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Don’t Expect Clarke’s West Brom To Trouble United

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After Boxing Day’s thriller of a match against Newcastle at Old Trafford, Manchester United on paper have an easier looking fixture at home to Steve Clarke’s West Brom tomorrow. After all United can’t keep leaking goals at will can they?

West Brom have arguably been the surprise team of the season. After the success Roy Hodgson had many fans and pundits believed that Clark was entering a poisoned chalice stepping up into the Hawthorns hotseat after his predecessor took the England job.

Clarke though has proved the doubters wrong up until now. So often a man thought of as just a right-hand man, he has chosen his first step into management well. He has made few changes and just like Hodgson before him, has made West Brom a hard team to beat and one that plays a good attacking and pressing brand of football as well.

United though should have enough to beat West Brom though, even if they go behind as they have countless times already this season. Sir Alex Ferguson called the win over Newcastle a ‘championship performance’ and whilst there’s no doubt that come May it could prove to be an invaluable three points, championship-winning sides tend to have a habit of keeping clean sheets and grinding out 1-0 wins when they’re not playing well.

West Brom will most likely pair Shane Long and Romelu Lukaku up front. Whilst the duo haven’t always started together, they can be dangerous. Both work hard off the ball. Long has continued where he left off from last season whilst the Belgian youngster on-loan from Chelsea has made the most of his opportunity to play this year scoring 6 goals to date.

Vidic may be brought back into the fold to get another game under his belt after his recovery from injury, but don’t be surprised to see Sir Alex pair Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans up again. Both players have had excellent seasons to date although with the gruelling schedule it would make sense for one of them to get a rest at the expense of the returning captain.

Ryan Giggs is a shoe-in to start after his stellar performance at the weekend. He has had a slow start to the season but has shone in his last two games. Tom Cleverley impressed from the bench alongside Michael Carrick and it would be unwise not to keep that blossoming partnership going this weekend.

Up top United will cause Clarke’s team problems. Robin van Persie is on fire, not that anyone expected him to struggle and in the absence of Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck it was vital that Javier Hernandez played well against Newcastle.

The little Mexican has scored 10 goals already this season and is just two shy of his total from last season which was curtailed thanks to injuries and a loss of form. He has silenced his doubters and now due to Rooney’s injury, has 3-4 games in a row alongside van Persie where he should be looking to cash-in. Who wouldn’t back both to score tomorrow?

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87

5 thoughts on “Don’t Expect Clarke’s West Brom To Trouble United”

  1. I think West Brom is going to be a very difficult match and they will cause us problems tomorrow. Man Utd will need to be at their best if they want to win the match. We keep thinking our defence can't get worse but it hasn't improved all season. The biggest shock would be our defence actually keeping a clean sheet tomorrow because they have been a joke in that department. I think a new rule should be the players have a percentage of their wages docked for every goal conceded. It might actually bring that care and hunger in defending and keeping clean sheets again. The defence has been strong in the last few years, but for some reason it has collapsed hard this season. I guess we need to get a run of clean sheets and hopefully we can achieve that against West Brom and Wigan now. I would be surprised but lets hope we can do it.

    A settled goalkeeper is the key to starting to improve our defence and David De Gea needs to stay in place for every game now. Lindegaard can play the FA Cup matches, but no more messing around and rotating. I think we will make changes tomorrow because Ferdinand, Scholes and Giggs cannot play 2 games so close together. I would imagine Ferdinand and Giggs will be rested and return for the Wigan game. I don't believe Scholes and Giggs shouldn't play in the same team anymore, but Scholes can make his return in the FA Cup game against West Ham.

    ………………………De Gea…………………



    …………Van Persie….Hernandez……….

    I think Valencia needs a break so we should keep him on the bench. Clearly we are lacking options on the wings but it might make sense to utilise Fletcher on the right side. It might help bring a little more defensive discipline in the team and its a role he has played in before. If we have Cleverey in the team then it can work because he has a lot of energy and can make the forward runs and drift wide. Fletcher will be there to slot back and provide protection to the back four if West Brom counter attack on us like so many other teams have this season.

  2. ManU fans like Denehey and thier arrogance is why the club is hated by so many.When at around 5pm today The Baggies have whipped your arrogant arses i hope he has the humility to come back and apologise.

  3. Yes arrogant but sadly probably true. I doubt we will play Lukuku and long together they have only started once together all season we play 451 so unless long plays wide they both wont be in the pitch unless losing with 20 to go.

  4. It's Manchester United, though, isn't it? Apart from a few who probably would look at the rest who occupy the footballing world with earnest understanding and a less superior attitude, in the main, the ones you usually hear about (like the article's author above), tend to think that clubs that aren't Manchester United are but lowly serfs riding on their coattails and so mean nothing. Or that they think they own football itself, having dined at the table of success for so long. This supposedly makes them our overlords when, in reality, they're no more workaday stiffs like you or me, but they support United, so that means they are – for some strange reason – some way up the evolutionary ladder.

    A couple of seasons ago, a Manchester United blogger, after a game at the Hawthorns, devoted a whole article denigrating at great length the people of West Bromwich and the town itself. It was the ultimate example of a supporter who had taken his reflected superiority (created by the success of his club) to almost suspect lengths of idiotic indulgence. It's safe to say West Bromwich isn't one of the UK's most attractive suburbs (I could say worse), but the lumpen snobbery exhibited by the arrogant slime was breathtaking, and it took a WBA poster, invoking the respect he felt for Manchester United's history (including his sympathy for the Munich air tragedy) to bring some kind of apology from the sneering bugger. It was hateful, believe me, you could light a fire with its contempt.

    And that's what you have to face nowadays – success, taken for granted and creating a process of breeding legions of fans, like the article author above, who have never gone through the stabilising influence of true failure. Not a bunch of American chancers loading debt onto a club with megastores and revenue from fans around the world with a manager who'll win them trophies every year, and who'll never go through a losing streak, but true failure. The depths everyone else goes through. And you know what they are.

    Those some fans feel they are not obliged to have. But should, if only to take a trip out of their ivory towers.

    We'll get beaten at Old Trafford, no doubt about that. But what'll be hard to take is a defeat to opponents who, like those I've previously mentioned, see humility and respect as toilet paper.

  5. After a routine win against opponents who showed endeavor but little goal threat, its equally true to say that teams like West Brom who come to OT, show far too much respect, concede goals thru backing off us, don't earn any respect.

    Any West Brom fan who watched the first 40 minutes of total capitulation should ask themselves why they didn't turn up.

    Yes they improved after the break and crossed a few time but never once tested the keeper.

    Come on Baggies, at least have a go.

    What I hate to see are teams that are beaten when they walk onto the field, and that's what we saw today.

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