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Analysis Opinion Insight

Sunday, November 1, 2009

midfield

Man Utd's style has been changing since we bought Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2003. Along with him, we signed Carlos Queiroz to the backroom staff, where he took over from Steve McClaren, helped a very young Cristiano acclimatize, after DB left, he was given the chance to shine, with only Ole, Fortune and Eagles challenging for a right wing place, with Giggs nailing the left wing spot. That season, United transformed from a pass and move team to a running/dribbling team.
Giggs was, for almost a decade, the only "dribbler" in the team, and everyone around him were solid passers and good "space finders".
So we became more reliant on moving with the ball in possesion, and Sir Alex and Carlos had successfully got United playing in a very "old school Brazilian way". We had a squad capable of demolishing teams with brilliant speed on the counter, awesome long and short range passing, and a defensive solidity that was the envy of world football.
We retain the flair in our team with Nani and Anderson, but without Queiroz, they have been pigeon holed into "singular" positions. Anderson and Nani operate best when they are given free reign to go as they please, but they require the "service" of Fletcher or Hargreaves to get and give them the ball, but they are creative when they are given the freedom to fail.

Last season in Rome, we were taught a lesson in "pass and move" a lesson Giggs, Carrick and Ronaldo would do well do take on board. Carrick is without doubt a capable player, is a great passer, has a good range, short and long, and can thread the ball through some of the narrowest of gaps in defenses, but his pass and move game need to increase speed to the level of an "in form Anderson" to truly rip teams apart, as Arsenal and Barcelona do.
Along with Park, we have some very fast and fit players in the squad, and we can take teams apart with our running game, but as long as we continue to rely on Rooney and Berba to run in front of the centre mids to create space, the incisive passing from Carrick and Scholes will only every create 3-4 chances a game, and the wings will only ever create about the same, so unless we actively change the way the midfield operate, we'll never demolish sides how we did 2 or 3 season's ago.

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