A freezing cold night, a shite atmosphere and Old Trafford being stewarded by people that our visitors tonight would colloquially call a shower of “berks”. As much as nights like the one we all had at Stamford Bridge three months ago emphasise the privilege it is to be a red, nights like tonight are as much bad as that night was good. The irony is that United lost that night at Stamford Bridge but we all came home jubilant having taken the piss out them frauds that pollute that stadium. Tonight, United won but never has the old pun, “cold Trafford” been more appropriate. I sometimes read the K stand top left section in UWS fanzine and wonder if I’m living in a parallel universe to the fella writing it. The self mythologysing K Stand were silent for almost the entire match, outshouted by roughly 1600 traveling West Ham fans but worse were the fuckin’ stewards. Whilst the West Ham fans were stood up for almost the entire match (no skin off my nose, just as long as they don’t cut our allocation there for the same reason), Three lads just behind me in the B stand walked out after being mithered by a steward when trying to get an atmosphere going. My guess is that they probably went to the Bishops, which they might as well have been all night for the contribution they were ALLOWED to make to the atmosphere. There was another fella in the K stand in a white coat who was kicked out of the ground for the same reason. I’ve seen uprising in our proud old stadium before against these goons. The first time I saw it was the J stand in the summer of 1991 when them busy bastards that Michael “Ned” Kelly employed got a good slapping when they tried kicking out reds making an atmosphere during a match against Luton Town. Maybe Old Trafford has been stealthily neutered over the years, as a lot of people believe but I know of enough rum lads who still regularly go for that idea to be rubbish. The problem is, they’re all scattered around the stadium. The idea that was mooted last season about a singing section, where lads can gather together in a prominent part of the stadium, can’t come to fruition quickly enough in my eyes.
A returning Wayne Rooney scores the winning goal on eight minutes after brilliant work by Anderson
United started tonight with 10 different players from what started against the mickies on Sunday just passed. Robin Van Persie was left on the bench, just like he was at the Boleyn Ground eleven days ago. Tonight, no doubt to Sir Alex Ferguson’s relief, he wasn’t needed to pull United out of the shit like he was then. It wasn’t plain sailing though. Anderson found Javier Hernandez on eight minutes with a pass equally as good as Ryan Giggs’s pass to Van Persie at the Boleyn Ground. Hernandez squared the ball over the six yard line to give Wayne Rooney an empty net to put the ball into. After a pedestrian and comfortable first half for United, the second half was far from it. West Ham if anything, played better in the second half than they did at anytime in the first game at the Boleyn Ground. Matt Taylor missed two great chances, the most glaring was when he squared the ball attempting to find Carlton Cole when he should’ve shot himself on 61 minutes. The only survivor from Sundays line up, Rafael was on hand to clear that one up.
Ryan Giggs won a penalty after performing the type of run which he’s been doing for the last twenty two years. When Jordan Spence was adjudged to have handled the ball from Giggs’s cross on 79 minutes, I believed the decision to be rough but however harsh that decision was will be nowhere near as harsh as the words Sir Alex Ferguson will be having with Wayne Rooney for the ensuing penalty. The stattos were out in force after that miss, I’ve now found out that Wayne Rooney has missed ten penalties in a United shirt since he signed for United in September 2004. That’s obviously a lot but I wouldn’t be screaming for any knee-jerk embargo on him taking anymore. Put it this way, if United get a penalty at White Hart Lane on Sunday and Robin Van Persie isn’t on the pitch then my vote would go for Rooney to take it. The most important thing with Rooney is that he has bottle to spare, taking another penalty wouldn’t faze him in the least and I’d trust him to put it away.
Wayne Rooney puts his penalty high into the Stretford End on 79 minutes
Thanks to Big Bad Bill for his help in wronging this blog