Between the Lines

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Archive for September, 2011

Unbeaten start to the season, and the symptoms of liver disease

Posted by hakanrylander on September 26, 2011

Andy went to see the doctor. “I’m sure I’ve got liver disease.”

“You’d never know if you had liver disease”, said the doctor. “There’s no discomfort of any kind.”

“Exactly!”, said Andy. “Those are my precise symptoms.”

During the first few weeks of the season we have witnessed a wonderfully fluent attacking game, great new signings, the breakthrough of young stars and even The Second Coming of Duncan Edwards.┬áSeven wins and two draws in all competitions. No discomfort of any kind (at least not after De Gea’s MotM performance against Stoke). Still, the long-term target is to overtake Barcelona, and therefore I worry about two things.

– We give the ball away too easily. This was most apparent against Chelsea, and we were a bit lucky that Chelsea failed to take advantage. A team like Barcelona would punish such mistakes ruthlessly.

– We find it difficult to cope with high pressing. Benfica managed to play this way for parts of the game against United earlier this month, and this immediately put us on the back foot. High pressing is the core element of Barcelona’s defensive system.

In the games we’ve played so far this season these weaknesses haven’t really mattered. But when we come up against Barcelona they will be fatal.

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