Yes, it’s the one hundred and seventieth Manchester derby today. Unfortunately though, I won’t be in my seat in the Stretford End today to cheer on our boys. I’ve not missed many derbies in recent years, in fact it’s the first I’ve missed home or away for four years. Worryingly the last one I did miss was well… that one at home in 2011 we don’t talk about!
My first Manchester derby was way back in May 1991. A 1-0 victory in which Ryan Giggs was credited with the goal. These days though, I’m sure the ‘dubious goals panel’ would of awarded it has a Colin Hendry own goal.
Onto this afternoon. In recent years the home fixture has predominately been won by City. That all changed in April at the back end of last season with that outstanding display and 4-2 victory. Even then we went behind so a fourth straight home defeat was on the cards. Until Young, Fellani, Mata and Smalling goals blew them away!
I was at Everton last Saturday, been there many times over the years but I’d never been in the top tier of the away end before. Cracking atmosphere, cracking day and a cracking performance. I don’t think many saw that coming after the Arsenal defeat. And I’m not sure many saw that type of set-up from van Gaal.
He started the season with wanting United dominant in possession and controlling the game. That has worked and we have. However there was no end product, results were coming but the lack of goals and more to the point, lack of shots was a major concern.
I never like losing of course, but I’m a huge believer in the bigger and longer picture. Good things do come from defeats, even better things sometimes come from bad and humiliating defeats. We had a few under Fergie, 5-0 to Chelsea, 5-0 to Newcastle, 6-3 to Southampton but bounced back stronger and better.
Heart probably ruling my head as usual today but I think we’ll come out on top. I’m going 2-1 to us. Come on United!