There are a few explanations for why Man United seem so comfortable in Europe but not so at home, while some people really aren't very happy with Roy Keane...
As Gerrard and Henderson both struggle with injuries, was it a mistake for Liverpool to sell Jonjo Shelvey? Plus, thoughts on Arsenal, Everton, United and Chelsea's strikers...
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Well, That Was Dull
Two teams set up in mirror-image formations, cancelling each other out. Two sets of players working very hard to do exactly what their manager instructed but unwilling or unable to take any initiative. Not a single player capable of producing some skill to beat their man, instead relying on kick-and-run to find some space. Dozens and dozens of crosses either hitting the first defender or way too long. Two coaches unwilling to make a tactical change to shift the balance of the match their way.
Probably both coaches will be delighted with the draw whatever they say in public. Both of them were much more scared to lose than they were determined to win. And Mourinho seems intent on creating another version of his Inter and Real Madrid sides - the most expensive "defend-and-counterattack" sides ever assembled.
To be sure, both these teams will be in the top end of the Premier League, but they will need a tremendous improvement to challenge for the Champions League
...What a lot of sh*t. With around 15 midfielders playing how can so many of them been utterly anonymous, particularly when there were no memorable goal threats.
Jose, I don't get it. No striker in your team, but Torres and Lukaku on the bench. Schurrle was having a bad night but he's the one who comes off?! What was he trying to do? Demonstrate that he wants another striker? Is that really the best way to do it. Chelsea had options on the bench and I think Jose chose poorly.
The start to the Premier League season has been pretty dull. And this was after a summer without a World Cup or Euro Championship... What's the excuse?
Shape up, millionaires. Do better next time.
And Jose, you can have this one for free: that chap Mata is pretty good. A World Cup winner, in fact. Give him a try sometime.
...Is that the best you have to offer? The most boring, dull 0-0 draw I can remember that I've ever had to endure in recent memory. It was that bad me and my mate ended up ignoring the match to talk about our relationships in the pub. This weekend, other than Cardiff taking on Citeh and doing them 3-2, was about as interesting as an episode of one of those soaps where the plots are so thin they might as well be set on the f**king Moon.
Put this down in your kneejerk reaction list: English Premiership football is rubbish!
Paul Rooney (Celtic (and Scotland), Glasgow)
...Imagine just how much stick Benitez would have got if that had been his Chelsea team serving up that performance.
Chris Mac (if Jose doesn't fancy Mata, we'll have him) LFC
...Did someone just dress Stoke and Hull up in Utd and Chelsea kits?
There was me looking forward to the best season in ages, but how could I forget that Mourinho isn't nearly as entertaining when you have to watch his teams play and that Moyes has got the levels of ambition to turn any game into a bore fest. United will win a lot of games with their many match winning players, whilst if Chelsea get a decent striker they'll be very annoying and win a lot. Ain't going to be fun to watch though.
James, bored and disgruntled Gooner in Cardiff
There is a significantly high chance that Jose went for the draw and without the striker just so that they could get Rooney. In line with this is the fact that he dropped Mata (for no reason at all). An away draw at OT + a better chance of signing Rooney vs. 2 extra points.
Just how pedestrian can this United side get - Carrick is the only close to creative player in midfield; Cleverley is still "developing", un-creative, can't shoot; Valencia has absolutely no confidence and his first thought is to shield the ball like a donkey than to try and do something positive with it; Welbeck just cannot shoot and his decision making is highly questionable - seems to be another useless mid-table player that United have produced.
Of course, Evra is of a different class - the above players are in question because they don't do anything good in a game. Evra, on the other hand, actively does bad things in a game. Is he ever in position when the opposition team attacks. What is this inexplicable fixation that Fergie had with him to play him for more than two years after he became crap.
People praise FM for being the best football simulation around. I seem to have my own doubts about that because managers don't seem to know so many players in the first place - Sakho, Coentrao, Mata and a couple other players from Madrid are up for sale and still we are looking at alternative targets for the exact same positions.
Bala (Rooney's spirited performance was a one-off. Just like Welbeck's last week) MUFC
Trouble In Paradise?
Well yes that United Chelsea fight was a non-event wasn't it? I was all pumped for it after becoming a Dad for the first time on Friday (NZ time aka proper time) and by jingo's did it let me down...the game I mean, not fatherhood. That's ridiculous fun!
My conclusion from the match is that RVP and Rooney dislike each other quite a bit. There were a couple of gorgeous through balls that Wayne did to Robin that should have been acknowledged by the Dutchman but they were greeted with a look the other way. Upsetting but yeah Wayne has brought this on himself with his naughty sulking. And, going back a week, when Robin launched in his second against Swansea ol' Wayne just turned round and politely ran back to half-way. It's a fractured relationship and it troubles me greatly.
Sam Boyd (Toast runs the world), Wellington, NZ.
As impressed as I was by United last night (and I was, Moyes made Cleverley look like he belonged alongside Carrick in a major game), three thoughts do stand out:
- Phil Jones looks increasingly accomplished. The flappiness and over-enthusiasm seem to be dimishing, and a genuinely impressive defender emerging.
- Ashley Young: why? Valencia is bad enough, as he offers no offensive threat when he has the ball at his feet, but Moyes' satisfaction with 0-0 draw was broadcast across the world the moment Mr. Young's vacant, moronic face, and his useless feet, were seen warming up. Neither Valencia nor Young would get a game for City or Chelsea, and they shouldn't get one for United.
