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Who the f*** are Man United?

Champions of the world, that’s who.

I’m elated. Celebrated Rooney’s goal like a loon. There’s been a lot of cynicism towards the merits of this tournament, mostly from bitter rivals – who’d secretly love to have the chance to be there – but disappointingly from United fans as well. I don’t know whether it’s just snobbery or an insular parochial view to football in general, but it’s unjustified.

We can officially call ourselves the best team in the world, a feat no other English team have achieved. Sure you can prove yourself to be the best in your country, and the best in Europe, but can you really call yourself the best in the world when you haven’t proved yourself against the rest of the world, especially the best teams from the hot-bed of football brilliance that is South America?

David Gill made a good point that in 10/15 years, this trophy could be massive (no, not relegation zone Man City massive). And we’ve got our name on it. The dismissive attitude some English fans show to this trophy has parallels with English clubs and fans in the 1950’s who showed disdain for the European Cup when it started out. English clubs didn’t even contest the first couple – too much hassle, not prestigious enough, apparently. Real Madrid were cleaning up back then, perhaps benefiting from other club’s indifference to the competition, and every one of their titles won back then counts the same as one won today in the Champions League.

I saw at least one Quito player in tears at the final whistle, which shows you how much this means to them. But that shoulsn’t be a surprise to anyone who understands what this trophy means to the rest of the world, particularly South America. I remember one of Tim Vickery’s columns, where he explained how highly the competition is regarded in South America – their big chance to shine against Europe’s clubs. After winning the Copa Libertadores, the winning team will have immediately put that behind them and will be thinking ahead to ‘Mission Tokyo’ (as Vickery called it), to win the World title.

By contrast, the European (but particularly English) snobbery to this competition is unfortunate and unsavoury. But I’m hopeful things will change. Back when the European Cup was treated with similar cynicism, we were pioneers, being the first English club to both compete in and win the competition. Again, we’re blazing the trail for the rest of England’s clubs on the world stage. Champions of the world, and we’ll get a badge from FIFA to put on our shirts to prove it.

Come on United, let’s make sure we’re back there next year to defend our title.

Submitted by: David Elliott

This is a submission for the Red Rants Writing competition. To take part, click here.



  1. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 4:27 am

    @the three Rs: BRAVO! A beautiful post mate. I totally feel your pain and frustration and I also sympathize with the wife as mine did a similar thing a while back but only because I loved earning too much money for her to spend. I wish it had been over Man United. At least then I would have picked the club over her and felt better.

    I love reading your highly intelligent comments on what Fergie needs to do with the club and with some of the players. An experienced eye can see this and it’s a pleasure to have someone who not only thinks like me on this issue but who has offered some great theories of his own.

    It’s sad to see what has become of our great tradition of attacking and entertaining football. Bottom line is that money is to blame for the destruction of the beautiful game. Do whatever it takes to avoid losing in order to maximize the financial benefits. So the safest thing is to play a choking defensive style that cripples great teams and puts people to sleep. How I would love if all of us on this blog had a section of our own in the Stretford end and as a family of like minded individuals we cheered our team on to victory with heart and passion. Unfortunately we have to settle for this fine blog. It’s not always positive (and i quite often guilty of that) but it is heart felt and honest and above all, it’s inhabited by die hard Manchester United fans who frankly deserve better than what they have received so far this season. We truyly are a spoilt bunch aren’t we? πŸ˜€

  2. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 4:32 am

    @Craig Mc: This is what it has come to I guess. Now Fergie is going to become Arsene Wenger but with out the eye or the patience of the Voyeur. Start buying players who are already stars but are under 25 and stop robbing baby carriages. Rob baby carriages when you are fifth or sixth, not when you are defending champion in the thick of the race. You owe it to your fans to improve the club immediately, not after you have retired. Leave that job for someone else. What about now?
    I am very concerned with this new kiddie corp mentality of Fergie’s It’s like he is tired of managing veteran players with ego’s and needs. That is another reason why it might be time for him to call it a day. These are actions of an old and tired man. Sorry, just the way I feel.

