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There should be swagger

"When you think of United down the years, defensive rigidity and discipline doesn't readily come to mind. Swagger and thrills and spills certainly do and, in my mind, that's the way it should be."

- Stewart Gardner, MUTV

03/12/2012 15:01, Report by Stewart Gardner
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Blog: Smiles are scarce

It says much about the standards expected at Manchester United that there were quite a few long faces emerging from the dressing room at Reading on Saturday night. 

Indeed, if you didn't already know the result, you'd have been pretty certain that the Reds had lost rather than picked up a victory which put them three points clear at the top of the table. 

The reason for the muted reaction was the manner in which United conceded three goals in Berkshire. Fairly standard balls into the area resulted in the home side causing bedlam in the Reds' defence. But at the other end of the field, Sir Alex's men were devastating - and that makes for thrilling entertainment. 

When you think of United down the years, defensive rigidity and discipline doesn't readily come to mind. Swagger and thrills and spills certainly do and, in my mind, that's the way it should be. I'm not at all convinced that most fans make the long drive back from away games wanting to talk about how marvellously efficient the Reds' defending is. No, it's surely the swashbuckling nature of the team's forward play that makes the miles disappear on the way home. 

It could have been a more comfortable victory had the assistant referee spotted that Robin van Persie's effort had crossed the line. I had sympathy for the official as it all happened in a flash but it is remarkable that the millions watching the game at home all knew what had happened in the few seconds it takes to see a replay whilst the officials are in the dark. 

Thankfully, technology does appear to be on the way at last. We had our own problem in the commentary box when watching a replay of the ball clearly crossing the line. Let's just say Paddy Crerand made his displeasure clear in our commentary of the game that the linesman didn't spot it. This necessitated a minor edit before we could show the game! News of Paddy's faux pas went down a treat with the boss and some of the players when they learnt about it after the game! 

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