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Uninterested United Embarassed By Everton

OK, this is as bad as it gets. United lacked any kind of fight, motivation, bite, steel, will to win - you name it, we lacked it. And so we were deservedly embarassed at Goodison Park as Everton cruised to a 3-1 win.

United, lining up in a 4-4-2 for a change, did alright for about 20 minutes. Berbatov was influential, Valencia was full of running and the midfield dominated. We took the lead with a clinically taken goal from Berbatov - and then it all fell apart.

Bilyaletdinov's equaliser was as brilliant as avoidable because it was the result of a schoolboy error: namely, that both Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra attacked the ball that flew towards Louis Saha. Had Evra covered Everton's unspellable hero instead of jumping for the ball with Saha, he wouldn't have had all the time and space in the world to score.

Still, United still held on. We could have taken the lead again soon enough but Rooney - who had an awful game - failed to convert Berbatov's magnificent pass as his touch let him down after rounding Howard. But there were signs that we were creaking, as we were bound to be with a back four of Neville, Brown, Evans and Evra. Yes, Rafael and Vidic were watching from the bench...

And then the second half. That horrible, disastrous second half. It seemed that our players are quite unhappy with the idea of running and moving off the ball, those sorts of things and they stopped doing them at all. They were ambling disinterestedly all over the pitch while Everton covered more ground, fought harder and quite simply overran us in every department. There always seemed to be an Everton man available and we were always outnumbered two to one and I don't think they cheated to bring more men on the field: they ran, we did not.

A goal was inevitable even though Fergie tried to save the day by bringing on Scholes for Berbatov with 68 minutes gone. It worked, too, temporarily at least: it gave us a little more stability and Everton suddenly found those wide open spaces hard to come by.

But our players weren't bothered to make it work, to do anything with this newfound stability: a couple of unconvincing attempts on goal aside we quickly allowed Everton to gain the upper hand again and on 76 minutes they took the lead through Dan Gosling after a well-worked team move. It was nothing less than what they deserved.

Fergie tried to coax a response by sending on Michael Owen for Antonio Valencia - if there ever was a hopeless substitution, this was. Predictably, we could not muster a chance before the final whistle - indeed, the rampant hosts added another, Jack Rodwell finishing us off.

This is a low point: our players have to wake up and realise that winning at AC Milan did not send waves of terror throughout Europe. We are still seen as a vulnerable team which we are and teams won't hesitate to take advantage of it. So the least we can do is not making their job easier by not turning up...

Vidic and Ferdinand should be back for the midweek game against West Ham and Rooney surely won't have another stinker like today so the only way is up. But one has to suspect that any chance of a league title has been blown today: Chelsea laboured, in thoroughly unconvincing fashion, to a 2-0 win at Wolves and quite simply it's hard to see United matching their consistency in the final part of the season. Oh well, we can concentrate on the Champions League...

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 20 2010

Time: 6:44PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
You weren't embarrassed; just beaten. And, no referee to blame it on either!
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 01:00:00

Beaten by a team who showed up and played better for 90 minutes! It was almost like we expected Everton to roll over for us. Including Carrick means we cannot play a two man midfield. Either we play all three in the center or play one of Rooney or Berba in a withdrawn role to make up the numbers. Apparently our central mids are now used to two people covering for them! Bad attitude or not, we need the legs of Anderson in the middle and Park is well, Park. Brown is no more such an asset and Evans better get his head back right. I think that's the title gone unless there are some more pleasant surprises!
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 03:28:00

Surprises will come elvido but we have to go on a steady run again.
Antriksh (abmtd)
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 05:17:00

Teddy - at what point in Zaes colunm did he say the ref was to blame??
We were outplayed, and didnt look as if we wanted the win - Everton were up for it and played better than us - simples.....
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 10:20:00

You laughed at us last week,now you know the power of Everton's wrath.That cock Saha didnt even try score against you,Treason I say! So are we gonna buy Rodwell or are you guys?
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 12:45:00

Niteworlok he's tryna say theres no excuses.No mention of the referee therefore no (usual) excuses.Did you guys get 6min added time as planned? If not I'd complain if I was you.
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 12:48:00

You are a one man team, and when he doesn't turn up you don't play. Simples.
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 13:03:00

Its funny how whenever we lose we get criticised for blaming the ref and disrespecting the opposition - yet here we are everybody saying everton were better than us and all anybody else wants to talk about is the ref?

The result was no suprise really. Everton just beat chelsea, so they always had a good chance against us. With scholes' age we could play a 3 man midfield which left us with fletcher and a tired carrick. Neville, brown and evans is pretty much our last choice back line and evans wont have been helped through this rough patch in form by having to cover for those two.

I wouldnt say the title race is over, but we will have to beat chelsea at OT to have any chance - which is a big ask. Chelsea arent in the greatest form and a bit of luck for their opposition could see them losing to anyone - especially away from home. They might not have to play as many away games in a row as we have recently but they do have to play man city in an early kick off after the Inter game - a match which will be as physically and emotionally draining for they're players as ours was. They're at home, but City should still make it tough for them.
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 14:57:00

Everton is a hard place to go, no shame in losing there!
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 16:35:00

wasnt hard for The Arsenal
fran merida
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 17:30:00

Arsenal only loose when it really matters.
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 18:39:00

we cant win tuscan, we get criticised for showing no sportsmanship, then we do show it we get criticised for that as well. One man team fcb? so what are you when Tevez isnt there? Mancini has even said you need him, with the emphasis on need. No shame in losing to Everton they're a quality side.
One United 23
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 19:51:00

its because everyone hates you,thats why they are on your case
fran merida
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 21:42:00

No its 'cos everyone loves them except for rival supporters.Hope Everton can get 4th spot,they deserve it!
Report Abuse
21/02/2010 23:21:00

We still have to hope other teams such as City beat Chelski, and we win ALL our remaining games.....
Report Abuse
22/02/2010 20:42:00


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