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.

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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. http://www.arseblog.com 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!

    Ewen

  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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