He Has No Laurel

United’s pre-season has gone well. Wins against Roma, Real Madrid, Liverpool and, mostly recent, against Valencia two nights ago, are always welcome, if not exactly an accurate barometer of what the team’s real capability is.

Looking at the match the other night, there’s clearly the need for at least one new player in the squad. Fear not though, we can be rest assured that Ed Woodward is on the case in that regard. Like the good poker player he no doubt is, Woodward will get us a good deal. On the 20th of July, Woodward told MUTV “There is no fixed budget. Financially we are extremely strong, we have funds available”. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’ll surprise us all and pull a rabbit, or preferably a marauding centre half, out of the hat.

In the summer of 2013, United were linked with, amongst many others, Cristiano Ronaldo (The Guardian), Gareth Bale (Irish Independent) and Cesc Fabregas (The Guardian). Instead of those three, Woodward ended up in a blind panic paying Everton £27.5m for the hapless Marouane Fellaini. That’s four million pound more than he could have paid a few weeks earlier if he had activated Fellaini’s “escape clause” from Everton before it expired. It is rumoured that Bill Kenwright has only just stopped laughing after last Summer’s dealings. The less said about the bid for Leighton Baines, the better. Perhaps Woodward’s biggest difficulty is that though he may be a good Hardy, he has no Laurel beside him. Continue reading He Has No Laurel

Dissolved Into the Winter Sky, just another summer at Old Trafford

Earlier in the pre-season, United had bid £12,000,000 for Leighton Baines and £16,000,000 for Marouane Fellaini. These bids were, according to the media consensus, ‘angrily’ refused by Everton. United have recently come back with a cunning plan, offer a combined £28,000,000 for the pair, surely Everton would fall for that. Despite what some of my fellow reds may think, most scousers are not thick and even if so, not even the thickest scouser would have fallen for that ruse. There is now speculation that United’s next move for Baines and Fellaini is to offer four payments of £7,000,000 staggered over five years. There’s clearly some real guile controlling the transfer budget at Old Trafford.

Marouane Fellani scoring the winner for Everton against United in August 2012

 

Continue reading Dissolved Into the Winter Sky, just another summer at Old Trafford

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