Saturday, 31 October 2015

Crystal Palace vs Manchester United


Pre-Match Analysis:

Let’s take a look at our opposition today for our 11th game of the league season: Crystal Palace. Sitting in 7th place with 15 points, they certainly have had a good start to the season.

In their last league match they lost 1-0 to Leicester City. They definitely have vulnerabilities within their team which is where we need to exploit today if we have a chance of winning. Selhurst Park is a noisy and atmospheric stadium so today’s opponents will be tricky ones. Not only do they have a clever and experienced manager in Alan Pardew, they have beaten Chelsea away from home in August and West Brom at home this month.

The threat that they pose predominantly comes from their attack. With Cabaye, McArthur and Sako who started in midfield in their last league game and Puncheon, Bolasie and Campbell led their attack. Our defence with certainly need to be focused and alert to deal with their attacking threat.

Now onto our team. After a disappointing game during the week in the Capital One cup, United definitely have a point to prove. After 10 games we are currently fourth in the table with 20 points. Our last league game saw us draw against our neighbours, Man City. Everyone will be expecting nothing less than a win so we need to be at full throttle.

Onto the team selection- De Gea has to start. We are more solid with him in goal after all he is a world class keeper. I would play our strongest team today because we need a win. Against City, Valencia started at right back but Darmian will start today since Valencia is out injured. Jones and Smalling should start in the centre of our defence to improve their partnership with Rojo at left back.

Personally I would then have Schneiderlin and Blind as CDM’s to nullify the attacking threat of Palace. Mata and Herrera should retain their places for me as they are building a unique relationship in midfield. Rooney if he is to play should play as a CAM since his days as being an out and out striker are coming to an end. If Martial is fit for today then he should start as our central striker. Depay is an injury doubt but should at least be on the bench, ready to inject some energy later on.

In terms of tactics, LVG needs to keep it simple. Less possession, more attacking. As we saw on Wednesday night, it just doesn’t work. We need to get the ball up the field higher and complete less sideways and backwards passes.

Overall we need to start building a successive run of form in the league, starting with today so hopefully we can get a win! #GGMU

Pre-Match Line-Up Analysis:

To begin with, De Gea is starting in goal, no doubts before about that. Once again, Darmian is starting at right back as Valencia seems to still be injured. On the other side, we have Marcos Rojo at left back after a solid display last weekend against Manchester City. Now onto the CB pairing. We have gone back to Smalling and Blind. Jones isn't even on the bench today which suggests that he may have picked up another injury. Poor guy, whenever he gets into a poor bit of form, he gets injured. The big news in terms of the back line is that Axel Tuanzebe is starting on the bench today. He won the player of the year award for the U18s team last year and is a natural leader at the back. 

Now onto the midfield, the Schmidfield and Herrera (in CAM) start again after a strong display against City. Hopefully today they will be more creative and more attacking from the whistle than last week. 

Our front three remain unchanged from the game against City. It looks like Wayne Rooney is still not going to be dropped and will continue to start up front. On one wing we have Mata who will be hoping to regain his good form. On the left wing we have our huge young talent, Martial. I can honestly say he has been our brightest spark all season. Wherever he plays, he produces magic and Van Gaal still hasn't realized that he is currently more of a goalscoring threat up front than skipper Wayne Rooney.

First Half Analysis

As per usual, we made a slow, sloppy start into the game. Crystal Palace were piling on the pressure for the first twenty minutes so much that we couldn’t find a pass and whenever we got the ball, we lost it immediately. We should have had better movement and we should be creating more space. Bolasie had a huge chance where he blasted it towards the goal and David De Gea got a fingertip to it, just enough to tip it onto the crossbar. From the following corner, again we defended poorly and De Gea tipped the header from Scott Dann over the crossbar.

David De Gea saved us in the first half, we could have easily been at least two nil down. Darmian has been poor. Most of Palace’s attack came down their left hand side and Darmian clearly couldn’t handle it. Whenever we got into a good position with a cross into the box, there was nobody there to attack it. This is due to Rooney dropping too deep.

Our biggest two chances were Wayne Rooney and Ander Herrera. Anthony Martial slipped in a great ball to Wayne Rooney, tearing Palace’s defence apart, but Wayne Rooney was too slow to get his shot away. A few years ago, there would be no other player that you’d want on the end of that ball, however, his poor form continues. Also, towards the end of the half Ander Herrera was presented a great chance in the box after some great build up play by Juan Mata and a good ball by Martial. However, he slipped and did not make the contact he wanted with the ball.

There is clearly some changes that need to be made. The main substitution we should make is Rooney off for Lingard, which would allow Anthony Martial to go up top, but I can’t see that happening. Our best player in this half has to be Mata. He’s creating some great chances and is actually attacking the palace back four. We’re hopeful for a better second half where we can hopefully grab a goal or two along with three points.           



Second Half Analysis

Okay, so after our poor start to the first half, you’d think we’d start the second half better. But, we didn’t. We started poorly. Darmian had been shocking for the entire game. To top it off, he received a yellow card, which ended up being his fifth of the season. So now we will go into the game against West Brom next week without our two right backs, and if Jones is still unavailable for selection, that’s three players that can play in right back that will be out. However, Ashley Young came on to replace Darmian as he was very close to getting sent off. Young had great positioning while defending and put in a good shift. Maybe we’ll see him as our right back next week.

It’s sad to say this, but we actually got lucky in this game. Palace had by far the most chances and throughout the game looked the more likely to score. In the second half they had a few good chances, some of which were saved by David De Gea. Again we continued with our sideways and backwards passing with no penetrating passes. Lingard came on, but didn’t have enough time to make much of an impact. I can honestly say that we deserved to lose that game today and we were lucky to get a point. 

Overall Analysis

To conclude, this was once again a poor performance, probably a worse performance than against Middlesbrough. Starting Wayne Rooney as a striker proved costly. He was constantly dropping too deep and couldn't get involved in the game or make much of an impact. His free-kick was our only shot on goal for the whole game. When he finally decided to switch him with Martial, it was too late to make an impact. 

Crystal Palace deserved those three points today and the draw today will seem like a disappointment for them. Whereas for us, we were lucky to get one point. Our only player that played to their best was David De Gea. He made some amazing saves in both the first and second halves to deny Crystal Palace what they thoroughly deserved. 

When we did have control of the game (in those rare moments), we passed the ball sideways and backwards just as we did in the previous fixtures. This is not Manchester United. Fergie would never let us play such boring football. We are known to attack and play wing football. This is something which we are not able to do under Louis Van Gaal's philosophy. We as Manchester United fans have the right to be angry!

Games: 3
Goals: 0
#Philosophy


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