  3. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 4:33 am

    @Craig Mc: Your Prime Minister is a muppet. He should send that money to Old Trafford because the Glazer’s need it more to stop a leaky ship from sinking.

  4. dan(u-ol)

    January 2, 2009 at 9:54 am

    @Craig Mc: thats my point point! they have all been shite and none of them have played because they are showing good form, they’ve played because we have a lack of wingers to rival them for a starting place.

    @JB, no, when tosic comes, he’ll displace park πŸ˜‰

  5. dan(u-ol)

    January 2, 2009 at 9:57 am

    given is considering his future. i say we get him with PIG heading the other way!

  6. RedDevilEddy

    January 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    @dan(u-ol): No doubt! Given is a masterclass keeper, showed against Liverpool last week. If he is available at the price of Β£8 million or so, I would run to Newcastle and sign him personally. Hell, I would sell my houes and spend them on Given! πŸ˜† Just kidding, but he is a great keeper. He has shown it so many times in that past, against us and other. He kept the score at 1-1 at Old Trafford, he kept the score 5-1 against Liverpool and he kept the score 3-0 agaist Arsenal. I know, when you see those two last results you must think he aint any good, but Newcastl aint no team and Given saved them from conceding 10 or more. VDS is getting old, this may be his last year, and PIG sucks dockey kick and Foster is very young and hard to judge so I hope Fergie at least conciders buying Given. Send PIG the other way and pay 8 million and its the best buy we have done since Berbatov. πŸ˜› Or Cantona, whatever.

  7. RedDevilEddy

    January 2, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    @Grognard: Yeah, it seems like the best solution. We can keep going on and on, and we know that we will not agree. So lets leave it to that. πŸ™‚

  8. RedDevilEddy

    January 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    @Grognard: It seems that with Ronaldo it is very hard to decide. You either love him or hate him. I can tell you that in games like the one he played against Stoke(5-0) I luved him. I think “I am happy he stayed”. But in games like the one against Stoke away I though “I wish he had left”. Its hard to decide weather Im happy or not, beucase his performances have not been so great lately. Maybe the team would be better off without him, maybe not. If he had been playing great lately and had this inteview, I bet most fans would be happy about it. But because our teams, and his, performances have been “bad” we might not care as much. I am glad he stayed, and I think he is a great footballer but I still dunno if I cna trust him as a person. If he is at Manchester United come the start of August, I may trust him. I like him now, but I am not sure if I can trsut him. I need proof. I know he is at Manchester United, but I dont know if that is because if Fergie, Ronaldo, United or Real. I need more information! πŸ™‚ Im njot saying that I wish him out, I just say that he is not the guy we all looked up to 1 year ago. So much have changed…

  9. Craig Mc

    January 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    @Grognard: My sentiments exactly about Ronnie Grog – well said πŸ™‚ .

  10. Craig Mc

    January 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    @colver: Yeah Colver, I can never understand like you about Rossi and Pique – these lads were class with a capital C. And now we are scraping the barrel with untested players in the prem. I don’t think Rossi or Pique ever let us down, in what pitifully few chances Fergie allowed them a game – sad to the extreme.

  11. dan(u-ol)

    January 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    we have completed the signings of the 2 young serbs, it is official now.

    please, please, please let this be the end of parks run in the team.

  12. dan(u-ol)

    January 2, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    @Craig Mc: i could understand letting pique go, but rossi should have never go. He ha the potential to be one of the most lethal finishers in the world. Im just glad we have welbeck and campbell who also have similar traits.

  13. dan(u-ol)

    January 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    we need to make up a chant now. we have 3 serbs, which i think is good. If you havent, you should look at some other serbian youth team players, some look real quality, but dont ask me their names lol.

