Thanks for all the good years, you are a true United Hero!
Forgot to get back to Carrick lol. This is what I said to Chris Fleming on his article about Cuadrado. Let me know what you think:
In regards to the formation changing, what I personally would prefer is to play Carrick at CB to deal with that issue. We won't be able to necessarily switch into a 4-3-3, but he could move forward into the midfield to take up a holding role with his 2 CB partners near level with him to leave no space between them, and everyone else could push further forward to give us more numbers up front. Mata could join the front 2 to make it 3, Herrera could operate as the 10, and Fletcher would be more of a box-to-box midfielder. The WBs could then also push further forward, and despite not having the attacking quality that Cuadrado has, it should be good enough for these situations. Plus we could just substitute in Januzaj and Kagawa, for example, for our WBs at this point since we aren't really defending anymore anyway. Seeing as how we don't have much depth at CB in the first place, I think it would be ideal to repurpose Carrick into that role, especially when he's done pretty well there in a 2 man setup and should theoretically only be better with an extra man beside him.
Man that sucks. That exact scenario has never happened to me, but what often happens is I type our my comment and then B/R doesn't post it.
I like the 3-4-1-2 quite a bit, but it's not applicable to every situation. First of all, what I like about it. I really like the stability of the formation. It allows the team to be strong defensively without sacrificing too much offensively. If 4-2-3-1 is the perfect offensive/defensive 50/50 balance, I see 4-3-3 as a 60/40 split in favour of offense and the 3-4-1-2 as a 60/40 split in favour of defense. 4-2-3-1 is the best formation IMO, but I'm happy with any of these 3, especially after seeing 4-4-2 for so long lol.
The formation allows us to be strong in midfield and defense which are both very positive, but it does sacrifice some firepower, like I said before. We don't have true wingers and there is a lot of pressure on one of our forward players to be the person that stretches defenses and makes direct runs. I've been calling that the Robben role because that's what he did during the WC for Netherlands. For us so far it's mostly been Welbeck, but we caught a glimpse of Rooney doing it during that last game when he was partnered with Hernandez.
Welbeck does it well. His interplay, stamina, pace, directness and physicality are all perfect for the role, but Rooney didn't impress me too much. If we pair Rooney and RvP up front I have a feeling that our attack will struggle too much due to the lack of mobility, pace and energy. We need a Welbeck type player up there, and I have a feeling that after a few games of Rooney/RvP up front LvG will instead rotate them in the "RvP" (striker) role and primarily play Welbeck with one of them.
From the other options I've been impressed with nobody in particular. Hernandez is failing to put away opportunities that he would have nailed 10 times out of 10 before, Zaha is very raw and can't be relied upon, and Nani just has to be out after his preseason showing. Hopefully Wilson can make an impact when he's healthy again (he broke his finger, right?), because our other options worry me. I did like Young up front, and I really, really want to see Kagawa play as a CF with Mata and Herrera behind him once. I think that would be nearly-excessively dangerous for other teams to play against.
Another issue I have is that the pressure on our WBs is extremely high. They have to nullify wide threats and provide a wide threat for us on their own. They will need to put in lots of km's every game and will need to be rotated to be kept fresh, even with a lighter than usual schedule. Young has looked excellent at WB (and when he played as a FW, exceptional preseason for him), Shaw is starting to get it and is providing that directness that Valencia does but with a more dynamic approach, Rafael looked really good there when he played, James also looked promising, and Valencia looked decent enough. For me, James and Valencia are firmly behind the other 3 in the pecking order.
In the midfield we lack a true anchor right now, but we've been playing more of a 2-1 shaped midfield anyway so it's okay if we don't get one. Fletcher, aside from his last game where he was probably exhausted, has been superb. I'm pretty much hoping he gets the captaincy at this point, with Evans as his vice. Herrera started off at an inhuman level, but has since looked just good. He's making too many reckless challenges and giving away too many free kicks, and his passing has been inconsistent at times. That being said his vision is great and when he does get his pass right (which is often) it's usually quite perfect. Mata has been insanely good, and Kagawa has been a terror for opposing defenses when played in position. Cleverley also is looking much better, and I can see LvG working on the psychological aspects of his game. He looks more confident, more adventurous, he's demanding the ball, and just getting more invested in the game. Hopefully he keeps it up.
