Three talking points from the weekend

  1. Man United’s priority is not getting back Wayne Rooney, but sorting out a defence that is lacking in cohesion.
    All the hype surrounding Everton’s remarkable comeback against Man Utd on Saturday focused on the absence of Wayne Rooney. Although it was a surprise and bound to create extra tabloid fodder, that it remained the headline at the end of the game was a disappointment. Both teams deserved more. Everton started superbly and by scoring two goals in injury time did to United what no team has done for almost ten years, cancel out a two-goal deficit with Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.
    Both teams attacked with creativity and imagination, the game flowing from end-to-end, but United’s weakness lies in an unsettled defence. Patrice Evra’s wild attempt at a clearance led to the first goal, while Johnny Evans is struggling alongside Vidic at centre back. Neville is no longer a first choice, but Brazilian Rafael appears to have lost favour with Ferguson for the time being.

    Johnny Evans is struggling to fill Rio Ferdinand's boots

    However, up front, Berbatov played well, stretching the Everton defence at every opportunity and taking the third goal with the confidence of a 40 goal-a-season striker. Rooney was hardly missed, while Nani delivered two superb crosses for the goals. Unlike the media love-in for Scholes, I didn’t feel he had a great game. Everton restricted his presence going forward by having Cahill and Fellaini as their attackers, both tough-tackling midfielders.

  2. Don’t believe everything you read in the media about players’ form or confidence:
    If Fernando Torres wakes up this morning and feels a little harshly treated by the media, well it’s because he’s been a little harshly treated by the media. Football writers around the country sat in stunned silence as Jamie Redknapp lambasted Torres for his first-half performance at half-time in Liverpool’s 0-0 with a superb Birmingham side.

    Reina shows off his Safe Hands

    The same writers then took their lead from the Sky pundit as newspapers criticised the man they claim is not right, still unfit, looks like he “doesn’t care” was another oft-repeated quote. This then the same Torres that got the winner against West Brom the previous Liverpool game and got two for Spain the following week, admittedly against Liechtenstein, but the two were good goals and Spain only managed four.
    The same writers were also slamming Pepe Reina after his mistake against Arsenal on the opening day. And they were asking questions as to whether he retained the confidence of his teammates. Well he made some of the best saves you’ll see this season (as he did against Arsenal too by the way) to show that form is exceptionally temporary, class is permanent. Oh and Torres will come up against Vidic next Sunday. If that doesn’t boost his confidence I don’t know what will.

  3. The league table is lying.
    Fair enough, Chelsea and Arsenal deserve to be up there. No-one is about to begrudge Blackpool their spot, but the likes of Everton shouldn’t be in this position after four games. Outstanding commitment and skill, Moyes’ men will start climbing the table very quickly with a decent run of games put together. West Ham are another team who deserve better than the zero points they currently have. With some tough games already behind them and a manager whose demeanour doesn’t exactly scream “give me some time because I’m loveable”, it’s been a tough start but the table is all topsy-turvy right now and we are going to boldly predict West Ham will finish in the top ten. Boom. Please keep reading the blog, I regret nothing.
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