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From My Seat: Man Utd (H)

By Ken Buckley   ::  21/08/2012 A balmy evening in north Liverpool saw a shirt sleeved throng assemble to witness the Blues entertain ‘Team Sky’ and what a good job they made of it as predictions of bookies, pundits and no-mark experts had their predictions well and truly rammed down their throats. The buzz pre-game was infectious as matchday mates were reunited after the Summer(?) break. Holiday stories were swapped and the question asked: "Where you there the night of the Hibbo riot?" I was and it was a cracking goal.

The team electronically appeared on ‘phone screens and it looked like it was designed for us, first and foremost, not to lose... but capable of grabbing one and seeing it out. In fact, as the game progressed, the team did much more than that... and subjected Man Utd to an examination that proved even a club as rich as them cannot afford to have injuries to key players when visiting the Goodison Park cauldron and expect to conquer, with talented players played out of position as well as some of their old guard looking jaded.

From the off, it was clear we were up for it and determined (for the first time in five seasons) to start with a win, and play well enough to suggest that – with a fair wind and a little luck on the injury front – we can challenge higher than sixth.

First half was dominated by the Blues in terms of chances, their defence being scared witless by the magnificent Fellaini. If his fellow countryman that we have just signed is anywhere near as effective, then we are in for some season. The Man Utd 'keeper, De Gea, kept them in it throughout with some acrobatic saves that brought rich applause, firstly by turning over a Pienaar header and then sprawling to turn away another effort from the same player.

I would imagine Utd had most ball possession but did little with it compared to the Blues in terms of threat; a terrific effort from Osman looked nailed on until the keeper did a brilliant parody of Tom Daly as he soared to thwart and then flew again to claw away a Baines free kick that looked destined for the top corner.

Utd did have the odd effort and Rooney put in two shots that were little more than back-passes; the England man Welbeck shot wide under pressure from Jags, and then the Utd mob had the cheek to ask for a penalty — even ‘Team Sky’ favouring ref Atkinson had to turn that shout down! That was the game until half-time: we made the chances, their keeper did well, they passed neatly without getting anywhere... and most thought we were a little unlucky not to be ahead at the break.

No changes as the second period began and again it was the Blues in the ascendency; in no time at all, Fellaini was tormenting them again with skill, power and aggression: he headed a ball down to Osman who this time left the keeper for dead but the ball cannoned off the bar and was ushered clear; no wonder Ossie sank to the deck and beat the turf whilst bemoaning his luck.

Utd rallied a little but it was passing of the backward and square variety that was never going to hurt us... whereas we attacked with less finesse but far more purpose — and, just before the hour mark, it paid off.

We won a corner, BainesGibson took, Fellaini rose, Carrick wilted under the pressure of the big man, and the ball was dispatched into the net past players on the goal line, and Goodison Park erupted — the celebrations both on and off the pitch were something to behold.

Guess what happened next? Yep, we went deep and challenged Man Utd to break us down. They nearly did five or six minutes later when Cleverley had one cleared off the line by the impressive Jags. Then Fergie hooked Welbeck and introduced £24 million man, Van Persie. Luckily he didn’t show anything like his Arsenal form and merely looked a very expensive corner taking expert.

Still we did little more than defend and the crowd were getting fidgety; one or two players were looking tired, the words ‘fresh legs’ were heard louder and louder... On 80 mins, the workaholic Osman was replaced by Coleman and it was soon clear that his instructions from the manager were to tackle anything that moved, including waste paper, and the lad didn’t let him down.

Into the last quarter of an hour and it was time for the proper defenders to shine with Hibbert leading the way, ably supported by quality work from Jags, Distin and Baines.

With the crowd bellowing out the Moyes tribute song, Fergie threw Young and Anderson on in place of Nani and Cleverley but to little advantage as the Blues were determined to hold on.

The board went up: 4 extra ‘Fergie time’ minutes. Jelavic went down and needed treatment for what looked like a ‘Hammy’ and Naismith took his place. Squeaky bum time as the clock clicked down and a nice touch from the manager with just a minute left when he replaced Fellaini with Heitinga for the big Belgian to receive a tremendous ovation.

