True Faith

Manchester is the greatest city in the world.’

Anthony H Wilson, who died last Friday, certainly divided opinion. Some will tell you he was a legend for the city and others will tell you they didn’t like him. Whatever your opinion on the man, I do not think you can deny that he loved the city of Manchester and the North West region in general. When it came to football he was a fan of the Red variety of Manchester club so perhaps it is quite fitting therefore, that the Manchester derby comes upon us at this point.

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Lad and Dad United

Manchester United as a family affair. Given to Score investigates.

Many of us do columns, reactionary and opinionated and they make a good read but for this particular attempt I wanted a change and a challenge. For most of us it is not as simple as a choice of football team to follow, it is something much more than that passed on from someone else. I started thinking of the time when I first became aware of Manchester United, when I was first included on the match day rota at Old Trafford and the game that started it all, West Ham United, November 1991. My own journey following Manchester United is only part of the story; my first scene in this movie comes about half way through. The first one bitten in our family was my Dad, the reason I go to Old Trafford now is because of my Dad and the best match day company I can have is, you guessed it, my Dad. So for this article I thought it only fair to speak to the man who started all this madness off and figure out between us where Manchester United has been going in the years he and I have watched them.  #

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…Than Be A City Fan!

Job done in the derby, Stuart Pearce tried some half arsed mind games with his “this means more to City fans” comment. I think he was right, though not for the reason he thought. It meant more to City fans because it was one of their two chances each season to drag themselves up and feel good but for us it was just another hurdle in our way, the opposition did not matter. I was not as geared up for aManchesterderby so much as I was for the chance to put Chavski under a little bit more pressure than usual. Slick Rick Jose said there was no pressure and that it was a fake table because they have games in hand. Funnily enough I remember another such occasion when the tales were reversed and we had games in hand and Jose stood there cool as ice and said that games in hand did not matter, to have the points in the bag was the main thing. What a difference a year makes. Managers everywhere are guilty of the rose coloured spectacles on some days, Arsene Whinger more than most and much as I like Jose, it’s nice to know that we are messing with his head if only a little bit.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Michael Carrick deserve mention from Saturday, they both continue to impress me in their roles and Carrick spread a few passes around as yet more proof that he is settling in. Ronaldo’s supply is better than it has been and the end product is there. It wasn’t one of Wayne Rooney’s great games but on his worst days he is better than many rival players so he can still add to our team.

For one brief moment on Sunday I began thinking that it would be possible for Arsenal to do us a huge favour. I didn’t expect anything for them fromStamfordBridge and fully expected the gap to be closed by a maximum points haul from that lot, starting with the Gooners. However, Arsenal went for it and at least caused a stumble in the Champions. Credit where credit is due their equaliser was some goal, and a two points dropped is better than nothing.

I think that Jose’s post match comments were interesting, telling everyone who would listen that the gap would be five points on Thursday morning and that Newcastle, as good as they are, should expect a spanking. I agree with Jose, Newcastle will crumble.