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Good Article on Uniteds title hopes

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Manchester United may have gone three points clear at the top of the table and been boosted by Chelsea's failure to beat Spurs, but they are still far from certain to be champions of England, let alone of Europe.Many big games await Sir Alex Ferguson's men and each will present challenges that they have previously failed. There's the forthcoming clashes with Liverpool, Arsenal, Roma and Chelsea, of course. But the trips to Blackburn, where United have lost in three of the last five seasons, and to Middlesbrough, the most perverse team in the country in that no matter how deep the rut they appear to be in they're always apt to upset the big four, will also be seriously hazardous - remember how impotent United looked when flopping at humdrum sides such as Manchester City, West Ham and, of course, Bolton earlier in this campaign? And the last-day-of-the-season trip to Wigan's bog promises to be just as unpleasant.Why have United at times looked feeble away to beefy and well-drilled underdogs? For the same reason that Bolton controlled much of the play tonight - ie because United's midfield often struggles to assert itself. Darren Fletcher is patently not part of the manager's first-choice central pairing, but Anderson might be and he was bypassed for long periods tonight.It will be fascinating to see who Ferguson fields in the centre against Liverpool on Sunday and in the remaining major matches this season. The choice isn't obvious. Paul Scholes' influence has inevitably waned as his mobility has declined. Owen Hargreaves has been hampered by injury and frequently looked less than fully fit (presumably the decision to deploy him at right-back tonight was designed to give him a relatively easy work-out ahead of the bigger games in store). Michael Carrick's passing often compensates for his relative lack of dynamism but, like the other options, he rarely offers a goal threat: while Steven Gerrard, Cesc Fabregas and Frank Lampard bang in the goals elsewhere, United's five central midfielders have between them mustered three league goals this season.Few would expect those players to score more. Few goals from central midfield is, then, part of the manager's plan. Their job is exclusively to feed the forwards. The problem is United's forward are not reliable.Wayne Rooney has been particularly profligate, and in particularly unforgivable fashion. He has exquisite skills, instinctive ingenuity and natural warrior spirit; but that instinct has become infected and his spirit soiled - the result is awful finishing. The wonky shooting could be borne of sloppiness. But his demeanour, the creeping strut in his game, suggest something even less excusable - a penchant for the stupidly ostentatious. It seems he overcomplicates things not because of an idealistic, Arsenalesque commitment to artistic purity, but because of a grubby lust to inflate the hype around him, to soup up his image. The botched lobs at home to Newcastle or the foiled attempts to saunter into the net with the ball during the Cup defeat by Portsmouth suggested that to him a clear sight of the net are not so much a chance to score a goal as an opportunity to fatten his reputation. Ronaldo, for one, is much more focused; much less arrogant. The irony, then, is that Rooney's lack of humility accounts for his modest goal tally this season.Industrious Carlos Tevez's focus doesn't look blurred. His aim and touch just seem to be unsure, as was evident as early as the eighth minute tonight when he chested down a ball six yards from goal then swiped at fresh air. The coolness that Rooney radiates when at his best is a quality bestowed on a chosen few - and Tevez isn't one of them. Louis Saha is a far sharper striker. When fully fit. But when, and for how long, will that be?Out wide Nani is, understandably, immature. The 21-year-old's decision-making on the ball needs fine-tuning (witness his choice to shoot from 30 yards in the 83rd of tonight's game when he had two team-mates in far better positions) and his propensity to disappear for long periods in games, such as tonight's, is another symptom of his youth.The upshot of all this, as was demonstrated again tonight, is that defensively solid United are over-reliant for goals on Ronaldo, whose brilliance has regularly rescued them this season, masking the shortcomings of both the manager and some of his team-mates. Twenty-four league goals so far represents a stupendous return for the Portuguese; if he were to get injured or suspended or simply have a couple of off-days during the run-in, however, a more pertinent statistic may be his number of league assists - a paltry three, which shows how often his team-mates have spurned the chances he's created for them.United have spoken much recently of how their experience could help them in the run-in. But the fact is attitude adjustment is needed at Old Trafford. Not least from Ferguson, whose passive formations against the big teams, particularly away in the Champions League, and apparent tolerance of slackness up front, encourage a Ronaldo-dependency that could yet sabotage their quest for trophies. ------------------------------------------------Basically says what i do about rooney, although hes prob my fav united player and i think hes prob most naturally gifted player we got he doesnt have a winning mentality and is not proffesional enough to be playing for anyone bu his local council side.

