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.

Fergie time’s up

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Well SAF checked that watch one final time this morning and decided to call time on his career as manager of the great Manchester United. After 26 years and 38 trophies, it really does look like there’ll be no more extra minutes for the great intimidated referee in the sky to add on this time. Continue reading

want away wayne

And so all those dark utterings are accurate. Sir Alex Ferguson of all people has been forced to hold a press conference today to confirm that Wayne Rooney won’t be signing a new contract and wants to leave the club. Inside two seasons Man U will have lost the services of Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney – that’s a lot of fire power which will have gone to rival clubs and not been replaced following relationship breakdowns with SAF. Could any club survive that? Once upon a time Man U would have been big enough to ride it through and possibly even prosper by bringing through new talent and buying world class replacements. After all they thrived after jettisoning players of the calibre of Ince, Staam, van Nistelrooy, Beckham, Keene etc But not now. And that’s the bigger story today I fear, not that player greed is now seemingly unquenchable but that Man U are just not the force they were even two years ago.

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i wish i’d never bought…..

When I was 16 a friend of mine had been on a visit to Carnaby St (and bear in mind this was the swinging 60’s) and had come back with a very cool pair of flared hipsters with big leather belt. Sounds unlikely, and very Austin Powers, but these were the thing for blokes to wear. And I really wanted a pair. So off I toddled to Blackpool’s equivalent of trendy boutique street (one shop) and blew all my savings on a pair of flared hipsters made from bold orange corduroy.

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football update

A bit late this posting following last night’s strangely muted affair at the Nou Camp. Man U come away with a 0-0 draw which is ok I guess. Ronaldo missed a penalty and had another valid claim (in my view) denied. It could have been 2-0 away and tie over but that would have been more than unfair. Man U were pretty horrible to watch last night. And as for Barca they played some really attractive approach play – Deco was particularly effective – but they only created a few chances themselves. 0-0 seemed fair even if it was less than decent fayre on display. Continue reading

man u edge closer to Prem title

I managed to catch some of yesterday’s match between Man U and Arsenal at our local supermarket here in Italy. It was being shown on a large screen in the food piazza and there was a large interested crowd. Cool eh! I couldn’t stop there long and listened to the rest of the match (or at least highlights) at home via Talksport online. It sounded like a great game and by all accounts Arsenal were unlucky not to get a draw at least. But yet again they seem to have been let down by a thin squad and near-exhausted players. As I said in a recent posting I reckon that’s not just bad luck which has caught up with them but also a lack of foresight and boldness in the transfer market. They say Wenger never buys class players at their peak, preferring to buy promising uncut stones and turning them into polished gems. Well I believe he need not shed that policy but surely the time has come for him  to use that cash reserve  to supplement the squad with some top class players too, otherwise it could be a few more seasons of lovely football, without any silverware.  Even Fergie seems to be getting all sympathetic and I’m sure I saw him offering to help by letting Wenger have Saha for just the £15M….. go on Arsene, he even speaks French.

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ronaldo; rocket ronnie

Just a very small posting to celebrate Ronaldo’s fantastic free-kick last night. If you haven’t seen it, it’s shown below. He notched up his usual brace and that puts him on 27 goals for the season so far and he’s closing in on George Best’s best ever tally. Ferguson reckoned it was the best-ever free-kick yet seen in the Premiership and today’s reports reckon Man U’s first-half performance was just electrifying – the most complete period of football most fans have ever witnessed. In view of next week’s 50th anniversary of the Munich disaster, could there possibly be a more fitting tribute to the memory of those who died? Enough poignancy, just enjoy this beautiful piece of football:

lovejoy!

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