Wazza Said So!

The United Fanatics' blog

Dejavu!

Posted by united4ever2009 on April 18, 2010

Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United

Their body language said it all. They thumped the ground. They looked to the skies. There is nothing in football as brutal as the stoppage-time winner and at the final whistle the pitch was littered with players on their hands and knees: exasperated, broken, disbelieving. All of them wore blue shirts.

The game had waited a long time for some drama and when it finally arrived it was in the 93rd minute, with the referee Martin Atkinson already checking his watch. For one so small, Paul Scholes has always been magnificent at the art of heading a football. This was classic Scholes: the perfectly timed run, the arched jump, the twisting of the neck muscles and then, finally, that familiar sunrise of a smile.

Was this the moment the title race took another late twist? At the final whistle no one here could truly know the answer to that question, but Gary Neville was running half the pitch towards the away end, pulling deliriously at the badge on his shirt. Wayne Rooney was roaring. These were scenes of wild jubilation. They ran together, cavorting, embracing, with Sir Alex Ferguson doing that curious little war-dance on the touchline. It was reminiscent of that centre-circle dash in Moscow two years ago.

It had been a poor game, pockmarked with mistakes, as these matches often are, but United were marginally the better team. City looked tentative at times and they might have to be more adventurous in their last four games if they are to finish in fourth position and reach the Champions League qualifiers. Kirk Bradley, the 26-year-old fan, who has a tattoo commemorating City as the “2010-11 Champions League winners” might regret that decision one day.

Perhaps they might have penetrated the United defence more had they exploited Craig Bellamy’s pace against Gary Neville. Or maybe the credit should go to the visiting defenders. Carlos Tevez buzzed around and Emmanuel Adebayor toiled away. But the three did not combine as they have recently against lesser opposition. Bellamy, in particular, had a disappointing game, although, in mitigation, it was a common theme for the front players from both sides. This was one of those games when, for long spells, the more effective players were tacklers such as Nigel de Jong and Darren Fletcher or defensive stoppers such as Vincent Kompany and Nemanja Vidic.

The Premier League is so fast these days it can be like watching ice hockey on grass at times. Scholes seemed to be the only player who realised that sometimes it can be of benefit to put your foot on the ball and slow everything down – pick out the pass, spread the play. Ryan Giggs, with a proud record of having featured in every Manchester derby since making his debut, also brought a measure of poise and Dimitar Berbatov did well when he came on but there was no doubting the identity of the best player: cometh the 93rd minute, cometh the little ginger man.

As a spectacle, however, there were too many attacking players, Rooney and Tevez included, who struggled to impose themselves. Perhaps Tevez was trying too hard. As for Rooney, he looked laboured throughout his 74 minutes on the pitch, not as sharp across the first few metres, perhaps only 80% fit. You can always tell when things aren’t going well for Rooney when he starts sniping at the referee and he was yapping away at Atkinson for most of the first half.

Atkinson was a strange choice given that he was the referee at the centre of the “Fergie Time” controversy when the teams met at Old Trafford in September. The original choice, Steve Bennett, was abroad, unable to fly back because of the Icelandic volcano eruption, and City had been sufficiently concerned about Atkinson’s switch from Stoke against Bolton that they tried to contact the Premier League referees’ chief, Mike Riley, to voice their misgivings on Friday afternoon. In other words, Ferguson is not the only practitioner in the art of trying to influence match officials. The biter had been bit – and you can only imagine the eruption from United’s manager if Atkinson had made a telling mistake in City’s favour.

As it was, Atkinson made a few errors here and there but generally got by without any major controversy and, ironically, his most obvious oversight was not booking Rooney after he had flicked out his leg to trip De Jong. The truth is it has been a bad season for the Premier League’s referees but, on this occasion, there was no sense of grievance about the dramatic, late and decisive goal.

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The Manchester Derby!

Posted by united4ever2009 on April 16, 2010

The Critics Preview!

Manchester City and bitter enemies Manchester United meet at Eastlands on Saturday lunchtime in one of their most significant derby battles.

Roberto Mancini’s City are desperate to reinforce their hold on fourth place in the Premier League and they are aware a win would also inflict further damage on United’s title aspirations.

City are now the favourites to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League, but they sit just one point above Tottenham in what promises to be an agonising conclusion to the season.

United occupy second position and trail leaders Chelsea by four points after a defeat to the Blues and a stalemate with Blackburn loosened Sir Alex Ferguson’s defending champions’ grip on the trophy.

