Shaky United victory betrays lack of strength in squad

February 28 2007

Louis Saha celebrates his goal in the 2-3 FA Cup victory over ReadingUnited were very lucky last night. I’ve never seen such a free-scoring start to a football match. United looked superb in the game’s opening stages, but when they went 3-0 up so early a comeback was always on the cards.

From the middle of the second half onwards, I thought United were pretty disappointing. Van der Sar flapped uncharacteristically, the defence looked shaky, Heinze’s erratic involvements demonstrated why he has fallen so far behind Patrice Evra in the left-back pecking order, Kieran Richardson had a thoroughly forgettable game, Darren Fletcher’s usually reliable distribution was found lacking, and Ji-Sung Park buzzed around to no real discernable effect.

The forwards, though, were superb. Solskjaer’s movement was marvellous, and I thought Saha looked completely unplayable. Not many forwards give Andre Bikey the brush-off quite so easily, but Saha had him in his pocket all night. Rarely do you see a centre forward play with quite such confidence in his strength and ability, and I thought he took his goal superbly.

But United did look wobbly. In the last fifteen minutes they defended like schoolboys – literally. And while the first team continues to purr like a new Ferrari, the Robin Reliant feel of the second eleven suggests the squad is considerably weaker than Chelsea and Arsenal’s.


2 Responses to “Shaky United victory betrays lack of strength in squad”

  1. Ewen Says:

    Yes mate, a frantic game in which Reading did exactly as expected: they were sharp, adventurous, possession and cross-happy, and they won 2-0.

    If you discount the first five mins…

    United were particularly bad: Richardson, Heinze, Fletcher and Silvestre should be shot.

    Like the idea of the blog man. Some really nice stuff in here. has just celebrated its 5th birthday, and the Dubliner who began it never envisaged for a minute it’d become the force it has. So keep at it!


  2. Tom Williams Says:

    Cheers mate. I’ll keep plugging away.

    Gooners seem to have something of a monopoly on football blogs here on WordPress. I should really try and prompt some mutual cyberspace back-scratching, provided they’re willing to accept the advances of an uncharacteristically Arsenal-admiring Man Yoo fan.

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