In life, I like to give the benefit of the doubt. I often root for the underdogs, in a romantic hope that the less fortunate, or kids down on their luck, turn everything around and prove the naysayers wrong. I reminisce about poignant historical moments where high spirits overcame adversity and those who believed are triumphantly exonerated. This is why I’m not quite at the point of getting out the poster paint and bed sheet, and daubing my “Ta-ra Louis” masterpiece, which if not hung in the National Football Museum, would surely end up in the Tate.
I am starting to get frustrated though. Difficult as it may be, let us cast our minds back to Saturday’s defeat at Swansea. Before JonJo BillyBob Shelvey speculatively put his boot through the ball where it then proceeded to ricochet off Gomis’ unsuspecting head and past De Gea’s post, leaving him aghast, United were in complete control. We’d gone ahead thanks to Ander Herrera and then Swansea went up the other end and scored immediately in the first half, which was not ideal truth be told. However, after the whistle had blown for the second half, it looked like only one team was going to to take all the points. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and I was gutted when that bald, Fergie-insulting prick cartwheeled away to the corner to celebrate. We’d dominated possession and had not done a thing with it. Our build up play was slow, unadventurous and more often than not ended up in Fabianski’s hands. We then continued to do the exact same thing post JimBob Shelvey’s strike, except knock it up to the big man a bit more.
When I was a bit younger, results really affected me. I used to be the most positive and joyous soul after a victory, but after a defeat? I was a fucking nightmare to be around, something my girlfriend will attest to. I would be in an incredibly vile mood, where my irritability would be set off if you so much as tried to talk to me. I would then spend the rest of the evening in a sulk – I effectively reverted back to being a toddler not getting what I wanted. These days I’ve mellowed a bit. I’ll be downhearted and frustrated but it’ll pass relatively quickly and life resumes; no tantrums, no drama. After the Swansea match, however, remnants of the old me started to reappear. Immediately after the game, I was pissed off and shouty. Not the most eloquent adjectives perhaps, but ones that accurately describe my actions and emotion post-game. My poor girlfriend. She still doesn’t get why this means so much to me that I would kick a beanbag footstool across the room in anger. Fucking Shelvey.
What is Di Maria even doing anymore? He’s started to look a bit like a £56 million Valencia – a one trick pony if you will. He beats you with pace only to run into the middle of the park and lose possession to the central defensive pairing. Either that or running down the wing and crossing into the goalkeepers reach. Van Persie is another player who is frustrating the hell out of me at the moment, and I was genuinely dumbfounded that he stayed on for 90 minutes with that performance. Why is Mata not playing? I get that Fellaini has had a good couple of games against more physical teams, but Swansea try and play football. So knowing that, don’t we need some one at the point of midfield diamond who can play an incisive pass to one of our strikers? Rather than just hit the big man with a ball in the vague hope that when he (delete where appropriate) heads/afros/chests/knees/elbows-the-defender down, it falls into the path of Rooney or Van Persie.
This, my friends, is what led me to become a bit of a wanker post-match. Unlike the old days though, I was able to shake it off after 5 minutes when I realised no one had died and we were (if only by a thread) still in the top four.
I am frustrated – I think that comes across in my writing. I’m not calling for LVG’s head, but I do expect better decision-making from a man who has won so much. It was about time we lost in all honesty; the football this season, as Paul Scholes quite rightly pointed out, has been ugly and not enjoyable to watch. Something has to change.