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Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3: Theatre of Dreams? You’d Better Believe It!

September 21, 2009

welcome2

In the 90th minute of the game, i had a little strop. I threw a wobbly as we say over here.

Id just witnessed Rio Ferdinand, do the worst thing he had ever done in a United shirt and watched the greyhound-like Bellamy race away to put the ball past the floundering Foster. I picked my jacket up from my seat as i cried primal screams of expletives that would be inappropriate to print here. It was a complete violation. I felt like i needed a shower..it was dirty. In those 56 seconds from the third City goal to the kick off I proclaimed to my mate that this is how you lose championships. You can always look back on one game, and identify where one error threw it all away. Rio has been a great servant to the club. Despite his idiocy in the moment, he doesn’t deserve that on his CV..”The Man That Chucked The Championship Away With a Flick”.

From that moment I didn’t expect us to win the game..and when Wayne Rooney lamely chipped in a poor free-kick that didn’t even reach the box, my body was telling me to leave. But i NEVER ever leave before the final whistle (the only game i have ever departed early in my whole life was last season, as Dossena got the Scouser’s fourth) As the ball broke out to Giggs I dreamed that on his left he would curl one into the top corner. I could visualise him running around the pitch. Furry chest all ablaze. Shirt being twirled round his head like it was 1999. Fergie on the touchline..doing one of his best “Dad at a Wedding” dances. I dreamed all of that in the blink of an eye. So when young Ryan slid the ball forward rather than shoot, my dreams were dashed.

Id had thoughts before the game about Michael Owen. Id wondered when his time would come. When was he finally going to ‘arrive’? I felt that this game was tailor made for him. And the boy followed the script like the professional he is…just one take, no fluffing of lines, executed to perfection!

owencityOwen’s first touch will live in my memory for many many years. His body position when he received the ball was directly in my eye-line (as if i was the linesman, so i could see his onside-ness!) That first touch made my body jump up ridged..knees locked and onto my tip toes. My fists clenched. My teeth grinded. My focus became only aware of the six yard area. I could see Wright Phillips sliding in. I could see Shay Given face the ball. And then…….I saw Owen move his right foot forward. Outside of the boot. Cool as a cucumber. Bottom corner.

The noise that Old Trafford made as the ball nestled in the goal was amazing. Something that only happens in the sport of football. An outpouring of emotion so great that if we could convert it into a usable energy, that the planet would surely be saved. I screamed like a soprano on helium. I hugged men like they were my blessed family. We sang Glory Glory Man United like we were singing it for the first time.

I think the game proved a few points about many things. As I’ve previously stated, I think City will challenge. They have an excellent team. If we had factored in Robinho and Adebayor yesterday, it may have been a totally different result. I have alot of respect for them because i like teams that play good football and have good players. The game was also a Carlos Tevez exorcism event. The fans in the stands collective blood boiled when he came out before kick off to warm up and it reached a maximum when we finally saw him in a blue shirt. He is now OFFICIALLY a former player. He has been to Old Trafford with the purpose of stick one up us. He failed (just about!) And now we need think about him no more. He is now just a ghost.

Points closer to home were evident too. Before the game i had spoke about how Ben Foster would come good and that he had got the mistakes out of his head with a few steadier performance. I was wrong. In ninety minutes of football, i think Foster has sealed his fate. He has had the start of this season exclusively to himself..he needed to be picture perfect. Despite being a great shot stopper (like David James) he seems to suffer from the calamity gene (like David James) Its over for him now. That may seem a little reactionary when I’ve been singing his praises but the goalkeeper’s position is unique. It’s not what you do which is good but what you do which is poor. Ben Foster is an excellent kicker of the ball but he has a problem mentally. Unfortunately between the sticks you do not get game time to make your mistakes, because the cost is too high. Van Der Sar will now resume as number one when he returns before Fergie gets the cheque book out to find a new pretender to the throne. Foster has blown it. The confidence has left the building.

