There was an air of uncertainty and discontent in 1987 asRed Newsfirst graced Warwick Road with its presence. The magnitude of the job Alex Ferguson had in front of him was becoming increasingly apparent and whilst it was early in his incumbency, such was the turbulence of Manchester United’s season, there wasn’t 100% confidence on the disgruntled terraces of Old Trafford that he was the man to repair the debris left to him by Ron Atkinson.
In the wider world, Margaret Thatcher’s government were continuing their vendetta against football fans. One of these ideas was to make every football supporter carry membership cards for the club they were affiliated too when attending matches. It was around this time that United introduced their own shitty membership scheme, the benefits which included 10p off a pencil rubber in the newly fangled superstore for the commencement of the 87/88 campaign. One of the most controversial measures of this scheme was making the Stretford End terrace members only, where the Stretford Paddock was fine for anybody who wanted to attend. This resulted in a lot of refuseniks (this writer included) moving over to the Paddock and it’s also this writer’s opinion that the Stretford End was never quite the same after this.Continue reading Is That The Programme?
This could’ve been tricky. Newcastle have a lousy record at Old Trafford but on their last visit here, just over a year ago, they beat United at Old Trafford for the first time since 1972. The protests that were raging against Alan Pardew’s incumbency a few months ago have gone somewhat muted in recent times as Newcastle had built up a good run of results which included beating this seasons likely champions Chelsea, a few weeks ago at St James Park. Such was the revival in Newcastle’s fortunes that paper handkerchief manufacturers were in serious danger of laying workers off due to the fact that Geordies weren’t crying in the stands, their broon ale or threatening to burst the banks of the Tyne with their relentless squawking after a bad result. A last minute goal from Adam Johnson the other day for Sunderland and United’s eventually easy win today should see normal service resumed for Kleenex pretty soon.
United players celebrate Robin van Persie’s goal in the 53rd minute (photograph courtesy of Neil Meehan)
Scousers weren´t confident coming into this match. The ones I talk to had a similar demeanour about them as we did when we last (properly) played them in March. I wasn´t falling into that trap. I expected Liverpool to up their game from recent fixtures, they always do when they play United. I certainly didn´t expect United to win as emphatically as they did.
Liverpool had the better of the early play but the tone of the game was set up succinctly in the 12th minute when Raheem Sterling missed the first of three great oportunties he was to have this game. Twenty five seconds later, Wayne Rooney put United 1-0 up after Antonio Valencia took out three Liverpool players with a nutmeg on Joe Allen. It´s incredible how such a short space of time could have such a polarising influence on a game of football. If Liverpool had gone ahead, United would have had a job and half breaking them down.
This banner wasn´t allowed to be displayed in the J Stand yesterday because some lily livered jobsworth at Old Trafford didn´t like it. You never see provocative banners at Anfield now do you? (photo courtesy of Neil Meehan and banner designed by Mark Speakman)