My son phoned earlier this week in a panic informing me that his significant other had bought them tickets to go to a comedy night in Cork tomorrow night! Arrgghhhhhhhh!!! He was desperately seeking advice as to how best to tell her that he couldn't commit to such hilarity as Saturday 29th September would be spent on a Ryanair flight back to Shannon 'considering' the events of earlier that day in the London stadium!
Ahem! I pondered for a moment before suggesting he should lean on a bit of prison slang to emphasise the importance of events in London and his need to be present. This one is the Barry McGuigan son, I advised. This is the principal reason that we have season tickets for the London Stadium. This is the big un!
Thankfully, she got it. And now we are on our way to observe the game that Hammers fans enjoy the most - forget Spurs et al, the visit of the Red Devils is the game we want to win most of all! With a queue as long as your arm of potential replacements, he was given the permit to abandon his bofriend duties and give it socks in support of the Hammers.
Let's hope he has a tale of endeavour and heroism to recount, and after a string of performances that suggest that we have finally absorbed the essence of the Pellegrini method, it's looking pretty hopeful. Arnie is scheduled to return, our defence looks to be on a good wavelength and Anderson and Yarmolenko look like they are enjoying their game - even better, as the Special One and Pogba pretend to be friends, the Mancs look vulnerable for an East End drubbing!
Against Chelski we conceded the bulk of possession, but today Pellegrini will be looking to dominate as much as possible and prevent a fractured Man Utd from getting any rhythm. Rice against Pogba will be fascinating as our wonderkid gets to go toe to toe with the World Cup winning midfielder.
Predicted starting XI: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Masuaku, Diop, Balbuena, Noble, Obiang, Rice, Anderson, Yarmalenko, Arnautovic.