This Saturday evening sees another trial by TV as we visit Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United.

The red half of Mancunia have had a comparatively tough time of it in recent years. It was always going to be a tough ask following Sir Alex. He probably didn’t help things by hanging on a few years too long. I know he won the Premiership in his final season, but they definitely looked a team on the decline.

That the bug eyed Agent Moyes immediately followed him really didn’t help things. Van Gaal was a complete massive nappa-ed mentalist and unfortunately for them they’ve now got Mourinho, whose latter day persona is more that of a haunted bunker mentality conspiracy theorist than the debonair cheeky chappie who took English football by storm in 2004.

Add to that their former pauper neighbours are now one of the biggest teams in the world and the Red Devils have spent more money than God whilst going significantly backwards….. one could almost feel a bit sorry for them.

Aye, right.

If this was the back end of last season, I’d now be giving it large about our chances, with half an eye on an upset. The Newcastle United of February – May ‘18 were however a very different proposition to our current vintage.

The ultra avaricious behaviour of our owner put us behind the 8 ball before we kicked a ball in apathy. Current mid to top end Championship teams have better strikers and Rafa looks increasingly pensive.

I think he could’ve done a few things better, but to be honest if you take a step back and look at the overall picture, all his moves have the feel of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I can’t believe he’s still here, putting up with such a blatant mugging off by these tawdry folk.

I’m there this weekend. A good Man United supporting pal of mine scored for a few corporates and invited me down. Therefore, whilst most of you heading to the NW will be surrounded by the hate filled stares of Salford charva types and weirdos from the Home Counties, I’ll be half cut amongst the Cheshire cod glitterati and some slightly richer tossers from similar Southern Satellite Town yawn holes.
Unless by some miracle the Jos batters home a 93rd minute winner with limbs going all over the shop, I think I may have got the better end of that particular deal.

Prediction

There’s a NE journo fella I follow on Twitter who makes music playlists depending on where he’s going to report on a game. If he’s off to Chelsea it’ll be all Charlatans, the Chemical Brothers and Chase & Status. Barnsley, and it’s the likes of Bowie, the Buzzcocks & Blondie. You get the drift. I’m a little bit nerdy, so like this sort of malarkey.

I’m now sick of writing match previews droning on how and why we’ll get turned over. Instead, I’m going to develop his theme but in true X Factor style, make it my own.

Therefore, given my padded seat and to help you with a clue as to how I think we’ll fare, I shall mostly be listening to albums like ‘Dark Days & Canapés’ by the wonderful Ghostpoet. And tunes like ‘F.E.A.R.’ by mint Mancunian, Ian Brown.

Fair to say, I’m none too hopeful.

Yours, Prawn sandwich-edly

Nick Clark