When were we last at 'our best'?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Liam147, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Nov 19, 2012
    #1

    Liam147 On Probation

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    Someone raised the point that "we keep saying 'we're not at our best yet', but when are we?" And it does seem like we've been saying this for a long time now. We were saying it through a lot of last season, and all of this. "Imagine what we'll be like when we're on form", but again, it's not something we're seeing.

    And I'm not just talking about one or two games where we'd tear teams apart (Wolves and Bolton last season, Blackburn the season before), but a consistent run of games where we'd look unbeatable.

    Of course we had that unbeaten run two seasons ago, but it was a run that saw us win one of our first seven away games, and all I heard is that we've won it by being less shit than everyone else. Which was a valid point in some respects. Chelsea had thrown themselves out of the title race in December, City weren't ready, and Arsenal predictably tailed off.

    Last season we had the record of consecutive wins - 8. But in there you had the game against Tottenham, where they were probably the better team, yet we somehow took a 3-0 lead. The Norwich game where again, I'd say we were outplayed and won thanks to a stoppage time winner from Giggs. Although we looked good in this period, we never looked to be that ruthless, clinical machine we have been.
  2. Nov 19, 2012
    #2

    Platato Psst!

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    Depends how far back you're looking. 06/07 was the season where we played some orgasmic football. 07/08 we played less inspiring football and saw signs of the machine which is now without Ronaldo and Tevez.

    Now you could say we might return to that ruthlessness we had in 06/07 but for right now, I think we'll develop into well-oiled machine. Everything else imo, is just refined revisionism.
  3. Nov 19, 2012
    #3

    The Neviller Banned

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  4. Nov 19, 2012
    #4

    Fergus' son Gets very easily confused

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    Last season, around January/Febuary time, we had a really difficult run of games and we came through it with only two points dropped, away to Chelsea. Scholes was running the show.
  5. Nov 19, 2012
    #5

    Moriarty Full Member

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    It's been a while hasn't it? I really don't know what our best is because we've suffered so much from injuries that rarely does our optimal 1st XI start. We often look vulnerable at the back without Vidic and we've missed Fletcher's bite in midfield. Nani has been in and out of the team when I think a long run of games is what he needs to be at his best. We just don't seem to be settled and without continuity, I'd say that a team can't perfrom at its best.
  6. Nov 19, 2012
    #6

    Utd heap Full Member

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    For 15 minutes at Newcastle, and 25 at Chelsea ;)
  7. Nov 19, 2012
    #7

    puNANI Full Member

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    We haven't had a sustained period of being at our best mostly because of injuries. The start of last season and as someone said the January/February period we were very strong. The Newcastle away win this season was an indicator of what this current team can be at its best.
  8. Nov 19, 2012
    #8

    Platato Psst!

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    ye puNANI, in 20 minutes we saw glimpses of what our attacking potential could be like. It was brilliant. I thought lads in the match day thread were having a major ********!
  9. Nov 19, 2012
    #9

    Relevated Moral Guide

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    Start of last season but our defense didn't look great that time, it looked like we could concede at any moment.
  10. Nov 19, 2012
    #10

    wonnie Full Member

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    I'd say this. Aside from the beginning of last season when we were fantastic, the period from January we were pretty good. I think it was the FA Cup game vs City when Scholes made his comeback and right up til around the 3-3 vs Chelsea we had something like 31 points out of a possible 33.

    And before that we played pretty awesome football at the back end of 10-11 when Rooney-Hernandez combo was on fire and Park was in the form of his life.
  11. Nov 19, 2012
    #11

    Snow Somewhere down the lane, a licky boom boom down

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    I actually thought we've been pretty good from the last tactical feck up up until the Villa game. Sure, Braga games weren't the prettiest but that's to be expected in the CL really. Newcastle, Stoke, Chelsea, Arsenal. Not the longest run but October was a good month.
  12. Nov 19, 2012
    #12

    KingEric7 Conspiracy enthusiast

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    End of 10/11 and start of 11/12 (barring the complete mauling against Barcelona). We've not played football of that quality and tempo since then. It's funny in that the midfield in that 10/11 team was not really much different to the one that lined up against Norwich.

