Moving the goalposts
Man United come to WHL on Sunday afternoon for the latest in our series of end of season cup finals. Leicester’s admirably tedious run of 1-0 wins mean that they’re virtually out of sight unless they suffer an implosion of rare and virtually unprecedented size. As has been cited many times, Man Citeh clawed back 8 points on their neighbours a few years ago but the Foxes sudden morphing into George Graham’s Gooners makes a repeat seem unlikely. Thus we should focus the purpose of our point gathering on more realistic targets; no 1 Top Four, no 2 Top Three, no 3 Finish above Woolwich.
Looney Van Gaal’s stewardship of our visitors has brought a smile back to the face of football lovers everywhere, apart from those who follow the Old Trafford Circus XI of course. There will be few Spurs fans, if any, who don’t breathe a sigh of relief when they remember how close we came to having him in charge instead of Pochettino. Things haven’t been going well at the self styled Theatre of Dreams.
Man U currently lie 5th and are in a tussle with West Ham as they both hope to make the most of any dramatic fall from grace of the teams above them. Their recent run of half decent form has coincided with the emergence of Boy Wunderkind Marcus Rashford but their game is based around the sort of sterility that you generally only find at the dentist. Anthony Martial – you could have been one of us now, if only we’d offered Monaco twice as much as we did and you twice the wages. You should’ve held out.
Look away now
I didn’t realise quite how appalling our record at home against Man United until I looked it up just now. We’ve drawn 6 of the last 8 but our most recent win was in 2001 when we triumphed 3-1 against a side containing Giggs, Scholes, Cole and Sheringham but tellingly, one that had already won the league comfortably. Willem Korsten scored two of our goals in his last ever game not only for us but for anyone, he retired through injury just a few months later.
An uneducated stab at team news
If Erik Lamela has recovered from his knock then he’ll come straight back in to the side to replace the misfiring Son. If he hasn’t, then there may be an option for Mason or Chadli to fit in somewhere in place of our favourite Korean. Lamela is a frustrating performer but his energy and occasional sharp pass or shot still gets him in to the side, but perhaps that fact throws into relief the fact that we can definitely look to improve in the summer no matter how well we’ve done this season.
Jan Vertonghen will be reintroduced at some point, it’s up to Poch to judge whether it’s from the start on Sunday or maybe off the bench if things are going well. Or he may leave it until Stoke. Or he may not. Who knows?
Wishful weekend thinking
- We win comfortably
- Eric Dier avoids a booking
- Defoe nets the winner for Sunderland
Hmm. If we play to our normal level and take our chances we should score and thus win. They shouldn’t be underestimated however, Mata, Martial and even Depay are all capable of causing problems.
Mike Dean is down to referee.
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