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
Until today, I had never in my life seen a good game of football involving the 1992 Autoglass Trophy winners. A real see saw game saw for the third consecutive time, a farcical goal go in at the Scoreboard End. Peter Crouch forced a great save from David De Gea on 3 minutes before Jonny Evans attempted clearance deflected off Crouch’s shin and into the back of the net. When Van Persie equalised on 43 minutes, the relief around the ground could be touched. It didn’t last long. Two minutes later, Marko Arnautovic beat David De Gea on his near post from a free kick to De Gea’s right. Wayne Rooney was again immense today, he was busy and determined. Some United players didn’t have such a great game though. Jonny Evans and Phil Jones occasionally resembled Laurel and Hardy at the back, then we have Nani…(on doctors advice and some Mogadon , I’m leaving it there).
Continue reading Then We Have Nani – Manchester 26th of October 2013
Tonight was the trial run for the ‘Singing Section’, to be situated in the L stand at Old Trafford, the usual place where away fans are allocated. The idea of the singing section is nothing new. It was mentioned frequently in the fanzines in the mid to late 1990’s and after much lobbying by IMUSA, was finally opened in the second tier of the Stretford End in 2001. Having watched matches in that part of the ground in that era, I can well remember the lads ‘n’ lasses in there making plenty of noise but because it was an enclosed part of the ground at the time, the noise stayed within confines and could barely be heard in the lower tier of the Stretford End, never mind the rest of the ground. With it now being re-placed to the L stand and the whole stadium as their audio audience, the singing section made plenty of noise and the whole exercise was very encouraging. It is a great idea to have a group of like minded people together who want to create an atmosphere rather than have them scattered around the ground like piffy. The enclosure was an experiment for tonight’s game. From what my eyes showed, it should not only be encouraged, but implemented as quickly as possible as it enhanced the atmosphere immeasurably. This time last year at Old Trafford, United played Sporting Braga and the only atmosphere in the ground was provided by pre pubescent children who were there en masse via free tickets sent to their schools. By all means have groups of kids in the ground on freebies, but it is embarrassing when they set the benchmark for the vocal support. The regular use of the L stand for United’s more boisterous fans can’t come quickly enough.
Ryan Giggs about to take a short corner and get caught offside seconds later when Wayne Rooney returned the ball to him (Photo courtesy of Neil Meehan)
Continue reading A Megaphone And The Truth – Manchester 23rd of October 2013
The weather forecast had been universally grim. It was supposed to piss down constantly throughout the weekend but that wasn’t how it ended up being. A stuttering United performance was nicely concluding into a hard fought victory when Southampton got a corner on 88 minutes. After a game of cat and mouse between referee Michael Jones and Saints midfielder James Ward-Prowse, over the pinching of inches and placing the ball out of the D of the corner flag, Ward-Prowse floated a corner in to cause a chaotic scramble in the United six yard box. This resulted in a farcical equaliser for Southampton, which was eventually accredited to Adam Lallana. Moments later, what had been an elementally very agreeable day turned very dark very quickly. It was if the goal itself had given the Lord the royal hump and he thus, Continue reading Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Manchester 19th of October 2013
Last Saturday, West Bromwich Albion beat United in a league game for the first time since March 1984. At half time yesterday, Sunderland looked like exorcising another long standing hoodoo when they were winning 1-0 and looking good for their first league win against United since March 1997. Three minutes after Sunderland went into the lead in the fourth minute, Craig Gardner robbed possesion off Phil Jones in the midfield. If Gardner had been more decisive in possesion, United would have been 2-0 down before they’d even realised the game had kicked off. Emanuele Giaccherini forced a brilliant save from David De Gea in the 34th minute. Ten minutes later, Giaccherini shot high from six yards when it was probably easier to shoot on target. Apart from a volley from Nani on 21 minutes, which he fired across goal, United never looked threatening. The second half began nearly as badly as the first, on 48 minutes, Adnan Januzaj was booked for a dive in the Sunderland eighteen yard box. Having seen it again on Match of the Day, it was that poor a dive as to make Ashley Young’s recent efforts look convincing. Seven minutes later, Januzaj redeemed himself by calmly sidefooting Patrice Evra’s low cross from twelve yards, past a stranded Kieron Westwood. On 62 minutes, Januzaj scored the winner with a brilliant volley, low into Westwood’s bottom right hand corner from eighteen yards. After Uniteds erratic start to the season, todays result gives me great confidence that United will be playing Premier League football next season.
United players walking over to the fans after the final whistle (photograph courtesy of Stuart Gwilliam)
Continue reading Walking By The River Wear – Sunderland 5th of October 2013