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Good read but you come too too too negative. Saying that here comes my negativity...The article reflects a lot of what I've thought and the stats don't lie cos we rely on Ronaldo too much. Apart from him we're not getting enough goals 1) from midfield... Giggs, Scholes, Anderson and Nani really really need to step up now 2) our supposed attack Rooney and Tevez alongside our midfield have looked wasteful in front of goal.Giggs shows glimpses but he ain't clinical and he can't play week in week out. Scholes doesn't have the legs no more. Anderson needs to find some goal scoring touch of some sort, what he's doing in midfield, more or less owning it is great but goals win games. Nani needs to become Ronaldo mark 2, he reminds me of CR7 in his first season with us and I'm hoping he can be on or near that level.Tevez has some mad workrate but sometimes his touch looks clumsy and messy but I'm hoping this the scrapper that gets us our important goals like the reverse fixture at Anfield and finally Rooney I think can get in to goal scoring touch but everytime he scores a few he picks up a knock or something, he really needs that run to build confidence. Your Rooney comment is bait which I won't take but Shrek's hungry... that is all. Anyway all of these players have been pretty wasteful recently still which is the worrying thing.Everyone keeps talking about our squad depth but I don't see it. In defence if we pick up a couple knocks like last season ala CL SF then we're stuck we'll have inexperience cover... Hargreaves and Pique in defence will not cut it in the Champions League everyone knows that. Midfield we have quite a bit of cover but up front our options are limited. We need a clinical striker who can stay fit but doesn't mind being rotated which is hard to come by.Though I've thought all of this I have faith, I'm optimistic or I hope I am. Hoping that they'll come good on the night. Even though we haven't hit top gear we've ground out results and we need to keep doing that which I believe we can do - true sign of champions. BUT it starts this weekend the real pressure test is L'pool at OT where hopefully this squad can go through them extra gears.

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the rooney thing might be an over exageration but he does tend to look to do the outragous far too often instead of the simple fundementals of football... last season he was our top goal scorer and of course because of non stop injuries he has failed to pick up any real momentum this season... i had real high hopes for him at the begining of the season especially after his pre season form but it seems hes trying to play that showboat football in every game even for england, I remember there was this one chance against switzerland he had where all he had to do was get a good touch towards goal and he would of scored but instead he tried knock the ball across the defender back where it came from cut across him then shoot... it woulda been a sick goal but he didnt have to do it and if he cared about getting goals he wouldnt of done it... the one thing i will allow him though last season around this time of year is when he hit form against roma in italy and milan at old trafford... he is a a business end of season player but im afraid that he might be coming into the run in with the wrong mentality.Im dissapointed in the goal return of Carrick aswell this season, last season he got more goals then anyone else in his position across europe... fabregas, pirlo, xabi alonso, xavi etc....However these two can be excused because of there all round play has been excellent unlike Fergies boys Scholes and Giggs, last season even though i thought he was sh*t and would cost us the title ryan got us some vital goals and scholes chipped in, this season they are nowehre to be seen... Nani has got his fair share but he has also been wastefull infront of goal... the worst when it comes to missing chances is Tevez though, but I dont expect him to have a great conversion rate... he never has, he is just a player who pops up with important goals in big matches even if he hasnt done anythin noteworthy the whole game....anderson will be our rob jones.oh and our set pieces have been pie this season because ronaldo aint taking them, i think it was against pompey we had like 12 corners, which were all dreadfull actually nanis corners aint bad probably the best in our side but he isnt first choice in the side or for set pieces...i think i should stop moaning now we are 3 pts clear and still in champs league laugh.gif

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Its anybody's game at the momentexpect to see the greatest finali to a season that the premiership has ever seencant wait

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Hmm... While parts are true I question if Man Utd are really gonna be tested enough to see the crumble...

