Entries in Premier League (57)


The Season has Begun

Early season optimism smelt like a freshly cut grass. It never failed to provoke the sense of familiarity and new beginnings. Well, the familiar feeling returned last weekend. With a host of new signings, everybody was looking forward to the new season with glee.

United got off to a mixed start. We got all three points without even scoring a goal - a Kyle Walker own goal took care of that. At least we far better than Arsenal - who lost to West Ham - and Chelsea - who managed a draw.

Unfortunately I had to miss United's first match since I had to attend an open house. Apparently from what I've read, I didn't miss much. So, looking forward for more matches - and hopefully more new signings in the coming weeks.

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Battered and Bruised

It was one of those games to forget. We started well. And then our weaknesses got exposed. We lack both personnel and characters at the back. The ones we have at the moment just couldn't cope. They might cope in the future, but losing both Vidic and Ferdinand in one foul swoop was a bit too much. We lacked leadership.

We could do with a superstar defender. But even we manage to convince someone to come in without Champions League football, we would need time to bed them in. And the next transfer window was a good four months away. We have tamale do with who we had.

It was easy to blame the referee. And yes, Clattenberg was pretty lame, but a world class team would need a world clad character. We lacked that in our defending last night. Rafael was fouled, but he should not touch the Leicester player who was looking for the penalty. It was inevitable.

The cross for Leicester's first goal was delivered after the ball had crossed the byline, but that should not be an excuse for us to switch off and let Ulluo have a free header. We should have played to the whistle. Everybody knows that. Yes, our old boy De Laet should have been sent off. Some time you get them decisions. Sometimes you don't. Move on. The decisions will balance themselves out during the course of the season.

What we need to do was defend better. Defenders need confidence, and that something we don't have plenty at the minute. Time to take stock and work together as a unit. No team would do a QPR on us and let us win every week.

Bring on the next game. Let's start playing.

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Getting Their Act Together

Finally United looked like they were playing as a team, and it was no coincidence that we reverted back to a more traditional 4-4-2, albeit with a narrower midfield anchored by the excellent Daley Blind allowing for the more creative member of the quartet some room to manoeuvre and the tireless full backs to provide the width.

It was certainly helped by the lack of ambition shown by QPR in the other end. Truth be told, Blackett and Evans did not look convincing at all.

Di Maria had a good outing, providing a goal and a couple of assists - although the mistimed shot which fell nicely into the path of Mata should be just that. Falcao did make a much anticipated appearance, and he did well to adapt to the pace. In fact, I was surprised at how quick he was, although I expected him to show a bit more composure when the goalkeeper spilled Blind's shot onto his direction. He connected well, but could have easily chipped the keeper. A nice introduction.

But the man of the match for me was definitely Daley Blind. His debut for United last night but it looked as if he played there all his life. A great piece of business for under £15M. He made himself available all the time creating angles for passes, as well being busy sitting in front of the back four creating a shield. He should develop into an even better force once he settled in for sure.

A great weekend, with Liverpool losing and Man Citeh sharing the spoils at the Emirates. It would still take a lot more to catch up on Chelsea, with Diego Costa getting off on a flyer!

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The Final Games 

At the hotel, we had only a single sports channel available in the room, Fox Sports. And for the final Premiership game of the season, it showed the Liverpool-Newcastle game live. I was sure they would cross live to the Man Citeh-West Ham match should there be any important development.

United was away at Southampton, showed on another channel which we couldn't get. It wasn't a particularly important match, but it would be the last in a series of four matches with Gigssy at the helm.

We still have a chance at clinching sixth, which would still meant no Champions League football for next season.

At the rate I was going, I would possibly fall asleep soon, through combination of overeating during dinner and the long journey earlier. No goals yet so far ...

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Moyes Out

Even though the news was finally out, it was still hard to swallow. United was not your typical sacking club but at the end of the day, results on the pitch and the money men had spoken. Moyes was given the marching order.

As a fan, I had always stayed loyal to players who came to United, didn't quite hit the mark and left. Some of them went into obscurity, while others - like Forlan, Rossi in particular - moved on to greater things. But I wasn't sure if the same applied when it came to the manager?

I have always been a fan of David Moyes when he was the manager at Preston North End in the 90s. He was young and had a drive. He would have made a great assistant to Ferguson and would one day go on to replace the great man.

He did this, but via the wonderful job he did at Everton for 11 years. But his fate was sealed when he was schooled at his old stomping ground by his successor.

The fact that Roberto Martinez proved to be more than an able replacement at Goodison did not go unnoticed by the United hierarchy. Maybe, that kind of flair was what the Glazers craved in the first place. And by that very point, Ferguson choice on who to replace him was a flawed one.

Moyes did not endear himself by bringing in his own backroom staff to Old Traffic the day he checked in. Retaining some of the old guard would have helped in. Checking in late, on the 1st of July to this big job also meant that his pre-season was restricted.

To put it mildly, he did not plan his start well, and had been playing catch up ever since.

I felt that he should be given more time. The management thought otherwise. Maybe they wanted the new manager to be given time to plan for the next season. And as a result, Moyes had to leave, less than a year in the hot seat.

David Moyes had handled himself with dignity and I wished him the best for the future. The experience managing United would have been seen as a failure in his otherwise decent CV, but he could only learn from the experience. He was simply found out and didn't have the time or the opportunity to adapt.

Who would replace him? Well, I was sure that Mourinho had it written in his Chelsea contract that he would take on the customary stance of leaving the club straight after winning the Champions League. Maybe Chelsea would go on to become the European Champion and the Special One would end up in Manchester .... Watch this space ...

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