A second-half with effort, work rate & commitment

Effort, work rate and commitment go a long way in doing stuff in life, none more so than in sport. Yesterday whilst at Old Trafford I saw all of that but only for forty-five second-half minutes. It was excellent to watch, but why did I not see it for the full ninety? Unfortunately I’ve asked myself that question to often in recent times.

If United had put the effort, work rate and commitment in for the whole ninety-minutes and we’d have lost, I’d have taken it on the chin as always. What I cannot accept is no effort, work rate or commitment and that is what I saw in that first-half against Newcastle yesterday. I’ve never doubted the United players ability, but too often the hard-word is not there to go along with it. It makes so much difference when you combine the both.

I had no time to get to the pub before the match yesterday, by the time I’d have got there, queued for a drink and then walked to the ground, it would have given me about five minutes to drink my pint. Instead, I managed to get into the ground, one hour three minutes before kick, this meant I had three minutes to get 50% of drinks, so I got a few.

I drank them, chatted with friends and was in my seat (well, stood up) five minutes before kick off ready to applaud the team out and show my usual support to the players and manager. Fifteen minutes later I was stood shaking my head in what I was seeing as Newcastle walked through to twice to score to easy goals. Credit where credit is due though, they were good finishes and they fully deserved to be beating us after some truly awful defending from our back line. Basic communication and defending not done and we looked an absolute shambles at the back.

Mourinho agreed and hauled Eric Bailly off sharpish moments late and moved poor McTominay into the back-four with sub Mata into midfield. It didn’t make too much difference and Newcastle continued to create more chances and could have been four or five up if it wasn’t for David de Gea. McTominay was then taken off himself for the start of the second-half as our current best player Fellaini came on to put in a right shift. Like he usually does.

From this moment onwards, United changed, not that we haven’t seen it before, I was at both the Crystal Palace and Man City away games last season when we came from two-nil down to win 3-2. We all know the players are capable of it, so why can they not get up for it and play like this from the off. Who knows, but that is the most frustrating thing.

United’s support yesterday was excellent and from my seat in the Stretford End lower I continued to sing and encourage the team forward and once Mata got us one back, I knew we’d go onto win with the way we were playing. That turned out to be my most enjoyable time at Old Trafford for quite a while and I’m guessing most inside the ground yesterday would say the same thing.

The win though doesn’t solve our club’s current problems, yesterday only covers over a few cracks. That beside, Manchester United is my club and I will support them and get behind them always, through good times and bad. That is the way it should be. Enjoy the good times they have given you, but support them even more through the bad times.

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