Manchester United: Kill Or Be Killed
I can remember October vividly. It was supposed to be the day that we silenced City and at the time, we were playing some fucking beautiful football. I was there, with my fellow die hards. The journey to Manchester was one of the best we had, we rattled off loads (and I mean loads) of City are a massive club.
They got Curly Watts as their number one fans
They got salt and pepper on their hotdog stands
They got the tallest floodlights in the land
They got blue ketchup on derby day
They had Ryan Giggs on Schoolboy forms
...oh City are a massive club!
There were other chants and the boys were buzzing. All the way from Samuel Platts to Old Trafford, we were drunk, loud and ready to see City get handed a lesson, to restore natural order. Then it happened. A freak game that should have cost us the season. 6-1 drubbing. In fairness when I left the ground, in a state of bewilderment, dazed and sobriety, it was 4-1 and I thought that was bad enough. I've never seen the final City goals from that day, nor do I remember much, but I remember Fletch scoring a screamer. I also remember Johnny Evans getting a red card that day, although not much has been said about that since. I've managed to mentally block out most of what happened that day, but the pain is still there.
The FA Cup game was nice. The Kompany sending off helped us out and a lot was made of it, but remember we were a man down at Old Trafford. But a 3-2 win wasn't as comfortable as it should have been. At time we were hanging on and I can remember Lindergaard making a fantastic save from Sergio Aguero. If that went in, it may have been a different game completely.
From there on in, United may not have been playing well, but we grinded results out, while City looked like they were "cracking up." City went from 8 points clear in the league to trailing United by 8 points.
I remember the QPR game a few weeks ago, the ground was buzzing.We're gonna win the league we all chanted. It felt like that was going to happen, even though I wouldn't admit it out loud. But a poor result against Wigan, then the draw at home to Everton and its game on again, setting up the biggest Manchester derby in living history.
My only question is how Sir Alex Ferguson will approach this game? He has said that he will go in to win it. I hope so, but if he goes there not to lose, then there is no way we will keep out City. If you invite City on , they will score. But this brings me to how I would set Manchester United out. Sir Alex has already said Rafael won't play in this game. Yes, he was caught out for two of the Everton goals, but he has been one of our better performers. So who will he play? Chris Smalling or Phil Jones? Two very good players, but neither as good going forward as Rafael. Yes, we need to defend well against City, but we also need to attack. Surely Valencia will play and he and Rafael are linking up well. I spoke to my old man this morning and he worried me. He is convinced that Phil Jones will play in the game. Over Evans? Maybe. In Midfield? It’s a possibility. But haven’t we put enough pressure on this kid already this season? I think we have. He’s been expected to play pretty much in every position this year and although he has done well his form has dipped in recent weeks. Jonny Evans may have gone backwards in the last couple of games, but really it wouldn’t be beneficial to take him out of the team.
If you look at my team, I haven’t included Welbeck nor Chicharito. Chicharito will play some part in this game, I’m sure, Welbeck also, but we also need to stop that midfield of City’s working overtime on us. Ji gives us this. He can play on Yaya Toure all day, keep busy around him. The midfield I’ve selected will, in my opinion, not only win us the game but be too much for City’s. Carrick is finally playing well and Scholes has been an animal since he returned in January. Rooney is upfront on his own, yes, but Valencia and Young will give him enough support as will Evra, Park and a choice between Carrick and Scholes. If not Ji, I would go with Giggsy. Packing the midfield will be vital.
Finally, I want to make a comment on Roberto Mancini. His recent mind game is fucking stupid. He’s had some good calls this season, but “if City win United are still favourites” is just stupid.
I think there will be goals in this game for both sides. Hopefully, United will score City because if we don’t go in for the kill against City, they will take great joy in killing our 20th title hope.
Prediction: Manchester City 2 – 2 Manchester United