Following the disappointment two days earlier inside a packed Wembley Stadium, Monday 30th was a cause for celebration back home on the streets of Manchester. Despite the typical Manchester rain, Manchester United fans braved the elements in their thousands to witness the first Manchester United open bus tour since the illustrious treble winning season in 1999. (More …)
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‘Right to Reserve’ is a new feature on The Faithful from Darren Goodson. The idea came from Darren’s love of both photography and Manchester United and will therefore offer a unique insight from the lens and thoughts of a local-based Man Utd fan and amateur photographer following the Youth and Reserve teams.
Unusually, this week, the reserves played the game at Old Trafford having played the majority of their fixtures at Moss Lane, the home of Altrincham AFC.
In contrast with attending a first team game at Old Trafford you immediately notice the immense size of the stadium, displaying as many unoccupied seats as a crucial Eastlands fixture against Spurs.
Another difference to watching first team action is how close you feel to the action, not just physically close as you occupy the front few rows of the stadium, but also the way that you can hear the players and staff barking orders at each other, you hear every kick and head of the ball, every sliding tackle.
You often see senior players starting for the Reserves, those that are on the road to recovery or included to give some experience and direction to the rest of the team. This weeks game against Blackburn included Rafael de Silva and Darren Fletcher who’s waif appearance gave the fans a clear insight into just how bad a virus he has been suffering with of late. I would be surprised if Fletch makes a sufficient recovery to be seriously considered a starting place in the Champions League Final in just under 15 days time.
It’s weird how the same players we worship on a Saturday afternoon during the throes of a frenetic Premiership clash appear a lot less like untouchable superstars and much more like human beings whilst in the reserves.
The great thing about getting to a reserves fixture is to see what the next crop of players are like and there is a real buzz around the few hundred-strong crowd as they discuss who may make the step up into the first team.
Monday night saw a disappointing end to a great season for the Manchester United reserves as they were beaten 2-1 thanks to a fantastic strike against the run of play and second goal before half-time from former Barcelona striker Rubén Rochina. A penalty from Petrucci half way through the second half wasnt enough to prevent Manchester United suffering an exceptionally rare defeat at the most crucial point of the season.
The full set of photographs can be viewed here at Darren’s Flickr site.
There have been countless discussions, tweets and blogs written over the “disgusting” way Wayne Rooney held Manchester United to ransom earlier this season, myself included.
I want to call time on the bitterness and hatred that still pollutes Old Trafford and our fan base and ask us to forgive and forget Wayne Rooney.
Fans like myself who attend Old Trafford week in, week out, witness first hand the levels of commitment Rooney is now showing to Manchester United. On the pitch, where it matters. Yes, immediately after the threat to leave and subsequent signing of a new bumper contract, his performances by last seasons standards were poor, however, slowly but surely, Rooney has started to find form and improve game on game. He might not be scoring with the regularity to match his goal tally of the last campaign, but for me, he is playing a much bigger role in the team. (More …)
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Leading up to the FA Cup 5th round fixture between Manchester United and Crawley Town at Old Trafford, I was chatting to my father-in-law, a 72-year-old lifelong Manchester United fan, about the FA Cup and previous encounters with non-league opposition.
He recounted his first ever trip to an FA Cup game at Old Trafford, aged 13. On January 31st 1953, against non-league opposition, Walthamstow Avenue FC in the 4th round of the competition. (More …)
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Following the announcement that Gary Neville will retire from football with immediate effect, Sarah had asked if I would write a piece for The Faithful. Not only is it an absolute pleasure to be asked to join the great writers on this fantastic site, but also to be given the opportunity to write my first official piece on one of Manchester United’s most passionate and long-standing servants, someone who bleeds Manchester United to the core. It is however, unfortunate to be doing this as we say farewell to a member of our small elite group of incredibly loyal players.