columnist Rob Facey wonders whether, in light of United's second
half capitulation at Goodison Park on Saturday, tough tackling and high
pressure should be the tactic deployed by every team to face Sir Alex
Ryan Giggs complained of the tough tackling at Goodison
Park on Saturday lunchtime, but is this a sign that United are not up for the
fight this season?
Sir Alex Ferguson's men are somewhat off the pace in the
Premier League this season, but saw victory escape them yesterday as Everton
fought back, quite literally, to share the points.
"It was a local derby, the tackles are going
to be flying in. But we should have been able to handle that," Giggs said, as reported in the Daily
Giggs complained of the Phil Neville challenge on
Cristiano Ronaldo specifically, but perhaps if the Portuguese winger did not
proceed to roll around as if he had been stabbed then the referee would have
been more sympathetic.
"We were a bit
disappointed with the tackle on Ronaldo because he was already on the deck. But
tackles are part of the game and that's no problem."
Yakubu had chances to win the game for David Moyes' men, but
it was United who were hanging on for the point as the game wore on.
There were some great tough tackling throughout the 90
minutes, but United took offence at some, particularly in the second half.
United seemed to wilt as the game wore on and Giggs'
complaints may suggest that they are not up for the fight this season, with
many of their top class players losing concentration on a number of occasions.
Rio Ferdinand ran half the length of the pitch to argue with
Phil Neville, their former team-mate, after the tackle on Ronaldo and seemed to
lose the plot as a result. He allowed Fellaini a free header for the equaliser
and almost gifted Yakubu a goal with a poor back-pass.
Wes Brown was lucky to escape a red card after a late
challenge while Rooney, perhaps most controversially, kissed the United badge.
These were all signs that United were losing concentration
on the pitch – do they expect special treatment from officials? Do they feel
like tough tackling is tantamount to the opposition cheating? Or can they
simply not handle this approach?
If United can get this ruffled by a few hard tackles, should
this be the tactic that teams use every week?