1. Dogged Defence

Vidic (5 interception, 4 tackles won, 1 Block, 13 attempted clearances) Ferdinand (1 interception, 4 tackles won, 11 attempted clearances) Evra (3 interceptions, 4 tackles won, 6 attempted clearances) Rafael (4 interceptions, 7 tackles won, 1 attempted clearance)

Gallas had 6 attempted clearances. Dawson apart no one in the spurs defence made more than four tackles. Spurs full backs made more interceptions than their United counterparts (7&5).

It wasn’t an amazingly attractive match by any means when you take into account the glorious encounters these clubs have shared over the years but nonetheless it was an admittedly thrilling game despite it being devoid of enough moments of genuine quality for my liking (I mean its United v Spurs, entertainment should be guaranteed or you should be allowed demand your money back).

One area that was perhaps to blame for the lack of goals was the defence of United. They produced a display rather reminiscent of the ‘Great Escape’ job United pulled off against Barcelona during the Champions League winning season of 07/08 when the pair of Ferdinand and Vidic were at their respective bests; taking on the might of the Nou Camp and returning home with their rear ends intact.

As one should ascertain from the stats, United’s defence underwent quite a barrage and they were required to be valiant and vigilant… no player encapsulated those qualities as much as Nemanja Vidic. ‘ They don’t make ‘em like they used to’, well I’d like to see any player from the past try intimidating the Serbian Rapist. He was immense, making numerous interceptions, tackles and clearances whenever his side most needed him. However he was not the only one to always be alert to the danger Spurs presented.

His partner Ferdinand and the young Brazillian Rafael were also tough, tenacious and helped keep Tottenham at bay even if Evra did struggle with the lively Lennon ( an irremovable pain in the ass for Paddy). A word on Ferdinand’s performance in possession, it was delightful to watch, a serene presence in midst of an oncoming storm and one wishes the midfield had displayed anything like the same composure.

2. Red Rafael

Bale came, saw and ulitmately failed, such was Rafael’s continued adeptness in dealing with the World’s best wingers and coming away with his burgeoning reputation more than intact.

He made 7 tackles today, Dawson apart even Vidic was struggling to match him in terms of tackles made and it is symbolic of his aggression and anticipation, qualities which allow him to smell an oppurtunity to seize the ball and go in hard. Its a priceless attribute to have for a full back capable of becoming the World’s best in his specialist position.

The only issue that remains is that he has a tendency to overstep the mark and become reckless. He is exceptionally young and his decision-making will undoubtedly mature.. however he has already marked himself out as a valuable member of the team and we cannot afford to have him missing in action, even if it is an inevitable part of the learning process for a young defender.

With regards to the sending off tonight, I felt he was rather fortunate to still be on the pitch after the first foul. To be fair most of the media and the BBC MOTD pundits said it was worthy of a yellow, but I thought it a highly reckless agricultural challenge and a potential leg breaker if it were to connect with the player in question who thankfully jumped. United fans must hope that he cuts this out immediately, a loss of possession is nothing in comparison to leaving your team down to 10 men in the first half against tough opponents. In Europe, he’d not have got away with it. As for the second foul, he was highly unlucky and it was one of those ridiculous decisions whereby the Ref fails to understand the context of the incident and see it from the players point of view.

Overall a good display for the youngster but he needs to grow up quick for the business end of the season.

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17 responses to “Irresistable force vs Immovable object: 5 Things I Noticed – Spurs v United”

  1. RedScot says:

    Fantastic summary of the match and the plus and minus points of both teams and the key players in the duel.
    Seconded Namanja was a pillar of rock.

    Luka Modric would seriously give us a fighting chance in Europe.

    • Sir Alex says:

      what is your sick fuck doing on this site you bloody idiot.

      • RedScot says:

        Sir Alex Reply:
        January 17th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

        what is your sick fuck doing on this site you bloody idiot?
        I dont normally react to Children but in your case I am going to make an exception!
        If you imbecile care to enlarge on your very well thought out informative arguement, go for it?

  2. Folkestone_yid says:

    Quite a fair write up, it was a very exciting nil niller and shows that we are improving…I feel we would have easily got the points that our endevours deserved if it had not been for the monster by the name of Vidic…he can win you the title making you so hard to beat even though your not playing that well as a team
    Agree about Modric, class act and would fit in any team in the league
    Man U need to sort out Rooney, he is crap and you only looked dangerous when Chiceretto (??) came on!!
    Good luck for the rest of the season and do us a favor and kill Chelsea, smash Man shitty and destroy arse-nal

  3. Shannon says:

    Bale came, saw and ulitmately failed, such was Rafael’s continued adeptness in dealing with the World’s best wingers and coming away with his burgeoning reputation more than intact.

    You must have been watching a different match.

    • RedScot says:

      Shannon Says:
      January 17th, 2011 at 1:02 pm
      Bale came, saw and ulitmately failed, such was Rafael’s continued adeptness in dealing with the World’s best wingers and coming away with his burgeoning reputation more than intact.

