Premier League 2021/22: Man Utd vs West Ham ~ Sat 22nd Jan 3pm KO

jsp

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A rare home 3pm kick off for Man Utd this week surprised this game wasn't picked for TV.

Utd won the game at the London Stadium earlier in the season for me one of our best performances under Ole this season even if we were a little lucky at the end with De Gea pulling off a great penalty save to keep it at 2-1. West Ham got their revenge a few days later when Utd made a load of changes and were knocked out of the league cup 1-0, West Ham were the better team that night no doubt about it.

Big weekend in terms of the top 4 race Utd can go ahead of West Ham with a win and Spurs face Chelsea and Arsenal have Burnley at home in a fixture we might as well call "el covido" since neither team seems to want to field a team these days.

It's the last league game for a few weeks Utd don't currently have a league game after this one until the 12th Feb due to winter breaks and FA Cup. I kind of assumed they'd try to catch up on some of the matches in the backlog but as nothing has been announced it's unlikely they will be at short notice.

Team news wise we might see Cavani, Lingard, Shaw and AWB return to the squad as far as I'm aware their issues aren't long term and Sancho should be back after missing last nights game due to a family funeral. West Ham seem to be pretty much full strength they're missing Zouma and Diop who were the first choice CB pairing but they've got decent cover. McTominay might be a doubt after going off injured last night but didn't seem like anyone else picked up any problems.

Going to be a very tough game West Ham are a very good side this season they haven't had the midweek game to deal with so they'll be fresh and they've got some forward players in decent form so they'll really fancy their chances. I'm sure Antonio will be licking his lips at the thought of going one vs one against Lindelof so Lindelof will need to make sure he isn't left one vs one to often against the big man. Rice will no doubt boss the midfield it would have been good to see McTominay go up against him.

Selection wise apart from fitness reasons hard to see any real reason to change it from the team that played at Brentford.

DDG

Dalot Lindelof Varane Telles

Bruno McT Fred

Greenwood Ronaldo Elanga.

If McT is injured I guess Matic has to come back in which would be a worry as physically I'm not sure he could handle 90 minutes of Rice and Soucek we saw how he tailed off towards the end vs Villa but we don't have much else to choose from.
 

Mr C

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Lindelof out after being burgled.

Judging by Sancho's insta he's lost his aunt. Not sure if he'll be available.
 

jsp

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Sancho missed the last game for the funeral of his aunt which was on Wednesday so I guess he'll be back in the squad.

Bit of a random reason to miss a game for Lindelof but big chance for Maguire to come back in and take his spot in the team.
 

Mr C

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His wife and kids has to hide in a cupboard. Think they've gone back to Sweden.
 

SuperRash

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Phew!

Two in two for Rash. Hope his confidence is taking a boost here!

If only we hadn’t messed up at Villa, would of been a perfect 7 days.
 

Berba_God

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What a relief! I was looking at the table in despair before the goal. Still relying other teams to falter unfortunately
 

Cosmic Slop

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What a relief! I was looking at the table in despair before the goal. Still relying other teams to falter unfortunately
making sense of the table right now is an effort in futility. Burnley have 5 games in hand over us, for instance, we're in 4th... unless Spurs win 1 of their 3 games in hand, or Arsenal win 1 of their 2 in hand and draw the other, etc. The good news is we are pulling back Chelsea's lead. One game at a time. Ralf-ball is starting to work, Rashford is coming back into form.
 

SuperRash

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I'd love to have Rice shielding our back four.
Yep agreed. I have had my doubts about him in the past but he really has come on leaps and bounds. Would cost an absolute packet now but as a long term investment he would be worth it.
 

Mr C

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Great result, and an incredibly mood lifting way to win.
But another pretty dull performance. We're winning but not really controlling games or playing that well.

The talk of Rice, he'd be a great signing, but why would he choose United currently. That's going to be the problem.

We are kind of in the area of trying to find the next star rather than the current one
 

Sideshow Bob

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United controlled the game against one of the better teams in the league. West Ham had only one real opportunity. United are playing with structure and look organised which we didn’t really see under Solskjaer. The next step is to improve is creating chances.
 

jsp

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Great result, and an incredibly mood lifting way to win.
But another pretty dull performance. We're winning but not really controlling games or playing that well.

The talk of Rice, he'd be a great signing, but why would he choose United currently. That's going to be the problem.

We are kind of in the area of trying to find the next star rather than the current one

Rice spoke glowingly about Old Trafford after the game Utd can still be a huge draw and we are one of the few clubs who could afford him but he’d want to see Utd as title contenders to come here I think.

i don’t really see City, Liverpool or City breaking the bank for him as they aren’t desperate for a player like him whereas we are.

From what I saw West Ham came for a draw they sat deep to frustrate Utd tried to nick one on a break or set piece. A typical Moyes performance at Old Trafford he never used to have a go with Everton that’s why I never felt he was right for Utd. It took until the final minute but Utd did eventually break them down when West Ham did commit a few players forward.
 

