After sealing title number 19, the seemingly distant dream which has finally become a reality, everyone connected to the club is feeling extremely proud of what the manager and his troops have achieved. The league was always my priority this season, knocking those scousers off their perch always remained target number one and anything else I see as a bonus. I still maintain that stance and reiterate that beating Barcelona in the Final would be one massive bonus but I truly do not expect it. If we win, we have beaten the best team in the world and if we lose, we have lost to the best team in the world. It’s a win-win situation.
Winning the league this time round has been about consistency. I am the first to admit we have lacked the “fantasy” of previous United teams, but all the criticism that has been directed at the team has surely been proven wrong. More than any other season, it has been a team effort, with everyone contributing throughout the season rather than relying on one player. Say what you want, blame the poor opposition and title rivals, blame the luck or blame the refs, but Fergie and his Red Army have come up trumps and people should pay their dues. As Giggsy so eloquently put it in response to a reporter’s question over the quality within the team: “We’ve won the Premier League & are in the Final of the Champions League – we’re a rubbish team”.
Interestingly, on the day we won the league:
- 14 May à 14/5 = 14 + 5 = 19
- 19th week of the year
- 19 Points Ahead of Liverpool at the time
It was meant to be:
Here are SOME of The 19 Moments, Matches & Players Which Defined Our Season
The Defining Moments:
- Rooney turns his life around
Yes, we needed him
2. Valencia’s timely return
Like a new signing, the timely return of Antonio has been unbelievable for both himself and the club. No one could have envisioned him performing as well as he has in the amount of time since his return to first team action. Simply stated, he has been nothing short of superb, working hard for the team and popping up with some crucial goals and assists.
Well done and much respect
3. Park and O’Shea
Not an exact moment in the season, but rather an overall appreciation. Let me say what I’ve been saying for a long time - whoever thinks Park & O’Shea shouldn’t be in the team doesn’t know football. These 2 members of the squad in particular have showed their worth, time and time again. They will always have their critics and yes, Sheasy might be a tad slow and Park limited in skill, but boy do they make up for it in many other areas. Their experience, work rates and ability to perform in the big games have played a large factor in our successful season.
Learn the game and appreciate the squad
4. Liverpool 3-2 Berba hat trick & bicycle
Any game against the scousers is big, and this one was going well. Berbatov made it 2 nil with a sublime bicycle kick, by controlling the ball with his one leg and finishing with the other, which went off the bar and in. We then let it slip giving away a reckless penalty from Evans followed by Gerrard who scored a free kick which went through the wall. But Berba popped up to score the winner with a glancing header and claimed his hat trick.
Berbaflop? I think not
5. Man City 2-1 Rooney Bicycle
It was a massive game, with lots of hype surrounding the fixture due to City’s possible title charge by winning the derby. It was an entertaining game which was won by the definite goal of the season, a superb bicycle kick from Rooney. I believe it was the moment which really turned his season around, giving him the confidence to go from strength to strength and find his form, which he did.
The Noisy Neighbours wouldn’t be challenging for the league this season
6. Everton 1-0 Hernandez header
We were struggling. Distin & Jagielka were immense, having the games of their lives. We needed some inspiration. So who better to save the day than the signing of the season? Valencia provided the cross from the right wing and with the help of a slightly deflected cross, the ball looped up high, over the defenders and Chicharito rose highest to bury the ball into the back of the net with a pinpoint the header, giving us the 3 points we desperately needed.
A huge moment in the title race
7. Chelsea 2-1 Chicharito 36 second goal
A game which was ultimately as big as it could get. A league game which had the bearings of a final. Whoever wins could put one hand on the trophy. It was United who started the stronger and after just 36 seconds we were 1-0 up after Park played a great through ball and Chicha duly converted. Vidic put us 2-0 up but they pulled one back in the 2nd half through Lampard. Of course we had to do it the hard way and it was a nervy last few minutes, but we got over the line and finished the job off at Blackburn the following week.
8. Stark contrast between our Home & Away form
This is the only true “downer” of our successful campaign. I wonder where we have gone wrong away from home and why we seem to be 2 different teams when playing at different venues? At home we have dropped just 2 points all season, ruthless in all facets of the game and confident to take on anyone. Yet on our travels we looked completely useless at times, struggling to offer any kind of resistance and lacking the ability to break down opposition defences. I’m not sure how it happened this way but it’s something that needs to improve next season. That said, I’m sure Fergie will figure it out by next season.
This has been a very sensitive issue this season, with many people claiming it as our only weakness in an otherwise solid outfit. I do tend to agree, however at the back end of the season, with all our players fit and in form; it seems to have been a slightly different story. I do believe we need to strengthen and find that match winning midfielder, a box to box attacking player who can complement the team. *Cough* Sniejder/Modric *Cough*. At the moment, our strongest pairing is Giggs and Carrick, who seem destined to start at Wembley. Had it not been for our brilliant defensive unit and the emerging partnership between Rooney & Chicharito, as well as Berba’s goals, our midfield could have been found out a lot more.
