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Manchester United 0, Reading 0: Held At Home on Opener

12 Aug

Fair play to Reading: game plan was to come away with a point, and that’s exactly what they did. United ridiculous number of shots on goal, great defending… Rooney going off injured. All combined for a cracking result for them. Can’t argue with their tactics, as Coppell himself said after the game:

I‘d have loved to have gone 4-4-2 and seen what happened but we’d have got hammered.

Can’t really argue with that. Of course we should have won that game handily, but one game into the season is a little early to be sounding the death knell. I’m convinced we’re going to score an absolute shitload this year and I honestly feel this is our best chance to land the Champion’s League in years. Nani, Anderson, Rooney, Scholes, Giggs, Saha, Ronaldo = a bucketload of goals. Just the right combination of youth and experience.

Manchester United: 2008 Champion’s League Winners.

Hargreaves for 13 million?

17 Aug

Christ. Well, he’s decent enough, and if the lad pulls the shirt on I’ll give him a chance, but 30 million quid for Carrick and Hargreaves is ludicrous.

Italy Match Fixing Trial: Three Relegated

15 Jul

Juventus were last night dealt the most crushing blow in the club’s illustrious history when a sporting tribunal set up by the Italian federation to decide on claims of match-fixing ordered the club be relegated to Serie B and forced to start next season with a 30-point deduction. It is unlikely they will play in the Champions League before at least 2009.

The worst corruption trial in the history of football? No question. Absolutely stunning.

2010 (South Africa) World Cup In Trouble?

12 Jul

Interesting and worrying article in the Guardian today:

“Fifa executives have voiced “serious” doubts about whether South Africa will be able to host the next World Cup in 2010 and have discussed a radical contingency plan that would see the United States stage the tournament instead, it was reported in Germany yesterday.”

Though I’d be sad to see South Africa lose it, I have to say I have my doubts about their ability to put it together. US seems the most likely to be able to host at such short notice. Also I live here now, so that would suit me down to the ground.  Any chance of having the Euros over  here too? 😉

Zidane Goes Mental, Italy Wins!

9 Jul

Bloody hell, what a finish.

Invisible for most of the game, Zidane crowns it with one of the most extraordinary moments a World Cup final has ever seen. Not unprecedented from him, but astonishing nonetheless. France looked to be in control, and he goes mental. Some power behind that headbutt, too. Kapow!

Fair play to Italy, proper test of nerves at the end with their penalty record, but they passed with flying colors. Gattuso was absolutely immense today, surprised he didn’t get MoM consideration: he was everywhere. Another one I’d love at United… perfect replacement for Roy Keane.

Nice to see Henry pick up his loser’s medal, too. Well deserved, a real runner’s up performance from him again today 🙂

This pic says it all, really:

Cheers for the memories Zizou. Truly one of the great players, but also a bit mental at times. Bit of a rubbish way to bow out, eh? Time to reconsider your retirement (again)?

10 Men Behind the Ball at All Times?

9 Jul

The showpiece kicks off in a little over half an hour… 32 teams whittled down to these two. So many questions…. will Henry turn it on? Will he swandive his way to a WC medal? How negative will the Italians be? Will there be a load of cards?  A sending off?

I’m hopeful the Italians play like they did against Germany, but my fear is they’ll put 10 behind the ball and try and smother the French.
I’m thinking 0-0 here, with the Italians taking it on Penalties.  Either way am expecting a real defensive battle.

Has This World Cup Been Any Good?

6 Jul

I can’t decide. Lot of folks saying it’s been the worst ever, but the English always say that after crashing out on penalties. I think above all else I’ll remember it as the competition of crazy cards. At the end of the group stage this WC had seen more cards than the whole of Japan/Korea saw. That’s just rubbish: with the exception of the Holland/Portugal game, it’s really not been a dirty competition.

I’ll also remember it for all the diving, Ronaldo and Henry in particular. Fifa needs to give itself the power to ban players after the game, based on the video evidence. That’s the only way it’ll get resolved, although a video ref in the stands and immediate yellows for diving will help. I really think it’s ruining the game… makes me sick to see a player as talented as Ronaldo or Henry going down with the slightest bit of contact, or even worse just out and out diving. They’re all at it, and we have to stop it somehow.