There was a lot of hesitancy before writing this piece. Why? Because it will no doubt bring accusations of attempts to excuse Manchester United’s poor performance at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. So it’s worth repeating the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson refused to blame the pre match disruption caused by a collapsed ceiling and burst sewerage pipe which had effluent overflowing into the dressing room for his side’s tepid first half display. United had to incinerate their clothes, wash bags and kit after the pre match shower of sewage in their dressing room left it stinking to high heaven
International qualifiers have got to be played at sometime. We may not like them but they’re a fact of life. They cause disruptions to the Premier and Champions Leagues, force key players to travel to all corners of Europe and beyond which carry the ever present risk of niggling injuries or worse to be picked up. But much as they are an intrusive annoyance under normal circumstances, they are welcome with open arms on this particular occasion.
While 22 year old defender Jonny Evans is on the verge of pledging his future to Manchester United by signing a new, long term contract, goalkeeper Ben Foster has accepted the fact that he will have to leave Old Trafford if he’s going to give himself a chance of reviving his flagging career. And as far as he’s concerned his life goes on with a career at a new club.