      You must have been watching a different match.You have already tried this anal provacation on ROM and you left with your tail between your legs on that Forum.
      I suggest you do one or construct an arguement that holds water and can be debated?

    • Sir Alex says:

      what is your sick fuck doing on this site you bloody idiot

  4. Dave says:

    Finally, An honest and accurate report of the game from a ManU perspective. I am a Spurs fan (in peace). I’m glad theres some manu fans who realise that, yes the 2nd yellow probably wasnt a yellow, but Rafael should have been off before that anyway. ManU’s defense was immense at worst. I couldn’t see why Manu were unbeaten until I saw how impenetrable the defense was. Even our magical modric couldnt work it out. Good luck to you guys, I hope you do win it, unless it us :-). Certainly don’t want Chelsea, Arsenal or city winning it.

  5. seb says:

    Although a spurs fan this is a really good read and great analysis, especially of our failings (apart from our CB which despite ‘popular’ opinion have superb strenghth in depth). Unusually for spurs-united both managers were a little negative with team selection which harmed what was a pottentially great game

  6. reno says:

    Vidic is a great defender, but also cheats like hell…very well!
    Pulling VDV off the ball in the box! Penalty. Sending off?
    Stopping Gallas jumping in the dying moments.
    All right in front of the ref but just out of sight, should he be commended for that?
    You know Spurs were the better team on Sunday.
    Cheating saved your asses.

  7. shelf esteem says:

    Reasonable copy for a football blog. Thanks. I agree that Man U’s defence was admirable, but Rafael did not put Bale out of the game as well as at Old Trafford. Bale got several quality crosses in which Spurs’ strikers and VdV should have done better with converting. BA-E also did a much better job of marshalling Nani than before. In fact he was my major concern prior to the match as Spurs’ weakest player. He might even have showed a little awareness at how ripe Rafael was for a red card in his deftly timed tumble. Not that I approve of that sort of thing any more than scooping the ball out of the net and claiming that the ball never crossed the goal line! I was amazed at how little Berbatov and Rooney were involved and though they are not nearly in top form, I also think it shows how much better Spurs are at defence these days. This was never going to be a repeat of 3-5.
    Even if Man U did manage to prise Modric away, they’d have to pay upwards of £40M and then he might waste away like Berbatov and Carrick.

    • RedScot says:

      Even if Man U did manage to prise Modric away, they’d have to pay upwards of £40M and then he might waste away like””””””” Berbatov””””” and Carrick.
      You mean the top goal scorer in the premiership currently and on target to overtake his best goal scoring season achievments in the league at Spurs and Bayer Leverkusen? That Dimitar Berbatov?
      If United wanted Modric he would not resist to play for the biggest Club side in the World.
      I am sure he will love playing in East London Spurs football club natural home.Innit. lol

  8. anon says:

    Bale raped Rafael once again

    Rafael: “Help me please, save me from the Bale force by doubling and trebling up on him”

    • MONK says:

      ANON: you serious? Bale raped Rafael once again? Bale Failed epically in the game at OT. Rafael didn’t even break a sweat. Yesterday was a different matter. Bale had a few good crosses but he didn’t rape Rafael. Did you see rafael rip Bale and ekotto apart in that glorious run into your box?? Also a clear fact you are missing is that bale was until recently classed as a left back thus effectively giving you better cover on the left with 2 left backs both who are able to go forward. Rafael was alone with the ever lazy nani in front offering very little defensive aid and to be honest fook’all going forward yesterday.

      Bale is good but Rafael offers a lot more than just pace with a good cross/shot.

      Bale:- all pace with a good shot and good crossing ability.

      Rafael: good pace,passing ability, crossing ability, shot capability and excellent ball control to be able to skip through/past players.

      Rafael also trumps Bale on his ability to defend against considered “world class” wingers (Ribery anyone?)

      Bale does however present less of a red card risk as Rafael for all his quality does have a tendancy to be slightly over aggresive with his tackling.

  9. jonathan says:

    Terrific analysis Rae and I hope to see you more on this site.

    I’ve been one of the more relunctant fans calling for changes to our central midfield, but it’s looking more evident as time goes on. What Anderson did in his 30 minutes proved what he’s been showing over the last couple months that he should be in our preferred starting XI. I don’t think we should sell Fletcher as you need a deep squad to succeed, but I’d generally pick Anderson ahead of him when all things equal. I’d like to see what an Anderson/Scholes pairing looks like.

    Fair enough, the problems weren’t only in central midfield. Nani had a poor game throughout and Giggs IMO did not look very good until the 2nd half.

    We won’t need to overhaul the squad, but it’s pretty clear we need a couple new (and proven) faces this summer.

  10. bharath honnegowda says:

    very well written. I totally agree with the notes on Rafael. I’m sure he’ll mature into a world class full back…