FA Cup Q&A: Manchester United fan Gavin Caney on the big game at Carrow Road
- Credit: PA
Manchester United fan Gavin Caney is in the hot seat for a Q&A ahead of the FA Cup quarter-final at Carrow Road
Question: Manchester United appear to have started where they left off, with four points from six – impressed with what you are seeing?
Answer: Yep. The break came at the wrong time for us as we were on a roll, but we seem to have hit the ground running since the Premier League restarted. Wing-backs had been the order of the day for a while so I was concerned when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer changed the system from 3-5-2 and dropped Brandon Williams to the bench. So far it doesn’t seem to have caused us any problems, although I’m still not entirely convinced by Luke Shaw as a left-back in a flat back four. Bruno Fernandes oozes class and has had a massive impact since his arrival. If he fires with Paul Pogba we could take some stopping during the run-in.
Question: Norwich, on the other hand, have lost two games and are almost certain to go down – is that any great surprise?
Answer: I’m afraid not. I thought Norwich might stay up - if anything I hoped they would. But that soft underbelly keeps getting exposed. A lack of investment and real class never helps, of course, yet it’s the lack of a Plan B or a desire to change that baffles me. It’s almost as if Daniel Farke and some fans say, ‘we’ll play our way, it looks nice, we’ll usually get beaten, but as long as we have a crack our way it’s fine’. Norwich play some great football and they’re entertaining to watch, which is great. However, what good is that when you’re heading back to the second tier again? I’d much prefer an ability to stink out some 1-0 wins here and there if required. That said, a lot of ‘boring’ managers keep losing their jobs or get hounded out of clubs even though they keep sides up – careful what you wish for eh?
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Question: Pogba-Fernandes and Rashford-Martial are ridiculously talented pairings – but will we see them at Carrow Road later?
Answer: Good question. I hope so, although I fear Ole will rotate his squad. Every club has got a lot of games coming up because of the coronavirus break, but we’ve potentially got more if we go deep in the FA Cup and Europa League. I think one of Pogba or Fernandes will start and it’ll probably be the same for Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Having netted his first hat-trick against Sheffield United I’d like to think Martial may be allowed to carry on playing so he can continue to grow in confidence. It’ll be interesting to see if we go full strength from the off or if there’s a bit of rotation. I just hope we don’t rest too many and get left with egg on our face.
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Question: Just how important is the FA Cup to United, given they still have a job to do in the league?
Answer: It’s a trophy the club have always valued - apart from in 2000 when the government gave us a helping hand in withdrawing from the competition to compete in the World Club Championship and aid England’s failed World Cup bid. Only Arsenal, with 13, have lifted the famous cup more times so it shows how important it is to those at Old Trafford. During the leaner years I didn’t live through, United became known as a bit of a cup side. If you can’t win the league it’s still good to get your hands on some silverware after all, so we’ll be keen to add to our tally of 12 FA Cups - especially as we haven’t won it since 2015/16 and lost the 2017/18 final to Chelsea.
Question: How do Norwich need to change their game to beat United?
Answer: By breaking social distancing rules and filling Carrow Road?! Hah! I joke, but Norwich stunned Man City on a night the Carra was rocking. They’d need everyone bouncing to pull off a shock against United. Without the home support I think the Yellows’ major advantage and chance of creating a big shock has gone. The Canaries aren’t good enough at the back to be able to suppress United’s advances all game so perhaps they’re just best going for the jugular. I certainly hope so as I fancy watching an FA Cup classic with plenty of goals.
Question: Could a Norwich victory, however unlikely, help their survival prospects, or is that a lost cause?
Answer: No chance. Norwich are toast with regards to relegation. The other sides around them look much more likely to string a bit of a run together to pull themselves out of trouble, leaving Norwich marooned even further at the bottom of the table. It’s yo-yo time again for the Canaries; this time it’s just in a downward direction.
Question: And finally, what’s you score prediction?
Answer: Everything is set up for United to win so the pessimist in me worries we’re in peak cup upset territory. That said, a lack of crowd and the general flatness in Norwich’s displays while they’re on this poor run means I’ll go Norwich 0 United 3.