    It was Giggs, Carrick, Valencia and Park, yet we played some fantastic and efficient football with those four. Rooney was easily our best attacking player, but those four were really good in that run. Think it shows that, whilst we are picking some odd combinations at the moment given our options, the players themselves irrespective of that fact are performing nowhere near what they are capable of. Valencia and Carrick are playing like they've been threatened with execution if they are ever to dribble with the football.
  13. Nov 19, 2012
    #13

    Hal9000 Full Member

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    Newcastle, Arsenal and Stoke have probably been our best this season. I wouldn't say we were at our best because we should of put a lot more passed each of those sides going on the performance.
  14. Nov 19, 2012
    #14

    holdsteady Hates Sir Alex Ferguson

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    Spring of 2011 with Rooney, Nani and Valencia playing out of this world and Hernandez popping up with goals all over. Probably Rooney's best form in 5 years as well, he was top class then.
  15. Nov 19, 2012
    #15

    Bebe Full Member

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    That comeback against West Ham was as good as I've ever seen him. Even that stretch though while good I don't think was as good as we can be. I honestly think the last time we looked really good was in the spring of 2010, where we tore AC Milan a new one and did the same to Bayern for a half, before Rafael decided to be stupid. That iirc was also when Rooney hurt his ankle and began an 11 month period of being pure shit, which ended during the run you originally mentioned.

    Those Carling Cup games against City were also mixed in there somewhere.
  16. Nov 19, 2012
    #16

    kouroux Full Member

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    I don't think there is a need to back that far in time.The shape of the team and the general performance of the team in the Newcastle victory this season pleased a lot.Not the "best ever" performance but it was a good and it should be something to try more often
  17. Nov 19, 2012
    #17

    Annihilate Now! ...or later, I'm not fussy

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    That entierly depends on how you view being the better team in a game. They had more possession and more shots, but they defended poorly and were incredibly wasteful with their chances. We on the other hand, defended solidly and were clincal going forward...

    We weren't great that day, but I remember thinking we deserved that win. Anyway, that run of 8 games we were, on the whole, excellent... and ended up putting is in pole position of a title race we really should have been well and truly out of.
  18. Nov 19, 2012
    #18

    Radamel FalCinao Shagawa Baby!

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    I thought we played really well in the 10/11 run in when Rooney came back from injury, no? On route to the CL final that first XI played very well, not so much in the final itself.

    Incidentally that's probably the last time we've had a proper, fully fit, established first XI for a prolonged period of time.
  19. Nov 19, 2012
    #19

    marjen Desperately wants to be like Noodle

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    I thought we looked absolutely devastating at the start of last season. Not at our mechanical, beast-like defensive best, but we just didn't care. We knew we were going to score more than the opposition either way. And our brand of football was really good, it was a pleasure to watch us. I genuinely thought we'd win the league at a canter even if City were looking good as well.

    This season I've yet to thoroughly enjoy a United-performance throughout the match, which usually happens fairly often even in seasons where we're off the boil.

    I watched Fulham yesterday and for the first 25 minutes it occured to me just how much more efficient their set-up looks even in a similar shape to us. They've got vastly inferior players to us but it just seems like they get far more out of their limited array of talents than we do with the world class players we've got at our disposal.
  20. Nov 19, 2012
    #20

    Robbie Boy Full Member

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    I feel at times the term 'we are still not at our best' is just a lazy excuse. At the moment I am not sure what our 'best' is.

    As long as there is poor team selections and stupid errors; I don't think we are going to see our best form. It would be nice to get a good run together with a relatively settled first 11. At times against Arsenal and Newcastle I really enjoyed the way we were playing and it was genuinely good to watch. Too many times this season we have been a shambles at the back and watching the team has been nerve racking and not very enjoyable.
  21. Nov 19, 2012
    #21

    ghaliboy Snitches on Tom Hagen

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    Remember when we used to come out all guns blazing and put a game to bed in the first 20 minutes!
  22. Nov 19, 2012
    #22

    UnofficialDevil Anti Scottish

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    2007-2008 Ronaldo Tevez etc..
  23. Nov 19, 2012
    #23

    MichaelS Banned

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    Probably when we raped Arsenal 8-2 and destroyed Chelsea in the CL
  24. Nov 19, 2012
    #24

    Sarni nice guy, unassuming, objective United fan.

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    We never destroyed Chelsea in CL. If you mean the 2010-11 QF it was a very close tie against a rather poor Chelsea side. At Stamford we were lucky to win 1-0 and they tied us at OT having gone down to 10 men before Park finished the game with a pretty goal. We didn't destroy them at all.
  25. Nov 19, 2012
    #25

    Adebesi Full Member

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    If we are talking about for a sustained period, rather than for odd games or parts of games, then feck knows. I reckon there is always plenty of scope for complaining and hand wringing, every season. Sometimes things look much rosier in hindsight, but when you were living through it there were still gripes about our performances of selections at times. I am sure back in 2007, for example, there were plenty of occasions where we made harder work of things than we needed to, or SAF made some inexplicable selections.

