“Play For The Shirt, Lads”

A season of fantastic highs and occasional lows essentially came to an end on Sunday with Chelsea’s draw at the Arsenal confirming Manchester United as the champions of England for a ninth time in the Premiership. Manchester United fans all around the world deserve to shout it out loud and truly revel in this moment because this has been a well earned success when few outside Man United actually predicted it. The ‘special one’ himself at various times in the season predicted that the table was false and that his Chelsea team would eventually topple United from the top and eventually win the league. They got close on a few occasions especially when our injury list got longer, and I actually believe that if we had been removed from top spot, Chelsea would have gone on to win the league. That they didn’t says an awful lot for our players, the ones that get the headlines and the ones that do not. I’m speaking specifically here of Darren Fletcher, who I have been critical of in the past but who, even I will admit, has risen to the challenge in recent weeks. Such players may not be first team material on a week in week out basis and there were times I wondered why we kept such average players around even for the bench. The fact that we did shows why Alex Ferguson is the manager and I am not. We built a team mentality that was not based on superstars in every role, but was instead based on players playing for the shirt whenever and wherever they were required.  You do not need twenty two headline grabbers!

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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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