Fingernails are overrated anyway. This was terrifying stuff for most of the afternoon. Both of our nearest rivals had managed to score four and even as we reorganised ourselves into a 1-1-8 formation we seemed unlikely to get a winner. Again. There are times when I allow myself to slip into a "it's one of those days" mindset. I should not play these tricks on myself when it comes to United.
Make no mistake, this was an extremely jittery 90 minutes, at times it was like watching the Shining, so tense was it. Our opponents can smell blood at the moment and Sunderland, who have been playing like a cabbage patch of late, tried their hand and went for us. If they continue to play like that then they will not go down.
It would be easy to focus on the players who arenâ€™t delivering at the moment (I know none of you have enrolled at the local college for Bulgarian classes for example) but I have decided to get behind the team so I shall focus on the positives. (What? Head in sand? Me? No?). We have Wayne Rooney.
He is still only 23 Wayne, and although he hasnâ€™t yet developed a way to control his inner serial killer he is turning into the man of the team. In terms of effort, skill, fortitude and sheer passion for the cause he is the seasonâ€™s outstanding performer. Whilst those in Fleet Street are waiting desperately for their â€śUnited have shot their boltâ€ť, â€śUnited have confidence issues through the teamâ€ť predictions to come true, Rooney is the man holding back the tide. He started uncomplainingly on the left here in Sunderland and was by far our most effective player for most of the match. If the team is wobbling collectively, Rooney at least is standing up to be counted.
Another important count we have to do involves Mr. Macheda. Two goals in two games, 46 seconds and counting tick tick tock, first touch. I donâ€™t care who you are, those are good numbers. How could he possibly ever live up to last week? I thought. The best answer, of course, was to do exactly the same thing again. I donâ€™t think he had been on the pitch for 60 seconds before he scored and that means something very important now surrounds this guy. Hope. In the past if things werenâ€™t going our way and we saw Solskjaer warming up we all knew we had a chance of winning. The sight of his number flashing on the substitution board had the effect of galvanising the team late in games. This, I believe, is largely why we won so many matches at the death whilst he was playing. A week ainâ€™t much in terms of human history but when I see Federico step onto the field, from here on in, I will believe we can do it.