Manchester United To Give Hull City an Easy Ride: You're Havin' a Laugh

Brian RhodesSenior Analyst IMay 20, 2009

So it comes down to the last weekend of the Premiership campaign for the once invincible Tigers (well I can dream). A last gasped chance for Hull City to stay in the top flight that took us so very long to achieve.

We sit on the cusp of dropping back into the Championship for another season only one point off the bottom three with the rest of the North East in the mix with us. Any two from ourselves, Boro, the Mackems and the Toon Army could join the inglorious Baggies for the drop in the Championship.


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The Tigers have a tough task in facing the newly crowned Premier League Champions. "No" the rest of the North East cry. They seem to think that their upstart new rivals have an unfair advantage because Manchester United have the undaunting matter of a trip to Rome and a Champions League Final against Barcelona three days later.

The feel that Sir Alex Ferguson (a manager who never likes to lose anything let alone a football match), might field an under strength side agaisnt Hull City. They sight the games two season's ago against West Ham were they had already won the title and lost on the last day of the season sending Sheffield United down to the Championship.

The team fielded that day wasn't too shabby either with quite a few internationals and Champions League winners. Edwin van der Sar, Wes Brown, John O'Shea, Patrice Evra (Ryan Giggs), Gabriel Heinze, Darren Fletcher, Kieran Richardson, Michael Carrick (Paul Scholes), Alan Smith (Cristiano Ronaldo), Wayne Rooney, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The three subs used all came on at the hour mark so not just token appearances either.

Now the press has been saying that it is not right for Manchester United to field a team of kids against Hull City when other "bigger" more "famous" clubs are needing them to be fair. However, you have to look at the people saying such nonsense. There are Alan Shearer's pals from Match of the Day.

They predicted Hull City to be relegated from before the start of the season. They begrudgingly gave the East Yorkshire team some respect after beating Arsenal at the Emirates and Spurs at White Hart Lane, then after our battling loss to the Champions at Old Trafford.

However, since our performances have started to slip and we are in the mire of a relegation dogfight there are lots of "told you so's" coming our from the erstwhile pundits of the BBC's Match of the Day studios.

Even the press seem to be against the Tigers now. Like the MOTD pundits the are ganging up on Phil Brown and the club that don't belong in the top flight. Maybe they think they will have more readers wanting to buy their rags in Newcastle, Sunderland or Middlesbrough?

But why do they think Sir Alex Ferguson will field an understregth side. The players he will field will I am sure be feeling that if they can put in a good performance they could be sitting on the bench in Rome or if one of their team mates gets a knock in training they may just get a shot at the biggest prize in club football.

A bigger question to ask is what do Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough's opponents have to play for?

Sunderland V's Chelsea

Aston Villa V's Newcastle

West Ham V's Middlesbrough

Well the answer to those questions is clearly nothing. Chelsea can't get any higher, they can't get any lower. They can't get anymore prize money. Simply their season is over but they still have to run out against a team with a relegation dog fight in mind.

Villa have secured a Europa League spot for next season and can possibly finish fifth but they are in Europe and with little else to play for.

West Ham are out of the race for a Europa League spot so just pride.

All told the team with the hardest game is without a doubt Hull City.