I’ve mentioned in my last post, today for the first time since i’m a United supporter i felt like crying. Oh i have cried from happiness so many times, so many times… Moscow ‘08, when we won the 19th title being among the last times my love for United has gone wild and made my cry. But today it was different. Today it hurt.
I knew there were chances to lose today. I knew City were good enough to surprise us. But to say i expected us to lose the game like this, to say i expected utter humiliation would be wrong. I sure expected a very very tough game. I said 50-50, we can win it but they can also win it. If you’ve seen the last 5 derbies, you will know what i’m talking about. Gone are the days when City was a small utter shit club. Gone are the days we beat them regularly. Even with a weak manager, they still have bought very good players in the past two years so them finally showing their real potential was bound to happen sooner or later.
I would have loved if it didn’t happen at Old Trafford though.
It hurts but we have no one but ourselves to blame for this. Being a fan for a longer period, watching every game, analyzing the players, one can easily see who played well and who underperformed. It pains me to say, but today they were all miserable. Our midfield was bad, our attack was bad, our defense was horrible. Last season we won the title because of the solid defense.So the question is - what happened?
It hit us in the head, that’s what happened. Last season our defense was incredible. Ever since we lost Vidic at the beginning of the season, our defense has been horrible. It’s like they forgot we don’t have VDS anymore to save incredible shots and to save their arses when a mistake in defense is made. The improvement in the attack and the fact that we were scoring so much goals in so little games made us believe we were good in every aspect. When you’ve scored eight friggin’ goals in one game against Arsenal, those eight goals are the only thing you keep thinking of, not even bothering with the two goals that were scored against us. The key thing is, the goals they scored were type of goals one team with title ambitions CANNOT let in. I’ve been saying this since that game - our defense has to improve if we want the 20th title.
Without Vidic, we are weak, slow, we are not stable.
I have never doubted the Boss when it came to choosing a team for games, but i think he did huge mistake today when he benched Jones (and left Vidic out of the team) and played Evans. Don’t get me wrong, the guy had some awesome games this season, but what he lacks of is not good games - it’s constancy. When you play against a title rival, you play safely, you don’t take chances especially not with your defenders when the team you play against is the best attacking team in the league. Evans was never and will never be a first team material. He’s good for the bench, good for games against Blackburn, Newcastle, Everton… but against City? Derby games against Liverpool, Chelsea? Big fat effin’ NO! It seems like every derby he’s the one that under-performs. I can only hope that now when Vidic is back, Evans wont play as much. At least not in the big games. The scoreline would have been different if we had 11 players on the pitch till the end. Then again, after a game like this you can’t blame one player. The whole team underperformed today.
On the other side, City had a good day. Manchini as a manager is miles behind Ferguson, Wenger or Redknapp but he did his homework before the derby. His tactic was right, his players did what were asked for, and they had luck. All in all, it was their day. If it’s worth mentioning, 3 of their goals today came in the last 3 minutes. 1-3 score would say another story though. But it doesn’t matter in the end. 1-3 or 1-6, it’s still a defeat. And it still hurts.
What i think it’s the only good thing about the game today is the epilogue of the match. We were average against Basel, against Norwich, against Liverpool and against Otelul. We still managed to grab crucial points from those games. But we can’t always hope on luck. You can’t win games against good clubs with luck. You need to play, you need to think, you need to work harder. So, after this, I am sure the players WILL give their 150% in the upcoming games and we’ll see improved United. We are only 5 points behind City and with Vida and Cleverly coming back next week, i am positive we can get on top by December.
It’s not the end of the season yet. There are 28 games left. We’ve had similar debacles and yet we have won the league in the end. Nothing hurt like the 1-4 defeat against Liverpool at OT in 2009, but we won the league that season. It doesn’t matter who laughs in October, December or March - it matters who laughs in May.
And i am sure, we will laugh! Bel20ve!