It’s official


Manchester United 3-2 Norwich post match reaction

The way things are panning out, with each matchday, it is becoming more and more evident which players should be retained for next season.

Maguire, Telles, Dalot and Wan Bissaka should be shipped out.
Bruno Fernandes is a completely loose canon and should not be part of this team. His performance is consistently abysmal. Amazing how he has amazing ‘chance creation’ stats while still being the man who concedes the ball the most number of times.

Maguire should retire from football. He has no attributes to play in a Manchester United shirt. Considering he is a different player in the England shirt, he should just leave the club and spare us the misery. His boot on Pogba and the reaction of Pogba sums up his built-up frustration.

Lingard is class always. Only incompetent managers keep players like him out of the squad. The extent of man mismanagement this season has been incredible, both initially by Ole and now by Ralf. Ralf did not bring any semblance of departure from what Ole was doing. Ralf has his favourites who just appear on the team sheet no matter how crap they have been playing for months. I do not even want Ralf to have anything to do with our club come to the end of the season.

To sum up, I saw all that I expected to see in this game. It is becoming more and more evident which players need to be shown the door, just got to wait and see.

The phenomenon that is CR7

What else to describe this scintillating performance from the one and only? He has been left frustrated for much of 2022, but it’s been a pleasure to actually be able to watch live the hat trick he scored against a Spurs side that had just put 5 past Everton couple of days ago.

A long range effort, a tap in and a header. Attributes that have got him to where he is now, the one and only best player in the world. I used to follow him in spells even after leaving United, just like billions of his followers. Too bad too many of the youngsters at United are so stuck up and lack any understanding of what an honor it is to even share the dressing room with him.

The stark difference in quality of Sancho over Rashford is striking to say the least. The composure and the quality to provide in a plate for Ronaldo. Fred with another brilliant performance. It is not a coincidence that the absence of Bruno and Scott was massive to this win.

We are stuck with what we have. So enjoy the win as we go into the return leg of Champions League

Deplorable Manchester United

To start with, the team sheet itself felt odd to me. We did not have a striker. When the game began, I realized Pogba is in the attacking 3! It almost seemed as though the dire form of Rashford forced Ralf to send Pogba to the forward line. For large spells, with a high line, United went toe to toe with City. The poor quality of certain players in the squad was exploited with ease by the Champions as we kept getting found out at right back and right wing. Playing a kid in the derby was always a risk. He took that risk and Elanga was found wanting to provide enough cover for Aaron. 

I am in no way justifying the performance of Aaron, but he probably would have looked better with a better winger with him. If Rashford had started on the left with Sancho on the right, Sancho would have provided the cover he needed and we probably would not have conceded so early. Nevertheless, with sharp quick distribution and transition, we managed to equalize with a quality strike from Sancho. 

Time and again we created opportunities and fair to say, we were doing well in the first half. 

We began to lose our way in the second half, as we have seen all throughout much of this season since Ralf took over. The style of play he desires somehow drains the players by the 60 and by then the game was beyond recovery. De Gea yet again fantastic in giving us an opportunity to compete toe-to-toe with City, but the lack of quality and the drop of heads towards the end sums up United. 

A lot of these players are likely to still be at the club in the summer. Ralf I doubt would have any say in the next manager, nor would he have any role of ‘footballing significance’ in the hierarchy of United. As a United fan, I stopped watching the game past 70 min. Instead spent time unboxing S22 plus for my wife. I did watch also portions of the earlier Arsenal kick-off. I am sure we will cede 4th place to Arsenal. Team >>> lazy individuals

The consistent fault lines

There is so much more to admire of the way we play football in the last week or so. The return of Pogba and of course the return of form of Sancho has been key to all the attacking prowess. And yet, in the final third, the indecisions are costing us points.

Teams score goals against us when we lose the ball in attack. The failure to finish off beautiful attacking moves leaves us fully exposed as teams bypass a sluggish midfield leaving the defensive line looking woefully incompetent. Rangnick’s style works, when we finish the moves off. When it breaks up, off the ball, we are destroyed.

Rashford is in poor form this season. The managers have a role to play in his downfall. Rangnick is bringing out the worst in him, constantly promoting him as the guy who breaks the back line with his searing pace on the break. This one-dimensionality is killing the guy. To top it, his off-field actions keep taking centre-stage as fans find more reasons to crucify him.

Maguire brings solidity to the backline no doubt, but he works optimally with a good sitting defensive midfielder, whom we sadly don’t have. Matic does the role best, but is not young enough to do it 2-3 times in a week.

Scott is preferred to pair with Pogba at 6, but he does not have sufficient defensive attributes nor distribution ability to orchestrate play. This paucity of quality and accompanied by the marauding Bruno – creates umpteen chances to kill the game off but is often found out of position thanks to his instinct to attack. This incongruence is what leads us to dropping points.

We can easily score 3 goals in the first half and kill teams off. That precision is needed this season to manage the 4th position in the league. We have to wait and see whether Ralf can marshal the team to do it.