The Lowest Point Of The Season
It took me a long time to summon the strength to write about yesterday's shameful game. I, as many of my fellow fans, am devastated by our desperately poor showing.
So, start. Why oh why oh why Fergie said that Danny Welbeck could even start than not put him on the bench? What was it good for? Getting his hopes up then destroying him with a display of obvious lack of confidence in him.
So, we started with a single striker, poor Carlos Tevez. Ronaldo was meant to support him, with Giggs, Scholes, Anderson and Nani making up the midfield. O'Shea replaced Evra who was suspended just as Rooney.
It was no good. Scholes simply went missing for the second time in eight days while the defenders were hoofing the ball forward without conviction. It seemed that the plan is to get the ball forward as quickly as possible (entirely misguided when you have ONE striker who is SMALL...), hoping that we might snatch a goal and our usually impenetrable defence would pull us through.
Well, our usually impenetrable defence was such a mess yesterday that I still can't believe it. That first goal... that is incredible: in the Premier League, in 2008, the TITLE HOLDERS concede such a goal... we could have cleared that ball about a hundred times but it ended in the back of the net.
As it was the anniversary game, with all the victims' families and the survivors invited, I was hoping for a spirited response. I got anything but.
United were so disjointed that it beggars belief. City picked us out at will on the break and really only their overcautious tactics and bad decision-making prevented them from adding to their lead before Benjani's goal which, coincidentally, was another wonderfully stupid goal that you simply can't concede if you want to be champions.
The second half started with United playing at a good pace, scoring a goal from a hundred yards offside... but that early enthusiasm quickly vanished and gave way to unimaginative, slow nothing. Mud. Then came Fergie!
With our situation screaming for desperate measures (taking off the dreadful O'Shea and replacing him with Park or at least Carrick, for god's sake) he substituted Nani, one of the two players on the pitch who can score from distance, who can score out of nothing... Park was switched to up front and the hoofing continued, without any results, obviously.
Fergie must have been thinking what a mistake it had been to leave out Welbeck but there was no way back: he decided to introduce Scholes and Carrick. And who did he bring off? Not the poor Giggs, no, none other than our best performer Anderson. The other substituted player was O'Shea, finally, and United tried to go all-out attack but with Tevez completely isolated we had little hope.
We were dreadful, making the wrong decisions every time, we looked tired, dejected, out of steam - and it's only February with us having the biggest squad in years! What was it guys? Why did I have to endure, retuning home, pictures of Sir Bobby's desperately sad face? What's the explanation?
We were convincingly and deservedly beaten by a side who looked so deflated in the past few weeks that you thought they would not be winning until April. Simply I can't find excuses, especially as City fans behaved in an exemplary manner throughout the game.
Rant over. What I must state that I STILL love this team, I believe in their abilities and I believe we can still win the league. But Fergie and the lads deserve a rollicking after this shameful showing on a special day. Hoping for a Rovers' miracle tonight.