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, Continue reading Looking At A Bear – Manchester 9th May 2015
Despite Manchester City being erratic lately, I expected them to turn up at Old Trafford yesterday and for the first ten minutes, they did. They had Manchester United chasing shadows. In the 6th minute, Jesus Navas brilliantly beat United’s offside trap and only a poor finish stopped City going a goal up. Two minutes later, James Miner fed David Silva on the left flank who, in turn, set Sergio Aguero up to make it 1-0 in front of the Stretford End. Seeing this goal had me wondering if United’s defence will ever learn. Silva is the best player I have ever seen in a City shirt and over the years, I’ve repeatedly seen him tear down the left flank against United and set up a goal.
With United caught on the back foot, City inexplicably took their foot off the pedal, Continue reading Chasing Shadows – Manchester 13th April 2015
I’ll be amazed if United have an easier game again this season than today’s match. Hull City are, by a distance, the worst side I’ve seen at Old Trafford since.. Hull City last played at Old Trafford last May. Having looked at the match stats, (something I’m not usually that big on), I see that United had 77% possession. I don’t think Barcelona, even in their tiki taka peak of 2009/2011, ever enjoyed such a generous percentage as that over ninety minutes. Statistically, QPR have had the worst result at Old Trafford this season; they were so bad as to make a feisty pub side like Leicester City, who are now bottom of the table, look like the aforementioned Barcelona. As bad as QPR were, Hull were even worse. Continue reading A Litter Of Kittens – Manchester 29th November 2014
On Friday, Louis van Gaal said that whatever happens, United must not go down to ten men. Chris Smalling scuppered that plan when he got sent off in the 39th minute after two bookings which matched the stupidity of Branislav Ivanovic at Old Traffford last week. Against a mediocre side, you can cope with a man down but against a side as good as City, it’s going to take a miracle to stop them from scoring. From the resulting free kick of Smalling’s red card, Marouane Fellaini blocked his fellow Belgian, Vincent Kompany, from heading into an unguarded net on de Gea’s far post.
A £57.00 view of the match. Photo courtesy of Lee Thomas
Referee Michael Oliver had a stinker of a game. I have no argument with the bookings Continue reading The Kind of Lads ‘n’ Lasses – Manchester 3rd November 2014
Swansea took the lead with a goal from Ki Sung-Yueng in the 28th minute. The goal was in my opinion against the run of play but United had hardly run Swansea ragged before then. I don’t think Yueng could believe his luck at being left completely alone by Ander Herrera and Darren Fletcher dead centre on the eighteen yard line. He just gently knocked the ball into David de Gea’s far left post in front of a disbelieving Stretford End. Swansea’s winner, scored by Gylfi Sigurdsson on 72 minutes was also against the run of play but despite Swansea catching United on the sucker punch twice, I believe they were good for their win.
Juan Mata lining up a free kick in front of the Stretford End (Photo courtesy of Neil Meehan) Continue reading Beeping Reliant Robins Back Down The M5 – Manchester 16th Of August 2014