I dedicate this to Robby-kins. The only United fan with a northern accent I’ve ever met We’ll ignore the fact he should support Bolton.
Somewhere in West London, Sarri is chain smoking himself into oblivion after watching that. I am too, and I don’t even smoke.
In the News: Speaking of Sarri, apparently superstitions on his list include lighting a fag at a hairpin bend, three coffees before a game and he’s incapable of crossing white lines on a pitch. No wonder he was never a player, he’d end up glued to the spot unable to keep up with the game and looking like a total bellend – a bit like Lukaku yesterday. Eden Hazard saying if he never leaves Chelsea he won’t lose sleep. Good boy. Morata has been waxing lyrical about his tough start at Chelsea. Apparently it even caused him to have a row with his wife. My heart literally bleeds. As I sit here actually saving up for a filling.
Joyfully, I did not watch a single second of turgid international football because I was too busy listening to boys with guitars and raiding Bath and Body works in Hill Country. “I wish you cancer and leukaemia and I hope you get raped” was one message sent to England’s female players this week. Vile and disgusting, but as the profile of the womens’ game rises, so do the number of coward a*seholes with nothing better to do than pound their keypads when their knobs have taken too much of a battering in their mums basement from constant w*nking over vintage episodes of Xena Warrior Princess. It’s no worse than the stick the blokes take and not worth anyone’s time. I’ve saved all the similar I get sent and when I’m bored I bring them all up and have a chuckle. And when they’re stupid enough to leave an email I sign them up for dodgy porn sites.
“My stars are hurt by cruel attacks” said Chequebook Pulis during the week. He does realise he’s the one doing most of the attacking right? Benitez says he doesn’t fear the sack at Newcastle. No, I expect he kneels next to his bed praying for a way to get away from Mike Ashley at night, just like everyone else involved with the club. Juve’s stock has plummeted by 37% since rapegate started with Ronaldo. Unsurprising that they will stick by him while it’s all allegations considering they have invested a quarter of a billion in him and he’s their cash cow. Even though his “fake news, fake news” stance makes him sound like Trump. More dubious is the madwoman in the Italian media that has already decided he’s innocent because he’s too rich and good looking to rape anybody. Sigh. Conte apparently on Real’s radar for replacing their failing manager, who probably wishes he’d stayed with Spain. And that they hadn’t signed Thibaut, who let in another two yesterday. 465 minutes Real have now gone without scoring, which is a club record. If Conte does go there we can rule our Hazard following him, which is a bonus. Speaking of Spain, UEFAlona apparently eyeing a shock swoop for Ivanovic in January.
The Others: Unsurprisingly we lost ground on the other two, because this weekend they faced the likes of Huddersfield (and didn’t make that look easy) and Burnley. (Who rolled over and collapsed like a fat bulldog after a bacon binge like they absolutely won’t next weekend) You know you are living in a parallel universe when people start talking about Lamela like he’s a game changer and Cardiff finally won a match.
Us: Eight of them as you’d expect – then out of the puzzlers, Willian over Pedro Pony, Kovacic over Barkley and Morata over The Beard.
Them: The now usual overpaid, moany, underperforming and generally very un-Unitedlike set up. Which is very entertaining for the rest of us.
There was only one team in it in the first half. Our first break came on 2 minutes with a decent cross from little Willy but the end result was air kicked by Kovacic. Hugely enjoyable stadium-wide chants of “you’re f*cking sh*t” at the away fans, which is joyous after thirty years of their smug w*nkery. Usual aim with Chequebook Pulis – score early and ruin the game plan of boring football he’s been plotting all week. First ludicrous challenge on Eden went unpunished. Matic committed an outrageous foul as he was about to shoot, Ja-ooung (still massively entertained by Spanish commentary of Young’s name during the World Cup) had already had his elbow in too. So beganeth my bi-annual reminder (the other 363 days I forget he exists) that I hate Ashley Young more than just about anyone in world football.
The resulting free kick from the Matic outrage was too close, so Morata, Kovacic and Rudiger put themselves in the wall to fly to one side and leave a gap, but what does Willy do? Tries to send it up and over and faceplants. Sigh. Their first break on 11 minutes was tame by the standard we’d created, and the cross went across the face of goal and out for a throw in. Matic ran out of luck very early on with another shocker of a challenge. Once again it was on Hazard and this time Dean brandished a yellow. To his credit, he let the cyclical fouling on our star man happen a lot less today than other referees. United definitely seeing the alternative side of Matic now.
Despite utter dominance (well, aside from inside the colourful mind of Chequebook Pulis) we were lucky not to concede on 15 minutes when we left a man open on the far post, but they could fashion nothing from that or the follow up. They hadn’t had a single attempt on goal thus far. Our breaks continued and then we were ahead. A rarity for us: perfect corner by Willian, Rudi left completely free in the box, I blamed Pogba and De Gea didn’t stand a chance when the German nutted it towards goal. Hurrah. They were in disarray. Martial shortly after at left back rescuing Shaw. On the half hour Alonso was in, and onside, but couldn’t control the ball. Shame because they were done. And shame because that was the high point of the Spaniard’s afternoon. Janice (muppet alias) is still p*ssed he didn’t head it. She says even Torres would have scored. (She has had some wine)
A note on Morata today – I see him getting more sh*t, but I didn’t think he didn’t score because he was rubbish yesterday. And he was effective in the box when we were defending too, apart from one it looked to me simply as though the attempts he had were well dealt with. Though I’d still rather start with The Beard at the moment. We should have made it 2-0 on 40 minutes after a sublime high ball in from Jorginho to William, but alas, he couldn’t quite get on the end of it. Inexplicably, United were still playing like it was 0-0. They were actually woeful, and CP couldn’t even be a*sed to get out his seat. Matic terrible, Shaw and Lukaku look dumpy to me in particular. And where was the guy that’s getting 350k a week? Ah, on the bench. This was the most pathetic I’d ever seen United in my lifetime. De Gea was shaking his head like he’d rather be anywhere else the whole half. More cards than they’d had attempts on goal and it was so easy to play the ball around it was ridiculous. So what could possibly go wrong after half time? Right?
