Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWhy United's Win Over Wolves Proved Nothing - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Why United's Win Over Wolves Proved Nothing - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Why United’s Win Over Wolves Proved Nothing

David de GeaA slightly less than capacity crowd attended a routine win against a very poor Wolves team that set up as though they had ambition only to fold like a pack of cards in the first 30 minutes.

Manchester United lined up with a genuine midfielder in midfield, and that proved to be more than enough although on the day the best player by far was Phil Jones.

The form of Patrice Evra and Wayne Rooney continues to be of concern, and 2 goals from Wazza might suggest he has turned a corner. However the fact is that his all round play was poor, his one trick (drop right shoulder and slowly lurch to the right) even worked once or twice, and his shots varied from excellent (2nd goal) to pathetic (chip into keepers arms from 20 yards out).

He isn’t challenging for headers, looks slow and gives the ball away far too often. Quite why he is the darling of the TV commentator is beyond me!

As for Evra, well what has happened to his defending? He was at fault for their goal, he was lucky that Stephen Hunt only came on late because he scared the hell out of Evra who generally looks lost. His attacking is predictable, and his challenges are weak. We need a new left back.

David De Gea also joins the ranks of the dodgy keeper brigade regularly. He punches when he should catch and his kicks are erratic, neither accurate nor long. His shot stopping remains good when its reflex, otherwise he is scary to watch.

The positives were the form of Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans looking strong, Chris Smalling getting forward despite being hung out to dry by Matt Jarvis , Antonio Valencia having an interesting game and Nani playing very well again (although 2 out of 3 crosses are poor).

Michael Carrick did well enough and wins the ball back very well, but he just doesn’t attack the box enough for me. Phil Jones had another excellent display and was box to box, powerful in the tackle, strong in the air and full on in everything

But what did this prove?

When Wolves settled just after halftime, the game suddenly went from easy to very even. They attacked our box, Steven Fletcher started terrorizing Evra, Smalling was beaten consistently, and they simply missed out Carrick and Jones and went round the sides.

Rooney couldn’t hold the ball up and when we broke on them he lost the ball. So they pinned us back and that’s Wolves at Old Trafford!!

I predicted a 3-1 win, we did better that that, but I also predicted that the loss of form by Rooney, Evra and Ashley Young means we have passengers, and so it proved again.

Young was dropped and came on to show why he was dropped. Federico Macheda came in to show why he isn’t good enough and Fryers came on to replace Evra.

In the last 5 years our net transfer spend is below that of Aston Villa, Liverpool, Sunderland and Spurs and even Stoke, for the record Man Utd’s net transfer spend from 06-11 is £56m, Villa spent £68m, Sunderland £62m, Stoke£61m,City £437m, Chelsea £144m, Liverpool £84m, Spurs £76m.

In terms of value for money we might argue we did better than Liverpool, Villa and Sunderland but worse than Stoke and City but the fact is that this team needs strengthening in midfield and fullback.

The money from the sales of Dimitar Berbatov, Darron Gibson, Mame Diouf, Evra, Macheda and Evans should raise £35m, so another £35m is needed to get 3 players in.

Exiting the Champions League early will cost us £20m in revenue, and push net profit for this season down to about £30m assuming half of our profits go in interest (again).

So that means the Glazers have to dig into their loan arrangements even if we offload our unwanted players.

A plan for United to stay in contention for the Champions League over the next 2 or 3 years will certainly come down to whether the owners are prepared to invest in the team. At this stage, with injuries depriving us of many players and a few out of form, it’s good to know we have an easy fixture list through the New Year.

2012 is going to be a tough year to be a Manchester United fan I predict.

Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve

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