Manchester United 0-1 Newcastle United: Five lessons we learned

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By: Sam P – The Peoples Person – www.thepeoplesperson.com

Title fight looks bleak. Manchester United really needed to take the game to Newcastle from the first whistle but as has been typical of our recent performances, United struggled to play football.

The first half saw some half decent opportunities go begging but the majority of the football was played outside of either penalty box. Adnan Januzaj tried his best to spark United into the game but the stalemate couldn’t be broken before the break.

Van Persie’s beautiful long ball to Hernandez led to the first big break but Krul matched it. There was controversy not soon after as Newcastle handled on the line to stop United scoring but the referee didn’t see it – no lucky break. Then, almost inevitably, Newcastle went and scored soon after.

An equaliser by Van Persie was ruled as United threw the kitchen sink at Newcastle but to no avail. 1-0. Game over. Title race over?

Have United forgotten how to play football? This season was all about transition, everybody knew that things would be different under David Moyes, but nobody expected it to be anything as drastic as this.

United were at Old Trafford but looked like a team playing in a foreign environment. Nervous, poor and tentative. Even the most simple passing moves eluded us as we crumbled to a second straight defeat at home.

I’m all for standing by Moyes through these tough times but United have transformed from the champions who exude an aura of confidence to a team bereft of any sort of form at all. We’ve lost our mojo completely now. Something has to change but it may all be too late.

Adnan Januzaj needs to start more games. Januzaj was a breath of fresh air against Newcastle as he has been in pretty much every appearance he has had in a United shirt this season (with the exception of the Cardiff performance maybe).

He simply does not look like he is an 18-year-old. With conviction, he ran at Newcastle players with the ball and actually beat his man – United fans almost forgot what it was like to see a winger do that at Old Trafford.

The confidence he exudes is well beyond his years and United got the ball to him at every opportunity because he looked like the player who could make a difference. Unfortunately, he couldn’t and United crumbled to another defeat.

Robin van Persie isn’t match fit. When Van Persie’s name was on the starting line-up, it was met to a chorus of cheers but given that he only completed his first full training session yesterday, there were questions about his fitness.

So it proved. Van Persie was sluggish and had clearly been rushed back into the game by Moyes to try and help stop the rut turning into a crisis. He couldn’t.

Desperate times call for desperate measures which is why Moyes decided to throw Van Persie back into the mix but in a similar fashion to Welbeck against Cardiff and Everton when not fit, he couldn’t influence the game enough.

Where the hell is the passion? The loss against Everton may have left fans disappointed but at least we put in a performance. We were unlucky not to score in that game. However, today was almost the polar opposite.

There is no passion from this United side right now. Our backs against the wall and what we need is everybody to spill their blood and guts on the pitch but they aren’t. Nobody wants to put themselves on the line to turn it around.

What has happened? Where has the conviction of champions gone? We look so wispy right now and teams are probably looking forward to playing us.