I don't have a television. So for getting a glimpse [yep, sometimes literally due to power cuts, Mother Nature's mood, etc. as mentioned in an earlier post] of the Red Devils in action I make a trip east from my present accommodations to a friend's place. A round trip of about a hundred miles when work permits but this weekend, it did not. And it seems I won't regret not being able to make that trip. Making a return journey when the team don't win is quite a bummer though I must admit coming away with a point from the Britannia Stadium is not the worst of results. But United not winning leaves an aftertaste that is often hard to swallow. I guess United fans are a pampered bunch especially with the sort of start we have had to the season [very unbecoming(?) of a Premier League United side who are traditionally slow starters] not to mention the achievements of the Ferguson era.
From what I've read of the match reports, it was a disjointed performance from the champions due to the injuries suffered by the players who were key to this season's flying start. Rooney was a big miss and Vidic towering presence was sorely missed against an aerially adept attack like Stoke's. The Little Pea's early departure from the action was a further blow as his replacement, Michael Owen, though a poacher like the Mexican, was not going to trouble the Stoke defenders with his lack of pace.
But there were positives that could hardly be missed. Nani is making great strides towards his goal of becoming the best in the world. I've always liked him, and yes, I get frustrated with him like every other United fan. But that I think is because we, the fans, know that he has much more to offer as a player and it is very pleasing to see that he has slowly begun to add consistency to his displays. Jones is turning into everyone's favorite player. And it seems de Gea did a lot towards changing some early notions about his goalkeeping abilities. I think, and hope, that he will prove his doubters wrong come the end of the season.
So, level on points again with the blue-fourth of Manchester. That Manchester Derby on the 18th of next month keeps getting bigger and bigger with each passing week, doesn't it? But next up is FC Basel at home in the Champions League and then the first of the new boys, Swansea I think, to come visit us. Can we rediscover our start of the season verve? I certainly hope so.