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United 1 Birmingham 0

After a few very heavy seasons and numerous foreign ventures, this summer was a well earned rest both for players and supporters. I was glad to have a stretch without football, but that is not to say the opening day was not extremely exciting and welcomed. I have seen the reserves at Luton and the first team in the Community Shield already this season, but with terrible atmospheres and nothing really at stake they don’t really count. It was the game against Birmingham that announced ‘football is back’.

We arrived at Old Trafford fairly early to attend the first Supporter Trust meeting of the season. MUST has some great ideas for the season ahead, not least widening the very successful Chubb Club away game screenings and also stepping up pressure on government over ticket pricing. We left that meeting with a feel good factor that United fans were well organised to continue seeking a stake in the club, before making our way into Old Trafford.

There were no major changes to the stadium this summer, apart from the addition of balcones to the boxes in the North Stand. Watching football behind glass is never too appealing and so United providing outside seating for boxholders was long overdue and luckily it makes little difference to the rest of the supporters. It was noticeable how many regulars were not there yesterday- perhaps money has finally taken its toll and they have not renewed, or perhaps they were just on holiday. The experience was summed up by an idiot in a new away replica shirt with Owen on the back, dear oh dear.

The game itself would not be easy- United have struggled in recent seasons to win on the opening day and Birmingham were sure to defend for their lives. Without Ronaldo and Tevez there were questions over where United’s goal would come from, whilst at the back the absence of Rio and Vidic was slightly worrying. Fortunately no goals were conceeded and Rooney popped up when it mattered.

I don’t think too much can be read into this game either way. Birmingham are not the strongest opposition and so it remains to be seen how we will cope in tougher contests. But similarly a win is a win, and this was similar to a a scrappy 1-0 against West Brom on the opening season a few years ago. The team also refrained from really pushing on in the game, perhaps this was because they have another coming up in just a few days.

So in the sunshine United won their first game, which was more than the bindippers could manage albeit in a different type of contest. Burnley now awaits and that will be a harder game on their ground, especially with no defence and what is sure to be a passionate and hostile atmopshere.

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1 Comment

  1. Dave Woods :: August 17th, 2009 10:42 am

    The opening day is always a bit of a worry as there’s always potential for a slip up especially when we’re not fully firing and a side like Birmingham is filled with optimism with nothing to lose so a 1-0 victory is definitely a result I’d have taken before the game. Nani looks bright, Valencia looks like he’s always been destined to be a United player and with Rooney upfront it I think we have every right to be optimistic about our chances this season.

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