This team has won three away games all season so let’s be a little realistic here.
UPDATE: Ashley Young Wins Manchester United the Points With Late Goal and Michael Carrick Returns:
Well this game went exactly how anyone with a brain who has watched United play this year expected it to go. Absolutely no creativity and every attack usually just ends with Young or Valencia booming in a horrendous cross.
Credit to Newcastle though, they’ve followed the blueprint that almost everyone has figured out for how to play against United. Teams are now just sitting back and letting United control the possession and bring the play towards them.
Now why would anyone do that? Great question. The answer is simple; it’s because United have shown no vision or creativity and always end up passing the ball out wide to Valencia, who is comically easy to defend because he’s so predictable, who bangs in a horrendous cross, or it goes to Ashley Young on the other wing who either goes 1 v 2 and turns it over, or puts in his own awful cross.
And that brings us to Ashley Young, who once again played another horrendous game and did his best to kill any attacking chances United have. But then of course what happens? The ball improbably finds him and scores the easiest winner ever and everyone: ie. commentators, pundits, and especially Louis van Gaal will probably overlook how bad he was and just focus on him winning United the points and nominate him for Man of the Match.
Does he deserve it? Absolutely not, I mean…
The good ship “Manchester United play badly but eke out wins” keeps on sailing: http://t.co/KdOc9U0lId
— Howler Magazine (@whatahowler) March 4, 2015
anyone could have and should have finished that! He’s just the lucky guy that it fell too.
In other news Michael Carrick returned to the team from injury today. He was subbed on and just a few short minutes later United scored their only goal of the match. I’m sure there will be people who will also be claiming that’s not a coincidence so expect to see van Gaal try to figure out ways to get both Carrick and Blind into the team over the next few games which will help suck any potential excitement out of the team.
It’s not that I’m not a Carrick fan because I do like him and understand his value, and there is no denying that when he’s in the team it coincides with us winning many more games then we lose or draw. But at this point of his career, the team plays a much slower more drab game with Carrick in the midfield instead of Blind. Now if van Gaal wants to play Carrick as a central defender so Blind can be your holding mid and you still have Carrick’s passing, I’m all for that.
Up next is Arsenal Monday night in the FA Cup, luckily it’s at home where we still manage to usually do well.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 4, 2015
Just once I’d like to look at a starting XI for United and be excited about the upcoming game. Instead I’m stuck staring at the heart attack Jonny Evans is going to give me over the course of 90 minutes.
So how are we going to off-set the goals that Evans will inevitably give up on the back end? By starting Ashley Young, one of the worst players to ever put on a United shirt who still somehow gets selected, of course!
This is the part that’s so damn frustrating with United. We spend all that money on attacking talent over the summer, bringing in Herrera, di Maria, Falcao, and Juan Mata last winter, and then when we get on the field our whole attack is just Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia blasting some of the worst crosses I’ve ever seen into the box. It makes no sense.
Remember back in November when United were playing like crap but skinning out 1-0 and 2-1 wins every week? Who was the one setting up and scoring all those goals to rescue United every week? Juan Mata! So naturally Mata has found himself on the bench for almost every game in 2015.
There are two positive thing you can say about this team, the first being that Radamel Falcao has finally been dropped since he has seemingly forgotten all about the talent that he used to have as a striker. The second of course is that Marouanne Fellaini will play up top with Wayne Rooney. The reason that’s a positive is because if we’re going to be blasting crosses into the box (which we will) at least Fellaini will be there, since the strategy only makes sense when Fellaini is on the field.
As per usual I’ll be live tweeting the match, likely with angry tweets on my personal twitter. Follow along here: @pkwestelWFAN
*I just wrote that Marouanne Fellaini starting is a positive for Manchester United. I’m now going to go light myself on fire.