  14. Rd

    January 2, 2009 at 1:34 pm,19528,11661_4733154,00.html

    Yes, you can all sleep peacefully at night now lol. What does this mean for Nani and Park?? ❓

  15. Rd

    January 2, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    @dan(u-ol): But what should he have done??? According to Fergie himself, Rossi wanted regular games and not just appearances in Carling Cup matches or games that don’t matter, Fergie couldn’t offer him that because he wasn’t gonna displace anyone in the team and so he left. I do agree that he should have gone at a higher price though plus don’t we have a buy- back clause on him or something? I know no one ever uses it.

  16. Rd

    January 2, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    @Grognard: Just wanted to say this post reminds me of this:

    “But once the dust has settled Keane will be forever remembered and adored, with the affection and respect of all Reds. As for Fergie, it’s too late. Too many errors of judgment, too many wrong decisions, too selfish and too greedy. Too bad, Alex. This latest balls-up will be added to the growing list of this old man’s mistakes.”

    “Shocking but all brought on by 4-3-3/4-5-1 at the start of the campaign. Ferguson is an Old Trafford Legend who will forever be remembered for what he has done for our club… however the end of this season is the time to step down and let a modern day manager move our club forward.

    But your record over the last four and a half seasons just isn’t good enough and RANT for one doesn’t believe it’s about to get any better. We love you Fergie, for your own sake please just go now”.

    The above are snippets from a United blogger during our extremely short success drought after Abramaovic and his billions burst unto the English football scene, well 3years later and we all know what happened, don’t we? πŸ˜€

  17. Vivek

    January 2, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    F365 reporting we have finally signed the Serbian kids,17033,8652_4733087,00.html

  18. john freakin' o'shea

    January 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm

  19. RedDevilEddy

    January 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Zoran Tosic will get the number 14 shirt. Means he must be trown right into the first team… Ljiaic wont play for us until next season, because he is only 17. Ive never seen any of them play before, so its early for me to say wether this is good business or not. Im just glad we have go a new left winger! πŸ™‚ Park is not good enough, Giggs is too old and Nani has lost the faith form Fergie. I doubt we will see Tosic before our game against Derby, the second leg of the semi final, but the faster he plays, the happier I will be. If Park gets more games, Im gonna get mad! 😑 I hear he is good on free-kicks. Very good if so, then we will have Ronaldo, Hargreaves and Tosic waiting to take them. Hargreaves offer placement, Ronaldo power and Tosic possibly swerve? Brings us something different, and we will se more of those surprise moments from free-kicks like Owens against Arse and Fulham last season. I welcome them both! Just one question for those who have seen them play. Is Tosic fast? I mean, faster than Park, kinds like Nani. I dont mean Ronaldo or Evra fast, but fast enough to run away from a middle-fast player. We need more of those, and I hope he is a good crosser. Cheers, and I hope they both do well.

  20. RedDevilEddy

    January 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I hope FIFA 09 get an update on players and create Tosic this month. πŸ˜† πŸ˜† hi-hi, wonder what his speed, free-kick and crossing skills are? Nice way to find out of a player, eh.

  21. the three Rs

    January 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks Grognard and Craig for your support, and Craig for your lucid comment on matters Middle East. The fact that the wastelands is in their hands makes it all the more interesting.
    Grognard, I have experienced the same gamut of emotions in regard to Ronaldo as you articulated and in the same order. I see too the systematic foul play that he endures most weeks of his working life and fear for such an outstanding athlete, the like we possibly haven’t seen on a football field before. Top athletes gear their training to reaching a peak once a year, or maybe even further away. During last season he maintained incredible levels of consistency that we perhaps began to take for granted. An athlete cannot quickly return from injury, and certainly wouldn’t be expected to face the physical cheating that he does. I hope this latest pronouncement of his increases his popularity and he again enjoys his football with us. I think he has a fortitude that will allow him to take the battle to premiership defences, regardless of intimidation, (the best way to silence the bile from the opposition terraces) if he feels truly loved again. I, for one, fairly regularly visit youtube to listen to our fans singing Viva Ronaldo as they made their way through Moscow’s underground last May.
    He brought us so much joy and he has improved so much in the Old Trafford family. He does not have a father anymore to counsel him and to guide him through such stardom. Becks got a long way but far more through his image than his real talent whereas Ronaldo entertains and wins games, lots of them – in conjunction with Rooney and Tevez it must be restated.
    We do not have the lure of London or the sunshine of Madrid but we can bring a smile back on the young man’s face. There were flashes of it in Japan. I want to believe it will happen because Manchester United Football Club has no equal – and I admit to a degree of bias there.
    ps Vidic the mentor for our new young Serbs and the TORMENTOR of opposing forwards. Clever move Fergie. Lots more please.

