Craftsman Scholes defies age while Berbatov excels

Manchester Utd 3-0 Newcastle Utd: Observations

Dimitar Berbatov

If you closely inspect Paul Scholes‘s birth certificate, I’m sure you’d find an error in the date of birth section. From yesterday night’s evidence, that almost certainly wasn’t a 35 year-old running the show and dictating the play so easily.

In a typical Scholes-like carefree manner, he had the all five Newcastle midfielders in his pocket and although the performance from United was good, not great, he certainly deserves most plaudits for his individual brilliance in this victory although Dimitar Berbatov continued to display his excellence on the football pitch. Scholes’s passing game had spectators purring, for there is no better passer of the ball in the English game. In total, he attempted 104 passes, more than any other player this weekend. Ginger Xavi, he is. Typically for great effect, his tackling was as bad as usual.

If he keeps this up, he can play until he’s Fergie’s age. The same can be said of Ryan Giggs, scorer of the third goal. It was an exquisite finish, a marker of intent, if you like, that he too means business in what is his 1000th campaign in top flight.

If Scholes is Batman, Berbatov played a ‘Robin’ role, only not so mediocre as in the movies. Sir Alex described his finishing as ‘careless’, and he was right only on the basis that he should have scored more. Fergie went on to say he played ‘marvellously’, and indeed he did. Aside scoring the opening goal, he was a constant threat for Newcastle, making inroads into their shabby defence, piercing his way this way and that. Lazy it was not.

The only disappointment was that Rooney cut a frustrating figure on numerous occasions, symbolic of his ineffective performance in a game in which he was substituted shortly after the hour-mark. Of course, he’ll come good soon but a goal will certainly relieve some pressure and banish the harsh words of critics for the time being. Form is temporary, class is permanent. Rooney knows that.

United were utterly dominant, but tougher tests will soon arise. They do have plenty of positives to take from this game, aside from the obvious, they defended well and kept a clean sheet. Scorer of the 2nd goal, Darren Fletcher also complimented Scholes perfectly, suffocating Newcastle’s middle men and from the offset, allowed the home side to control the game. United should be satisfied, but you can’t help but feel Paul Scholes isn’t quite as. Knowing Scholes, he’ll always strive to improve. Problem is, that it may be difficult to top this performance.

Ratings: Van der Sar 7, O’Shea 6, Vidic 7, Evans 6, Evra 7; Valencia 7, Fletcher 7, Scholes 9, Nani 7; Berbatov 8, Rooney 5. Subs: Chicharito 6, Giggs 8, Rafael 6

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6 responses to “Craftsman Scholes defies age while Berbatov excels”

  1. Homer says :

    To call scholes the Ginger xavi is just insulting. Rather, xavi should be the spanish scholes

    • The Gaffer says :

      Oh dear. It was a little joke. I do realise I’m not the wittiest person on this planet…but I thought I’d add that ‘joke’ into the piece for good measure. Doh!

  2. timbo says :

    Class is permanent, unfortunately Rooney has none, and never has had. As with many others, you mistake industry, straight-line pace, and earnest desire for something other than what it is.

    Rooney, in his own way, is as much of an anchor round United’s neck as Van Nistleroy was. Because of his numerous limitations technically, physically, and cognitively, the rest of the team has to work around them and try to cater to his few strengths. That means others have to sacrifice, and the usual lamb to the slaughter – when allowed on the pitch thanks to the predilection for 4-5-1 against stronger teams – is Berbatov.

    Hernandez is the perfect foil for Berbatov in that he reads the game far better than Rooney and seems to instinctively know how to play off the Bulgarian in a way Rooney never does. Thankfully, and to Berbatov’s joy, he also seems to know how to reciprocate.

    I for one would be happy to see the two of them given a run together, keeping Rooney back for solo runs in the 4-5-1 formations. Rooney and Hernandez won’t likely work – it didn’t with Owen, to whom many compare Chicharito, so why should it work with the Mexican?

  3. The Gaffer says :

    Sensationally, I do see your point when you say ‘the rest of the team has to work around them and try to cater’. Of course, when United played the 4-5-1 last season, it was Rooney leading from the front and it did seem as the gameplan was to work around him and give him service, although that isn’t neccesarily a bad thing.

    However, I have plenty a bone to pick. Rooney is probably the most talented player in the Premier League, one of the few who can change a game by himself. I ask you this: where were you when Rooney scored 32 goals last year? Surely a player with ‘no class’ whatsoever cannot score that many goals. Or else, if that were the case, we’d see Maron Harewood score 50+ goals this campaign.

  4. Tom says :

    Muy big concern is who will do the job that Scholes does when he doesn’t play? He wiil probably play about half the games in this season. Carrick can spary the ball around but doesn’t have that magic and class that Scholes does. Very disappointed we didn’t move for Ozil.

  5. riccardo says :

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