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Exclusive: The sorry life of a former United player

Welcome. Today we tell you the story of a player who not too long ago wore the famous red shirt of our club. We must warn you that the story is grim, in a Dickensian sort of way; for a start the protagonist is allegedly a dick who alleges that others may also be dicks — hence the Dickensian theme.

This is a story of a man, sorry boy (manchild?), who wishes to remain anonymous; let us call him Charles.

For the purposes of lending authenticity to the story, this writer wishes to narrate it in the first person. So sit back with your cup of coffee, and read.

Hello, dear fans. My name is Charles (real name withheld). Most of you might recognize me for my steadfast commitment to your dear club. You see, I’m the one who runs for the whole 90 minutes when a certain preening prima donna looks to whinge most of the time, only turning up to score some flukey free kicks; while some east European lazy oaf saunters about, like he was paid to walk about the park. (What do you say? He leads the assist chart? Well let me tell you something, statistics are like arseholes, everyone has one. Er, that analogy didn’t fit, but you get the point, don’t you? He’s an arsehole.)

But I digress; I work my socks off, dear fans, and your love for me proved that I was right to work said socks off for the team. Yet, what do I get? An away game to Liverpool? Just 34 appearances this season? About £10m for the two years of running every game for 90 minutes?

I tell you what, Britain has a new President. What is that you say? Prime minister? Sigh! You know very little, dear friends. Very little. Sir Alex is the president of Britain. It’s true. Which is why I have gathered you all. He is the president of Britain and he controls the world from his office at Old Trafford, and I’ll tell you what, I think I have discovered he’s a part of the Govan mafia. Don’t you get it? I mean, tell me one thing: who sips wine in the vineyards of southern France, with a cell phone on the other hand, belting out orders to his minions. I don’t know about you, but for someone like me who’s grown up in tough neighbourhoods, that looks like the overlord of a vast criminal organisation. You know, what I saw was just the tip of the iceberg. I know you may talk about David Conn’s new column on the Guardian that promises to uncover the murky footballing underworld, but I have far more murky information. My murk wipes the floor with his murk.

But despite this knowledge I thought, for the good of the team and, especially you, my dear fans, I would keep mum and hope my loyalty to the President, and Great Master would be repaid. But, you know what, he turned out to be colder than any of the Scorsese gangsters rolled into one. At least, they cared for family. This man, made me feel an outsider to the family. And when I went home to my family (my other one), I took only sadness with me.

The recession hasn’t helped either. (I believe I must blame recession too, because everyone seems to blame it for everything, and I think one can make perfect sense by ending any sentence with the phrase ‘due to recession’. But then, I digress.)

I tell you. The life of a footballer is not easy these days. Especially at a club like United. I know, I’m sorry, dear friends, I love you all, but I must tell you, I wasn’t loved at the club. And hence I thought I must move on. Also my best friend — some people say he owns me and my rights, but I am a self made man — let’s call him Hyundai (I can’t let you in on his real name, but Hyundai is the only other Korean car manufacturer I could think of, the other being my ‘owner’s’ name) said United weren’t even making an offer for us. I mean, they made an offer for us but he said there wouldn’t be enough time for us to make up my mind. I know, it sounds crazy, but Hyundai never lies. He’s a man of integrity, and I’ll ever be indebted to him, even though I’m a self made man.

So, on that note, I have come to the conclusion that loyalty is a two way street. And since I was never felt wanted, I must leave with a heavy heart. I still love your City. The rain calms my nerves, and at least the blue side will give me enough money to be able to put food on my plate three times a day. Now I can at least fly to the training ground instead of driving. Take that, you Real Madrid loving, United-betraying winker! And with a heavy heart I must say again, I love you dear fans, and thank you for sticking up for me, which is why I am sticking it up to you.

Regards,
Charles.

PS: BUT SAF SHOULD HAVE STARTED ME FOR THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL!!!!!!!!!!!

387 Comments

387 Comments

  1. Grognard

    July 2, 2009 at 12:15 am

    @NicoQB: Nico, how do I say this gently. The French League produces fags. I want serious footballers without emotional problems and delusions of grandeur. Find me a present day Frog footballer that isn’t like that?

  2. Grognard

    July 2, 2009 at 12:16 am

    @NicoQB: Agreed.

