THERE IS only one rule on GTS, after almost exactly six years of putting these ramblings out there, only one rule applies – only write something when there is something to say. Even before this started and I was writing newsletters and selling them in school or when stuff like this got emailed to a subscriber list containing about 5 people I’d never met; or when I wrote to Red News and told them I could write for them there and then, confidence was never an issue and as long as I stuck to that golden rule I’d be happy with myself. West Ham fans have been rude to me, Liverpool fans have promised to see to me, I’ve ignored more ‘hot tips’ than I’ve followed and I’ve got my voice heard. After a couple of weeks of saying we can’t keep coming from behind, eventually our luck will run out, we need to learn lessons from last season who can forget the massive hit, sing-along crowd favourite Nani- Shit or Not? I was bored, bored of predicting that we’d slip, all you have to do is watch United and have a brain to realise we’d slip eventually but the interesting things come not from predicting the slips, but watching what happens after.
For that reason, the reactions to losses at Carrow Road and against Galatasaray will remain in my book and not here because I’ve already lost interest in them. QPR too, already lost interest. On Saturday, Matthew Le Tissier, said that Manchester United couldn’t keep giving the opposition a goal start before kicking into gear.
When Sky Sports pundits start singing your song it’s time to leave the band.
Niall Quinn tried to stick the boot in on Sunday too, making out that Manchester City were in a better position and then remembering mid-argument that the table didn’t exactly back him up, at which point he said ‘I know United are ahead right now but I feel City are turning the corner’. It sticks in his throat to give United anything that may resemble credit.
This bigger teams will punish United theory has legs, as we have previously discussed, sometimes our luck runs out, like last season or in European games when it’s been nil nil until the other team robs an away goal and its too late to do anything about it, for every Macheda moment there is a Porto Mourinho moment where someone else goes mental in your stadium and you can only watch. However, we’ve played Chelsea and beat ‘em, played Liverpool and beat ‘em, (Arsenal too if you consider that lot a big team) and we’ve done the job on European fields…
We’ll get punished against the bigger teams but the fixture list says we’ve played some of them and done okay. The frustrations are that we could have done more okay than the level of okay the lads delivered, we’ve come unstuck against some of the grittier teams and suffered a blip along the way but on that score it’s really situation normal too.
Qualifying in Europe means that Sir Alex tested a few lads out in Turkey, which he has done before. It’s how he figures out who to loan out, and who to send off into permanent lower league obscurity. He has questions to answer when he picks a team like he did against Galatasaray, and the answers will show themselves over the next few months. The lads did not embarrass themselves that night.
Experts will never be happy, they’ll write about wobbles, team selection, wingers and Fergie’s ‘last season’ rumours whilst Old Trafford remains silent and all around the theatre, heads roll and the drama takes place elsewhere; heads that won the Champions League trophy for an owner who clearly wants to be manager, heads that got booed by the home support, heads that decided it was a good idea to run with a racism story against an official when there was ‘no case to answer’, and heads that were installed quickly in the Rangers of Queens Park because an owner fell for an agent’s spiel apparently allegedly.
The month was worth it for all that, and here’s why…
The look on the face of Darren Fletcher when he hit the back of the net against QPR. That’s it. That’s all that matters, that look is the exact feeling I have every time I watch Manchester United and the exact feeling I have when I know I have something to write about them. It’s the same feeling you all watch Manchester United and its why we’ll continue to put up with the heroic comeback and the frustration.
It’s why Nani is sinking and Anderson isn’t, it’s why David de Gea is the man and why Johnny Evans is the man, it’s why we are overjoyed RVP does the business and why Darren Fletcher even being out there means the world, it’s why Paul Scholes came back, Ryan Giggs, won’t leave and above all…
It’s why we are top of the league.
“We’re not going to change our way of playing, it is Manchester United’s way”
Sir Alex made this comment in the 1992-1993 season, in response to losses against Sheffield United and Everton which put us bottom of the first ever published Premier League table. It was all about finding the spark to light the fire, Mr Cantona. The finest footballer I have ever seen at Old Trafford.
He made the same comments recently, United will never change their attitude but Santa wears Red and White and the coke ad tells me he’s on his way so we just have to strap ourselves in and watch how it all unfolds.