The ref seemed to be stretching the 4 added minutes and whistles as loud as thunderclaps cascaded from all sides... Eventually he relented after Everton had cleared a corner and the celebrations began. The DJ did not need to put the ‘istory record on the crowd belted it out in full.

Amidst all of this, I caught sight of Distin prone in our penalty area and after attention he was led away with what looked like a brace on his leg. So, what with both Distin and Jelavic in the wars, it will be an anxious time for both fans and medics. Another disappointing thing at the end was the sight of Heitinga seeming to hurl his shirt at the floor by the dugout; still, it is nice to know he cares.

MotM – Fellaini, with a special mention for Hibbert who when the real defending was needed he was excellent The walk back to the ale house was a pleasure listening to snatches of conversations that truly appreciated our night's work, the word Fellaini was prominent as were the words ‘I will be glad when this transfer window closes’.

Overall, I thought it a good honest display from a squad that were determined to make a decent start to the season for once... so now the trick is to keep it going and next week’s trip to Villa Park will no doubt throw more light on our readiness to push onward and upward.

On a side-note, is it just me or does our Wayne still have a soft spot for us because he never seems anywhere near as effective against us as he does against other teams?

Looking at the team and bench selected tonight, it does look stronger than previously... but I would love to see another maybe 2 or 3 half-decent players in and just maybe we could start to believe.

A great night out – see you at Villa!!!

UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Anto Byrne
905 Posted 21/08/2012 at 02:56:32
£32 mil for Fellaini? Would they sell? My head says Yes; my heart says No. Fingers crossed it won't happen.

Can't believe the comments from SAF and the hoofball comments. I thought we played some nice joined up stuff and surely we can play possession football when we go one up? The last 20 mins was a concern and a Jags goal-line clearance didn't justify the tactic although the means was the result so relatively happy.
Leslie Wee
906 Posted 21/08/2012 at 03:13:37
Ken, thank you for this. Always a pleasure to read.

Just to echo what you wrote: I watched the highlights on the OS, and Rooney didn't seem to me to be giving his all when the chances were presented to him. Still a Blue, then.

Or perhaps the mighty Singaporean bookies bought him off on this one. (Full disclosure: I am Singaporean, but not a bookie.)

Christopher Timmins
921 Posted 21/08/2012 at 06:45:12
Ken, great to have you back after the summer break. Fellaini was just unplayable last night. His touch and link up play were a joy to behold. He was man of the match by a mile.

When the team was announced I thought it was on the negative side. However, we did play some nice stuff most if not all of which went through the big man.

The last twenty minutes would have to be a worry, surely the best way to defend a lead is by keeping the ball not just dropping off. Still a good start to a long season.

Gary Edwards
922 Posted 21/08/2012 at 06:47:12
First time poster long time reader (and admirer) of this website and your columns.

Also envious cos as a long term exiled Scouser living in SE Asia I haven't attended many games over the last few years but remember fondly those barmy early season evenings and the 'crack'. Great performance from the boys.

Laughing at the variety of Fellaini superlatives on the net today, I'm a huge fan. Where's £32m come from, not surprised but who ? I imagine the line of suitors must be like the queue of co-stars at Annabelle Chong II.

Great report (as always), didn't see the Heitinga nonsense on the broadcast this end... Pity, great player sadly who seems to be a bit too highly strung for his own good. I hope it gets sorted without further fuss.

Phil Sammon
927 Posted 21/08/2012 at 07:47:17
Anyone else see Heitinga throw a paddy? I didn't, and I hope it was a misunderstanding.

Best game I've been to in a long, long time

David Chait
928 Posted 21/08/2012 at 07:45:06
I guess I was proven wrong, but the team sheet drove me mad! I don't blame Johnny for being pissed if indeed he was.

But Moyes will always be true to himself and insist any new player have a bedding in period on the bench first. I wonder if that forms part of his discussions "So Kevin for the first season you'll get a couple run ons because well Osman was here first"

I'm more than happy to be proved wrong, I thought we dominated them.

