Rooney is on fire for Manchester United and the rest don't look to shabby, but can the big fella wade in to the shaky stopper to secure three points for Bolton Wanderers?
Time for a few confessions…
Why does life throw up certain inevitabilities every now and again? I know I’ll smile whenever I hear Brian Blessed’s booming cadences. I know I’ll want to kick the TV in whenever the feckless w*nkers commonly known as Jedward sully my screen. I know that, on days such as this, when I can’t be arsed cleaning the back garden due to it p*ssing down, the dog will go and stand in a day old sh*t and traipse it back into the house. And you can add to that list that I know that Bolton Wanderers will lose when they come up against one of the so-called ‘big boys’.
And yes, yes, yes – before the hardcore jump on me like a TOWIE trollop leaping onto a free Bacardi Breezer, I know that there has been the odd decent result over the years. I remember with fondness Anelka netting the winner against the Mancs to give Megson his first win as manager in 2007 (the proper Mancs that is – not the great pretenders in blue). I remember the few wins against Arsenal in recent years (but let’s be honest – that boast is nowhere near as proud now as it was 3-4 years ago). But, in the main, Bolton usually get whacked by the big boys. And I can’t see this weekend being any different.
Oooh – you can’t do that.
Do what? Well, support two clubs I guess. You see, I like to think I take an objective view when making Bolton predictions. Yes, I’ve seen far more of them over the past 20 years than I care to admit. But I also still have an affinity to Newcastle United (I was born in County Durham and had that drilled into me by my father, despite moving down to Lancashire at the age of 3). As such, I don’t subscribe to the bile-filled bullsh*t that pervades the air down here in the run up to Bolton v Manchester United fixtures. Yes I consider myself to be a Bolton fan (and a Newcastle fan too – let the arguments commence in the comments section below…), but I also like to watch Manchester United too (on TV that is, not at Old Trafford). And why shouldn’t so-called fans of football enjoy watching one of the best football teams on Earth?
Of course I want to see Bolton win but I’m not going to go eye-bulgingly crazy this week and shout from the rooftops that ‘we’re going to smash the fu**ing scum’. Partly because we won’t but primarily because I gain pleasure from football. I want to see my teams (yes – that’s plural) win but I also want to watch others who are pleasing on the eye and provide solid entertainment. Isn’t that also part of the grand plan of football – to be entertained? And so, in taking that objective view, here’s why United will take 3 points on Saturday evening.
Could be close if Bolton are tight and keep things together for the first half hour or so. If that is the case, United will still nick a couple at some point after the break and win 2-0. However, and this scenario is much more likely, we’ll concede early and fold like a pack of cards.
Quite simple really. They're one hell of a team, but he is the guy that elevates them to another plane. He’s their Dave Grohl; their Noel Gallagher, their Lee Latchford-Evans. In short, their catalyst for greatness. His little petulant spell when it looked as though he might join City aside, he is a different prospect to the rest of the team; a genuine force of nature. He has one hell of a scoring record against Bolton, is in peak form and is supported by world class talent within the team. He looks sensational at the moment and, frankly, scares the sh*t out of me right now. Thankfully Gary Cahill remains with us for the time being (and, as such, remains the one true class act in the Bolton back line) but it will need the entire back four (and holding midfielders also) to be at the very peak of their game on Saturday to stop him.
And the rest...
This will be a very short paragraph indeed (as it’s all been said before). Hernandez, Berbatov, Young, Nani, Valencia, Park, Giggs, Cleverely, Evra & Vidic,? As they consistently prove, the Manchester Unitedteam drips with class and there are goals right through the squad. And that is a major concern for a Bolton team who, despite keeping a clean sheet in the season opener at QPR, have looked more dodgy than a Lindsey Lohan breathalyser test in the subsequent games against City and Liverpool.
Is there any hope for Bolton?
There always is a glimmer somewhere. And, whilst I’m reluctant to jump onto the player bashing bandwagon, David De Gea doesn’t look anywhere near confident enough yet. He might have retained his boyish good looks since his time as a member of top pop duo Dollar (Fergie will undoubtedly have him crooning ‘Mirror Mirror’ in the dressing room to get the boys psyched prior to a game) but his decision making skills look shakier than a sh*tting dog at the moment. Hopefully that will continue into Saturday – a typically robust (BUT FAIR, should any southern tabloid journalists be reading…) Kevin Davies display could unsettle him even further. Plus our new loanee from the noisy neighbours, Dedryck Trotter, could play. If so, he should be fired up suitably enough to turn in a cushty display against the arch enemy. In a bizarre parallel universe (yes – I have watched a bit of Fringe, and I’m not referring to avant-garde pornography here) he’ll make Ashley Young look like a right plonker and have him in his pocket for 90 minutes. Or we might start with Gretar Steinsson and get absolutely skinned on the flanks. Which is much more in keeping with the universe most of us reside in.
Could be close if Bolton are tight and keep things together for the first half hour or so. If that is the case, Manchester United will still nick a couple at some point after the break and win 2-0. However, and this scenario is much more likely, we’ll concede early and fold like a pack of cards. I can’t even see us scoring. United to win 4-0. Though that is coming from the realist contingent of the Bolton fan base - I’m sure many others round here will completely disagree with me. Whilst they do, I’m going to ignore their insults and further immerse myself in the build-up to QPR v Newcastle.
Come on you Whites.
Haway the Toon.
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