Still feeling good about the result? I know I am. Not only the result and breaking that awful record of ours against them at their gaff but the fact that we are in the semi finals of the FA Cup once again.
After all the fixed grins on my face and my jubilant mood post match, I got thinking about the game. The goals, the passing, the turning points. The turning points are all rather interesting. Do you know what I heard a lot of after the game? Of course you do because you heard it or said so yourself.
"Well done to the referee for being brave. He had a good game"
It got me thinking, would you expect Manchester United supporters to come away from the Emirates where the referee had made the correct calls and say he had been brave? If not why not?
I am guessing the reason is because Manchester United have had favourable calls down the years at Old Trafford. Referees were 'afraid' of Alex Ferguson.
So what exactly were referees afraid of? Why were Manchester United given so many helping hands from match officials who are supposed to be neutral?
Commentators and co-commentators chuckled at the term Fergie time. It was normal behaviour for the referee to give additional minutes when Manchester United were trailing at home. Why?
So many questions and obviously no clear answers from anybody. I have read some very interesting articles about the whole Ferguson/referees conspiracies and unfortunately I cannot find the one I read a few years ago. This article showed what happened to referees who crossed Fergie's path by not giving decisions his way or giving decisions the to the other team. I think every referee who did something Ferguson did not like was demoted to a lower league for the next game or games. From what I remember they were not given another Manchester United game for a while. I kinda need the link for this but I have no idea where I read it and Google isn't being my friend today.
I still cannot put my finger on why Ferguson had so much power. I still do not understand why the richest and most powerful club in the Premier League held so much power compared to the rest of us.
Maybe I am just paranoid and it is all a coincidence. Maybe this performance by Mike Riley was totally neutral and he gave all his calls as honestly as he saw it
Whatever, you can make your own minds up. But let's not call the referee brave for doing his job. He'd be doing his job at the Emirates, he'd be doing his job at Villa Park. He is supposed to do just the same at Old Trafford.
I've got a pet hate that I want to share with you. You know what annoys me from time to time? When a game deciding call is given against us and we lose the match, not just that but if you mention this decison(s) then you are called out for it. You know because Arsenal should have won without the refereeing call. Because I guess football at the highest level isn't often decided by small details. We should have just smashed a couple from 30 yards then our chalked off goal for no reason wouldn't matter.
Unfortunately we will not be able to take all our chances in every game, neither will we be able to play at our best in every fixture, it is life so given how close so many football matches are in the Premier League and Champions League, the referee's performance can have a huge say on a result whether you accept that or not.
Right enough of that, we are through to the semi finals of the FA Cup and Chelsea have crashed out to PSG in the Champions League but I had to get that off my chest. Let's celebrate that and also celebrate Manchester United being treated like the rest of us in this division.
* You guessed it, I am still very bitter about that night.
If you haven't already checked out the post Man United podcast then I suggest you do so. It's very enjoyable.