Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Transfer Bargain:Lassana Diarra would be a great pickup for Manchester United for 11 Mil Pounds

So here is the thing. I see that we are again we were linked with Lassana Diarra and some people don’t think this is what we should be focusing on.

I have stated in the past that Fergie sees Anderson and Fletcher more as box to box players NOT defensive midfielders.

In fact, he prefers his midfielders to all be box to box instead of specialized.

So why is Lassana Diarra great?

Value buy

At 11 Million Pounds, you get a 25 year old midfielder with premiership experience with Arsenal, Chelsea and Portsmouth. He will be in his prime really.

A defensive midfielder with good ball control

The key to the game is to keep possession and I see Lass able to do this. take a look at some of his play and you will see that he retains possession well in tight areas, moves forward for shots.

Ability to drift out wide

Similar to fletcher, he has the capability to play at the right side to shore up that area. For modern tactical football you need fluid players that can be discipline and flexible. Lass might be able to do that.

There are reasons not to buy him as well

Better options

I am talking about midfielders aged 18-22 with greater upsides. Some of the good potential ones I seen are

  1. Fernando in Portugal
  2. Yann M’Vila in France
  3. Tiote of Newcastle

Likely we may be able to get them for the same price

Fergie does not want specialize defensive midfielders.

As mentioned, I have a feeling the preferred formation is 4-4-2. As such the 2 midfielders cannot be specialized and that will drive the purchase direction.

Journeyman who doesn’t stay long

His reputation isn’t really astounding when it comes to the loyalty department. The moment he is not in the first team he becomes unstable.

Would you build a team around someone who is questionable in this department?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Guardian: Nani all but out of Ronaldo’s shadow

Here is a great piece this morning on our boy Nani, how far he came to becoming an important player for the club.

The United manager has often seemed disappointed with the development of a player he bought for £17m as a 20-year-old, either damning him with faint praise or highlighting his reservations through his selections. It is perhaps revealing, though, that Nani is still around after voicing his frustrations last year, the sort of speaking out of turn that led to the rapid departure of Jaap Stam and Ruud van Nistelrooy. If Ferguson has adopted a patient approach over a player who has only just turned 24, there have been distinct signs this season that the wait may not have been in vain. Nani not only seems to realise his responsibilities now, he has started to look capable of discharging them.

In the 7-1 rout of Blackburn last month Nani was probably United's best player, his contribution only overshadowed by the headlines commanded by Dimitar Berbatov's five goals. Nani scored a fine goal that day and made a couple more, the story of his season in miniature. His assists alone have earned him new respect at Old Trafford because he not only appears to have acquired unselfishness but decisiveness, the ability to select the right option then deliver.

Ferguson has noticed. "He's got better, that's the great thing," the United manager said. "He's always had pace, courage and great feet, but he's added a goal ratio to his game, which is important."

Arsène Wenger has noticed, too. A couple of Nani's best displays in this country have been against his team – not that everybody in north London has been impressed. After a fractious FA Cup tie two years ago William Gallas accused him of showboating and Gilberto Silva said he was a big-head. No shocks there, though it should also be recorded that Nani was man of the match with a goal and two assists.

[Read the full article @ Guardian >>]

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What we lack in midfield may be...

someone who is already in "our" ranks. Why the "" i must clarify. Technically speaking he's a Wigan player as we speak. Just who is this player im talking about? Bet you are "CLEVER" enough to know who this player is! He is no other than our very own Tom Cleverley!

Just watched the 1st half of Everton vs Wigan, and from what i have witness. Everything good that Wigan has produced, Cleverley was involved. I dare to say if Sir Alex does not recall Cleverley back from Wigan this season, and Cleverley stays fit and healthy. Wigan will have no problem staying up! Watch this post!

Tom is highly regarded around Old Trafford and is tipped for greatness by many. I certainly believe so! I saw Cleverley played a few times when he was on loan at Watford a few seasons back, and he was a class above. He played 33 games, scored 11 goals and was voted Player of the Season for Watford. - The only player who played less than 50 games for Watford to win this award. Says alot about Tom!

At home across the midfield ( which is a luxury in today's football world ), able to pick a superb forward pass at ease, young, hungry and most importantly ENGLISH! (Move aside Jack Wilshere!) Future of English football isnt without hope after all.. Looking forward to see him put on a Man Utd jersey for the 2nd half of the season. If not NEXT season.

