United End Of Season Review
By Guest Writer Dan Ray.
On the first day of the season (charity shield), Manchester United lined up against Chelsea, I think for most of us fans there was a nervousness looking to that right hand side where we were used to seeing the name Ronaldo……. There was Valencia. He certainly impressed in his first competitive match and drawing 2-2 (losing on penalties) with our biggest challengers having been unlucky not to win the game was a decent start to our season. The excitement was back, could we do it without the worlds best player?
The answer as we know was no, in game 3 of the season we lost 1-0 to a poor Burnley side and didn’t even look like we wanted to win, this was the first sign that we missed the lethal Ronaldo, his bread and butter were teams like this he would score 1 or 2 goals and completely destroy them. The season went reasonably well for most of the way, we were winning matches but not with our usual take no prisoners approach, winning a lot by the odd goal, of course a win is still is a win, and when good teams win by a goal often they are praised for dogged spirit and a never give up attitude.
When the champions league came around with CSKA Moscow making the trip to Old Trafford. The underdogs scored 2 in 11 minutes between the 25 and 36 minutes mark, with a united goal in-between. Just before half time Moscow scored another, United 3-1 down to an inferior team at Old Trafford UNACCEPTABLE. The team that came out for the second half was unrecognizable to that of the first but no breakthrough was made until 85 minutes when Scholes scored to make it 3-2. Oh and Valencia scored another to draw the match for United. This is what we want from the team we follow, never give up and take the chances that we create.
The very next weekend was our second loss of the season, to Chelsea. Cant really argue with that, in the spirit of competition its good that we can all beat each other at the top. That’s not why we finished 2nd, the frustrating mediocre draws with Birmingham, and Blackburn , the niggling losses to Villa and Chelsea (twice). The unexplainable battering by a resurgent Fulham side who were much better than us on the day. Any better result in any of those matches would have delivered the title to Old Trafford for a record breaking 4th consecutive season.
F.A. Cup… United will surely reach the final wont they?…. Not if Leeds have anything to say about it, a terrible performance from United a good goal from Leeds, it was just one of those days, I could have told you we’d lose as soon as that 20th minute goal went in, we just weren’t up for it.
The league cup was a different story, we were brushing teams aside for the most part until the semi-final when our bitter rivals turn up in the draw. Their fans were walking around the streets of Manchester as if they were already in the final, as if their millions of pounds had bought them an inert right to beat Manchester United and with a 2-1 loss in the first leg this was amplified, they were through, they were going to come 4th and win the league cup because they deserved it…. Well a 3-1 return leg made sure that at least one of those wouldn’t be true. United were awesome The Carlos Tevez show never materialized (although he did score). And reminiscent of the league match where Owen had scored in stoppage time, Rooney was to do the same here and put Wembley out reach for The Citizens.
Villa came to play in the final, some controversial decisions and an early goal brought the first silverware of the season home. It wouldn’t be fair to write this report without mentioning THAT WEEK. Rooney sat injured in the centre circle watching Bayern score to put us out of the Champions League, and a loss to Chelsea that put the title back in their hands.
You cant help but feel that if Rooney hadn’t been injured we could have still won the title. The simple fact is that United lost the match in the first leg with inadequate defending and an air of invincibility. This was probably gained from the destruction of legendary European side A.C. Milan, who were made to look like amateurs as they were brushed aside 4-0 in the second leg.
I always say that the team who wins the title deserves it, and that has never been truer than this season when Chelsea were poor at times, but United were poorer, those 2 league losses to our biggest rivals resigned us to our spot as runners up. This was evident on the final day of the season as Chelsea scored 8 against Wigan and we scored 4 against Stoke. The 2 best teams in England fought a hard campaign and next year should be good.
Would we have won it with Ronaldo? I think yes, but we didn’t lets move on. And hopefully spend some of the cash we got from him on some support up front for the Awesome Rooney.
What do United fans think of the 2010 season? Please leave your comments below…
Written by Dan Ray
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