    That isnt to say things never change, or that we do not have relatively poor seasons, or ones where we play a much higher quality of football. But i think it is human nature that these things get a little exaggerated.
  26. Nov 19, 2012
    #26

    UnofficialDevil Anti Scottish

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  27. Nov 19, 2012
    #27

    Rowem Full Member

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    There's a lot of unwarranted nostalgia regarding past teams imo. There were many complaints about "lack of creativity" during our great form from 07-09. We lacked a striker who threatened in behind or threatened aerially, instead relying on Ronaldo to provide that threat drifting in from the wings, or to produce something spectacular either from open play or a set piece. Whoever was on the other flank was never really established in the team or and hitting consistently good form. There were complaints about many players - O'Shea, Evans, Neville, Fletcher, Carrick, Hargreaves, Nani, Anderson, Tevez, Berbatov, Saha, Park, and Giggs all getting their fair share of criticism.

    The Tevez nostalgia is the thing that irks me most. He never hit the heights for us that he has for City, never looked in great shape, never established a great partnership with Rooney (Holy Trinity my arse!) and yet his departure is always lumped together with Ronaldo to make a greater impact - "oh mourn for the days of Ronaldo and Tevez!" feck right off. It's insulting to Ronaldo. Valencia has been better for us in his United career so far than Tevez ever was. Nani had a year or two of sublime form that surpassed anything Tevez produced in a red shirt. Hernandez a better partner for Rooney and better impact substitution. Berbatov was frustating and his lack of contributions in big games aside, he was about as successful for us as Tevez. We've never been perfect, never will be. We're not at the level we were from 06-09, but Tevez is not the reason. Our strikeforce this season is superior.

    I think the Carrick-Fletcher partnership was very solid for us and was undervalued at the time. Combined with Rio-Vidic, we had an extremely solid core. But we weren't unbelievably free flowing a lot of time. Let's not glorify our football during that period more than it deserves.

    The decline of Scholes and Giggs is also a major contribution. Certainly more so than the loss of Tevez.
  28. Nov 19, 2012
    #28

    Revan Requested ban (will be back 1st October)

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    Second half of 2010-2011 season. For em that is the last time we played good (and win) for a big period of time.
  29. Nov 19, 2012
    #29

    AttackingFlair Full Member

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    Really enjoyed it when we destroyed Arsenal, the one where Nani did that ridiculous skill.
  30. Nov 19, 2012
    #30

    Nogbadthebad Full Member

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    Start of and middle part of last season, and the odd half of games this season.

    I think its very much reflects the injury problems the club has gone through the last 18 months or so that we havent had a decent run of top form.
  31. Nov 20, 2012
    #31

    RedDevilCanuck Quite dreamy - blue eyes, blond hair, tanned skin

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    Injuries and rotation has really taken a toll.

    The 06/07 and 07/08 teams had starting teams that were constant. More so in 06/07.

    United aren't settled so far this season. Last season we didn't settle until Scholes came back.

    United need a 'go to' midfield pairing and we simply need Vidic back. If the Ando/Cleverley combo can get going and we get some healthy defenders I think we can play some amazing attakcing football. We have RVP, Rooney, Nani and Chicharito for christssakes.
  32. Nov 20, 2012
    #32

    girish I too love women...for their shoes.

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    I think Vidic can still be on the sideline, as long as we have Smalling available. Vidic seems to have lost some weight, and wasn't in form anyway, And Smalling has played rather well since his comeback.
  33. Nov 20, 2012
    #33

    #07 Full Member

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    Bolton 0 Man Utd 5. Last game where I felt from start to finish without interruption we were absolutely dominant. Yeah we put 5 past Wolves not long ago but that game always felt a bit 'meh' as if Wolves gave up the ghost the second the 1st went in and just sorta stood there hands down waiting to be laid out on the mat. The passing in that game wasn't even all that its just Wolves didn't even scream when slapped they went down with a whimper. Bolton tried to kick us off the park but we just pinged it around then and ripped them to shreds. They never had a chance.
  34. Nov 20, 2012
    #34

    manusteve Full Member

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    Isn't difficult to gauge? I mean, sure, we stuffed Arsenal 8-2 but for goodness sake their defence was appalling that day?

    I'll put up with wins while playing moderately any day, but I did think the first half against Chelsea in the Prem was pretty good. But then, we exploited Chelsea's full back areas ruthlessly.

    I would just like us to show some progression with the younger players in terms of not relying on the "older" brigade. Then I think we will consistently play well instead of what we have seen for last two seasons.

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