Looking At A Bear – Manchester 9th May 2015

With City and Arsenal now assured of top four, Manchester United and Liverpool are now locked in a battle over who is the worst of the best. A sort of consolation prize that modern football and it’s obsession of finishing top four now sees as more important (financially at least) than winning the FA Cup. A contest that should’ve been all over now, is still in play, due to United’s infuriating habit of doing the hard bit, then ballsing up the relatively easy bit. At St James’s Park two years ago, there were pictures of the Arsenal side celebrating coming fourth with more vigour than how Liverpool celebrated their last title win in 1990 (if they knew what was to come, I’m sure they wouldn’t have been so blasé). With United beating Crystal Palace today and assuming that Liverpool somehow beat Chelsea tomorrow, United still need three points to be guaranteed top four. Should United get back into the Champions League next season, it will be good to see the reds back where I believe they belong. That said, having watched the Barcelona V Bayern Munich match the other night, United are a year or two off having a serious stab at winning the thing. Should the qualification happen (and it really should now), I don’t want to see any of triumphant photographs, à la Arsenal. It’s the minimum requirement.

At Selhurst Park last season, the literally untouchable Michael Oliver, gave United a penalty for a Marouane Chamakh foul on Patrice Evra. This season, he again gave United a penalty when Scott Dann was adjudged to have handled an Ashley Young cross in the 19th minute. Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw and Young were the only United players that appealed, there was virtually no appeal from the United fans, (who, to be fair, were at the other end of the stadium) and there was an almost eerie silence as the referee blew the whistle and pointed to the spot. After recent penalty misses by Rooney and Robin van Persie, Juan Mata took the spot kick. Palace keeper Julian Speroni kept on pointing to his right corner, a bit like Keith Curle did to Ryan Giggs at the Maine Road derby in 1996. Mata, like Giggs, obliged with the instruction and placed the ball low to Julian Speroni’s right hand corner to put United in the lead.

United fans celebrating Fellaini’s winner (photo courtesy of Barney Chilton)

Twelve minutes into the second half, Chris Smalling wrestled Glenn Murray near the eighteen yard line and thus, gave away a free kick that was easily as stupid as the one given away by Paddy McNair last week against West Brom. The free kick had the same result. Half time Palace substitute, Jason Puncheon, equalised by whipping a shot over a staggeringly poor United wall, compounded with Daley Blind using his left arm as a sun visor.

Marouane Fellaini had another one of those games, a game where his limitations were being ruthlessly exposed. To put it bluntly, he was having a stinker but, as per usual, no matter how bad he was playing, he never went hiding. In the 78th minute, the big barneted Belgian got his just reward by heading United’s winner after Speroni flapped like a drowning duck from an Ashley Young cross. Speroni’s mistake was almost identical to a similar one made by Jim Leighton twenty five years ago this weekend in an FA Cup final between United and Palace. It was a lovely way to win a match.

The reaction of the United fans in the Arthur Wait Stand was wild. There’s goal celebrations and there blissful insanity and this reaction was definitely the latter. It was one of relief at a tricky obstacle overcome, it was one of relief as we all knew those muppets in the Holmesdale Road End would stop singing that fuckin’ Dave Clark song. For that reason alone, Fellaini should forever be afforded legendary status at Old Trafford.

Looking at Marouane Fellaini sometimes is a bit like looking at a bear strolling amongst a load of thoroughbred racehorses. He’s never going to be in anybodies all time United first XI, but this season he has done a job well and nobody believed that would’ve been possible last August. It has become a wonderful sight. Fellaini, a man whose union card says he’s a midfielder, has scored six goals this season. That’s three times as many as Mario Balotelli, a centre forward. If Fellaini is a flop, the lad will still do for me.

MEMO to Old Trafford swag merchants: Get those Fellaini wigs back out on sale again, it’s safe to do so now. Malcolm’s stall on Chester Road, near the phone boxes, will be selling them for the Arsenal match. Mention Man United fans blog for a special discount on the wigs (limited stock, subject to availability).

Happy 50th birthday to Norman Whiteside, possibly the most hated man to have ever set foot in Anfield. No more words need saying on the man, that’s good enough as it is. 

16 thoughts on “Looking At A Bear – Manchester 9th May 2015”

  1. Muphy,

    This performance was not wanker. We have grinder out results when it Mata (lol)

    Control, this is what i like & and this weak we have the ball, the game and the possession. Not perfect but much better.

    In Lyon we are watched in the pub with my firm.

    Happy 50th Big Norm. My favourite memory his five goals vs Ipswich:

    Whiteside, Whiteside, Norman Norman Whiteside, when he get the ball he score the goal Norman Norman Whiteside!!!

    I don’t coming in United again this season Murphy, unless any reeder has two spares for Hull?

    Also I am doing in karaoke Killers song ‘Cos I’m Mr Whiteside’

    in the same time I also singing Kaiser Chiefs: “Molby Molby Molby Molby”

    More beers of celebrations now Murphy.


  2. One more points

    I suggest Matthew Simmons don’t come in Lyon soon or he is asleep with fish.