SuperRash

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Great result, and an incredibly mood lifting way to win.
But another pretty dull performance. We're winning but not really controlling games or playing that well.

The talk of Rice, he'd be a great signing, but why would he choose United currently. That's going to be the problem.

We are kind of in the area of trying to find the next star rather than the current one
I think we have been playing well the last few games and we are starting to see Ralf implement some good things. We had a brain fade 10 minutes vs Villa but this team is a work in progress still but progress is what we are starting to see.
 

RVN

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It was an encouraging performance where we controlled parts of the game, West Ham did sit back which helped with this. Elanga and Greenwood worked really hard to track back all game to help Dalot and Telles, if Rashford or Sancho want to start games then they will have to match this workrate. Maguire had a good game and the subs wanted to make an impact. The players looked up for it and it was good to see smiles back on their faces after the winner. The only issue is the lack of clear chances we create, however i'm sure this will change.
 

Cosmic Slop

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It wasn't the most breathtaking of matches but we looked like a properly coached team executing a plan. Our defense looked pretty good, considering. There were previous games where Telles and Dalot looked like they weren't ready but RR has calmed them down or changed things enough that they don't look out of place. I still think Shaw is a better attacker but Telles is doing decent enough in his absence. Maybe a few too many aimless crosses, no one in the box and he's pumping it in anyway. Maguire was better in this game than he'd been in his last several, don't know if he's "back", as I've seen elsewhere. I think both Maguire and Lindelof look better with Varane next to them, still think we could do with an upgrade on both.

I was interested in this Rice fella everyone keeps going on about. West Ham's midfield didn't look like they were bossing ours. Didn't really see a 100 million pound player in light blue. I think he'd improve our midfield but if we are spending big I'm not sure he's the player that's going to transform us. We need a non-erratic version of Bruno who wants to dictate the temp of the game and control midfield. I don't think Rice is that player, I don't really care about his price tag, the only way it really affects us is if that is the entire transfer budget or he gets the yips as he tries to "justify" the price (as has happened with Sancho and Maguire).

Glad Rashford scored, should really help his confidence. He used his space better, although his 1v1 stuff is shit, and he needs to come up with a different plan.
 

jsp

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It can only be a positive when the lads in the team start playing well as it puts the pressure on the players on the bench to perform when they come on.

We've seen how a bit of competition has given some players a much needed kick up the backside in recent seasons with DDG and Shaw who maybe felt a little bit to comfortable of their starting spot.

I don't think any player is happy sitting on the bench especially in winter when it's cold so give the manager a reason to put you in and once you are in don't give him a reason to drop you.

This little mini break has come at a bad time really good chance to build momentum but now it's 2 weeks with no game.

I'm only going on what is being reported but feels like they've started to look like a team as well which can only be a positive and that's another clean sheet for Rangnick how we've missed them.
 

Mr C

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I'm not seeing this massive improvement to be honest. No shots in the first half against West Ham at home. And to be honest only some terrible defending made the difference. A draw at home to West Ham probably would have been fair.
I think the 1 - 3 win at Brentford didn't really tell the full story, De Gea made some key saves, we blew a 2 - 0 lead at villa that we probably didn't deserve and Villa were the better team in the cup.
I saw a joke/meme whatever you call it, Man Utd team photo, and it was jsut a picture of De Gea. Which is about right. He has saved us a lot of points this season.

For me, we are getting the results, but the performances are not good. I still don't enjoy watching us. We don't attack enough and we don't dictate or control games.

We are going to battle for 4th, and I would say we a 4 - 6 team. Which is not good enough. And I still don't see us getting the 4th spot unless we improve dramatically.

I've always said for me, results are important, but entertainment is the most important, and we don't entertain at all.
 

jsp

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Brentford caused us a lot of problems with set pieces and counter attacks we were never really out played by them they say deep and played direct we didn't handle it well and on set pieces they were having 2 or 3 attempts off one set piece because we couldn't clear the ball. We rode our luck but that happens in football sometimes and when our spell came and the chances arrived we took them that sometimes is the difference between top and bottom sides.

The Brentford and Villa games were both great entertainment and yeah had Brentford took those chances in the first half the mood could be very different.

West Ham came to spoil that game on Saturday and it worked they didn't really give us a sniff until the last minute. They wanted to play on the break but Utd never really allowed them a chance to break on us which is a major positive.

I think 4-6 is fair dissapointing after the last two seasons to be back in this spot but it's been pretty clear that we're still way behind City and Liverpool and I think this season Chelsea have looked a better side but the injuries seem to have knocked them back a step they still look goal shy.

Good performances should bring good results but Utd were playing badly and getting bad results normally the way to change that is to steady things which is what I think Ralph has done it's small steps forward. I think really we need him to deliver short term results on the pitch to get us in the top 4 and hopefully deliver the longer term results off it by helping these new execs set things up properly so we don't keep falling into the same traps.

Utd still look miles from a title winning side but lets hope the slide is over and we don't have to worry about shipping 4 goals against teams in the bottom half for the rest of the season.
 

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