Sunday 6 October 2019 4.30 pm
Live on some Ashley Apologist TV station

Jesus……. Where to begin?

I’ll start with our visitors. That’s a somewhat easier task.

These are (relatively) troubled times at Old Trafford. The bully boys for generations, in their own city and far beyond, have become the bullied. The very mention of the club used to spark fear and apprehension in all who played them, but that is beginning to become a distant memory.

Having turned things around with spectacular effect, the club’s board made the ‘hair trigger’ decision to appoint caretaker manager, Solskjaer on a full time basis. It was a ‘head scratcher’ at the time, as it was during the latter part of last season. Surely, waiting until the Summer would have been the sensible option? It certainly hasn’t gone well, anyway. Their results (and performances) have generally been underwhelming and the natives are restless.

The main target of the fan’s ire is aimed at the club’s American owners, the Glazer family. If they fancy a swap, mind – we’d be up for a chat. If they want some real, unadulterated misery they should try a decade plus of the soulless prick we’ve had to suffer. I do understand though, that as clubs we’ve traditionally dined at very different eateries, and I guess as we wallow in our own self harming demise in a scabby McDonald’s on some bleak and remote ‘A’ road, they are used to swanky Michelin starred establishments. The fact that their despised rivals, Liverpool and Manchester City are now getting all the best tables is rubbing artisan Himalayan salt into their collective wounds.

Moving quickly on from the culinary metaphors, despite recent doom and gloom the Mancs still possess a few decent players. For all their big money buys, a potentially less exciting addition, in Daniel James from Swansea City has looked very encouraging. Wan-Bissaka, a defender from Crystal Palace looks a thoroughbred in the making and

Maguire from our most recent conquerors, 
Leicester, whilst being ridiculously overpriced is a decent enough common-or-garden stopper.

They of course still (despite the odd blooper) have a world class keeper in De Gea and can call on the attacking services of Mark ‘Rashy’ Rashford and Anthony Martial. Ok, it’s all a world away from having to face the likes of

Ronaldo, Cantona and Scholes, but you’d imagine they’ll have more than enough to turn our lot over.

Unfortunately, as there are two teams to discuss, I must now turn my attention to the Mighty Magpies. This season took a serious turn for the worse last Sunday in the East Midlands. It was a result and performance many of us had felt coming. Within just a couple of months, the previous manager’s excellent work appears to have been completely unravelled by his serial failure of a successor. Some going.

We look ‘all at sea.’ Whatever Mr Bruce is attempting to achieve, from both a tactical and motivational aspect, it clearly isn’t working. The players look listless and uncomfortable and of course, decisions like not pursuing the Premiership, battle hardened Rondón in favour of a £40M vainglorious punt on an untried Brazilian are looking ever more bizarre, as the weeks pass by.

If you take the amazing result at Tottenham out of the mix, the rest just reek of a straightforward relegation. Unless something changes very soon, it’s absolutely in the post. With Bruce at the helm and the current squad at his disposal, it’s difficult to see a way out.

Is there anything positive to cling on to?

Well, I guess there’s the possibility of professional pride coming into play. The Newcastle playing staff have just been totally humiliated and savagely criticised from all sides. This may spark a reaction. You’d also like to think that Saint-Maximin and AC will get some more game time this Sunday. They add quality and will at the very least, give it a go. But, to be honest, after that I’m struggling to come up with much else. I can’t even look to a fully fit Phil Jones for a calamitous crumb of comfort.

Prediction:

I do think we’ll have more of a bash, which wouldn’t be difficult after the King Power capitulation. However, our visitors have more quality and I see a regulation 2-0 win for them on the cards.

Right enough of this sombre stuff. I’m off to pop a Prozac and read something from my favourite ‘fantasy’ genre. “Nurse, can you please pass me Mr Kenyon’s glossy brochure…..?”

Until the next time…..

Nick Clark

@Clark5Nick