    I was there in 95 and they have a say in Lyon ; ‘J The Red never forgets’


  3. I’m all the way with you regarding Fellaini. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and if nothing else, he’s a man. He will be remembered by this Red in much the same way I remember Dion Dublin getting that late goal at Southampton in ’92, which get our Championship charge on the road. That’s history folks and them that say it doesn’t matter, don’t matter themselves. Yesterday, United went to sleep for 20 minutes in the second half, but forced their way back to win. Do that, even in the qualifying round in the Champions league, and we will pay dearly. So Blind, it’s a pair of Foster Grants for you and don’t forget to jump next time.

  4. I agree with JT this match is gooder much gooder indeed. In midfield we have much gooder play especially when it Mata (lol)

    As we say in France the big dogs play with the tall trees a la Feliani he has gooder hair too like my comrade JT.


    Big R

    1. Renee, French is not my strength. But I thought adios was a Spanish greeting. Or are you a spaniard living in France? I agree with what you say though. If I’ve understood it properly. Adieu. PS your English diction improved dramatically in the space of five minutes. Tres bon. M. Slade

      1. Slade, Gurney Slade.

        Don’t be a cowherd Bro, 4th place is sorted so send me the number.

        By the way, I never hear of this Renee. I am watching MUFC many time in Old Trafford and in Euro away and I never seen him. Possibly a faker. We the true red army we stick together.

        J The Red is always watching….


        1. You can say what you want about la rouge fraternity, but I couldn’t possibly comment. Who’s to say who anyone is. There will be many reasons for un nom de plume. Are you who you claim to be? Who cares? What matters is our belief in the shirts. Cowherd??? You seem desperate for a number. Do you think a I’m going to put it on here? The answer is no. Would you, or any one else? I doubt it. So we’ll have get along in shaded anonimity.

          1. Slade,

            Don’t worry, be happy mate..

            If it makes you better I tell more of myself.

            In the correct season my family like shooting up. Now we have only one peasant left, his name is Fowler. He was too fat to fly up so we keeped him as a pet domestic.

            You know about our dog (Molby), but in France we love animals.

            For sport, to eat, as pet.

            Also, I have a hare called Rooney. Twice he try to run away. I make him captain of the garden.

            As well as all of this my brother Bernard has a Chinchilla, name of Hernandez.

            My mother she is want to get rid of it but we have also a spider called Web.

            Not only this but we used to have pedigree pug, Pugba, sadly I don’t feed him enough and he scarper.

            All this you will sea when the red army makes the massif party in my home town.

            Stay cool Bro.


          2. Respect JT your the top firm!

            Next seasons you, me and Klaus will get on big Euro smash up and have it large in da city. We get the firm and chase the crumpet my friend.

            Viva JT

            Big R

            One more points I will brings my dog too his name is ‘Possebon’ and we shout his name lots 🙂

          3. Re J the Red. That’s a lot of animals. Is your father called Noah? Would like to see a photo of Rooney with that hare transplant. But seriously, I have a phobia of arachnids. The ones that walk slowly bother me the most. Fowler the peasant? You could ring its neck, and make a pan of scouse with it. Then go and shoot some more. You may find them flapping their wings and making upkeepable promises, about their prospects. West Lancashire is their habitat. Don’t bring anything of value when you go hunting

  5. A new song if I may………..

    Late in May back in 85
    Norman Whiteside scores in extra time
    What a feeling what a night!

    Big R

  6. Ja this performance was very gut. Mein Fuehrer Van Gaal’s philosophy ist to launch the bouncing bombs to herr Fellani so he can score ze goals. I am disappointing that no one has told me that Luton airport is 40 miles from selhurst park I am paying £200 for a taxi and I am missing the first half. Happy birthday to Herr Whiteside.

    From Stuttgart

  7. What a performance, or not, as the case may be. For 15 minutes we pinged the ball around and then someone pulled the plug. Fellaini was having a shocker, but his noddle was in the right place at the right time. Our lack of creativity is very worrying, we don’t so much pepper the opposition goal as wait for the moons to turn and hope they’ve all gone soporific enough for us to get a goal. Valencia still offers more threat from a standing start than many but having to reach the area from full back means the oppo have two banks of 5 by the time he gets there. Once we’ve thrown the kitchen sink and two damp lettuce leaves at Arsenal I hope some of the lads get a chance against Hull. Lets see Perreira and Januzai get a full game.
    As for Whiteside, what a player, love to have seen him in the modern game.

    1. The most incredible thing about Whiteside was that he was only ever sent off once in his career and that was when he was playing for Everton.

      Some of the stuff he did, for example, terrorising Liverpool’s midfield on a regular basis (and they were no shrinking violets), he simply wouldn’t get away with now.

  8. Renee is most realer bro have supported Manchester since 1990.

    JT i saw you in Munchen remember? You sing Ralphie Milne with me and drink beer but maybe you was drunker?

    We have a saying in my country bro…….

    The seagulls follow the sardines like a bat out of hell.

    Adios my comrades

    Big R

  9. Like all Reds, I’m not a fan of the slippery Steve Gerrard, but I liked the fact that he saw through the fake applause by the rent boy clients. Mind you, having said that, he should be an expert on fakery. Having lived through some of the most puke inducing bullshit, put out by his club, supporters and himself. He’s still not apologised to Herrara yet. Not to mention the poor defenceless DJ, he ‘defended’ himself against. He’s a twat and should be remembered as such. He’s just badge kissing two faced scouse liberty taker, who slipped up somewhere along the way.

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