Manchester United are on upset alert as they head to Prenton Park to take on Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup 4th round on Sunday. And it’s not just because the team was utterly shambolic in mid-week at Burnley FC, Tranmere are tied with Millwall as holders of a unique record.
Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992-93, no team that has never resided in the top flight has knocked more Premier League sides out of the competition. Millwall and Tranmere have done it seven times! Of course, most United fans don’t care as much about what happens in this competition here as they do what transpires (or more accurately what’s not transpiring) in the January transfer window.
— Paul Maximilian Banks??? (@PaulMBanks) January 24, 2020
At his news conference ahead of the match this weekend, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave, well I guess you could call this an “update” on transfer activity.
“It is stretched but we’re getting players back after the break as well. We will be better off for the break. We’re still working on one or two things so let’s see if the club get it over the line,” the Norwegian said.
Knowing how optimistic and hopeful Ole typically is during his media opportunities, the fact that he’s all “we’ll see/maybe” is not a promising sign that anything will actually get done. The Bruno Fernandes “he’s coming/no he’s not coming” saga has become so protracted and tedious that now even former United manager Jose Mourinho is scoring comedic points off of it.
They have also been linked to Jude Bellingham, but he’s just a kid, and wouldn’t be contributing much until further down the line anyway.
Other than that, it’s just a bunch of rumors out there, which don’t seem to be all too realistic about coming to fruition in the form of legitimate done deals.
Manchester United at Tranmere Rovers FYIs FA Cup 4th Round
Kickoff: January 26th 3pm, Prenton Park
MUFC starting XI Prediction: go to this link
Key stat/fact: the only previous meeting between the two sides occurred in the second round of the 1976-77 League Cup. United won 5-0 at Old Trafford.
Prediction: United 2, Tranmere Rovers 0
What makes the state of United’s misery all the more frustrating is that this season is always, to quote Paula Abdul “two steps forward, I take two steps back.” It’s not a linear regression, which would, at least in theory, lead to a house cleaning. Instead it’s a roller coaster, which gives the hierarchy a perceived justification for staying in place.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.