Sunday, September 17, 2006

Manchester United deserved to lose.

Manchester United 0 - 1 Arsenal

Despite going into Old Trafford undermaned, and winless in the league, Arsenal walked out with the 3 points, behind a 1-0 victory over United. That was a victory that they deserved as they played the more passionate and skillful football than United did.

United looked dreadfully flat, they had problems passing and their shots were not strong enough, and when they were strong enough, they were right at Lehmann, who had to make only two really tough saves. Rooney really didn't have it today, especially his passes. He tried to toe poke every pass, and they only really ended up getting swallowed up by the Arsenal midfield. Rooney looked over zealous again.

Some of the other problems with the United players; Fletcher tried to make some passes into the box, but everytime he tried them, he was always too hesitant and late on his passes, which were ineffective. John O'Shea looked bad and almost gave away the winning goal by laying the ball no one and gave it away to Baptista. Reserve goalkeeper, Kuszczak did well for having to start only knowing about 20 minutes before game time, but he gave away a bad penalty, only to come away and save the penalty.

SAF really needs to understand how best to sub in his players, IMHO. He should have started Carrick as the United midfield really had trouble creating chances on goal. As he did not, when he put in Carrick and Ole, he should have taken Fletcher out for Ole and O'Shea out for Carrick. Moved Scholes up to the attack, along with Ole, Saha, and Rooney. Have Ronaldo and Carrick provide the creative passes and movement. This I think would have been a better option for SAF and one that might have lead to the 3 points, at least the draw a a point.

So now Portsmouth are alone in first with 13 points, United and Chelsea sit tied for 2nd, with Everton in 4th with 11 points. United visit Reading next week, so hopefully whatever "funk" United have under their skin, goes away and allows them to return to getting 3 points a match.


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