2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Sunday, October 28, 2012



Sunderland came to The Brit for a point.That they left with one,from a largely uninspiring match, owed much to fine - and occasionally lucky - keeping by Mignolet.If my recollection is correct he saved at point blank range on four occasions,fine reflex saves,but in each case with the ball flying directly at him.Directed even a little to one side,and we would have been looking at at least two goals.

Stoke huffed and puffed throughout the afternoon,but for the most part failed to penetrate a dense Sunderland rearguard.Crouch was handled (and manhandled!)well by O Shea,Cuellar and Gardner so the supply of flickons was reduced,or lacked their usually accuracy.

For me KIghtly was,once again,our liveliest forward performer,a definite threat,but often outnumbered.Walters got about well,but for the most part was stifled.Indeed when he went off to be replaced by Etherington we began to look altogether more potent going forward.Ethers showed a greater inclination,than of late,to take his man on,with some success,despite being heavily marked.Very late on he ran at the Sunderland defence,before poking a ball through to Crouch.No question,just a little less pace on it,and goal would have resulted.As it was the ball eluded our striker.

Cameron,as an attacking full back is looking particularly at home.His crosses are now finding the right range,and on two occasions he worked his way into the Sunderland box,causing some panic.Adam continues to settle in.His passing skills and vision are evident in open play,his wicked freekicks will eventually bring greater rewards for the team.From one of Cameron's forays to the byline he received a cut back,leaving him eight yards out with the keeper to beat.He scuffed the shot,his frustration was evident.He'll score on another day.

The unsung heroes? Whitehead had a cracking game.Wherever an intervention was required,there he was to snuff out any threat.N'Zonzi continues to impress.His defends well,he wins the ball,he plays the simple but telling pass,and in the last quarter he was the driving force as we pushed on for a win.

Begovic had little to do,the back four were solid.Wilson looked to take a serious injury just after the break.Hopefully it will not be as bad as it looked.Replacement Wilkinson deputised well,although his only mistake let Sunderland in,but Fletcher could not capitalise on the opportunity.

Not,then,the win we had hoped for.Nine points from 9 games,just below midpoint in the table.And Lawro and his mate Hansen think we'll be fine.So that's alright then.

Sunday, October 21, 2012



Despite some of the media hype there has been a generally held view that for one and a bit seasons now Manchester United are not what they were...worldbeaters.

Maybe so.Yesterday Stoke provided strong evidence that defensively they are not what they were.For the first 25 minutes or so Stoke,admirably prompted by Charlie Adam,bossed this game.We had a dream start when Rooney,under challenge from Shawcross,dispatched an Adam freekick from the right into his own net (11 mins).Stoke continued to press,creating more chances as the United defence at sixes and sevens continued to labour. Walters should have done better with a clear shot on goal from close in.Adam had a goal bound shot brilliantly pushed away at the near post by keeper De Gea.Defensively not what they were then.

But in attack a different proposition altogether.Indeed the real difference on the day was the home side's ability to build quickly in attack,AND to take their chances.But here,of course,money talks.They have,in Rooney and Van Persie two of the best strikers in the country,with Welbeck a not inconsiderable talent.
A swift break and cross from the left saw Rooney heading home(27 mins)to cancel out his earlier goal.

Twelve minutes later a Welbeck shot skimmed the Stoke bar.With two minutes to go before the break Valencia worked down the right.His low cross into the goalmouth was redirected into the net by Van Persie.The bad news for The Potters continued, two minutes after the break when Rooney scampered free on the right.His waist high cross was headed home by the diving Welbeck,Begovic having no chance to save.

That looked to be that,until in the58th minute - and about to be subbed - Kightly again revealed United's defensive frailty,as he dribbled through their defence from the half way line  into the penalty area,placing the ball beyond De Gea's reach into the right hand corner of the net.

For 8 minutes there was hope that we might salvage something,but the game was effectively put to bed by Rooney.A corner from the right was not cleared,bobbled across our defence to Rooney at the far post.A simple tap in,and to all intents and purposes game over.Michael Owen had the last 20 minutes on the pitch,as both sides played out time.

Stoke deserved more than they got from this game,and certainly,unlike other recent visits,gave United plenty to think about.Perhaps next year.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012



We are the Master’s deep sea divers.
We are given a life line,
Short or long, depending.

“Look for pens!, they say,
…Look for pens!”
So deep have I gone,
Into the black depths
Of my sea.
That I have lost my way

 Suddenly, I feel  the Master
Tugging hard on my line, saying
“Those things are not for you, enough!
Come up, come up!”

Unable to resist, I am pulled up,
A failure and a fool! Not even
A crummy pen to show
For all my troubles!

“ I failed, o’ Master.” .

PS Another valuable point,well deserved for the Mighty Potters!!
Suarez is for sure a class player, but
as Mark Lawrenson observed
his acting is