Welcome to the eighth issue of The Red Report, the round table discussion of all things Manchester United by your favourite United blogs: The Busby Way, Stretford-End, Bangalore To Old Trafford, ManUtd24, and Red Force Rising.
Since the Premier League’s induction, many teams have won promotion to the top tier of football for the first time. Out of these teams and those that were relegated but didn’t return from the 1992/93 season we all share which of the ‘new’ teams we’ve enjoyed watching or playing the most. This topic was due to be very apt since United were set to face Blackpool yesterday for the first time in the Premier League – that game will now take place at a later date.
Yolkie | Stretford-End: How can you really look past Blackpool? Blackpool are the romantics choice, surely? Like Burnley last season, only with a more effervescent manager; a little like Neil Warnock in terms of outspoken lower league managers, but infinitely more likeable. It’s nice in this era of parachute payments and identikit stadiums for some teams to buck the trend and succeed.
Blackpool are only 12 points off United after 15 games; that isn’t meant to sound patronising, it’s a huge testament to them and a poke to the eye of those who suggested they would struggle to meet Derby’s low total of 11. The reason they haven’t been humiliated is because they have a unity and a togetherness that wasn’t ruined by Holloway with the pre-season additions.
Chudi | The Busby Way: I will have to go with Derby as their games with us in 07/08 show essentially what can happen to a promoted team in the league. At Old Trafford we hammered them 4-1 but at Pride Park they dug in and could have nicked something if not for Ben Foster.
That match for me also showed the nature of Cristiano Ronaldo’s character, he tied and tried but couldn’t get anything from a resolute Derby team but when he finally did score his celebration was great, it was like he was saying try as you may, I will get you eventually!
Derby provided entertainment that season, their games tended to be high scoring affairs even if most of the goals were against them!
Doron | Stretford-End: I think my favourite of the promoted teams was Watford in 99/00. They are technically my local team so the fact I could go and watch the Treble winning side was a big factor in making them my favoured team. Other reasons include the fact that despite being utterly useless, their fans never once gave up and enjoyed every moment of the Premier League campaign; they signed Nordin Wooter; and they beat Liverpool on the opening day of that season!
I did enjoy Derby’s first season in the Premier League in 96/97 only for Paulo Wanchope’s wonder goal at Old Trafford as a total unknown player on his début. There is something very admirable and special about Blackpool this year, likewise it’s easy to forget that Fulham were a very small club when they got promoted too.
Nick | United Youth: You don’t get much more clichéd than ‘breath of fresh air’ but the promoted sides this season really have been. It’s just hugely refreshing to see teams playing for wins, playing decent football, really going for it against the elite rather than settling for trying to stifle teams and pick up draws. Admired Hull for the same reason a couple of years ago, although the Phil Brown factor ultimately eroded that admiration…
Siddarth | Bangalore to Old Trafford: My favourite team so far has to be Blackpool, there are two reasons for that. One is their boss Ian Holloway, his comments and quotes are brilliant, there must be more managers like him in the game!
The second reason is their attitude of playing attacking football, no matter the opposition, very brave for a team that just got promoted, considering they were placed 19th in League 1 5 seasons ago. With the players they had, I didn’t think they could survive, but they have shocked me and I think most of the premiership with their results! I really they stay up!
TG | ManUtd24: It has to be Derby County for all the wrong reasons. In the season of 07/08, they were relegated two months too soon, in March, picking up only one win in the season. I recall Paul Jewell had some sort of barren run where he hadn’t won a game in 27 attempts. 27! They came – and went. Hardly a whimper. They did, however, nearly pull of a shock victory over Manchester United at Pride Park. We scraped home as eventual winners in the end, but we were definitely given a run for our money. They were a laughing stock, which was why I enjoyed them so much. Come back again County, we’re all missing the great gift of three points!
Alan | RedForceRising: Over the years, there have been several newly-promoted clubs who have caught the eye. I especially like clubs who have come to make a real fist of staying/playing in the league and don’t just “park the bus” when they play away from home. However, if asked to name just one, it would have to be Middlesbrough when they re-joined the top flight in the 1995/96 season and bought a certain Brazilian by the name of Juninho. The attacking midfielder was absolutely fantastic to watch and carried his team on many occasions. The following season, Boro brought another Brazilian, Emerson, to the Riverside stadium, as well as “silverfox” Fabrizio Ravanelli, who had been a striker at Juventus!
Their final position in the league that season does not reflect it, but Boro created some really good moments of football that season.
Kyle | Stretford-End: I actually love Blackpool this season, perhaps solely because of their manager. You have to admit that Ian Holloway has personality, and that’s something the Premier League lacks. He’s not afraid to say anything and his interviews are actually worth watching. A nice change from the likes of the like of Arsene Wenger complaining at the Emirates. It’s actually more than just the manager though. Blackpool came up with Newcastle and West Brom last season, and while we were very familiar with the other two the Seasiders were something genuinely new. It’d be easy to write them off, but they’ve shocked everyone this season. Blackpool are currently 12th in the Premier League and even on points with Liverpool, who they beat earlier this season. No one gave them a chance, but they’ve come to play and I have an incredible amount of respect for that.
Some great suggestions – it seems that already Blackpool have a made a really positive impression this season.
Click here for part 2 of today’s red report