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”.