‘Heartstopper at the Hawthorns’ United v WBA – 5 Things I Noticed

4. Overly Attacking in Midfield?

Cleverley and Anderson are a very exciting pair in midfield but one couldn’t help but feel that Carrick’s presence was missed when West Brom were unleashing wave upon wave of sharp counter-attacks, exploiting the lack of defensive midfielder in the United lineup.

In a way its so refreshing to see United just go hell for leather, but a mobile Carrick-like player in that midfield, who fits into this new found style could be the smart signing United need to make before this transfer window shuts. It would allow Anderson and Cleverley to go about controlling games without having to worry about defensive responsibilities, and away from home against top opposition, this could be crucial.

Opposition Watch: Shane Long

A recent acquisition, a much needed one for the Baggies who are heavily reliant on the speed and trickery of Odemwingie. Hopefully for their sakes they can keep both players but if Odemwingie is to go, the glimpses we had of Long today were enough to suggest he can certainly make an impact at this level.

Forget the goal which was brought about by De Gea’s error, it was his general play which must have heartened Albion fans. Unlike Cox who just hasn’t looked Premiership quality over 90 minutes, Long’s hold up play and low centre of gravity were of a good level and United defenders struggled to knock him off the ball. He was also very sharp with the ball and displayed good feet. So an interesting debut. Another player who caught the eye once again was Simon Tchoyi, who was an absolute beast on the ball and someone who I can see moving to a big team.


A thrilling encounter brought about by both sides cavalier attitudes, but there will be question marks on both sides with regards to the quality of their keepers. Both looked shaky and when you compare their respective performances to the keepers who featured in the Stoke v Chelsea game, there was a big difference.

Up front both teams sizzled and I for one look forward to the return fixture, as games against the Baggies rarely disappoint. Anyway its good to finally have some serious football back and after yesterday’s turgid offering, todays encounter at the Hawthorns was the premier league at its electric best.

Written by

Raees (follow me on www.Twitter.com/redrae7_mufc)

7 responses to “‘Heartstopper at the Hawthorns’ United v WBA – 5 Things I Noticed”

  1. NewJerseyRedDevil says:

    Vidal out, Rio out, Raffy out, Chica out and a nervous Keeper has made me a nervous NJRedDevil!

  2. MUdslinger606 says:

    Cut the kid some slack and get behind the fella! Though obviously not in a blinkered way, clearly he was at fault for both the WBA and Dzeko’s goals. Firstly, I wish that people bin the ridiculous line ‘well, it’s not the Spanish league’ as if somehow facing up to C.Ronaldo, Messi and Rossi et al most weeks is obviously less challenging than playing West Brom. It’s not like Ronaldo didn’t regularly make every goalie in the league feel a little foolish while he was with us. Besides of the goalies that cut their teeth in that league Casillas, Valdes and dare I say, Reina they ain’t too bad eh?

    As fans we need a small dose of realism here. Don’t expect anything approaching the level of VDS . Remember, he was 35 when he joined us, already with an entire careers worth of experience behind him and the only surprise was that he ended up with us for so long. People usually make the clumsy comparison with Cech when he joined up with Chelsea but he was already 22-23 and I suspect those additional few years of first team football makes a lot of difference.

    At the end of the day, those who are in the game inc. SAF think incredibly highly of him and I’m inclined to go along with them. I suspect that the explanation for his mistakes is far more simple then people make it out to be. He’s only been with us for a month or so? Doesn’t know the language and is still relatively inexperienced, let him settle in. Personally, I’m suspending judgement on whether he’s right for us for another couple of seasons yet.

  3. Np says:

    one thing we have to clear about is Yound DID NOT have a great game! Are you kidding me! Was the writer watching the same game ?? Young was ok at best .. There was some very impressive crosses no doubt and the deflected goal BUT alot of his crosses were beig blocked one after another Which was absolutely frustarating .

    The media hypes up a player too much . The writer should be more critical . Having said that I hope he turns out to be great for the team .

    • rae m says:

      Well you have to take into account Nani’s performance in comparison and place Youngs in context, due to the fact, it was practically his real competitive debut if we don’t include the Community Shield and it was against tough opposition away from home against a set of fans who have a strong disliking for him. He showed good strength of character and did look menacing every time he was in posession and this from a guy who wasn’t his biggest fan to begin with.

  4. SG says:

    I did notice Anderson and Cleverley were too far forward leaving gaps everywhere in that midfield. We’ve always worked with a holding midfielder and an attacking midfielder. Phil Jones can play defensive mid, but Fletcher’s the one who should be on the pitch doing that job.

    • rae m says:

      Both would arguably not be up to it, or at the level we desire. Fletcher can close people down and destroy attacks, but is he a sitting midfielder who is fluid and mobile on the ball.. as for Jones, it’s a big ask but if his technical level is up to it then he could fill in, but imo players like Tiote/Mulumbu type players are who we should seek.

  5. Tonka Norris says:

    I’m torn about De Gea. He’s clearly a quality keeper but will find it tough to build confidence with the media praying for more errors to populate their columns.

    The treatment the Albion players dished up afterwards was akin to schoolyard bullying.

    Maybe take him offline for a few weeks, use Liddegard instead. Build De Gea up 20lbs and let him loose when Vidic gets back to help boss the back line.