  3. Red Ranter

    July 2, 2009 at 12:36 am

    @NicoQB: I don’t think Kaka would have a problem playing second fiddle. His ego is not the size of Australia, unlike Benzema and Ronaldo. How Benz and Ron get along would be more interesting.

  4. Jay wire

    July 2, 2009 at 12:37 am

    @Fred The Red: I agree with you on most things you mentioned and here is why I think we are not as attractive as the likes of Barca,Madrid and Milan.Style of football.Simple.We all have history but Spain and Milan have a much broadcasted history of great football and some of the best attacking legends and their style of play has always been based on skillful and inventive football.Think Cryuff,Zidane,Rivaldo,Figo,Romario,Maradona.In fact the only super great who hasn’t played in either Italy or Spain is Pele.Now this may sound silly to include Serie A which has always been associated with defensive football,but Serie A’s ambassador to the rest of the world was and has always been the European Cup serial killers AC Milan who play like a combination of Brazil(in attack) and Germany(in defence).

    Now contrast that with the Epl which has no meaningful reputation as a whole when it comes to beautiful football.Our ambassadors were the hard working and hard tackling Liverpool teams of the 80s.Pragmatic cross whipping football.To top that off the EPL is a league with zero tolerance for skillful and adventurous players.They are called lazy(Berbatov),show ponies(The Slave),pompous(Henry) and liabilities(Joe Cole).So really we cannot expect to attract the best attacking players with such a history.Now that’s not to say all teams are bland,direct and robotic in England.Not at all.The best team in Britain is one of the best attacking sides in all of world football.Arsenal is the English equivalent of Barca and clubs like Spurs are also adventurous.But the rest of the world watches other Leagues in the Champions League.This is where we bottle it.United in Europe plays some of the most defensive football and we will be unfairly viewed as such overall.That’s why only Arsenal have the edge which they rarely use(inexplicably) because they stay true to their philosophy.

    Now hopefully no hot and thick headed United Superfans will suggest that I F*** off and become a gooner.I’m just pointing out the truth.We need to play our game in Europe.That’s how we can become attractive to the rest of the world.If we were able to do it in 99,if Real did twice after us,Milan in 2007,Barca twice after us,playing good football,why should we resolve to playing like Liverpool.That’s our downfall in luring the best attackers in world football.

  5. NicoQB

    July 2, 2009 at 12:38 am

    @Grognard: I agree but the thing is that for every one world class technically gifted player that England (or Britain) produces – make that a Rooney or a Gascoigne – France produces 5. Its in the mentality of youth coaches to promote technique ahead of physique, which I’m not sure is the case in England.
    And those players, not only do they make the teams win, producing tanglible results, but their marketing appeal is much superior to an equally effective, but boring functional player – typified by Inzaghi, but I suspect Huntelaar too 😉 .
    These players would elevate United to their right position in the hierarchy of world football. And I’m not pro – french, I think Ribery and Benzema are idiots; but I just want vintage football with results.
    And we all know latinos can be an even greater gamble, with adaptation, big head syndrome and all…
    Perhaps Giovinco is worth a punt? What am I talking about, Nani should be given his chance and we just bought Valencia…

  6. Jay wire

    July 2, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Damn.By the way I meant United when I mentioned the best team in Britain,lest some fools think I was talking about Arsenal

  7. NicoQB

    July 2, 2009 at 12:45 am

    @Red Ranter: I agree, but what I meant is that Benzema, for me, will be very probably ahead of Kaka in terms of contribution and importance in the Madrid set-up.
    Unless he gets home-sickness (he’s still a kid living at his parents…)
    If the Real coach seeing that the line up is too offensive and decides to sacrifice one player, it will be Kaka. At least that’s what I think.

    @Jay wire: Agree. Different wording and examples, but similar to my post above about marketing value and footballing attraction.

