Analysis of the goal conceded against Man Utd (20/1)

Van Persie’s goalUnited play the ball from side to side, before Welbeck finds Cleverley in space. He takes his time, and delivers the perfect cross for van Persie to slam home a header at the back post.


United do well to suck three or four of our players into Kagawa, and then they break as he works the ball out of his feet.


It is quickly spread to Welbeck, who has drifted wide and is not being picked up.


Welbeck drives inside, with Walker unsure whether to close him down or to follow the runner. Lennon doesn’t get tight enough to Welbeck despite having made a great effort to track back.


Whilst Lennon tracks Welbeck, he has the time and space to pick out Cleverley who is, unfortunately, in even more space – Naughton having tucked in (somewhat unnecessarily as we comfortably outnumber United in that area).


Parker rushes out to try to get something on the cross, but doesn’t make up enough ground. Meanwhile, van Persie makes a movement towards goal at the back post. Walker desperately tries to get goal-side of him, whilst Dawson’s position could be far better (although he has one eye on the lively Welbeck).



In focussing on getting goal-side of van Persie, Walker misjudges the cross and gets under the ball – at the same time, van Persie judges it perfectly. Dawson has ended up marking nobody – for me, he should be touch-tight to the biggest threat – van Persie.


A lack of organisation and poor marking costs us, as van Persie deceives Lloris (who probably assumes that van Persie will head across goal) and plants his headed into the near post.


On the plus side, this was one of few chances that United created and, other than a penalty decision which fortunately went our way, we were largely untroubled for most of the game. We were wasteful at the other end, but Lennon got the assist that his superb all-round performance so richly deserved, and we snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat!

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  1. Great summary. I was more annoyed at how United got the ball after Naughton did a poor pass that went out for a goal kick in the first place. We have to be more careful when doing 400 passes that result in us easily giving the ball away.
    1. Naughton frequently tried that pass up the line, and I don't think it came off once...
    2. perfect summary..EVERY time United went forward, Van Persie was yards clear...neither Dawson or Caulker went anywhere near of them should have been told to be on his shoulder everytime United had the ball..Naughton was way out of position for the cross...hopefully Benny is back in side soon all the time and that will improve us too COYS
      1. His movement is exceptional, but I agree that both of our centre backs looked a little rocky at times. Mind you, they dealt well with anything in the air.
  2. Kyle Walker is not good enough... neither going forward or at the back. What Spurs need to buy in January is a new right back (and a partner for Defoe). Demsey is doing alright, but he should have scored 2 or even 3 goals against United.
    1. Walker's form has certainly dipped, but I still think he has a lot of potential as a RB. Surprised on your Dempsey comment - I thought he was one of our better players, and certainly far better than Defoe, who is in a terrible run of form.
  3. Glad you highlighted Naughton (impossible not to). Too many jumped on the 'Walker is s***' bandwagon with that goal, but I thought it was Naughton who was particularly at fault for giving Tommy Average so much time to pick out his cross.
  4. Where was Bale?
    1. Think he'd made a run up the line for Naughton when Naughton played the ball out...
  5. Do you think that Naughton has better positional sense than Walker and deserves a stint at RB? BAE is better used to handling Bale's MIA moments on the left than Naughton. I would like the following back four: Naughton, Dawson/Kaboul, Vertonghen, BAE. On another note, I wish fans would stop this bovine "he plays on the left" about Bale. All that Bale needs to do is to not get frustrated if he doesn't impose himself. So what if they double or triple team him: it just means he can drag more than one player all over the pitch; he also has the skill to dribble past players, but it means that players have to take up good positions.
    1. I think Naughton is slightly better defensively, but that Walker is far better going forward, but I'm not against using KN at RB in certain matches.
  6. And another thing: it was not a clear cut penalty. From the linesman's view it may have been, hence Rudolf's rant at him rather than the referee. I would argue that it was a false perspective and that the correct view was from the referee, who would have seen Rooney bring his left foot into Caulker's calf. That said, Caulker should never be thinking of tackling in that area and must learn from this.
    1. Looked pretty clear cut to me to be honest.
  7. The pivotal moment came when welbeck was carrying the ball across the edge of the box to pick the pass to cleverley. Dawson was ball watching rather than trying to re- organize the line and getting van Persie and the other united player at the back post tightly marked.
    1. Think that's an excellent point.
  8. I could see the goal comming before the cross was launched. The problem is we have not had a settled back four all season and we don't work has a unit both Van Persie and Vallencia was offside before the cross came in then Naughton played them onside. A defense in tune would have moved up and left Van Offside but Lloris has one weakness headers he is not very tall the Header against Mertsacker was another one. dempsey played okay and if he had been playing more i think he would scored the first chance. Defoe is still creating chances but at the moment the bad weather is not helping and trying to make a partnership this far in the season is hard Ady missed sitters Defoe Ady and others. Lets hope we score more. This is my big worry Dembele is Modric a runner with the ball Sandro a tackler link player Parker the same where is our passer the Carrick type well hes on the bench with a load of hair waiting to score but still according to Stokes medical team not fully healed. If we can get his ankle back to where it was like Bales Ankle with Dembele we can create loads of chances. He hits the ball with backspin keeps it moving and can score but this Hudds is scared looks for the easy pass and won t shoot why . There can be only two things mental or physical i truly hope its mental and hes not like poor Ledley. There are not many passers like Hudds and with all these supplements and drinks defending is a lot manic and crowded you need fast quick passing to get in on Goal without our quarter back the ball is moved to slow only Lennon from the middle found space to create a chance for Defoe who split second thought closed the door with sliding Ferdinand. Make no mistake our next two games will see us playing Qpr style defending we need a passer even one ankle Hudds better than Daws long hopeful passes. I will put my vast football knowledge on the line Windy that Hudds will come good even if its with another club but i hope its with us.
  9. Good stuff Windy, despite a good performance we got well turned over for the goal. It was why we didn't win and why your blog shouldn't be seen as looking at the negatives, but how we can improve. I felt one of the the two centre halves more culpable than Walker, though Man Utd switched the play and players well in the move, while Parker (I thought it was Naughton before reading this, I admit) didn't do enough to stop the cross. Not sure why so many got sucked into Kagawa, a bit like ball watching and unnecessary imo. Good point about Lloris assuming he'd go far post with the header. It was some header though. All told, Van Persie is brilliant and he's going to get away at least once in a game. Otherwise Daws and Caulker did excellently.
    1. Lots of good points - and agree, RvP is so good that it's hard to keep him under wraps for 90 minutes.
  10. Walker has left the back post open either being too near or too far from the man this season, however it has tightened up. In this situation I agree that due to the player you would expect Dawson to pick him up but ultimately he has a 6 yard line to defend, if said player drops back he has to rely on the right back picking it up. Now lets be clear, Van Persie is more than a little bit good and picking up and dropping defenders is the key to his scoring, he's not a player who instantly looks like he has time on his hands, he actually does have the time, by picking up a defender, putting him where he wants him and then leaving him there. It's very elegant but does make even the best defenders look like clumps we've seen him do it at every level against all comers. Still I think Dawson and Walker should look very hard at their positioning. I think what Walker needs is a little less certainty that his place is assured, something that having benni back to free up naughton may well do. AVB seems to like keeping his CB's in pairs, I do too now i see it in practice, he may want a horses for courses approach with full backs, he may just switch them out on form, gut feeling or phase of the moon, either way, competition for his place is exactly what Walker needs right now i feel. Great summary as ever Windy
    1. Fantastic points, can't argue with a thing you've said.


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