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The thing about Rooney is, techincal genius, but for some reason he cant finish certain times.Swear hes tryna keep up with Ronaldo as being the trickstar or some nonsense.Its like he wants pundits and commos to say 'Oh hes so cool in front of goal, what composure' or some foolishness. Pisses me off to the max.As for Tevez, dont even get me started. Does more bad than good IMO. Greedy as f*ck. Missed some EASY chances.Giggs and Scholes.... BIG LOLZNani is a badman, just decision making sometimes. Anderson is just shower. His worst appearance this season was last night (Apart from debut 45 mins at Sunderland LOL)Carrick is just too sick. I cant ever see why he doesnt start with Anderson alongside. Hargreaves is SICK. But his passing just aint as sick as Carricks.The thing I have a problem with is Fergie playing his two old timers thinking that the experience they bring will win us the title. If that happens too often were f*cked.Can see Scholes AND Giggs starting on Sunday. Not a good look.

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Thing about Rooney was 1 on 1 a few seasons back, you'd KNOW he'd stick it in the back of the net.Even for England, it was scary how clinical he was for a 2nd striker...Now, boy...But still, that whole article is a bit too pessimistic...

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rooney doesnt even elaborate muchin open play hes one of the most simple and effective playershardly any tricks jus makes the right choices like cesctheres jus been a few incidents in front of goal where he has overelaborated not been clinicalbut rooney isnt an out and out strikerhe can play there and is one of the best therebut he wont be like rvn there if anything hes adjusting his game to play there it will take timetevez is the problem they can play together jus like ronaldhinio and totti could play togetherbut u wont get the best out of rooney while tevez is thereu need rooney as a no.10 and a good no.9 hes just not on fire right now if he tucks away a few in the next few weeksthere criticisms will blow away

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Trust Rooney to find his scoring boots against Arsenal though, it's a certainty.

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Yeah man utds central midfield is kinda overated. Dosent have a real goal threat there now that scholes has got old and now plays like a pirlo jus taking the ball of the defense and playing passes to get the attack going. Hes hardly ever making runs into the box and he f*ckin dosent shoot when he should, instead makes a f*cked up pass.Anderson looks promising but aint a goal threat yet, hargreaves game aint really to get goals and fletcher is just a back up player aint first team class.Man utd this year have relied on the defense and ronaldo and the link up play of teves and rooney. They need a f*ckin out and out striker tho, some one with pace to give a different option. Giggs aint shone much this year but the first half of last season he played well was one of the best player, just hes to old to go playin so many games now like last year, just man utd didnt have the back up to replace him really. Ronaldos carryed the team attacking wise this year but people needa step up now in the big up coming games cuz ronaldo cant do it all, he can get shut down in big games.

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I forgot to mention Carrick as well. Well I remembered him but I'm an admirer of his football and can't really criticise him bar what "that guy" mentioned about his lack of goals from central midfield. Otherwise his vision, passing and teamwork is too much. He can boss a midfield (yet he does it in a calm manner) and get no credit, it's like nobody even watches his performance, getting overlooked all the time. Disappointed Capello has dropped him from the England squad but hopefully all the better for us.Hargreaves hasn't really impressed me all season. He's shown glimpses of why we signed him in the way he has solidly broken up play at times but I've seen some clumsiness from him too. I want to see consistency cos the big Champions League nights will require him to be in top form. Anderson will get goals, it's just a matter of when.Rooney does try to be too majestic, I remember the audacious trip he tried against Newcastle and he got it horribly wrong and "that guy"'s example where he tried to flick the ball round one Swiss defender while he ran the other way around him. But I just think the fact it's not coming off for him shows he's not in the form we're so used to seeing him or we expect him to be in.I absolutely despised of Fletcher and his ability before but I really got to backtrack now... he has been our real big game player. Putting in performances to shame Giggs, Scholes, Hargreaves, Tevez and Rooney.I think the truth is we miss Ole Gunnar Solskjær or a player like him. Though he was injured for large parts towards the end of his career and it forced him to retire when he was available he was always happy to be come off the bench and bag them important goals. PLEASE NO ONE SAY SAHA, when I saw him pull up again last night I was just thinkin how much more is Fergie going to put up with him, Louis "I'm too injury prone" Saha being our only out and out striker. Back to our problem which is when our 4-5-1 ---> 4-3-3 Counter football formation doesnt work like against West Ham, Bolton (at Reebok), Man City and Portsmouth we weren't able to throw on a Solskjær-esque player so we could revert back to the standard 4-4-2 and nick a goal which we should be able to do even if we play sh*t.Anyway that's too much babbling from me. Like "that guy" said 3 points clear! Yet we're still not happy, cos we know we can be better, we know we are better!

