One Down, Two to GO
It’s one down, two to go. The league is in the bag and nobody cares anymore. The question now is can Manchester United win the double and then the treble? You know I don’t mean to belittle the league. It’s the best in the world right now and an awesome achievement. But the possibility of history being made has progressed as far as two games to go. It still looks impossible but anyone can win two games, right? Let’s get to Wembley then.
There’s tons of minuets surrounding this game. Newcastle keeper Shay Givens may leave the club after losing his place and the chance to appear in the showpiece. Relax Shay, the bench at Wembley is not a bad view and anything can happen with goalkeepers. Of course as one door shuts, another one opens and Steve Harper gets an opportunity that might have looked remote a few short months ago.
United are not just a bought product. Hired hands will get you so far. But the biggest single element in the secret to the current success squad emanates from the home grown passion which players like Beckham exhibit. Gary Neville, Philip Neville, Paul Scholes, and Nicky Butt all grew up within the shadows of Old Traffords stands and watched poor (by their standards) United teams floundering (by their standards) for years pre Alex Ferguson. These guys supported United all their lives and they don’t just want to win at soccer. They want to win with Manchester United. And that is “the next level” that many hired guns have huge difficulty reaching. The mighty dollar, (read Pound Sterling or any other currency) does not and cannot buy this.
The hero in a one-off cup final can be anyone, of course. Lots of votes would be cast for Dwight Yorke or Alan Shearer. Somewhat less will suggest Andy Cole or Silvio Maric. Perhaps another Giggsy special, or Ole Gunner Solskjaer off the bench warmed up by Shay Given. Remember Solskjaer has potted more goals this year than either Arsenal’s Dennis Bergkamp or Chelsea’s Gianfranco Zola. Not too shabby for a “sub”. Maybe Laurent Charvet can come up with some magic for Newcastle. That is the attraction of an FA Cup Final. We don’t know exactly where the answer will come from but we do know the question will be answered.
No quarter will be given or asked. That is as it should be. It has the potential to be a classic. Tottenham Hotspur did their part for credibility last weekend by trying to do the decent thing and pushed United as hard as they could push them, and I have no doubt that Newcastle will play a full role this Saturday. The burning question is whether Manchester United can meet and beat the challenge. It will be interesting to put it mildly.