Date: 25th April 2017 at 8:27am
Written by:

Whilst the rest of football said that we’d walk the championship by winning every game 5-0, they were also quick to play up the league and say it was a long hard slog. A slog that they said we weren’t up for.

They also said that Rafa Benitez was in uncharted waters, out of his depth. He didn’t know what this league was about, they went on.

When the whistle went last night to underline our promotion back to the riches of the premier league, instead of Rafa running to the nearest camera to stick two fingers up to all his critics like the majority of us would have thought about doing, no, he went round the pitch area to shake the hand of every single member of staff both playing and non-playing to show it was a United effort and he wasn’t wanting to take all the plaudits.

Whilst the fans gave him the biggest cheers out of everyone as per usual, he has instilled a side that was adequate enough in getting out of this division whilst riding us of the need to big up any star players as we’re all in this together.

On an individual basis, the squad isn’t even all that with many weaknesses we see but collectively is a different matter.

Vurnon Anita is no right back but to put this in perspective, we achieved that tonight with a centre back in Jamaal Lascelles who seems to be going backwards and I thought he cost us the Preston goal with his indecision as he should have cleared the ball earlier. He looked nervy again although that’s understandable I guess.

We also achieved it with the likes of Paul Dummett, Yoan Gouffran, Jack Colback and Rob Elliot involved which takes some doing considering some of the grief they’ve had over the years.

We also achieved that with an effective but static build up too reliant on pin point long cross balls where only Jonjo Shelvey could see the excellent runs of Matt Ritchie and Ayoze Perez. Ritchie was my man of the match which seemed to be backed up by TV with his clutching some sort of trophy at the end but Perez wasn’t far away with his movement and end product. Could have had four goals at least.

Mitrovic more than deserved a goal for his best game in a while, Hayden was canny again and Ciaran Clark didn’t look like it was his first game in over a month. The rest were average but adequate in their job.

The question now turns to what happens with Rafa next. Forget the style of football he plays as that will change if he’s in charge of us in the top league. We just have to have him for various reasons as he’s impossible to hate.

All in all, good riddance to this horrible league and hopefully one that we wont see for a very long time. Just up to Mike Ashley now to try and allow us to be a football club first.