Category Archives: Terrace Talk

10 Things We Have Learnt About Manchester United This Season

 After 10 Premier League games this season, we take a look at 10 things we have learnt about Manchester United this season.

1) Moyes needs time to settle

The last few months have flown by as a Manchester United fan as Moyes has taken a proverbial kicking. It seems as though the entire nation was willing him to fail, and you could argue that he did in the early stages but he is starting to settle now.

2) Hernandez is still struggling to get a look in

Chicharito will score goals wherever he goes, in my opinion, and the Mexican has proven that over his career. However, he is still struggling to get into the United side and he I wouldn’t be surprised to see him move on soon.

3) Fellaini might not be the answer

He’s had a tricky start to his Old Trafford career and many are already calling for him to be dropped. My mind isn’t made up on the Belgian just yet but he certainly doesn’t look like the solution we were after in the summer.

4) Cleverley is still average

He offers very little, in my eyes. He keeps the ball moving, yes, but to very little effect.

5) Kagawa is being wasted

The Japan international scored six goals last season and created 20 chances in his minimal playing time, but this season he has been hugely overlooked once again.

6) De Gea is a fine goalkeeper

Many were doubting him when he first joined the club but he proved them wrong at the back end of last season. This term he has kept two league clean sheets and averaged 2.4 saves per game.

7) Wayne Rooney is better as a centre-forward

After moaning about being used deeper than he would have liked, the England international has been stuck back up top and he’s scored five goals in nine Premier League games.

8) Adnan Januzaj’s talent

Few had heard of the kid before this season, but a magnificent brace saw his name sore. He is now a regular in the side at just 18 years old.

9) Ashley Young has skipped the gym

He loves the floor, this player. We all know he is lightweight but the way he throws himself to the ground is embarrassing.

10) Giggs is losing it

It’s difficult for me to say, but Ryan Giggs has looks a shell of his former self. Obviously his age has taken its toll, but he has the worst pass success in the entire squad.

It’s hard to see the funny side Liam

Sometimes it would seem footballers try their hardest to make the general public hate them. Their behaviour often makes the front pages of the newspapers for all the wrong reasons and it is no surprise that there is a general feeling of contempt towards such a large number of them.

Take West Bromich Albion defender Liam Ridgewell who was pictured recently in a daily tabloid newspaper wiping his ass with a stack of £20 notes. Apparently the picture was never meant for public display and was sent to a friend as a “joke”.

Now I’m not particularly outraged by the stunt, despite the newspapers stance which made Ridgewell out to be one of the worst human beings imaginable. If you haven’t read it the words “sickening” and “disgraceful” feature heavily.

I just think it’s a bit stupid. In the poor economic climate we live in at the moment people don’t want to be reminded that there are individuals out there that can trade in their Andrex for a fresh roll of £20 notes if the moods strikes.

Ridgewell has stressed that the photo doesn’t paint him in the most flattering light and that it was not meant for public circulation, in all honesty if that’s what he wants to do with his wages then good luck to him.

But with seemingly endless stories doing the rounds about fighting, gambling, infidelity and all the other stereotypical hobbies of the modern footballer snaps like this only seek to give those anti-football types more ammunition.

And don’t get me started on Rugby fans! Those in glass houses and all that…

Footballers do make it really hard to love them sometimes, especially when images like this are released and seized upon by the tabloid media like a rabid attack dog. They should let people make their own mind up.

But for me it was just a bit of, and I use the term very loosely, fun. We wouldn’t do it, we probably couldn’t do it! But when did the general public live in the same world as a Premier League footballer?

Now where are the keys to my Bentley? I’ve got a helicopter to catch.

Robert Lock

He’s got previous (Video)

You may recall that recently Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a 40-yard over head kick against England. It was quite a memorable goal, something even the great Emile Heskey would have been proud of.

So when the ball fell to the giant Swede in a recent game between PSG and Saint Etienne you would expect that he would at least hit the target. Well you’d be wrong.

Not only does he manage to miss the target he manages to miss the ball and swings a leg in a hilarity which only connects with thin air.

Now I’m not saying he should have definitely scored, it’s a difficult chance, its just funny watching a player score one of the greatest goals of all time and then make a complete pillock of himself a few short weeks later.

Watch the video until the end for a glorious slow motion replay of the incident. Oh dear Zlatan!

Robert Lock

Headshot (Video)

Now I know it’s slightly immature, and a bit old now, but this is one of the funniest football videos I have seen for a long time.

Poor Gareth Bale is only trying to defend a Liverpool corner when pesky little Aaron Lennon’s goal line clearance smashes him straight in the face and bounces off for an embarrassing and painful own goal.

As OG’s go this one has got to be up there in terms of hilarity. Full marks for Bale’s theatrical fall afterwards too, it would seem it’s not just a tackle from the opposition that makes the Welshman fall to the floor.

