Toothless United fail to break down Rangers’ 9-1 system

Rangers' David Weir keeps a watchful eye on Manchester United's Javier Hernandez

“These figures are stupid,” Fabio Capello once said after being asked what formation England were playing after a qualifying game. “In the modern game, the only formation is 9-1.” Of course, that is all nonsense. Nonsense, unless you’re Rangers however. At times, they reverted to the old ‘park the bus’ system where they constantly put blue shirts into their own box. Then you ask yourself – could you really blame them? The result of their clever ploy? A 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.

Dull was the word to describe the occasion; the beautiful football was played at Camp Nou where Barcelona prevailed over Panathinaikos, beating them 5-1. United fans have seen very few games alike, but Rangers had a negative gameplan which they stuck to, and in the end reaping the rewards. So much so, that the majority of the home side’s efforts on goal were from outside the box – or more precisely, Darron Gibson.

In truth, United’s attacking play had no flow. No verve as we’ve seen time and time again on European nights. How could they when the opposition had introduced a system so defensive that it made North Korea’s World Cup performances look like something inspired by Rinus Michels’ and his Holland team of the 70’s. Indeed, it had 0-0 written all over it. Excuses are excuses, though, and when looked back on it, it was a toothless performance. How ever many defenders Rangers had, it all means nothing when you conclude that Manchester United were lacking answers. Improvement required for sure, but let’s not hit the panic button’s just yet.

However, as bad as the football was, nothing was more horrifying than the scenes of Antonio Valencia being stretchered off for a suspected broken leg. The injury itself was so bad that broadcasters decided not to show the replay. And rightly so. We hope the poor lad makes a speedy recovery – but the signs are pointing to an extremely lengthy-absence. Get well soon, Tony.


12 responses to “Toothless United fail to break down Rangers’ 9-1 system”

  1. trueblue says :

    really its all sour grapes for u lot what do u expect rangers to open up to let u win i rather see rangers beating every one if possible but look at the money uve spent on primadonnas and what rangers have spent it was agood result for us im not happy with the tactics but really got to be sensible in this

  2. trueblue says :

    and another thing broadfoot should have had a penalty dont see anything writing about that ????

  3. skibadly says :

    I wonder if all the Panathanaikos fans would have swapped the beautiful game for 0-0. Didn’t someone like Rome lose 7 once at OT?
    Wayne Rooney is worth twice the Rangers 1st Eleven and earns more than them. Man U had £40Million in Central defence alone!
    Put Rangers, and Celtic, in the Premiership and within 5 years they would be top 8 guaranteed. I won’t make silly claims about winning, but they would be 2 of 8 teams who would have a shot and 1 of them would win it within 10 years.

  4. Gar says :

    Sour Grapes me thinks!! If you give for the fact that in Wayne Granny bagger you have a player worth more than the entire Rangers team, perhaps you can see why they play that efective formation. You honestly expected that no matter what side you put out you would quite easily beat Rangers but football is also about defending not just attacking

    Arise sir walter

  5. Laurence says :

    No sour grapes…have you read the article? There are no excuses for Utd not playing well or winning. Rangers did their job well whilst United didn’t. Simple.

    As for one of Rangers or Celtic winning the PL within 10 years…please get back in your looney bin skibadly ,lol. Top half/mid table yes but top 4 or champs no way, never happen within 10 years. I think both Rangers and Celtic would get the shock of their lives if they joined the PL. The consistancy needed week in week out is very different to Scotland. There is just no comparison.

  6. skibadly says :

    There is no comparison between the leagues, but if you think Rangers and Celtic couldn’t afford better players with access to all that money then I have to disagree with you.
    If you think either team lacks consistency, check their results. They compete with each other and the more consistent usually wins the league.
    As for your insult, I suppose that’s just bitter little boy upset at life. Maybe you should go pull some little girl’s pigtails if you need to feel strong.

  7. rohitvarkey says :

    someone like rome??u mean roma rite?tat combined with the Man U reference shows me tat u have no idea abt football

  8. danny says :

    It was a frustrating night on all fronts. United looked terrible, and rangers looked scared to play past the half line. Cant really blame them for closing down the box, but man, that was really tough to watch. Hopefully United get an actual game next time.

  9. skibadly says :

    Are you telling me there is no connection between Rome and Roma? I said “someone like Rome” Roma is quite like Rome, I think.
    I would be happy to discuss semantics with you, but given that your next 5 words managed to combine no less than 5 grammatical mistakes, I somehow think it pointless. There is no point in fighting a battle of wits against an unarmed opponent.
    I suggest you get someone to explain that to you.

    Danny, fair point, I can see it being frustrating, we have games like that up here. It wasn’t as tough to watch from my end because as I said in my original post, its hardly a level playing field.

    I read this week that Man U(apologies if that name offends some, don’t know why. Maybe because its not my team) offered us a couple of loan players last year, but we couldn’t even afford their wages.

    We don’t ask for sympathy, the world isn’t fair, we just get on with it. And do the best we can.

  10. ben says :

    I know rangers play so defensively. But we if want to become champions must have more answer. If Barcelona can break the defense so do we. If not, how do we compete with them?

  11. The Gaffer says :

    TrueBlue: have you read the article? I described Rangers’ tactics as ‘clever’, although I’m no fan of teams defending so deep.

    No sour grapes – I accepted the result and urged United fans to move on as this is no ‘big deal’ as of yet.

    Of course, the ‘9-1 joke’ was not meant to be taken that seriously.

    Not the first time someone has commented, and criticised, an article without reading. And, Laurence is spot on.

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