The transfer window provided the opportunity for the eternally talentless Jim White, of SKY Sports News, giving us a helium-fueled night of tedium on what is understatedly called, DEADLINE DAY (please shout this out loud as you read it.) Rarely has a man with so little to say, said so much. On Friday night, he had even less to say than usual, but still said too much, too loudly with all the reserve and control of a five year who’s been given carte blanche to drink Red Bull.
Staying cool: Jim White alongside Simon Thomas on DEADLINE DAY™ 2009
David Moyes said last Summer that he’s “more than happy with what we’ve got. I’m very happy with my squad and the options we have”. Continue reading Every Cloud Has A Leaden Lining – Manchester 2nd February 2014
A strong smell of splff blissed everybody out as we headed towards half time in an awful game. Apart from a stupid booking for Patrice Evra, a Ryan Giggs shot hitting the bar and a correctly disallowed Adnan Januzaj goal for offside, nothing much had happened apart from plenty of impotent United possession. Inspired by the aroma of the Casbah, reds were looking at each other and remarking how cool everything is. This happy catatonia was brutally disrupted when Ryan Giggs maintained his incredible record of scoring in every season since 1990/1991 in first half injury time. Unfortunately, for the first time in 23 years, he had put the ball into his own net having been pressured by his fellow Salfordian, Phil Bardsley, into doing so. The feelings of a mutual loving of mankind, evaporated almost immediately and transformed itself the usual atmosphere at football matches of loathing and hostility. Normal service was resumed. Half time and there was a sense of numb disbelief. Nobody could comprehend how Sunderland, a side who didn’t even know who was playing in goal for United, could be 1-0 up.
Sebastian Larsson (bottom right hand corner) about to take the free kick which lead to Sunderlands goal in first half injury time
Continue reading A Mutual Loving Of Mankind – Sunderland, 7th January 2014
We’re back to that time of year when the trees have come down, Father Christmas is back on the dole and everybody’s bills come through the letterbox. The time of year when people go off the beer and there’s slightly less cheer as the festivities disappear. That can only mean one thing; we’re back to the third round of the FA Cup. This is when players and supporters of smaller clubs get condescended by clueless commentators from ITV and BT Sports. Bemused players, who didn’t grow up in the UK are asked, “just what did the FA Cup mean to you as a boy growing up in Spain/Holland/Germany etc”? Before that though, we had the New Year’s Day fixtures. Continue reading The Answer My Friend Is Blowing In The Wind – Manchester 5th of January 2014
The canaries were singing so far out of tune as to make “Metal Machine Music” by the recently departed Lou Reed sound melodic. What started out as a song turned quickly into a squawk by the time referee Kevin Friend, gave United a penalty in the 20th minute for a foul committed by Leroy Fer on Adnan Januzaj in the 20th minute. It is possibly one of the softest penalties I’ve ever seen conceded but all the same, a correct call by the referee. Why Fer felt the need to take a walk on the wild side and trip Januzaj when neither he nor the ball was going anywhere threatening to Norwich, only Fer can answer. The fact is that Fer tripped Januzaj in the box, so it’s a penalty regardless of goal threat of whether Januzaj was in control of the ball. The Norwich players and the impressively numbered travelling fans were understandably incensed by the penalty but they should have been blaming Fer for his numb headed stupidity rather than screaming blue murder to the referee. Javier Hernandez sent Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn the wrong way wit the resulting penalty. Up until the goal, Norwich looked as staggeringly poor as they normally do. After it, they played with all the promise of a turkey in Bernard Matthews slaughterhouse. In the second half, a headed goal from Hernandez on 55 minutes, a volley from Phil Jones on 88 minutes and a flick from the returned Fabio in injury time sealed a 4-0 win for United. A Phil Jones volley and a goal from Fabio? It was one of those nights.
View from the C stand on a not so bootiful night (Photo courtesy of Daniel Burdett)
Continue reading A Walk On The Wild Side – Manchester 29th of October 2013
(1) David De Gea
David De Gea saves against Athletic Club at Old Trafford
By the half time of David De Gea’s first class debut for United at Wembley in the 2011 Community Shield, he’d made two bad mistakes which had given City a 2-0 lead. The following week he’d made another bad error against West Brom which had contributed to their equaliser and the knives were already out for him. Undoubtedly a good shot stopper, his lanky physical presence and his early reluctance to assert his authority in the penalty area had people thinking United had signed another Massimo Taibi. Every keeper makes mistakes but any new keeper who comes to Old Trafford is going to be immediately, unfairly and virtually always negatively compared to the two great United number 1’s of the recent past, Peter Schmeichel and Edwin Van Der Sar. De Gea made further expensive mistakes against Basle in the Champions League, Liverpool at Anfield in the FA Cup and against Blackburn Rovers for which he was dropped immediately after. A couple of weeks later, De Gea had an inadvertant stroke of luck when the solid and reliable looking Anders Lindergaard, who’d taken De Gea’s place, suffered an ankle ligament injury. I believe this was the turning point for David De Gea. Since then he’s looked a better and more confident keeper and he’s made some outstanding saves, most memorably in the last minute at Stamford Bridge from Juan Mata and at Ewood Park with three world class saves in the first half alone. For all the doubt expressed about David De Gea in the first half this season, only once has a mistake of his actually cost United points and that was against Blackburn Rovers on New Year’s Eve. As bad a mistake that was, that day, with the exception of Danny Welbeck, there was a whole team of players in red that had a stinker. I’m hoping our doughnut loving new keeper spends the summer getting to grips with his position at Old Trafford and has a long future there.