  22. john freakin' o'shea

    January 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm

  23. JB

    January 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    @Grognard: No, I am aware of other instances you have outlined of SAF going soft. I don’t agree with them but I don’t really want to get in what would no doubt be a heated argument about them. I just have difficulty with the reasoning behind linking player breaks to it since he has been doing it for years. But it is hardly worth arguing about.

  24. the three Rs

    January 2, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    RedDevilEddy, You’re absolutely right about the importance of free kick variety. I feel too that the training ground should be spawning intelligent alternatives to the direct shot on goal. Just recently, I can’t remember which team, a very cleverly worked free kick came perilously close to unpicking our defence. Variations should be appearing constantly to keep the surprise element in play, yet a clever free kick is so rare as to be a museum exhibit. The technical proficiency of our highly paid elite players should allow pinpoint delivery to feet and the skill to move the ball to a predetermined position and player. The move you can produce on a FIFA game should be transferable to the training ground and then when perfected to the Old Trafford turf. Imagination, creativity, invention, practice = GOAL, unique goal at that.
    Remember – Practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent – so be very careful what you practice.

  25. Matthew

    January 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Thank God we sorted out that transfer for the serbian kids, hopefully now parks playing time will be restricted to squad appearances. Dont get me wrong i like the guy and every1 i know says he is an under rated player and that he is, infact i would have no problem starting him against chelsea soon and against higher calibre teams but against lower teams where they sit back him and also flethcer are not good enough. Hopefully tosic will be selected in these kinds of games.

    It seems like the serbian kids are coming through now, there are a number of them that look promising from what i have seen. Maybe now we have tapped into this market we will see more coming in soon in the future instead of how we were before when we went for the portugeezers. Serbians are more likely to prefer the weather we have, more stronger and less likely to be diving around and getting pushed around too easily. As much as i like watching the south american countries, especially argentina, i gotta say that i cant stand seeing the diving and all that crap that comes with most of them. Hopefully the serbs will do great for us anyway.

  26. JB

    January 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    @Craig Mc: The problem is likely two fold. Firstly Rossi liked to play in the hole and we had a glut of players like that at the time. If he had been a bit taller and faster he would likey have got more opportunities as he could of led the line. Secondly he wanted more first team football. Not much keeping him on the books if he isn’t happy.

    @dan(u-ol): I have to say that Campbell and Welbeck are no where near Rossi’s standard in terms of finishing. Rossi was easily the finest finisher that the reserves has produced in many a year.

  27. JB

    January 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    @Rd: This is what gets me. I have been criticised before for advocating patience and giving SAF time to get it right. What would have happened if the club had acted hastily and sacked SAF after the defeat in Benfica, arguably the clubs darkest hour in the last decade? I doubt we would have had the huge success of the last two seasons to boast about.

    The β€˜old man’ as the blog puts it, has turned many a situation around in his long career. At some stage his powers will fade and his career will come to an end. We may be seeing signs of it this season, we may not. But I for one will not be writing an obituary for him yet.

  28. SRAB

    January 2, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    First things first, great article David. You write well and I agree with most of your points.

    Secondly, regarding the Chelsea match I have a plea to issue to anyone who will be attending (I haven’t read the comments til now so apologies if this is way off topic or if it has been said already).

