Man Utd Slump to a Consecutive Defeat at Newcastle

January 5, 2012 - by mosesbet · Filed Under Sports News Comments Off on Man Utd Slump to a Consecutive Defeat at Newcastle 

Man Utd suffered their first consecutive defeat of the season as they lost 3-0 to Newcastle at the Sports Direct Arena.

Two world-class goals in the first half from Demba Ba and French International Johan Cabaye put Newcastle 2-0 up at half-time, while a 90th minute horror show in defending from Man Utd led to the 3rd goal that sealed all 3 points for Newcastle.

After reading The Times and BBC Football News report on the match, I think the critics have been a little harsh on Utd and Sir Alex Ferguson.  Yes, Man Utd had a poor performance in which they desperately needed to show a strong comeback after their 3-2 defeat at home to Blackburn, but Newcastle were a completely different class.

Johan Cabaye - 25 year old, box-to-box playmaker. The new French Lampard?

You only have to take a glimpse of the precocious talents in the Newcastle team and look at their position in the table to see where their strengths lie.  The 25-year old French International playmaker and box-to-box midfielder, Johan Cabaye, joined from Champions League team Lille for just £5 million in the summer (where he scored 15 goals in a single season to help Lille win the double) and looks set to be the new French Lampard, while Demba Ba, who’s currently 2nd top scorer in the Premier League with 15 goals this season, came to the club on a free transfer.  Then you have the goal keeper, Tim Krul, who has been by far the best goal keeper in the Premier League this season, and then a wash of physically strong and determined players such as Ameobi and Tiote, who I have a sneaking suspicion Sir Alex will try to sign this transfer window.

Tiote, who plays for the Ivory Coast, is only 25 years old, has 1.5 years experience in the Premier League. He has the physical prowess and ability of a great Premier League midfielder, and he can play in both midfield and defence – the prefect weapon for Man Utd.  Since the loss of Scholes and Roy Keane, Utd have failed replace the void left in midfield.  Anderson and Carrick have massively underperformed for players of their quality and ability, while Giggs (who turned 38 a couple of months ago) is only one injury away from retiring from professional football altogether.  While Sir Alex would obviously love to sign a “Modric” or “Sneijder” playmaker, the least he ca do is bring in someone who can add extra protection to his young, susceptible defence.

And that’s where Utd’s problems really lie.  Yes, Rooney was out of form and their midfield failed to control the tempo of the game, but when you concede 6 goals in two games then you have to go back to the basics.  Man Utd desperately need Vidic and Evans back.  Ferdinand is still very good but isn’t the main man anymore, and Phil Jones has been played in more positions this season then anyone in the Football League.

Ferguson needs to go back to basics.  He needs to sign or loan a strong, experienced centre-back to replace Vidic for the season, a wingback to provide some cover and competition for Evra, and solve the mess of a jigsaw that’s become their midfield.  Carrick isn’t consistent enough for the big games and lacks the penetrative ability of a Gerrard, Modric or Ramsey, while Anderson and Park are just passengers in the game.  They need more of a physical presence in midfield and someone who can rage forward and take the game to the other team.  I think we’ve seen this far too many times this season from Yaya Toure at Manchester city, and boy will they miss him during the African Cup of Nations.

Meanwhile, for Newcastle, if it weren’t for the loss of Tiote and Demba Ba in January then I’d expect them to compete for the Champions League or Europe at minimum.  Newcastle are still only 4 points off the Champions League top spot and with Chelsea and Liverpool in such dyer home form I think they should be looking to try and keep in touch with these teams by May.