At CB things have been a bit more mixed for me. The CBs have generally looked solid, but not solid enough for my tastes. I want to see Carrick be repurposed into our ball playing CB (more on that after). Evans has looked good aside from against Liverpool, where he looked short of confidence and panicky. I'm putting that down as being overworked for now, hopefully he proves me right. Jones has looked quite good, as has Smalling. They've made some mistakes but generally have looked strong. M. Keane has looked good as well. I don't blame him for the Bale penalty at all. The real star of the back line has been Blackett though. Wow, what a preseason at CB, from a LB! He looks like our most composed and mature defender, and he absolutely has to be involved this season. I know it's really early to make these kinds of comparisons, but he really reminds me of Lahm in the way he approaches the game more so than his style of play. Calm, mature, reserved, reliable, consistent, etc.
DDG has looked great in open play, but man does he need to work on his penalty saving lol. Lindegaard might be too good to be a backup at his age. I wouldn't hold it against him if he moved on to get some consistent minutes. The other two looked okay but not particularly impressive.
Okay, so who to promote:
- Wilson since I haven't been impressed with any of our forward options aside from the obvious 3.
- W. Keane, don't watch the reserves too much but he's supposed to have been ready for a long time
- Blackett, the star of the preseason together with Young for how unexpectedly great they've been
- M. Keane since we'll need all the CB options we can get
- James as extra cover at WB, and he should get time if our players are rotated as much as I hope they will be
- Powell if he impresses LvG since we need another good midfielder
- Zaha because he needs LvG's tutelage to become better. I would keep him for the first half of the season because we have a tighter schedule and have more matches to play between our cups and the more hectic league schedule. After January things slow down for us since we aren't in the CL, so we won't have the minutes he needs. At that point I would loan him out.
Who not to promote and send out on loan:
- Lingard, he's been good but we have too many options in his position
I don't know about any other youngsters because I don't really watch them play (though I wish I had more time to do so). Thorpe is supposed to be ready from what I've heard from you before, so maybe he should also be called up.
Who to buy/sell. First I'll tackle selling:
- Nani, get him out as soon as possible. He lowers his market value with every performance lol
- Hernandez, he's gotten better in his all-around game but is way less potent a goal threat now. He fills no particular need in the team anymore and should be let go despite his great attitude
- Anderson, don't think there's a spot for him in the team as is, and unless he has a major turnaround I don't think he'll be good enough
Players who get this season to prove themselves:
- Young, he's earned his shot and he's been spectacular. He has to keep it up though
- Cleverley, he needs to keep improving or he won't be good enough
- Valencia, with James coming through and 3 good options (so far) in Shaw/Rafael/Young he needs to step up big time to make sense to keep around
- Fellaini, we haven't seen him under LvG but I think he'll have a big turnaround season. If he doesn't he needs to be shipped out
Players to buy:
- Blind, he's the biggest need for us IMO. Fletcher has looked good enough to be first choice, and Blind can be his backup. Plus he gives us extra assurance at WB and CB if our multitude of injury prone players go down at once. His versatility is exactly what we need on the bench in our system.
- a CB leader, like Vlaar was at the WC. If LvG is confident that he can keep those performances up then I'd take him. We need a brick-wall CB to partner with Carrick as the ball-playing CB, then an all-rounder like Blackett/Smalling/Evans to round them out
- possibly a forward. Someone pacey who can play the "Robben" role. Welbeck is currently our only option since Young is being played as a WB. We need someone else, but maybe Lawrence from the youth setup can do it?
This season I see us being right in the running for the title. There's a feeling about the team like we just can't lose ATM, and I'm relishing it. City and Chelsea are the other title contenders IMO, and Arsenal will get their 4th place trophy.
