Opportunity knocks for Eddie Howe and Newcastle United
Eddie Howe and his Newcastle United players have the opportunity to turn Old Trafford into the ‘Theatre of Screams’ and not ‘Dreams’, against Erik ten Hag’s hapless Manchester United team tonight.
Notice that I said hapless and not hopeless, although I am thoroughly enjoying watching their rapid decline, and the subsequent reactions of their self-entitled fanbase.
Manchester United haven’t always been the bees knees that most of their support likes to think they are.
I am old enough to remember Old Trafford’s former darling, Denis Law, backheeling them down into the Second Division in the Manchester derby in 1974.
After winning the European Cup in 1968, Manchester United had been in steady decline for years.
Law, Charlton and Best had all been shifted on and it was the predatory Denis that ended up having the last laugh.
Naturally Man Utd’s glory hunting supporters didn’t take relegation well at all.
These were the days of football hooliganism on an industrial scale and the Salford Reds supporters created mayhem up and down the country.
Some of the worst football violence ever televised, occurred at Notts County’s Meadow Lane, when innocent home fans and the police were assaulted inside the stadium as Manchester United fans rioted.
Aye, I bet a lot of them cannot (or don’t want to) remember the 1974/75 season.
Tommy Docherty’s youthful new team stormed to promotion as Champions and the Man Utd supporters anticipated the dawning of a new glorious era.
Bob Paisley’s Liverpool had other ideas and the Scouse Reds would go on to dominate English and European football.
That is not to say that Man Utd didn’t have any success.
There were FA Cup wins in 1977, 1983 and 1985, but they weren’t enough to keep their fanbase happy.
Alex Ferguson was recruited from Aberdeen to replace Ron Atkinson in 1986 and the rest is history shall we say.
Ferguson was detested by the bulk of the Reds’ fans and was one game from the sack in each of the ties that led up to them winning the FA Cup in 1990 (indeed the atmosphere in the Leazes End, created by the Man Utd supporters as they beat Newcastle 3-2 in the 5th Round, was toxic).
After luckily overcoming Steve Coppell’s Crystal Palace in a replayed final, Fergie was given a stay of execution, and managed to turn things around.
Moving up to the present day and the glory hunters aren’t happy again, tonight they will be up against NUFC, coming off another home derby pasting by Manchester City.
I know that we have injury problems but wouldn’t it be great to exact a little more revenge for our Carabao Cup heartache only eight months ago?
Erik ten Hag’s job at Old Trafford is now under immense threat.
He has blew absolute fortunes and yet his team are mediocre.
I didn’t like the way he behaved earlier in the year leading up to the Wembley final, surly and arrogant, I would love it if it’s Newcastle United who end his time at Man Utd with a win tonight.
Whatever team Eddie decides to put out this evening, I am confident that we will still be good enough to do the business.
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