PRE season is our slow introduction back to the fast pace of Premiership football and we all knew that it counted for nothing, but results went our way against the mighty Doncaster and Peterborough and fans could be forgiven for thinking it would be business as usual when the real campaign began.
Well, we know it didn’t really turn out like that. A goal-less draw against Reading at the home of the Champions was not the start we wanted. Sky Sports happily pointed out where we were year ago and just how many we had put past Fulham. A year on, we couldn’t hit a barn door in a field despite our best efforts and to make matters worse, we lost our striker for the next few weeks.
Portsmouth gained a point and then down at the Council House at Eastlands, City managed to find the net with arguably their only shot on target. This defeat hurt, not only because it was against the local rivalries but because yet again our performance looked promising. The month ended with United finally getting a win under their belts. A win we had expected to come earlier than this. Although it was something of a dull game it did have moments of sparkle which have been debated in the days following.
For the record, Berbatov ran straight into Vidic, floored him and claimed the big defender had brought him down. Not a chance. There is of course, the other massive debate. Was it or wasn’t it? Did it touch or didn’t it? Well, let’s put this to bed as well – Nani’s shot DID touch Tevez and the striker is within his rights to claim the goal. Oh yeah, and camera angle after camera angle shows, the ball hit Wes in the chest and it was never a hand ball.
The performance against Tottenham wasn’t great. We have played better this month, and only drawn or lost so for that game the most important thing was the three points. It gives us something to build on and sees Manchester United end the month in the right half of the league table. Maybe if we work out how to combine the good performance with the ability to stick a few goals in the net before our opposition do, we will do okay this season.
Talking of sticking the ball in the net, someone that did that better than most (especially from the subs’ bench) has now officially left our playing ranks. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called time on his career after knee surgery over the summer and eleven goals last season. This season would have been his last anyway and it’s sad that he has gone out with a whimper like this but we shall not forget his contribution to the United cause. He won us the European Cup, the final part of the treble and that is enough to make anyone a legend, Personally I remember being at Old Trafford against Everton in the opening home game of his first season with us, he was playing for the Reserves and we heard that he had scored a few (at Oldham if I remember rightly), and that he would play some part in the next game against Blackburn. He did, he scored and a legend was born!
Thanks for everything, Ole!
It seems strange to talk of only one win meaning progress but so it goes, and now for September. Relegation? Never!Onwards.