WHEN United played Barcelona a few years ago in the European Cup final at Wembley, there was an air of inevitability about the result before anyone kicked a ball in anger. Many a United supporter had the feeling we’d be destroyed by them and that was one thing, there was also the United fan who sounded almost grateful to be on the same pitch as them and that no matter how United did in the game, it was an honour just to be in the same stadium. How nice of Barcelona to delay collecting the trophy in order to have a kick around with us!

That did not sit well with me, although it was men against boys on the night and a lot of predictions came true, the fact that almost all of the United fans I spoke to had absolutely no belief in anything other than that we were just there to make up the numbers was hard to handle.

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La Chispa Adecuada

REAL MADRID versus Manchester United was a game that very much lived up to expectations and we cannot argue, the men from Manchester should be the happier of the two sides. We needed to trust the men doing the job out there and those men would need to turn up and put in a shift. That is exactly what happened, everyone turned up. Some may have wobbled occasionally but we can be proud of our team.

Some amongst the United following continue to question Sir Alex’s continued faith in Danny Welbeck, against Madrid he went a long way to proving that his place in the team is the product of quality and not, as some have mused, due to Danny’s possession of compromising pictures of the manager.

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Get Down and Get With It

GIVEN TO SCORE makes no apologies for joining the thousands of voices that proclaim tonight’s game with Real Madrid one of the most exciting encounters in our recent history, at least potentially. Given the epic build up on television, in print and in fan voice, there’s a chance that it could fail to deliver; but it’s a small chance so let’s just sit back and think of what is to come.

Ronaldo is good but he still shits and wipes his arse. He is still human.

The Manchester United team are saying all the right things, pointing out that we have waited for a night like this since the disastrous European adventure last year. The team let themselves down last year and in voice at least they seem determined to right that wrong. We have long memories, we know how last season’s European failure hurt and we can only hope it was felt by each man in red but further back than that was Munich, Milan, those hurt too.

I know it’s easy to analyse when you are safely behind a notebook. You can be proper brave with a pen in your hand and as I sit here looking out of my window at snow, Madrid feels like a zillion miles away but for those about to step out and attempt to do the business for Manchester United, there’s reasons to be positive.

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