No problem about late replies, just get back to me whenever you can. I certainly won't hold it against you or anything lol.
The Dutch seemed to run out of steam throughout the knockout rounds. They were held scoreless for 240 minutes of match time, which is fairly poor. I think the lack of real quality/experience in their squad was starting to show. Regardless, LvG proved his pedigree (as if he needed to really prove anything) by taking such a relatively average squad so far in the tournament.
I was also confused as to why Sabella took Lavezzi off. He was the one Argentine that was really scaring me.
Schweinsteiger is bar none my favourite player of all time! I only started watching regularly recently, so I never saw too much of Klinsmann, Sammer, Matthaus, Kahn, etc but it doesn't matter because to me Bastian is #1. He caught my eye the first time I saw him as a winger at WC 2006, and since then he's only become better and better. I'm so glad he won the WC because I feel the trio of him, Lahm and Klose deserved to go out with a major trophy on their CV.
Well said about Messi. I pretty much fully agree. I doubt he'll be the same now that his midfield isn't the best in the world anymore. What's crazy is that even Maradona, who is just about his biggest fan, said that Messi did not deserve that golden ball. That really puts it into perspective how shoddy a decision it was to award it to him.
I like you're list for the golden ball. Neuer can, in fact, win it as a GK, as Kahn has won it in the past. He was the only GK to ever win the golden ball, and I think Neuer is capable to replicating that feat with his sweeper-keeper style. Great shout for Schuerrle, I was really hoping he'd start some games, but he was amazing as an impact sub. Mourinho would be crazy to keep him on the bench now, and I think he should be starting instead of Willian.
Hmmm good point about the 3 CB system. Very informative from someone who really plays it, and I appreciate you sharing your insights with me. I don't watch much of the youth squad, but I've only heard good things about Thorpe. If you think he's good enough then I'll take your word on it. If we were to buy a CB then I'm not sure who to go for. Any suggestions? I'm still of the mind Hoewedes would be great. He started a bit poorly at the WC, but grew into his role and was very solid towards the end. Like you said, for 20m it would be a steal. We'd then have a reliable leader at the back who isn't particularly fast but also not that slow.
I think it might be necessary to sign someone because if we do play a 3 CB system regularly we will definitely need reinforcements in that area. We would have Carrick/Jones (both are a maybe depending on what LvG wants), Smalling, Evans, and potentially Thorpe and Keane. That will not be enough when you consider how ridiculously injury prone Jones, Smalling and Evans are. In the very likely scenario that all 3 are injured at once, we'd have Carrick and 2 youngsters in CB as our only options lol.
I'm also hoping to see 3-5-2 in preseason. I really just can't wait for the new season to start though so I can see what LvG does with the team. It's too exciting.
That's a good idea for the 10 and 9 conundrum. The only point I really want to add is that if Kagawa plays more like he did in his Dortmund days he'd be more of a 9.5 than a real 10. He is capable of being a playmaker, but he operates a bit like a forward. His stats from his last season at BVB were something like 16 goals and 9 assists or something, which is more of a forward's record. He'd be able to provide something different to the more assist-oriented Mata, which would be helpful for different teams. Playing on the counter, for example, would call for Kagawa, while a possession based approach may be more Mata's thing.
I'm in agreement with your idea for who should be captain. I also don't really want to see Rooney or RvP get the captaincy, and I think Evans is the better option. If we do hold on to Evra, and LvG decides he has to give the captaincy to either Rooney or RvP, then I hope that Evra is captain next season and whichever one of the two is chosen to be captain will be his vice-captain, because it will ease the transition. We're already used to seeing Evra with the armband, and then after another season it would be a seamless transition for the vice-captain to become captain again.
I also hope Evra stays. He's such a strong personality, he's great for morale, he's a leader, he's experienced, and if he is given enough rest and cover he can still be great for us.
