Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Five Thoughts on the Manchester Derby

photo by EG Focusvia PhotoRee

1. It Ain't Over Just Yet, Folks: Yesterday's huge United victory notwithstanding, the BPL title has not been decided. Let's get real: Manchester United have a six point lead at the top of the table with five months of the season still left to play. Anyone remember the Reds having a larger lead than the current one back in April 2012, before coming unglued against Everton and handing the title race over to City?  While it may now legitimately be a two horse race, and United have a clear advantage, it's an awful long season and I'm fairly certain no one on the Red side of Manchester should be celebrating anything just yet.

2. Wazza's Turning Purple:  Wayne Rooney's finally hit a purple patch, and it's come at just the right time of year. Still the heart and soul of the club, Roo has struggled in front of goal for much of the season's early going. But as any veteran United watcher knows, when the man starts scoring he scores in droves. Considering the upcoming fixture congestion, could there be a better time for Wayne to take the team upon his back and fire a Christmas-time point haul?  If only he can stay away from the holiday party scene things are looking quite good....

3. Frustration and Hatred are Not the Same Thing: We're getting a little tired of people calling out the haters whenever a player who has been criticized come up trumps and has a good game. We've been as frustrated as anyone with Ashley Young's play in the season's first half, but that doesn't mean we dislike Young and shouldn't be able to enjoy a fine performance such as Sunday's. It just means we're expecting a bit more consistency from the player in question. If it's true that his early season injury caused Young's multiple sub-par performances, then we'll look forward as much as any United fan to seeing what the fleet-footed winger can do when he's fit.

4. De Gea has Gained the Trust of the Fans: We can't remember such a sigh of relief to see a player's name in the starting lineup this season as we saw when the Spaniard was announced pre-game as the Reds' 'keeper. While some of that giant exhalation may have to do with the abject performance turned in by Anders Lindegaard the week prior against Reading, we believe more of it has to do with the fans' true feelings: In Big Dave We Trust. While his shot-blocking has always been nonpareil, and his distribution skills quickly becoming world-class, too, the bulked up Iberian even looked at home punching balls out of the box on Sunday -- and wasn't afraid to raise his voice at his defenders, either. Let's just hope the latter trait sticks around even after the re-introduction to the starting lineup of Nemanja Vidic...

5. Speaking of Whom: While City fans may have bemoaned the early loss of stalwart defender and team Captain Vincent Kompany yesterday, imagine losing him for an entire year -- which is essentially the situation that United have been faced with concerning the aforementioned Serbian destroyer. Although Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling played their hearts out yesterday, it will be a huge boost to United's fortunes to have the rock in the middle back shortly.

Sir Alex has always maintained that if you're near the top by New Year's Day you've got a good opportunity to win the title. Let's see if his current squad has learned the lesson that last year's side failed, and put on a charge to the title that will leave all other teams in their wake.

This is farlieonfootie for December 11.

1 comment:

  1. I'm still trying to figure out how to check "uncool" in the reactions section of your lame blog. By the way, I'm way better looking than your scrawny man-crush De Gea.

    -- Joe H.