So like what i have mentioned earlier, what we really need for midfield may be with us all along after all..

Video of Anderson Passing vs Glasgow Rangers 2010

Anderson performance vs Valencia 2010 Champions League

Following our post on anderson’s game and where he should improve on here is a video on his good performance vs Valencia

Potential Midfield Target Scouting: Luka Modric finally starts to shine in 2010/11 Season


Here is a great little player that we have been linked to often. With our problems in central midfield and our often purchase from Tottenham Hotspurs one would think that with

  1. Gareth Bale on the left
  2. Van Der Vaart as a no 10

He would be surplus to requirements. Not so:

Joe Jordan, Redknapp's assistant, spoke on Friday of how he felt there was no more in-form midfielder in the country. Indeed there is symmetry and no little irony to the fact that Modric is flourishing in a similar position to the one in which he suffered such a disappointing start to his Tottenham career.

Redknapp's predecessor, Juande Ramos, generally played him as a central midfielder in a 4-4-2 formation alongside the attack-minded Jermaine Jenas, rather than as a No10, the role in which he had shone for Croatia in Euro 2008 qualification. It was Modric who masterminded England's destruction at Wembley in November 2007, on the wet and windy night when Steve McClaren infamously made the brolly the must-not-have touchline accessory.

Redknapp was somewhat derogatory about how Ramos used Modric and when he took over he stressed the importance of getting the 25-year-old on the ball. "He can make things happen – then he has got that ability to open the door," the manager said at the time.

He played him higher up the pitch, usually with a roaming brief from the left and, with some sweet nothings to bolster Modric's belief, saw him blossom.

Yet with Niko Kranjcar signed last season and in the second half of it, Bale coming to the fore, Redknapp switched Modric inside. And when Van der Vaart, an out-and-out No10, arrived at the end of last summer's transfer window and with Bale in fine form, Redknapp chose to accommodate Modric in a deeper role.

Passing Chalkboards:

vs Birmingham by Guardian Chalkboards

vs Liverpool: by Guardian Chalkboards



[Full Article in Guardian >>]

Friday, December 10, 2010

How the script will really work for Anderson finally

If youtube video’s is the best judge of a player, then after watching this video you would think that we have a world beater on our hands.

Sadly it didn’t work out that way. After a great first season. Anderson, like fellow purchase that year Nani, continues to show the kind of form and decision making that ends up frustrating fans and coaches.

What’s bad about his game

He tends to

  1. Switch off a lot during matches. Sure he can show good glimpses but most of the time he switches off enough to put his team in jeopardy.
  2. Getting Fat, Injured or general lack of fitness. Here is a player playing in central midfield and most matches he cannot last a full 90 minutes.
  3. Decision making and Game Reading. Playmakers or tempo setters tend to need this aspect of his game to be good so as to ensure his team is stable and break up the opposition with his team’s play. Anderson though has the skills have not master when to do what.
  4. Inconsistent. Tends to be great one game and poor the next or largely anonymous.

Playing as a deep midfielder

Football Fans Know Better

I do not know if this is what Sir Alex Ferguson thinks he should be, but its definitely not working out.

Sure he has a lot of strong points to his game for that

  1. Able to pass
  2. Stout build thus does not get muscle off

But he doesn’t read the game or dictate plays like scholes or keane. You need good game reading to do that. Carrick and Alonso shows that you don’t have to tackle superbly but you have to read well.

Essentially both him and fletcher are not the kind of player at the moment to play deep. A midfield of them together seem like a dream but often did not work out.

Playing as a advance midfielder or No 10

Football Fans Know Better

It is no coincidence that some of his best performance comes when he is much liberated from his defensive duties and players more further upfield.

What he does best is that unlike a lot of premiership midfielders, here is one that can:

  1. Short pass or long pass
  2. Run at you through the middle

Players find it awkward dealing with a carrier from middle of midfield like that. we have seen a lot of wingers like Arteta, Schweinsteiger converted to central midfielders probably because they offer passing and dribbling.

His best performance this season have been with Carrick at his back. Carrick although much criticize does a better job reading and intercepting. (When he is on form that is)

If you guys remember before Hargreaves was injured, the good combination have been Anderson and Hargreaves.

Playing a 3 man midfield

In the upcoming Arsenal game this is what we might see:

Football Fans Know Better

Much have been made about how bad our midfield is in terms of neither having good creativity but also stability.

