This site is updated regularly but not merely to post what happened in the match before it. If there is nothing to say, there is usually no update but I couldn’t let this day go without one. It is, after all the last day of the year and Alex the red nosed manager’s birthday so if nothing else it’s worth a bookmark because of that. Then, I’m watching that once great institution ‘Match of the Day’ on the BBC and I’m suddenly inspired to write. A few things gave me this inspiration, namely that Alan Shearer, ‘the Mary Poppins’ of football, was forced through gritted teeth to pay compliment to our tricky Portugeezer Cristiano Ronaldo. Regular readers will know I am a fan, nothing more needs to be said about the man today.
The game against Reading brought me joy. I expected that team to really give it a go and that is what happened. Ronaldo is clearly enjoying life at the moment and we are really playing like a team that is enjoying turning the heat up on Chelsea. There is absolutely no pressure on our team, as I have said before, the pressure is on those at that there Stamford Bridge because of their manager’s comments about when Chelsea win the title, after their blip. He has to get on and do it, United meanwhile were playing like a team possessed with the idea of being the biggest thorn in their side. This season was originally about seeing what we could do, how close we could get to the Chavs from London. Look at what it’s turning into. Jose sees it as a big joke, something to keep the football world laughing while he comes up with the punch line and steals the laugher and the silverware in May.
Yesterday we played like a team that was no longer content with making it interesting until Chelsea want their trophy back. We played like a team that was in the driving seat, now and at the end of the calendar year. The end of the season will take care of itself. The thing that got me more than the fact that our win keeps us top, was the manner of it. Without Gary Neville and Vidic we played well and I am glad that we didn’t smash and grab victory in the way that Chelsea have been lucky enough to do recently. We were 3:1 up before they pulled back. It was not as if it had been 2:2 in the 93rd minute and we had gained victory with the last kick. We can do that when we need to, yesterday not one player panicked (apart from maybe Edwin’s flap, possibly). It’s going for us at the moment and the lads that came in for those absent all did their jobs well. I remember a few weeks back a friend of mine said to me that while United were going well, it was only temporary because if we lost Saha we would struggle. Saha didn’t play yesterday and that little legend didn’t do too badly did he? I can hear it now, “If you lost Solskjaer you’re team would be in trouble!”
In contrast to that I hear Chelsea’s (always good for a laugh) Jose in his post match interview say that Chelsea were struggling because ‘teams know we have no defence at the moment’, referring to the absence of John Terry and any quality ‘keeper. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard this, and couldn’t believe my eyes when he didn’t laugh at the absurdity of his own comment. The Chelski manager was crowing about having many players for each position not long ago. Now he realises that Cashley Cole is an overrated money grabber with a popstar wife (United wrote the book on embarrasing players with pop star wives, mate!). I bet Jose would snap your hand off for Gallas right now. It’s refreshing to hear that Mega Bucks Chelsea are complaining that ‘they have no defence’ when you can guarantee that if they hadn’t dropped points in games he expected to walk, he would be holding court about how good even his back up players are. Now and in the next few days it will be ‘watch out when our big players are back’. This is Chelsea saying this. Pressure on much, Jose?
Chelsea yesterday reacted like a rattled team, Jose interviewed like a rattled manager and all the time our little team and our small squad with nowhere near the strength in depth of Chelsea, are still top of the league. We are doing a very good job of keeping their place warm, in fact the lads in red have made themselves very comfy indeed. All the arse dents in the top seat are ours, personally speaking I hate being asked to move when you’ve made a place your own. I spent Christmas with my parents and if I was sat in Dad’s chair, I moved, it’s the law. On the sofa that is the Premiership, Jose is not the daddy, he has no divine right to replace us, he’ll have to earn it. United are earning it at the moment, each player knows his place and roll and it seems even our squad players are bringing everything to the collective effort. ‘We have no defence.” Strength in depth is a wonderful thing but it only works if the manager has faith in those he uses as backup. Our local pub team (Bury FC) has strength in depth, shite players are shite players whether they are in the first 11 or on the bench every week!
All along I have said that we will lose, they will win and vice versa. A big point is Chelsea versus United at Stamford Bridge, that will be hyped as a title decider and it may well be that if we can keep more than three points ahead of them going into that game, the result doesn’t matter. For one great moment though just imagine that we win that game, maybe everyone else will start to think that we are serious. It is not about points, as I said last time, because we might win that game and lose the next one.
A Nod to Nev – Not the first Bury lad to make the move from there to Merseyside, but Phil proved yesterday that his was just as successful as mine. Captain and goal scorer, also proving that miracles do happen. Happy ‘Nev’ Year!