Sunday, January 6, 2013

Twenty Questions: Manchester United 2 - West Ham United 2

20 euros
Photo by Lore & Guille on Flickr

20 questions (or thereabouts), to celebrate goal number 20 for United's number 20:

o If De Gea starts in the Cup, when does Anders Lindegaard play?  Or is he still in Sir Alex's doghouse from his last performance?

o With Chicharito scoring 11 goals in his last 14 games, does Rooney automatically go back into the lineup when he returns?  If so, for whom?

o If Danny Welbeck can't score more often than once in 23 games, how long will Sir Alex keep the faith?

o Is Joe Cole's fancy footwork at a predominantly kick-and-run West Ham side the football equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig?

o If a striker such as Chicharito can cross the ball like he did for Tom Cleverley's goal, which gave the visitors a 1-nil lead after 22 minutes, why have United's wingers had such difficulty putting in deliveries of similar quality this season?

o Why is it that, despite Vida's return, the United defense still looks weaker in the air this season, as it did for James Collin's equalizer just before the half hour mark?

o Did it ever dawn on the United midfielders that they should stop giving away free kicks to West Ham, as it appeared the only way the Hammers were capable of threatening the United goalmouth?

o Did Welbeck's lack of goals this season cause him to be more selfish than usual when he chose to shoot rather than pick out a wide open Chicharito on one of the Red Devils' typical lightning quick counterattacks?

o Was Shinji Kagawa actually on the pitch in the first half, or did someone from the stands borrow his kit and jog around in his stead?

o Why did Nemanja Vidic appear surprised that Carlton Cole had fallen to the ground after the Serbian grabbed a fistful of the striker's shirt and flung him there?

o Do you think the players pay any attention at all to the betting odds on the match that flash around the electronic side board?

o Was Big Sam attempting to channel Roberto Mancini with a scarf tied nattily around his neck?

o Who pissed off James Collins, and where was the aerial marking on his go-ahead goal for the Hammers at the game's hour mark?

o Why did the announcer point out that United hadn't lost a game in which they held a lead for more than two years?  Was he trying to tempt fate...?

o Anyone want to bet that Sir Alex was hoping to avoid playing Robjn Van Persie at Upton Park?  Similarly, was anyone the least bit surprised that the Gaffer did so with his club staring a third round exit squarely in the face...?
o Was Sir Alex attempting to conjure "the magic of the Cup" with his late introduction of Ryan Giggs?

o Was anyone expending Joe Cole to have the impact he did, whipping in both balls that Collins headed for goals, in his first match back in the English game after a prolonged absence?

o Did Becks really leave his Upton Park luxury suite with four minutes left in the game, despite all the knowledge he has of United's late comebacks...?  Was he trying to beat the crowd to the exits?

o Has there been a sweeter 50 yard pass hit this season than Ryan Giggs' arcing bomb to RVP at the ninety minute mark?  And similarly, has there been a better first and second touch to control a long pass than the two touches RVP exhibited before he slid the ball through Jussi Jaaskelainen's legs to burst the home crowd's bubble?

o And finally, did Sir Alex get any air time when he jumped to celebrate Van Persie's equalizer which forced the replay?

This is farlieonfootie for January 6.

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