- United need their Japanese play-a-maker back.
Is Moyes Showing A Lack Of Courage?
Moyes' opening few games display a lack of courage that is worrying for a Man Utd boss. His reliance on Giggs over a potentially world class Kagawa suggests he is more interested in holding on to past glories than paving his own road. To me it just seems that he believes if he keeps the side similar to when Fergie was around maybe the players won't notice he's gone. Or maybe I'm just another sulky Utd fan who throws his toys out his pram if we don't win?
Alex (Man Utd)
...Moyes' has been lambasted for his awful performance against the big teams while Everton manager (did he never once win away at any of the old big 4?), but based on the performance tonight, I can't see him doing much better with united. They seemed totally lost for ideas to me. Their players just couldn't retain the ball in the final third. Did they have a shot on target inside the box tonight? It looked like they were playing for a draw by the end which isn't very man utd at old Trafford.
A week is a long time in football (just ask Arsenal fans) and one point from tonight and maybe only one or none on Sunday would crank up the pressure on Moyes in my opinion.
Why No Kagawa?
Shinji, I'm a massive fan, as is Mr Klopp as we all know. You have my blessing to retire tomorrow rather than be insulted further sitting on the bench in a team where Valencia, Welbeck, Cleverley and Young all get game time first.
Kev (Play him Moyes, he dismantled Bayern for f**k sake), Dublin
Giving Up On Welbeck
After last night's awfully poor performance, I'm giving up on Danny Welbeck's future as a Manchester United player. I lost count of the amount of times he wasted a promising position with a mistimed pass, poor control or a wayward shot towards goal.
He just doesn't have the touch needed to be the quality player United need in the final third of the pitch. He proved last season he doesn't have a quality shot, and he isn't good enough to play on the wing. How he is starting ahead of Kagawa and even Young is beyond me.
Forget selling Rooney, ship of Danny and bring play Hernandez more. United don't have a bad squad, it's just the way their using it will cost them the title this season.
James "Flash" Hamilton
Umm, It's Called A Joke
"David Moyes is still to win a game at Old Trafford..."
What the is the point of including a sentence like that on your front page? Obviously to antagonise people like me to give you content to put on your website, but in any case, he has had two games at Old Trafford. One which was a meaningless friendly and one game against a favourite for the title. I just read an article yesterday on your website self-righteously arguing against knee-jerk media reactions. Hypocritical c**ts you guys are.
Have a lovely day.
Grinds My Gears
I'm guessing most mails will be about the snoozefest in Old Trafford so I decided to write about the most trivial of things which has nevertheless bugged me for a while. Can anyone explain to me why is it that a foul throw-in results in the ball going to the opponent whereas a wrongly taken free kick (taken way ahead of where the foul was committed, ball still rolling while being taken etc.), corner kick, goal kick simply gets repeated? I believe lots of throw-ins are borderline "illegal" most of the time (one was actually given during villa-pool and Phil Jones took a weird one yesterday), but why is it that such infraction is so serious to concede possession?
It only seems fitting that my first mail to this site would be on such a grave and troubling issue.
*That was probably one of the least controversial meetings between those two I've ever seen. Is it wrong that the lack of incident made the match a little bit dull?
*Valencia impressed and frustrated in equal measure. Brilliant defensive work - he gave Hazard no time and space and put in a few excellent tackles. When he ran at Ashley Cole (more on him later) he looked like he had the beating of him, but did it too rarely. But seeing him constantly turning back on himself to play the ball backwards (because there was no forward pass he could play with his right foot) is so frustrating.
*Welbeck's finishing still needs work, if only just getting him some consistency. You can't help but feel that if that chance had fallen to Van Persie, Rooney or Hernandez it would have gone in.
*Carrick was just immense last night, and I'm glad other United fans are starting to appreciate it. Having been a staunch defender of him for some time now, it's great to see he's getting the praise he deserves.
*Even Cleverley looked better last night, seemed more eager to get forward and less reckless in the tackle - midfield was (for once) not a worry.
*All four centre backs had a great game, none of them really put a foot wrong all match.
*Why on earth did Schurrle play as the lone striker? Surely Lukaku would have been the better option, if they didn't want to go with Torres.
*I've got to say that Chelsea were lucky not to concede a penalty. The commentary team dismissed it, but Lampard's arms were in an unnatural position when the ball struck it - that has to be a penalty? Moyes is definitely right that we need greater clarification on that rule.
*Ashley Cole should definitely have been given a yellow card for diving when he went over near the box. Jones barely touched him at all, and definitely not enough to make him fall like he did. Not sure how the referee can not book him there, if it wasn't a penalty.
*Young looks so much more comfortable on the right than he does on the left, which further highlights our lack of options in that position. United should be seriously considering a bid for Angel Di Maria.
*I'm not sure if it's a Moyes thing or just coincidence, but we look a lot more sturdy at the back. There has been less panicky moments where no one seems to know who's doing what. A clean sheet was very welcome last night - more of those please.
*If Rooney can play like that for a whole season then we've got a much better chance of challenging for the title.
*I would have taken a draw before kick-off, but I do think we could have won that game. Still, it's a good foundation on which to build and it's only early in the season - .