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:D
Wayne Rooney has been particularly profligate, and in particularly unforgivable fashion. He has exquisite skills, instinctive ingenuity and natural warrior spirit; Basically says what i do about rooney, although hes prob my fav united player and i think hes prob most naturally gifted player we got he doesnt have a winning mentality and is not proffesional enough to be playing for anyone bu his local council side.
Definitely does NOT have exquisite skills and definitely is NOT the most naturally gifted player we have. He just went through puberty earlier than most. However, I think he is a good player. Needs to be farmed out on loan (Swap with Campbell :D )
The thing about Rooney is, techincal genius, but for some reason he cant finish certain times.
Nope, he aint a technical genius. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Giggs shows glimpses but he ain't clinical and he can't play week in week out. Scholes doesn't have the legs no more. Anderson needs to find some goal scoring touch of some sort, what he's doing in midfield, more or less owning it is great but goals win games. Nani needs to become Ronaldo mark 2, he reminds me of CR7 in his first season with us and I'm hoping he can be on or near that level.
Giggs is finished. 0% of games he should play in next season. He shows no glimpses, no NOTHING (I am slightly exaggerating). I am SICK of the way he looks around when he does something wrong, that face that he does :D:D:D:D:D:D I agree with the rest of that paragraph however.
Tevez has some mad workrate but sometimes his touch looks clumsy and messy but I'm hoping this the scrapper that gets us our important goals like the reverse fixture at Anfield and finally Rooney I think can get in to goal scoring touch but everytime he scores a few he picks up a knock or something, he really needs that run to build confidence. Your Rooney comment is bait which I won't take but Shrek's hungry... that is all. Anyway all of these players have been pretty wasteful recently still which is the worrying thing.
Tevez is the problem where our midfield is concerned, think about it.Tevez holds onto the ball for 3-4 seconds, Anderson/Fletcher (or whoever) makes a run to support. OH! Tevez loses the ball, Anderson/Fletcher's man is free. That is why them man get bypassed at times. Also Tevez takes up their space far too often. I don't want him and I aint having it from nobody about him. I think Campbell can get the goals he does and more. He will lead the line allowing Rooney to be deeper. mellow.gif
I forgot to mention Carrick as well. Well I remembered him but I'm an admirer of his football and can't really criticise him bar what "that guy" mentioned about his lack of goals from central midfield. Otherwise his vision, passing and teamwork is too much. He can boss a midfield (yet he does it in a calm manner) and get no credit, it's like nobody even watches his performance, getting overlooked all the time. Disappointed Capello has dropped him from the England squad but hopefully all the better for us.
(x) Strongly Agree.+I think Carrick/Anderson is the strongest pairing by a country mile.
I think the truth is we miss Ole Gunnar Solskjær or a player like him. Though he was injured for large parts towards the end of his career and it forced him to retire when he was available he was always happy to be come off the bench and bag them important goals. PLEASE NO ONE SAY SAHA, when I saw him pull up again last night I was just thinkin how much more is Fergie going to put up with him, Louis "I'm too injury prone" Saha being our only out and out striker.
We have a player that I believe can do that. Guess his name. :D ------------------There's more to say, but I can't be arsed.
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Hopefully Colin's favourite striker will get some more games next seasonSpeaking of strikers Manucho got a goal on his league debutIt's a shame he couldn't play with us this season

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Think they've been the best team this season to be honest. Tevez is getting some un needed stick because his goal returns been very impressive. Don't feel he holds onto the ball any longer than ronaldo.

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hargreaves is the worse signin of the season, fair enuff i dont think fergie thought anderson would be as good as he has been, but hargreaves doesnt actually do anythingthe fact hes a break up player is a mythhes jus very good at shadowing players..thats it, he dont put in more tackles than mascherano who we apparently turned down cos fergie had this hargreaves obsession for 2years, and even fletcher and carrick, quietly, are better at breaking up playspeaking of carrick, he is SICK, one of the most under rated players about, i cant believe hargreaves an jenas are in the england squad and carrick aint, if carrick was spanish they would embrace him...giggs an scholes are jus been seen out nicely, it aint the united way to jus bomb dem cos they aint upto it, they will never be sold, an will retire when they are ready, they are gonna play less an less over the next 18months or so, giggs more so when he breaks charltons recordlast nite tevez had a bad game an was quite greedy but on a whole his link up play an bringing other players in has been sick, his work rate is on point aswel...also, nani's work rate is siiick, he is VERY niave, but he is more of a threat than giggs and park, and works harder than ronaldo an giggs, gonna be a very big player when he matures..rooney is a wierd one, im not sure if its a matter of all the players his age physically catching him up, or him just having a dip in form but hes been bare incosistant and as was said his finishing at times is DREADFULi am a big fan of anderson, but i am a realist! ALOTTT of people are gettin over excited, his decision making is almost as bad as nani's and he over hits SOOO many passes, he will be a very sick player one day, but he aint there yet...i dunno what/who else to cover im waffling, the defence an ronaldo speaks for dem self lol

