Sometimes it is difficult to tell exactly what is governing our emotional responses. All I can tell you at the moment is that I am not overjoyed with what I am seeing from United. Whether this is because the current side is poor, is playing poorly or simply a wider malaise in society is at work I am not sure. Either way, things ain’t right.
It was horrible seeing Chicharito fall to the floor at the start of the game. Get well soon Javier, let’s hope the injury is not as bad as it looked. He is the guy who has been scoring the majority of our goals recently so it is particularly bad news. Wherever Rooney plays from now on he’d better have his scoring boots on.
United’s level of play cannot afford to drop any lower. Whilst this certainly hasn’t been a vintage week for the club, it is nice to collect another three Premier League points and another clean sheet. We are however, hugely indebted to how lousy Aston Villa were.
Despite Fergie’s protestations prior to the match, if I were a Villa fan right now I would be seriously unhappy. They were abject and clueless in a home game against opposition who had just lost to a lower league club. Aston Villa are the fifth most successful club in the history of this country. They should have had a go and didn’t.
United were little better and instead of winning by the healthy margin all of our main rivals posted at the weekend we stuttered over the line. The club are still on course for 90 points this season but I am a football fan not a mathematician. The games are simply a little turgid to watch right now. There is zero chance of my support and faith in the club or the manager wavering but the glum observation remains the same.
We have had it very good for a long time as United fans yet, if there is one regret I have from the last 20 years, it is that I was too nice to the City fans I know. At the moment they are being intolerably smug. Their fixtures over the next eight weeks do look pretty gruesome though, so perhaps some points will get dropped somewhere.
In the meantime of course, we face the citizens in the FA Cup third round. This is the kind of draw that can only focus the attention. Off the top of my head I can’t remember when United last went out of the cup at the first hurdle.* It definitely doesn’t happen often and I definitely don’t want it to happen this year.
Another thing it would be nice to avoid is crashing out of Europe early and in ignominy. Our performance at St. Jakob Park against Basle this Wednesday will decide the outcome of our fate on the continent in this year’s Champion’s League group stage. The Swiss are surely going to be a sterner test than Villa and if we don’t buck our ideas up we’ll be humiliated. Sorry to be glum, but right now, our performances give me few other emotions to display.
*That Leeds result from a couple of seasons ago has obviously been blocked out.
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