United in Stalemate in the Battle of the Roses at Elland Road

  1. Despite the nil-nil scoreline at the end of the match, United’s match against rivals Leeds United was lively but failed to produce any clear-cut chances on either end. United have to be disappointed that their superior quality in the first eleven compared to their rivals did not materialise on the field of play, as Bielsa stuck to his mantra of one-on-one marking all over the pitch and at the end he manged to frustrate the United players.  Indeed, the match was riddled with misplaced passes, as the Leeds players harassed Fernandes et al and gave them no time on the ball to create anything of substance to trouble Meslier in the Leeds’ goal.  Not even the introduction of Pogba – and late in the game of Cavani and Van de Beek – managed to unlock the stubbornness of the Leeds players, although it has to be said that all the substitutions were effected somewhat late to have the desired effect on proceedings.  In the great scheme of things, a point at Elland Road is never a bad result.  Certainly, it is not this type of results that impeded United this season from putting in a more robust challenge to City for the League but rather matches against Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and WBA.  We take stock and move on.  Big week ahead with a double header against Roma in the semi-final of the Europa League and welcoming Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, still my biggest game of the season.  Bring it on.
  2. The point earned against Leeds today was the 67th of the season and is a very important one for this Manchester United team and its Manager. In fact, United managed to eclipse the points tally of last season with five games to go.  Last season, United amassed 66 points over the whole season in pipping Leicester and Chelsea to third spot in the final standings.  This season United are in second place and if they manage to retain that position till the end of the season – no reason why they should not – then that has to go down as progress.  With five matches to go, United need just three more goals to go better than last season for goals scored but they have conceded just one goal less than last season till today, so they will probably also end up conceding more goals than last season.  These data will surely be analysed in more depth by the United hierarchy but at first glance, it transpires that the priority area where United need to improve in the summer is their defence.  I can see a central defender coming in to challenge for a place with Maguire and I just hope that we make the right acquisition to take us to the next level.
  3. No special mention this week because I feel that I’m due to declare where I stand with respect to the European Super League debate. I am actually surprised that the great majority of United supporters were so much against the idea of a league which would pitch our team against the best of Europe over a season.  In fact, I don’t think that United supporters are against an upgrade of the current Champions League format.  What they are against – as I am 100% – is against the thinking that any team, whatever their size and popularity can be guaranteed participation in this new format every season independently of the performance on the pitch.  We love United but at the end we are all sports people, and we will always promote the competitive nature of football.  Any new format – if there is one in the future – has to reward the winners and demote the team on the losing side.  If it fails to do that, then it’s a non-starter.  I won’t go into the issue of money and greed but I will say one thing.  It is fair for the more popular clubs to make more money than others but there has to be enough money left in a pot to help football and football teams in general.

Looking forward to receiving your thoughts on the Facebook page.  GGMU

Article contributed by Contributor RoderickComments are appreciated on our Facebook page.