we are bottom of the league.
For the Europa Cup game there was the fear that Spurs would go into the game with the wrong attitude. Only Hearts don’t really have to bother. That they didn’t showed up in the performance, again admittedly against crap opposition. If only they’d taken that attitude into last night’s league opener against ManUre.
Instead they seemed to breeze in thinking well we’ve stuffed Hearts we can cruise this and if we don’t it doesn’t matter cos we always lose here.
Picking the same side that started the Europa tie – bar Friedel making his league debut for us in place of Gomes, thus keeping up his Premier League consecutive games record, 276, and becoming apparently Spurs oldest post-war player – it was a chance for Kranjcar & Livermore to show they can compete in the middle against a somewhat better opposition.
Many out there felt that Spurs matched ManUre for the first hour or so. I don’t know, I think Spurs were far better in giving the ball away. The languid approach of Kranjcar came in for some criticism. The main problem wasn’t the style, if he’d played that way with better passes it would have been no problem. Admittedly he did find quite a number of Spurs players with passes the only problem being they were back passes. Most of the stuff forward was slack and classing them as 50/50 would be generous.
The back pass stuff a lot of the time ended up with more lost possession as Dawson kept insisting on hitting the long diagonal to Bale on the left wing. Now Bale has the pace and the height to carry this off – while on the other Lennon has the pace but lacks the height so is left jumping for balls that halts his pace being used – but then Smalling at rightback has the height to snuff such balls out with ease. And so he did.
On the other side Kaboul was having a beast of a day defending wise, stopping a bit of stuff in his tracks. When he didn’t Friedel was doing his best to repay that transfer fee ( 😉 ). Now I tweeted last night after the first save from Cleverley that Gomes would probably saved it, it was a cracking save but in the big Brazilian’s defence that’s his thing cracking shot stopping. Friedel had a few more which again Gomes would probably have coped with but and it could turn out to be a big but the 40 year old American didn’t throw the ball into the back of the net as Gomes is wont to do at times. Another thing that should help, if Friedel is to be first choice, there wasn’t the crowding of the ‘keeper at corners as teams like to do with Gomes, knowing he flaps a bit and goes a touch
mental when pressured.
The opposing ‘keeper was meant to have his foibles, mainly from long shots or that’s what Spurs thought as they kept trying the long stuff. The trouble being the errors in the Charity Shield and against WBA, came from shots that were close to de Gea but on the floor, whereas Spurs just kept hitting it straight at him at comfortable above ground height. The one daisy cutter caused him into an uncomfortable shovel of the ball.
So while it was 0-0 it may have seemed good but Utd hadn’t got out of second gear, their weak links hadn’t really been tested, de Gea and Evans at centreback instead of the far better Jones. But when the hour came about the side just started to flag the Utd midfield started to completely over-run Kranjcar and Livermore. At this point Dawson and Kaboul had been completely lulled into a false sense of security by Wellbeck’s ineptness. Left free in the middle of the box by Kaboul having too much to cover and Dawson being nowhere, he was found by a good cross from Cleverley, who should have been closed down, for a free header that Friedel could do nothing with.
After that it really was a forgone conclusion. The second came when Anderson and Wellbeck just waltzed through the middle, much like Spurs did to hearts. The third was almost a repeat of the first, just Rooney and Giggs replacing Wellbeck and Cleverley. It was a typical gone a goal down at Old Trafford capitulation.
Defoe could have pulled one back before their third but hit the woodwork, ah he’s back to doing that, but the fact I can’t remember Defoe being offside I would think says something about his play and the service he got. Chances had been created, most notably when Lennon had again skinned Evra only to dither in the box while van der Vaart was wide open, hit it off a Utd player and then let the ball touch him before it went out so not even getting a corner. The Dutchman’s anger was there for all to see. Though he can’t escape without any blame, to greedy at times, useless long shots and free kicks, at times you feel he thinks those around him aren’t up for it and he has to do it himself. At times he could be right.
‘Arry’s decisions were also under the spotlight, now it looks like he got the Friedel one right, but he just sat there twitching when to most that changes needed to be made. And those changes, yes Kranjcar was floundering and needed to come off for Huddlestone but bringing on Pavlyuchenko for Livermore just opened up the midfield even more.
Hard to figure what was missed more on the night. Modric? Sandro? A world class striker? Or belief and concentration? On the plus side the fans were in full voice.
You’re just a shit Michael Jackson
So bottom of the league but we don’t get anything at Utd, so no points really dropped, one point behind the Woolwich scum, game in hand, only way is up unless it’s 2 points 8 games time.