It was a normal day in the office. There were stories on the news reporting rumours that Sir Alex Ferguson was to retire. Most commentators seemed to think it unlikely, but then it was announced, the news all United fans dreaded was finally confirmed; Sir Alex Ferguson is to retire at the end of the season. Anyone who doesn’t love football or United will not understand the feelings that announcement has provoked.
So it’s finally arrived. We have just a few hours to kick-off in the Manchester derby. Although tonight’s meeting isn’t crucial in deciding the destination of the Premier League title, it’s still a match every United fan is desperate to win. I don’t just want us to win, I’d love us to do it in style, just to show our many detractors that our lead in the League is no accident and to stamp all over City’s claims that they were destined to dominate Manchester and the Premier League after their last kick title win last season. Well, they can’t claim dominance now. Far from it; and I’d love to see us ram the point home tonight.
Yesterdays remarkable events confirmed just why I’m such a pessimist when it comes to football. Even after all United’s recent success, I never take anything for granted. I’ve supported United for a long, long time and therefore remember the years before Sir Alex, when we hardly won anything. Don’t get me wrong, those barren years were still full of fantastic memories. Supporting United, whether in the old Second Division, or winning the Treble, it’s all the same to me.
Okay, I can’t deny I was disappointed yesterday. To say the least! But we shouldn’t forget that we pushed City all the way, right to the final few kicks of the entire season. It wasn’t yesterday when we lost it. I was almost as disappointed at the Everton game. To be leading 4-2, with eight minutes to go, I more or less accepted it wasn’t going to be our year when Everton scored the equaliser to make it 4-4. Of course, I hadn’t completely given up hope but in my gut I think I knew it wasn’t to be. Continue reading
Oft quoted by Greavsie, years ago, on his ‘Saint and Greavsie’ tv show; and proved to be true in so many unlikely football scenarios. Time after time, the seemingly impossible does happen. Unfortunately, as a United fan, I’m hoping for the seemingly impossible to happen next Sunday. Can QPR, with a terrible record away from home, snatch a point at The Etihad Stadium, where Manchester City have only dropped points to Sunderland all season? And if they do, can United beat Sunderland at their place?
I’ve never been one to rely on another team helping United out; but I was yesterday, hoping the Geordie’s would at least earn a draw against City. Alas, it was not to be. So now City, with one hand on the trophy, only have to beat QPR on Sunday, to win their first Title since 1968. But could this Title run-in still have a massive twist in the tail? Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
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