Send us a message

Interested in being a part of the team? Get in touch with us today.

Tenuous At Turf Moore

 Posted by on September 1, 2014 at 12:16 pm  Blogs/Media, England, EPL, Manchester United
Sep 012014

Burnley 0-0 Manchester United
77276553 jones shot europeanphotpress Tenuous At Turf Moore
Yep, Manchester United now have two points! Still despairingly clueless at the back, they did look sharper in midfield thanks to the arrival of the £65m British transfer record signing Angel Di Maria. Yet most of his teammates played like toddlers who had stayed up way past their bedtime the night before, relying way too much on wildly hit Hail Mary long balls. Both Di Maria’s new boss, Louis Van Gaal and his assistant, Ryan Giggs, pulled a lot of faces in frustration. Di Maria promises much, but without some hard-tackling protection in midfield—-the kind that was not offered up by Darren Fletcher or Anderson—-neither the Argentine nor his partner, the midfield artisan Juan Mata, stand much chance of being affective.

The Iron Tulip’s strategies seem to be very slowly slowly taking effect. United’s shape definitely seemed improved at Turf Moor. Still, as with the horrific League Cup loss at Milton Keyes Dons’ showed, knowing what you want to do is not the same as actually doing it! United’s three center-backs have finally got it vis-a-vis spreading themselves across the width of the pitch; unfortunately, all the repetition in the world and not the shouting either is going to work with Jonny Evans because he was born a great athlete, but also inept and thick. Repeatedly unable to calculate where to stand or who to pass to when taking on possession, he again made a high number of mistakes and spent a lot of time arguing with his goalkeeper. Luckily, hard working Burnley have a forward line which is nothing but a blunt instrument and Evans got away with a series of comedy plays. Had Ashley Young and Tony Valencia, who were otherwise more or less ineffective, not come along to relieve Evans and Blackett, United would have probably lost.

Di María really was impressive. He worked his socks off, setting up both his wing-backs repeatedly. Unfortunately, even the Championship-quality defense of Burnley can casually squelch the two-trick-pony runs of Young and Valencia because they don’t need to guess what’s coming. So that after a dozen or so attacks directly down the middle fizzled out because Mata owns no will to tackle nor the fire needed to win lost balls back, United began to use their wing-backs more and more, simply because they didn’t own any other choice.

Then with nobody determined enough on either side to command the center of the park, ex-Red Devil David Jones put a proper scare up the whole United team when he let loose a howitzer that crashed against David De Gea’s crossbar from a free-kick. And so it went for the rest of the match. Much United possession but repeated frustration as they mounted predictable play after play. Di María was very good to watch. His passes, often delicious and deadly accurate, were simply too good. In the29th minute he set a perfect pick for Robin van Persie with a perfect diagonal ball. Van Persie hit it just right, but another ex-United player, goalie Tom Heaton was there to make a fantastic reflex save. Five minutes on, a low Di Maria cross from the left dipped perfectly for a waiting Juan Mata. Just how Mata tripped on the ball instead of simply making contact to tap home is impossible to comprehend. Even better was a spun Di Maria lob over the top of Burnley’s static defense for Wayne Rooney. With Van Persie in support , Rooney could have shot or passed with time to spare. Instead, he hesitated, got tackled and the loose ball could only trickle away to nothing.

Late in the half, after so much bad luck in front of goal, United were visibly wilted. Jones had another fantastic 20-yarder tipped over the bar by De Gea. And then, 35 minutes in, Scott Arfield dummied Blackett, and cut inside to make a wicked shot that Phil Jones blocked superbly. 77277540 duff vanpersie reuters Tenuous At Turf Moore

The second half turned out to be much more of the same. United were better than in their three previous games, but still more or less huffed and puffed. United got one clear Van Persie shot on goal that Dean Marney cleared off the line. Van Persie and Di Maria both left the field and there was a clear sigh at the sad sight of Anderson and Welbeck coming on to replace them. Without these two and neither Rooney nor Mata clicking, seemingly incapable of anything creative, despite the mediocre quality of Burnley’s defense.

With Mata having a poor game and Rooney constantly misplacing or mistiming his passes United were simply dull and uninspired, so that when Adnan Januzaj entered the game he seemed a good choice with his ability to use both feet and inject more speed, trickery and creativity. Great idea, but the young, baby-faced Kosovar looked depressed, too.

Meanwhile Matt Taylor was unlucky that his free kick went inches over the crossbar. That near-miss served to temporarily galvanize United as Rooney somehow headed wide from a corner and Mata blasted a second sitter high over the bar after receiving a deflection off off Danny Welbeck. Welbeck, who may well have been playing his last match ever in a Manchester United kit, looked quick and hungry, although his constant endeavor repeatedly came to nothing.

United could have had couple of penalties, one a clear case of obstruction and shirt pulling on Robin Van Persie in the first half and another a point-blank handball off a Young shot, both by Ashley Barnes, but the referee Chris Foy wasn’t buying either one. Better, but no lollipop for either the team or the coach!

Now as the transfer window slowly eases shut: We pray! Rumors are that Robin Van Persie needs serious surgery, which means he’ll probably be out for the rest of the season. As the clock ticks it looks like we’ll still need a CB, a box-to-box-type midfielder, a striker and one more all-purpose midfielder. Fingers crossed!
77277536 dimaria running pa Tenuous At Turf Moore

Ivor Irwin

 Leave a Reply



Refresh Image


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>