You Don’t Step on the Tiger’s Tail!

I would like to start by telling you why my analysis of the match between Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers is coming three days after matchday. It’s becasuse I had to go out for dinner with my fiancee’s parents when the match was on. You know what they say, family comes first! 🙂

Lets begin by feeling sorry for QPR. Coming into the game without a Manager (Harry Redknapp was to take up the managerial job the day after the match), 4 points from 12 games, facing league leaders MANCHESTER UNITED! Things could not be worse. The result was evident. One can applaud their approach towards the game during the first half; defending with everything they had and hoping to catch Man Utd on counter attacks, which seemed to work pretty well for them too. Jamie Mackie even managed to put a cross from Djibril Cisse at the back of the net but he realised soon enough that he was offside. The best QPR could have done was to maintain their rhythm throughout the game and hope that their opponents were having a bad day.

Too bad, they managed to score. They took the lead in the 52nd minute. They took the lead at Old Trafford. They took the lead in front of the Comeback Kings of Europe! In short, they dug up their own grave. 🙂
You don’t poke a wounded tiger; you don’t rattle his cage. Long story short, it took 2 substitutions and 9 minutes for Manchester United to rip apart QPR’s defence! 😀 Result, QPR made the worst start in the history of Barclays Premier League by bagging a mere 4 points from 13 games.

Now, coming to Manchester United, what do you say? Another superb display by the formidable strike  force at the disposal of Sir Alex Ferguson. Two assists by Wayne Rooney from set pieces, equalizer by Johnny Evans on 64 minutes, Darren Fletcher giving the lead 4 minutes after (you gotta be happy for the lad, after all that he has been through in the last 12 months), and Anderson serving the ball to Hernandez  on a silver plate on  72nd minute for his 7th goal in 8 games (I personally call him Ole Gunnar Solskjær Jr, the super sub!). But as much as i like to praise the team for its performance in front of the goal, only a true fan can point out the shortcomings in the team he/she supports.

It is pretty evident to everyone who watches football that Man Utd aren’t the best when it comes to defending. The problem behind this is Manchester United’s over-reliance on their ‘old gaurd’. There is no doubt that the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick bring valuable experience and stability to the side; but what they bring in experience, they take away in speed and agility. One would know what I’m talking about if they saw Man Utd play in the season of 2009-10. The way they left teams exposed with their lethal counter attacks was  not only breathtaking to watch, it also got them results. Man Utd go all out when they attack, which leaves them vulnerable to counter attacks and conceding simple goals. The 55 minutes that Paul Scholes was on the field, QPR took all the liberty to launch frequent counter-attacks and made quite a few chances to score. Let’s face it, you can’t expect him to have the stamina he once used to have to run up and down the field. Tom Cleverly, Nick Powell, Anderson, on the other hand, do! Give them more time on the field and see what wonders these young lads can do!

At the end of the day, it was just another day at the field for Manchester United. Football pundits can’t stop criticisising Man Utd’s defensive lineup, but I say, when you have a strike force consisting OF Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, they can certainly afford a defensive blip every now and then! 😀

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11 thoughts on “You Don’t Step on the Tiger’s Tail!

      • Or it could be that they need time to gel. Rafael and Evra need to make alternating runs forward so that three defenders are always behind. De Gea needs time to mature. Evans has been solid. Smalling is back. I agree though, Vidic will add some much-needed defensive and leadership impetus to the team. And then there’s Phil Jones, who’s been likened to Duncan Edwards, the most talented player in the history, by no less than Sir Bobby Charlton himself.

        Good times ahead.

  1. Yeah… i agree vidic will make alot of difference… & prashant i also agree with your point of midfield… So what SAF did by doing sub one young guy with other one with experience it makes really good combo… for example against QPR once andreson came in even fletcher was more effective same way i also like carrick & cleverly together in the mid…

    Anyways main this is arjun here.. your brother in law… ask shraddha she’ll tell u the details… & nice post… 🙂

    • That’s true bhai. Putting together two young players will result in lack of experience and pairing two seasoned players in the midfield will mean losing the pace of the game
      Pairing up a youth and seasoned player certainly benefits in both ways.

  2. I think Ferdinand, Carrick and Fletcher bring much more than experience to the side. Fletcher is an indefatigable player, even though he has only recently returned from a long injury/illness lay-off.

    Ferdinand isn’t getting physically weaker and can easily out-muscle his opponents. Increased positioning awareness can help him reach the heights of yesteryear.

    Carrick. Well, what can I say? He is statistically our best passer. Having said that, partnering him with Fletcher or Giggs or Scholes will only highlight his weaker points (physicality).

    And I agree with your points in regards to playing a younger partnership in the middle. But say we partner Cleverley/Anderson, or Cleverley/Powell, our midfield would be overrun. The last time Cleverley and Anderson started in a Premier League game, we won, but only after conceding two. They bring so much more to the attack, but take away solidarity and protection from the defence.

    Once again, I think we can safely assume that Sir Alex’s tactics/partnerships play a big part in every game, and that he will have to find a balanced tactic very soon if we are to assert our dominance upon Europe.

    • I totally agree with that. What I would like to see is pairing up a youth player like Cleverley or Anderson with a more seasoned and experienced player like Carrick or Scholes. This will not only provide a team with a formidable midfield but also prevent those damagine counter-attacks from the opponents.

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