It looked like nothing initially. On 46 minutes a run from Morata was well blocked. They tried to break twice but gave the all away stupidly.’ Did he kick them up the a*se? It didn’t look like it. Is it that he, or they, or both just don’t have it to give – was he wholly reliant on us making a mistake? And obviously just as I typed this that’s exactly what we did. Because it’s us. Luiz has been excellent this season, and was partly excellent again yesterday, but he gifted them both goals. Alonso was lying prone in the six yard box when it happened – and I’m not sure I’m ok with that. No it wasn’t a head injury but he’s in the way, he’s playing them onside and I can’t remember another instant when a referee has let play go on in a situation like that. This might be because I am jet lagged and hungover at the same time.
Bring on The Beard please, because after that we completely lost our composure. It was all the more frustrating because they didn’t suddenly outplay us – they improved yes, but we basically took half an hour off. Much to the rage of Sarri who was repeatedly punching his chair. I just didn’t see us not getting something out of this game, butt Eden had gone off the boil, as he is apt to do the more he gets savagely kicked; on the whole we were scrappy, indecisive and disorganised. We’d gone from a slick footballing machine toying with the opposition to a collection of lemmings following each other off the edge of a f*cking cliff.
Ashley Young, who should have been sent off by now, as always, had already begun time wasting. If you want to amuse yourself today have a look online for the video of a bird sh*tting in his mouth. It always cheers me up.
The Beard. Now please.
On 65 Luiz almost had the equaliser, but our dominance of the game was gone. Mata could, probably should have seen red for a disgusting tackle on Dave on 66, but he’s such an ordnarily nice chap he was given a pass on that one. Martial desperately tried to win a penalty. And failed. The eight and ninth rolls were probably unnecessary. And he only stopped then because he was about to clatter the ad boards.
Hurrah, Barkley coming on on 68 to offer something different, but it was getting desperate. What the f*ck? Luiz and Jorginho having a complete throw down after the second United goal. As well they might. Shocking. Pedro Pony was introduced Kante forced a save from De Gea with a long range shot, but you know it’s time for Morata to go bye-bye when he tries to tackle and falls on his arse.
Refwatch: Mike Dean made a few decisions that made me mutter offensive, Dobby the House Elf insults at him, but ultimately he did not alter the result. We only had our own stupidity to blame for not beating a team that was at best competent but for half of the match a complete shower of sh*t.
How were we not winning this. Sarri was still beating up the dugout. Our lot were all standing with their hands on their hips. Barkley at least had a go from range on 76 but United we’re employing the dark arts now. Chequebook Pulis at his finest. Remember that last fifteen mins against Milan at the Bridge? Where the ball was in play for two of them? We had achingly slow substitutes, Young tying his shoelaces at every given opportunity, people just sitting down on the pitch and pretending to be injured (yes Rashford, I’m looking at you – although until that point I hadn’t noticed that you were on the pitch) Walking three laps of the pitch before going off after treatment. We got one corner played, and then someone else sat down. God give me strength. Even when we did get it we couldn’t do anything with it. Just when you thought Alonso couldn’t play any worse he was air kicking it in the box.
Finally, The Beard made an appearance with a quarter of an hour to go. Too late, should have been ten minutes earlier at least. Kepa nearly did a Thibaut by flailing about on the edge of the area but managed to clear it. For some stupid reason, that apparently had nothing to do with Sarri, we had resorted to punting it long and hoping that something would happen. We had basically fallen apart and they couldn’t believe their luck. Yes Rob, luck. Tyler (sitcom alias) and I wanted a minimum of six minutes added. Two goals, six subs and two minutes of Rashford being a dickhead. That didn’t even allow for Young and his shoelaces, so we were being restrained. And lo and behold, we got them! Our very own Fergie time, and it came back to bite them in the a*se. Ha. Suckers.
So: If Sarri had gone around with a BB gun and potted them all in the knee caps at half time they could not have been any worse as a collective. In Alonso’s case I’m pretty sure he did pop him in both legs. Tragically a f*cking draw was about all we deserved. They paid for cheating with Barkley’s last minute goal and were lucky to be in it at all after the dire performance in the first half. Everyone out there at some stage looked more jetlagged than me. Of them, none of them would have got in under Ferguson save for De Gea. He may have got more out of Pogba but doubtful whether it would cancel out the fact that he’s got the IQ of one of Sir Alex’s old socks. Marco Ianni becomes a cult hero. Chequebook sensible enough to keep his trap shut on mouthy assistants after fifteen years odd of Rui Faria acting as Luca Brasi to his Corleone. They were the better side today if you listen to the Godfather (of lunacy) CP really needed a win today, but the fact that they were terrible and came from behind for a point will appease their people. It appears the rabid old dog might have some life in him after all, but at least a scouser went and kicked him at the end. Disappointment led to the drinking of much gin. Sometimes in shot form, mixed with vodka. Urgh.
Buy Alexandra a Gin on this link.