March 10, 2015

Devils Dive To New Depths

By Phil Van Dyke

Wembley! No other English team boasts a better FA Cup record at this hallowed ground than your lovely Gunners, and that will always be the case! At least as long as the rudderless Red Devils continue resorting to overspending and underplaying, as they clearly did so in today's deliciously captivating game at the Old Trafford.

"One nil to the Arsenal", erupted from the 10,000 joyous travelers, after Nacho, the unlikeliest of Spaniards put one past DeGea's armpit at the 25'. One nil for about four glorious minutes before the Gunners' bane of existence headed in a laser-guided cross from an Argentinian actor, and suddenly we really found ourselves in the throws of a heady match. Mostly the throws and the heady of the Belgian, Fellaini, who has as many elbows as he has incredulous facial expressions at a referee's whistle-stops for excessive hair on the head, or maybe it was for the many 80s-style professional wrestling leg holds on opposing midfielders. Either way, that he only got one booking is mystery for the ages.

Speaking of midfielders, I defy anyone to create a preference list among the many choices available on this squad. Is El Maestro the dominant leader of that pack? What about young-at-24 Coquelin? Or the shadowy Ozil? Can you beat the sublime dribbling the Ox displayed at the top of the box to set up the opener? I haven't even mentioned Alexis' effervescence! So, now Ramsey plays backup? And we haven't seen Arteta in so long you'd think he's gone the way of the vampires. Not dead but not....vital? Just sayin'...when these boys are clicking, they're a tough train to stop (cough-Monaco-cough).

Now let's talk keepers. Maybe he's rusty. Or maybe he's just not good enough. Might be a tough criticism, but Szcz should have positioned himself better against Rooney's header (the defense was not great, either), but there were other shots that he would not have saved if they'd been on target. DeGea, on the other hand, well what a hand it is. Had the keepers been switched, we'd easily have had two or three more goals. DeGea clearly among the top five for me. He's single-handedly keeping MUFC in the UCL hunt this season.

And that was especially underlined by his poor back line gifting their own former forward, Welbz, his first goal at OT in well over a year. The smug satisfaction he must have worn on his face, watching his old club circling the drain, and feeling the love from his new boys, as we rise back to our entitled place among the European and English elite.

COYG! She wore a yellow ribbon!