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i like the hargreeves anderson combo though was or best combo for a point a next ting about rooney when he was 16/17 i was saying the fat f*ck would be past it by the time hes 23currently 22 im worrying

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NO1 actually gives a sh*t about united

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Rooney is a difficult one, you lot have said a lot onit already, i just feel injuries have f*cked up his form and momentum this season, the beginning stages of the season, you could see he was on fire. That stats show that we are a near unbeatable just when Rooney's in the team, and its just a matter of time before he goes on a run again. I still back him to finish with 20 goals this season though.yer but this article is very negative, true in some cases, but it could also be drawn up for every other team in the league..I said this about Tevez already, hes technique and control just isnt on par with Nani's, Rooney's and Ronaldo's. So at times he f*cks up our attacks and slows it down, but this has been a great season for him already, 15 goals, with 6/7 VERY important ones that have saved us immensly. And from time he has been saying he is not fully fit himself and gets tired towards the 70th-80th minute mark in matches. Next season is the season to judge him, he wont have the Copa America, and will have a full summer off. So i expect better things from him stillNani is class, immature yes, but its his first season, no one has set up more goals than him this season, and no young Man U player ever has finished top of the assist league in their first season, again, a good first season for Nani. When he matures, uses his head more and adapts. Wooh, frighteningAnderson = Best Midfeilder in the league next year, Again, he isnt 100% as fit as he would like to be, he broke his leg a while ago, then went with Brazil in the summer. Next season is him, our best signing IMO. But you can see how he has suffered since Scholes has come back in the team, it has f*cked up his momentum and he is a little bit off form at the mo. I expect him to start against pool though, Gerrard in his pocket again.Hargreaves, quality signing, AGAIN, injuries have messed up hes settling in and some performances, but if you cant see what he can provide for us, your stupid. He does break up play, hes experienced, has sick technique, and can play in many positions. he is our clean up man in front of the back 4. An alright first season for him so far.Carrick = Our Best Midfeilderwhat else...Yer set pieces have been poor, last year we scored much more from corners and crosses. Nani has a great delivery, but Vidic is such a threat now, he often gets phased out from attacking the ball now, which is why a lot of our goal scorers from corners have been a different player most of the time. 4-3-3 is us in the future, We are going to play a brand of total footall, with all the players rotating at time. Our Under 18's changed to this formation in January, as Quieroz wanted all the youth players to get used to it, just in case any of them do make it. With our squad though, any formation can be effective.but ye 3 points clear, title is ours, europe is a toughiebut a great season so far

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The thing about Rooney is, techincal genius, but for some reason he cant finish certain times.
Nope, he aint a technical genius. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Exactly.Rooney was the playground boss, sick on concrete, a very instinctive player.When he has too much time to think about things it dont come off.
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Rooney has textbook technique what you on?Hargreaves has been good, are people dumb. But like Ive said enough times, His passing just isnt as incisive as Carricks.Carrick can be so direct cos his passing is so accurate. Carves teams. Hargreaves always goes sideways, Carrick can be much more direct.Hargreaves and Anderson at one point were going on Silly.How many assists has Nani got? Didnt realise he had the most.

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Rooney has textbook technique what you on?Hargreaves has been good, are people dumb. But like Ive said enough times, His passing just isnt as incisive as Carricks.Carrick can be so direct cos his passing is so accurate. Carves teams. Hargreaves always goes sideways, Carrick can be much more direct.Hargreaves and Anderson at one point were going on Silly.How many assists has Nani got? Didnt realise he had the most.
hargreaves is sh*ti dont know how long you've been a united fan but i was brought up on proper football, even 'defensive' midfielders like keane an butt there first thought was forwardhargreaves is a player you play when your trying not to get beat, rather than to win a game of football, and i dont know about you but thats not the united way...
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