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Observations from United-Spurs

November 1, 2010

I. To get the goal out of the way – the fault lies with Gomes and Clatternburg, the former for not playing to the whistle, the latter for failing to award a penalty and then subsequently a free kick. Nani appears to have been portrayed as the sneaky, greasy, foreigner, looking to gain an unfair advantage by dastardly means, but when he put it in the net, he was being screamed at by Fletcher and others to do so. It was a fair goal, Spurs were 1-0 down at the time and hadn’t looked remotely threatening.

II. Regardless, it was a goal and an assist for Nani – 4 goals and 8 assists in 11 games (10 starts.) There is no more effective winger in the Premier League right now, and there is no more consistently creative player among our ranks.

III. Hernandez is more than a goalscorer. He failed to do so on Saturday, but his overall contribution was good nonetheless. His pressing was effective, and his link-up play was generally good too. Promising again.

IV. It was ‘a good solid win’ – no scares, shocks, disasters, just an efficient performance of controlling the game and seeing the result out. It’s the first of it’s sort we’ve had in a while, and hopefully there will be plenty more.

V. And that must surely have a lot to do with our out-of-form players returning to their past levels of performance. Evra showed defensive composure and awareness that has been lacking since the World Cup fiasco, Darren Fletcher looked a lot better than he has done – although still not back to his best – and even Carrick and Park put in good performances. With everybody in form, there isn’t a team in the league that can compete with us. Over to you, Rooney.

VI. Fergie’s pre-season stressing of the need to get more goals from midfield and defence proved prescient. We struggled to get our strikers into the game today – Berbatov holds the ball up better than anyone else out there, and he showed that today, although his goalscoring touch appears to have deserted him of late. Last season, that would’ve been a disaster. This season, it’s a comfortable 2-0 win.

VII. There can now be no doubt that Rafael is not just the future, but the present as well. Gareth Bale got no joy out of the left flank for the whole game, only going close whilst running through the middle of the park. A year ago we might’ve feared a red card for the young brazilian, but he was as composed today as he has been lethal in attack in the past. No other right-backs in our squad have the mix of pace, attacking ability, and defensive ability that Rafael posesses.

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