In fairness the ball does hit him flush in the face and Lennon is standing right next to him when he boots it so I’m sure it had some force behind it!

Bale set up Lennon for a goal at the right end of the pitch and even managed to get on the score sheet himself as Spurs beat the Reds 2-1 so I doubt he would have minded too much.

Too many more of them however and he could end up with a nose like Steve Bruce.

Robert Lock

Nice to Michu (Video)

I know it is only December but I think we can call of the search for the buy of the season already. Barring some absolutely mercurial signing from a manager in January the best buy for me has to be Michu for Swansea.

The Spaniard only cost the Swans £2m will has looked a veritable snip compared to some of the figures which change hands when dealing even with some of the most average of players.

His two goals on the weekend which helped the Welsh club beat Arsenal highlighted just how calm and poised he is on the ball.

His second especially was calmness personified as he strode towards the Arsenal goal before coolly slotting the ball under keeper Wojciech Szczęsny.

Compare finishing of that calibre to £50m Fernando Torres or £35 Andy Carroll and I think it is clear to see which player represents value for money!

Here’s a video of some of Michu’s best bits. Swansea will do well to hold onto him in the summer I think.

Robert Lock

Much too much, much too young

Cast your mind back to the 2007/08 season, Crystal Palace were under the stewardship of Neil Warnock and gave a 15 year old his first team debut.

The player’s name had been mentioned for a long time by those in the know, he was supposed to be a truly special talent, he was supposed to be England Captain one day. That player’s name was John Bostock.

Despite calls for him to stay and learn his trade under the club that coached him as a precocious youngster Bostock decided to cross the River Thames and sign for Tottenham. As no fee between the two clubs could be agreed it went to a tribunal, with Palace receiving only £700,000  in compensation.

Four years on and with only four appearances for the Spurs 1st team, all of which have come as a substitute in cup games, Bostock has found himself seemingly surplus to requirements.

Loan spells at Hull, Sheffield Wednesday, Brentford and now Swindon Town has seen Bostock try to reignite his career and get some much needed playing time under his belt.

His omission in an interview recently that he would be willing to make his loan switch to Swindon permanent if they were interested shows just how much his star has fallen.

That is not a slight on Swindon, but it is worth noting how Bostock is now willing to settle for a club that play in League One when he made his debut for a Championship team and realistically could have played over 100 times for them by now.

It goes to show how some young players would be much better off learning their trade with their first club and not searching for the big money move at such an early stage in their development. Bostock played a handful of games for Crystal Palace and as soon as there was another party interested in him, he was off. Not bad for a player who used to be a season ticket holder at Selhurst Park and by his own admission is/was a Crystal Palace fan.

Loyalty in football doesn’t count for a lot in modern times but leaving as a 16-year old just seems to stick two fingers up at the coaches who spotted your talent and helped to nurture it so you could hopefully one day play for the first team.

Tottenham obviously have better training facilities and more renowned coaches but for me nothing compares to playing week in, week out in a competitive environment. Something he would have been exposed to had he stuck with Crystal Palace.

Bostock may well move to Swindon Town, he may well go on to be one of their best players but for the boy who was supposed to do so much so far he has done very little. And a large deal of the blame has to rest at his door. Wilfried Zaha would do well to bear John Bostock in mind in the coming months.

Robert Lock

How much did he cost? (Video)

No matter how good a striker is he has always been guilty of missing a sitter or two. Only the truly gifted can put the ball in the back of the net every time and even then some of the best have missed a few gilt-edged chances.

Just look at Fernando Torres, ok maybe he’s not the best example.

Robin Van Persie is one of the best strikers in the Premier League but even he can guilty of missing the odd chance.

But on Saturday the man known as RVP missed an open goal in the highly entertaining match between Manchester United and Reading.

The match finished 4-3 in United’s favour but it could have easily been more, especially if their top scorer this season hadn’t forgotten to pack his shooting boots.

I’m being slightly unfair as it wasn’t the easiest of chances in the world, I’ve seen easier ones that this missed (I’m looking at you Kanu) but for a player of Van Persie’s talent there is only one place the ball should have ended up.

And that’s not in the stands.

Robert Lock

Waste of time shooting from there (Video)

Everyone loves a long range screamer. There’s nothing better than watching a player unleash an absolute howitzer from range and see it end up in the back of the net.

Usually these sorts of goals are scored from around thirty or forty yards, anything more and its usually the result of a lucky bounce or a horrific goalkeeping error.

So here for your viewing pleasure is an absolute beast of a strike from Valencia’s French centre back Adil Rami against Llagostera in the Copa Del Rey.

Rami is not exactly known for his goal scoring prowess and has only scored 13 goals in a ten year professional career so I’m sure this one will live long in the memory.

What makes it all the more special is that he is in his own half when he strikes it, and manages to beat the despairing goalkeeper who is nothing more than a spectator as he tries to make it back onto his line in time.

Golazo indeed.

Robert Lock