Pick ‘n’ Mix – Milton Keynes 26th of August 2014

Until tonight, United hadn’t played at this stage of the League Cup since losing to York City in 1995. That tie saw an unbelievable 3-0 loss at Old Trafford to York, tonight somehow surpassed that.

It was quite quaint seeing pick ‘n’ mix stalls outside the ground. A very old fashioned enterprise in a surrounding that screams sterile modernity in quadrophonic sound. As charming as it was to see pick ‘n’ mix stalls outside the stadium, the allure wore off rapidly when we saw the pick ‘n’ mix nature of United’s line up.

Pick ‘n’ Mix outside the Milton Keynes stadium

Louis van Gaal said he was going to use two different teams for the games against Sunderland and MK Dons. Most Reds were surprised that van Gaal thought United had one decent side to put out, never mind two. After what we witnessed tonight, we were right to be surprised. Fringe players were used and they were joined by Jonny Evans, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and due to rumoured extensive lobbying by Bem Brasil restaurants, Anderson turned out too. The hopes of United fans that Anderson had been deported were shown for the fallacy that we always feared it would be. While United can palm off the piss poor Nani to Sporting Lisbon for a season while paying his entire wages into the bargain, they can’t even get a club to take on Anderson in the same circumstances. It looks like United are stuck with him for another twelve moths before his contract expires but don’t worry, we still have Nani for another three years once his loan finishes at the end of the season. The only United player who walked off the pitch with any credit tonight was David de Gea..

The seats allocated to Reds in a stand that, according to my ticket, didn’t actually have a name. In this regard, the stadium is ideal for the 8,461 regular clientele it regularly draws to its bland and souless surrounding. The local police and security were surprisingly and refreshingly polite and helpful in and around the ground. This was by some distance the best deal of the night for the United fans who had travelled to this town of roundabouts and trees.

United didn’t have a shot on target until the 77th minute, by this time they were 3-0 down. In the 24th minute, Ben Reeves capitalised on a schoolboy error from Jonny Evans to feed Will Grigg to put MK Dons into the lead. From here on in, United who were already poor somehow got even worse. In the 64th minute, soon after having a good penalty appeal turned down for a Jonny Evans handball, MK Dons scored again. United again gave the ball away, this time in the midfield to gift MK Dons a break. From the attack, Reeves again fed Grigg who chested the ball past David de Gea to make the score 2-0. On 69 minutes, United yet again gave the ball away cheaply and yet again, Reeves fed the goalscorer. This time Benik Afobe was the beneficiary.

At this point I turned round to the lads I was with and said I’ll take 3-0. I feared something far worse due to the laughable incompetence of the United side. This was also the point that an exodus of mard arses left the stadium in the United section. With a bit of luck, these people will stay away from United aways in future and leave it to proper Reds to get the tickets.

MK Dons players celebrate the first goal

With seven minutes to go, following a half hearted attempt to head the ball from Marnick Vermijl, Afobe won the ball near the eighteen yard line. Afobe then ran through United’s defence like they were statues to make the score 4-0.

The mood among Reds in the stadium was not anger by the time the score got to 4-0, more of resigned and rueful laughter than anything else. The United fans that stayed sang an endless version of the calypso whilst the MK Dons fans, who were seeing their side beating Premier League opposition 4-0, sat there mute. I don’t know what passes for passion in that part of the world but having witnessed fans of the local club tonight, I have a feeling that an economic spreadsheet or maybe an accountants’ Christmas party is what really gets them going. It certainly isn’t football.

United players in the pre match warm up. This was the best United played all night

Since 1993, United have generally fielded a shadow side for League Cup matches, especially at early stage matches like tonight’s. United have come unstuck on the odd occasion but generally the fringe side would get knocked out and walk off the pitch with some dignity intact. Not tonight, losing 4-0 to a side two divisions below is as bad as it can get. The half hearted incompetence of the United performance was a disgrace to the shirt that six and a half thousand people had schlepped down the M6 and M1 to support. Under normal circumstances, with European football as well as league title contention to deal with, the League Cup is considered, correctly in my opinion, expendable. This season United are not burdened with any European football and nobody seriously believes that they have a chance of winning the title. This means that before we even get into September, United have only one feasible chance of silverware this season and our participation in that competition doesn’t even commence until January.

