Oxymorons on a Saturday, lovely. It’s relevant though, because Sir Alex doesn’t want United’s blip to turn into a slump. Well, I have two things to say on that point.
The first is that you can’t really call United’s current run of form a blip or slump, bearing in mind the first team players they currently have and have had missing. Frankly, it’s been incredible what they’ve achieved with a seemingly below par, part ageing, not exactly awe-inspiring squad. They’ve often missed Vidic or Ferdinand, not forgetting Park, with Nani added to that list thanks to Carragher, and Valencia out since September. Calling the current situation a blip or slump is to forget how well they did to go so many games unbeaten, to progress in the FA Cup and to deliver in the Champions League up to this point. Fair play to them.
The second thing I have to say is…well, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for me if that form departed them now. With the FA Cup tie at Old Trafford to be played this evening, and with United having a ‘tougher’ run in than Arsenal, a loss of the form they’ve had thus far wouldn’t exactly make me grumpy. Sure, I’d rather Arsenal beat a full strength United squad in this game and in the final Premier League standings, but then I’d also rather match officials show some bloody common sense (*cough*). Because if an imbecile in a mankini gets on to the pitch and decides to act as a prat during a football game, the joke wears thin after a little bit and he deserves to be dumped to the floor. And whoever does it should be the toast of all the non-imbeciles. Although, I am implying that match officials generally aren’t and after this week it’s hard to support that view.
Anyway, my point is this: With the previous seasons of Arsenal falling away due to injury and misfortune, it’s hardly unfair for that to happen to United and for that to benefit us. I’m not saying it should go that way, but you can only play the players you have. And when those players aren’t exactly delivering, then it’s only right your rivals take advantage of that situation. Needless to say, I’m not exactly pessimistic about the Arsenal right now. Beaten and out of two competitions respectively, we’ve a firm footing in two others. And with the international break coming up, we could go into it with our heads held high.
Unlike UEFA, which really wants to take a long hard look at itself in the wake of an atrocious decision that ruined the end of an intriguing contest, and the unbelievable public support of it afterwards.