Usually I steer well clear of Brett’s advances around this peculiarity in the football calendar. If he gets hold of me he asks me out on a date to watch the match, because, well, we’re friends and it doesn’t matter who wins (or loses). This year I’m happy to put that theory to the test. I’ll let mum know she may need to buy a new hat.
Now to the prediction: I usually go with the ref to be Howard Webb and a good controversial decision in favour of the hosts. Game over. However he has already doled out his quota of bad decisions against us for this season. He also has to make a few more headlines to ensure he’s on the bus to Brazil… hence I’m looking at a very red day at Old Trafford. I believe, and you can bet your house on this if you like, that Rooney will be sent off for tattooing a postage stamp onto Skrtel’s forehead, RVP for swinging an elbow album into Toure, De Gea for speaking Pigeon to everyone’s English hero, Putin for a pitch invasion when he sees everyone Russian around, Moyes for not declaring to the I.R. having a twin brother who is also his chauffeur (thanks Brett for that info), Hernandez will be sent on to climb the PeaStalk to rescue the treasure from the sleeping giant… which has just awoken and will happily let the Little Pea take as many trinkets as he likes; it won’t matter in the bigger scheme of things.
Prediction: Man U to record 57% possession.
P.S. I hope Mr Webb is in charge of the match or the above won’t happen, obvs.
One of the oldest rivalries in English football is being hosted at Old Trafford this Sunday. Liverpool visit the Theatre of Dreams on a nine Premier League game unbeaten run, which has seen them demolish Arsenal, snatch an injury-time victory in a five goal thriller at Fulham and clinically dispatch Southampton in their last league run-out. They’re winning matches the way you’re supposed to – by scoring more than their opponents – despite the best efforts of their defenders attempting to give the other team a chance. They may have only kept two clean sheets in those nine matches, but they’ve banged in a quite ridiculous twenty-nine goals to bring them to second in the table; a mere seven points behind leaders Chelsea, but with a game in hand.
With Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suárez spearheading arguably the strongest attack in the whole of the Premier League, United have plenty to fear today. Our defensive frailties are there for all to see: Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra have both lost that mythical yard of pace; Captain Nemanja Vidić will have his next club, Inter Milan, on his mind; Chris Smalling and Phil Jones haven’t found their best positions yet; Jonny Evans is out injured and Rafael, fan favourite though he may be, can be be a liability in hot-blooded games like today’s event.
CAN YOU IMAGINE IF I ACTUALLY WROTE LIKE THAT FOR EVERY GAME?!? No, thank you. If you want serious (read: “boring”) matchday previews, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Anyone with half a football brain can write stuff like the above: generic, stating the obvious tat, with a few pointless statistics thrown in to make it look like the writer is the Football Knowledge King, Soccerbrain Palace, Statistician Drive, Hipsterton, Football Knowledge Kingdom, HP1 1KK.
“Proper” football writers are ten pennies a dime on the internet, and pretty much regurgitate the same gibberish as the next guy. Or the previous one. Or the one writing concurrently to them. I don’t know. I’m all about the jokes. Jooooooooookes. My colleagues Tom and erm, Mr Bifocal are “writers” in the same vein: we’re the mainline injection of zany crack to Martin Samuel’s hand-warming Lemsip. Now THAT’S a metaphor.
[That’s not to say that there aren’t some wonderful football writers out there. If you don’t already, you should definitely check out some
of my friends people I’ve met through annoyed on Twitter, particularly Paul Ansorge (@UtdRantcast, 14000+ followers), Paul Gunning (@PaulGunning1, 1500+ followers, most of them bought) and Ivan Evan Ewan Iwan Lehnert (@IwanLehnert, 400+ followers. Seriously? That few? That’s a bigger injustice than the recent Cantona framejob). Not only are all three terrific writers about all things United, they probably also get paid by the thoroughly respectable websites they wordsling for. If I had to rank them: Snog Iwan, marry Paul and avoid Gunning. He’s the worst.]
Prediction: Yet more hope and optimism from me this week, particularly in light of our excellent 3-0 defeat of the mighty West Bromwich Albion Football Club last Sunday. Robin will have calmed down after last week’s shenanigans and put in a season-best performance; Wayne will use all his Everton/United hatred of Liverpool to put in a season-best performance; Shinji will come off the bench to put in a season-best performance and Dave will put in such a season-best performance that Liverpool’s S.A.S. (Pah! As if!) will both leave the pitch crying, begging for their mums. 1-0 Liverpool.
About the author: Most of my jokes are* funny.
*You thought I was going to put “aren’t”, didn’t you? Classic misdirection gag. Told you I was funny.
Earlier this season – when it was still kinda funny – I suggested that we were entering the Prequel Trilogy of the Star Wars Universe. We all laughed (that’s the royal ‘we’ obvs) and then got on with our lives. Several months on, that light-hearted and off-the-cuff remark has borne an evil fruit. Certainly not the 5-Star healthy fruit we at UETFA use for all our currently non-sponsored competitons; I know you’re reading Nike – this is your chance to get on at the ground floor. World Cup year. If you don’t, Sky will.
Anyway….the tenuous Star Wars analogy I’m persisting with because it’s easier than accepting reality: If Fergie retiring was Chancellor Valorum’s ignoble dismissal, then Moyes arrival is clearly the equivalent of Palpatine’s rise to Chancellor – first game of the season? Nothing’s changed, people are happy, no-one’s aware of the insidious plot (Although I maintain in the film this was stupid because Return of The Jedi has been out for years….), everyone’s slightly nervous but hey, we’ll be fine. Luckily, we can completely ignore Attack of the Clones because a) why wouldn’t you? and b) I don’t think even I could relate the clone wars to United’s season. Moving on to Revenge, this is where it could go either way – either Moyes/Palpatine’s attempt at using his latest apprentice Darth Vader/Rooney – the great white hope who fell from grace to become a soulless jerkoff – will succeed and our brave Jedi Council (RVP/Adnan as Yoda/Obi-Wan respectively) will flee for their lives a la the movie OR Wayne will restore balance to the force and Moyes won’t have to be thrown down a massive shaft. Given Wayne’s new contract, this seems unlikely – he’s more money than man now, fat and evil. On the plus side – for me – this does mean I get to carry this nonsense on into next season with A New Hope. Unlucky losers.
Probably should mention the game. Because of the way I look at the world ie As I wish it to be, I’m going for a 5-0 to United, De Gea making a string of saves so brilliant, Arsenal erect a statue to him straight away. And lastly, when Ben thinks he’s talking to his mum? All me.
Prediction: 7.14pm Achacha Fruit.
When I first set up Bifurcated – three years ago – I would sometimes allow myself to dream of this day: when following on from some really enjoyable, varied and entertaining opinions from both sets of fans I would*chokes*