  8. Jay wire

    July 2, 2009 at 12:52 am

    @NicoQB: Man I’ve always said it.Britain has to seriously look at changing its style of football.My opinion is you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,so all these youth coaches,maybe except West Ham’s,should be placed in other jobs and hire some new continental coaches who understand the value of technique and skill.Or maybe have them work hand in hand with the British coaches in order to preserve that British grit and other things they’re obsessed with like “running your socks off”.That would help to elevate and improve the status of all British leagues in the eyes of the rest of the world

  9. Jay C

    July 2, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Well worth reading. Nice one. It is a shame he’s gone, but i think it’s a “F*** You” to Sir Alex by joining City. Shouldn’t have done that!
    😛

  10. Roge9

    July 2, 2009 at 1:11 am

    @Grognard: Disagree. Kaka is a class player. Lacks flair but is one of the most balanced and complete players today. I dont think he deserved player of the tournament at the confed cup, but I also think Landon Donovan should have been named ahead of Clint Dempsey because for me Donovan was immense, perhaps the second most consistent performer of tournament behind Fabiano. For me it should have been Fabiano, Donovan, Kaka.

    Kaka is intelligent as fuck, especially off the ball– he makes exceptional runs. His touch is deft, great eye for a through ball, roams the field appropriately and effectively in a free role, actually defends unlike another star who left OT, holds the ball up well for team to him, knows when and how to cross, has a decievingly good acceleration. I think his reputation is well deserved.

  11. NicoQB

    July 2, 2009 at 1:30 am

    @Roge9: Stoke City would eat him alive!

  12. NicoQB

    July 2, 2009 at 1:37 am

    @Jay wire: Yeah, a big job has to be done at coaching level. But I’m also a fan of the sometimes gung-ho approach of the English game.
    You wouldn’t get Rory Delap in Spain!

    But yeah you’re right. The perfect example is Theo Walcott. the kid has actually decent technique, but is pretty much average if put alongside a bunch of continental promising players. His most prominent asset is his pace – a physical attribute. And the English mentality has been quick to elevate a rather good player to be better than what he actually is.

  13. Fred The Red

    July 2, 2009 at 1:41 am

    @Jay wire: Dont get me started about English coaches and more importantly, the English FA, both groups need to be replaced from top to bottom and replaced with young visionaries who are not held captive by preserving the status Quo.
    Im sorry if I offend any English people on this site, but in my opinion English coaches and the English FA are a joke and are not fit be be holding the positions that they do, and as long as these people are shaping the destiny of the English game, then the longer our football will be behind the other major nations

  14. Craig Mc

    July 2, 2009 at 2:10 am

    @Jay wire: Hmmmmmm really mate? And yet the most watched league worldwide is the PREMIER LEAGUE! So can’t be all that lacking in entertaining football, can it? Premier league HAS THE PASSION that a lot of other leagues of the world don’t have in the spades full we have 🙂 .

  15. Craig Mc

    July 2, 2009 at 2:15 am

    @Grognard: Berba will come good this season, FRET NOT 😀 .

  16. Red Ranter

    July 2, 2009 at 2:18 am

    @Craig Mc: The premier league may be the “best league in the world”, but the opinion of broadcasters/advertisers/fans etc do not necessarily align with the players. They look for other factors like weather, historical prestige (like Real, Milan, Barcelona etc). Sad but that’s the truth.

  17. Redrich

    July 2, 2009 at 2:36 am

    @Grognard: Grog, Aguero is too small and is not a true CF. WE need a big physical presence up front.
    Forget him and Villa too, it’s got to be down to Eto’ or the Hunter!!

  18. Redrich

    July 2, 2009 at 2:58 am

    @Red Ranter: Speaks volumes to the elitism of todays players. Plying your trade in a tough league, supported by no nonsense, tough fans and in a climate that will probably make your wife take up knitting, has less appeal than the Costa del Sol. And if you make the same money and take less punishment, the decision becomes so much easier to make!!

  19. Redrich

    July 2, 2009 at 3:05 am

    @Craig Mc: We like the PL because it is inherent to our nature – “barbarous”!!

    May not be everyone’s cuppa, mate!! 😮 😮

  20. Will

    July 2, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Rooney

    Berbatov

    Nani Carrick Hargreaves Valencia

    Evra Vidic Ferdinand ?

    D. Sar.

    Give me youngsters who will break through over some jumped up french wannabe any day!

  21. Redrich

    July 2, 2009 at 3:11 am

    @Will: Hargreaves probably wont start a game until the new year!!
    Don’t forget, we need to always qualify for the CL!!

  22. vanderberg

    July 2, 2009 at 4:51 am

    @Redrich: I do not think Eto’o is a good signing for united but may be for cash rich citeh but huntelaar is sure target and also for attacking threat from midfield we need a CAM like sneijder coz anderson is not upto his mark and the lad has not even scored a goal.

