Between the Lines

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

Posts Tagged ‘Gary Neville’

Milan handed us the game on a plate

Posted by hakanrylander on March 11, 2010

A very good performance from United last night and several positive signs going inte the quarter-finals. On yesterday’s evidence Park (my MotM) is probably our best option as the attacking central midfielder. Fletcher again proved that he has that rare quality of playing better the bigger the game. Valencia dominated the right-wing completety (with a little help from Ronaldinho, see below). Nani had a shaky start but improved as the game went along, and provided the best moment of the match with his superb pass for Rooney’s second goal. As for Rooney himself, another proof that he’s England’s best player.

Even so I think the main reason why United were so dominant was that Milan more or less handed us the game on a plate by poor work-rate and lack of tactical awareness. The most glaring example was that the left-back Jankulovski, one of the weakest individual links, was given virtually no support at all from Ronaldinho. As a consequence, Valencia and Neville could do pretty much whatever they pleased down that corridor. Furthermore, the other attackers, Huntelaar and Borriello, spent a lot of time waiting for the ball rather than take part in the build-up. This was a huge difference to e.g. Rooney and Valencia.

In fairness, Milan probably suffered a lot from the absence of Pato and Nesta. Milan still created a couple of chances early on, and with crisper finishing from Ronaldinho and Huntelaar it could have been a much tighter game. But I’m sure United would still have prevailed given Milan’s weaknesses.

I’m already looking forward to the next round.

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Posted in Manchester United, Match Reports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Hints on good taste in gardening

Posted by hakanrylander on March 19, 2009

Gary Neville appears to be breaking new ground in inventive gardening. Not all in the best taste, I’m afraid.

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Scolari and Zola aid United’s title challenge

Posted by hakanrylander on January 12, 2009

A good performance, a great result and several impressive individual displays. Gary Neville surprised me the most and it seems that some “experts” have written him off too quickly. Jonny Evans again proved that he plays better the bigger the game, and Patrice Evra and Park Ji-Sung confirmed that they are probably our players of the season so far.

But let’s not forget that one of the afternoon’s heroes was Luiz Felipe Scolari who made a tactical error at half-time by sending on Anelka in place of Deco.  This weakened Chelsea’s midfield and opened up space for Rooney, Ronaldo and Berbatov. This was probably the main reason why United were much more dominant in the second half.

During the weekend I also watched Newcastle – West Ham. This game confirmed that West Ham are on an upward trend simultaneous with Chelsea’s downward slope. In fact, I’m beginning to suspect that these two trends have something in common; Steve Clarke. It’s now a few months since Gianfranco Zola coaxed Clarke away from his position as assistant manager at Chelsea, and maybe the effects are beginning to show at both clubs.

Posted in Match Reports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore

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: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »