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Dex's Manchester United Vs Norwich City Match Review (29.10.13)

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I''m pretty new to this forum, but I''ve seen a few of the other guys on here post their reviews of our matches so I thought I''d give one a crack :) This is my first one so go easy on me and any feedback would be appreciated!

Final score: Manchester United 4-0 Norwich City

Team sheets:


Man U starting XI: (4-4-1-1) Lindegaard, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Buttner, Zaha, Jones, Cleverley, Young, Januzaj and Hernandez

Bench: Amos, Smalling, Fabio, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs and Rooney


Norwich starting XI: (4-4-1-1) Bunn, Whittaker, Bennett, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson, Redmond, Hoolahan and Elmander

Bench: Nash, Martin, Howson, Murphy (Josh), Pilkington, Becchio and Hooper


My preferred starting XI: Bunn, Whittaker, Bennett, Bassong, Garrido, Redmond, Howson, Fer, Pilkington, Elmander and Becchio

Bench: Nash, Martin, Turner, Olsson, Johnson, Murphy and Hooper


Ok, I think like a lot of people the first thing that I felt when the team was announced was confusion. This was for two main reasons: 1. How in the name of all the is good in this world did Snodgrass get a place in the side over Pilkington? and 2. What exactly were we hoping to achieve with a front two of Wes and Elmander?

For me, Elmander is not a standalone striker, he is a CF who can hold up the ball well, provide threats both in the air and with his strength while also tracking up and down the pitch all game. Wes is also a hold up player, not a very good one now either (as was overwhelmingly demonstrated in every minute of the game) so we were effectively trying to hold up the ball for a striker who would make runs off of the CF, except that type of player didn''t feature anywhere on the pitch...

As a result, there was quite literally nothing going forward all game and yet again we decided that it was a good idea to play wingers on the opposite wings to their strong foot so any chance of Elmander getting his head on the end of a cross was reduced to basically nil.

Inevitably then, we sat back (and actually defended pretty well I thought) right up until 20 minutes when Januzaj broke into the box and forced a penalty against Fer. I thought that it was a pen at the time, a very soft one, but Fer was unnecessarily tight to the lad (who was going nowhere) and when he''s 8ft 2 and Januzaj is 4ft 1 who''s the ref going to side with? After that, we recovered decently and although lacking anything vaguely resembling penetration, we made it to half time only one goal down.

Now Hughton had decisions to make. I was calling for Hooper/Becchio on for Wes and Murphy on for Snodgrass who had already taken two clear knocks and had been woeful. Of course this didn''t happen though and the same side emerged which hadn''t even had a sniff at goal in the opening 45...

It took just 8 minutes of lacklustre football before Hernandez punished us for a second time (after having netted the spot kick earlier) off of the rebound from an excellent save by Bunn.

The already injured Snodgrass was then involved in a nasty collision that saw him stretchered off and replaced by Pilkington. The most frustrating thing for me is that a half time sub would''ve prevented the potential multi-month injury that we now have on our hands with Snoddy. Yes he''s been poor so far, but we''re already a winger down as it is and this could seriously impact our season :/

Redmond is then replaced by Murphy after injuring what looked to be his side (post match reports are claiming he''s pulled a muscle around his hip) so we are now two wingers down and one almost certainly out for the coming weeks.

The game was well and truly over at this point and as the third and fourth goals came, in addition to the introduction of Hooper at around 85 I was left despairing.

Overall then, there is no question tonight''s performance was poor. I never expected us to win, but I did expect us to go out and play with belief and passion and that was simply absent tonight. The main concern I have is for the injuries that we picked up during the game. Snoddy will be out for a while now while Johnson, Redmond and Whittaker seem to have taken (hopefully minor) knocks :/

It looks to me like we''ll be treating Man City as a recovery game and then seeing what Hughton''s really made of over our next few weeks, especially at home. I''m still Hughton in, but that fact is we need goals and we need to replicate the player performances that we saw against Stoke, Chelsea and Arsenal for the rest of the season. I just hope that Hughton realises the magnitude of the job he has on his hands and that he will make the necessary changes.

- Dex :)

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