There are many ways to win a football match – the classy, dominant stroll, the ground-out victory, the stalemate decided by a moment of magic, the comeback – but none will ever beat United’s win at the Emirates on Saturday for sheer hilarity value.
After a much maligned international break, United’s loan stars returned to field (selectively) as league football made its return. Emphasis is on the word selectively, as only three players from a possible eight managed any sort of playing time this weekend.
If one game could summarise our season and the state of the club in general at this point in time, Saturday’s victory over Arsenal at the Emirates is the one. There was the unsure start, with players missing from the field due to injury and missing on the field due to a trembling lack of confidence, with the team being kept in the game due to a fabulous goalkeeping display; the emergent middle, with players showing some grit, a bit of confidence on the ball and a general sense of defiance; and the swashbuckling ending, with players such as Wayne Rooney and Angel Di Maria showing the promise of what van Gaal’s United can become. Each 30 minute period of this game could easily represent Charles Dickens’ three ghosts of Christmas; our past, present and future all rolled into one game. So without further ado, here are my three stars and three turkeys (too soon?).