But that if you ask me, is still a very very good midfield to have!

And You essentially have 3 midfielders train to defend and attack but will play a primarily role and double up on the next.

Change in Attitude, Good Coaching and Mentoring is required

The turnaround of Nani, have been the most dramatic development for me last season.

Here is a player that everyone was groaning when he got on the pitch and now has turn into the player that we HAVE to rely on.

What cause this turn around?

I am not sure but I believe that it could very well be up to

  1. Nani himself realising what he needs to listen to sound advice
  2. Giggs telling him what he needs to focus on.
  3. Ronaldo telling him how to really beat premiership defences.
  4. Coaching in general at the club.

It’s the same thing for Anderson. There were news of his partying ways and crashing of sports car. Sooner or later he has to realize this is make or break for him.

A lot of news swirling that clubs are looking to loan him.

He has to do what Nani Does

  1. Coaches need to get him super fit
  2. He has to change his attitude
  3. Listen to what Scholes and Fletcher could impart

Much of his good performance could be him being more fit after a lengthy injury.

Why I still think he can be a scary prospect

At Man United as long as you give your heart, the fans will take to you. People usually likes hardwork mixed with flair and that’s why I am still giving this kid one more chance.

Why? To be honest there are a lot of players that can play the No 10 or deep lying playmaker at the age of 18-23 we can buy to see if it will work out. Off loading Anderson could be seen as a failed experiment but getting some money to develop another new exciting central midfielder is more risky than this Anderson experiment working.

How will this work out?

  1. His training of playing deep allows him to be more discipline as he grows older.
  2. Playing at the right position consistently develops good performance which brews his confidence and creates a multplying effect.
  3. Good coaching gives him the tools required to play better as a playmaker. This improves overall general play and decision making.
  4. Eventually we might see him able to go back to playing in deep midfield to dictate play again.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The evolution of wrong footed fullbacks

Red Rant have a nice piece on right footed full backs such as Fabio Da Silva and why Full Backs and defensive wingers are important to the game.
Arguably, the most important job of wide men is crossing, which is why wingers have traditionally been “correct-footed”. Fabio da Silva, whose opportunities have been limited because of injuries and Evra’s lack of them, is interesting in that he plays as a left full-back despite being clearly right footed.
Fabio is capable with his left foot although he seems to use it only as a last resort. The uneasiness remains a worry.
But the apprehension is more than offset by the intriguing prospect brought up by his wrong-footedness. With an abundance of modern wingers, most of them wrong-footed also, Fabio might very well have an advantage over left footed full-backs such as Evra. When facing a player like Messi, Fabio can tackle with his dominant foot. Crucially the angle of tackle in such situations will be natural to Fabio and the tackles will be more clean than those made by left footed players.
The tendency towards the right also brings up interesting possibilities vis-a-vis team movements. Fabio attacks the box almost as regularly as he goes for the byline. When attacking the box, his right-footedness becomes an asset. After all, despite nominally being a defender, Fabio was the top scorer in the U-17 World Cup in 2007.
To indulge this movement, United’s left winger can move laterally towards the middle. This particular set of movements comes easily to both Park and Wayne Rooney. And one of the central or defensive midfielders behind will move to the left flank providing the width from deep.
This, of course, requires a left-footed and athletically gifted central midfielder who can do a job on the flank.
One wonders if United has someone like that on the book?
Here in lies the importance of a defensive winger or a left footed winger to play in tandem. Nani is probably comfortable on both but doesn’t go out from the left. Same for Park. He plays the best when he drifts infield. Thus Evra does that best. Do we have another option?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"He should score more"

That was what Sir SAF said after the Valencia game last night with regards to Anderson aka Ando.

"The boy has terrific talent. He has great pace and power. He is a strong boy."

I agree totally to that, Anderson has always been a terrific ATTACKING talent both at Porto and Gremio with quite a good scoring record.

So it is really shocking to know that Ando has only scored 2 goals (1st at OLD TRAFFORD!) in 109 appearances. "Amazing" scoring record from him, truly!

"We are pleased he got a goal. It may help him."

Let's hope that is true too! I have always viewed Ando as an Ozil, Modrić kind of player. So ya, let's hope he improves his scoring record. A return of 5 goals this season wouldn't be half bad!

* A pat on the back for our very own BEN AMOS as well. He made his European Debut last night as well with a solid performance! More to come from him maybe?

