Sunday, November 13, 2005

Heading Back Home

We came out of yesterday's game in Port of Spain with a 1-1 draw. I didn't actually see the match (thanks to it not being available on any european satellite channels) so after a mad scramble trying to figure something out- we'd been working on it for two weeks, but still no joy- we finally settled for watching a crap video feed online from the Kuwaiti sports channel KTV3.

It was mostly audio, since the video was either choppy or of unwatchable quality.. so you can imagine the tension rising along with the commentator's voice pitch. Reading the (somewhat limited, unfortunately) post-game reports online today it seems that we put in a decent performance and more than matched the T&T team. We would've taken a positive draw had it been handed to us before the game with much satisfaction, since scoring that away goal ensures that the trinis are gonna come flying at us in Bahrain. This perfectly suits our counterattacking game, and our defence showed last night that we can cope with the deadly trio of Yorke-Latapy-John and limit their influence on the events of play.

I must say however that I'm VERY satisfied that their goal was a spectacular effort rather than a lapse in concentration. A half-volley from 25 meters? I'd let them take that shot every single time. We went out and played a tactically smart 90 minutes, stuck to our gameplan and got the precious away goal. Our defence was solid and neutralized a few of the most famous soccer names to come out of the Carribbean. The only reason they're on the scoresheet is because of a slice of luck from an Englishman who just recently discovered that his mother is Trinidadian*.

You know what, it's looking really good. I can't wait until Wedensday.

*Correction: I just found out that his mother was BORN in Trinidad, and isn't Trini as I originally stated. He had never set foot in the country previous to his debut in May.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Kids Come Good

Man Utd 1 - 0 Chelsea

Now THAT was a performance. Each and every single player was magnificent. They chased, they harried, they passed and they got the all-important goal. This is what this side is capable of, and that's what we the fans expect every single game. I hope this kickstarts our season and we go on to put a nice run together.

Old Trafford should be renamed from the "Theatre of Dreams" to "Graveyard of Unbeaten Runs"..


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Disrespectful Children

I'm guessing all of you have read about the apparent gagging of Roy Keane following the Middlesbrough fiasco by cancelling his interview on MUTV. Well, the whole situation has been kept under wraps with no formal explanations or even acknowledgements from club officials.

A short article on Soccernet today roughly reveals the contents of the Keane interview that never was. In typical Keano fashion he has ripped into the players for such an insipid performance, and took it a step further by suggesting that instead of January purchases being made to rectify the situation, a club clear out is the real solution to Manchester United's ailments. One of the players he singled out from that game was Rio Ferdinand (and rightly so). Apparently Keane had said: "Just because you are paid £120,000 a week and play well for 20 minutes against Tottenham, you think you are a superstar". He then followed by complaining about the lack of characters and leadership within the team.

What really hit home the most was his final statement in which he says: "I wasn't surprised by the result. I had been expecting one like this. I am sick of having to say it and they are sick of listening to me. They have let down the club, the manager and the fans".

Now that actually shocked me. When Roy Keane lambasts you for a poor performance you play your next game like a man possessed just to avoid getting on his bad side again. When our captain complains of having to harp on about the same issues constantly with the players not responding then it almost paints a picture of an adult lecturing a bunch of adolescents while they roll their eyes in annoyance. That pisses me off. When did the players ever lose fear and respect for the captain and the manager? Is Keane losing his potency as a leader because his injuries are limiting his abilities on the field? He is a prime model for the "leading by example" ethos, and his tireless work from box to box in his heyday would inspire all around him. When players that are 8, 9 or 10 years his junior start disregarding his criticism then you know there's a problem. Is it a problem that's inherent within the current generation of overpaid young premadonnas masquerading around as footballers? Are they really so full of themselves that they no longer care about the heirarchy of football, where the captain is your leader on the pitch, the manager the leader of your life and the fans the reason you're even there to begin with? Maybe they think that they're talented enough to go to any other club they choose if things go belly-up at this one.

I watched that game last Saturday and I can safely say that (bar Rooney) not one of those players out there exhibited the hunger for success required from a Manchester United player. If they don't re-examine their priorities and realize that winning (and not money) is what matters then I'd fully support Keane on his suggestion and kick every single one of them out the front door on a Bosman. Players like that aren't worth the dirt stuck to the bottom of their overpriced boots.