Is There Life On Moyes?

He’s got red hair…

IF reports are to be believed, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright will have walked in the smoggy London air last night knowing that his manager David Moyes wants to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. In a city notable for talking, the blue side of it was staying remarkably silent yesterday as news sunk in of Sir Alex’s impending departure. David Moyes was one of the names instantly linked and Goodison Park went mute.

It’s a city where the people tell you everything like it’s must have info, I cannot tell you the amount of times I was told that such and such was in town to sign with Liverpool or Everton. The lad who told me he drove Martin O’Neil round looking at houses because he was due to land the Liverpool job, well, we lost touch. When I heard that Kieran Richardson was at Everton’s training complex to sign, I laughed and apologised for the apparent addition. He didn’t go there. You can’t win ‘em all. Yesterday was odd. No one was speaking at all. Then, rumours became confirmed sightings were concrete and a manager was talking to his Chairman in that London.

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Hands Up if You Want to Win the League

Questions and answers as the business end of the season approaches.

While I was watching the Southampton game, I was surrounded by many an expert telling me ‘eeee yaaaa lad put this in, Nani is shit. Put that. That’d be class. I’d read that’. Somebody did say something which made me giggle. There’s movement on the United bench, Nani’s getting ready to come on and as he crosses the touchline and takes to the action, the guy next to me slams down his pint and shouts loudly;

“Fuck me, if Nani’s the answer, what is the fucking question?!”

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Just Like Watching FIFA!

THE MANCHESTER United squad, complete with the man so notorious, only initials are necessary; RVP, rolled into Goodison park last night to take on Everton. It seems like five minutes since the blue side of Merseyside had dealt United the fatal blow in the title chase. At the end of that game, we scratched our heads and asked, very seriously, what just happened? How could that happen?

Months on from that, we return and say gloriously and as seriously as ever…. Thank Eric we don’t have to play them again for a while.

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Up In The Air?

Manchester United 4 – 4  Everton (Premier League, Old Trafford, 22nd April 2012)

WHAT just happened? Seriously, what just happened? Answers on the back of a postcard please. In the past Given to Score has been at the front of those who preach that Manchester United forever choose the hard road; sometimes I’m sure we’d all love for that not to be the case. Let’s not dwell on what this means for the title race, I’m sure a few red tops are already preparing hyperbolic headlines to show that United bottled the league in our own back yard; we can be equally sure that a few people in red tops might well agree with them.

Let’s get the maths out of the way now then; it’s most likely going to be a three point gap, no-one really gives Wolves a snowball’s chance in hell of gaining anything against City. So, that being the case, we go to the Council House and we win, we win at ours against Swansea and we fucking win against Sunderland on the last day of the season if we bloody need to. No more arsing around, we just have to do it. The eight point gap and their stumble at Swansea was nice but deep down, didn’t you think it was too comfortable? Not so deep down, you knew it was going to come down to that game against City.

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So Won’t The Man United Fans Please Sit Down!

WELCOME back to the main order of business everyone. Facebook pages are a little more packed, I’ve seen a few more celebrities get yelled at by a genius chef and I’ve fallen out of a pub and been stranded on the other side of the River Mersey  since last we met. But now, England is out of the way and the bread and butter stuff is back. 

I know, I know. You don’t know what’s wrong with Man United, it’s all pretty play but lacks the punch of a proven goal scorer? This isn’t the start we should be making with the money we have invested in our squad over the summer? Yawn.  

This is the start we have made and when you actually sit down and look at the table now, after the weekends trip to Goodison park, we aren’t too far off the pace because I don’t know if you noticed but Chelsea’s start has not been fantastic either. We gained our first away win, our third consecutive victory and we were top of the league at the end of the game. Not bad for a team that had ‘lost the plot’ as many people told me.  

On Saturday I thought it was a good performance, it wasn’t outstanding but it was solid. I certainly get the feeling that we are playing within ourselves. Most of the time this season that has been a source of disappointment for many but on Saturday, for the first time, it dawned on me that playing within ourselves is not such a bad thing at the moment. Far from the ‘could do better’ reaction I have had to the other games, I was oddly satisfied on Saturday because this is our lot at the moment and the players who are out there are really giving their all. 

Okay so we may not be blowing teams away and scoring freely but neither are we conceding. I get it now, we are playing like a team who is doing just enough to progress through the difficult times without some of our big players and match winners. We are watching players find their feet on the pitch and while they are at it they are all turning in some good performances, and without noticing United have bubbled near to the surface of the Premiership.  

Against Reading, Portsmouth and Man City, at times we lacked something and it was disappointing because we are used to so much more. Against Sunderland we did enough to get the points, against Everton we did enough to get the points and at times we played quite well. If it sounds like I’m surprised by that last line then maybe I am because maybe I had bought into the panic and the doom mongering that I had tried to avoid. 

Take it on the facts and the performances are okay, the results are okay and we are third. Our doom and gloom could actually be a doom and gloom season, if we supported Bolton, it would be. After all, if you can keep your job while players around you are losing games, your name must be Sammy Lee. 

Vidic celebrates his header v Everton

So there we go, United win again and while radio commentators everywhere on Saturday were bemoaning the lack of chances taken by United’s forward players, Nemanja ‘Ivan Drago’ Vidic must have heard them, for he took responsibility for sticking the ball in the net. Leaping like a salmon and heading the ball home rather like the other tall scary footballer, the one that used to grace the Everton team – Duncan Ferguson. 

Not so ‘ard this scoring lark is it, Nemanja lad? I bet you don’t know what all the fuss about! By hook or by crook (or by the big man in defence) we are getting through and keeping the home fires smouldering, ready for when they will eventually spark into fire we all know and love from our team. No-one said it was gonna be easy! 

So wont the Man United fans please sit down! Please sit down! Please sit down!

Today Now You’re At The Wheel

This fantastic season is on the verge of blooming into everything we have desired, and more and thanks to the events at Goodison we are in theory a win, a loss and a draw away from the title. If you want to get into ifs and Nicky Butt’s, we could win it at Eastlands on Saturday but let us not get ahead of ourselves. Neither our manager nor the players will be getting ahead of themselves despite the excellent chance we have given ourselves. Everyone seemed to be looking at our game as a stumbler, and in turn completely underestimated Bolton’s chances to make life tough for Chelsea.

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So Far So, Goodison

Happily I still support a team with a chance of making it to Athens, there is huge hill still to climb and a lot of work to do before we get there but we are progressing well and we must be happy. I did say I would be okay with exiting Europe so that it gave us chance to focus on the league, but thankfully the team were happy to take on the added pressure and I’m not exactly disappointed with the way things went on Tuesday. Everyone knows and anyone will tell that Manchester United are a team that is forever making things hard for themselves. Champions League Tuesday, VERY important, Champions League Wednesday EXTREMELY important, and as if to sum up the manic season this Saturday gives us absolutely no chance to take our foot off the pedal.

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