Darren Fletcher and Anderson also proved what excellent midfielders they are. Fletch is now the unlikely heartbeat of Manchester United. He is courage personified. Never shirking responsibility. He deserved a hat-trick moment yesterday. Anderson is also showing what he is capable of. He enjoys the big stage. I have faith in him to improve further. Carrick and Hargreaves will do well to displace either of these two at the moment. Patrice Evra also proved he is the best left back in the world. A constant dynamo. Up and down. Up and down. There was also positive signs from Valencia and Berbatov. And we all need to know what Ryan Giggs is eating.

This was a derby match for the ages. I will tell my children, and hopefully their children, about the day Daddy/Grandpa stood with the many and witnessed one of the most dramatic games of football to be staged on a strip of glorious grass. And I’m sure that Michael Owen looked directly into my eyes as he wheeled away directly in front of me with his arms outstretched. We will always have that moment together. That first pang of young love. Just me and him. What is it about that Number 7 shirt?

fergienev

Like this article? Click here for more at ViewFromTier3 –Rob’s blogzine

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Ben permalink
    September 21, 2009 2:34 pm

    Sums of exactly how I felt..

    I wish I could have seen the Anfield reaction, that would have been priceless!

  2. September 21, 2009 4:24 pm

    I love your writing.
    I was visualizing a shirtless hairy chested Giggs yesterday too but probably in a different manner.
    Match was incredible. I was an ocean away from Old Trafford but in an American pub filled with usually subdued supporters so stereotypical of Washington DC’s unrivaled need to feign pretentiousness even about football.
    But yesterday there was singing. There was swearing. There was jumping up and down for minutes at a time. There was almost a fist fight. There was hugging of complete strangers.
    This is why I wake up at 7 AM on a Sunday morning to pour into a pub with the city’s other 100 odd truly faithful. This is why I love football.

    • September 21, 2009 5:05 pm

      Thanks Katie..You are real true faithful KP, no doubting. Red thro and thro. I bet you dream in Mancunian

  3. September 21, 2009 6:18 pm

    Excellent post Rob, felt as if I was there with all the United fans, but was at home watching live on TV. Infact here I got the match in French commentary, but the 2 commentators were so excited when Owen scored that U would say they were supporting United, while in fact they are neutrals. A match to live in memory for some years.
    PS Sry mate if I stole some of the limelight as I posted before you concerning the result yesterday :s

    • September 21, 2009 7:49 pm

      no need to apologise..i always take a day or so to post after a game. I dont do limelight ;-)

  4. September 22, 2009 7:15 am

    best derby ever yeah :)

    i couldn’t stop jumping all around when owen scored…

  5. September 22, 2009 8:16 am

    Good sh*t there Rob. Your style of writing is very much like Danny Wallace.

    Love it. Keep it up.

    U.. N.. I.. T.. E.. D

    • September 22, 2009 8:51 am

      Thanks Dan. I may write a book and aim it at Danny Wallace’s market! I love his stuff

  6. September 22, 2009 12:03 pm

    finally have the time to read this – brilliant, rob. made me put on a united jersey on, stood up on my table and had my chest out just like eric cantona. luckily, im at home and no one was looking.

    • September 22, 2009 7:26 pm

      wear it with pride YJ! i have a signed Eric shirt that the man signed for my daughter 5 years back. His collars will live with us United fans forever

  7. September 22, 2009 6:01 pm

    Wow well said mate! Might’ve been a little late in the comments but really well said!

    Tear’s ran down my cheek in joy! I could’nt believe it! Me & my dad were like….. unexplainable! After rooney’s poor freekick got cleared- I said Gameover and covered my eye with my hands, I open it, I see the ball with giggs then to OW7N… OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MAGNIFICENT- I COULD’NT BELIEVE THE SCENE- i WISH MY WHOLE LIFE THAT I COULD’VE BEEN AT OLD TRAFFORD FOR THAT MOMMENT

    It was better than the macheda one.

    • September 22, 2009 7:24 pm

      cheers pal. It was an honour to be there..tho it didnt feel like that in the 94th minute. I was going crazy mad cos i thought it was all over..never considered that we would get a fourth. I had a feeling before the game that something special was going to happen, but didnt even consider what did happen!!! Definitely in my top 5 games of all time

  8. September 22, 2009 6:05 pm

    Hats off to u

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  1. Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3: Theatre of Dreams? You’d Better Believe It! Match Web

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