In contract to their neighbours, City are hitting form at the perfect time of the season having won their last three matches and they have scored 14 goals in the process to build a degree of confidence.

Revenge

To add to the spice, the home side are out for revenge after they felt they were denied at least a point by refereeing inconsistency in September’s injury-time defeat at Old Trafford, while they were also knocked out of the Carling Cup semi-finals by United.

Carlos Tevez will start against former club United and the Argentina star will want to continue a rich vein of form which has seen him score six goals in his last three matches.

Wayne Bridge has a chance of featuring as he has recovered from a hernia operation which caused him to miss five matches.

The full-back is one of four players who are in line to return with Stephen Ireland (ankle) and Patrick Vieira (knee) on the mend following injuries while Pablo Zabaleta is free from suspension.

Ferguson has confirmed that striker Wayne Rooney is in contention to return from the ankle complaint which forced him to miss the draw with Blackburn after aggravating the problem against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

United are also boosted by the news that England midfielder Owen Hargreaves is set to be included for the City game, giving him the chance to make his first senior appearance in almost 20 months after a series of knee operations.

Possible Starting XIs

Manchester City: Given, Onuoha, Kompany, Toure, Garrido, A Johnson, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez, Adebayor.

Manchester United: Van der Sar, Neville, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Scholes, Fletcher, Giggs, Nani, Berbatov.

Match Facts:

  • The last three Premier League Manchester derbies at Eastlands have ended 1-0: once in City’s favour and twice in United’s.
  • Ryan Giggs has appeared in all 28 league Manchester derbies since his first league start came against City in May 1991.
  • No current Manchester City player has scored more than twice in Premier League Manchester derbie.
  • Wayne Rooney has scored in his last three consecutive Premier League appearances, bagging a total of five goals.

Posted in English Premier League, Manchester United, Match Preview | Leave a Comment »

ManUtd vs. Chelsea: Some Interesting Facts

Posted by unitedfanatic on April 1, 2010

A disappointing performance in Munich and an injury to our best player this season later, it is important for the players to put it behind them and look ahead to the remaining two season defining games, if I may add for cliche’ lovers, of the 3 games in 7 days.

Rooney is set to miss this one and its a shame he has to sit out these big games after such a sizzling run of form.

Here’s a set of interesting facts ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Old Trafford.

  • Sir Alex Ferguson has won only one and lost five (including Community Shield on penalties) of his six meetings with Carlo Ancelotti.
  • Man Utd have won three and lost none of their last four home games against Chelsea.
  • The Blues have only scored one goal in their last four visits to Old Trafford.
  • Man Utd have won 10 and drawn one of the 11 games that Rooney has not played for them in the Premier League since the start of 2008-09.
  • Man Utd have only conceded two goals in their last 11 Premier League matches at Old Trafford – both were headers.
  • Since Darren Bent scored for Sunderland in October, Man Utd have gone 19 hours and 23 minutes at Old Trafford without conceding from a shot; all four goals shipped since have been headers.
  • Didier Drogba has failed to score in eight Premier League appearances against Man Utd.
  • Nicolas Anelka scored in each of his first four Premier League starts against Man Utd, but has netted just one in his last eight starts versus the Red Devils.
  • Frank Lampard has scored eight goals in the last four Premier League games that Didier Drogba has missed
  • Dimitar Berbatov has scored eight goals in his last nine Premier League starts for Manchester United.

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Munich Training: Gallery

Posted by unitedfanatic on March 30, 2010

WZZ’s been away for quite some time and we apologize. Hope it was kind of a good thing that the “First Silverware of the Season” post staying top of the homepage gave a good feeling to every visitor.
United play Bayern Munich away from home in the Champions League Quarter finals tonight, and its a massive game for both sides. Here’s a couple of pictures of the team training ahead of the game and in a pensive mood.

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First silverware of the season!

Posted by unitedfanatic on February 28, 2010

Read the rest of this entry »

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Bolt : I want to be celebrating at the end

Posted by unitedfanatic on February 28, 2010

Fastest man in the world

Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world – holder of double world record for 100m and 200m sprints, is a self confessed Manchester United fan and, in the past, has visited Old Trafford on several occasions. Ahead of the Carling Cup final against Aston Villa, he is desperately backing United to defend the trophy as he prepares to meet his mates at his Kingston home at 10am Caribbean time for kick-off.

The athlete said he got a jolt when United lost 3-1 to Everton last week, especially since he was up before 8AM to watch the match, and was subsequently late for his training on Tuesday due to watching the 3-0 victory over West Ham.

“When it comes to January normally we play superbly all the way to the end.

