Friday, November 03, 2006

The Manchester United swing swings both ways

Updated! WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2006
I don't know whether I ought to be ecstatic (that my views are indeed vindicated), or... er, not happy (about the 1-0 defeat to a club 43 bleeding positions below us).

Good... MU 4-0 Bolton
Not good... MU 0-1 FC Copenhagen
Good... MU 3-0 Portsmouth
Even better... Spurs 2-1 Chelsea
Way bad... MU 0-1 Southend

I am - yet again - choosing to be optimistic. The swing will swing back occasionally, and Man Utd were indeed due a crappy performance. Better it comes here than in the Premiership or the Champions League where it really matters I say.

Original post on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2006
Without trying to overstate things, it has been a very, very long time since we saw such precision, energy and purpose from my beloved Manchester United.

Make no mistake about it, all credit should rightly to the Red Devils that at the end of the 90, Bolton - an otherwise solid Premiership team - came away with exactly what they deserved from the game, which was precisely nothing!

AIG means "Ain't I Great, innit?"

Four days after that, however, it was same ol’-same ol’ once again from United against FC Copenhagen. On a night when we should have really wrapped up further participation in the Champions’ League, we instead rested some key players, and accordingly came away with exactly what we deserved from the game, which again, was precisely nothing.

Time then to recall age-old wisdom: the swing swings both ways!

However, in spite of my tendency for cynicism, I am choosing to see the glass as half-full. I expect that the team, and Fergie particularly, will have been given a right royal Danish slap on Wednesday, which in turn should adequately give them the much needed boost to bag nothing less than three points when we host a resurgent Pompeii at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Manchester United vs. Portsmouth
LIVE from Old Trafford. Saturday, 4th November. 11pm.
This is the match of the week.

I am going to stick my neck out even further – and in doing so risk a mother of a jinx – by pointing out what I believe are the three factors contributing to United’s great start this season:

Christiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo was a real pain before the season started, but eventually got with the programme once he felt he wasn’t going anywhere.

I suspect he figured out that it is in his best interest to shut his mouth up instead of stirring problems with the club which would bring his image down deeper post WC2006, and his value together with it.

The last thing he wants is to be in the shoes of Ashley Cole. So for now, Ronaldo is going to behave. And so far, he’s behaving pretty well.

Nemanja Vidic
Rooney’s finishing against Bolton was clinical, and he scored three magnificent ‘striker goals’. And there are a number of players in the United team that are starting to really look the part.

But for me, one of the most encouraging components of late has been Nemanja Vidic. I have been heard to moan and groan over the past few years about our total mess of a central defense, but in Vidic we finally have a centreback of steel and intelligence. He is starting to really hook up well with Rio (who himself has got his act together). Its finally looking like we have found our Jaap Stam once again.

The power of S3
The 3 S’s are none other than Scholes, Saha and Solksjaer. All have been in fine form over the past weeks. Saha is starting to remind us of the striker we bought from Fulham some seasons ago, and credit to Fergie for his patience and loyalty to him, which the Frenchman is only too eager to repay.

Scholes has always been the class of the field. Understated, hardworking and averse to all the glitter and glamour that besiege modern British players, he is a typical Ferguson player (others include Keane, Robson, Bruce and Hughes) – solid, focused and interested in only doing his talking on the field.

But the class has to be our dear King Ole! Despite being injured for two years, he looks as classy as ever, and is perhaps the world’s best Super Sub. And he does it all with grace, humility and charm. No wonder he's called the smiling assassin.

Long may he live at Old Trafford!


spiller said...

to me, the match of the week is going to be West Ham vs Arsenal. i would like to see how the Gunners bounce back from their shameful draw with CSKA Moscow, against a desperate Alan Pardew side.

that miss by Rosicky actually made me think of match-fixing, to be honest.

oh, on ManU, i believe there is factor 4: Ryan Giggs. He was outstanding in the absence of captain Neville.

Mamabola said...

Its so adorable how you always refer to MU as "my belowed Manchester United".

Those who don't believe me only need to read below...... almost every single time :)

Jemima said...

AIG means "Ain't I Great, innit?"

WOW! You're creative. ;)
I would never have thought of that.

Jinx or otherwise, this is a good post, my friend. They've done well so far & fingers crossed that they will continue to do so. :D


Kenny Ng said...

Good review! Ole my all time favorite hero.

Mong said...

Wah, not bad man United........ who ever expected them to be ahead of Chelski at this point? And also playing at top form! Congrats!

Check out "my beloved" Spurs, man!!!

visithra said...

no fergie tribute?

Gallivanter said...

Manure are impressive indeed! I really don't see any team in the EPL actually giving them a game, except Chelski to a certain extent. Any team that thrashes Bolton deserves to win the EPL....good luck! :-)

lilyliverbird said...

manchester united swings both ways sounds like a perfect way to describe Christina :D

Keropok said...

Spiller:What a game West Ham v Arsenal turned out to be! Good result for the Hammers, I've always liked them.

Mamabola: They club is beloved to me, through good times and bad, my friend.

Jemima: Cheers! I wanted to caption it "Who da man!!!"

Fingers crossed that the good form continues.

Kenny Ng: Ole IS da man! Imagine this: 2 years out with injury, and until Saha scored he was United's top scorer. And this is a United team that's scored 26 goals, mind you!!!

Keropok said...

Mong: Thanks, mate. And thanks to "your beloved Spurs", we're now bona fide three points ahead (with +10 goal difference!)

I did not believe this could happen!

Visithra: Fergie tribute coming soon. Just you wait for it.

Gallivanter: Well, let's hope they keep this form till the season ends mate. As a good friend said, they don't dish out the trophies in November.

Lilyliverbird: Janganlah jealous! We still got a long way to go before we can hope to match Liverpool in the 'pretty boy' department :)

Soccer Lingam said...

Hello boss!

A certain 1-0 score in the Carling Cup last night. A certain defending champion team is out. To a certain bottom-of-the-table Championship team???!!!

Hmmm... the swing does swing both ways!

Mr D said...

I am sure you rather lose to the bottom end of the championship than blackburn right? I take a win at the Emirates over a loss to Birmingham

Anonymous said...

Updates over older posts!!!!!!
A bit of lazy blogging, I believe!!!

Desparil said...

lucky i didn't watch the game this morning.. ceh..

the only consolation is.. more time to rest..

Jemima said...


the kimster said...

How can we lost to Southend?
Flippin' heck...

SoccerGuy said...

It's heart-aching seeing "our beloved" Man U losing to a team that was meant for a walk in the park. Seriously it's time to ask ourselves: "Where did we go wrong?" The warning bell should've been sounded since the last time we met Crewe.

Still, that's part and parcel of the beautiful game.

Kenny Ng said...

They will bounce back to clinch the Premier League title, FA Cup and European Champions League...

Oh yah... we are organising 'Together-Gather' Year End Bloggers Party on 30 Dec 2006. U want to join?

Dame RoSse said...

aiseh lambat komen.
btw, united nye jersey baru tu kan kan...
leh tahan, lawa.