Mike Gaynes
934 Posted 21/08/2012 at 08:04:19
Great report, Ken. You've got a touch of the classicist in you... "Carrick wilted under the pressure of the big man, and the ball was dispatched into the net past players on the goal line, and Goodison Park erupted — the celebrations both on and off the pitch were something to behold." That sounds like a 1950's description.

I watched the game at lunchtime in the US, and I'm still awake at midnight... adrenaline still pumping. I too was nonplussed by the lineup, and I too was dazzled by what turned out to be Moyes' genius. His most controversial choices -- Jags and Distin instead of Heitinga, Pip in the middle with Hibbert at RB, and most of all Fellaini up front -- turned out brilliantly. It was Felli's best game ever.

Two quibbles... Moyes waited too long to sub Osman and Jelavic, who were struggling by minute 70, and Baines was poor for much of the game, passing inaccurately and getting caught up too often. Distin bailed him out on two memorable occasions.

And Ken, I wouldn't worry about the "injuries"... on ESPN, Distin and Jelavic (as well as Pienaar) seemed to be suffering only from cramp, which is not unusual in the first game of the season.

One more glass of rum and I might be able to sleep. But I doubt it. COYB!!!!!!!

Phil Sammon
936 Posted 21/08/2012 at 08:18:59
I don't understand your point, David. Jonny isn't a new player. It was a tactical decision by Moyes. I like Heitinga but Jags and Distin are better pure defenders.

If the 'new player' you're referring to was Naismith then he was on the bench for good reason. When players have serious injuries you ease them back into the game.

Anyway, Osman played well, what's with all the bitterness?

Dennis Stevens
937 Posted 21/08/2012 at 08:16:06
Thanks for yet another excellent report, Ken - I really envy those of you who were able to attend.
Paul Joy
938 Posted 21/08/2012 at 08:23:38
Jonny took off his shirt and tossed it to a kid next to the tunnel.
Martin Mason
942 Posted 21/08/2012 at 08:23:21
My long drive up and back from Horsham was well worth it for the best night's football I've had in many years. The way they seemed to sit back for the last 20 minutes was worrying but they kept their shape brilliantly and they fully deserved to win. Fellaini was magnificent but he definitely lost it in the end, special mention for Phil Neville and Tony Hibbert too who had fantastic games. If I were to be churlish I'd say that Pienaar had a poor one but it'd be unfair to criticise anybody on that performance. We were absolutely fantastic, we took the game to United for long periods and played some great stuff. Shame to see Heitinga dropped but Jags was magnificent in defence.

The Japanese lad had a beautiful game for United as did Scholes.

Happy days indeed.

David Chait
945 Posted 21/08/2012 at 08:27:57
Phil... I am making a couple points. Obviously I know Johnny is not new.. but Jags and Distin sucked piles last year as a combination and our defense only ever looked solid when Heitinga (the player of the season) was playing. So hence I was shocked to see him left out. Its not beyond reason.

oh.. and I have no bitterness..I chose Osman because he was on the wing, his least effective position.. but he did well. I admitted he made the right call.

Ajay Gopal
966 Posted 21/08/2012 at 09:31:32
Agree with most of the comments - DM's team selection was flawless, the only quibble being he took too long to replace those who were really knackered - Fellaini, Osman, Jelavic. Probably more to do with the lack of options on the bench plus the fact that all of them had been magnificient up to that point.

And, I thought I would never say this - but thank god we have Hibbert on our side. 2 tackles that won us goal kicks towards the end really helped us run down the clock.

Pienaar was poor and wasted many openings and was responsible for giving away possession to ManU on many occassions. Baines was poor defensively, but he did deliver that beautiful free kick.

Neville had a superb game and so did Gibson defensively although his shooting left a lot to be desired.

All in all, a great result but these are early days. Moyes needs to build a squad of 17-18 solid players and success for us will depend heavily on how well he rotates the squad.

And, Ken, yes I do agree - Rooney looked strangely subdued. Whether it was because he was playing his boyhood club or some other reason, I don't know.

