Player Ratings v Glasgow Rangers

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Manchester United struggled to breakdown a determined Glasgow Rangers. Sir Alex Ferguson has come in for plenty of criticism after making wholesale changes to the team that started against. Personally, I think the players involved deserve greater criticism as the team featured several experienced players with International experience.  The players had an opportunity to impress – to stake a claim for more first team action. Did anyone? Not a chance. No one stuck their hand up and shouted pick me. Man United We could have played all night…The lack of Berbatov, Nani or Scholes on the bench is probably worthy of criticism and the selection of Park.

Starting XI:

Kuszczak – 6.5: Not much to say about his performance really. The odd decent catch from a cross and the odd poor kick are only noteworthy.

Brown – 6: Good to see the return of “Big Bad”. He was solid in defence (when required) but perhaps lacked in an attacking sense – poor crossing in the main. He will benefit from game time at a higher level than his recent run outs for the reserves.

Ferdinand – 7: A nice easy run out on his return after his long injury lay off. Did what was asked of him. I’m not sure if he is quite ready to start against Liverpool on Sunday.

Smalling – 6.5: Decent Champions League debut, perhaps lucky not to concede a penalty… A player of immense potential.

Fabio – 6: Regularly bombed forward without end product – poor crossing. Is he a left back or a right back?

Valencia: Awful awful injury. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery!!

Fletcher – 5.5: Worked tirelessly as per usual, but lacked the creative spark to breakdown a dogged ten man defence – the odd poor pass when chances were on. The creative side of his game has improved since being a regular in the first team, but he is not in the team to be the main creative force.

Gibson – 5.5: Main goal threat with his long range shooting. Wish he would stop shooting at the slightest opportunity. His attacking passing requires improving; perhaps this will come with experience? Who knows? I like Gibson, think he has plenty to offer in a three man midfield, he is perhaps limited in a two man central midfield.

Park – 4.5: Was baffled by his selection – great when given a specific role to limit an orchestrator from pulling the strings, Pirlo for example. However, he lacks the creative cutting edge against teams which park the bus – not his strength.

Rooney – 5: Poor, poor performance – struggling to think of a game where he has played so poorly. He is a million miles off from the player of last season. His head is perhaps elsewhere, which is understandable in some respect – highlights the point Fergie was correct to leave him out for fixture against Everton. Hopefully the tie against his boyhood rivals will fully focus his attention. Luckily and thankfully he did not suffer a serious injury after badly twisting his ankle.

Hernandez – 5.5: With Rangers defending deep and no space available his pace was not utilised. Plenty of movement from him, but the lack of creativity from midfield, the wings and Rooney was telling.

Subs:

Giggs – 6: Brought some urgency, but could not break down the barrier. Decent cameo.

Evans – 5: Odd he replaced Fabio at left back, which is not his natural position – offered less attacking threat.

Owen – 5: Barely touched the ball. Would have preferred Anderson to replace Park – the Brazilian would have offered extra creativity from midfield and prevented Hernandez from being shoved on to the right wing.

If you wish to discuss this issue further with myself or other members of the Stretford End Arising community, you can do so in the forum

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