By Imran Kardar
A home game to Newcastle has resulted in United bagging all three points in the past few fixtures
however this time United could only muster up a 0-0 draw. Having started well with quick, one touch
passing United was expected to score. And they did when Rooney put the ball in the back of the net only for it to be flagged for off-side. Replays showed that Wazza was on and that the goal should have stood.
This was to prove crucial in the end. The remainder of the half was disappointing by United’s standards.
They couldn’t reproduce that quick tempo football that they did in the opening minutes of the game.
Mitrovic came close to opening the scoring for Newcastle when his header hit the crossbar with Romero beaten.
The second half started pretty much the same way that the first ended. United were slow on the ball and not creating clear chances in the final third. The tempo of play only picked up once Chicharito came on for Janujaz in the 65th minute. This allowed Rooney to drop to the No.10 position and influence the game more. Till then Rooney had had a pretty awful game. Post the substitution United really had a go at Newcastle. Chicharito couldn’t put away a chance past Krul, who has having a brilliant game in goal.
Rooney then floated a pass in at Mata on the far post and he blazed over. Smalling had a header cleared off the line in the dying minutes of the game. United were dominant and this showed by 70% possession in the second half but just couldn’t score. Newcastle also had a brilliant chance to steal the points when they countered off a United corner it was 3 v 2 but Newcastle spurned their chance to win it, luckily for United!
The final whistle blew and United ended up with a draw. A disappointing and frustrating game for the
fans as United had their dominant spells but couldn’t convert. The cry for a striker will get louder and
the management at United may need to reply. Rooney is hopelessly out of form in front of goal, there
seems to be too much pressure on him to be the main man and score goals. In my opinion, Rooney has
played best when he has been paired with a striker as was the case when United had Van Nistelrooy,
Saha, Berbatov, Van Persie, etc. He performs best whilst playing off a main man as a false nine or a deep lying forward. Yes, Rooney has had the couple of good scoring seasons when played upfront alone but then he was younger and sharper. To have a successful season this year LVG must sign another striker.
It’s as simple as that.
Another player to disappoint was Memphis. After his superb Champions League debut much of the
same was expected from and although he was trying he just couldn’t produce the same level of
performance. Being his first season it’s a bit harsh to criticize him and that is why United should have
signed a player like Pedro who gives experience to the front line and adds goals. He was ideal to help
with the development of the younger players like Memphis and Januzaj while taking the spotlight off of them as well. After his heroics in vs Club Brugges Memphis is very much in the spotlight and will be
criticized by the media at every given opportunity. Does that spurn him on or take him down depends
on the player himself.
All in all, United should have gotten a win. It wasn’t a difficult game as the opposition was one whom
United have done well against and for me home games are must wins no matter the opposition. Already in the season United have dropped 2 easy points at home.