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!
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.
LIVE from Old Trafford. Saturday, 4th November. 11pm.
This is the match of the week.
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.
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.
Long may he live at Old Trafford!