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  • colin colin Dec 11, 2008 00:08 Flag

    In Rafa we trust?

    Wendy...of course Benitez doesnt have the bollocks to go out and WIN rather than NOT LOSE...Ive been saying that in posts for months now ...How long does it take for people to pick up on the obvious? We SHOULD have beaten Spurs away, Villa away, STOKE , Fulham and WHU at home, I just cant see as anyone can dispute that ? The reason we didnt is because the side were sent out there to play to a strategy of :hold-position: this is the reason u see all the meaningless little back and forth back and forth exchanges between two defenders deep in our own half only to culminate in the ball being hefted up the line and a quick loss of possession. The same when Carra or Masch win possession only to end up hefting the ball high down the middle again usually for a quick loss of possession ?
    The match at Blackburn was more of the same stuff...Blackburn were pathetic a shadow of the side that Mark Hughes had assembled; they were clearly there to be torn apart but our general approach play was timid ...again simply due to the hold-position strategy and our movement OFF the ball is poor; very little intelligent running into position OFF the ball to give the man in possession the maximum options . Encouraging adventurous play OFF the ball is at odds with the hold-position strategy of Benitez..this match was not as far away from being another two dropped points as the scoreline suggests... if u saw the game think about it. Benitez continues to refuse to play squad men in their natural positions I still maintain that given an extended run of starts particularly if allowed to take up Robbie Keanes position RYAN BABEL would deliver major dividends I cannot see either how such a brilliant disbutor of the ball as Alonso can ever be left on the bench ?
    I feel if Benitez can let go his safety first approach in the second half of the season then we can go all the way and claim the Title but have to say Im not optimistic that he WILL do such a thing.

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    • At first I was going to dispute what you were saying on the grounds that our front men don't make position well enough. But you covered that in your second half, didn't you - they aren't "allowed" to make position and they are played out of position so they maybe don't know how to make position in their unfamiliar roles.
      All I want to add is based on what I saw this morning watching Man U v Aalberg. Close game up to half time. both teams having their good spells. But then it all changed in the second half.
      SAF brought Scholes on to partner Anderson in midfield. For the first 20 or so minutes Scholes and Anderson dominated, moving towards Aalberg penalty area in tandem, passing between each other, spraying balls 40/50 yards out to the touchline to wingers, sliding inch perfect balls through the middle for Rooney and co to run onto in the penalty area. It was magic. Aalberg just weren't in it.
      And then it hit me. We have 2 world class players who can do this, too and for the whole 90 minutes, not just 30 minutes until scholes got a bit tired. If they are allowed.
      3 (or 4) at the back, Masch just in front as insurance, ala Carrick (or Hargraves), two genuine wide men to keep both sides of their defence busy and 1 or 2 guys up the middle to make runs into the area. Plus, both our guys can shoot from 40+yards.
      I suppose you are right, it all comes down to the players being allowed to play the way we all "know" they can.
      What's that old saying ... attack is the best form of defence?

      • 1 Reply to ajay
      • Ajay ...thanks for the response ..yeah I think its Rafa that is the cause of the malaise where our goal stats not to mention lack of entertainment are concerned . We have the talent in abubundance there in the squad but the straight-jacket of Rafas hold position strategy stifles that talent. I have been saying in posts for months now that our movement OFF the ball is awfulbut this is because running into space to receive a return pass or create a decoy for someone in a better position to receive the ball is NOT compatable with the hold-position tactics of Benitez. We never seem to get bodies in the opposition box even for corners and other set-pieces ? At Blackburn we had one maybe at times two in the box for corners whilst they by contrast had five or six in there ?
        As u say SAF uses...USES his wide men in an adventurous exciting way and while I have nothing down for the Mancs in my heart my head tells me he has got it right. Of course we have the talent in the squad to do the same ! Maybe even do it better !!! IF Rafa eases up and allows the squad more freedom to play a more open attacking game in the second half of the season then I think we could be in for some real entertainment and likely will lay claim to the title this year BUT I have my doubts that he has the moxy to go for it preffering to stick with his :hold-position: safety first tactics that we see EVERY single game we play...we are starting to resemble the old BORING ARSENAL of the late sixties early seventies, put quite simply under Benitez what we lack is......STYLE.