Having picked a taxi up at the airport, I was lectured by a driver who sounded uncannily like Steve McLaren. “This is a city of 220,000 people, we have fantastic red light district and great shmokers’ cafes, why would you want to go to a shithole like Amsterdam?”
With this logic, it was hard to argue with a driver who had a similar physical presence to Wladimir Klitschko (and a similar barnet). It didn’t help this driver’s humour that the E27 was slowed almost to a standstill by a combined harvester that had a suspiciously yellow and green colouring. After all this time, I think Buckscanary has finally got his revenge.
Outside the Philips Stadion. This photo makes it look a little like Sunderland’s stadium, here though is where the comparison ends. Eindhoven’s a cracking place to visit, Sunderland… (photo courtesy of John O’Dea)
Up to and including the match against City on the 2nd of November, there’s only one United match that is not being shown live on television. That is United’s next home match against West Ham in a couple of weeks. By then, United’s first six games will have been shown live on television. That is quite something for a side that finished 7th last season. No matter what is going on at Old Trafford, for good or bad, United are the biggest show in any town it happens to be.
Until tonight, United hadn’t played at this stage of the League Cup since losing to York City in 1995. That tie saw an unbelievable 3-0 loss at Old Trafford to York, tonight somehow surpassed that.
It was quite quaint seeing pick ‘n’ mix stalls outside the ground. A very old fashioned enterprise in a surrounding that screams sterile modernity in quadrophonic sound. As charming as it was to see pick ‘n’ mix stalls outside the stadium, the allure wore off rapidly when we saw the pick ‘n’ mix nature of United’s Continue reading Pick ‘n’ Mix – Milton Keynes 26th of August 2014
Blue scarves, blue shirts and blue hats for a blue day were all I needed as the traditional Spring sight of daffodils was overwhelmed on Wednesday morning. By Wednesday night, the agenda had changed for the media. Some dickhead had decided to canvas contributions for an aircraft based at Barton Aerodrome to fly over Old Trafford with an anti-Moyes banner attached.
Years ago, we all laughed at attention seeking City fans who had arranged an aircraft with the legend “You’re The Pride Of Singapore” attached to it on the day United won the title. We all chuckled at how small time it was. Now a truth more painful than the defeat the other night has become apparent; there are some real pricks amongst United fans. I’m struggling to think what’s worse – that a small amount of United fans are prepared to pay good money on this pathetic stunt or a significant amount are prepared to chip in small amounts to facilitate it.
As some Reds had said yesterday, the publicity generated for a gleeful media over this whole sorry episode meant that it had actually become academic as to whether it happened or not. How many times has a ‘Glazer Out’ plane been hired since 2005? I suppose that a few bad results are fair game for something like this but the extracting of hundreds of millions of pounds on absolutely nothing is fine. David Moyes, a decent man who might be out of his depth, doesn’t deserve this (and don’t give me any of that bollocks about how much he gets paid). It is shameful. Continue reading A Ring Of Boos – Manchester 29th of March 2014
Last week, United beat Swansea City 2-0 with goals from Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck to seize a losing run. It was at times sloppy and Swansea gave United a scare or two in the first half, but United ended up winning comfortably. Yesterday, with United’s recent results in mind, some bookies were offering 4/1 on a straight United win. I reckon it’s over twenty years since odds as good as that, were offered on a United win. Even with odds as enticing and knowing that even now, United are capable of beating anybody on the right day, I don’t know anybody who had a serious punt on a United victory. Most reds I spoke to prior to yesterday were secretly dreading the potential leathering United could have got. The 3-1 result looked emphatic for Chelsea, anybody who watched the game will know that was far from the case.
Yet again a merciful United attackspared the opposition when playing well. It was a surprise to nobody watching the match that with United dominating the early part of the game, Chelsea took the lead in the 17th minute. Samuel Eto’o sold Phil Jones far too easily on the right flank and then let fly with left footed shot that hit the back of the net right in front of the traveling reds via a Michael Carrick deflection. Before that, Ashley Young had forced the excellent Petr Cech into a save in the first minute. For all that possession up to Eto’s goal, I’m convinced that United, Young, Rafael and Evra in particular,would struggle to deliver a news paper, never mind a decent final ball. The quality of the crosses when in a good position was as bad as anything I’ve ever seen Nani deliver. Continue reading An Empty Gesture In A Fit Of Pique – Manchester 20th January 2014