The Last Word 02.11.08
Hull’s late lucky fightback, Ronaldo back in form, Berbatov and Tevez and arrogant Ramon Calderon. Plus Man United24 Quiz answers.
1. Credit must go to Hull for getting themselves back into the game against United after they looked out of it. The Red Devils shouldn’t have allowed the Tigers to have a sniff at 4-1 but a bit of complacency and luck made for a nervy finish. Rio Ferdinand at first glance looked like he had beat Mendy for strength but was beaten for pace and the unfortunate tangle of legs brought Mendy down. If he had stayed up I don’t think a penalty would have been given but that’s how the game goes. The midfield looks slightly weak especially with Hargreaves and Scholes out though Carrick is back and Anderson surely deserves more playing time.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo’s vow to win back fans is looks like it has already started as the winger scored two goals in the win against Hull, adding that the two against West Ham making it 6 goals already this season in the league. He looked like he was playing catch up after missing the first few games through injury but now must be the favourite for the Golden Boot once again. Against Hull he was back to his best but the hat-trick eluded him once again.
3. Berbatov has added more to United’s game and his link up play is fantastic. He drops deep, close to the centre circle and the players play around him. Rooney had to play supporting role to the Bulgarian while Tevez started on the bench once again. The Argentinian will fight for his chance but as he and Berbatov like to drop deep, Sir Alex is finding it hard to accommodate the two together.
4. It looks like the relationship between Madrid and Manchester United was not as close as it seemed. Ferguson has branded Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon ‘arrogant’ after his pursuit of Ronaldo. Madrid have openly stated that they have put an offer on the back burner but reading along the lines they prefer that United don’t feel too sour about this and reject all their approaches outright such as the situation with Robinho and Chelsea. It is destined for Ronaldo to leave but not in the near future according to Ferguson.
“I don’t care two monkeys about our relationship with Real Madrid to be honest with you,” Ferguson said. “We have the player we want. They don’t have the player they would like. All that is going on regarding Calderon is to do with the fact that they couldn’t get Cristiano. Calderon promised so much that he would get the lad. Some of his comments are ridiculous. There is a complete arrogance about it all. There was no question of Ronaldo leaving anyway, absolutely no question. Yes, it’s possible that these are the first shots of another attempt to get him. They do it all the time. We’re ready.”