A Night of Missed Opportunities

raam shanker@raam_s13Contributor ISeptember 17, 2008

A night of missed opportunities.

I cannot think of a better way to sum up United's opening match of their title defence at home to Villarreal, the same team that took home a solitary point back in 2005 and went on to the semifinals.

As a hardcore United fan, I had hoped that after the agonising defeat at Anfield, the lads would bounce back and give Villarreal a walloping in front of the home fans. There were moments of brilliance, great overlapping play, and even a few screamers, but there was no real penetration from United.

They did not look as sharp as they should have. I hope this night is not a template for the rest of the season.

To be fair United have usually had miserable starts to their season in the past and then gone on to win silverware. This season looks like another one of those, well we've made a hopeless start at least. I hope we capitalise on it, in the months to come.

I am not sure how true it is, but I do believe that preseason does set the mood for the days ahead. This has been one of the most uncertain and unpredictable pre-seasons I've ever witnessed, in which all that did not happen gained more publicity than what did.

Ronnie did not go to Madrid, nor did Ronaldinho arrive at Man City. Robinho spurned Chelsea for Man City, and Ronaldinho went to Milan. United reported Real Madrid to FIFA, Spurs reported United to the FA, and Real Madrid reported Chelsea.

Anil Ambani did not buy Newcastle, and then the Toon saga, that still drags after Mike Ashley made a mess of his club.

Nevertheless we thought pre-season was over and the real action would prove United to be a formidable force. Ah aah...not to be.

The number of shots on target United got against Villarreal was phenomenal, but the only real chance came off Tevez, deep into the second half, but Villareal's resolute defending did enough to protect the goal.

On the other end, we saw some magic that reminded me of Argentina's goal against Serbia and Montenegro, scored by Esteban Cambiasso.

The night, however, was ruined by some of the worst refereeing in recent times. Fouls overlooked, cards not shown when needed and we witnessed a level of mediocrity in which the officials seemed to revel.

On the positive side, Ronaldo got a great welcome from the Mancunian crowds and hopefully our fortunes should improve against Chelsea. Oh, let me not get started on the John Terry saga and how his ban was overturned, as I am planning to have a peaceful sleep tonight and looking forward to a busy day at work tomorrow.

This is me signing off with a promise that I shall try to be more regular in the days to come, because I love my sport!