Football is football – nothing is granted until the referee blows the final whistle. Like Adidas’ motto, “Nothing is impossible”, so anything can happen.
Manchester United’s dream of treble like the one in 1999 has shattered when Manchester City defeated them in the semi-final of the FA Cup at Wembley. Berbatov’s misfiring, Carrick’s clumsiness, Scholes’ reckless tackle and last, not least, Rooney’s suspension, all sent City to the final in May 14.
Berbatov’s misfiring – If you’re facing one on one with the keeper, it is a must score situation and he should have scored against Joe Hart. If he had done that, there’s no doubt United would have been in driving seat. But it’s a shame that he couldn’t take his chances in this game. So, it is as simple as that if you don’t take your chances, you’ll have to pay for that. I don’t know whether it’s just his luck or his match sharpness. He has done quite well this season and scored most goals in the premier league but that doesn’t granted him in the first place. I think his style of play cost him not to get a regular starter in the United squad. Although his technique, instinct and genius made him one of the top strikers in Europe, his playing style looks like that he’s just a laid back person or not playing hard enough for his team. I think that makes Ferguson doensn’t always rely on him in big matches. Since he’s not playing regularly, there’s nothing to doubt that his form will be on and off like this. His misfiring opportunities truly cost the FA Cup.
Carrick clumsiness – Losing the ball just outside of the penalty area right infront of his own goal is committing suicide. Recently, he’s been playing for United quite regularly because many other players are injured. But his movement, passing and vision are jaded and looks like he’s not match-fit. His defensive skill and holding the ball in the middle of the park are not that great and that makes United a hole in central midfield and opposition teams are taking advantage of this. Fergie should drop him unless he finds his best form. But it is very understandable why Ferguson use him. The answer is – he doesn’t have any player to fill that gap right now as many of them are injured. If I were in Fergie’s shoes – I would drop Carrick and put Darron Gibson for defensive midfield. He has to gamble it. If Carrick or the whole United team keep playing like this, I’m sure they will have a real problem against Schalke 04 in Champions League semi-final and they might have to say goodbye to the Final in Wembley, again.
Scholes’ reckless challenge – It’s nothing strange to see Paul was sent-off like this. Many great footballers, present and the past, agree that’s he one of the most complete footballers (midfielders) in modern football. Yes, it’s true. His genius, his techniques, visions, passings, match understandings, goal scoring with both his head and legs, control of the game has made him one of the greatest players of the English football history but his tackles are some of the worsts and which made him miss many important games, including UEFA Champions League final match against Bayern Munich in 1999. After trailing one goal, it’s become more difficult for United when he was sent-off. It made United an uphill battle against their neighbour. If he was not sent-off, things could be a little different in the final stages. So, it will be much better for United if he stops tackling around.
Rooney’s suspension – If Rooney had been wise or mature enough, he wouldn’t be banned and would definitely start this match. That would be more difficult and danger for City for sure. He’s one of the few players, who can do the miracles during the game. Remember, the game against Man City at Old Trafford ??? Although he’s not at his best, he’s that kind of player and create unbelievable things during the match.
Anyway, United’s dream of winning the treble again is gone and rightly so they don’t have the squad to win the treble this year. So, they just need to concentrate on remaining two trophies. If they want to win, they need to tighten the midfield and need to be ruthless in front of the opponent’s goal.