The Thursday Preview: Huddersfield Vs Peterborough
Instead, I’ll concentrate on the whys and wherefores of a novelty – an Old Trafford final. Now of course I have a ticket for Monday’s Championship final, partial as I am to one of the competing sides and I’ll not complain about a first visit to the new Wembley aside from for a stadium tour. But is it as good as the old Wembley?
Of course it’s bloody not.
Why? Because once in the stadium, you could be in any featureless bowl (see also the Allianz Arena); because the one distinguishing feature – Foster’s Arch – is hardly visible from within; because the Twin Towers were jettisoned at the behest of a designer’s portfolio wishes; because it cost more than the national debt of Greece to build; because of Club Wembley and that red rose midriff of seats; because it’s £64 to attend (Ok, cheaper than a league game at QPR next season, but still vertiginous); because it’s in a borough that remains utterly unchanged since West Ham played Fulham in the 1975 Cup Final; because the adjacent Wembley Arena never features any decent bands; because acceptable drinking options within any kind of distance are invisible.
…and I live only 2 miles from this blasted white elephant – hell, I can see it from my bedroom window as I type this – as Andy D. Townsend would have said on Twitter – “the New Wembley…what’s that all about?”
So to Old Trafford – the Théâtre des Rêves – occasionally featureless, often quiet but an improvement on all fronts. Manchester isn’t what it was – the corporate high rise of the city centre has put paid to the land of The Man from del Monte, King of the Slums and Dubsex, but it’s still a belting city to visit for a match day. Combine a weekend with a trip to Rusholme’s curry mile or Chinatown’s Yang Sing, shop for togs at Afflecks and for records in the Northern Quarter and take in a bit of culture at the Lowry or the Whitworth – then, if you win, off to the Briton’s Protection with the knowledge that a Bank Holiday awaits to sleep it all off. Both sets of fans will enjoy this one to the hilt but I would expect 87 point, 25 unbeaten ‘uddersfield to prevail over a Posh side suspiciously little improved from the one that tumbled in 09-10. 3-1 Terriers.