West Brom 0 – 3 Manchester United

Brian Robson’s West Brom were comprehensively beaten by a United side who seem to be regaining form. Paul Scholes opened the scoring just after the break with a superb strike from outside the box. 🙂

Ruud van Nistelrooy headed a second midway through the second half. Scholes wrapped the game up with a scrappy header ten minutes from time. 😆

United move to 4th in the table but Chelsea are still 9 points clear. 😐

Gadgets

It’s been ages since I last treated myself, so I’ve bought myself a couple of gadgets today:

  • A flash MP3 player to replace my broken CD walkman. About the size of a cigarette lighter, this can hold 512Mb of music – about 8-10 albums. It also has an FM radio (for the football results) and a voice recorder. Not bad for less than £50.
  • A new DVD player which can play movies in DivX format. Although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the expensive Pioneer player I bought a couple of years ago, I need something that will play odd file formats. Edit: Anyone want to buy a Pioneer DV-454-K in perfect condition? Leave a comment.

Manchester United 2 – 1 Lyon

United eased into to the next phase of the Champions League with a comfortable performance against Lyon. 😛

I’m not sure what formation Fergie played technically, but it involved Smith dropping into midfield, Rooney playing wide on the left and Van Nistelrooy on his own up front for much of the game. Keane, Scholes and Ronaldo completed the midfield.

There were plenty of chances in the first half but it was Gary Neville, the most unlikely of scorers, who popped up to smash the ball home from the edge of the six yard box midway through the first half.

Full credit to Lyon, who come to Old Trafford and played attacking football rather than putting 10 men behind the ball. Roy Carroll made a rare blunder just before half time, allowing them to equalise. 🙁

Wes Brown replaced Gary Neville at half time and did particularly well, unlucky not to score himeself. Ruud van Nistelrooy grabbed the winner early in the second half to maintain his incredible European goalscoring record – now 34 goals in 35 games. 😀

Manchester United 2 – 0 Charlton Athletic

Fergie’s 999th game in charge of United was nothing to write home about. The team was obviously chosen with next Tuesday’s European game in mind, with several key players rested. 🙄

Heinze and Gary Neville were absent from the back four, replaced by Quinton Fortune and Wes Brown. Note to self: Ladbrokes owe me £2 for my bet because Heinze didn’t play and therefore couldn’t score the first goal at 28/1. 😐

Ryan Giggs was recalled and started well, for once, scoring United’s first goal. Roy Keane was solid but unadventurous, with most of his passing going sideways or backwards. Paul Scholes, playing his 300th game for United, bagged United’s second. Ronaldo was rested after the Portugal game in midweek, giving Darren Fletcher another opportunity to prove he’s worth a shirt – I’m still not convinced. 😕

Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney were paired together up front, with Rooney missing a handful of decent opportunities.

John O’Pie and Phil Neville came on as second half substitutes, bringing our quota of left-backs up to four! Alan Smith, now firmly a fans’ favourite, also came on towards the end.

United dominated the game for the whole 90 minutes without breaking a sweat. Charlton were the worst team I’ve seen at Old Trafford this season; they didn’t have a single shot on goal. Their support was the worst I’ve seen for a couple of seasons too. 🙁

There was no sign of snow in Manchester or even in Oldham, but Grains Bar still looks like a Christmas card. 🙄

Snow!

Winter’s here. It’s been grim since the clocks went back a couple of weeks ago but today’s fog and hail turned into sleet and then snow. 🙁

I took the afternoon off work today so that I could pop down to Old Trafford to buy tickets for the Carling Cup game. It was 8°C in Manchester but only 2° by the time I’d got home. When I looked out of the window an hour or so later, everything was white.

It’s funny living at Grains Bar; it’s got a micro-climate of its own. There’s a significant change in temperature as you go down Ripponden Road, but nobody believes you when you tell them. When I went to pick Sara up from work there was no sign of snow in Oldham, but there was about an inch of it piled on the car roof. 😯

Work Stuff

It’s been a tough week at work so far. 😐

We’ve had a few performance issues with the NAS box which serves staff home directories since it was introduced in summer; due to various unplanned summer projects we didn’t really have a proper chance to put it through its paces before bringing it into service. 😕

Although nobody had complained directly, it was getting to the stage where it was obvious that something needed to be done. We started copying data over to a replacement unit on Monday afternoon and planned to switch over on Tuesday evening.

Unfortunately the process took far longer than expected, so we had to make the change this morning. We took the opportunity to reconfigure some network switches and fit faster NICs in a couple of domain controllers too.

I’m shattered: I’ve done about 40 hours work so far this week already and it’s only Wednesday. I’ll make sure I get some time of in lieu as soon as things calm down. 🙄

Server Problems

Due to a hard disk failure on the server which hosts www.torkington.org, all of the last week’s blog entries have been lost. 😥

Although I made a full backup of the site during the week, I stupidly left the backup file in the home directory rather than transferring it to my home PC. 😳

There wasn’t much there anyway, just my thoughts on United vs City last Sunday and a few work-related happenings.

Bonfire Night

We went out for a meal at the King’s Arms last night. I opted for the Szechaun-style Tiger Prawns with noodles and Sara went for a Goat’s Cheese Tagliatelle. Very nice it was too. We bumped into Alan Carruthers in the restaurant, a student who was in the first class I taught at Castle Training in 1991.

After the meal we went outside to show our faces at the fireworks display that Steve said he was going to put on. We expected the usual thing: a couple of boxes of cheap fireworks, a few kids running around with sparklers, etc. 😐

What we actually got was an amazing 25 minute pyrotechnic display with a D.J. and synchronised music. It was absolutely brilliant. There were hundreds of people in the car park watching it and, never one to miss an opportunity, Steve was selling hot dogs, ‘tater hash, black peas and beer from the “Ice Cream” kiosk in the corner of the car park. I hope he made a lot of money, ‘cos it must’ve cost a fortune to put on the firework show. 😛

I was chatting to Andy about it this morning and he didn’t even realise that it was Bonfire Night yesterday. It had never even crossed my mind that only the British celebrate November 5th, but it’s obvious once you think about it. 😳

Manchester United 4 – 1 Sparta Prague

We had excellent seats for last night’s game: Row 5, just to the left of the goal. Although you don’t get the same perspective of the game as when you’re up in higher seats, you really feel part of it when the action is just a few feet away.

Unfortunately there’s absolutely no legroom in those seats, so I was perched in a stress position for most of the game. I have bruises on my shins and calf this morning. If the tickets had been in my own name I’d make a formal complaint. 👿

I won’t bother with a full match report, here’s a link to the goals. The main points to note are:

  • Ruud van Nistelrooy scored all 4 goals for United. That’s 35 goals in 36 European games. 😆
  • Heinze, Carroll and Miller all played well. 🙂
  • Ronaldo needs to learn when to pass and when to shoot. And to stop sulking. 😈
  • Even against poor opposition, Keane & Scholes are no longer an effective midfield pairing.:cry:
  • Kleberson surely can’t be a real Brazilian with ball control like that. 😳

The biggest cheer of the evening was for ex-United winger, now Sparta captain, Karel Poborsky, who was sent off near the end of the game after receiving a second yellow.

Ebay – Free Listing Day

It’s a free listing day on Ebay today, so I’m going to flog a load of junk tonight.

Will update this post when the items are online.

Edit: Went to the pub straight from work so this idea didn’t get off the ground. I imagine Ebay will be flooded with all sorts of garbage this week anyway.