So a 7 game ban. Not as harsh as many ‘experts’ screamed for on the afternoon of David Meyler’s murder but still substantial. The first three games see our manager banned from the stadiums in which United play. A punishment as pointless as it is severe. The official reason for the stadium ban is so the manager can’t come in to contact with the referee or the opposition at all, but why keep him away from the ground? Why not tell him he can’t go downstairs like the rest of us? It seems like a childish punishment for a silly, childish moment from our manager. I’m away for the Palace game so you can have my seat for £10 Alan.
How United fare without the LMA 2011/12 manager of the year will be put to the test on Saturday with one of those belting 3pm Kick offs we like so much. Fulham are modest opposition and find themselves bottom of the league. They absolutely must win this game to harbour any chance of survival. Their new owner has come in and blundered from one manager to the next and recently hired trendy Bundesliga manager Felix Magath who could give Pardew a run for his money in the ‘fashionable’ glasses stakes. Magath has managed Bayern, Hamberg and famously Wolfsberg amongst others and won the league in 2009 with the unfancied Wolfsberg. It would be difficult to blame him for Fulham’s troubles since he took over (1 point out of 9 with two games against relegation rivals) but his arrival certainly hasn’t triggered the desired impact his boss will have been hoping for.
Fulham sacked Martin Jol earlier this season replacing him with ex Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen and employed Ray Wilkins and Alan Curbishly to help steer them clear of relegation. They binned that lot after a credible draw at Old Trafford and an unlucky showing against Liverpool. They lie bottom of the league, 4 points off safety, having played a game more than their relegation rivals. Bleak.
Since they beat West Ham at home in January they’ve lost 5 home games in a row. They’ve won only 3 home games all season.
I was excited by our prospects down there until I heard our strike force was injured (Loic Remy) which has put a real dampener on the next three games as he is simply that good. De Jong has impressed for a lad who’s hardly kicked a ball in 15 months and not long being playing football over here. I expect him to be partnered with Cisse. The underrated Debuchy is also out injured so Mbiwa may slot along side Colo in defence.
Fulham have lost Duff to injury and Scott Parker is a doubt.
Howard Webb is ref so expect him to bottle all of the big decisions, for both sides.
A 1-0 defeat.