“Newcastle United are a massive club. Not in terms of success but they are a massive club.”
A Newcastle United fan shows that they aren’t in fact deluded.
SOMETIMES the team that has just lost their manager play their first game without him like they should have done when he was there. I have to admit, this was not strictly what happened today as we faced Newcastle, though for forty five minutes when the red United tried and failed to make the breakthrough, I did wonder if they would eventually have the last laugh. Newcastle United’s team had a strangely familiar look to it with Nicky Butt and Alan Smith in midfield. Nicky Butt seems to have gone through an on off love affair with the Newcastle fans and it seems they finally may now be taking to him. Although the Toon Army are a funny lot so maybe acceptance isn’t on the cards for Butty just yet, but they should admit that he does a job for them. ”If you ignore the chances Manchester United had during the game, it easily could have been a draw!”
Given to Score hero Alan Smith was back at Old Trafford. He got a well deserved welcome from the Manchester United faithful. They will always be grateful for the blood shed for the Old Trafford cause by that man, and many were sorry to see him go but football is like that and old loyalties were forgotten fairly quickly on both sides. The result makes the look one sided and in the second half it was, but that was only after chances galore failed to find the net. How Wayne Rooney did not bag a goal today is a question which he may still be asking himself. How the home team were not awarded at least one of the two stone wall penalties we could have had, is a question which Rob Styles can ask himself. We certainly asked him from our seats, along with the hail of words which I cannot repeat, I have a picture of my impressionable little brother in my wallet and familes read this website! Steven Taylor certainly left his leg their for Ronaldo in the first instance, the Newcastle defender can be happy with his performance today when you consider that he was in the right place for goal line clearances in the second half. There were very few plus points for the visitors today and he was the only player to go and salute the visiting pogoing Newcastle United fans at the end of the game. Maybe another who would have applauded was Alan Smith, had he been on the pitch at the time.
In the haze of a last minute Carlos Tevez goal which clearly crossed the line by the way, Alan Smith was dismissed with a red card for uncomplimentary words spoken in the direction of the aforementioned Rob Styles. That capped an eventful day for our old mate Smudger. Having been given the captain’s armband he was the man responsible for the second penalty that never came, when he body checked Ryan Giggs in clear view of our already less than impressive Rob Styles. Once again though Alan, it is okay for us to point out the referee’s many faults but they take a dim view when the players themselves vocalise these feelings to their face.
In my rosy world view of football I did think it would be nice for the Newcastle bench to withdraw Smith to allow him to receive the positive vibes that would have come his way from his old supporters in red. That did happen but not the way I thought. Not many players get a genuine round of applause when they leave the pitch as the result of a red card, Ole Solskjaer did when he took one for the team against Robert Lee some years back against Newcastle and today Alan also got a good reaction. It wasn’t loud and it wasn’t from everybody, it wasn’t even acknowledged by Smith himself and perhaps it was rightly ignored but it was there.
Let us not forget it was his trip on Ronaldo that lead to the opening goal. Once a red always a red! The goals were a mixture of gems and defensive errors. It seemed Manchester United took a while to smell blood and get going today, and Newcastle’s players seemed more than happy to help set up a few goals but to say the Reds didn’t deserve all six and more would be an injustice. Man United were briefly awesome, Cristiano Ronaldo was in full flow and Tevez and his dummy were clear for all to see. Newcastle United started brightly but unsurprisingly lost what spark they had quickly. To score six goals in forty five minutes there has to be some mix of the unstoppable Man United machine meeting several movable objects – for those read Newcastle’s Claudio Cacapa and Jose Enrique.
A Newcastle United fan shows that they do in fact have a great sense of humour.
The day was nearly perfect. The finish from Rio certainly was, and although some fan sites may argue that United fans are yet to fully accept him, and maybe would question his commitment to the cause, I think we can all agree that it would be worse to be without him right now. Given the choice I would take a cockney wide boy, over a local lad who has rejected contract after contract to stay at the team he supposedly loves. Wes I am looking in your direction! Those that question Rio Ferdinand’s application for Man United are entitled to their opinion but perhaps the same ‘lack of commitment’ label can be applied to ‘Knees Up’ too. The players of Manchester United, all of them, have tonight helped the team to the top of the league. You didn’t have to look too far to see the other side of the football coin today. At the end of the day all you can ask is that the players chosen give one hundred percent while they wear the shirt. One of todays teams does that on the majority of match days, the other has not done it enough. I know which I’d rather have.
Even if they ruined my ‘Hway Thee Five-O’ headline!
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