Alan Clarke
984 Posted 21/08/2012 at 10:18:54
Rooney looked unfit again. A lot of criticism is coming his way from his own fans for blowing through his arse after 50 minutes. One thing I find inexcusable for any professional sportsman is to be unfit. He just doesn't look that special anymore.
Ross Kerry
987 Posted 21/08/2012 at 10:36:59
Alan#984

Agree, carrying too much bulk. Looked fat until Anderson came on.

Barry Rathbone
992 Posted 21/08/2012 at 10:43:09
On Rooney I think he's well overated.

90% of the season it's an armchair ride at ManU he can't go past people and saunters about waiting for one of the bagful of scoring opportunities they create.

In real games like last night he vanishes everytime.

Wouldn't be surprised if he's shipped out this year, I know utd fans are pissed off with him.

John Ford
995 Posted 21/08/2012 at 11:09:28
We could buy Rooney for £5m as cover for Jelly?
Ross Kerry
996 Posted 21/08/2012 at 11:12:48
I'd prefer a swap deal for Neville.
Matt Traynor
999 Posted 21/08/2012 at 11:15:17
Great report Ken, as ever, and the team selection was spot on. Playing Felli in an advanced role given their defensive woes was a brave move. Normally I'd prefer Jonny over Jags, but Jags was superb throughout. Apparently Utd had 69-70% of the possession, and it certainly felt like that, particularly after the goal. But I would have expected that anyway.

Fergie's post-match comments were laughable, as ever. We may have defended a little too deep after the goal, but we certainly weren't hoofing it all night.

Goodison under floodlights is something special.

Ian Bennett
002 Posted 21/08/2012 at 11:26:40
Great performance and goes to prove what Goodison is like under the lights against the 'big sides'.

Some posers:-

KITAP1?
4-5-1?
Neville midfielder?
Decision to pick Jags over Heitinga?
Ferguson belittling Everton with long ball jibes?

Chris Burns
014 Posted 21/08/2012 at 12:06:51
Even me arl fella has been won over by Felli – the cup final 'non track back' effort finally forgiven.

One more thing, Vidic proper bottled it by picking Jelavic as his man. Jesus Carrick must not have been impressed with that choice.

Lee Hind
042 Posted 21/08/2012 at 13:46:08
Ian #002

KITAP1? - It might of been 1-0 but this was a million miles from that. More shots, better quality of chances etc etc

4-5-1? as long as it's fluid it's a winning formation

Neville midfieler? - No, not even last night can dissuade me from the opinion that he belongs at RB or on the bench. Given Hibbo's performance last night, it's on the bench.

Decision to pick Jags over Heitinga? - odd at first glance, justified by the result. I dearly hope Jonny doesn't throw his toys because of it....

Ferguson belittling Everton with long ball jibes? - you KNOW you've got it right when Sir Alex resorts to blatant bollocks in his post match interview :)

Trevor Lynes
048 Posted 21/08/2012 at 14:07:37
The mention of UTD having so many players injured smacked of the sourest of grapes..Just take a look at their bench !

Our bench by comparison cost less than Berbatov never mind Van Persie and the rest.

We have the smallest, cheapest squad with very limited cover for more than one position. UTD's manager (as usual) took defeat with very poor grace.

He was out managed tactically and was lucky to get away with just a goal defeat.
We hit the bar and post whilst De Gea was their best player and kept them in the game.

I'm so proud of the example that we set to Naismith and Marallas, I just hope that the new acquisitions live up to our expectations.

Im afraid that Sir Alex let down his team with his 'hoof ball' comments which were in total contrast to the praise that one of his former players Gary Neville heaped on us as a team and Fellaini in particular.

If Felli continues in the vein he showed last night, he will cause problems to every other teams defence in the premier this season.
Shame on you Fergie :(

James Flynn
053 Posted 21/08/2012 at 13:56:02
Funny thing about Fergie's comments on Fella is that he was right in what he said. It was as simple as that. We just kept passing to Fella over and over and ManU never did anything to stop it. Seems the only thing stopped the tactic was Fella finally just got tired. Strange ManU never adjusted.

