…in West London, the mighty London, the Bush Man scored alright…
Thankfully Fellaini and young James Wilson made sure we’d be singing at the end of an away trip to face Queen’s Park Raisins (as Van Gaal called QPR).
Due to Van Persie being out injured, Falcao got his chance to start upfront after missing out altogether in the defeat against Southampton. Unfortunately for most of us, Di Maria started as his striking partner, and what had seemed to be a promising starting line-up on paper became very disjointed once the game started. Once again, our manager persisted with his ‘trusted’ 3-5-2 formation while playing a few players out of position. This showed as passes were going astray, and a few were being caught out of position.
Things changed for the second half as Fellaini replaced Mata at half-time. Reverting to the better suited 4-4-2, the difference showed as they pushed forward and Fellaini scored to put United ahead soon after. Though this formation meant that QPR would get more space in midfield, it also meant that United could play more to their strengths, and were now creating better chances. The best ones fell to Falcao, who saw Rob Green make a couple of very good saves to deny him a much needed goal. It would be easy to say that Falcao should have done better, but if those saves were made by De Gea we’d all be lauding our Spanish keeper, and I doubt anyone would be criticising the strikers.
In injury-time, when QPR were trying to press for an equaliser, United broke quickly and James Wilson scored his first goal of the season to make it 2-0 and make sure that United left Loftus Road with the three points.
Some positives from this game… the 4-4-2 works better than 3-5-2, at least with the players that United have. Having said that, United don’t concede much when playing three at the back, and if they start scoring more goals, Van Gaal’s preferred system can succeed. I think it’s ok for the fans to voice their opinion, though according to Van Gaal that’s 600 million of them. In the first half of the QPR game it seemed that many of those millions, including the ones at the game chanting ‘4-4-2, 4-4-2’ shared the same opinion.
Another positive is Radamel Falcao, as though he didn’t score, worked very hard and was getting into the right positions often. With players like Di Maria, Mata and Herrera (when he plays) to feed him, we’re sure we’ll be chanting his name soon enough.
Also, why are some still comparing this manager to the last one and seemingly having a go? I think even Moyes was still being supported by most at this time last season, and things looked a lot more negative back then. Have we really become like others, having a go at whoever is in charge as soon as things don’t go our way? When people started turning against our last manager and his cronies, it was a bit understandable as “he never managed a big club and has never won anything.” We can hardly say the same about Van Gaal, so why not try and enjoy what he’s trying to do to take United up to where they belong?
In other games in the league, Chelsea beat a very limp Swansea side, winning 5-0 to open a five point gap at the top; Southampton continued where they left off against United last week by winning 2-1 at Newcastle to stay third in the league; Tottenham won with the same score line at home to Sunderland; L’pool walked to a 2-0 win at an insipid Villa; and Arsenal played like an Arsenal side haven’t for ages against the bigger sides when they beat City 2-0 in Manchester. This meant that the top seven in the league stayed where they were, with Manchester City the only team to lose from the top eight (No Yaya, no party).
Lower down the table, there were boos aplenty at Goodison Park when the ‘new Guardiola’s’ team could only muster a 0-0 draw against Pulis’ West Brom.
In other news, the Football League have rejected Leeds’ owner Massimo Cellino’s appeal against the disqualification from owning the club, meaning he’s prohibited to have anything to do with Leeds United until April. Surely if they had stopped him gaining control of the club in the first place it would have avoided all this chaos right now?
We’ve also seen David Ginola come out to challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency. Apart from the fact that this reeks of a badly planned out publicity stunt, I doubt Blatter will be losing any sleep over this. We all want change in FIFA, but this is laughable, and one case where Monsieur Ginola doesn’t seem worth it.
Some other football worth watching is the Asian Cup being played in Australia right now, where the quarter-finals start being played this week, and The African Cup of Nations that started last weekend in Equatorial Guinea. Oh, and the South American u/20s are also being played in Uruguay, always a good competition for ITKs to note some names down and say they knew about the starlets once they make it big.
Back to United news, Victor Valdes is on course to make his debut in The FA Cup on Friday; Robin van Persie could feature as well as he’s back in training; The club also commemorates the passing away of Sir Matt Busby, who died at the age of 85 twenty years ago this week.
United’s next game is in the fourth round of the FA Cup, where they visit Cambridge on Friday (7:55pm UK time). Thanks to the BBC for trying to bring ‘The Magic of the Cup’ back by making sure the match-going fans will probably have problems trying to get back home afterwards. Here’s hoping they’ll at least have something to smile about while trying to not miss the last train back to Manchester… COME ON UNITED!!!