Friday, August 13

Feeling Good

I'll be honest. About two months ago, I was pretty worried. The dissenting undercurrent around Old Trafford every other week was being fuelled by an increasing mob of bandwagon-jumpers and those fundamentally foolish green and yellow scarves. We were effectively one fit Wayne Rooney away from not losing to Chelsea and Bayern Munich at home within four days and progressing further in the competitions that really matter, however concluded with merely the Carling Cup. And yes, we'd pre-brought in some unknown Mexican striker, who was at one point linked to going back out on loan, and Fulham's Chris Smalling, who spent the latter half of their Europa League final-making season on the bench, but that sense of longing for a fresh August... it just wasn't there. For the first time in four years, who knew where we headed?
But then something kinda special happened. Said-Mexican striker scored in the World Cup against France in a 2-0 win. And then he scored again, this time against Argentina. Mexico stumbled, but Hernández, or Chicharito, impressed. A week following the World Cup final, United started their pre-season tour of North America by beating Celtic 3-0, a game in which Berbatov and Tom Cleverly, who last year was Watford's player of the year, shined. Chicharito joined up a short while later, only to net in every single one of the friendlies he played, including against Chelsea in the Community Shield. Not since you-know-who in the summer of 2003 has their been this kind of buzz about a new signing. He, too, has a constant sweet smile spread across his face, channelling a confident, positive mood about him.
It's infectious as well. In fact, so much so that Nani and Valencia WILL improve on their decent second halves of last season, Van Der Sar/Scholes/Giggs/Neville WILL continue to defy age, Rafael/Fabio WILL learn how to defend, Rio/Hargreaves/Rooney WILL stay injury-free, Berbatov WILL have a great season... and I could go on and on. But there's a buoyancy about United now that wasn't there at the end of last season, I think - things are looking up.
When Kanchelskis, Ince and Hughes departed in 1995, in came Scholes, Beckham and Neville. And Beckham in 2003, Ronaldo. And Ronaldo in 2008, Chicharito? But really, there's only ever one man to look to, and that's the greatest boss of them all.

Muse 'Feeling Good'