I came in mid-way thru the 09-10 season, so almost all of you have seen more of us in the Moyes era. Maybe it's just prejudice, but in my time watching, Moyes appears to out-manage Ferguson pretty easily.

Mike Green
058 Posted 21/08/2012 at 14:32:43
James Flynn 053 - hhhmmm..... interesting opinion but Fergie can always say "show us your medals".

Since 2009/10 Season:

Ferguson - 1 x Prem title, 2 x Runners-Up, 1 x Champions League Runners-Up, 1 League Cup.

Moyes - 1 seasons participation in Europa League, never finished in top 6. No trophy finals.

Discuss.....

Lee Hind
060 Posted 21/08/2012 at 14:57:33
Mike Green at #58

Comparative budgets for that comparative success? I think not.

James Flynn
064 Posted 21/08/2012 at 15:17:52
Mike - Give you one last shot at it: "Maybe it's just prejudice, but in my time watching, Moyes appears to out-manage Ferguson pretty easily".
Mike Green
069 Posted 21/08/2012 at 15:40:27
Oh, sorry, now you've said it twice I get it - you're prejudiced...?
Peter Huddleston
070 Posted 21/08/2012 at 15:26:33
Great post as ever Ken; really captured the atmosphere of the occasion, however, “…even ‘Team Sky’ favouring ref Atkinson had to turn that shout down!”… I thought the ref was Andre Marriner.

Old whiskey nose’s comments about “hoof ball” tactics are way out of order, what a Joker! Next he’ll be saying Fatman & Robin are world-class strikers. Hmmmmm!

Ken Buckley
079 Posted 21/08/2012 at 16:24:17
Peter 070 -- Well spotted. Wrong Ref. and I bought a proey. Its all the excitement you know.
Gary Creaney
080 Posted 21/08/2012 at 16:35:40
I posted up before the game about the team selection along the lines of “WTF? Neville in MF, Heitinga dropped, Osman/Hibbert down the right again” and to be honest I will probably do the same in the next game we play because I think over the last 2 years it has been accepted that Heitinga is our best centre half, Neville is not a midfielder and Osman is not a right winger.
It simply cannot be argued with certainty that the game was won because of the line-up, for all we know a different line-up and we may have won 2-0.

BUT….make no mistake this was a great result regardless of how the game turned out i.e retreating for the last 20 mins or more. There is a certain way to beat the top teams and going gung-ho at them is not it. It has to be a balance between caution and attacking intent. We went at them hard for 60 minutes and deservedly lead and after a combination of us retreating and united pushing it was backs against the wall. How else could we have expected this match to go and still get the same result, given the quality of the opposition?

I have most definitely come around to the idea of contenting myself that Hibbert is worthy of his place now. No doubt he can defend so if we maybe put something with real attacking quality in front of him Mirallas maybe then the right side has good balance.

Keith Glazzard
082 Posted 21/08/2012 at 16:13:02
It was pretty much the same team that took the Newky Broons apart last season so I wasn't too concerned about them starting last night, if they could carry on where they left off. If ....

The brother and I have been trying to work out - when was the last time a night at the Old Lady was as good as that? Some great European occasions in the last ten years for sure, but do we have to go back to the 80's for such a great team display?

No more can be said about Fellaini - perfect 10 will do it. And 10 more heroes - not grafters, skilled, intelligent footballers who can graft. And that includes Hibbo! His defending in the last 20 minutes was done with his brain as much as his body.

A mention for Gibson - an injury scare who was always there, covering, intercepting, winning and moving the ball about to keep them running all over the place. We could defend against them because, actually, they were as knackered as we were. And they were chasing the game, not us.

I'll bet Kevin Mirallas was watching thinking 'good decision Kev - but better get out and run round the block a few times tomorrow morning!'.

