A dire United were deservedly beaten in Suffolk on Easter Monday. 1,900 made the long journey south in good spirits after a great performance at SJP on Friday. What we witnessed was a second consecutive away defeat for Rafa’s side as we somehow managed to throw in an even worse performance than in Sheffield.
Rafa made loads of changes from the team that performed so well on Friday. Absolutely no one played well and no one comes out of today with any credit. The availability of a stream and the beam back at SJP meant that this shambles was witnessed by much of the support, so rather than describe the action here are some general points:
Calamity – the amount of catastrophic mistakes this side have made during games since Christmas is pathetic. Think how hard we have to work to score a goal. How many chances we need. Then think of the goals we’ve absolutely gifted our opponents
QPR – Clark
Norwich – Darlow and Lascelles
Bristol – Dummet
Fulham – Dummet
Sheff Wed -Mbemba and Dummet (goals didn’t materialise but should have done)
Leeds – Lascelles
Ipswich – Ritchie
All of the above are cast iron disasters. Gifts of goals. Ritchie today losing possession and gifting them a goal was not good enough. The first half performance was OK and going in at half time having been in control of the game was fine. To give away possession so easily when we had so many players ahead of the ball was scandalous. It needs cut out.
Sussed – Weve been worked out away from home. Teams now just sit back and wait for the error or the counter attack. We managed to exploit teams ‘having a go’ and it lead to a high successful 13 wins. Not anymore. We can’t deal with long balls away from home and we don’t attack through the middle. Ipswich knew that if held right today eventually we’d gift them a chance. And they took it. It needs sorted for Cardiff.
Little Things – In this poor run (since Huddersfield ) we’ve started doing loads of mental little things wrong and it’s stated to grate. How many times do we let the ball bounce from long balls in our half. You just don’t really see it in football, anywhere. Just head the ball clear. It happened four or five times today and it NEVER ends well for us. Throw ins are a farce. I know they’re small but they just are. They’re basically an opposition set piece. Hanley came short for a couple of quick ones from Dummet today and Paul didn’t even look at him, instead opting to throw the ball to Ipswich.
Wide – Absolutely nothing comes through the middle from us away from home. It’s so predictable that we’ll try and play the call wide. Teams give Atsu space on purpose as they know nothing will happen. See also Goufrann. Canny ball by Atsu for the goal but he wasn’t aiming for Murphy. We start games with Shelvey too deep and then only move him further up the pitch when we’re behind and teams can afford to mark him out the game – why not start with him in a more advanced role? Matt Ritchie is normally marked out of the game or on rare occasions is just rubbish, like today.
Refs – The referee today was another joke. There weren’t even any big decisions to bottle (like Friday’s ref) but rarely have I watched football where the ref just guessed at stuff as much today. However, we never learn. Other teams seem to manage it. Lads can pull us back and not get booked, so our lads need to keep going. No point settling for a free kick in the centre circle. Too many times our lot look to the refs for protection and fair play. It hasn’t arrived all season, so don’t play like you expect it to be applied.
Slow start – the last two games have seen us start games terribly. And by start I mean the first 60 minutes. We allow our opponents to feel their way into games. It hasn’t always been this way this season. I don’t need us to fly out of the traps in the first 15 but Leeds on Friday was a great example of us growing into the game and dominating. It worked, its stopped working away from home.
Promotion – two wins will seal it and that’s with all your other teams winning their games, which they won’t. I’m still 100% confident in going up, which is what matters. It’s infuriating they’ve made it this hard for themselves but we’re still going up.
Well done to Brighton. Their disaster at the end of last season has put them in a great place to go up. Taking six points from them shouldn’t be underestimated.
Today was absolutely rubbish from United. The players, the manager and the stands. Can’t wait to bounce back agains PNE.
Darlow 2 – Today is why Rafa bought Matt Sels. Kicking was shocking all game and lead to the second goal.
Dummet 4 – Great assist for Atsu’s assist. Apart from that struggled. Saw people on social media slating him for ‘jogging back’ at the end. Unlike some of his colleagues, he was knackered as he ran a lot.
Lascelles 2 – Bad bad game and his missed Clark badly alongside him. At least he has the bottle to try and pick players out though. Too many of his team mates just give him the ball and then stand still.
Hanley 4 – No type of partnership with Lascelles or Dummet and they took advantage.
Yedlin 3 – Looked unfit and wasted some good positions.
Atsu – 5: Got an assist and put some decent balls in. The opposition don’t mind him playing though.
Hayden – 4: Looked off the pace and found space in the first half but wasted all the chances.
Shelvey – 3: Poor game for him and he was almost anonymous. Baffled by people calling him out for being lazy. When he’s the worlds greatest player he hardly does any running, he just has he ball. He hardly saw it today.
Ritchie – 2: Poor all game, missed a great chance at 1 0. Started the rot. Dead good at footy but dead bad today.
Diame – 4: Some decent touches and turns in the first half but his decision making was poor. Moving him back in to CM hasn’t worked the last two away games.
Murphy -5: Goal for the big man but Ipswich managed him fine and he didn’t win much in the air. Lacked his usual edge
ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892
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