There’s a lot of talk of Spurs doing the double over us which, in spite of my usual positive – never predicting a loss – outlook, I have to reluctantly admit wouldn’t be all together surprising. Both teams have come a relatively long way since the earlier game at Old Trafford, in which “we ran out of time”, but that doesn’t mean the scoreline will be too dissimilar – one thing you can be sure of in this fixture is goals.* *I refuse to add a cliched “So expect a 0-0!”* *THAT doesn’t count.* *these things are such an easy way to pad out blog posts.
It’s these kind of games where we need TV at the peek of his powers, unfortunately we have the exact opposite. Failing that, we need Ashley Young at the peek of his powers, but he’s injured and probably due his that stinker now anyhow. Failing that Nani at the … you get the point. It’s at times like this that we must give thanks to the footballing fairies for Michael Carrick; actually we should probably give thanks to Spurs while we’re there. He’s having, what I personally think, is one of his best ever seasons. He’s finally stepped out of Scholesy’s shadow and started taking more responsibility. This has, I’m certain, helped Cleverley come on in spades (other cliches available on request) and those two are currently, I think, a match for any opposing two. With Rooney dropping back in to form a three when we’re defending, which is how I expect us to line up (trusting that Rooney doesn’t have a mare – think he’s overdosed on those) we should be okay. Maybe if Sandro and not the not-yet-match-fit Scott Parker were playing we’d have to find a bit more.
The big test, as always against Spurs, is going to be the one presented to Rafael in the shape of Bale. Rafael has been great this season, but he does have a tendancy to lose his discipline against more troublesome opponents. Having said that Fergie may decide to put Smalling or Jones up against Bale for a bit more “muscle”. I think having Bale “chasing back the other way” would be the best antidote to his threat. What do I know. They pose a threat from most everywhere, so probably not best to concentrate on one particular area.
I just remembered that Spurs haven’t been scoring as readily as you’d expect recently, but I really can’t see that continuing. Our defence will make sure of that.
The penalty situation is troubling me again. Trusting that RVP is going to now take them, the fact that Rooney has missed so many that it’s now “a thing”, creates an almost untenable position as United penalty taker. The pressure on RVP to score from the spot will be massive (x infinity + infinity, at least).
I feel Danny is due a goal (I could have just copied and pasted that from several of these pre-match-thing-me-bobs)! This could be the game where TV turns it around (The revolution will be TV-sized). Would it be asking too much of Giggsy to play, with the form he’s in? I hope not.
Goals: RVP 2, Dempsey O.G, Danny
p.s Was sad to hear the news that Fletcher needs another operation and will miss the remainder of the season. I was aware they were managing his condition, but must have missed the bit about him requiring further surgery(?!). The club statement was altogether contradictory: acknowledging the frustration for the player and club with regard to him missing the rest of the season, but referring to the procedure being planned all along, as an important step in the process of his complete recovery. Not sure how those two points marry up, anyway…