Marouane Fellaini has now played ten times for United and he has impressed on precisely none of those appearances. Some players, like Roy Keane, Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie make an immediate impact, others, like Gary Pallister, Andy Cole and David De Gea need a so called bedding in period. I really hope that Fellaini is of the latter. The harsh truth is though Fellaini needs to start asserting whatever midfield authority he has on games like the one United played against Cardiff. At the moment, he looks like a rabbit in headlights. It’s one thing being outplayed by Yaya Toure soon after you’ve signed for a new club, another thing altogether to be anonymous in virtually every other match since. The most damning thing about United’s midfield options however is that I would still pick a dazzled and dazed Fellaini over Tom Cleverley and Anderson. Continue reading If He Was Holding An Ace – Manchester, 25th of November 2013
Celebrating reds on the scaffolding on Deansgate (Photo courtesy of Sarah Moss)
Whilst there was no real feeling of trepidation, there was a real feeling of there being the end of an era at Old Trafford yesterday. It was no great surprise that Sir Alex Ferguson had decided to retire as United manager but the way the news broke on Tuesday, through the medium of Twitter was a typically cack handed way that United handle media matters. By sheer coincidence, the revelation of Wayne Rooney’s second transfer request in three years came out the following day. With the announcement of Ferguson’s retirement and in recognition of the era ending implications of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, United put a defiant montage up on the front of the Scoreboard End (shown below) which was dripping in unintended irony. Wayne Rooney was at the fore of the image, the likelihood of him being part of that continuation is hanging in the balance. We all know that David Moyes will become United manager from July 1st, that’s the same David Moyes who succesfully sued Wayne Rooney for libel in 2008. The image was hastily taken down overnight from the East Stand so when United’s Champions parade commenced, the image had in great Stalinist fashion, vanished Continue reading What More Could We Ask For – Manchester 13th of May 2013
International football has interfered with momentum built up over the past couple of weeks with the usual bad smell surrounding the small town, meatheaded inbreds that follow the England side. Despite looking forward to the return of Premier League football, I hadn’t given the small time watered down Geordies that United played today too much thought until last night. Then last May came back to me and with the memory of the glee of the ‘sunlan’ (sic) fans in reaction to Aguero’s goal, I wanted United to give them a thrashing today at their pretentiously named stadium. That didn’t happen but a 1-0 win which temporarily put United eighteen points clear is a very acceptable second prize.
Shinji Kagawa scored in injury time of a dreadful first half to calm a nervous Old Trafford crowd. From where I was in the ground (B Stand/South Stand), there was a split second delay in reaction to the goal as we all thought it had hit the side netting. The reaction of the rest of the ground is what alerted us to the goal. It was one of relief as both teams had looked clueless up until then. Rarely has a final score of a match and the players who scored the goals in that match given such a misleading impression. A couple of minutes before Shinji Kagawa scored his and United’s second of the afternoon, Tom Cleverley came on for Anderson. The fella next to me was calling for Kagawa to be brought off as we saw Cleverley waiting on the sideline. There wasn’t much disagreement either from me or anybody near me to his wish. I have never seen a player score a hat trick and have such a poor game. When Kagawa completed his hat-trick on 87 minutes, we exchanged wry smiles at what we’d just witnessed. Wayne Rooney, who three minutes later scored the kind of goal that a team scores when winning by three goals, didn’t have a much better game himself. He did improve once a subdued Robin Van Persie was substituted for Danny Welbeck on 66 minutes but Rooney is due a showstopping game for United, this coming Tuesday is a good time to have it.
United sent out text messages on the Wednesday just passed to season ticket holders, members and, in some cases, even lapsed members trying to entice them into buying tickets for yesterday’s match. Like the Sunderland game pre-Christmas, it was obvious that the touts were going to have a quieter day than usual. In the pre-match build up, with previous United cup final records being interspersed with Fools Gold and This Is The One by The Stone Roses, Alan Keegan informed the Old Trafford crowd that United, having won the FA cup 11 times, were the most succesful club in cup history three times in ten minutes. It was nice that United’s 1948 cup winning goalkeeper, Curzon Ashton president and Hulme old boy, Jack Crompton, was a guest of honour at yesterday’s match. Crompton is also a regular at Altrincham’s Moss Lane ground when United’s reserves are playing a home match; I sincerely hope he’s also guest of honour when he turns up there too. Continue reading Reading into the 5th round – Manchester 27th of January 2013