OK so Louis van Gaal wasn’t in the middle of a bloody battle in Bosworth field, didn’t have a hunchback and hadn’t he sent his nephews to the Tower (although a few of his defenders might now be signed up for a short stay with the Beefeaters), but he did take one heck of a kicking in Leicestershire and I imagine he was desparate to leave so it’s good enough for me.
Of course I can’t afford to be too smug (and not just because the season is “a marathon not a sprint” blahblah). Of the many texts that I received (a home victory in such style against Man Utd refreshes parts of my address book that other games cannot reach), there was one from John, which simply said, “I hope you are watching this!”
Well actually NO I wasn’t.
We had one opportunity in September when we could visit Dorset – see some lovely friends, get in a short break and get Mr TLF’s car MOT’d (by the mechanical genius that is Merv). “Ah well”, I thought, “A Saints away game on the Saturday…I don’t go to all the away games. And then we’re playing Man Utd on Sunday and well I can always watch it on SKY and I do let football be the centre point of my diary for most of the year so I should be flexible. I can eschew both teams just this once.”
Can I advise you my friends; think carefully before you are flexible. Admittedly flexible did get me a brilliant weekend with great food, far too much drink and weather that meant we were on the beach on Monday BUT it also left me missing one of those games, that if you are there stays with you forever. It’s victories like these that rebalance things (well a bit). They take the previous NINE premier league games where Man Utd beat us, and the previous EIGHT where we only scored once against them and they become a distant and irrelevant memory. And suddenly for one glorious brief period little Lesta City (copyright all patronising commentators) upset the odds and make the headlines not because they have gone bust, sacked another manager or lost by a lot of goals (at least two of these will happen again one day) but because they have come from two goals down to beat Man Utd. And for those Man Utd fans yelling, “It was a dodgy penalty got you back in the game.” Well frankly I expect a bit more from a squad that cost £385.44million to assemble.
These friends by the way. Insult to injury. They don’t like football, in fact they don’t even get it. They live in a remote bit of Dorset. No SKY. I ‘watched’ the game online…but I turned it off at 3-3 because my nerves couldn’t stand it. Turned on again at full time and celebrated with a minor jig of joy…Only Mr TLF got it. Mind you even he might get bored with watching the game over and over again at some point.
…well YES, of course I recorded it.