Monday, 22 September 2014

Man United lose to newbies Leicester City

Leicester City 5 Manchester United 3

Hi to all and welcome back on this depressing Monday morning.

Where do you even begin to explain yesterday's result against Leicester City. I'm writing this blog the morning after the match and I still can't comprehend what I witnessed or how it happened.

Man Utd were comfortable, but certainly not cruising, leading 3-1 in the second half then the unthinkable happened, the United team imploded.

United had started the match flying and ran into a 2-0 lead with strikes from Robin van Persie and a sublime goal from Angel Di Maria, which must rank as an early contender for goal of the season. The ball was played into his path by Rooney and as Di Maria entered the opposition area he delightfully chipped the keeper.

From that moment on the match started to crumble around the Red Devils. A combination of poor decisions by the officials and more worrying than that inexcusable defensive mistakes.

As regards the referee, Mark Clattenberg aided by his assistants, managed to turn the match on its head with highly debatable decisions. Starting with Leicesters' first goal did the ball cross the line prior to the cross that led to Ulloa's goal?

This was followed by the first of the two penalties awarded to the home side surely Rafael had been fouled by Vardy before the Brazilian defender chased back and gave away a soft penalty, a penalty which when converted by Nugent gave Leicester City the motivation and momentum they needed and gave the home supporters more voice.

Then the red card for Blackett left the team in an even worse state. I'm in no way degrading Leciester and their win, which they deserved, but in the end United have to solve the defensive problems, because if it had been a team like Chelsea who knows what the score would have been.

We all know that United's central defence is weak. Yesterday it wasn't helped by the departure of  the poor Johnny Evans who was replaced by the equally awful Chris Smalling. On hindsight, I would have preferred the hard working Daley Blind to have been moved back and Mata brought on to play the match out in midfield. Those changes could have protected the 3-1 lead that Herrera had given the visitors.

What happened in the last half hour must have been unbelievable for watching neutrals and our rivals. For a United team to concede four goals and gift the three points to a hyped up Leicester City is totally unacceptable.

I still don't quite understand the substitutions that van Gaal made, Mata for Di Maria and Januzaj for Falcao. A little baffling as they had been our two best players and with them on the pitch anything could have happened.

Also, my biggest gripe is with our captain Wayne Rooney, I'm not a big fan of him playing in the position behind the front two and apart from the pass he gave to Falcao when he struck the bar, his short passing game was terrible.

Sure Rooney never stops running and chasing a lost cause, and he can sweep a thirty yard ball cross field brilliantly, but as a fan I want to see him up front leading the line as a striker and banging in the goals. He doesn't have the close control skills as some of his colleagues have and loses possession too many times.

Following Louis van Gaal's comments last week about always picking his captain for the team, after yesterdays result I think he should reconsider his words as Rooney, even as captain, has to hold his hands up and look at his own performance before walking across the back line giving out verbal abuse to all the defenders. No captain should be immune to being dropped and I'm not saying Van Gaal should drop him but at least select him in his best position.

Next week United play West Ham United at Old Trafford. Let's hope that the team sort out the defensive problems that were so obvious to all watching yesterday.

Thanks for reading.

Miles Dunton.