2-8 To The Arsenal – Manchester, 28th of August, 2011

There’s a great momentum around Old Trafford at the moment, unfortunately, International football has reared its head which means that there’s no United game for twelve days and there’s the fear that anyone of our players could come back injured from one of these games. However, it’d be churlish to moan about that too much after the anihilation of Arsenal yesterday at Old Trafford.

From my experience of watching United, it’s a close call as to who the most wooden opposition fans are that we come across. Aston Villa are so witless as to witness it would still bring disbelief. Arsenal are pretty bad, but they are trumped by Crystal Palace for being the most clueless numptys I’ve ever come across in English football. I say this because to give credit where it’s due, Arsenal fans never stopped making a noise at yesterdays match, even when they were getting clobbered. Only problem being is that it became the so called gallows humour, that the endlesslly self celebrating and self mythologising City fans come up with, it suits them, it don’t suit Arsenal.

I got a text before yesterdays match off our Ped in London telling that “we’ll hammer these today”. I wasn’t so confident, sure I expected United to win, especially with Arsenal selling Samir Nasri & Cesc Fabregas recently without replacing them but I never in my wildest dreams thought United would give them such a pasting.

Over the last thirty years, I’ve seen United give Arsenal some spankings. The 6-2 at Highbury in 1990 against a full strength Arsenal side that would win the title that season and the 6-1 at Old Trafford just over a decade later against an excellent Arsenal side which I never thought I’d see bettered. Then yesterday came.

Arsenal were so inept at the back that every time United attacked, they looked like scoring. It was like watching men against boys but both sides are roughly, on average, the same age. At half time, it was 3-1 and their goal came from Theo Walcott, through the legs of David De Gea. It summed up Arsenals day that Robin Van Persie missed a penalty at 1-0, after that, United attacked like a tidal wave.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMIJs3nGddI

In the second half, it rained goals for United. Against most teams, say Wigan Athletic or Swansea City, I’d quietly like United to turn off the screw, show some mercy, it’s some warped corinthian mentality that I have, but against Arsenal I wanted twelve/thirteen, whatever goals. Anybody who remembers the Nigel Winterburn incident at Highbury in 1988, the on pitch bitch fight in 1990 at Old Trafford that involved Winterburn and Anders Limpar and the worst one of all, the Ruud van Nistellroy penalty miss aftermath in 2003 that principally involved Martin Keown, Ashley Cole, Lauren and Sol Campbell should understand what I mean. It’s not that I hate Arsenal, I don’t. They’re too far away from Manchester to really matter in regards to parochial rivalry. I don’t mind admitting that I do enjoy watching them play their type of football, I just don’t buy into the wanking frenzy that the London media get into regarding that football, as if we’ve never seen that kind of football up here. Subsequently, when United give them a good seeing to, like they did yesterday, it sets everything up for a good summer weekend drinking session in Castlefield, in good red pubs like the Oxnoble and the White Lion with Peter G. Happy days

I Don’t Like Mondays. Manchester, 23rd Of August, 2011

United beat West Brom last week with some good fortune after a late own goal. In the begining, United looked lethal with Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young terrorisng the West Brom defence and Rooney scored a belter in the 13th minute. United then spurned some good chances to put the game away and before you know, same old story, West Brom equalise and suddenly United are on the back foot in a game that should already be over. I get a text off Dave the blue after West Brom scored Uniteds winner saying “Jammy bastards”, couldn’t argue with that really apart that he’s been saying that since we were in primary school.

Eight days later the Old Trafford season kicks off and for the second year on the bounce, it’s on Monday night. A tense and cagey first half sees the game level at half time. Once Danny Welbeck scores on the hour, there was no way back for Tottenham. Not nuch else to say about the game, three points is always good as I’d never take Tottenham for mugs and hopefully we have no more Monday night matches again at Old Trafford this season as it kills the atmosphere. At the weekend, people are happy it’s weekend, on a Wednesday night match, the weekends getting ever nearer but I don’t know anybody who likes being at a football match on a Monday night. Peoples minds are just not tuned in on a Monday night for football matches, it’s bollocks.

 

Derry Airport, 7th of August, 2011

From all the chatter and speculation over the summer over who United are going to sign, this Derby couldn’t come quick enough to those of us sick of the spurious speculation over Wes Sneijder and I just want to watch football again, especially after United were humanely destroyed by a rampant Barcelona side at Wembley, three months prior.United played Barcelona again on the 30th of July in a pre season friendly in Washington and beat them 2-1. Whilst this win was welcome, it provided catharsis to absolutely nobody who’s a United fan.

Two nights ago, United played a New York Cosmos side at Old Trafford, symbolically managed by Eric Cantona and Pele for Paul Scholes’s testimonial match. United won 6-0 and the most memorable moment was Paul Scholes signing off his career with a goal so brilliant as was his stock in trade over the last seventeen years.

Now here I am in Derry airport and the community shield match between United and City is underway. Through an oversight, I’ve booked my flight from Derry to Manchester to happen whilst the match is playing. When I realised this a couple of weeks ago, it was one of the Homer Simpson “doh” moments, but I decided not to worry, I’ll just get to the airport and watch the match live on the telly in a bar, cafe, or departure lounge, right? Wrong, there’s one television at Derry airport and I think it’s one that’s come from radio rentals in 1986. It didn’t work, it probably hadn’t friggin’ worked for 12 years. My girlfriend, Kate, has an I-Phone so having hijacked it off her to watch to watch a live text feed of the match, I find we’re in an internet blackspot. At half time, I get a text off Billza telling me “Losing 2-0, can’t f$ck%n believe it, playing them blue bastards off the park”. I took the last bit with a pinch of salt as I can’t say that I’m the fairest red around but if Billy boy was blindfolded in dark room, he’d still only see red.

A quarter of an hour later, I get a text off Billza, his demeanour is now a lot more sunny, “2-2, Smalling & Nani “. I can’t see what’s going on but I’m now confident that United will win. City will be choked at losing a 2-0 lead and no team has a more predatorial instinct than United when equalising from a couple of goal behind. Arrive at Ringway airport three quarters of an hour later to find a text saying “3-2 United, Nani again after a Kompany f$ckup”.

 

I’m home for half six and to my pleasant surprise find that ITV are showing the highlights at seven o’clock. Billza was right, United leathered them and whilst it’s only the Community shield, the gobbing off from City fans over the next couple of months about “turning tides”,”Blue moon rising” and all the usual hyperventilated drivel they usually come out with would’ve been an earache.

Man Utd Fans Blog: Welcome

Man Utd Fans Blog: Welcome to the sometimes sugar coated, sometimes vinegar soaked opinions of a home and away red. Updated weekly between August 2011 and July 2015, now only written occasionally. Any blues, scousers or sheepshaggers reading this, this is written for the amusement of United fans so if you don’t like it, seek solace elsewhere.

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Manchester United 4-1 Portsmouth – 7th May 1988

Brian McClair scores a penalty on a dusty, dry pitch in front of the Stretford End (photo and caption courtesy of Kay Dickinson)