I couldn’t have been more excited on Saturday 13th August. Yes United had won the Charity (Community) Shield the weekend before, yes we had a new manager and yes we had four new players in our ranks. However, I’m married with kids and probably (hopefully) only half my through my life but the new Premier League was due to start and I had an away ticket for our opening game at Bournemouth the following day!
I was of course excited to be seeing our new players Zlatan, Eric and Miki but I was more excited to finally tick off a new Premier League ground as well. If it wasn’t for West Ham moving grounds this year I think for the first time I’d of had a full set of attending every current Premier League ground. All be it that I’d only been to Leicester’s King Power stadium for a rugby World Cup match last year.
The Mourinho factor had got me excited as well, maybe not initially but apart from his trophy winning stats there are some very good things he has done, but of course you can never forget some of the ways he has behaved. Anyway, that will come in time and of course we’ll be right behind him from the off.
Onto Sunday, alarm went off at 6am and before I’d woke up properly, I’d stayed up watching the Olympics until 3am, I was on a coach to Bournemouth. It was good to see the lads from seasons gone by and before we knew the piss taking had begun and it was like any other season, well until we reached the summer traffic heading south and stuttered gradually towards the ground. We finally arrived at around 1pm, I bought a prog for my lad and headed into the ground as quick as possible to get a couple of beers.
New ground ticked off, beers in hand, songs being sung and looking around and seeing so many of the usual old faces milling about. Good to see so many of them, even though we’d only be given the standard small capacity of around 1300 tickets. Despite the fact our tickets said ‘row 1’, yes we sadly had to check with two different stewards as we seemed to be taken the spot of a lad in a wheelchair and his dad when we got into the stand. Anyway,we obviously moved and apologised but we genuinely thought we’d taken up the correct seats. We found somewhere else to stand anyway and it wasn’t until half time we realised the ‘row 1’ was actually ‘row I’, hah how embarrassing.
Bournemouth had said their stall up and got some good space in the first half, we’d had a good amount of possession but neither had really tested each others keeper. Then a bad Bournemouth pass back from a long punt over the top from us and Mata was in on the keeper, he shot and three ricochets later the ball was back at his feet for a tap in. 1-0 to us at half time.
With Mata’s old song being sung and Zlatan’s new one being bellowed out at the start of the second half, we seemed to step it up a gear. Bailly looked comfortably at the back, Valencia and Shaw were getting forward down the flanks and Fellaini was cutting out everything in the middle, yes Fellaini. Then there was Zlatan, with his flicks here, flicks there and strolling around like he owed the place. He looked great and soon Rooney had nodded in our second before the big fella Zlatan himself made it 3-0 himself. We all know Bournemouth got one back, but that literally all it was. We were comfortable winners in the end and even Jose got a song from us in the travelling away right at the end.
Job done, new players looked good, new manager had got us off to a steady performance and I’d ticked off a new ground. Roll on Friday Night Football at Old Trafford now. Pogba to start? You bet!! RED ARMY!