This time it’s been up and down. We haven’t found that right XI which blends together, although there have been injuries.

Whenever Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher are together in midfield, I feel much better. I also prefer two up front rather than Wayne Rooney on his own – even though he has done very well in that role this season.

The problem is who the other striker should be because Dimitar Berbatov hasn’t done it.

We need him to step up. We were looking for big things from him but he has been disappointing.

Our back four has been the main problem, though. We might play five games well and when it comes to the next important one we mess up.

If Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand were playing together, we would be all right but, unfortunately, that isn’t happening.

Wayne has shown what it is to step up with the character of a champion.

He has taken on the big responsibility since Ronaldo left. In team sports if the main guy leaves, it’s up to others to say ‘Listen, it’s my time’ and that’s what he’s done.”

Posted in League Cup | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Noisy trophyless neighbours do United a favour

Posted by unitedfanatic on February 27, 2010

Lets face it. United haven’t got unwanted neighbours after all. They provide us with so many opportunities to laugh at them as well as laugh with them that its kind of good to have the noisy neighbours that we have.

On numerous occasions, they have demonstrated their mentality (Small club??), which is the obvious thing someone does when they are screaming for being in the spotlight and cannot stand someone else (Us!) having it. Welcome to Manchester was a case in point.

They mocked the fans’ banner and said they were out to take it down. Only to be knocked out of their only remaining options – the league cup and the FA cup.

They have given us reasons to believe that rich unity of play in the team is what matters, not a rich owner. Knocked out of the Carling Cup and the league game at OT in the injury time on both occasions demonstrated on which side of Manchester the better “team” lies.

Yet, they have helped us in our quest for the title by doing the double over Chelsea winning 2-1 at home, and 4-2 away.

Many thanks. 34 years and still counting!!

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Anderson out for 6 months

Posted by united4ever2009 on February 25, 2010

United midfielder Anderson has been ruled out for six months with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

The Brazilian was forced off in the first half against West Ham on Tuesday and will undergo an operation in Portugal in a fortnight, but Sir Alex Ferguson hopes the 21-year-old will be fit for the start of the 2010/11 campaign.

“The real bad news we have got is that Anderson has suffered a cruciate knee injury and he’ll be out for rest of the season,” confirmed the boss on Thursday. “It’s unfortunate for the boy. It’s a bad blow.

“We’ve assessed the situation, we know he needs an operation. That will be done in two weeks’ time when the swelling has gone down. We’re going to let him go to Portugal to do it. Sometimes we send them to Colorado and to Dr Richard Steadman, but on this occasion he is comfortable with the specialist he has dealt with at Porto in the past. He will deal with it. We made these decisions yesterday once we had assessed the damage. But hopefully, six months, should have him about right for the new season.”

The incident itself against West Ham seemed innocuous enough, Anderson stretching to reach the ball to make a pass. “With these types of injuries, it’s usually something simple. He stretched to pass the ball and his knee just popped,” added the boss.

“It’s a bad bit of news for him. He was just getting back into the first team after being out for a few weeks. He was looking forward to it and he was showing great energy in the match.

“So that is a blow to us, particularly with the Milan game coming up, because Michael Carrick is suspended for that one.”

Courtesy: Official Website

It’s a big blow for the lad, especially after his alleged misconduct by leaving for Brazil without the club’s permission. He just got back into the team after a good reserves game, but unfortunately it lasted a mere 15 minutes.

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34 years and still counting…

Posted by united4ever2009 on February 25, 2010

City’s trophyless period is extended as they lost 4-2 on aggregate to Stoke City in 5th round of FA Cup.

Posted in Rivals | Leave a Comment »

What’s New?

Posted by unitedfanatic on February 24, 2010

Its been a wonderful past few weeks for Manchester United and a dream come true for millions of fans around the world to witness Wayne Rooney in sizzling form finally this season. Not that he wasn’t great for us till now. But he is truly showing how much damage he is capable of doing and that’s a very bright thing!

Starting this month, Wazza Said So will now sport a new feature on the blog called “Pick of the Month” on the left sidebar under which, every month, we shall nominate a Player of the month. Clicking this image will redirect you to our Polls page on which you can then vote if you agree or disagree with our views.

We start with nominating Wayne Rooney for the Player of the month for January. Scoring 7 goals in 4 games, he dazzled the footballing fraternity with a 4 goal thriller against Hull City as well as moved his all time United goals tally in the Premier League to 83, 1 shy of Ronaldo’s 84 for United in the Premier League.

Agree or Disagree?

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