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Thursday, January 5, 2012


DISGUSTING!!!! The pathetic and dispirited performance of Manchester United at St.James Park was downright embarrassing. Spineless, toothless could be some of the words that you can use to describe the abject display of last night.

Quite frankly how Demba Ba was allowed all the pleasure in the world to win those headers time and time again is something I will never be able to fathom.Ba was simply magnificent. He dropped deep to win headers and won them effortlessly, Rio Ferdinand and all his experience came to a naught as he could not even make his presence felt on the pitch physically. The sight of him first trying to go with Ba when he dropped deep and then trying to trod back after he had won the ball and brought his teammates into play will give him nightmares; His positional discipline can be questioned; his failure to shore up the defense and marshal the younger lads was another low point in an abject performance.

Ferdinand's partner in crime Phil Jones was equally culpable for yesterday's defeat. He talks the talk and has been quite vocal over the past few weeks but has not been able to walk the walk. Has been caught out of position many a times, poor or lack of through pass interception has highlighted his current lack of tactical reading of the game. This was quite evident even in those UEFA CL games at home when he was caught unawares a load of times as teams scythed through the back creating chance after chance by passing through the defense time and time again. I really hope when the current injury crisis is over he is moved back in the midfield where his buccaneering runs from the deep could be harnessed to fullest without being vulnerable on the counter. His heading ability, usually so strong has let him down in recent weeks, yesterday was another case where his timing of the jumps were the sole reasons to him losing out on crucial headers which resulted in goals.

It’s been painful to see how the team has been giving up lately, the defensive swagger present in the heydays of Vidic is gone in his absence and has made Rio look every bit the 33year old he is. The new lads don't have anyone to rally around at the back, especially with Rio himself fighting for a place in the team. The usual assurance at the back, that sense of arrogance that I had while watching the game of not conceding cheap goals after we had taken a lead is gone, now it just feels that its a matter of time when the goalkeeper will flap at a ball in the box or a defender will be caught out by a cross-field ball from the back against a powerful center-forward.

Fergie on the other hand could equally be guilty for last night, asking the back line to drop deep was not a wise move. Rests, a suspension for a night out and the goals have dried up for Rooney again. Its been three games since he last scored. Hernandez has not had a consistent run-in, Welbeck seems to be struggling, and his poor first touch is further proof of that. Berbatov ends up going anonymous away from home. If these are not the reasons for panicking then at least they make for a worrying read.

A long hard introspection for the losses waits. Roy Keane had aptly put it "loose one game at United and it is labeled as a crisis" but loose two and it could well turn into a catastrophe. The Team needs a leader who could rally the troops around, someone who will grab the lads by the scruff of their necks and win them games when the going gets tough. Evra with the armband hasn't really helped matters as he himself has been in a slump of late. United need Rooney to stand up, It is his team, a team that has been built around him. Rooney being influential in the coming month could be crucial to the chances on the remaining two fronts.
Failure to pick up the pieces and start a decent run from here and the season could well be over by end of January, A disaster that could be even worse than getting out of champions’ league group stages....

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