United: Bullies Or Victims?
It's been suggested that we could not cope with Bolton's physical approach last week. Ryan Giggs laughed off this talk, and rightly so.
I really don't get it. Before our game with Arsenal, we were pictured as bullies who will rely on little more than brute strength to somehow get a result against Wenger's brilliant, dazzling, swashbuckling, magnificent, gloriously young team.
OK, a few people grudgingly admitted that we had skill, too but it wasn't in the centre of attention prior to the game. As we all know (I mean, we, sensible United fans) our team have enough skill to match Arsenal and it clearly showed in that game as we were denied a win by only a calamitous goal in the last minute.
Only last week we lost at Bolton whose sole ambition seemed to be kicking us off the park. Now it's suggested that we (we, the bullies who threatened to disrupt poor Arsenal's flowing game with brute force) could not cope with their physical approach and that's why went down. Missing easy chances had nothing to do with it, or so it seems.
'I think too much can be read into just how physical it was against Bolton. The bottom line is simple - we didn't play well enough,' Ryan Giggs told the Sunday Express, reflecting to the aforementioned claims.
'It had nothing to do with the tackles flying in, we just didn't perform like we were doing before the international break.
'We are not bothered about the physical stuff. We're not exactly soft in training and everyone wants to take that into a game.
'Over the years we've seen different teams come to Old Trafford with varying tactics.
'They try to kick you, they try to get people behind the ball. It's up to us to try and combat that and to get back on the right lines.'
I would add that it was the referee who failed to cope with Bolton's approach, not our players. Otherwise I completely agree with Giggs. I mean, we were very far from our best against Sporting and that can't be blamed on their non-existent physical approach.
We've lost some of the spark and cutting edge we had but Rooney is back and we play Fulham and Derby at home in the next two games. What better opportunity to regain our previously imperious form?