Shaun Dixon
084 Posted 21/08/2012 at 16:39:38
The way Distin walked of the pitch at full time I think we will be seeing Heitinga at Villa Park. Didn't look good.
Reference the team selection. We don't see the players training during the week so the only person who knows who fit and who's not is DM.
The players he did pick gave a 100 percent and got the reward of a win
Jeremy Benson
085 Posted 21/08/2012 at 17:00:23
Shaun, Distin twittered earlier today that he is essentially fine, just landed on his back badly and was a little bruised.

Its on the bbc site if you want to hunt down his exact words.

Shaun Dixon
086 Posted 21/08/2012 at 17:02:38
Thank's Jeremy. That's good news for next week
Jeremy Benson
091 Posted 21/08/2012 at 17:40:24
And even better news, is that Man Utd have just signed a new left back. Which might just mean they have given up on baines being available...
Keith Glazzard
109 Posted 21/08/2012 at 18:49:17
Shaun- Jeremy

We have three of the best centre backs in the league. There's a possibility that the club might cash in on Heitinga because he's saleable. But that wouldn't be Moyes' footballing decision. Should Sylvain be injured, having Johnny play instead would be something many a top European club would have no trouble with whatsoever.

And apart from anything else, it looks very much like Baines has simply said no. 110% player for us last night.

Ian Bennett
113 Posted 21/08/2012 at 18:56:40
Lee 042 - I think the mob are getting worried. What happens if they were wrong.....
Keith Glazzard
114 Posted 21/08/2012 at 18:57:32
Ken - don't worry lad. In my experience these refs are all as bad as each other, so the names hardly matter.

I believe that SAF claimed that whoever it was last night was swayed by the home crowd. Don't know where to begin on that one - maybe Scholes' second yellow that was never produced will do.

But I will admit to one instance. When 4 minutes (why?) was looking like 6, I do believe we shamed him into blowing up. Somebody upstairs won't like that.

Shaun Dixon
118 Posted 21/08/2012 at 19:14:10
It was 4mins extra time but Heitinga came on in the 90th minute which put on another 30 seconds; the ref blew on 4:29 so he blew up a second early!
Denis Richardson
122 Posted 21/08/2012 at 19:28:36
Keith - the problem for us is that (imo anyway) our best central defensive pairing involves Distin being one of the two. Am not sure how well Jags and Heitinga would work together.

Moyes needs to shuffle them about as it would be disappointing for the club to get rid of Heitinga because he was pissed off with not getting any game time. He's too good to be regularly sat on our bench but then again we don't want Duffy as our only other CB (cannot see Jags and Distin both going the season without injury).

Its a tricky one for Moyes but that's one of the reasons hes paid 3.65m a year I guess Also we have loads of games so it should be easy (relatively) to shuffle them about.

Si Cooper
123 Posted 21/08/2012 at 19:22:23
The extra time figure is always a minimum and the ref can add to it as he sees fit. Given that managers will often bring on subs in the added on time, it should surprise no-one that they normally over-run the figure the 4th official holds-up.

There weren't many stoppages in either half but I think there was treatment for players in both and the substitions in the second so an extra 2 and 4 minutes respectively seemed reasonable to me. Always seems unfair if you are protecting a one goal lead.

Good shout Gary Creaney (#080) - it should not be heretical to propose different players and formations even after a magnificent win. A lot of people are now wanting squad additions just so we can play Fellaini in the advanced role every week without having the foggiest of how the team could perform with either Naismith or Mirallas there and Felli dropping back.

One game and we are apparently guaranteed of success / or doomed to failure based on where one player plays.

Peter Askins
127 Posted 21/08/2012 at 19:48:16
In hindsight (and isn't it a wonderful thing !), Moyes got it spot on by starting Jags and Distin last night. Maybe it was a case of "horses for courses", as Jagielka especially is a far better defender than Heitinga, in terms of tackling, recovery, and instinct. Knowing that we would inevitably come under pressure at some point last night, I for one was pleased that Jags and Distin were at the heart of it, with commanding headers, and a fantastic goal-line clearance on the part of Jags. Heitinga will certainly get his chance in games where his distribution is more essential, so I see all three central defenders getting plenty of game time.

