A few thoughts, starting at central defense: namely, Nemanja Vidic. When I said that he was not the better center half, that was a comment I'd been holding on to for a little bit. Truth is, Evans bailed him out on more than one occasion. His timing looked off, he looked uncomfortable and his positioning seemed wrong. I don't see any reason for it...the pundits mentioned that he plays on the right with Evans but on the left with Ferdinand...but he's been back there all season with Evans and performed well, so that's no excuse.
Jonny Evans, who's turned into my personal whipping boy as of late, shined against Bolton. He was there on a couple of occasions when Vidic slipped up. He also did something I haven't seen him do recently...he moved the ball up the pitch and was a presence on a couple of United's attacks. He looked a more confident with the ball than he has recently.
Nani played one of the best matches of his season, looking very fleet of foot at times. He seems to have found the balance of when to shoot and when to pass the ball off. He had good control of the ball in this game, something he doesn't always have...combine that with the confidence from his 23rd minute goal and he was able to control the game a bit more in the 2nd half.
Rooney had a miserable game, highlighted only by his long, cross-pitch through ball to Berbatov in the 3rd minute and a howler of a shot in the 40th. Most of the time, when he was in possession it was a "pass first" attitude. He was right at the tip of the United front the whole game, lined up with the last defender alot. Nobody would put a ball through to him because he just didn't have any momentum going forward. He'd be nearly stuck in his tracks. When the commentator said that Mechada was about to come on for Rooney, I was (sadly) happy. If that makes sense.
When Mechada came on, I was reminded that he played more of a wing role against Scunthorpe and wasn't a factor...but perhaps coming on for Rooney, he could stay up front with Berbatov. And he was a factor on a couple United possessions, until Michael Owen came on for Darren Fletcher and he was pushed back out to the wing again in a 3-man front.
I'm a tough man to please sometimes, especially when it comes to ex-Liverpool stars popping up on free transfers at Old Trafford. Michael Owen is in his best form since coming to United. But, like I said...I'm a tough man to please, so I gotta point out that he snagged two goals against just-outside-the-relegation zone Scunthorpe and his header against Bolton. A header, which only just made it inside the far post. You're close to my fandom, Michael....just not quite there yet.
To the links!:
MORE LINKS AFTER THE JUMP!
WOLVERHAMPTON 1 (Jarvis 61)
NEWCASTLE 1 (Nolan (pen) 43)
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