Summer Transfer Window.
Over the past year he has completely changed everything about himself and one could call him a truly revolutionized player. His form particularly in the first half of the season, when Rooney was nowhere to be seen, was simply sublime. His confidence, skills and finishing have been on top form and of course his overall team contribution, in terms of both attack and defence, has elevated him and his game to another level. Recently crowned Players Player of the Year at the United Awards evening.
My personal selection for player of the year, Vidic has lead the team by true example and shown what an incredible player he is. A rock in the heart of the defence, he takes no prisoners and protects our goals with everything he has. Without his guidance, power and truly world class defending, we would never be in the position we are in. His presence in the team cannot be understated and his qualities as both a leader and footballer can be admired.
How we all wish he could continue playing, and just imagine if he was only 30 now! He is certainly playing as one in their early 30’s. Everyone in the team just feels a lot more calm and composed when he is between the sticks and I hope Fergie has chosen his replacement wisely. He will most certainly be missed. Edwin, Van Der Sar. Edwin, Edwin Van Der Sar!
What an incredible signing for our club. There are no enough words which can truly express how much I love this kid! His composure in front of goals, his work ethic, his talent, his speed and his general attitude towards his work and the club are just exemplary. Chicha, the Little Pea, will be scoring many more crucial goals for United for many years to come.
Signing of the Season
With 12 titles now under his belt, Ryan Giggs has been tearing not only the opposition apart for years, but the Premier League seems to have become his playground. The veteran is playing the type of football many dream of in their early 20’s. His composure on the ball, the ability to see the pass and even his tackling continues to deliver. Not to mention his pinpoint crosses.
What a pleasantly strong end to the season for Mickey C. I’ve been defending him for ages, sometimes unwarranted, but his return to form when it mattered most is just great to see. His partnership with Giggs in the middle of the park seems to be our best combination and will most likely start in the Champs League Final. His long distance passing range seems to have returned and his ability to protect the back four with crucial interceptions has been vital to the team’s success.
Finally, another one I have been defending since his arrival has decided to show his value to the club. Berbatov was the league’s top scorer with 20 goals (not 21, the dubious goals panel changed one of his goals to an own goal and Tevez recently grabbed a brace against Stoke) and has continued to show the classy attributes for which the fans should love him for. Without a doubt he has showed up this season but unfortunately, the unbelievable form of Rooney & Chicharito over the past few months has limited his starting possibilities, but Berba has not complained or thrown his toys out of his cot like almost every other footballer would, he has remained a true example of a professional, a team players and one who genuinely loves United.
After the most disgraceful year, both on the field and off it, Rooney has finally come to the party when it mattered most. Think back to what he said about the club not being able fulfil his ambitions. Have you ever heard anything more fucking laughable than that?! It’s ironic to think that it was he who scored the penalty which gave us league title #19. With Barcelona currently waiting for us in the Champs League Final, one must think how he could have been thinking such ludicrous thoughts and he obviously didn’t have a clue about what he was talking about. I still haven’t quite forgiven him, but he is on the road to salvation. A quite brilliant return to form over the past 3 months he endeared him back into the United Faithful and we really have needed him to step up and find some form. I do hope he continues scoring goals and winning us games for many years to come.
What?! Fucking What?! What?!
18. The Da Silva’s
They will both receive a winner’s medal which genuinely warms my heart. The twins have both shown their qualities, which are very similar. Both have pace, attacking ability and a hunger to succeed, as well as that slightly reckless characteristic to dive in – but Fergie will shape that over the years to come. First it was Rafael, again, solidifying his spot at RB with a number of brilliant performances against some strong opposition. And more recently, it has been Fabio’s turn in the limelight, getting the nod ahead of his brother for a few big games. Fabio passed 10 appearances and I’m delighted for him! They are our future fullbacks and we should be extremely excited about it!
Viva Da Silvas
Everyone thought it would take awhile for him to get settled, that United lacked depth at the back and if Rio got injured we would struggle. Well, I can categorically state that the above words we fully proved to be incorrect and this youngster showed his worth in some of the toughest of games at a time when the team really needed him. One for the future, Smalling models his game on Rio’s and is obviously learning from him every day. Encouraging signs!
2nd best signing of the season
Lastly, and certainly not least, a person who doesn’t fit into the list because he wrote the damn thing!
Take a bow:
Sir Alex Ferguson.
The man who has made all of this possible, the Generalissimo of the club – Fergie is the heart and soul of the club. There will never be enough words to accurately justify just how much he has done for the club and the impact he has made on our history. I doubt there will ever be a manager able to top his time spent at one club and the achievements which have come with it. His passion and commitment to the cause is the reason the players have accomplished what they have and he is the source of their motivation. This is his house and hopefully will be for a long time yet.
I dub this Manchester United team – “The Consistent Grinders”