Pre-season used to be a quiet time of kickabouts behind closed doors whilst the lads got off the beer and the physio glued Bryan Robson’s leg back together. 2011 has been rather different, as United have met a show-reel that Jason and the Argonauts would be jealous of. Colossus after Colossus has passed through our viewer in recent weeks as the side have met Canotona, Pele, Beckham, Barcelona and of course, Gary Neville too.
Whether this was a ruse to make the Community Shield match against City look like small fry we will never know, but it would never have worked anyway. The neighbours are definitely on the map.
Although the team returns to Wembley with victories over European Champions Barcelona and opponents directed by God himself (Cantona), it is hard to forget that the last time we were at the national stadium we lost, and to the same opponents.
United have scored more than Errol Flynn in pre-season and there are goals in this team. There may well need to be on the back of a great goalkeeper’s retirement. Naturally, the jury is out on young De Gea. One only hopes he can survive the hysterical scrutiny he will now be under. The closure of the News of the World will hopefully lessen this, but he is bound to get a tough time from the press regardless.
For a discussion about United’s midfield type the word ‘Sneijder’ into Google and take your pick from any one of a million articles. My personal feeling is that this is a very big year for Senor Anderson. How he starts the campaign may well determine whether or not we do any more spending. Fletcher looks skeletal and the idea appears that whatever his illness is may be rather serious. Again, I suspect United will have to score themselves out of trouble a lot this campaign.
Frankly though, thank God the wait is over. I extend my thanks to Joey Barton for keeping the last week of the summer interesting but it is great that the games are back now. With fingers crossed, I am hoping that United can keep Norwich off the top spot for as long as possible.
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