Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Manchester United juggernaut rolls on

Without sounding too proud, I'm delighted to say how much I enjoyed seeing my beloved Manchester United zoom past a hapless Tottenham Hotspurs on Sunday.

The first half was a frenetic affair, and there was a sense that if Spurs came up with the opening goal it could have been a difficult evening for United. But when Ronaldo scored (from a dubious penalty claim, I accept) there was only going to be
one winner.

To be honest though, Larsson had a reasonable claim to a penalty from that careless Gardner tackle earlier on, which the referree didn't award. Another claim at the other end was also ignored, but in the end Spurs took home exactly what they brought to the game, which is to say precisely, nothing!

Many would say that the momentum is on the side of United at the moment, and their movement, squad depth and most importantly team spirit is at an all time high. It is their title to lose indeed.

The critics though will continue to go to town claiming United can win a title only at the expense of other teams' misfortune. These are those who say that had Cech, Terry and Joe Cole not been injured, Chelsea would definitely be ahead at this point.

Why the long face, Jose?

These are also those make the erroneous claim that United have been strangely fortunate to not have injuries in the course of the season, myopically ignoring the fact that Vidic - by far United's best player this season - didn't start the season. They will also conveniently forget that Giggs, Neville, Heinze and Saha have all had their spells with injury and needed to have been deputised time and again by their able replacements.

And they resolutely forget that Solksjaer made a two-year recovery before returning to the field and popping in the goals the way he has. Or that Alan Smith is still shrugging off the effects of a horrendous injury. Or that Scholes and Rooney were unavaiable for four matches at the start of the season, serving time for a longer than necessary suspension.

Worst of all, they can't seem to remember what the club with all the rubles in the world and their special manager once boasted - not too long ago - that they have enough so much strength in their squad, they actually have two first team players for every position.

... and on...
In recognition of that claim, let's all take a look at how things look like at the United bench (or indeed, the plush, Audi-branded bucket seats, as the case may be). I don't ever remember United going on a buying spree in past seasons - and I did indeed bemoan the
bleak team sheet when the season began - yet it looks like there somehow seems to be enough to field another strong team in the Premiership.

Consider if you will: Kuszczak, Silvestre, Heinze, Brown, O'Shea, Fletcher, Richardson, Park, Smith, Dong, Solksjaer. Could a team like this sit well about... Spurs?

... and on...
I watched the
Addicks play Chelsea over the weekend, and if not for that fortunate strike by Frank Lampard, Alan Pardew's men could have come away with a result of sorts.

Charlton stand a good chance as the other relegation candidates to stay up in the Premiership next year. Which means all is not lost for them. Which means they'll be playing like hell to save their skins. Which can only mean a tough afternoon at Old Trafford.

Previous Premiership aspirations have always been scuppered by poor results against bottom teams, which means United will have to be extra resolute to get maximum points in this game and keep the blue bastards at bay.

Manchester United vs. Charlton
LIVE from Old Trafford. Saturday, February 10th, 2007. 11.00pm.

This is not the match of the week though. That game is at St. James' Park, where
Newcastle take on Liverpool - two teams battered and bruised from their weekend mis-adventures, and very eager to get a result.


Mong said...

How dare you knock the Spurs! As you said, it could have been a very different affair if we scored first.

Gallivanter said...

Congratulations. The form Manure are in this season, makes them worthy champions.

Mr D said...

Cristine is still a diver but Larsson shoudl have been given one earlier so it all works out. Spurs were crapinthe 2nd half and selling Carrick was a mistake by Jol.

Anyway, such is football. Manure have done well from the get-go and deserve the title should they clinch it.

Keropok said...

Coming from hard-core Arsenal and Liverpool fans, that means a lot fellas...

Mr D said...

You are not going to start to tear up now?

Desparil said...

from the '2nd' team, i say only park, heinze & solksjaer (maybe smith & o'shea) are worthy squad players.

further, only park & heinze are good enough to be considered as 1st team material. let's hope sir alex brings in new faces this summer.

9 said...

Man Utd have depth in their team squad. Even with injuries they can still grind out the results. This is one of the reason they're on top right now.

Good luck with the Charlton game.

p/s: we weren't battered nor bruised on saturday. how can you when your opponents don't even come out to play?

Kenny Ng said...

6 points ahead! Yes, good comment about it all. The 2nd team looks strong too.

awek owen said...

Mo the Ho's knickers must be twisted all out of sorts eh?

divina_evelina said...

Hie there...

Dame RoSse said...

Happy Lunar New Year.

Jemima said...

You've been busy changing your templates (this must be the 3rd one now) but still no update. :p