This Sunday we welcome Manchester United to St James’ Park.
It’s been a strange old time for them as a Club. For most of my adult life they’ve been the Kings of English (& at times, European) football. However, a mixture of the indefatigable Sir Alex possibly hanging around a few years too many followed by some duff hiring and firing over recent seasons has led to a Club in a bit of a state of flux.
Agent Moyes (‘The Chosen One’ – still mirths me) then mental case Van Gaal & now ‘Chuckles’ Mourinho all have had very different ideas on who is a decent player & who is not. Consequently, between them they’ve spent an eye watering amount of wedge on transfers & wages with a large turnover of wanted then quickly discarded players. Mystifyingly, hirsute cart horse Fellaini is still there. The mind boggles.
Having to watch their two bit City companions rise from absolute obscurity to become the major force in the Premiership must be galling beyond belief. It’s all relative, mind. Imagine us moody magpies being offered a current second place berth in the Prem, following a season of only winning the UEFA and League Cups?!?! There’s plenty of us would be offering kidneys, small children etc to strike that particular deal! That our Mancunian friends are not exactly 100% happy with things as they currently stand only once more underlines the depressing fact that we dine at very different footballing tables.
So, onto Sunday. Watching the Mighty Magpies is just making me feel ill at the moment. We’re a hard working top end Championship team trying to stay in this division. And it’s bloody hard to watch. Last Wednesday’s game v Burnley was quintessential modern day NUFC. When that arse of a ref erroneously gave the opposition that second corner in a row on 85 minutes, my dad & I just glanced at each other. We needed no words. We knew what was coming.
A glance at the bookies odds will tell you all you need to know about our chances on Sunday. We have done comparatively ok with games v the teams around us but have only a solitary point from the top 6. Other strugglers have managed to beat some of these sides & looking at our last dozen fixtures I think we will have to do a bit of giant killing ourselves. Gulp.
That we are relying on an injured loanee (albeit with decent pedigree) cast off from Leicester City to get us the goals to do this only further underlines our awful plight. Once again, cheers Mike. You’re a star.
Man U were brilliant as they dispatched us 4-1 at Old Trafford. They’ve rarely hit those heights, though. To win on Sunday, we need a collective off day from them & us totally at it. Not impossible, but rather improbable. I think we’ll put in a decent effort but their quality will shine through.
I’m going 0-2 with flat track bully, Lukaku nabbing at least one of them. Prove me wrong, lads. Please.
NICK CLARK – FOLLOW NICK ON @Clark5Nick
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