Manchester United vs Sunderland: Old Trafford-bound with excitement or nerves?

Sixer (in his away strip from a couple of seasons ago) on the right. Sobs, a regular travelling companion, is on the left
Sixer (in his away strip from a couple of seasons ago) on the right. Sobs, a regular travelling companion, is on the left

‘CSB’ won the Salut! Sunderland mug auction hands down and his £30 will go to Water Aid. Pete Sixsmith has sometimes had more water than he’d like at his hillside Shildon residence (Busty Bank to the initiated) but hopes Guy Poyet’s defence will have plugged the leaks evident on Saturday in time for tonight. Talk about contrived links …

Wednesday morning dawned dull
and wet as I arose from my bed in order to take an early morning call from BBC Newcastle. Clad in my red and white striped pyjamas (or PJs as the youngsters call them), wearing my red and white striped dressing gown, I chewed on my red and white porridge, burnt my red and white toast and drank my coffee from a red and white mug.

We are leaving at 1.20 and heading for Bury, a town renowned for black puddings, markets and Wayne Entwistle’s pie shop. For those too young to remember, Wayne was a spiky haired striker signed by Jimmy Adamson from the Shakers (Bury FC not the American religious sect associated with simple furniture and simple hymns) and who once scored a hat trick against Bristol Rovers with a ball so translucently orange on a snow covered Roker Park, that the Rovers keeper went off with snow blindness.

What will the outcome be? Do we have a chance? The answer to the second one is “Yes we do” – but only as long as we do not offer up a repeat of the abysmal first half showing from Saturday. Start like that, and West Ham’s 9-0 defeat will be under pressure and we may even approach the worst ever aggregate score in English football history, a 12-goal aggregate victory for Aldershot over Newport County in the 1945-46 FA Cup.

Team selection is vital and hopefully Horan’s Maxim (any two of Gardner, Cattermole and Larsson in midfield = disaster QED) will not come into play. Hold them for half an hour and catch them on the break and the Old Trafford crowd may well start moaning, putting pressure on managers and players alike.

Stories are circulating in those giants of the press world, the Sunderland Echo and the Stoke Evening Sentinel that Mark Hughes has once again taken leave of his senses and is seriously considering signing Lee Cattermole. May those rumours prove to be correct. Cattermole may well play tonight and do very well. But he crossed the Rubicon with me on Saturday with his nasty, petulant flick at Rodriguez, which earned him a booking. The quicker he goes the better – Liam Bridcutt must be a better bet.

Off now to put on my red and white striped boxer shorts, my red and white socks and paint my beard red and white before getting on a red and white coach and heading for Nirvana or Samsara, two small towns in the Bury/Rochdale conurbation.

As always, we travel more in hope than expectation. Ha’way the Lads!!!!

Catch the Man Utd ‘Who are You?’


Jerry Lawton: 'I'm no gloryseeker'
Jerry Lawton: ‘I’m no gloryseeker’
Salut! Sunderland: Does it ever bother you that a majority of those who’d declare themselves United supporters would struggle to place Manchester on a map?

It never upsets me people all over the world choose to support the greatest club on the planet. I think it is a sign of fine taste, judgement and a love of the game and how it should be played. What does bother me is those fans who, after a few defeats in this transitional season, seem willing to turn on the club, players and new manager so rapidly. They are the supporters I would not miss.

Jake: 'you can do it, Lads'
Jake: ‘you can do it, Lads’
And Guess the Score:

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3 thoughts on “Manchester United vs Sunderland: Old Trafford-bound with excitement or nerves?”

  1. I suspect that David Moyes may be more nervous than Gus Poyet. Logic says that we have little chance, but this is a cup game and we actually don’t have to win – a draw would be enough.
    We have, on occasions, been very difficult to score against. Mannone is playing very well, and our back four are looking increasingly well organised.
    I think the result will rest upon the performance of our midfield. We cannot play as we did in the first half against Southampton. I can’t see Man U being as profligate as the Saints were.
    I have a sneaking feeling that it might be our night – but it is based more on instinct than objectivity.

  2. Here’s hoping it all turns out nice again.

    I recall travelling more in hope than expectation to the FA Cup semi final at Hillsborough in 1973 against the mighty Arsenal . I think we won that one !!

    KTF and all that .

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