On another point touched on earlier, I see that Rooney still splits opinion. To pinch Ken's catchphrase, from my seat (Park End, Row B, corner flag) I thought that in the pre-game warm-up, Rooney looked fitter and leaner than I'd ever seen him. He also looked frighteningly sharp in this warm-up, in marked contrast to his Everton routine, when I recall he'd just muck about with Unsie the whole time, and smash shots twenty yards over the crossbar to his mates in the Street End !!

David Clement
130 Posted 21/08/2012 at 20:09:35
Watching on ESPN2 over here in the States, Goodison sounded very raucous, even with the TV on low as the family were all asleep! Mcmanaman and Darke commentated a number of times on the volume of the crowd.

But loved seeing Gibson after the final whistle celebrating with the rest of the players in the center of the pitch and singing along with the fans to "If You Know Yer History". Once Everton gets in your blood..........

Keith O'Brien
137 Posted 21/08/2012 at 20:39:04
Phil Sammon 927 please watch your comments as they are disrespectful.
Keith Glazzard
149 Posted 21/08/2012 at 21:18:53
Denis - I'll stick with what I said, that we have 3 who could play for anybody (Bet SAF wished he had at least one of them last night) Personally, I rate them JH, Jags, Distin + Duffy in that order. But if we are ever going to build a 'squad' we need all four no matter what. It's a long season. And Moyes knows that and I'm sure he'll do his best to keep it all together.
Mike Oates
156 Posted 21/08/2012 at 21:33:50
Heitinga just makes too many errors, poor tackler, no speed, not brave, and poor positioning. Constantly found out in the Euro's , Moyes will always pick Jags & Distin if both fit.
Ian Smitham
161 Posted 21/08/2012 at 21:39:54
Paul Joy #938, exactly how I saw it, and it happened right in front of me, additionally JH has previous of this.

Ken great to read the report and I think you may well find it a challenge to write a happier one all season.

Kev Clark
232 Posted 22/08/2012 at 10:50:51
Thanks Ken, good to have you back for another season. I was there the night Hibbo scored too, I was in the Park End and nearly got a face full from his first half effort, does beg the question, why hadn't he scored before??

Were Jelly and Distan injured? I just took it they were playing down the clock, I didn't see anything after the whistle blew too many people jumping up and down infront of me.

Maybe Rooney is just in awe of us, I know if I played against Everton I would be!

Keith Glazzard
359 Posted 22/08/2012 at 18:24:16
Mike Oates - is that Fred Heitinga you're talking about, or the Johnny that plays for us? I've seen a lot of this guy, and I just didn't know who you were talking about.
Trevor Lynes
382 Posted 22/08/2012 at 19:04:41
Jags is a great centre half in the English tradition.
He defends as well as any other in the league and I just wish that Distin was a few years younger.
Jags blocks so many shots on goal and Distin won every header.
Heitinga is nowhere near as good as either as a defender and he gets booked more often than both of them put together because he mistimes tackles so often.

If you watch lescott he is exactly the same as Jags and Distin.
He just makes short passes and lets the midfield at City do the long passing.
We do not have City's midfield so sometimes hoof ball is the last resort.

Jagielka and Distin give 100% in every game and until either are injured or lose form then they should be automatic choices.
Hibbert is playing his best football throughout last season since he joined us and defensively he is excellent.
Baines is more attack minded but gets up and down the field really well and was not exposed against Man Utd.
Im just glad that UTD did not play Valencia in his best position.
He is UTD's best winger by far but thats up to SAF ????

Inciderntly, what has happened to NIANG ?
I suppose BK will snap his purse closed now we won our first game and stick the remainder of the Rodwell money in his piggy bank until the fans get restless.

Lee Hind
454 Posted 22/08/2012 at 23:39:52
Ian #113

One swallow etc but I would say Moyes won people over with his tactics...you just have to see the pre match comments to see how his line up was questioned (to put it mildly).

If (and it's a fairly big if to be fair) this repeats over the next 10 games, you won't find a card carrying mob member anywhere on this site...

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