Archive for December, 2001
It was almost as if the last few months were all a dream and on wednesday I woke up. Movement off the ball, deadly shooting accuracy, fast flowing passes, a solid defence line, and most importantly 3 points. This was the United we remember.
Scoring early always helps, and with Ole on the pitch one chance often means one goal. Fortunately for United Ole’s presence meant within 10 minutes United were two up. His superb finish and then his accurate cross which found Keane put United on course for a big win.
Its very hard to decide who was man of the match, as every single red played out of their skin. Barthez had little to do in goal due to superb defending, most notabley that of new boy John O’Shea. Veron, Keane, Butt and Scholes were awesome in midfield, all working hard and linking together beautifully.
Up front Van Nistelrooy showed wonderful skills and stamina whilst Ole too showed he has a valid claim to start up front.
Whilst the papers talk of the empire collapsing, and Becks, Veron, Barthez and Keane all leaving, United are going about getting back into winning ways. The lads are going to go and win at Boro now, and then hopefully go on to have a few more games unbeaten. The coming fixtures are not too difficult, whilst Liverpool have to play Chelsea, and Arsenal twice. By Feburary United should be up there at the top, and if they are not then they do not deserve to win the championship.
Follow follow follow, cos United are going to Glasgow!
This season has been all about false dawns. After the remarkable comeback against Spurs there was a feeling that it would kick-start the season. Then after Anfield many reds thought the misery would make the players start fighting for pride again. Following a great performance in Munich the lads seemed back on course, but Arsenal crushed that hope. And now, following a strong team win over Boavista, it all went wrong once again.
I am writing this feeling very negative. It is almost half way through the season and we are already a long way off the top. The European performances have been no more than a consolation for a poor showing in the league.
Against West Ham the lads on the pitch battled hard, and did not deserve to lose. West Ham had one chance and scored one goal, yet with over twenty minutes left, United had plenty of time to make up for it but didn’t.
Two home league games in a row and not one goal scored. I fully expect them to make ammends against Derby, but it may be a case of too little too late.
We’ll keep the red flag flying high cos Man United will never die.
As someone in the Strettie sang at half time….
“Follow follow follow, cos United are going Intertoto. Indeed its no lie, we’ll play in July, cos United are going Intertoto”
Lets just hope its Glasgow in May. The league might go on loan for a year down East Lancs Road, but form is temporary and class is permenant.
At long last 3 points and a clean sheet are ours again. This was a performance by the United we are used to, not the poor side we have seen in recent weeks. They battled for the ball, ran at the opposition defence and finished with frighteningly accurate strikes.
A run of bad form splits supporters into two categories; those who become more distant, and those who become more passionate. For most of Stretford Tier 2 recent weeks have made us even more loyal than ever, singing louder for the lads on the pitch. The Glasgow song was sung over and over again as our European run took away the memories of recent disasterous weeks.
Keane and Van Nistelrooy seemed to run for miles in those 90 mins, the defence never looked like conceding, and Veron spread the ball around how we would expect him to.
‘United are back’ was the cry as the goals smashed in, usually followed by ‘Ruud Van Nistelrooy, tra la la la la’.
All in all a great night, now lets get some more points on the board in the next few weeks in the league and get nerarer to the top where we belong.
I don’t really want to talk about the game. Most people have seen it anyway, and its too depressing to recall.
What I want to mention is the atmosphere on Saturday. At the beginning of the game I was so impressed by the rallying of support for the lads. Despite all the criticism in the press we cheered them solidly to show our loyalty.
Yet as the game went on and the trauma got worse a large number of ‘reds’ turned on the players. According to the guy behind me, who Im sure loved the lads until a few weeks ago, Beckham is a ‘knob’ and Barthez should ‘f**k off back to France.’
With 10 minutes left to play the ground was half empty, yet strangely this helped the atmosphere. All the muppets, glory hunters and day trippers left (hopefully for good; let them all support Liverpool) leaving behind hardcore red supporters who raised the roof singing their love for Alex Ferguson.
Supporting a team is about accepting the bad times and the good, and we have certainly had more than our fair share of good. Now its time more than ever to stand firm in the face of criticism and show our loyalty. These are the same players that won us a treble, how dare fans turn on them and criticise them publicly.
There has always been a hardcore element of reds that want us to have a few lean years to chase out the hangers on in the crowd. Now I can’t say I want United to do badly, but I can understand their school of thought.
Be proud to be a red, not just when they win, but always. The Scousers may be on the way to stealing our trophy, but that is no excuse to give up on the lads. As Monty Python and the Stretford End used to sing; Always look on the bright side of life.