22.40 – Arsenal 1-0 Derby. 68 minutes without a goal, listening on the radio, hearing us miss chance after chance, hearing Henry hit the post, hearing their keeper having a stormer, biting my nails, smoking, scratching, trying to do things that have been good luck before – like having a certain webpage open – and then…….ROBERT PIRES. GOAL. Relief that we’ve scored, quickly replaced by a feeling of sheer terror that they would score. My other half told me recently that my hair has started greying a bit, this is why. Henry misses from 3 yards, Henry misses when 1 on 1 with the keeper, every time they have the ball I see their strikers clean thru on goal with Seaman flat on his arse having tripped over Igors Stepanovs. At last the final whistle. Pulse slows from gabba house, to kicking techno.
What a team this is. We won 1-0 against Derby at home on the way to the double, this feels like the same kind of result. Pires has got to be player of the year, and he seems to score important goals for us. £6m for Robert Pires or £9m for Seth Johnson. Can you work out why David O’Leary has problems? The crowd at Highbury sounded very loud tonight, if the team got that kind of support every game, we’d never lose there again. I’d be all for the continental style booing and whistling whenever the other team has the ball. It’s gotta be better than silence eh?
Chuffed with the result. We are top of the league.
14.20 – Still painting. I see Fergie’s gone off on one again. See here for details. Thank goodness we have another 3 years of his harping, moaning, mumbling and blinkered guff to enjoy. There’s no more attractive site in football than seeing a worked up Fergie with 2 whole packets of Hubba Bubba in his gob, chewing with his mouth open for the whole world to see. United are under pressure for the title for the first time in a couple of seasons, and he’s starting his old ‘pyschological’ tricks again. In fairness, it worked beautifully on Kevin Keegan when he was manager of Newcastle – they were 12 points clear at the top, and with Keegan reduced from a bumbling fool, to an incredibly angry bumbling fool live on television, Manchester United took advantage of Newcastle’s implosion and went on to win the league. Don’t think it’s gonna work on the Arsenal though, Alex.
Derby at THOF later on. Henry and Bergkamp to start up front I reckon, and given the form of the two strikers, added to the form on Paddy and Bob, we should be well capable of taking 3 points tonight. United play Spurs tomorrow night. Expect Hoddle’s boys to bottle it as always.