In general, writers like things called âthemesâ that they can hang their articles around. Therefore, if there is anything mildly unusual or different about a story, for example one of the teams in an English league match being Welsh, then you can expect the scribe to bang on about it for ages.
It wonât be much of a surprise to hear that people who spend the majority of their time watching football matches have often had somewhat misspent youths. During my teen years, when not filling Pannini sticker albums or shuffling along crowded streets towards stadiums United were due to play in, I could be found shooting pool or snooker to a reasonable standard. Never in my life have I met a nation of people who can beat me so consistently at the game of pool as the Welsh. Before this weekend, United had never won in Swansea either. It was time to put those things right.
Ryan Giggs, our Welsh representative, put his countrymen to the sword with the kind of simple tee-up that makes the game of football look easy. That is the second assist Giggs has in just six games this season, I am not sure he has even broken a serious sweat yet. He may be aging, but he is still class.
As is Javier Hernandez, whose finish proved the difference for us again as we slowly morph into âone-nil for the Unitedâ. Frankly, the fact that we are putting together results in any fashion whatsoever is a massive achievement. In much the same way that Arsenal have quietly rehabilitated themselves after their tonking at Old Trafford, United have been stacking up the points modestly and efficiently.
City, however, remain a menace. They are clearly both the stand-out squad in the division and the form team too. They have also just posted an operating loss larger than any recorded before in the history of English football. Doing such things is not an option for either United or the Gunners.
Instead of looking at the results City are posting, or the salary packets of their players, Fergie is doing what he can do and what he should do. He is improving our teamâs lot week by week and making steady improvements. As he himself said in the post match interview, five clean sheets on the trot is not bad for a team who were being criticised for being too open at the back some short weeks ago.
The attacking side who stormed into the opening weeks of the campaign is still there and will emerge again when the time is right. In the meantime, steel and guile are being added to the attributes of this young squad.
United are marching on at the moment. Once again, we have our exceptional manager to thank for steering this club through another delicate patch. I have a sneaking suspicion that United will start moving up through the gears now. With games against Benfica and Newcastle up next, we will need to.
Now, who's for a game of pool?
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