    Many of you I know read the Republik of Mancunia blog, and so may have seen Scott’s idea about everyone bringing inflatable bananas, poking fun at John Terry. For those who haven’t read it, or would like the link to buy their own (5 foot 7!) inflatable banana, here is Scott’s article:

    I think it’s a great idea, and it will only work as a statement if as many as possible of us do it. So please buy your banana! (Scott has managed to barter the price down slightly)

  29. SRAB

    January 2, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Just read some of the comments, the three Rs and Craig I thought your posts numbers 140 and 142 respectively were absolutely terrific, and I completely agree, and sympathise on the personal and political levels as well as the football ones (though I know this is a football blog, the point is about the players’ attitudes, so it’s all relevant!)

  30. Craig Mc

    January 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    @SRAB: Thank you mate, sometimes we just need to say how things are in the MADNESS of todays world πŸ™‚ .

  31. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    @dan(u-ol): Contrary to what many may think, United have not done well or been fair to most of the reserve stars over the years. Other than Rafael and Evans this season, United rarely if ever promote anyone from the reserves anymore. They leave them there to basically lose confidence or wait for a transfer. Occasionally they call somebody for a cameo like Richardson but never really give them a true and honest run to find themselves before they are loaned out or just sold.

    Now we have some real talent down there like Possebon, Fabio, Cleverley, Gibson, Macheda Welbeck, Manucho and of course poor old Campbell toiling away at Spurs. I would favor blooding any of these players over playing Neville, Giggs and dare I say it………..YES, even Scholes. And if they are not seen as good enough, then sell them and use that money to find more Tosic’s out there. I’m all for keeping the farm system going strong but at some time soon, Fergie will also have to spend money on a proven and experienced player for the center of our midfield.

  32. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    I just read where Slaven Bilic is going to step down as Croatia manager in in November after the team’s World Cup qualifiers are over. This guy is a pretty decent and progressive coach and a great motivator. Keeping with the purchases from the country known as the former Yugoslavia, I would suggest a great idea would be for Fergie and United to hire him ASAP as Fergie’s #2, sack Phelan and have Bilic mentor under Fergie for 1 or 2 years before taking over for the Gaffer. He is fluent in English and I believe he also speaks Spanish too as I think I have read that somewhere, although I could be wrong there. If so, we have a manager who would have very little problem communicating with his team. Although I am not too sure what Serbo/Croatian relations are like these days. Just food for thought. I’d rather us get him than some other English club or Italian side.

  33. Craig Mc

    January 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    @JB: I know the lad wanted 1st team football, but I personally feel Jb that he is BETTER in the hole position just behind the forwards than those who are playing there. I say this because having watched him a lot with the reserves, he can spot a pass, and find excellent thru balls to put other strikers 1 on 1 with the GK πŸ˜€ . Also he is one of the best we had in the box for sneaking goals, he was fast and he had a definate knack for scoring goals REGULARLY. i FELT VERY SAD TO LOSE HIM.

    I want Fergie to at least give Manucho a full ist team game somewhere, otherwise how can we know whether he will make it or not. We have not been fair to the lad, and he does seem a bright spark in the reserve games.

  34. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    @Rd: The party is coming to an end for Nani and it just means a little competition right now for Fergie’s dream child Park.

  35. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    @Rd: True. At the time he left Rossi had not shown Fergie or any of us for that matter that he was good enough to play for the team. Going to Italy and then Spain gave him that opportunity to learn and grow which United could not afford to offer him due to their constant fight at the top of the standings. The best thing that has happened to Arsenal this season is that they are swiftly running themselves out of contention. Therefore, they will be given the time and chance to further develop their young players, which will pay major dividends for them in the future. We don’t have that luxury. We can only break in one, perhaps two at a time, and very carefully.

  36. JB

    January 2, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    @Craig Mc: Better than Rooney? Particulary back in 2005/06, I really don’t think so to be fair.

