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Anybody who has been watching center-backs in the premiership this season with particular interest will vouch that Vidic has been nothing short of stunning. Now that was till the Liverpool game; Vidic endured a torrid evening against ‘Himself’ more than the celebrated attacking duo of Torres and Gerrard. It was as if the art of ‘self-destruction’ had been mastered by Vidic on an eventful Saturday afternoon where he would have had a feeling of deja vu of his first start in the United shirt.

Vidic and Ferdinand are a great center back pairing because of the way they complement each other. Ferdinand has more ability on the ball and he is the one to bring the ball out of the defense. Vidic is more of a tackler; the attacking source in the defense and with his reading of the game and great ability to position himself to attack the ball, he has been consistent and very hard to deceive. Vidic usually is the last man before the goal-keeper as Ferdinand positions himself a little ahead of Vidic so that he can take the ball into the midfield. But on Saturday, I thought they defended way too deep and this made it hard for them to take a breather. The midfield pairing of Carrick and Anderson were also deep and that didn’t help either. And without Berbatov, there was nobody to link up with the forwards. The midfield duo were so conspicuously outnumbered and outmaneuvered that they had to drop deep which in turn nullified the attacking threat that usually pose going forward if they had insurance at the back.

Liverpool never played with a high tempo. Leiva and Mascherano did well to keep the ball and all they could muster before Vidic allowing the ball to bounce from Skrtel’s kickout was nothing. The irony of the game was that United were ‘shite’ and Liverpool were comparatively ‘less shite’.

And this game also exposed United’s perennially under performing central midfield. There is no steel in there and they got away with it against Inter. The way they lined up on saturday also didn’t help. Finally, Torres was inspiring in that he played through pain and simply overran Vidic. He single-handedly changed the tempo of the game and hats off to him for his endeavor and desire. United didn’t play with the usual desire or commitment. Somehow one got the feeling they were going through their motions instead of going for it. They seemed jaded and have to wake up fast to ‘salvage’ their season.

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10 Comments

  1. Vidic, to say the least has perfectly fitted into the english defensive style of play and is leading the pack of best defenders in England and Europe.

    Usually ferdinand plays the sweeper role as compared to vidic who attacks the ball in the air. Not many would have noticed what Rio was doing when Vidic left the ball pass over his head. Would like to take Andy Gray’s claim here. Andy Gray said what Vidic tried to do was foolish, in terms that he let the ball go and tried to match up with Torres in terms of pace. Vidic was not trying to outpace Torres. He was merely blocking Torres’ way so that ferdinand clears the ball. But even ferdinand was out of positon. Ideally Vidic should have cleared the ball.
    But Torres who has evolved a lot and has coped very well with the physical aspect of the English game, took advantage of that and strided down the park. One bad decision and one moment of confidence resulted in the goal. This doesn’t brush Vidic off the race for the palyer of the season honor.

    • Good one Poonai. But I beg to differ. Usually Ferdinand plays in a more advanced role of the two centerbacks and he had just gone a little forward and United’s centralmidfield lost the ball and the ball was thumped forward by Skrtel (if I m not wrong). Vidic should have attacked it instead of letting the ball bounce. Ferdinand sweeping for Vidic would have made sense if somebody had been playing off Torres. Torres was alone upfront and If I am not mistaken, nobody attacked the ball and Vidic paid the price for letting it bounce.

      Vidic I think is still the best center back as far as ariel ability and positional play is concerned. He is vulnerable to pace; thats where Ferdinand comes in. Thats why they are a great centerback pairing.

  2. If I’m not wrong it was some years back, when liverpool beat ManU in both home and away match, Riise scored from a direct free kick with a lighting strike. For me this game was all about Gerrard on whom Liverpool most of the times are dependant on. Without him they really run out of ideas.

    Maybe that is why there are rumours that Real would go for Gerrard come this summer.

    • I thought Mascherano was also good. Gerrard didn’t do much apart from the penalty.Gerrard is a terrific footballer, but United were pathetic with their passing and Liverpool didn’t have to work too hard to close them down. Gerrard was more of a presence against Madrid where he ran the show for them. But at OT, he had an OK game.

  3. Whom do you think is gonna be a replacement for Giggs and Scholes one they retire (Assuming that happens in the near future). And why is that Nani is not a regular first team choice? Not to forget, Who would/should replace Sir.Alex Ferguson?

    • Puvi:
      Regarding Fergie’s successor, I am going to post a sort of analysis that I have in my mind of the possible candidates. So watch out for it.

      When Ronaldo, Rooney or Torres make a mistake, it is not too conspicuous. Vidic just had a bad day. As Poonai said, it all started when he decided to let the ball bounce. When defenders make a mistake , it is glaring. I think he should be ok. I am sort of reluctant to give Liverpool all the plaudits because United gifted two goals and before Liverpool scored, I don’t remember them mustering up much in terms of possession or shots on goal. The stats are sort of surprising in that United had almost 58% possession although nothing much came off it.

    • I don’t think anybody can replace Giggs. Tosic has been brought in to rpovide Nani with some competition. As you said, nani has been disappointing. His consistency and decision making in the final thrid is not upto the mark. Sir Alex goes with Park due to his sheer workrate and also due to his austerity in terms of passing. Nani tries more flamboyant and complex passes unlike Park who keeps it simple and gives you great cover on the wings.

      One area where United are pretty light weight is the central area of the pitch. They lack the bite that Keane used to give them. Lets see how Gibson evolves because he certainly has the physique. They have quite a few lined up. Davide Petrucci can play an advanced role in midfield. Possebon is more a laid back layer like Carrick.

  4. All Credit to Liverpool.

    Vidic was under too much pressure after quite a while. Torres was wayy too fast for Vidic and I believe Vidic should have left Torres for Rio and should have handled some other profile. Would have created an uncertainty in Liverpool’s approach, if not anything else. Just my opinion.

    Rio did a fantastic job most of the time, though.

    • It felt like the planets were simultaneously at the wrong place for United. Liverpool romped to victory. As Monsieur Wenger has pointed out, 4-1 flattered pool. One could say United were tired. But no excuses. Credit where its due, Liverpool were worthy winners. I thought it was a deliberate ploy from Liverpool to hit long balls so that they can exploit the vulnerability of Vidic’s pace. But had he cleared it with his head rather than allowing it to bounce, things would have been different.

      That is not too easy to accomplish in quick time. Rio is the sweeper and Vidic usually complements him with his aerial ability. I thought they did ok except for the first goal.

      • The style of play in the middle and the back is becoming more predictable, don’t you think?

        Looking at all the names in United, they do have options to try out different stuff against teams like West Brom..

        But then, the best thing about SAF is he has stuck to his basic strategy, irrespective of whether the opponents were Arsenal or Tottenham, opting for additional strategies in very few games (like the last Chelsea game).

        That has been a major difference between Liverpool and ManU on the League table..

        Fergie’s successor.. That’s a debate. One QC discussion on that? 😛


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