“Well I didn’t expect that, I must admit…”
So what did you expect, Sir Alex? A performance full of determination and grit to convincingly see off our lowly yet despised rivals in a passionate FA Cup tie?
Well I think, given the circumstances, that is was more than fair assumption.
After all, apart from the usual romantic connotations and supposedly inert desire associated with ‘the oldest Cup competition in the world®’, we were facing a team 2 divisions below us; 42 places below (that’s right, I counted).
If you’re looking for one of my typically apocalyptic and utterly dramatic posts that have followed every blow-par result this season, i.e. the standard format of my 2009/2010 post-match blog, then unfortunately (for those equally bitter) – or fortunately (for those sick of my monotonous tone) – you will not find one here.
Because, quite frankly, I can’t be bothered; and a performance and consequent result of the bullshit scales we witnessed yesterday afternoon should be devoid of any worthwhile comment.
What I will say however, and the WAY I will say it, will be in the oh-so lazy bite-size format, as I am honestly still emotionally and physically (shouting, kicking the seat in front of me etc) bruised from yesterdays match.
Probably the no.1 mistake of the afternoon. Wellbeck on the wings? Lets put it this way, if he’s incapable of dealing with 3rd tier full-backs, how is he expected to cope in our League? Or in Europe for that matter? Undoubtedly the worst performer on the park, as he was simply unable to maintain possession or utilise it.
I felt sorry for Fabio who, as with his mentor, Evra, was providing width and support for his winger, yet Danny was a lost, wasteful, gangly soul to Fab’s effort and ambition to push forward. Also, surprisingly, Obertan looked (almost) equally shocking on the opposite flank. In the first half, there was no end product and no creativity around the area, as he was successfully shut out and prevented from playing.
Honestly, can’t remember…the non-us shot would probably Snodgrass’s cross-bar bound freekick towards the end. Other than that…what? The unsuccessful goal mouth scramble at the end? Rooney’s skied effort, again, in the closing minutes? Our experienced and highly-capable front two should be ashamed of themselves.
To be fair, f**king electric. They brought around 9,000 people to Old Trafford and absolutely dominated OUR stadium. For a team to do that to such dramatic and powerful effect – especially one of our most hated rivals – is soul destroying.
(I know I said I wouldn’t bother doing this, but it has to be addressed in some way.)
At the risk of sounding like I’m analysing and therefore contradicting my original lethargic attitude, I’ll just sign off with:
Yesterday, it didn’t happen and worryingly enough it never even looked like it would. The ‘Cup upset’ tag that will undoubtedly be placed on the result will not do the reality of the event justice. In terms of the bridge in class, we are unable to hide behind the ‘we fielded our youths’ excuse, as it was evident with the number of full-internationals on show – including nearly £60million worth of attacking threat.
But perhaps most disappointingly was the lack of passion for the occasion. Where the f*ck was the heart? Especially those United youth products – Gibson, Wellbeck, Brown and Mr. Manchester Neville – to show those less knowing what it was all about? It was absent. As was the performance, as was our pride, and as was our name in the 4th round pot. A horrible show, but as always, we’ll never die.
On a final pessimistic note; last year we played every single game we could have played in, except 1: the FA Cup final. This year, for the first time since 1986, we have not even made it past the 3rd round. Not conclusive, of course. Just interesting.