  37. Red Ranter

    January 2, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    New post up

  38. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    @Rd: He is three years older and that much closer to 70. The Glazer’s as owners in a much more precarious place now than back then which can’t guarantee us to purchase experienced world class players at Fergie’s whim. Like now the team was in transition but never struggled to score goals like now, and above all, he never made as many questionable lineup changes like he does now. Are we still going to back him and say all will be well if we slip out of the Champions League too. There will come a time when it is obvious to all and hopefully Fergie, that the time is close. Hire a Slaven Bilic as #1 and mentor him for a season or two to take over and then retire. Retire gracefully rather than having management show him the door. He has created his own monster at OT. A commitment to excellence that he is now finding hard to keep up with. In my experience, very few legendary coaches or managers retire on a high and without a blemish to their record. Most of them coach well into a period when the game has passed them by. The NFL has had legendary coaches who have acheived everything in the game and have comaparable records to Fergie except for the fact that in football, you only play for one trophy a year, not five or six. Tom Landry, Don Shula and Chuck Knoll are examples of greats who hung on a bit too long and then all of a sudden, they began to lose. They could no longer motivate and inspire players from a new generation.

    I’m afraid this may be happening to a small extent with Fergie. Sure it’s only a year since we won the Double but I still claim that it was more luck that won us the Double than out managing and out playing the opposition. What exactly did Fergie do last year? He beat AV Grant…..barely. WOW! Had he beaten Chelsea under Mourinho, perhaps then I would have been more impressed. He beat Wenger while the Voyeur was starting a rebuilding youth program. And as for Rafa, well he wasn’t much of a threat period. This year he faces the Gene Hackman and a newer more improved Rafa, as well as some very formidable opponents in Europe like Barca, Bayern, Juve and Inter. All these teams are playing well and have very solid managers running the show. No more free passes from AV Grant. This upcoming second half is a major test for Fergie. Hopefully he will pass with flying colors. Personally, I have serious doubts. Not if we have to struggle every game with a late second half goal to get points.

  39. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    @john freakin’ o’shea: All I have to say is they better be damn good because with 16 million and another 4 or 5 we could have bagged a world star to help us at that position.

  40. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    @RedDevilEddy: I’ve bought Tosic on my Football Manager 09 PC game and he hasn’t been to bad. Sure it’s just a pc game but if his skill and influence on a game is anywhere as close as to what it is in this game, we will have poached a winner. Great thing is he is also a master at free kicks, and corners. As for my season on Football Manager 09, I am 8-1-0 in the EPL and have won all w of my Champions League matches. Fortuately Berbatov is a much better hitman for me having netted 7 times so far in 11 starts. Ronaldo has been good but does not get many goals in open play. 4 penalties and two free kicks. Carrick has actually been poor for me and Anderson has been invisible I am sorry to say but Nani has been outstanding when I have played him. I also bought Marin who has been fairly good. Scholes has been good but Giggs has not. Neville is toiling away with the reserves and Park was sold to Spurs as my first order of business. My second order was to sell Neville and strip him of the captaincy. But nobody wanted him. Jee, I wonder why? πŸ˜‰

    Rooney and Tevez have been good but unlike Fergie, I properly rotate all three forwards and I make sure they all stay sharp, hungry and content. Berbatov 8 goals, Rooney 7 and Tevez has 4. I do not play Rafael much because frankly, the game doesn’t rate him as high as he deserves. Next years version will, but so far, I’d say Wes Brown is my team MVP. Weird! Vidic is yellow card crazy and Rio has been average at best. Evra looks great but cannot cross (art immitating life) and Evans is a bit of a risk at present. Unfortunately, no game completed before the season begins can adequately predict how some reservists develop. What it can predict is how useless Giggs and Neville are and the fact that Anderson will never ever score a goal.

  41. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    @the three Rs: I couldn’t agree more. I hope Ronny has a chance to relax and put all this garbage behind him. What I don’t think will go away though is the constant fouling and referees turning the other cheek. That’s an EPL problem and it’s a major one. Truthfully, I wonder in amazement when quality attacking players say they want to play in England. If I was one it would be off to Spain or Germany. I would want to have success playing in a league that doesn’t play so physically dirty and which doesn’t have the majority of the teams park the bus, making my job seemingly impossible. Money is great but the game in England is no longer fun to play, yet alone watch. Don’t you agree?

