Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Trouble playing away.

West Bromwich Albion 2 Manchester United 2

Blind saves Manchester United blushes with a late strike to rescue a point against West Bromwich Albion.

After the long international break it was great to see the Premier League return but it produced another disappointing away match for United this season with a draw at the Hawthorns and only one point.

Before the match Louis van Gaal stated that United are playing catch up in the premier league and after this result it is truer now than it was before the match.

Not for the first time this season our defence was shown to be lacking as West Brom took a 2-1 lead through Berahino, who was able to run through the middle of our center backs like dare I say it, a knife through butter,and gave David De Gea little chance in the one on one.

The need for a quality center back in the January transfer window is critical if United don't want a repeat of last season. Not only do United need a defender but they also need a leader in the defence as well, this is what was lacking last night. We miss the stature of Vidic to control the back four. Unfortunately, the weakest link in defence last night was Phil Jones.

Phil Jones
In the past he had been touted as a future captain, and some quarters of Old Trafford were liking him to the late great Duncan Edwards as he was big and powerful for his age, but last night and in his past games this season his below par performances have done nothing to prove this to be correct.

It was unfortunate not to have Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair available as they have shown that they are more than capable to fill in at the back.

Adnan Januzaj
Another player that flattered to deceive was Adnan Januzaj. I among many other fans have been championing his right to be given a start in the first team in the absence of Wayne Rooney, but I'm sorry to say he let himself and the fans down last night.

His performance was so lackluster, and knowing how ruthless van Gaal can be I'm not sure when he will be able to seize his chance again. He really is a fantastic talent but when you are given the opportunity you have to take it, he didn't.

Two other players who failed to perform to their normal high levels were Juan Mata and Robin van Persie. Mata especially, wasn't involved in a position he normally thrives in and with Rooney due to return after the Chelsea game he has, I believe, one more chance to show the manager that he can fit into his system. Robin van Persie didn't seem his normal self throughout the match. He came close when he hit the post but that was about it. Let's hope that this was a one off.

The substitution of Di Maria, who had been United's one bright spark in attack, to be replaced by Ashley Young was I hope a precautionary measure to save him for next Sunday's Chelsea match and not a tactical move as once again Young looked out of sorts.

Blind celebrates with Fellaini

On a more positive note it was pleasing to see both Fellaini and Blind score their first goals for the club. Fellaini has waited a long time for his moment but unlike Blind.

I still feel that he makes to many mistakes in the middle of the park, like the free kick he gave away before West Brom took a 2-1 lead. But let's allow him to savior his moment.

Fellaini shoots and scores

Blind's strike in the last few minutes to pull United level was a superb finish, and added to his work rate during the 90 minutes he was my choice as man of the match.

Falcao jet-lagged?

When the teams were announced before the match I was scratching my head as to why Falcao was on the bench. Then I saw a report stating that he was jet-lagged after travelling to play for Columbia in the recent internationals.

If this is the case then this proves that United's plan to play mid week high profile friendlies in the winter months is a ridiculous idea. Sure it would further the coffers and promote the brand but is it worth risking the fitness of the players, I and many others think no.

Once again this week sees the return of the Champions League without United. I think the players should watch the upcoming matches very carefully because that's what we are striving for this season.

We seriously need to up our game for the forthcoming matches against Chelsea, City and Arsenal, otherwise we could be in a tricky situation like last season.

Even after last night I still believe that  Louis van Gaal is the man to turn the club's fortunes around and as regards the team I just hope they believe in themselves.

Until next time thanks for taking the time to read.

Miles Dunton.