The important thing about the cuffing we gave to Norwich to earn our first win of the season is to not get carried away. It’s one win. It wasn’t a great performance and defensively at times we were shocking but it would be churlish to over-emphasise the negatives so I won’t. There were plenty of positives. Perez was again, excellent – tireless, great technique, good spirit and quickly developing into a real favourite amongst the Tyneside tifosi. Clearly, the glory will go to Gini Wijnaldum who had a great afternoon but I enjoyed Mitro’s Supermac-esque finish as well as a performance which was strong, disciplined and well, more of that next week please. I thought Sissoko had a good game in general but he is really going to have to work on the defensive side of his game as well as be prepared to stick his head in every now and again.
This was a win we badly needed after such a poor run taking us to the real low of the 6-1 pasting at Man City two weeks ago. This was what the Doctor ordered because I really did not fancy climbing aboard the bus for the SoS next week fearing we had a team of fannies representing us on enemy soil. McClaren has that monkey off his back and for the time being we can at least talk about goals, creativity, players rather than the head-fuck situation Ashley and his minions have brought to the club.
This is now a massive week for McClaren and all the players. I don’t doubt the mood will have been lifted by these 3 points
but everyone at United should be aware that the right or the wrong result this coming Sunday on Wearside can define much of the rest of the season. A win and the talk will be about turning a corner. A defeat and we will be back in a trough of despair. A draw isn’t really adequate for us given our recent derby record.
I don’t think McClaren knows his best team and he has struggled to decide his most suitable tactics. The players have often looked lacklustre this campaign. A 6-2 win over Norwich isn’t one we’ll be talking about in twenty years time, but in the here and now, it matters a hell of a lot. Scoring a bundle of goals should give belief and confidence. The pressure is now on Sunderland who don’t have a win this season and they also have a new manager in Sam Allardyce aka the Anti-Christ of football. United should travel to Wearside understanding why they have lost the last five of these encounters and be ready to play the game not the occasion. The players need to be committed 100% but also to be professional and retain their composure. Basically they need to be completely at it. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I don’t fancy seeing those nuggets jumping around like monkeys again. McClaren and his team can put a lot of credit in the bank with a win. There is no reason why they shouldn’t go there and deliver 3 points for our just and righteous cause. They are a very, very poor team. They are not to be feared.
Do it, no excuses.
Steve McClaren is going to have to learn quickly that talking shite is going to lose him valuable friends. His patter about having a party if the team gets 40 points went down like a lead balloon in the North East but it should have with Ashley as well. United has the eighth highest wage bill in the PL and so it’s not acceptable given that size of payroll to have that kind of mind-set. Whenever United finishes a season outside the top ten, it is failure.
On the same subject asking to be judged after a whole season (rather than the first ten games he originally asked) just seems like the start of the excuse making that Pardew indulged in that set so many fans against him. Well, that and shit football, abysmal results in the cups and constantly losing to the Mackems). McClaren needs to be careful about what he says because people don’t need a reason to be any lower with how the club is run.
There has been some talk about transfer windows of late with a big nod to January and heavy hints that United is going to do quite a bit of business. That will come as a surprise to some of you remembering the drip-feed of “no value” patter we’ve heard so often. I’d heard quote early after the summer window closed that the “football board” (ha-ha) reckoned they had left McClaren short up front. Well, I’ll go to the foot of stairs, who’d have thought it. Likewise the genius football board we have has tumbled that the team needs more strength in depth, experience and maturity throughout the side. You never would have thought it would you?
Sometimes you just want to bang your head off a brick wall.
Back to the derby preparations. We’ll be doing a few bits and bobs of our own this week. We have a special podcast planned in the derby run-up and we’ll be doing in partnership with Sunderland fanzine, A Love Supreme. We hope to have that recorded for you early this week. Similarly, we’ll be having a bumper issue of the true faith newsletter, The Special out to you on the morning of the trip to Wearside.
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Sunday afternoon was a good day to be a Mag, let’s now concentrate on lancing a big pus-filled derby boil.
And don’t forget those brown envelopes for Sam “Big Sam” Allardyce (spew).
Keep On, Keepin’ On …