Manchester United 1 – 0 Wolverhampton W
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ecuadorrosie (click for details)
Goals: Welbeck 66 mins
Man United: Kuszcak, G Neville, Brown, Evans, Fabio; Carrick, Gibson, Nani; Welbeck, Owen, Machieda
Subs: De Laet for Machieda, Valencia for Owen, King for Welbeck
Wolves: Hahnemann, Foley, Craddock, Berra, Elokobi, Kightly, Henry, Castillo, D Jones, Ebanks-Blake, Maierhoffer
Subs: Miljas for Castillo, Doyle for Ebanks-Blake
“Wolves for their part played well and could have done more on a night where United showed the razor sharp edge of a soggy Rich Tea buscuit and the United crowd was no better.”
YET ANOTHER former Manchester United striker made a return to his former club with the visit of Wolves to Old Trafford. Ebanks-Blake like so many before him, had to seek pastures new to become the player that many who saw him at Reserve level for United, knew he could be. The correct way to view this game would be another year for the next generation of United stars to try and break through. In reality, however, anybody who has spent time watching United will know that this team isn’t about ‘making stars’ because many of them have already impressed. Darron Gibson, Fabio and Danny Welbeck are going to do well and do every time they are called upon. Machieda of course, grabbed headlines himself last term. No, this match didn’t seem to be as much about the ‘next generation’ as in previous years. It seemed to be about those players who considered themselves this generation, getting a chance to prove their importance. Step forward Michael Owen who deserved the chance to build on his outing in the Derby, Kuszcak also deserved the chance to oust Ben Foster from the number one spot. Gary Neville is unlikely to play his way into the long term plans but his experience is at this point crucial.
We learned very little that we didn’t already know. Gary Neville can be called upon when needed but his days of first team regular are probably behind him. He can also thank his lucky stars nothing came of the clearance he ballsed up at 0:0. Nani was at times inventive and ‘Knees up’ Wesley Brown can be happy with his performance too. Michael Owen had a header he should have done better with and got caught off side on a few occasions, and Machieda was unlucky to be the one to leave the pitch after Fabio got his (utterly deserved) marching orders. He may have slipped at an unfortunate moment but he did seem to make the most of the fall in order to take the Wolves lad down with him. Silly boy, but he will learn.
Wolves for their part played very well and could have done more on a night where United showed the razor sharp edge of a soggy Rich Tea buscuit and the home crowd was no better. You could absolutely hear the silence of a below capacity crowd that could not be arsed being there. There was more noise in the Abilty Suite at half time than there was in both halves of this game. 53,000 plus and not a sound. Diabolical. Kightly looked quite good for Wolves and Ebanks-Blake showed that, while perhaps not big enough for United, he does have it within him to play at a higher level than the Black Country club.
Firm handshake to Kuszcak, producing one or two decent saves and doing his campaign for a starting place in the league no harm whatsoever. Personally, in the interests of consistency I’d still like to see Foster remain in goal because in spite of the odd ‘Bad Ben’ moment, I believe Foster to be the superior ‘keeper of the two.
De Laet also looked impressive in defence (not shooting) and Darron Gibson continues to look the part but if the night can be saved by one moment it was the goal scored by Danny Wellbeck and the move that provided it. Carrick found Wellbeck, Wellbeck knocked it on for a return pass from Michael Owen and what a pass it was, Wellbeck taking his chance well.
It is perhaps too simplistic to boil this game down to a silent crowd and a moment of class but sometimes simple is good. We hold the cup and our defence of the trophy is still on track.
In a bit GtS