As a student, I know only to well just what it takes to get something done, well, let me perhaps rephrase that, I know how to summon up the strength and mental focus to get a job done, at the last minute, & , one which I have no choice but to do. I call it the student technique, one in which you only perform when you are forced & when the work needs to get done.
Man Utd kind of remind me of this student technique somewhat, particularly this season. A season in which they have fallen behind in 8 of the 12 games they have played so far. It seems to me that United can only bring themselves to score once they have the motivation of going behind. Why not just save everyone a bit of time by just booting the ball into their own net straight from kick-off.
Anyway, even without this act of self-motivating seppuku, we, I mean, United have a massive task on their hands at Chelsea tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what sort of tactics Sir Alex Ferguson has in mind – does he try and exploit the host’s potentially shaky defence (more on that shortly) by persisting with the attacking formation of the last couple of weeks, or does he beef up the midfield, given Chelsea’s strengths in that area? If there is one thing thats certain, is that United can not afford to gift Chelsea any goals, and this whole idea of you score first please will have to be addressed.
The idea of deploying an attack minded side could be quite a gamble, I say gamble as that would leave Uniteds already shaky defence exposed to Chelseas midfield trio, Hazard-Oscar-Mata. Perhaps Sir Alex may want to look at trying to balance the many attacking options (in-form options too – all four of their strikes have scored at least one in the past week) United have with the most sensible way to combat Chelsea is quite a head-scratcher for Sir Alex Ferguson. But then again he’s been dealing with such head-scratchers for a little while now. Rooney slotting into midfield and working his form from there seems to be working, and that could prove crucial in tomorrows game.
So, Chelsea all of a sudden appear to have a somewhat unstable back four. Two goals were waved in against Spurs and a further two against Shakhtar Donetsk, something that even Petr Cech agrees needs looking at. I remember him saying just after the Shakhtar game about the United game: “I think it will be another exciting game, and we have to defend better. But, on the other hand, they have been conceding and leaking goals, so it could be very exciting if both teams play like this! The score could be quite entertaining.”
He’s probably right to be worried. For all their other concerns, United have been scoring rather freely, bagging 21 in eight league games – perhaps, as mentioned above, scoring plenty out of rather pressing necessity, but scoring nonetheless. In addition, John Terry will be absent again, although his presence on Tuesday didn’t seem to help them out too much.
But Cech’s right – goals aplenty could be in order on Sunday.