Bad news about Shaqiri, Bayern just said he's going nowhere I think. Oh well, at least Liverpool won't get him :D Another option to consider is Griezmann. I haven't seen a lot of him personally, but he was solid at the WC and a lot of people whose opinions I trust vouch for him.
The fans only moan when players are poor. They moaned about Carrick so much before, then loved him when he was playing well. They'll get over it if Clevs starts to perform. I haven't seen enough of Classie, but from what I've heard I'd agree that he'd be a good replacement for him in the squad. Definitely also want Clevs to stay!
I also didn't see Bebe play too much, but apparently he was doing very well on loan and scored some brilliant goals. It'll be interesting to see if LvG can finally make something of him at United.
Extremely bad news for me: Kroos decided on Real Madrid. I'm no fan of Madrid, and it hurts to see him go. How I wish that Bayern had paid him what he wants. He is just as talented as his teammates, if not more so even than most, yet he doesn't get equal pay. Ridiculous. And they want to replace him with a Spaniard? I don't think a club should ever replace a homegrown, domestic player with a foreign one by choice, assuming they are relatively equally talented. To make it worse, Kroos is better than Thiago too.
The first thing LvG should be looking at is which players he thinks he can use. I think that he needs to assess the options he has, where and how he wants to use them, and then bolster the squad with reinforcements in the areas he deems necessary as soon as possible so that we have enough time to outline and pursue our targets.
I think that LvG should give everyone a chance in preseason even if he's of the mind to sell them. You never know, they might do something impressive or something may catch his eye. I think it's only fair they are given the chance to impress their new manager before being sold.
I'm not too fond of Fellaini's new haircut because the afro just looked right on him lol. It certainly does look more intimidating though, and if it helps him perform better I'll be happy.
My worst fears have come to pass. Losing to Argentina in the final is not an option. It would be the single worst moment of my life for Germany to hand Messi his World Cup glory, thereby validating the collective existence of his entire bandwagon of man-juice guzzling fanatics.
It is unquestionably the first game I've experienced where losing is just not an option.
Wow, you're back with a bang lol. I like it though!
Australia really did put up a great fight. I was disappointed that they didn't earn a point to show for their character, determination and hunger. It would have only been fair to them to at least get a draw or win from one of their games. Hopefully they can put on a great showing again next time, because I thoroughly enjoyed their games. The one against Netherlands in particular was one of my favourite matches of the WC.
England, aye, useless. I had high hopes for them, but it's really time they had a rebuild of not only their NT but also of the Premier League. It's just not a nurturing enough environment for young English players. I think in terms of youth development the Bundesliga is the best league right now, not just for putting out great players (because Spain also churns those out) but also because the young players are really part of the core of teams from top to bottom of the league. Practically every club has a group of young German players, and often they form a part of the core of the first team. They are given the chances to succeed, they are nurtured (though perhaps over-relied upon at times, it must be said) and I think the English would do well to take inspiration from the entire youth setup.
Objectively I would say that Netherlands should also make the final, but I can't shake the bad feeling in my gut that they'll slip up and Argentina will take the match. Whoever Germany face in the finals, I expect them to lose. The Germans will come in over-confident (arrogant even), expect to have won already, play like trash, and then lose decidedly. I've seen it too often with this crop of players.
I also thought Germany would lose to France! Glad I was wrong, but I also really like the French team (my third favourite in general after Germany and Japan) so it wouldn't have been too bad to go out against them, provided they won the whole thing in the end.
Agreed on Hummels. He's been an absolute rock for Germany. The captaincy, once Lahm and Schweinsteiger are retired from it, has to go to either him or Neuer.
I agree that LvG will probably use a 3 man midfield, but I don't agree that Carrick has another year as a starter in him. With the way he's played this past season it'll be too risky to rely on him for another season IMO. The way I think the midfield will look will be like this:
6 - new signing or Jones
8 - Herrera
10 - Mata
But, I can also see it going in the path of a double pivot style midfield with Herrera and another signing (such as Vidal) forming the double pivot. This would a great option for us because it gives us a very balanced and dynamic midfield core, and we could change shape very easily to a 4-4-2 or 3-4-3 as needed.
