The halfwits who organised that puerile initiative and the morons who forked out money to pay for it should be ashamed of themselves, there’s no two ways about it. Their stunt has done absolutely nothing to dismiss the argument perpetuated by fans of other clubs according to which United fans are a bunch of arrogant, spoilt, brainless idiots.
Luckily, match going reds and anybody with a half functioning brain would have realised the silliness of the idea and that those who organised – much like Tufty and his jolly brigade – do not represent us in any way, shape or form. United’s support has been brilliant this season, even at home, and today was a low point.
Ironically – and perhaps a lot more worryingly as far the club’s future is concerned – the protest only ensured fans rallied behind Moyes, rather than turning on him.
Moyes remains the wrong manager for the club, no questions about that, but it took some guts for him to enter the pitch ahead of the team. It took the focus away from the plane stunt and it ensured he got a rousing reception from the fans, one which he’s done very little to earn, in fact.
Away from aircraft shambles, United were their usual selves. Tentative going forward, distracted at the back and mind-numbingly boring when in possession.
Neither Marouane Fellaini nor Darren Fletcher guarantee enough inspiration in the middle of the park, while Shinji Kagawa, Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney did better up-front.
Kagawa’s cross for Rooney’s equaliser was a timely reminder of what the Japanese can do when played through the middle, but it was also a reminder that his flame only flickers sporadically. Rooney’s flame, instead, keeps burningand his first goals at home since October got United back on track around after Kieran Westwood’s free-kick had put Villa ahead after little more than 15 minutes.
Juan Mata can probably consider today’s game as one of his best performances for United. Winning a penalty and scoring his first goal for United – crucially just after Christian Benteke had missed two glorious chances for Villa – should hopefully prove a confidence boost for a player who’s too often looked like a paltry imitation of the one that dazzled while at Chelsea.
With Bayern in mind, Moyes’ selection was unsurprising, but it’s hard to comprehend how Ashley Young keeps getting into the team, while Rafael’s regression is deeply worrying and Alexander Buttner looked – as he normally does – like a lad who’s found his Manchester United contract in a box of cereals and Adnan’s short cameo was enough to deliver a superb assist to Chicharito for the 4-1.
It’d be foolish to talk about having turned a corner, for United have merely ensured that the end of this harrowing season is now a match closer but a much better effort will be required on Tuesday night.
In the meantime, if you’re among those who organised the plane stunt, stick your banner up your arse, you clueless morons.