‘Bloomin Bloody Brilliant’ 5 Things I Noticed – Blackpool v United

3. Nani of Narnia

Although I’d love to have had a segment for Giggs, I thought Nani’s performance merited an inclusion in this piece just for the fact he got alot of stick vs Birmingham for lapsing back into bad habits. I thought he was so classy last night, good strength on the ball, unreal speed but he mixed this with sublime natural skill… I say natural because with Ronaldo during his latter years for us, didn’t really dribble with the same flair and verve he demonstrated for us when he first appeared for the club and is now more obssessed with goalscoring. Nani for me still possesses that wonderful naivety that I’d hate to see him lose, he is unpredictable and when everything clicks, impossible to stop.

His footwork is like that of a genuine street footballer, possesses great tricks and combined with the fact he is ambidextrous, how does a defender go about stopping him when Rafael is coming on the overlap too! We are truly blessed considering the age of the two footballers in question, Uniteds right flank looks sorted for years especially when you consider Valencia will also be returning soon.

4. Waiting for Gibbo

Passing statistics v Blackpool (45 minutes): 0 Interceptions, 1 Tackle, 1 Clearance, 19/23 Successful passes.

Darron Gibson comes in for an awful lot of stick in United circles and many wonder what’s the point of him, whilst I’d love to utilise statistics to come to the poor lads aid, I’m at a loss. Having looked at his chalkboard for last night’s game and from what I’ve seen of him in general, I can see why people have that perception of him. There is no real stand out attribute about him apart from his shooting and the fact a 36yr old Scholes gets around the field alot more than him is rather worrying.

He needs to carve out a role for himself in the United set up, i.e. Defensive Midfield go to man… or more likely United’s Frank Lampard man in a midfield trio, he performed that role excellently against Bayern Munich at home and unless he becomes a prolific goalscorer, it will be hard for him to nail a place in the side. I sincerely wish him well and I’d even be inclined to allow him to stay another two years to see whether he can mature into a regular goal threat from midfield, however the return of Cleverly and Scholes retiring in the future will lead to United’s focus on midfield improvement being alot more stricter and he could be one of the ones to suffer.

5. Opposition Two2Watch: Charlie Adam & Ian Holloway

Adam v United Statistics: (34/62 Successful Passes, 4/7 Interception, 2 Blocks, 4/9 Tackles, 3 Interceptions)

I was hoping to avoid picking Charlie Adams and maybe even try a bit of DJ Campbell for the OppositionOne2Watch this week but with a display like that it was rather hard to ignore him and anyway it’ll give me a chance to offer my opinion on how far this Scottish creative dynamo can go.

Well firstly I reckon this guy can transform the Scottish National team for sure, with him/Dorrans/Fletcher and McFadden in the side, they could concievably upset the English in the proposed Home Nations games in a few years. He is just the type of player you need at a small club aspiring to play a more fluid attractive style of football, in that he is an all-action player wanting to be on the ball all of the time and making something happen, not worried about making sure he is a consistent passer but just given a free rein to think up ways of unlocking opponents. He can handle himself abit too.

However there is talk he’s even good enough for United, well I’d just like to point out that a 36 yr old Scholes completed 68/77 passes last night, not to mention doing some defensive work of his own and thats the sort of level associated with the elite of European football, a combination of creativity and effortless precision possession football, not to mention that was a generally considered a poor Scholes performance. So put into context, Adam has quite alot to go if he is to be considered as a genuine top midfield talent.

Is he good enough for Liverpool? Honestly I don’t know, I’ve been impressed everytime I’ve watched him and he’d be a much needed creative presence in the centre and at £5 million I could see him leaving for  Liverpool if things don’t go well and recuperating just as much back in transfer fees. So its a safe gamble in my opinion and one worth taking if Liverpool are to experience a resurgence in the latter half of this season.

Now to Ian Holloway, a gentleman/comedian and now it seems even a footballing scholar… the work he’s done at Blackpool has been nothing short of miraculous considering his record in football management has been decent but nothing memorable. Getting into the premiership through the backdoor has been the making of him and he seems very open to new and fresh ideas with regards to how football should be played and that is refreshing to see in a young English manager.

Could he manage at a higher level? I hope so, I’d love to see him tackle the European Cup or International football one day, but based on his record so far… its hard to say whether this run with Blackpool is the beginning of something special or he’s just destined to be remembered as one of those loveable footballing eccentrics.

Conclusion:

Quality game, marred slightly by Rafaels injury but as a player you love to be a part of those nailbiting wins on the road and he more than played his part. Tactically there are some underlying issues there that United need to resolve and some are being produced of Fergie’s own making with some unnecessary tinkering, but we are still unbeaten thankfully.

Final word will be on Sir Ryan Giggs, his introduction turned the game on its head and if he continues playing like this Park is going to struggle to reclaim his place in the side once he returns from International duty. Next game will be the FA Cup v the Saints, see you then.

Barclays Premier League – Match Facts
Score: 2-3 Venue: Bloomfield Road Date: Tuesday 25th January Kick-off: 1930 GMT

Man Utd: VDS, Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Scholes, Nani, Gibson, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Giggs, Hernandez, Anderson.

Blackpool City: Kingson, Eardley, Evatt, Baptiste, Cathcart, Vaughan, Grandin, Adam, Taylor-Fletcher, Varney, Campbell Subs: Harewood, Phillips.

Referee: Walton