Nearly 10 years have elapsed since my first Manchester United breakdown moment. The 2005 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Manchester United taught me a sobering lesson of which I wasn’t aware of prior to the game as a naïve 7 year old.
On that afternoon, where Manchester United took apart Arsenal for 120 minutes, only to agonisingly lose on penalties, I discovered that football tends to rarely treat you nicely. At the time it just didn’t seem fair for a team to be so outclassed yet still emerge victorious – I now understand that football is a cruel mistress indeed.
Ever since that atrocious May afternoon I’ve desperately wanted Manchester United to lift the FA Cup trophy having been completely outclassed by the other team (favourably Liverpool), as a form of vindication for when I was younger. Sadly, no such thing has materialised.
However, losing to the likes of Leeds and Portsmouth since Manchester United’s last FA Cup triumph in 2003 has come as no surprise to me. The FA Cup doesn’t seem to follow the common trend of footballing normality – some may write off its importance in this modern day, but nobody can deny that it throws up some abnormal results every year.
With Manchester United already established as a side capable of capitulating against lower-league opposition, an abnormal result is certainly within the realms of possibility as Louis van Gaal’s side travel to Huish Park having only won 2 away matches all season.
The home side finished last year’s brief Championship cameo rock bottom with 37 points after 42 games; only managing a measly 8 wins all season. Their current form in the 3rd tier of English football is nothing short of dire – with only 3 wins all season Gary Johnson’s Yeovil team sit at the bottom of League 1 after losing their last 3 matches.
Louis van Gaal will have to manage without Fellaini, Di Maria, Rojo, Blind, Valencia and Young on Sunday. Players such as Shaw, Januzaj and Herrera who are recently returning from injury should be able to gain some valuable match fitness. Youngsters like Blackett, McNair and Wilson could feature.
With Manchester United unbeaten in 10 games and Yeovil Town without a home league win in 8 attempts, it would be truly befitting of the FA Cup’s nature for a repeat of the MK Dons disaster. For the sake of my sanity, lets hope this isn’t the case. A repeat of the most recent result against Yeovil, an 8-0 win, seems unlikely. Despite that, Manchester United should leave Somerset having booked themselves a place in the fourth round draw.
Prediction: Yeovil Town 1-3 Manchester United