As grateful as we were to the Scoreboard marking it’s debut with a win, I don’t think anybody left SJP after the final whistle under any illusions that we’re still anything other than an unco-ordinanted, unbalanced side, scratching around for form and looking at spending most of this season in the lower half of the table.
That said, the Fan’s Forum minutes have repeated that Alan Pardew’s target is to finish 10th or higher, so his baloney about “48 points” is now likely to become irrelevant, unless of course we were to finish 10th on 48 points, but, certainly as far as the club’s concerned, 10th is the minimum. What the repercussions are for failing to meet the stated objectives are, remain unclear, maybe it’s to tied and gagged and thrown in the ‘Marveaux naughty boy cupboard,’ maybe it’s to be tarred and feathered or maybe it’s to be given his P45 and in Mr Burns style, ‘release the hounds.’ Who knows, but at least supporters can assess United throughout the season against a tangible target of 10th place in the Premier League. The minute that looks unachievable, Pardew can expect to be challenged and held accountable for his areas of responsibility. You can bet you bollocks on it (if you so wish) that bonuses for operational staff will be attached to this lot finishing 10th or higher. If it were my bonus resting on this lot, I’d be hedging that with another investment of my own.
So United have a full week to prepare for Tottenham, Spurs, however, have the minor irritation of facing a Greek, pub side, but it’s without any travelling involved and I expect their Reserves will be sufficient to smack 10 past their opponents.
Spurs’s home form is what you might describe as “patchy.” 2 wins, against QPR (4-0) and Southampton (1-0) were offset by 2 unexpected defeats to WBA (0-1) and Liverpool (0-3). They did sweep aside Nottingham Forest (“Remember Nottingham Forest! Remember Nottingham Forest!” was once a good song to sing in a sort of intimidating manner, towards any opposition, anytime we found ourselves behind at home) 3-1 in the League Cup. The net result, is that they’re 9th.
Harry Kane and Nacer Chadli both have 4 goals although only Chadli has managed to hit his 4 in the league. Kane’s have all came in cup competitions.
Fazio, (no, me neither) is suspended for a red card at Man City last week. Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton and Nabil Bentaleb (must be an anagram?) are out injured!
United expect to welcome back Tiote, Riviere, Williamson to the squad for Spurs but there’s no way Pardew can drop Taylor after his performance last week, where he blocked a last ditch equaliser after Coloccini had dove in like an amateur.
Cisse should have burst the net twice but I’d still fancy him to finish a chance ahead of Riviere. I expect Tiote to replace Anita, but playing alongside Colback and Sissoko, I don’t see the midfield producing too much creatively. Obertan has to play, Gouffran probably just will play, as he always does.
I’d be concerned if I see Dummett line up against Lennon. I like Dummett, but in a ‘horses for courses’ scenario, I’d avoid giving the kid a roasting on Sunday.
Santon – Knee
De Jong – Groin
Aarons – Hamstring
Good – Pelvis
Campbell – Hernia
Possible Team (4-3-2-1)
1.Krul: 2. Janmaat, 5. Steven Taylor, 6. Coloccini (Capt), 3. Haidara: 8. Sissoko, 4. Tiote, 10. Colback: 7. Obertan, 11. Gouffran: 9. Cisse:
Elliot, Dummett, Williamson, Anita, Sammy Ameobi, Riviere, Perez
Referee: Anthony Taylor
League History at ‘The Layne’
1984/85 1-3 loss. A wonder goal from Waddle which apparently sparked their interest in him
1985/86 1-5. With Waddle playing against us, we took the lead… bad news….It made them angry
1986/87 A 1-1 draw in the league, but a 1-0 loss to Clive Allen’s penalty in the FA Cup.
1987/88 1-3. Opening day defeat. Dave McCreery on target for us
1988/89 2-0 defeat on New Years Eve. Not a happy new year as we’d get relegated.
1993/94 At fucking last. A win at Spurs… Pedro the magician… 2-1
1994/95 A 4-2 defeat with Ruel Fox on target twice for us
1995/96 Ginola’s cracker earning us a 1-1 draw
1996/97 A Ferdinand double for us in a 2-1 win
1997/98 A late in the season 2-0 defeat, with Sir Les scoring for them this time
1998/99 Another 2-0 defeat, with Stefan Iversen getting both
1999/00 Hideous start to the season this turned out to be. 1-3, Solano put us in front, but a familiar story
2000/01 2-4 again. 2 red cards… Missed penalties… Nobby and Dyer for us.
2001/02 A fantastic 3-1 win with Acuna, Bellamy and Shearer notching.
2002/03 And if we didn’t just go and beat them again. 1-0 Jenas poked him the winner which had to ne the slowest a football has ever travelled….
2003/04 Andy O’Brien OG (1-0) defeat.
2004/05 1-0 defeat again, Defoe with their winner this time
2005/06 2-0 loss this time but easily the biggest miss I have ever seen was here, with Shola Ameobi managing to lift the ball over an empty net and fairly high up into the stand it went….
2006/07 3-2 Huntington, Martins and Nicky Butt earning a win in the most hideous strip we’ve ever worn…….. See Martins’s hammer strike
2007/08 What a good day. 4-1 to us
2008/09 1-0 loss. Bent with the winner. We were sinking fast at this point.
2010/11 0-2 Carroll’s last game for us.
2011/12 0-5…. Awful day…
2012/13 2-1 defeat. All was going well until we conceded a free kick…. once the referee blew for a foul, you knew the outcome.
2013/14 1-0 Battered by Spurs, Krul kept us in it. Remy nabbed the winner
Fighting cock (no laughing at the back there)
“Come On You Spurs” is not only a shit chant, but a fanzine title too, apparently
Depends which United turn up… Could be hiding, could be a win… I’ll take a draw
I note that there’s absolute, lack of swearing this week, I think I used my monthly allocation in last week’s preview!