Roy Hodgson England Manager

Roy Hodgson confirmed as England Manager

It’s official, Roy Hodgson is England’s new manager. Am I excited by his appointment? No, to be honest. I, along with many other England fans, have been looking forward to Harry Redknapp taking charge and injecting some excitement into the England set up. Of course, we don’t know what’s gone on behind the scenes, but there’s no denying it’s a disappointment and a missed opportunity.

Still, we are where we are. I’ve nothing against Roy Hodgson; he seems to be a thoroughly decent bloke. And he’s respected by his peers. However, I do feel he’ll struggle with the press, especially if things go badly. His time at Liverpool doesn’t inspire confidence. Plus, many big players were championing Harry for the job. They’re bound to be disappointed. Will Roy Hodgson be able to win them round and motivate them?

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Advantage City

So it’s the morning after the night before. A night full of disappointment…of epic proportions. During most of the game I had that numb feeling and it’s the same this morning. Just feel ‘empty’. It began when I heard the team selection. I understand the arguments for picking that starting line up, but it signalled we were going to be happy scrapping for a draw, or hoping for a lucky breakaway goal to snatch a win. Many pundits were likening the selection and formation to the way we play in Europe. Enough said, considering our woeful displays this season. It may be criticised as being tactically naive but I always prefer it when we pick an attacking team, signalling our intent. Like when we beat City, at The Etihad, in the F. A. Cup, earlier this season. We started with Rooney, Welbeck, Valencia and Nani and went for the jugular. We stormed to a 3-0 half time lead and hung on in the second half to win 3-2. Continue reading

Derby Day Has Dawned

City United Derby
The Biggest City United Derby

As you woke this morning what was the first thing to enter your mind? If you’re a Manchester United or Manchester City supporter it was probably the match tonight. The last week has certainly dragged on for me. No matter what I’m doing, tonight’s match is never far from my thoughts. This is a massive game. I can’t remember feeling so nervous and apprehensive about a match before. No doubt I have, but now, today, this is United’s most important game for years.

I can never really enjoy games such as the clash tonight. They’re endured, rather than enjoyed. I’m such a pessimist when it comes to football. If we win, my first feeling will be one of relief, before the elation kicks in. I can’t comprehend any loss. I know people who don’t understand football think it’s pathetic how important the result of a game is to supporters. I can’t explain or justify how big an impact football has on my life. It’s irrational maybe, but it’s real to me, and millions of other fans. Continue reading

Title Up For Grabs

We threw it away

Despite supporting the most successful club side in England I still have a rather fatalist attitude when it comes to United. Maybe it was the early years when I became all too familiar with disappointment and regular mocking from Leeds and Liverpool supporters in particular. I’ve supported United since I first became aware of this fantastic game we call football and found my first hero in George Best. With George, you lived for his brilliance, but there’s no denying the disappointments that came with idolising a flawed genius. I also remember the disappointment of relegation, when a loss to City, of all teams, sent us down. And even though the recent years have bought unprecedented success, we always seem to do it the hard way. United make us suffer in victory. That’s what makes any eventual victory that much sweeter, I suppose. And here we go again. Continue reading

United Restore Gap

Rooney double helps sink Villa
Rooney double helps United

Manchester United have restored their lead to five points in the Premier League Title race with City. The games are fast running out with only four remaining. As I always tend to be rather pessimistic when it comes to football I was fearing the worst. Surely Villa couldn’t deny us all three points. Not another shock result like the Blackburn home defeat. I was half expecting a torturous goalless draw to be honest. Thankfully, it turned out to be anything but. It was just the result we needed; a convincing win, three points and a reduction in goal difference.

We have Everton at home next, a 12.30pm kick off next Sunday 22nd. City play later, away to Wolves. Hopefully, when they kick off their game we’ll be eight points clear. It will be interesting to see how Everton react to their FA Cup Semi-Final defeat to Liverpool. I’m expecting a tough match. Continue reading

City Keep Pressure On United

Tevez grabs a hat-trick

Despite Roberto Mancini’s assertions that City had no chance of winning the Title, his suddenly in form team are doing all they can to prove him wrong. I was hoping this would be a difficult away trip for City and had it down as a draw in my predictions for the remaining games. How wrong could I be? City thrashed in form Norwich 6-1 at Carrow Road to close the gap at the top to just two points. They also increased their goal difference to eight. Is it any coincidence that Carlos Tevez has started the last two games, in which City have scored ten goals, with Tevez himself claiming four.  He celebrated his hat-trick today with a golf swing. No doubt in response to his long leave of absence, where he was pictured playing golf. Continue reading

Red Devils Slip Up

Wigan 1 United 0

When I compared the remaining fixtures for both United and City a few games ago I put this one down as a draw for United and a win for City. So, I expected City to catch up at this stage. I was only a point out. However, I must admit I’m a little concerned, based on United’s overall performance. It wasn’t good. And City scored four with no reply. That must put an extra spring in their step for the next game.

City play on Saturday 14th April, away to Norwich City. On my list of remaining games I have this one down as a draw. Norwich have been impressive this season and City have struggled away from home. But if City do win, the gap at the top will be down to just two points, putting extra pressure on United when they play on Sunday 15th April. We have Aston Villa at home and I have this one down as a home win. If we slip up again it really will be ‘squeaky bum’ time as Sir Alex would say. Continue reading

Perfect Easter For United

United top at Easter

United go 8 points clear

So United’s Easter wish was granted. A 2-0 home win against QPR followed by City losing away at Arsenal. Those results put us eight points clear at the top of the Premier League with just six games left to play. A controversial Wayne Rooney penalty and a Paul Scholes special won us the points. Arsenal then beat Manchester City by a solitary Mikel Arteta goal to produce the result all United fans were hoping for.

To add to City’s woes, Mario Balotelli was sent off late on in the game, picking up a second yellow card. By all accounts he should have received a straight red for a bad tackle earlier in the match. City seem to be all over the place. They may have some great individual players but they’re not a team like United. As Sir Alex once said, anyone can buy expensive players, but not everyone can build a team. Continue reading

United Extend Lead

Ashley Young celebrates
Ashley Young celebrates

Manchester United extended their lead in the Premier League to five points over their City rivals last night. With seven games to play our fate is in our own hands. Pre match I was worried as usual. Blackburn has not been a happy hunting ground over the years and they are fighting for survival and hit a run of good form. As I have resisted subscribing to Sky I was listening to the match of BBC’s FiveLive whilst attempting some work. United had most of the possession but it was Blackburn who created the best chances. It was only thanks to David De Gea that we went in at half time on level terms.  I don’t mind admitting that I had the nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wasn’t able to concentrate on work and left the office and listened to the second half sat in the dark. Continue reading