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Entries in Premier League (51)

6:21PM

Excruciating 

I did everything I could. I followed all the ritual. But still we were soundly beaten. At home. To Liverpool. How painful was that. Not just the scoreline that was the worry, but the manner on which we surrendered did not bode well for the immediate future.

The scoreline actually did not reflect what actually happened on the field. I could see the players trying, but they lack a coherent tactic. Mata, Rooney and Van Persie kept occupying the same space, causing Mata to drop deep into Fellaini's territory to pick up possession. And that isolated Van Persie. He wasn't able to make any runs as the space between the Liverpool's midfield and back line was non-existant. Everything was compact and Gerrard and Henderson were able to pick the runners up easily and release their front two.

And in Sturridge and Suarez - and to a certain extend, Sterling - they really stretched our defense.

The penalties were fair except for the third - which resulted in Vidic's expulsion. They could've had a fourth a bit later but Clattenberg thought otherwise foe some reason. A let-off for us.

We just have to improve. We have an important midweek Champions League match, a must win. It would be our only chance to be in the Champions League draw for next season.

Losing that would pile more pressure on Moysey. And that might just be the final straw...‎

1:32PM

Another Setback

Let me be honest, I wasn't expecting much from the visit to Stamford Bridge. All I was asking was a good account of ourselves. To a certain extend we got that at the beginning of the game. And things began to unravel the moment Eto'o got the lucky looping deflection over de Gea. We were missing the clinical edge at the bottom and top third of the pitch.

Let's start with the defense. There was no real problem with the personnel. Vidic was solid especially, but the positional play as a unit was suspect. Often, Carrick had to drop deep to pick runners up, while Ashley Young lacked discipline in helping Evra out on the left side of the pitch.

Chelski found plenty of joy rummaging down our left side, and the astute Mourinho saw that from a mile away.

The right side was a bit more secure, due to great understanding between Rafael and Valencia, plus also the help they got from Jones.

The fact that Jones and Carrick being pulled to help the rest of the team allowed Ramires and David Luiz to dominate the centre of the pitch. And they were both adapt at making the simple masses and keeping things ticking while the more creative players do the damage.

Then the final third. Wellbeck and Adnan were a couple of schoolboys for the Chelski defense. They had to find space either deep or on the left to receive the ball. Any long diagonal would be snuffed out easily. At this level, quantity of possession was meaningless and you were unable to make it work. The lack of quality possession just spoke volumes. Put simply, we were unable to hurt them.

I think tactically, we were found out. No point pointing to the return of Rooney and van Persie, as it would not do much unless we deploy the right personnel on the wings. This was where Adnan and Valencia would thrive. And when we were this desperate, we have to play to our strength.

Onward....

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3:48AM

Proper Wingers. That's what we need. 

We had yet to win a Premiership point this year. We were going through a barren spell, getting knocked out of the FA Cup and on the losing end of the first leg of the League Cup semifinal coming to the return fixture at Old Trafford.

It was clear that Moysey was under pressure. At least then crowd seemed to be behind him and that took some of the heat away. But he had to prove that he could handle the situation and winning last night was the first step towards that. Don't underestimate the importance of the win.

It also highlighted the tradition within the team. We always thrive with wingers. And they had to play and receive the ball in the wings. Switching Kagawa and Januzaj at halftime made the difference. That opened up the pitch and allowed the balance for United to built from then back from both sides of the pitch. Both the full backs were then able to overlap causing problems ton Swansea.

By widening the pitch, it also allowed United to dominate the centre of the pitch. It was congested in the first half and with the switch, Swansea had to be wary of attacks coming from the flanks. This allowed Carrick and Fletcher more space to dictate the pace of the game, and they surely did just that. They hardly gave the ball away in the second half.

We have to carry the momentum to push forward. And also wrap Januzaj in cotton wool.

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11:12PM

Keeping Faith

Another Saturday night. Another night of football. Another loss.

This is becoming a habit lately. And this can't continue.

We are getting left behind. Too many upsets. And what more upsetting was the way we responded going behind. It was no surprise that we didn't have an answer when United went behind to Newcastle earlier. We just withered and lost our shape. There was no spirit. And that was a worry.

Moysey is a perfectly decent manager. He has potential and eventually things spill turn OK. Will he has time to turn the ship around? And in time not to miss the Champions League spot next season?

United had been blessed for many years under the stewardship of Sir Alex. So much so, that the average supporter had forgotten what it is like to not have things turning out their way week in and week out. These are trying times. These are the time for us to be tested as fans. Those who want to bail, please do so now. The team is more important than individuals.

Let's suffer together for the time being. WE ALL FOLLOW UNITED.

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10:16AM

United Beaten, Suarez Scores Four

That was a depressing read. Regardless of how you wanted to sugarcoat it, getting beat by the team you left, at home was a bitter pill to swallow for any manager. Well, it better be!

It was confidence-sapping and derailed our unbeaten momentum. We just failed to roll on after the win in Germany last midweek in the Champions League. It would take some lifting up going into the congested Xmas fixture.

I woke up to catch the second half, and it was pretty even then although United was on the front foot. It took a brilliant reflex save from the bearded Tim Howard and the crossbar to stop is taking the lead. But how things could change.

We started conceding free kicks at dangerous areas again, similar to what we did against Spurs last weekend. Although the goal did not come directly from one, the successions of free kick out us on the back foot and we started defending deeper and deeper. One chance on the 86th minute and it was one nil to the Toffee. We couldn't claw back from that.

Rooney was again sucked down into midfield where he was less affective. Our midfielder just couldn't shift the ball quickly enough. Too many sideways passes. Even the brilliance of Adnan couldn't undo the stout Everton defence. I think we still have issues with the midfield. Sometimes the looked pedestrian.

There wasn't a lot to take home from the defeat especially when the other contenders were winning as if it was routine.

Onwards!

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