Going with the first route though, I'll go through the options you listed:
Jones - I think LvG can really mould him into a great midfielder. He would have to train and develop his ability on the ball, but if anyone can do so it'd be LvG. I think this would be the best option for us realistically (as in no Vidal) because it not only saves us money but also I think a midfield role is more suitable to Jones' inherent playing style. The boy loves to get involved and charge forward, and as we've just seen with David Luiz that can be fatal as a CB.
Carvalho - Agreed; overpriced and unproven. Wouldn't go for him at all, and would much rather see someone like Schneiderlin come if the price is right.
De Jong - I think he would be a good option if we go the budget route with our primary DM. If, for example, we went with Jones as our primary DM we could use de Jong until Jones is ready to make the position his own, and then relegate de Jong to being second choice. At his age and reputation he should be happy being a starter next season and then being a first choice substitute for a top side for a few years after.
Vidal - The dream option. I agree that we should go all out for him. I 100% agree with the price you listed, and I think that it would get us our man.
And a couple other options to consider:
Christof Kramer - Versatile midfielder, defensive minded. He's had a great season for Borussia Moenchengladbach, but I don't think Bayer Leverkusen will want to let him go since they just let Emre Can go to Liverpool. On the topic of Emre Can, I really wanted him at United. He would have been exactly what we'd have needed to play a double pivot. In the future I can see him becoming a top midfielder in the Vidal/Schweinsteiger-ish mould.
Strootman - We can't really sign him now, but if we can hold out until January then we should go for him. He is a perfect fit for the team.
Axel Witsel - He really impressed me for Belgium, and his playing style for them would be exactly what we're looking for. Capable of anchoring the midfield, playing box-to-box, or even further up the pitch, plus he has height and strength. I would think he'd want to leave Russia, especially if we come knocking, so I don't think he'd be too hard to land. He's the outside-the-box option since there's nothing linking us to him, but I think he ticks all the boxes.
Lars Bender - My absolute top pick for the role, but honestly he won't come now IMO. Leverkusen let go of Can and they need him to continue on for them, plus I think he signed an extension. I would actually prefer him to Vidal though.
Thoughts on the ones I've listed? As long as we don't get Vidal or Bender and don't convert Jones, I want one of Strootman or Witsel.
CB definitely has to be addressed. If all 3 were fit for the whole season then I would be tempted to say that Evans, Jones and Smalling (supplemented by Carrick on occasion) plus the youngsters would be good enough for next season, but since they all spend excessive amounts of time on the treatment table I wouldn't want to rely on them. Hummels is the dream, certainly, but like you said, fat chance of that happening. I'm not too keen on Vermaelen, I feel there is better value out there, but de Vrij would be good. Instead of the Verminator I'd try my luck with Schalke for Hoewedes. He's of a very good age, doesn't have a long contract anymore, he is defensively sound, can play across the back line, he's a captain, and he has experience at every level. What do you think?
BTW, one thing I've suggested to others is that if we go with a 3 CB formation, that I would want to see Carrick converted to CB. He would do well as our pseudo-playmaker at the back if had the protection of two other CBs. Thoughts?
I'd be ecstatic about either Di Maria or Sanchez coming. If we can't land one of them though I'd be happy with the more "budget" options of Griezmann (he'd still be expensive though I think), Depay, or most of all Shaqiri. Shaqiri is my top choice if we can't land a premium player. He's talented, packed full of potential, he's got room to grow, and he is ready to make a big impact right away. Plus, he's looking to move out of Bayern to get game time, and LvG is known for making stars. I think he'd be excited about working with him after seeing how he made stars out of Mueller, Schweinsteiger, Lahm and co.