7 thoughts on “Pick ‘n’ Mix – Milton Keynes 26th of August 2014”

  1. Well you saw it but I couldn’t believe it,I had gone to some site that was showing [for god knows what reason an Athletico Madrid game from 2012] then the site gave a jiggle and uniteds score came up 3-0. I thought it was still 2012, sadly it was the right score [at the time]. I never like to see United get bad results like that more so when they have played well. From what you have wrote, this was never the case. Hope united get back on track for the fans and so they wont be embarrassed eating their ill gotton food/wages,heres to the turn around.

  2. This is minor turbulence after take off, panic not Murph. Captain Van Gaal has everything under control, we just need to sign another no.10 to make absolutely sure we are well catered for in that position.

    Seriously though, his initial results at Barca were shocking, only to storm to consecutive La Liga titles.

    Good luck to MK Dons, and as you say thumbs up to their bang on police and stewards, a welcome deviation from the norm.

    We have a brilliant manager, the spine of an excellent existing team, some very promising youngsters in Blackett, Keane and Wilson, plus top draw signings to add into the mix with immediate effect.

    Would you rather that or be an aggrieved scouser who knows your one realistic chance of the league has vanished for another 24 years, or even a moustachioed Magoo supporter who will deep down known full well that their success is tainted by having been bought off the shelf.

    As for the fuck wits who left the ground at various points last night, bang on Murph. Don’t come back, leave it to proper reds to film your spaces.

    See y’all in Burnley. Lock up your sisters and stay away from the bogs in Burnley Services.

  3. For LVG to say they cashed in our mistakes doesn’t cut it for me. Surely that is the difference between success and failure. It’s often said by lower teams, with respect to MKD, that you can’t afford to play like that against quality opposition. Well the shoe fits the other way round. When you play against a team like MKD you have too match their desire and ability. They blew us away last night. Fair play to them. All is not lost. The cabin crew forelady, Lionel, got it right. Turbulence. And if anyone at the club ain’t per’fucking’turbed, well they should be. I, like most Reds feel uncomfortable with the Glazers. But at least they put our money where our mouths have been, for ages. It will improve, I’m sure of that. Loyalty to the shirt is all that matters. Also Murph, where I was last night , it was the younger lads and lassess that stuck it out. Once again the fans managed to salvage a dignity in ignominious defeat.

    1. Low level lighting will guide you to an exit pathway Messrs Anderson, Young & Cleverley.

      In the event of landing on water Anderson will definitely sink, Cleverley will almost certainly go missing, but given his skills that resurfaced at Sunderland Young will survive.

      Brace, brace reds. Fit your own Kangol life jacket and kickers before attending to others.

      A light, whistle, flares, and Tufty’s twatter account are stowed under the seat in front of you to attract attention.

      Safety briefing over and out.

      Cabin Crew Forelady Lionel.

      1. Lionel, when I first read you piece, I thought it was from madam Canary. However, it’s a good analogy. Having fun is part of the therapy needed at times like this. Joe

  4. I think “laughable incompetence” is the only way to describe THAT. Nice to see the faithful reds stay till the end with the calypso rendition, however.

    What I found disgraceful was the fact that only one player came to thank the away fans, as ever, Danny Welbeck. The rest of them should be ashamed.

    1. Perhaps Ben, he popped over to say goodbye. Or have looksee what goals are like, he’s clearly not familiar with them. We, as a gang of fans have come back from worse than this. But a long way back it is. Again, I watched this on me tele. Herrera is a good passer of the ball. But last night there was nobody moving into the right places. Under orders or not, your instinct as footballer is to attack. Some of them were signing their own dispatch papers. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Which, incidentally, is what happened to me twin brother Berny. So once again to the away support, keep it up. Good and fair piece Murph

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