Sunday, April 11, 2010

Having a party when United come second

Whoever you support you look forward to playing Manchester United at home. If it's in the cup, then that's the draw you want. In the league then it's one of the first fixtures you look out for. For Rovers fans it has a certain special spice, as Dan Clough explains here.

Today was great fun. Rovers outfoxed a demoralised United team and prevented the title contenders from going top. It's a shame we are celebrating a 0-0 draw, but such is the gulf in resources now that this is one of the small "victories" we have to savour.

There were lots of positives to take: a Man United eleven is always going to be packed with international superstars, so to see Grella, Givet and Robinson stake their claims for a summer in South Africa was good. And I have to say I'm warming to Allardyce and his tactics. Sure, it's frustrating to play 5 across the middle with Kalinic on his own, but Olsson lurked over Gary Neville and came close to ripping past him effectively a few times before the bumfluffed one hacked him down in the second half. I felt Olsson could have won us the game, and was surprised to see him replaced by Spit the Dog in the last third of the game, but he'd taken a knock.

David Dunn was a menace when he was on for the second half and a couple of his passes were awesome. Pedersen's cowardice and lazy passing riled me today, but he also covered a lot of ground. Hopefully he's off in the summer.

This was a game where solid defending was required. Phil Jones is an absolute revelation at centre half. I loved Sam's words on Radio Rovers after the game - urging him to keep his feet on the ground, warning him about hangers on and women turning their heads to him. He also mentioned the lad's parents and what good people they seemed. You just hope proper blokes like Ryan Nelsen, or Dunny, have taken him under their wing.

And Manchester United? I thought they looked clueless. Berbatov seemed to want to run the show himself. They gave the ball away far more than any top side I've seen this season and so many times were actually beaten to the ball by players who wanted it more. Nothing special at all. To top it all Rio and Van Der Sar had a row, Berbatov had a hissy fit as he fell on his arse again. Hilarious.

Manchester City will rip them apart next week.

This was also one of those games where a big chunk of the value of the season ticket comes off. It would have cost me, Joe, Max and Louis a whopping £84, as it was I just had to get extra briefs for my Dad. Total value of football so far: £521 against a £400 outlay, plus getting a Burnley ticket.

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