  42. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    @JB: No problem JB. Like I said a while back, we probably don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things to do with footy, but I for one respect your opinions and well thought out arguments. On this one we cannot agree. Lets look forward to the next topic or so where we just might. Cheers! πŸ˜€

  43. Grognard

    January 2, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    @the three Rs: I sometimes wonder why this team does not study other great teams of the past. The Dutch National team of the 70’s were absolute masters and exhibited true genius in corner kick as well as free kicks. Hard shots, finesse, tricks, lobs, multiple player movements, they were all there. Study and learn from the past. Brazilian free kick films from the 70’s and early 80’s exist. The team needs to start adding some creative imagination in both free kicks and especially in their corners. Even with Beckham, we were a horrible outfit in converting corner kicks.

  44. the three Rs

    January 2, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Grog, Bilic would be a clever appointment if he is enthused by the idea. He appears to have good management skills as well as an open mind where coaching is concerned. He has cut his teeth as boss but would not necessarily see it as a backward step to work alongside Fergie at such a huge club where a top position is going to be available in the nearish future. He appears a good motivator and communicates well. He respects opponents but has an offensive mindset.
    I feel that we should be taking the fight to whoever we play. We have an outstanding defence that has that key component of speed in it and we have a number of players that can beat opponents as well as possessing good awareness of colleagues. The best coaches around the globe must drool at the thought of working with such a group of winners.
    I would like us to win the Champions League by playing with the mindset we showed in the first half of the final, not with the football of the semis. I’m not sure Fergie can make that jump and needs someone alongside him that he confidently looks to for ideas and tactics.
    We’re fairly dismissive of ME because of player selection and substitutions this season. We can see deficiencies he either cannot or can but does not enjoy the Fergie’s confidence to the extent that is needed. There are certain things he can clearly learn from being beside the boss, there are other aspects many of us feel he can not, but indeed should be taking the lead if he possesses that acumen.
    It should be Fergie’s final glory to leave at the right time having facilitated a smooth takeover that ensures the attacking tenets of the club are intact and the desire to see our youth players given proper opportunity to prove their worth.

  45. the three Rs

    January 2, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Grognard, why is there so much foul play in the EPL? Why can defence not be as much of an art form as attack? There is a place for the hard physical challenge, as men that is something we appreciate I believe, but equally there is the timing of that challenge, the jockeying of an opponent until that time is right, the vision to see an interception and so remove the need for a challenge.
    A defender will not always succeed, a forward will not always get through, but mutual respect should be part of the whole process. Moore, Beckenbaur, Maldini, Baresi, Hanson, Walker, Buchan, Pallister, etc etc. I can even cope with the idea of a slippery player being double marked as long as referees don’t make it 3 against one.
    However, a defence should not consist of 11 players. It has been like watching the siege of the Alamo this season with those poor, stouthearted men getting plaudits from journos who should be flagging up the death knell of entertainment and the arrival of a blood sport to replace what has been otlawed in our countryside.
    That rugby tackle of John Terry’s was a disgrace to the spirit of sport and the rescinding of the red card the undermined official gave him was an act of disturbing complicity by the FA. What chance does the sport have?

  46. Matthew

    January 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Grognard, im a big slaven bilic fan and he really has done wonders for croatia, i wanted them to win the euro because it would raise bilic’s profile even more and maybe some of the top jobs would be available to him. I hear that he says that he will leave croatia at the end of the world cup in 2010 which is think is personally bad timing. I say this because this is probably the time when ferguson will retire and i dont feel that bilic will have the creditentials to take over at that date. Had he left croatia at the end of the euro 08 then maybe we could have approached him and had him as our assistant and possible future boss. This is what i wanted in the new assistant role when it became available and why i was so disappointed when the job was given to phelan. I was looking forward to us getting a genuine world class person who could then maybe take over when ferguson retired. I was hoping for a michael laudrup, laurent blanc, that sporting lisbon fella, and as outsiders yes a bilic and cantona. The only problem is would bilic swap the job of managing his national team to taking the assistants role with us? I dont know, probably not. So it looks like we will miss the chance of getting him i guess, but i would have any1 over that idiot phelan.

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