Weblog: The football punter

Pressure may lead to Red Devils' slip on Toon trip 

NOT feeling too good at the moment so well done the rolling sports news ticker on the BBC website for putting a smile on my face, something it does quite unintentionally on a regular basis.

Yesterday's gem which lifted Bunter spirits was this headline - SCHOLES WILL MANAGE OLDHAM ONE DAY.

Oooh. The sky's the limit, eh? Ex-England schemer following in the footsteps of the likes of Mick Wadsworth and Dave Penney. He'll suffer by comparison, I'm sure of that.

It was actually the Oldham chairman who reckoned Scholesy would one day wind up at Boundary Park, though with no disrespect to the Latics I'm sure the forthcoming vacancies at Old Trafford and St James's Park might appeal more to Scholes.

Well come on, how long should LVG be getting? Surely not as long as he's prepared to give Angel di Maria who, for the small matter of £60m and a weekly wage of zillions, United fans might have expected a slightly better return on.

I'm still amazed that United are anywhere near the top four and certainly don't expect them to be there at Easter never mind the end of the season.

So that'll be the end for Van Gaal and we all know that John Carver's simply keeping the seat warm at Newcastle for someone else.

Which all makes Newcastle versus Man U a particularly intriguing tussle between two hugely underwhelming outfits.

The way the season has mapped out so far, common sense tells me that Newcastle will be poor but that Man U will be even worse - and still win. They've got a habit of doing that.

But I'm not sure any more. The pressure's mounting on Van Gaal and with people of the calibre of Paul Scholes waiting in the wings, I'm not sure the Dutchman is going to cope. Home win.



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Match in Focus

19:45 TODAY BT1

Newcastle v Man Utd

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • There hasn’t been more than a one-goal winning margin in Newcastle’s last 12 home games
Expert verdict
Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United remain an enigma. They look defensively vulnerable, lack penetration up front and, at times, look totally disjointed in midfield. However, they keep on nicking victories, compiling a W11, D4, L2 record in their last 17 league outings and should do just enough to beat Newcastle.