In terms of the formation, I expect some fluidity. I think that the 2 primary formations we'll see are 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 depending on what we need. I think that the 3-5-2 would actually be brilliant for us, because if you look at our FBs all of them are attack minded players. People see Shaw following the same career path as Bale, Evra we know loves to attack, Rafael is Brazilian (enough said), and Valencia is a converted winger. It also then makes sense of Valencia's extension. If those 4 are our wide options for WB positions, I think it would actually be pretty great. The 3 CBs would give them the protection to maraud forward more frequently without exposing our goal.
I think LvG will play around with Rooney's position, but ultimately he'll fail to fit him in anywhere and just get benched/sold. He just doesn't seem like an LvG type player. I think our go-to formation, assuming we go the most budget option and don't sign any more players, will look something like this:
Rafael - Smalling - Evans - Shaw/Evra
Herrera - Jones - Mata
Januzaj - RvP - Kagawa
Smalling - Carrick - Evans
Rafael - Fellaini - Herrera - Mata - Shaw
RvP - Kagawa
I feel like LvG will not only use Kagawa a lot, but I think he'll also help him rediscover his best form. He's already experienced what Kagawa is capable of in the Bundesliga, and I think he'll end up using him as more of a hybrid playmaker-forward like he was at BVB. He was more of a goal scorer in those days, and I think LvG will bring him back to that style.
I think those would be our two major variations. If we sign players, we can expect Smalling to probably make way for the new CB, Fellaini and Jones to make way for the new midfielder, and the new winger to rotate with Kagawa/Januzaj depending on what's needed and what kind of player it ends up being.
Dirk Kuyt has actually been a favourite of mine lol. I would love to have him at United purely objectively, but subjectively I don't want him to ruin his reputation at Liverpool. He's a great player and deserves to go down as a beloved player of theirs. That being said I absolutely love his style too. Great player to have on the bench because he can literally fill in everywhere. The only other player I can think of with his versatility is Grosskreutz for BVB. These players aren't easy to come by, and they should really be cherished more IMO. They are the ones who give everything for the cause and don't get enough love for it.
Agreed on the whole Dutch team transfer rumours. The rumour mill is just going crazy with all these Dutch links lol.
My transfer window would look like this (your prices look good, so I won't bother repeating them, but I'll put in numbers where there are new players):
Vidal/Lars Bender - 30m for Bender sounds right, but I'd be willing to go all out
Sanchez/Di Maria - 30-40m
Witsel - 20m
Shaqiri - 20m
Hoewedes - 15-20m
Hernandez - unfortunately I agree with you, it's best for him
Anderson - 5m
Buttner - don't agree with it, but already gone
Macheda - 2m
Rooney - 25m for anyone willing to accept his contract, can't see him fitting into LvG's system
The ones missing from here that objectively could be on are Young, Bebe and Clevs. Young doesn't make sense to sell because he'd fetch us very little. I think LvG can make something of him, and if he still isn't performing up to par he could sell him for a bit more. I'd be gutted to see him go, but I can't argue against it objectively.
Bebe I feel like can actually come good for us under LvG. He seems to be doing well in Portugal and I can't help but feel that this may be his time now. We'll have to wait and see.
Cleverley looks exactly like the kind of player LvG likes. I can see him completely transforming him as a player and his role in the team. Who knows, he may eventually prove to be so vital in his setup that he and Herrera form a midfield partnership, and I could honestly see him then becoming the central cog for England as well. I have really high hopes for Clevs under LvG, and I'm really anticipating that this will be the season that his career turns around.
I'm not sure who to bring up to the first team from the academy boys because I don't really watch them. I'm usually fairly short on time so I can only really make room for United and Bayern, and any other time I have time to watch a game I'll go for a club like Leverkusen, BVB or Liverpool (blasphemous I know, but I really like to watch them play :D).
Lineup for Swansea should be the 3-5-2. If Bony stays with them we'll need the extra man in the back to help contain him I think. Either the 4-3-3 or the 3-5-2 should work though.
Thoughts on all that?
