We’re inviting some of our Twitter friends, and now resident thought sharer Iwan Lenhert, to share some of their ‘Pre and Post Match’ thoughts with us from now on. You can still enjoy my nonsensical, confusing punctuation buffets below their proper good ones…
Hands up if you wouldn’t chastise and taunt if you were in the stands at the Stadium of Light, having just watched your side lose to a team you didn’t like but that had just lost a league title in dramatic circumstances? Let’s not be so precious about it. Sunderland fans jeered us when we lost the league last season, including a thoroughly grating display of the Poznan for good measure. We all know that nothing good came of that day for United. It sucked, and it’s worth remembering because some of our performances leading up to last season’s final day weren’t good enough, which is why we lost the league. But I’d hardly let it stick in the mind because the Mackems gave us some stick. It was an awful day, but this is hardly a revenge mission. Besides, if we got hung up every time we were jeered, then I’d never get out of bed. People LIKE it when we fail, remember?
After last weekend’s drama, it’s quite novel to be heading into a Saturday afternoon kick off against a team that we’re expected to beat. Little bit of routine, if you will. We’ve made a hash of quite a few games this season that we should’ve won more comfortably, or at least not conceded so cheaply, and tomorrow’s game falls into that category. Given our differing league positions, we should win, and considering that next weekend brings with it a trip to the Liberty Stadium, we need to.
You’d hope that the manager will resist the temptation to tinker with things too much for the sake of giving people games. If it happens, it will be superb to have Vidic back (although our defensive problems run that deep that I don’t expect he’ll just suddenly fix us), but it’d be nice to see Cleverley and Young keep their places having been so impressive last weekend. We now have five games before our FA Cup date with West Ham on January 5th, and whilst pure pessimism states that we probably won’t pick up 15 points from them, slipping up against a team in the bottom quarter of the league isn’t really an option.
Much of the build up to this game will inevitably focus on revenge, after the Sunderland fans were happy to rub our face in our final day disappointment, and well … good. It’s these narratives that make football great. Let’s stuff their mock-Poznan somewhere unfriendly. In fact, I enjoy a revenge narrative so much, I’d welcome our players doing the Poznan at their fans at the end of the game, after we’ve stuffed ‘em.
In the day-to-day ebb and flow of things in the Prem, I have no real affection for Sunderland, albeit fleetingly, for the fact they have a few of our ex-players – JOS being the main one. I’m not particularly a fan of Martin O’Neill and if I’m being honest the fact that they have had a strong relationship with Niall Quinn has tarnished my opinion of them. I never promised I was going to behave like an adult. They are going to be okay this season and have started to look considerably better recently with the return of the Stéphane Sessègnon (the Beninise sausage).
We have no midweek games to be mindful of, so should be fielding a strong side, similar to the team that beat City. BUT when does that ever compute in Fergie’s mind?! We will rest three or four players (I’m compelled to guess), probably Scholesy for Cleverley, Jones for Rafael, and possibly a change involving giving Danny a start? News of the return of Vidic will no doubt mean one of the centre backs will sit out too – oh wait! What’s this? Jonny Evans injured? There’s a surprise. Anyway we should be be winning this game. I do feel though that having established a six point lead, we’ll take the foot off the pedal a touch.
“Forgive, but never forget.”
Goals: Scholesy, O.g