I think it was very important that last week, United didn’t let an opportunity slip, having built up some momentum prior to the international break. So full credit to all concerned for re-focusing the players back on NUFC matters after world cup matters and bagging 3 points vs. Norwich when in times gone by, that is exactly the sort of game we could have lost 0-1 and sent everybody home in a bad mood with the hard work at Spurs and vs. Chelsea undone. Having said all of that, I do think that we’ll probably have to play better than last week to turn over a WBA side who have been doing very well recently.
The spirit in the camp looks to be good and I dare say one of the reasons for that is that players have been getting a fair crack of the whip and being rewarded for good performances by retaining their place in the team, which is good to see, but more on that later.
If there has been any negative activity around the first team recently then for me, it has been experienced in the press, where there has been one or two completely unnecessary reports which look designed, blatantly, to unsettle our canny little run having duffed up 2 of the media darlings recently. With regards to the Coloccini story, that was a pure rehash of an old situation with a misleading title containing the words “reiterates his desire to leave,” it added no new quotes to those attributed to the skipper earlier in the year and frankly, looked like a shit piece of journalism. Next up was the Cabaye story, and fair play and full respect to The Mag, for putting a decent effort into actually obtaining the full report, translating and providing context to that particular interview. Shame it was left to a fanzine to dig into that one.
Seriously, if this is what you’re getting for your money, then why the fuck would anybody still buy a newspaper? Even the baps on page 3 aren’t what they used to be.
So it’s 11th placed West Brom on Tyneside on Saturday and Steve Clarke is doing a very tidy job with The Throstles (I know if you watch Soccer AM they say ‘The Baggies’ – fuck that!!). When they lost the loaned services of Lukaku many may have expected them to struggle and but Clarke was active in the transfer market, in came Victor Amichebe for £6m from Everton, Sausagefeet joined from the mackems for £6m too. Footballing con man, Nicolas Anelka snaked his way back into the Premier League having fucked off to China for some easy money and Scott Sinclair and the decent one of the 2 footballers with Amalfitano as a surname, joined on loan. Peter Odemwinghie finally got his wish and fucked off and Jerome Thomas, Marc Fortune and Graham Dorrans also left The Hawthorns.
On the road, West Brom have won only once in the league, but that happened to be at Man Utd in a fully deserved win, with a 2-1 scoreline. It should have been 2 but for some dodgy refereeing at Chelsea where they had to settle for a 2-2 draw. They’ve also drawn at Stoke (0-0), Fulham (1-1) and Everton (0-0.) Their only defeat was 4-1 at Liverpool. Berahino is their top scorer with 5 however 4 of them came in the league cup. Shane Long has 3 but they’ve all came in the last 2 fixtures. Ridgewell, Jones, Sinclair, Gera and Foster are their injury concerns, they are free from suspensions.
There was a positive tone to Alan Pardew’s Thursday press conference, with news that his players are fit and that the level of those available are good enough to put out 2 teams. It’s a shame we have no European fixtures then!!!!!!
There’ll be no change in between the sticks unless there’s a late injury to Krul, but, the back 4 does require a decision to be made. Pardew has confirmed that Williamson will retain his place and I feel this is vital for spirit in the dressing room that his performances merit his selection. Debuchy will come back in and I can’t see Santon being left out, so that means either Yanga Mbiwa or Coloccini will, I expect Coloccini will get the nod which will be hard lines on the Frenchman after his game at Spurs.
I cant see the midfield 3 or the forwards changing.
Ryan Taylor – Knee – not expected back this year
Possible Team (4-2-1-3)
1.Krul: 2. Debuchy, 5. Williamson, 6. Coloccini, 3. Santon: 7. Sissoko, 4. Tiote: 8. Cabaye: 10. Gouffran. 9. Shola Ameobi, 11. Remy:
Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Anita, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Obertan, Cisse
Referee: Phil Dowd who may decide not to referee without his spectacles ever again, after last week’s experiment
History vs The Throstles at SJP
1984/85 won 1-0 United’s return to the top flight had been up and down with us struggling for consistency since November, however Peter Beardsley settled this one in front of 22,700.
1985/86 won 4-1 United were in a good run of form and to everyone’s surprise, George “Mavis,” “Rambo” Reilly was going on a right, little goal spree, although I think drug testing in sport was at a very primitive stage at this point. Anyway, Reilly hit 2, whilst Jeff Clarke (who can probably feel hard done by to not have “I want curly hair too” chanted in his direction) found the onion bag, along with Neil “Spotty” McDonald. 22,000 there, WBA went down that season.
1989/90 won 2-1 We had by now of course, also been relegated but were making a solid charge for promotion. Anyway, they turned up in what looked like our away kit. Their fans never stopped “Boing Boinging” all fucking night and it got right on my tits. Mick Quinn was red hot at the time and notched again, but, John Anderson scored what turned out to be the winner. 19,460 inside SJP.
1990/91 drew 1-1 90/91 was taking a turn for the worse, attendances were struggling, obviously watching Scott Sloan, Ginger, Billy Askew, Wayne Fereday and Paul Fucking Sweeney wasn’t good enough for some people, (Think of that list before you boo any of the current lot) Liam O’Brien earned us a point. 14,774 suspected the Bald Eagle was taking us nowhere fast.
2002/03 won 2-1 As Alan Shearer as he helped himself to 2 goals. United were trailing when the WBA keeper picked up a back pass, the skipper lashed home the ball after Nobby rolled him the ball, whilst pointing somewhere else. 52,142 in attendance
2004/05 won 3-1 With WBA down to 10 men, we finally ground them down and Kluivert, Milner, Shearer sealed the 3 points. 52,308
2005/06 won 3-0 We weren’t exactly galloping towards Europe, but, Roeder was inching us towards an Inter toto cup spot, a Nobby Solano strike and 2 from Shola Ameobi took us that bit closer, in front of 52,272.
2008/09 won 2-1 On a night best described as ‘cold’ A Joey Barton penalty and an Obafemi Martins goal had seemingly put behind us a defeat on Wearside, second half sloppiness seen the huge frame of Ishmael Miller pull one bag and set up a nervous last half an hour. JFK was in charge at this point, and we knew where we were heading. 45,800 attended.
2009/10 drew 2-2 It was becoming a battle between the 2 of us at the top of the division and they were playing some excellent football whilst we were getting the job done. They came up here and played us off the park but goals from Guthrie and Lovenkrands saw us equalise twice. 39,291 watched it.
2010/11 drew 3-3 This was fucking horrendous. 3-0 up and we threw that lead away with Tchoyi getting a hat trick. The mackems went mental and celebrated the winning of a competition that they invented and produced mental images of waving aloft a trophy that doesn’t exist! 51,678
2011/12 lost 2-3 Odemwinghie’s pace had tortured Coloccini and even though Demba Ba scored 2 cracking goals, shite defending saw the visitors take home all 3 points. 51,060.
2012/13 won 2-1 After Demba Ba had put us 1-0 up, it was left to Cisse’s back to divert in a last minute fluke winner. We didn’t care. 49,731
Albion til we Die http://www.albiontillwedie.co.uk/fans/fanzines.html
I think we’ll have to play lots better than last week to beat these, but they did have to play on Monday night whilst we sat with our feet up. Hopefully this works in our favour and we head off into Saturday night, already half pissed after taking advantage of the 5:30 ko and celebrate!
Well, ex mackem, Sausagefeet will be their chief threat. Amichebe has a bit of a thing about scoring against us, as does Anelka.