There’s a dangerous tendency amongst football fans – of every club, to put the cart before the horse and the Manchester United ones are no different. If it’s been heard once it’s been heard a thousand times. “The FA Cup Semi Final derby on Saturday is the Final with the winner certain to lift the Cup at the end of May” REALLY? Is that not being a little presumptuous? Cup Finals have been riddled with underdogs coming out on top for over a century. Remember Sunderland beating Leeds United, Wimbledon doing the same against Liverpool and indeed, Southampton denying Manchester United? Every one of those winners were complete outsiders before causing their boilovers.
This is a confession from an unashamed Eric Cantona tragic. There must have been millions of words written about the man known as ‘Dieu’ and given half a chance I would have read every single one of them. I simply cannot get enough of the great Manchester United legend. Some of the people reading this may think otherwise but I doubt if there are too many United fans who would. When Four Four Two magazine recently published this piece by Andy Mitten therefore, there was never any question that it had to be shared. My apologies to anyone who may have read it before. If not, you can be guaranteed to enjoy it.
If previous meetings between Manchester United and West Ham are any indication, there should be plenty of goals put away on Saturday. The two clubs have often turned on the entertainment with scorelines of 5-3 at Upton Park and 6-0 at Old Trafford but the 7-1 on the first April Fools day of the ‘noughties’ stands out as the biggest defeat the Hammers ever suffered at the hands of United. One of the highlights was Paul Scholes’ first hat trick for the club but a young Rio Ferdinand lining up in the West Ham defence must have wondered what hit him. Perhaps the biggest sympathy must go to Hammers goalkeeper Craig Forrest who was on the receiving end of the heaviest Premiership defeat in history when Ipswich went down 9-0 to United five years earlier.