Getting it over with

Manchester United away. Glad tidings of comfort and joy.

Like finishing off a three day-old Christmas turkey there are some things that have to be done out of obligation rather than enjoyment, and travelling to Old Trafford comes high up the list. There was also a time when we’d have recoiled in horror at the thought of having to play a Boxing Day match at 8pm but the days when inconveniencing supporters made anyone annoyed have long gone. It’s a pain for us and for them but so what? Television’s happy and they’re the only ones who count.

Anyway, we’ll be travelling up the M6 and whatever other motorways you can drive on around Greater Manchester while we have to make do with Coventry Road and the Aston Expressway, en route to another appointment with doom. They’ve finally managed to get rid of a quarter of the Glazers but our owners are still better than theirs. So is our manager and for that matter, so is our squad. No matter what anyone might say, or write – and there will be a lot said and written before, during and after the match – take no notice. Manchester United have had some great players over the years; Jimmy Rimmer, David Platt, Paul McGrath and Ashley Young to name a few, but those days are long gone. They might have cost a lot more and no doubt they get paid more but whoever that have playing will be no match for our world-beaters.

They’ve even lost their most notable feature – Old Trafford used to be the only ground where you got fifteen minutes stoppage time, but everyone plays that long now. After the decades of heartbreaks, near misses and nowhere nears, we’ve started to get some results against them and we’re going to get another one now. There’s nothing to be afraid of here anymore, apart from referees, officials and VAR. The last bit of the turkey is another matter.