs to retire. Positional sense and pace are not there any more and as much as the desire is as great as ever it is not good enough anymore.

    Also my main concern is that we lack urgency/speed when attacking which Ronaldo provided and is the only thing that we miss about him. If we could get someone in the summer that could provide the fast link between defence and attack we would be in a better position.

  2. The Gaffer said

    Good points. The return of Ferdinand is a boost, and it will surely bring back the confidence and strength United need at the back.

    Diouf looks good too, a hat trick in reserves says it all. The lad has quality.

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