First game in the new year and we commenced it with where we left off in 2011, with a defeat but the defeat this time, our third in the league already this season was a resounding one. The defeat was as resounding and as one-sided as the trashing we got in St. James’ Park in 1996. The score-line reflected it to an extent. There was much talk pre-game about Manchester United responding from the disappointing defeat we suffered at home in our last fixture of 2011 at the hands of Blackburn Rovers and coming out fighting like wounded tigers but instead, we responded meekly like tame cats.
In my post-match review cum pre-match preview in the aftermath of the 5-0 trashing we handed out to Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day, I had warned that the greatest danger Manchester United faced now were from themselves and of being over-confident. I had warned about the over-confidence coming from the team selection of Sir Alex Ferguson and true to cue, United were undone on Sir Alex’s 70th birthday at home at Old Trafford against strugglers, Blackburn Rovers. That is now our third home loss in the season in all competitions. Old Trafford has lost a bit of its invincibility; it isn’t much of a fortress anymore. It might be premature of me to suggest that but if FC Basel and Benfica can come to Old Trafford and play without fear and leave with a point in the Champions League, Manchester City can put 6 past us at home and Crystal Palace can knock us out at home in the Carling Cup, I might just have a point when I say that this season Old Trafford is not much of a fortress anymore.
It must be admitted that bias may be a factor in my thinking, or I’m simply dumb enough to be missing something but I want to know why something as simple as the transfer of Blackburn Rovers defender Phil Jones to Manchester United has become such a drama? The Rovers owners are now reported to be considering asking “the Premier League how private and confidential contractual details were obtained by the league champions” Are they stupid or simply being naive?