What a way to go!

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Well that was one helluva week-end of celebrations eh? Firstly the Cup Final was brilliant, a real old fashioned David v Goliath tussle and outcome. Mighty moneybags Man Citteh humbled by homespun little Wigan. And the Latics deserved it. And did you know this is the first time in the history of the Cup that the last 3 winning managers’ have had the same Christian name? But don’t you imagine that the fat burghers of the FA might have imagined that the name would be something like Wilfred or Bernard, rather than Roberto, when they created the competition 150 years ago? Cosi divertente.

Anyway on to the main celebrations and Old Trafford was a sea of sentimentality as they honoured the achievements of Sralex, said goodbye to the little genius Paul Scholes (and unwittingly probably the same thing to wayward genius Wayne Rooney), celebrated the winning of the Premiership trophy for the 20th time and they also won a game too with a cracking match-winning volley from goal shy Rio Ferdinand. Blimey, if you were ever going to attend a match at Old Trafford this season, that was it. I also rather like the shot of Sralex above. I see this and can imagine him singing…

‘I left my heart down Salford Quays, oh,

near Cheetham Hill, it calls to me.

To be where Metrolink cars climb halfway to the stars

Rooney’s mood may chill the air, I don’t care….

my love’s elsewhere, in Sandown Park noo.

Ah they don’t write them like that anymore. And once the applause died down SAF gave a speech was pure Fergie when he kind of summed up the essence of Manchester United as he addressed the players;

You know how good you are. You know the jersey you are wearing. You know what it means to be here. Don’t let yourself down’

Enough said. They should hang those words on the home dressing-room wall.

If a man could design his own send off that was probably it. Marvellous. Not many achieve anything like that in football (though rather neatly his successor, David Moyes, did get a little close at Everton on Sunday too) as today’s sacking of Citteh manager Mancini amplifies. I’ve always rather liked old Roberto but delivering City’s first trophy successes and title in over 40 years (albeit with the help of £1Bn investment in players etc) didn’t matter in the end. SAH had triumphed again; his final act silencing that particular noisy neighbour. He’s going to be missed when he’s gone – I mean SAF of course!

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ps And as a little welcome to Old Trafford present for David Moyes, there’s a gift-wrapped Wilfried Zaha who put in a 5 star performance with two goals to take Crystal Palace into the play-off final last night. Mouth watering. I bet Moyes can’t wait to get started.

the mad,mad,mad,mad world of football

Well it’s an interesting scene. It could easily be the venue, approved by FIFA, for the 2014 World Cup Final rather than say the Maracana.  I mean it’s got everything that Blatter & C0 look for – a totally remote location, a terrifying gradient yes but look at those stunning views, absolutely no facilities for spectators and that oh so important on-pitch shade for the players. I’m joking – honestly. I was just using this image as a sign that the world of football has gone completely frigging mad.

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whatever happened to real football?

I’ve been watching Man C v Juventus tonight in the Europa League. It was a dull affair and I’m not just saying that as a Man U fan. It wasn’t the 1-1 result either; I’ve seen some fantastic drawn games over the years. The problem was that they were playing a style of football that can only be described as basketball. It’s what happens when you buy a team of superstars or when you happen to be managed by Arsene Wenger or like watching Spain play in their occasional laboured performances.

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managerial swap shop; a never-ending story

So Man City finally sack Sven GE as their manager yesterday. Sven, of course, once accepted the job of managing Blackburn Rovers before giving back word. Now Man City are chasing Mark Hughes the current Blackburn manager, who once played for Chelsea. Chelsea once interviewed Sven GE for their manager’s job before giving it to Jose Mourinho, who surfaced yesterday as the new manager of Inter Milan, having sacked Roberto Mancini the other day. Mancini is one of the candidates for the Chelsea job which became vacant following the departure of Avram Grant, who is one of the candidates for the Man City job. So too is Big Phil Scolari, the current manager of the Portuguese national side, but Phil is also being chased by Chelsea. If he cannot be prised away then Chelsea may well plump for the afore-mentioned Hughes. Sven GE is unlikley to return to Blackburn and will probably take up a role with the Mexican national side. Blackburn may therefore go for Sam Allardyce who used to manage rivals Bolton before he moved to a bigger job at Newcastle from whence he got sacked earlier this season. The Newcastle job was probably the one that ought to have been offered to Sven GE but they’ve now appointed Kevin Keegan, who’s done the job previously. That was before he went to Man City who finally sacked Sven GE as their manager yesterday…..

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munich ’58

Did you see the news that Man Utd have been given dispensation to wear a one-off,  logo-free replica 50’s kit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Munich air crash for the match versus Man City on February?  It’s supposed to be a commercialism-free occasion which will be a tremendously fitting and emotional tribute to those players, staff and journalists who perished that day. The computer could only have thrown up a match versus City that Saturday nearest the anniversary date couldn’t it? Especially since this was a personal tragedy which affected the whole of Manchester.

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sven and big sam

Here’s a thought. Sven’s off to the industrial north west to the Eastlands stadium where the most exotic manager they’ve had was probably Mel Machin. I know they are owned by the Thai guy now but it all seems so incongruous for the urbane sophisticated former manager of Lazio, Benfica, Gothenburg, Sampdoria and England to end up in Gorton (my father’s p.o.b).

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