It’s been 362 days since United last played Tottenham Hotspur and both games were very similar in the way they worked out, with one crucial difference: United didn’t lose this match. On New Year’s Day, United played Spurs off the pitch until getting caught with a sucker punch from Emmanuel Adebayor and eventually losing the match 2-1. This time around, with good chances missed by Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie, United could and should have been 3-0 up by the half time whistle. In the 68th minute, when Juan Mata ballooned a good chance so far over the bar that the ball ended up on Paxton Road, I was beginning to fear a Tottenham smash’n’grab akin to last year.
View from the United section of White Hart Lane (photo courtesy of Toby Cecil)
Well, that’s what should have happened. Tottenham, who with Mauricio Pochettino as manager, are a noticeably fitter side and finished the match the much stronger team. We ended up relieved at the 0-0 draw when, due to wasteful finishing from United, particularly in the first half, Continue reading With A Stark Choice – Manchester 28th December 2014
After a transfer window where David Moyes struggled to sign an autograph and United’s skills of negotiation made the notorious Garry Cook look the model of professionalism, we are now thankfully back to the real football of United after every small town inbred’s favourite side played Ukraine and Moldova. As we all know, United eventually signed Marouane Fellaini after Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright showed United’s new Chief Executive up for the amateur that he is. Apart from the Warwick Road swag grafters, I can’t think of anybody who’s first choice midfield signing would have been Fellaini, but what I have no doubt about is that he’s a vast improvement on Anderson and Tom Cleverley. For Anderson, it may be a cruel coincidence that he chose yesterday to have possibly his worst ever game for United (there’s some stiff competition for that). It took me ten minutes to realise he was on the pitch, when I first noticed him he gave the ball away in midfield and proceeded to do that for the rest of the first half. When Palace midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi conceded a very dubious penalty on forty two minutes, Anderson was running to the referee Jon Moss, like a coppers nark mithering him to send off Dikgacoi. Strictly speaking, seeing as the referee believed it to be a foul and Young was the last man, the sending off of Dikgacoi was the correct decision but it sickens me to see any footballer trying to get another footballer booked or sent off. When I see a United player doing it, it disgusts me. As dubious as the penalty was, a half time lead for United was a fair score. Robin Van Persie despatched the penalty with aplomb having been thwarted by the crossbar nine minutes earlier. On the hour, Anderson applied the coup-de-grace to his afternoon by tripping over the ball. Next time the ball went out of play, Anderson instinctively looked over to the United bench expecting to be substituted, it was his wisest move of the day. Fellaini came on to a rapturous welcome and parts of Old Trafford resembled a shebeen on Claremont Road in 1978, such was the abundance of afro syrups springing up in homage to United’s new Belgian signing. Wayne Rooney sealed the game for United on 78 minutes with a well taken free kick from thirty yards. Any result other than a United win would have been a travesty even if Uniteds first goal was never a penalty. Crystal Palace were a game and plucky side but they only threatened United’s goal once, when Dwight Gayle wasted a great oportunity on 41 minutes after ghosting past a napping Rio Ferdinand.
Continue reading Struggled To Sign An Autograph – Manchester 15th of September 2013