  23. vanderberg

    July 2, 2009 at 5:01 am

    @Craig Mc: hey,ribery will not come to united coz he has i think no interest in united.but leave him and why not take bastian schweinsteiger.he is a superb attack threat from midfield and can perfectly fill the void left by ronaldo.we need more germans in our side and it was just proved in U-21 tournament that germans are fucking awesome and very lethal in attack.

  24. Johnsom33

    July 2, 2009 at 5:15 am

    The difference between Ronaldo and ronaldinho is that Ronaldo is a workaholic. Ronaldinho never practiced at barca, he just relied on his talent. Ronaldo loves women and dancing but he isn’t a partier.

  25. Craig Mc

    July 2, 2009 at 7:47 am

    @vanderberg: Errrr I don’t think you will find anywhere that I have ever mentioned Ribery mate. I don’t like french players to be honest. I didn’t want Benzema or Ribery, so I don’t understand what you are on about mate. It is Grog who likes Ribery, and he definately would like to see some German players at OT, but not the one you mentioned I don’t think. I like Bastien though, very much to be honest 🙂 .

  26. Craig Mc

    July 2, 2009 at 7:51 am

    @Redrich: Still the cuppa tea of the world viewing public more than any of the other leagues are though mate 🙂 . We are the most watched worldwide 😛 .

  27. Craig Mc

    July 2, 2009 at 7:57 am

    @Red Ranter: But United have NEVER had any trouble with broadcasters, advertisers etc have they RR. Also we have our share of history too.

    Heard this morning on talk sport, that Real Madrid are trying to get the banks to loan them on their ground now 🙄 , so they must be doing a Glazier eh?

  28. Grognard

    July 2, 2009 at 8:59 am

    @Roge9: Sorry, disagree with you about Kaka.. Good player but not the god he is made out to be. Agree about Donovan at the Confed Cup. I ma not a fan of Landycakes but he was immense in that tournament and actually showed some passion and desire, which for him is very rare indeed.

  29. Grognard

    July 2, 2009 at 8:59 am

    @Craig Mc: Yah right. 😉

  30. Grognard

    July 2, 2009 at 9:02 am

    @Red Ranter: Thety didn’t seem to be too concerned with that five years ago when Chelsea was buying them left and right as well as other teams. All of a sudden the league has become a leper colony because of the rough physical style and the negativity and backward culture of the English game. Oh and lets not forget the referees who refuse to protect the stars of the game from terrible abuse.

  31. Grognard

    July 2, 2009 at 9:06 am

    @Redrich: I want both Aguero and the Hunter, how bout that? 😀 Aguero is a star. He can play any forward positon and is versatile. Above all he is so skillful he can turn a game like a Messi or Ronaldo. As much as I like Hunter, he needs service to succeed. United do not have a skilled enough midfield to guarantee that. Aguero like Messi and Ronaldo can create all by his lonesome. He does not require the same amount of service. Also, if you haven’t noticed mate, United do not play the old English style of football anymore. The play a slow ball possession game where they bring the ball up the middle. Height is very underused and overrated in the continental game.

  32. Red Ranter

    July 2, 2009 at 9:07 am

    New post up. I’m off. See you all later.

  33. Grognard

    July 2, 2009 at 9:07 am

    @Redrich: Well said.

  34. Grognard

    July 2, 2009 at 9:09 am

    @Will: Why dismiss Wes Brown? He was damned good for us two years ago but was injured last season. As far as I am concerned he is penciled in at RB until somebody beats him out and that won’t be easy.

  35. Grognard

    July 2, 2009 at 9:12 am

    @Craig Mc: I like Schweiny but he is a lazy player at times and needs a kick in the ass to get motivated. He has great skills, good passing and vision, a cannon for a leg and has the ability to cross beautifully. He lacks pace but then again, when you play the Italian slow build up/continental style, I do not think pace is that necessary for a midfielder

  36. Onkar

    July 2, 2009 at 10:44 am

    @vanderberg: You are in the good books of BROG now…. 🙂 🙂 :mrgreen:

  37. Onkar

    July 2, 2009 at 10:48 am

    @Onkar: Oooopppp… I mean GROG… :mrgreen:

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