Today was one final blast of decent weather for this year before the light draws in and the departing masses leaving Old Trafford, begin to resemble a Lowry painting for six months. After last Sundays thrashing at City and the midweek joy of beating Liverpool, there was a lot of confidence going into Old Trafford today. Despite that defeat last week and the armageddon-esque rhetoric of forthcoming doom from some reds, United went into todays fixture trailing the league leaders by five points having now played Liverpool and City away as well as Chelsea at home. The widely agreed difficult start was out of the way and United were only five points off the pace and we all know, at this stage of the season, that’s nothing. There was only one problem with that assertion, West Brom hadn’t read the script.
On Saturday the 8th of November 1986 in front of a crowd of 13,545 at the Manor Ground, Alex Ferguson took control of his first United match, an abject 2-0 defeat to Oxford United. There have been many 2-0 defeats United have suffered since that day. There were enough bad defeats in his first four years. It was a period so turbulent in United’s history that it is to the credit of the much maligned chairman Martin Edwards, that United kept faith with Ferguson when a lot of people on the Old Trafford terraces were calling for his dismissal. For all the 2-0 defeats and other such crazy results in Sir Alex Ferguson time as United’s manager, he’d never been involved in a 5-5 draw, it was fitting really that Sir Alex’s time as United manager concluded with a game that encapsulated so brilliantly the great and not so great of his time as United manager. Before yesterday, the last time United had drawn a match 5-5 was in November 1895 when as Newton Heath, they recorded that score against Lincoln City at Bank Street in Clayton during A.H.Albut’s reign.
Sir Bobby Charlton coming out of the Sandwell Academy car park for yesterdays match (Photograph courtesy of Scott Murray) Continue reading From the Manor Ground to the Hawthorns, 1500 and goodnight – West Bromwich 19th of May 2013