Bom Dia Positivistas,
Yesterday’s Trafford Park contest is not one I shall look back with much pleasure. A draw a fair result and given our overall performance probably the best we might have expected. I have a phobia of early 12.30 kick-offs on Saturdays, with painful memory of being out of the game before the clock strikes one tattooed on my psyche.
Of the 90 minutes ? First half I thought we looked like our usual selves, with accurate, quick passing, players finding space and the Mancs backing off. Alexis looked anything but fatigued and Theo tore into the hapless Darmian. On the one moment of controversy I suspect if Valencia had not been so desperate to fling himself to the ground following Monreal’s clumsy challenge that Andre Marriner might have pointed to the spot. At half time I was confident that more of the same and the home side would crack. The second half ? Not nice to watch was it ? Our game is based on possession of the ball and, other than the final frantic minutes, we rarely kept the ball, the few sequences of passes we had went sideways and backwards, the ball never went in the Mancs’ penalty area let alone troubled De Gea. United deservedly went ahead in the 70th minute and although we had plenty of time to get back into the game the next fifteen minutes were excruciating, as we struggled to stem the red horde.
And just as I was beginning to mark it down as one of ‘those days’ we put together our best move of the afternoon. Ox put in his best cross all seaon, Kosc bulldozed Jones out of the way and Giroud, leaping like a salmon to 12 feet in the air ( see above the snap of Olivier and Kosc caught in the moment) POWERED the ball in from five yards. Unstoppable. The weekend took on an altogether more relaxed tone.
Of our brave lads Cech, Mustafi and Kosc put in very, very good performances in my opinion and did not put a foot wrong all afternoon. Cech’s saves in the first half were not exceptional by his standards but ensured we stayed in the game. Carl Jenkinson was marked out as the focus of attention by the United but I thought he responded very well, defended sensibly, never dived in and was decisive in clearing the ball when needed. Clearly a disappointing day for the social media boo-boys. The Le Coq put in his usual hard working and disciplined performance. Francis is really coming to grips with doing his job but not getting booked. He put in seven tackles yesterday and conceded just one foul.
Looking further forward I am hard pushed to find much to pick out. First half we did well as I mentioned with Alexis and Theo looking sharp. Second half I would not criticise the effort put in but it was a long way from the Wengerball I am lucky enough to be used to.
Of the home side ? I like Mata, I have always liked Mata. He is a very good footballer. It is a great pity he has been forced to play for the Portuguese idiot again. Hopefully Mata will not have to put up with the current regime too much longer, as United sink into a scarp for the Europa place with Watford and Everton.
Well that is me done – you all saw the game and our collective dust has no doubt settled compared with the immediate post match blizzard of emotion. While Trafford Park may not have been fun yesterday a point keeps us nicely in touch, with a decent break before PSG and then Bournemouth, both at home. I think the voyage is progressing rather well.