Toni Kroos, man he's one of my favourites. From all the Bayern players, it's his name on my Bayern kit lol. To be honest, what I want most of all is for him to patch things up and stay with Bayern. I want him to go down as a Bayern legend, and could see him, Mueller and Alaba being the next trio of faces of the club after Schweinsteiger, Lahm and Ribery are gone (they even play the same-ish positions as the previous 3 lol). If he has to go though I would love to have him here at United, but unfortunately he doesn't really fit now that we've signed Herrera. But, I would still want him just so that RM doesn't sink their claws into him and ruin his career.
Objectively though, he wouldn't make sense at United now unless LvG plans to use Mata up front, wants to sell Kagawa, not sign another winger, and then play Kroos and Herrera as a pair of hybrid 8-10's with an anchor behind them. Thinking about it though, that could actually work brilliantly. Thoughts?
That was long, but awesome. Keep 'em coming if you have time, I've missed having you around :D
BTW me and Trey Tak have had pretty sizeable back and forth about Messi. If you want to take a look please do so, but I'm really curious to know where you stand on the matter. Is he an arguably great player being overrated, or is he really the best of his generation bar none, and destined to be an all-time great in not just reputation but actual ability (as in, people won't just say he was as good as Pele/Maradona/Zidane/etc, but he'll really deserve to be there)?
Hey how's it going? It's been too long, where've you been? You've been watching the WC I presume? What teams stood out for you so far? What do you think of our new signings, Herrera and Shaw?
Hey, PM me your email address, I want to invite you to the BR challenge cup. A mini league, just for us United fans :)
That was a decent game. Despite the confusing decision to play Kagawa as DM it was not a bad performance.
Lawrence and Wilson looked decent in their debuts. They didn't have a Januzaj effect, but they both showed a good determination and drive to win, with some promise of their abilities. I don't think either one is really ready quite yet, but with a good preseason with the first team we'll have a better idea of their readiness. I think Lawrence needs to work on his decision making most of all, and Wilson needs to become more threatening. While he did well to score his brace, I felt he wasn't a good focal point for the attack.
Januzaj was brilliant. Let's hope we see more of that next season because he was our best player on the pitch.
I thought Smalling was a rock in the back, but Jones was just stupid. He needs to stop risking his body so much or he will never live up to his potential. Valencia was solid at RB and I hope he continues to play there, and Buttner had a decent game. He gave the ball away cheaply at times, but that should get ironed out of his game if he plays more.
Kagawa had an okay performance considering where he was deployed. Carrick wasn't bad, but still not as good as he was last season.
It was great to see RvP pick up where he left off against Olympiacos. Great energy, great drive, and a real determination to score and win. That's the RvP we saw last season and I hope we get more of it against Southampton, and next season if he's still around (which he should be if LvG gets the job).
Giggs also put in a great performance. His pass to set RvP was just sublime. He also really should have scored with the shot that was blocked with a hand, the resulting penalty from his blocked shot which was never given (wtf was up with the ref, so many handballs, not one called) or the freekick that the Hull keeper saved.
Fellaini found himself in good positions but lacked any end product. Not a good performance from him, but he was also let down a bit by his teammates' unwillingness to play the ball into the box.
That was the biggest problem on the day. Our players looked like they didn't want to, or didn't know how to, play the ball into the box. We held the ball just outside the 18 yard box for long periods of the game, but ultimately the players didn't show a good attacking drive. Januzaj was the one exception here. I think this speaks to Giggs' lack of experience as a manager; I feel he's telling the players what he wants them to do without really instructing them on how to achieve it.
All in all it wasn't a bad game, and I'm excited to see more youth prospects join the first team.
I'm thinking Vidic will leave it like this now and not play the next match. What do you think? Such a shame to lose a legend like him...
***Pumping away Idiots and Trolls from B/R"
JOIN ME IN MY QUEST to eliminate these idiots from BR!Section by Section, from the team I hate the most Manchester United!
-David Teo (No written consent yet, but hates Mazoomy so there goes!)
-Sergey Karasev (Has already tried to exterminate BR idiots, but failed!)
-Mike 80Colt (Our undercover agent to exterminate these rats!)