Posted on Saturday, 28th August 2010 by One Punch
Last week, we dropped points yet again at Craven Cottage. When ‘our’ player, Own Goal, ‘scored’ to give us the lead in the 84th minute, most fans started to feel it was another 3 pointsand when we were awarded a penalty it looked certain But after Nani missed, Brede Hangeland turned from a villain to a hero almost instantly making us pay for.
Post match much of the talk was about Nani causing us to drop two points etc. However the team failed as a collective unit, especially in the second half. It would be silly to pinpoint individuals when the team collectively threw away the lead that they had in a move very uncharacteristic of United.
However, I would like to highlight the issue that was present in the Fulham game: our penalty takers.
Ever since the departure of Tevez and Ronaldo, we struggled to have first choice penalty takers. Currently, Rooney is arguably the only first choice that we have that plays regularly. My question to you is, ‘In a game whereby if Rooney is absent and we’re awarded a penalty, who should assume the responsibility?’
Besides, Rooney, the next few candidates, are probably Giggs, Carrick and (yes, you guessed it right) Nani. However, Giggs and Carrick are not regulars in the first team. The Welsh man is no longer able to play week in week out while the latter is still finding his best form. And after them, it’s Nani who is starting to play regularly now. So is it any surprise that he took the penalty against Fulham? Yes you can argue that Giggs is ahead of him in the pecking order but isn’t it a possibility that Nani wanted to take it given that we were leading 2-1 at that point of time? I’m pretty sure if the game was in a deadlock or if we’re trailing, Giggs would no doubt have taken the penalty. Two of these have missed penalties in the last season with Carrick missing against Burnley whilst Rooney missed against Liverpool but was lucky enough to score the rebound, so it’s hardly fair to admonish Nani.
Other than the 4 mentioned, who are the other players that you truly ‘trust’ in taking a penalty? Berbatov probably lost his supporters after that tame effort in that FA Cup Semi-Final against Everton. Defenders are usually out of the question. And the likes of Fletcher and Valencia although could be called upon in a shootout aren’t exactly candidates as head penalty taker.
Last week we saw a number of problems we need to face, the problem of penalty taker being one of them.