Manchester United 2 – 0 Arsenal
1 – 0 Rooney (54)
2 – 0 Park (78)
A minor setback in the race for fourth place is how this result should be viewed, the defeat leaving them trailing the Tiny Tots by five points but still with a game in hand, Tottenham to visit Highbury and an impending visit to White Hart Lane by today’s hosts. So all is not lost in the attempt to secure qualification via domestic competition. It was a game where I expected at best that the team would take a point from based on recent performances but they never quite got their act together as they have been doing in the Champions League.
The Second Half was less than ten minutes old when Rooney struck, controlling Silvestre’s cross on the edge of the area before shooting past Lehmann. Before Park sealed the win, Van Persie (again) and Adebayour both went close but a journey back home, still in sixth place and not closing the gap beckoned. Consolations from today? It was one of the better performances that we have put in at Old Trafford and the defence did OK, which may seem an odd thing to say given we conceded two goals. As George Graham pointed out this morning, the defenders are all young enough to grow as a unit together and could even rival his back four of Adams, Bould, Dixon and Winterburn given sufficient time.
Portsmouth on Wednesday and a possible return for Campbell in what is normally a hard fought fixture. This is exactly the sort of match that the team have lost in the early part of this season so is a good way to measure progress, domestically at least. For United’s part, these three point keep alive their exceptionally faint hopes of catching Chelsea, who whilst down to ten men, tore West Ham apart 4 – 1 at lunchtime today.
Guus Hiddink appears to have thrown his toys out of his pram and has completely ruled himself out of becoming the next Head Coach of England, apparently insulted that the FA wanted to have an informal “chat” as a replacement for a first interview. Now whilst Hiddink has managed the Dutch National Team (unsuccessfully as it happens, remember their performance at Euro 96? I know they lost a semi final on penalties in 1998 but they did not win it) and been at Real Madrid for one year (again a failure), he has been relatively successful elsewhere – PSV, South Korea and Australia. Note those three. One Dutch club side and two International Footballing minnows. Hardly surprising then that one of the top five football jobs was not handed to him on a plate – yes, I am English and biased but let’s face it this job is probably only outshone by Brazil and on a par with Argentina, Italy and Germany. No club job could ever compare with these. Even Chief Executives at top notch industrial conglomerates have to go through a selection process before being appointed so what makes Guus different? Nothing that’s what, except for a rampant ego and complete arrogance. Unless of course, he had no intention of taking the job and was merely angling for an improved salary from his next employers, believed to be the Russian Football Federation.
Todays Tunes are two tunes taken from the Milano Mods Music Club Vol 1 – check their website out at http://www.milanomods.itgo.com/index.html – which was a collection of MP3’s made in 1992. My thanks to Flavio, aka Cpt. Stax, who can be found at Mod Radio UK and the Captain’s Blog