In the summer of 1982, Ray Wilkins was chosen to be the skipper for both club and country, following the respective stepping down of Martin Buchan and Kevin Keegan. Fate decreed that a broken cheekbone for Wilkins, just weeks after his appointment by Ron Atkinson and Bobby Robson, led to Bryan Robson being appointed the skipper of club and country instead. This was a position he kept long after Wilkins left United and retired from international football. Wilkins was unlucky that he lost his position so quickly due to an injury but, ultimately, it was best (certainly for United) that Robson was skipper. Probably for England too if I’d have cared enough.
Safe journey home you West Ham fans I know it’s a long way but well done, your support was invalid. Thank you. dg
In a day when Arsene Wenger celebrated his one thousandth game with a record equalling defeat at Stamford Bridge; in a day where Andre Marriner made a refereeing mistake that will give him indefinite sleepless nights; in a day when Daniel Sturridge bravely shook off the national vilification for his disgraceful antics last week with a goal at Cardiff (waddya mean you’ve heard nowt about it?), Wayne Rooney equalled, then surpassed Jack Rowley’s scoring tally and stole the headlines with a goal from 58 yards at the Boleyn Ground. It’s hard to say which is Rooney’s best ever goal and it can obviously only ever be a matter of opinion anyway, but it’s comfortably the furthest goal he’s ever scored. The goal has been constantly compared to David Beckham’s goal against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park in August 1996. Personally, I think it’s more akin to Nayim’s fantastic goal for Real Zaragoza against Arsenal in the 1995 European Cup Winners Cup Final in Paris (shown below). Like Andre Marriner, West Ham United keeper Adrian will have a few sleepless nights coming up. Even with admiring the brilliance of Rooney’s initiative, a keeper should never be beaten from that distance (unless you’re David Seaman)
In my 30 something years of watching United, for the first time tonight, I watched the match from an executive box at the top of the 2nd tier of the United road/North/Sir Alex Ferguson stand. In the company of good, time served and now affluent reds who are old friends of mine, it was a real eye opening experience of how the other half live. A three course meal and as much beer, wine or cider to drink as was wanted, it was a pleasant but surreal contrast to the usual experience at Old Trafford. The view was birds eye, the simultaneous height and clarity of our position enhanced the observation significantly. Just in case anything was missed, we got instant action replays on the TV screen directly above our heads or the ability to switch over to SKY Sports News or even watch the Wigan v City match in tandem with the United match unfolding below us if we so wished (we didn’t). From here, it was more obvious watching Javier Henandez constantly flirting with being offside as well as Rafael’s thrilling but frightening playing style.