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Ugh, that was painful. Matthew McGregor is here to help you relive some of that pain, through the prism of his prawn sandwiches....
Random Star Performer
It would be embarrassing for them, and for me, to single out a player who, relatively speaking, performed like a star in this game. There were some nice passes from Buendia, a few decent saves from Krul, and the superb strike from Cantwell that deserved a goal. But overall every player on the park was that fine margin slower than their opposite number, took more touches, and allowed themselves to be muscled off the ball. It was not a good day at the office. There’s been a lot of chat about Norwich losing out narrowly in a lot of games, and that’s been correct - but today wasn’t one of those games. After a bright opening ten minutes, Man Utd decided to play too and we weren’t in the game after that. If I have to single anyone out, it’ll be Tettey for his work rate, tackles and all round play. But I still wouldn’t call it a star performance.
Moment of the Match
Judging by how things went in the second half it could have been merely a consolation goal but De Gea ’s save from Todd Cantwell’s excellent strike, after a sweeping movement up the field, felt like a big moment. You don’t get many chances against teams like this and it felt big when we didn’t convert it. Maybe he should tried the ol’ toe poke?
I found myself on the opposite side of the stadium to the Norwich fans today, sitting in the imaginatively named “Manchester Suite” corporate seats. The atmosphere there was tepid, although the food was delicious. I honestly thought Man Utd’s first goal had been ruled out when the celebration was so muted and ended so fast. The rest of the stadium was much better. There was a cracking turnout from the Norwich fans and the noise was decent. I couldn’t hear it but I’m told that the Adam Idah chant is good. “Na na na na. Na na na na. Heyyyyy. Adam Idah. YOOF.”
What I was surprised by was the Stretford End. I was ready to laugh and point at an Arsenal-like embarrassment of silence. What we actually got was a decent section of that stand, around two full blocks, standing and singing almost nonstop. It wasn’t the loudest I’ve heard at an away game by any stretch but they kept it up throughout the game in a way you don’t see that often. The anti-Glazer songs were loud and sustained, and good to hear, both because modern football is rubbish and as a good reminder to the anti-Delia crew that you should be careful what wish for.
I love this team so much that despite being bottom of the league I’m enjoying this season. I’m enjoying it more than seasons when we’ve stayed up. I believe in this team and their manager, and I like the players. So it pains me to say this but they were, collectively, arseholes yesterday. The second and third goals were properly embarrassing for how easy they allowed Man U to take them, and the dejected ambling back to the restart after the goal meant you just knew a third would come imminently. At that point it felt like only shipping three or four would be a blessed relief. This team has played with such pride all season but it was missing for stretches of this game. We gotta get that back or this season will lose the only thing making it worthwhile.
What’s left to say that hasn’t been? He’s a great manager with incredibly limited options. He had to try to Idah, but it just didn’t work. He had to hope that every one of the players on the field played out of their skins, and they didn’t quite manage it. He tried shuffling things around with some decent subs, but it was too late. Really felt for him today. It was interesting to see a 4-6-0 formation for the final twenty minutes tho.
It wasn’t a good day at the office for the boys but it was a good day out. I’ve never made to the theatre of dreams™️ before so that was nice. Ultimately the only enjoyable fare I got was the cracking meal in the corporate suite because it was woeful stuff on the field.
I’m not one of those who wants the club to abandon The Plan and break the bank but we obviously need reinforcements before the end of the window, even if just to avoid a humiliating end to the season.
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