by • August 23, 2017 • Match reportsComments (2)916





A strong crowd of almost 28k turned out to see United knocked out of the League Cup at the first hurdle.

Im not that bothered about going out. I’m used to it by now anyway. I didn’t walk away tonight with the same sense of frustration when McClaren named a strong side and lost to Sheffield Wednesday a couple of years back. Back then in the halcyon days of 2015 the cups were seen as a realistic target for the season until the realisation set in we were utterly doomed for the drop….

That was then and everything has changed, hasn’t it?

Brighton made 11 changes for their game at home to League Two opposition and Huddersfield made almost as many at home to League one opposition. Both are in the next round after scraping wins and doing what we could not. If either had gone out I’m sure the attitude would have been similar to that of Chris Hughton when we went out at Peterborough in 2010 – it’s the league that matters.

There’s frustration at this on social media and most likely off social media. Lee Ryder on twitter posted that United had fielded a championship side and been out fought by another. I didn’t take that from the game.

United started well and Aaarons fed Mitrovic who finished well. After that Forest dominated for a good 25 minutes and deserved their equaliser and probably to take the lead. Darlow had already saved us once or twice. The defending was poor but it would be with the people playing in it.

We finished the half well. Aarons scored a beauty. He’s a good player.  The second half was one way traffic with Darlow not involved at all. United spurned good chances and positions. Aaarons was excellent. Murphy showed glimpses. Saivet was much improved in the no.10 position (but still not that good). Barlaser grew into the game and Mitrovic had a great chance to win it. Forest hit the bar and we headed for extra time.

Which was dreadful. Soft goal, no answers, no progress. We were playing lads who aren’t wanted here. The manager doesn’t want them. The fans don’t want them and their team mates probably don’t want them. Grant Hanley did well last year when called on. He was hopeless tonight. Shocking. Sterry didn’t have a good game. Gamez was better than the two of them combined but was still average. Darlow did well until he fluffed his lines at the end.

The kids and the rejects and Mo Diame have been beaten. I begrudge Forest because I don’t like them and besides 20 mins in the first half, they didn’t do much to merit their win. Win they did though and this needs consigned to history sharpish as Saturday is what tonight was sacrificed for and it’s Saturday that matters.

I’ll save my outrage at another day. The manager picked players in his squad he doesn’t rate but the key thing is that they are still his players, in his squad. Let’s hope a few of them made their last appearances for United tonight.

Let’s beat West Ham. If we can.

Darlow 6, Sterry 4, Hanley 2, Mbemba 6, Gamez 5, Murphy 6, Diame 6, Barlaser 5, AARONS 8, Saivet 6, Mitrovic 6

Our fans: 6 – probably the highest gate of the round (again). ‘Cup crowd’ though so no noise


Their fans 7: Good numbers. Quiet until the end but it wasn’t really that type of occasion.

Alex Hurst


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  1. JG says:

    Fair review. Thought it would be worth mentioning a bit more on Mitrovic and Murphy, since they weren’t mentioned much.

    Mitrovic I thought looked good but suffered on a few occasions in the box where the ball got stuck under his feet (why does this always happen to him?) but outside of the box it was nice to see us actually advance the ball as a team with his link up, rather than kick it to Gayle over the top and watch him chase shadows whilst our nearest player is 40 yards away. For all of Mitrovic’s faults (bearing in mind he is still young himself), I can’t help but feel we’re a much better attacking TEAM with him on the pitch.

    Murphy looks like a Premier League player with the ball at his feet. The problem is a large part of the game is played using your brain, and his decision making was shocking tonight. He’s very good at dribbling and putting defenders under pressure and making them back track, sadly he’s also very good at holding on to it for too long and running himself into trouble. I fear for him though, because our fans won’t be patient while we’re losing, and I worry that they’ll be on his back before he’s had a chance to get started.

  2. JurassicClem says:

    Reds fan here. Just to even it up a bit, you seem to have forgotten we had 6 changes ourselves and our two most influential midfielders had gone by early second half – that’s why we struggled a bit in the second half. But it’s the League Cup. Everyone seems to field a reserve or semi-reserve team for the League Cup. I suppose it helps the managers give minutes to those players not getting starts.