United prosper from complete team performance

Bursaspor 0-3 Manchester Utd: Observations

Bursaspor Kulubu v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League

Whilst the White Hart Lane crowd were fully immersed by the supposed new ‘Welsh Wizard’ that is Gareth Bale, there was nothing so similar at the Bursa Ataturk Stadium as United were not so reliant on one man; it was more the contribution of the whole team. The night was by no means perfect, course Nani and Darren Fletcher picked up worrying injuries, but the visitors were excellent and ran riot.

Although it was encouraging to see Manchester United win a game so easily, it was even more pleasing the way in which they were organised; an effective 4-5-1 system in which they displayed much verve via their wingers and were, also tight at the back. Indeed, this was their fourth clean sheet from as many games. Even if you were to take into consideration the quality of opposition, United were hugely impressive; this was a complete team performance. You had Michael Carrick pulling the strings from the centre, a welcome boost for United if he could return to form, alongside Fletcher, who was equally effective, if not more, having powered United into the lead.

Via Total Football application on the iPhone

Carrick = genius. He was flawless, as the diagram above shows. A mammoth 91 passes out of 99 were deemed successful. His most important contribution was his assist for the first goal.

There were also goals for Gabriel Obertan and that chap Bebe. The former was in full swing, justifying Sir Alex’s selection, using all the pace and guile that the big-headed (literally) winger could muster. His goal, and United’s second, was spectacular, yet he made it look far too easy. You sense that the Frenchman has finally come into his own at Old Trafford, and that a place in the XI against Wolves on Saturday beckons.

No one knows quite what to expect from United’s surprise acquisition (well, everyone is) of the summer. Funnily enough, but also quite tragic, there were claims that Daily Mail reporters were jumping off tall buildings after Bebe found himself on the scoresheet.

It was a joy to watch; not so much because United won so convincingly, but because it felt a contribution from everyone. Berbatov was most notably below-par, however, although that’s rarely a surprise from a player who would be better off nicknamed the ‘frustrating genius’. Bursaspor fans, credit to them, were electric in noise throughout, yet their beloved team could hardly muster a whimper against a dominating Manchester United. Job done anyway – that’s United in the last 16.


6 responses to “United prosper from complete team performance”

  1. Tom says :

    Where do you see Carrick in a years time?

    • The Gaffer says :

      Back to his form of 07/08 I hope. He was the central figure (literally) to our Euro/League triumph, and United missed the ‘good’ Carrick last year. I hope he’s still in the red of Manchester come next year…

    • luckystriker says :

      Gaffer, is there a possibility that Carrick won’t be with us next year? Have you heard any rumours?

  2. The Gaffer says :

    I haven’t heard anything but I do realise that not everyone is on the Carrick wagon. I don’t see it happening; Sir Alex knows of his importance to the side. Unless, something really dramatic happens…

    • luckystriker says :

      I’m a big fan of Carrick myself, and I also don’t see Sir Alex selling him next season either. I think this Xabi Alonso quote says it all,

      “He reads the game so well, he is always ahead of what is going to happen and he is always in the right position. When he gets the ball, he plays it easy and he is available to his team-mates all the time. For me, he has the profile to play for Barcelona or any of the Spanish teams.”

      link to quote: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/international/article7148460.ece

  3. The Gaffer says :

    Yes, aware of this quote; and it sums up Carrick as does this one below from another admirer, even more encouragingly so, in the shape of arguably one of the best passers of the ball in the game. Xavi:

    “Carrick gives United a balance and can play defensively too. He passes very well, has a good shot and is a complete player.”


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