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Man United 3-3 CSKA Moscow: Thoughts About The Game


After the boring 1-0 win by Manchester United on the plastic pitch in Moscow a couple of weeks ago, my expectations were lowered before I began watching last night’s game from Old Trafford. But surprisingly, the game was extremely entertaining and a very close match.

CSKA Moscow played with a confidence and direct tactics that definitely shocked me and put Manchester United on the backfoot. There were times during this game where CSKA completely controlled the match passing the ball back and forth, which was beautiful to watch.

Many of the CSKA Moscow players seemed more comfortable on the ball, too. And more imaginative going forward with their creative through-balls. For me the player who stood out as the cream of the crop was Serbian striker Milos Krasic who was an inspiration on the pitch. The blonde-haired bomber caused plenty of trouble down the right wing and gave Darren Fletcher and Fabio plenty to worry about.

In fact, it was Krasic who was so pivotal in CSKA Moscow’s second goal after Darren Fletcher failed to track back when Krasic made a run toward the penalty box. An awful defensive decision by the young Scot and a well-deserved goal by the Russian team.

Other things that stood out for me in this match was the awful decision by the referee not to award a penalty when Fletcher was tripped in the box. Not only that, but the Portugese referee decided to give Fletcher a yellow card for diving, which was a ridiculous decision.

By the mid-point of the first half, this was such a wide-open game that it was practically impossible to determine who would win it. Manchester United made defensive mistakes, yes, but they had plenty of chances going forward to score. And thus it was an entertaining match with plenty of end-to-end action.

Now on to the topic of the commentator, a certain Mr. Tim White. To be frank, if this was the first time I was hearing him as a commentator, I would have found his voice partially annoying and his incessant discussions troublesome. But this wasn’t the first time I’ve heard him. And, as a result, it was another frustrating experience hearing him commentate on the match.

While his voice is unmistakable, which is a good quality, he sounds like he’s faking it especially when he raises his voice in excitement. For example, CSKA Moscow had an opportunity to score straight from the kick-off and took a shot that sailed over the crossbar. It was pretty close but still a few feet away. To listen to White’s commentary, you would have expected the shot to go directly into the top corner. Sure, he got excited, but it sounded like he got overly excited for all the wrong reasons. And it ended up sounding very fake. This was minute one of the game. We had to persevere for another 90 minutes listening to this chap.

The other annoying fact about Tim White’s commentary is that it’s just him. There’s no co-commentator to interject when he talks too much about a particular topic. It’s just 90 minutes of one commentator rambling on and on.

Fair play to him, he is very skilled with pronouncing Russian names. And he does his best to pronounce surnames in their native tongues such as Berbatov (in previous games) and Valencia, last night. So at least his heart is in the right place. But what he needs is a co-commentator just like the AC Milan versus Real Madrid game had last night. Ninety minutes of Champions League football is wonderful, but it’s definitely a trying experience whenever Tim White is at the helm.

Some commentators sound better with a color commentator. Tim White is definitely one of those people.
The tendency, when one commentator has the mic, is to talk too much. Such was the case with White who had no one to interject his wordy descriptions.
White had a chance to show off his Russian accent on several occasions.
His commentary work for the United game wasn’t bad. It’s just that we have heard better.
If this was the first time listening to him, it wouldn’t be that bad.
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  1. Jeff

    November 4, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    This guy was much better than Tim White but that’s not saying much. I really hate hearing just one commentator. Serie A on FSC is hard to watch for this very same reason.

    Anyway, on to the game. What a great game. Krasnic was once again the best player on the pitch for two consecutive games. United must signed this guy up. They also must sign Akinfeev. This guy is a world class goalkeeper. As for United, their defense was suspect but that was to be expected given their injuries. Their attack was some of the best I have seen all season. Macheda and Owen up front added a different dimension to the attack for United and it was a joy to watch. I was also impressed with Obertan. He seemed to shake off the jitters he had against Blackburn and he was flying out there. I can’t wait to see more of him.

  2. SSReporters

    November 4, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    That was Martyn Hindley and not Tim White on commentary.

    • The Gaffer

      November 4, 2009 at 8:43 pm

      Gulp, thanks for catching that one SS. My mistake. Hindley is usually much better than White, but not on this occasion.

      The Gaffer

  3. AtlantaPompey

    November 4, 2009 at 11:17 am

    When did C-S-K-A become Ceska? I’ve never heard anyone pronounce it that way. Granted, I’ve probably watched them play only once or twice before yesterday.

    • Bayern82

      November 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm

      That’s actually how it is pronounced in Russian if you were to slur the whole acronym into a word, so in fact, it was kind of correct.

  4. JLay

    November 4, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Fergie is sticking with the senior players (including a few who really ARE seniors) because he can. We lost two very good players over the summer, players who accounted for the lion’s share of creativity and goalscoring last year. Throwing youngsters into that void right away would only destabilize the team further. We are second in the league right now – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

    If and when injuries and/or complacency become a factor, we’ll see more and more of Macheda, Obertan, Wellbeck, and the Wonder Twins. The future is bright at United!

    • Sam Davis

      November 5, 2009 at 10:14 pm

      We lost one very good player last year and another “run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run” type player who admittedly scored a few important goals but certainly hasn’t been missed.

      Macheda and Obertan right now would be better options than Owen and Nani. Nani got all the physical tools but nothing in that head to work with while Owen, for all his undoubted quality, wastes way too many shots.

      At least give Macheda the amount of game time that Owen sees in most games. And Obertan’s done more in his short time on the field in 3 1st team matches than Nani has all season. Start the guy now. That’s not even me jumping on a bandwagon or jumping the gun. It’s not even me hating on Nani like a lot of people do. Obertan is just better than he is. He’s lighting quick, is incredibly clever and creative, and almost always plays it quick and simple. But if we need him to he can pull of the stepovers when necessary. Obertan is going to be GOOD and he plays like he can step right into the first team right now.

  5. nothap'n

    November 4, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Ditto for the Chelsea-Atletico Madrid game announcer. For some reason, the announcer felt he had to call the teams “Chelsea FC” and “Club Atletico de Madrid” every SINGLE time a play was made. It was almost if he had never announced or heard of the teams before and was reading off a score sheet and thought those were the team names that had to be stated. The FC is obviously unnecessary, but having to say Club Atletico de Madrid anytime they made a play just added to a long-winded commentary throughout the game.

    • oliver

      November 4, 2009 at 9:55 am

      that was very annoying

  6. Tyson

    November 4, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Lol@Tim White comments.

    Hopefully more Manchester United plays will have recovered before facing off against Chelsea on the weekend as that won’t be an easy game.

    I thought Obertan played pretty well last night. I wish Fergie would play more of some of these players. I think it is an absolute sin that Fergie hasn’t shown us more of Macheda. I’d wager to say Macheda has the most potential of anybody in United’s squad.

    • The Gaffer

      November 4, 2009 at 8:30 am

      Tyson, I was impressed by Macheda last night also. Some really incredible touches and he seems to be a thinking man’s footballer. He’s definitely not a robot and has an incredible amount of creativity. Looking forward to seeing him play more and more for United.

      The Gaffer

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