At the start of the 2012/13 season teams and players begin with hope and expectations and I thought it would be interesting to review the players who least met expectations this season.
Entries in Rafael (16)
QPR prepared for the visit of the Champions elect on a freezing February day by producing a pitch that makes Old Trafford look like a bowling green. That cold, hard, bobbly surface was presumably designed to bring us down to their level, and it largely worked.
However one man stood head and shoulders above everyone else on the field. Ryan Giggs.
Manchester United beat QPR 2-0 at Loftus Road yesterday and it was a comprehensive win.
Set on their way by a wonder goal from Rafael (you sure he’s a Right Back!?), United overcame the blow of Robin van Persie’s first-half substitution through a hip injury to go on and win the game via a Ryan Giggs goal. Here are the five talking points from the match:
Never has there been a better time for defenders to go on a hot scoring streak. With Wayne Rooney having been sidelined with injury, Manchester United’s defenders have stepped up to fill the gap.
If there was any doubt about who ate all the pies, it was clearly a Wigan Athletic team that labored to usher in 2013 with anything more than a whimper.
As surely as a a Wigan kebab is as 3 pies on a stick, the home team rolled over trying to emulate their annual 5-0 drubbing but succeeded only in going one better.
As we well know Manchester United and City have won the last 2 Premier League titles. Going into Sunday’s match at the Etihad, United fans were thinking of nothing but revenge for losing the title and goals, because they know how important it is to score more than once in a derby-match.
Manchester United won the derby in true United style! To be frank I was very upset when the scores were 2-2 but thanks to Robin van Persie’s free kick (nicely assisted by Samir Nasri!) United won it 3-2 to go six points clear at the top.
Here are four points on United’s performance today:
Manchester United move 3 points clear of an unenergetic Manchester City as the season moves into December with the Derby arriving to give us a chance to open a 6 point gap before Christmas.
Although that's the truth there won't be many United fans reading the above statement with any confidence at all.
Javier Hernandez has scored 4 goals in his last 3 games. That’s not bad for a lad who some fans were writing off after his slow start to the season. Isn’t it funny how quickly things can change.
The little Mexican has now scored 5 goals already this season and without tempting fate looks back to his best.
The player who carries the tag 'most improved' for United so far this year has to be our right back Rafael da Silva, but why is this the case?
His initial introduction into the United team followed a merry go round of Wes Brown, John O'Shea and Chris Smalling playing that role. Phil Jones has provided some competition there too. All tall, all good headers of the ball and all strong defenders.
After the debacle against Spurs at the weekend I did 2 things.
1) I wrote to Rio Ferdinand on twitter (as you do!) telling him ESPN gave him 3/10 and that I don't know how he got 3, and that he needs to buck up his ideas or face the exit.
So Manchester United beat Liverpool at Anfield despite not playing well, both sets of fans behave dignified, Robin van Persie bags the winner from the spot and Manchester City drop points at home to Arsenal. You could say it was almost the perfect day.