Fabio and Rafael Da Silva as first choice fullback? Lots to learn still

In today’s match vs Valencia, the twins were finally being deployed together in an important match.

My thoughts is that its an encouraging display.

Infield Attacking Dribbling is good

I really like that both took the opportunity to dribble infield to take up goal scoring position. You can see the difference between them with Wes Brown and John O’Shea

In the way Ashley Cole did so well cutting infield instead of going on the outside, modern fullbacks are adding another dimension to their game.

Passing and Decision making still not up to it

I would have expected Rafael to do much better in this department but today’s display shows that these fundamentals are still missing.

What makes Ferdinard, Vidic, Neville and Evra first choice is that

  1. they seldom make bad defensive decision
  2. they don’t make inappropriate passes that jeopardizes team mates
  3. they don’t mis-pass that creates unnecessary pressure.

They need a run of games

I am very supportive of them playing against good wingers. This is how you learn by defending against the Bales, Malouda and Nasri week in week out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First look at Man United’s future midfield of Fletcher + Anderson doesn’t look good

This is probably what a lot of fans thought would work.

Both of them bring great energy compare to Scholes and Carrick. Since Fletcher is the midfield terrier, he can sit behind in defence in Carrick’s place and Anderson can be the creative spark.

Problem at the West Ham game where they got thrashed 4-0 is that it is never working out that way.

Fletcher plays better in a forward midfield

Sir Alex Ferguson never saw Darren Fletcher as a defensive midfielder. He is a box-to-box midfielder in Lampard’s mode sans the goals. Perhaps that is why Fletcher is always deployed.

He can

  1. press on the opposition’s deep playmaker
  2. make runs to score goals
  3. take up a position on the right wing where his crosses are great

Anderson must learn to play again in a forward midfield

That said, Anderson is pretty wasted in a defensive midfield position. His attention and fitness is lacking and although he is a creative spark, not staying fit for a run of games have show that he has ideas, but the execution part falls short.

These few games we see that he is a Ozil or Sneijder more than the do-it-all midfielder Ferguson is trying to mould him into.

My take is that Fergie should try him there first. That is where he excels in most of the time as the most forward of the midfield to get his A game out like Nani first. Then, you think about turning him to a complete midfielder.

The importance of Carrick

So if both are more suited to be the more forward midfielder, it means our club lacks a deep playmaker cum enforcer.

Carrick is much hated nowadays by fans due to his poor form last season but like Busquets for Barcelona he might be more understated then people realise.

His defensive game is important to protect the defence and the little things he do disrupts the opposition and helps the team keep possession and launch attacks.

If people think he is not doing a good job there, I am afraid we have to see whether Anderson and Fletcher develops to that.

My instincts tell me our need for a deep-lying passmaster cum enforcer is more pressing then a playmaker.

Chris Hughton Sacked. Wouldn’t mind him being Fergie’s understudy

We just got wind of the news that Newcastle football clubs coach cum caretaker cum manager is sacked.

This is astonishing news because I thought he was doing a damn good job getting them not just promoted but playing decent football.

He got Andy Carroll playing for England as well and a team full of ego to play cohesively. This seems to be really unjust rewards but I think he got a really good deal because it really show it to him that he can be a decent manager in the future.

Even if he doesn’t succeed, he can turn out to be a coach of good application. As a United fan, I wouldn’t mind or will not be surprise that Sir Alex Ferguson decides to do a Querioz and bring him in as assistant coach.

Hope he gets back into the game soon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Blackpool Vs Man Utd Called Off

The highly anticipated clash (for Blackpool @ least) between Blackpool and Man Utd had to be called off due to a frozen pitch. Damn u winter and snow!!

We are currently 2nd in the standings, thanks to Beckford's 86th min equaliser against Chelsea for Everton. But sadly, Arsenal won thanks to a superb individual performance by a certain someone called
Samir Nasri, who scored 2 wonderful crafted goals.

Really looking forward to the mouth watering clash between Man Utd and Arsenal next week. Great home form for us and great away form for the Gunners, but still GGMU!

On a separate topic, I would put my 2 hands up in support for a winter break, like what all other major football leagues in europe are doing. 1stly, players get to enjoy Christmas.. 2ndly, English players would not get burnt out and England MIGHT (i repeat MIGHT) perform better in major tournaments! England winning world cup 2014? Who knows if FA heed my advice!