Manchester City v Manchester United Community Shield, Wembley Stadium (that London). Sunday 7th August 2011.
This game had everything. It had the new signings, it was a friendly but it mattered, it was against that lot from across town; we were down, they were smug. We’ve read that script before.
City fans were always going to make something of this game. This would be their chance to show us that they were indeed the team about to eclipse us. Well if it was, the blue side of the city can consider themselves put in their place, for now anyway.
Sir Alex Ferguson does not need a hyped up friendly to show him anything about his side. He knows as well as we do that they will never ever stop trying. It is Manchester United’s way, it happens too often to be a fluke and it’s going to happen again in more important match situations over the coming months. I don’t think we need to know if ‘this team’ can gel either, he knows what he has bought in David De Gea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones and he knows what he has brought back in the shape of Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley. Let the guy in the other dugout worry about temperament, togetherness or whatever. When you plonk that much ‘talent’ together on a whim you are within your rights to go off your nut when one of them continues to show himself and your club up. Not exactly super, Mario!
David De Gea had an interesting game. He will want to forget the City goals. In the efforts to replace the Great Dane, we had to endure the Bosnich, the Taibi, the Barthez. As is now, when replacing a certain Dutchman we shouldn’t expect miracles straight away. He is far from the low confidence levels of Kevin Pilkington, his second half performance was much better. Johnson and Richards can back that up. Let’s call a spade a spade, he had a dodgy few moments in a pre-season friendly so even any ‘give him time’ talk may be a bit of an overreaction too. Play himagainst West Brom and take it from there.
Ashley Young looked bright, form shown by the majority of the United team. United’s play, passing and fitness are indeed reasons to be cheerful. It was Nani that put the big shield in the front of our team coach though, owing to a massive up and under from the United defence clearing a City attack (and also to Vincent Kompany skilfully cacking himself when having to deal with a bouncing ball and an onrushing Portugese attacker).
The Community shield belongs to Manchester United, and the Manchester community is happily divided once again. We can look forward to those youngsters who did so well in other team’s shirts last season, shining in our red this. We didn’t learn that from this game, we already knew they were quality, but it’s nice when they show it and shut Man City up at the same time, isn’t it?!
In a bit…. GtS