Tonight’s performance was horrible and a massive return to the earth after Saturday’s 7-1 drubbing of Blackburn and whilst it may seem like no good came of it I have strained something out.
Talk of it being unimportant competition and fielding a weak team are irrelevant to me as it was more the matter of how we lost rather than the fact we lost and I for one would have liked to have gone to Wembley again, I think those are just excuses instead of facing what is before us.
Losing tonight ended our unbeaten record but such a record can be an albatross around the neck. It was getting to the stage where the press were starting to build it up and in that respect it may have become a hindrance hanging over the player’s heads. On our Twitter @Fino76 surmised that it can see teams protecting draws rather than going for wins which is also true. I’d prefer we get this loss here and now in the Carling Cup then in a more important game later on in the season.
Tonight was a poor team performance but some players were worse than others. Fletcher is still struggling for form, Bebe was bright at times but again (how many times will I be saying this in the future) is still very very raw, Jonny Evans is clearly still struggling and tonight highlighted that hugely as he was caught out for more than one of West Ham’s goals. I was asked if this would be the last we see of Evans in a United shirt which is an incredible question. Evans has set an astonishingly high barrier for himself and when he doesn’t perform at his best people will have something to say.
There was a lack of determination tonight but for me the only player that came out of the game with some credit was Anderson. He wasn’t the best defensively but getting forward and energy wise he wasn’t bad at all and it’s good to see him stringing together a few decent performances.
Jonathan Spector probably didn’t expect that he would score two goals against us even at his best so as a former player and in the interest of being gracious I will say congrats, fair play to him, been fairly innocuous against us the majority of times we have played against him so to get two and if not for the late flag of the linesman possibly 3 is some achievement.
This defeat has and will expose a lot more to us than a victory would have, I think as long as we can learn from this than it will be all part of the learning experience for a number of these young players. There is no point dwelling on this, look forward as there are bigger and more important games coming up in the next few weeks, what better way to get over it then to thump Blackpool on Saturday?