Sunday, 15 May 2011

#56 - 19

Rossibianchi is back. Until I forget again. It feels like 19 months since I last posted.

It's a pretty great time to get back to posting on here, what with United fans delightfully mixed up in more numerology than The Number 23 shown 13 times over, whilst speaking out π to as many digits as possible. Of course, it's understandable, it's an amazing achievement. Sir Alex has guided a not-so-great team (a good team, though) to pretty much win the Premier League going at whatever pace seemed right to them.

Of course it would be harsh not to give City their due this season. They won the League Cup back in February after they beat Arsenal.

Wayne Rooney's "controversial" penalty, which was only ever "controversial" in the sense that Paul Robinson's foul was "controversially" stupid, was enough for United to equalise and win the league with a point at Ewood Park. Even better since last season United essentially lost the league with a point in Blackburn.

The match was dull, but a thrilling 4-4 draw would have been too much for many too take, and a 1-1 draw was pretty much what many have predicted had the match happened in Serie A.

So next up for United is a test for who Sir Alex likes more, Ian Holloway or some of the other relegation threatened managers. The game, which is now a total dead rubber for United, will mean the likes of Fletcher and Rafael get a run out to recover their fitness and possibly some debuts to some of the Reserve players. Rossobianchi would nominate Davide Petrucci, but apparently Sir Alex Ferguson does not pick teams via nominations by blogs.

Then, after that is the replay of the 2009 Champions League final against Barcelona. Which will hopefully be the complete opposite to that in every way possible.

Now I apologise to those who were probably refreshing this blog every 30 seconds since last month waiting for a new post, but I was busy writing "real" stuff. Hopefully, depending on what time you're reading this, there will be a completely new layout and possibly some extra stuff. Unless I forget to.

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Sunday, 3 April 2011

#55 - Swear

It was a potentially decisive weekend in the title race, with Arsenal and Chelsea both drawing in their games United went from 2-0 down at half time to go on and win 2-4. It was almost reminiscent of games gone by in the title race that seemed pivotal, our 2-4 win away to Everton after being 0-2 down, or our 4-1 win at home to Blackburn Rovers after being 0-1 down. Games like this are huge and the team deserves praise for a much improved performance and a brilliant hatrick from Wayne Rooney (pictured). This though was apparently overshadowed in some more moronic areas of the football press by Wayne Rooney (who apologised), dropping a naughty word down a camera.

Those offended buy the word "fuck" being shouted down a camera by a sweaty scouse millionaire could do with some perspective. What do you want from your football, really? These are the same people asking "why aren't these players passionate anymore?" Or is that too passionate for you? Did you want him to shout "JOLLY GOOD GAME I'M HAVING, MUCH IMPROVED OVER MY PREVIOUS PERFORMANCES AND THE RESULT TOO IS HUGELY BENEFICIAL FOR OUR HOPES OF A CHAMPIONSHIP". It must be too hard for some of the journalists who are hell bent on the character assassination of Wayne Rooney to try and NOT make mountains out molehills. Any old molehill will do. Consider too, that Wayne Rooney will be the victim of abuse from West Ham United fans, and all other away fans all season long, yet he's not allowed to vent his frustration? Perhaps Puritan football is better than pure football now. Patrick Collins (who incidentally must have never sworn out of anger before) of the surprise, surprise Daily Mail was especially outraged by such bad, naughty behaviour. Well how about this, Patrick Collins? You're a cunt.

Let's move on before I end up like Stressed Eric. This blog has been very inactive lately due to the International Bre....zzzzzzzzz. Internationa....zzzzzz.... Inter...zzzzz. It's hard to even mention without your body telling you it's time for hibernation. Hibernation though will not be on the cards this month with 6 more games left this month, including 2 Champions League Quarter-Finals and the FA Cup Semi-Final derby game against Manchester City. It's going to be either brilliant or depressing with not much leeway between the two.

It's Chelsea in the Champions League Quarter-Final this wednesday and it's not going to be refereed by Martin Atkinson so we're definitely in with a chance for a win. Edwin Van Der Sar should be back too, after being left out as a precaution in the game against West "Aaam".

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Sunday, 13 March 2011

#54 - Twins

When many people saw the centre midfield pairing of the Makelele-esque John O'Shea, and "the Irish Xavi" Darron Gibson we all of course knew they would dominate and easily keep 100% possession, if not 150%. The Da Silvas (pictured) playing on the wing should not have been so surprising to some, indeed they have both played positions further forward previously. The centre-midfield pairing was ballsy though from Fergie. A decision like is either a sign of genius or senility. Genius it was then as United went on to twin 2-0, with the second-half replacing the goalscoring Fabio da Silva with the long awaited return of Antonio Valencia - who played a big part in the build up of Rooney's goal.

Perhaps Man of the Match was Edwin Van Der Sar, 56, who made a string of great saves to deny Arsenal from getting back into it. Perhaps Van Der Sar should wait until his son, Joe Van Der Sar, graduates through the United Academy into the first team. Surely now, at about 12 years old he must be about 6"3' due to his brilliant genes.

Perhaps the most amusing story to come out of that FA Cup Quarterfinal is Paul Scholes - who had a cameo of brilliant passes and brilliant "untackles". Which is the new politically correct way of describing Paul Scholes' classic fouls. His 10 yellow cards in domestic competitions before the cut-off date meant he will be suspended and perhaps most harshly.. fined £15. The £15 is a result of the fact that the rule is enforced at all levels of competition. Although your blogger here will volunteer (and be honoured) to pay Paul Scholes' fine for him - if you'll lend me a tenner.

To make things even more interesting the FA Cup Draw has put us together with Manchester City after they beat Reading 1-0, about 2 minutes before that post was published. This meaning 4 teams (3 from Greater Manchester) from the North West have to travel to the South East to watch them play each other, which is quite frankly ridiculous.

As you see, this blog hasn't been updated for a while. Is it on the back of defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool that I am in fact a sore loser? Yes, this is true, but also I'm chronically lazy.

And besides, out defeat to Liverpool has sort-of been avenged. This morning our U18s went to Arsenal and did what our senior side could not, when they were 2-0 down they got back into it. Eventually winning 3-2 with an excellent performance from lets-hope-he-doesn't-get-arrested Ravel Morrison. The game featured 4 players sent off - in what will be remembered as a fairly unheated match by the derby's standards. Paul Pogba got his 2nd yellow for the incredibly cheeky Neymar-style penalty feint after the energetic Tunnicliffe was fouled in the box - in a clear goalscoring position.

There were probably some transfer rumours recently but we all know that we're skint.

Next up then is the 2nd leg in the Champions League against Olympique de Marseille after a bore draw in France last time round.

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Friday, 18 February 2011

Player Profile: Nemanja Vidic

Užice is a city in Serbia, a small sleepy city with little in the way of culture. You definitely would not associate Užice with building cyborgs of any nature - not even small furry mice cyborgs. Underneath Užice though, is a secret base in which Nemanja Vidic was not born - he was created. For legal reasons I can't say that the company which created Nemanja Vidic was called Skylab (but it definitely was - it is also where John O'Shea used to work, as a utilities man). They created many prototypes of Nemanja Vidic (prototype pictured) before they could finally settle on the finished machine. Nemanja Vidic has never been heard to say "I know now why you cry". Unless it's after he's just headbutted someone.

Easily killing John Connor, Sarah Connor and Des O'Connor (in a quicker time than you can say "What's Wrong With Your Eyes" and would make a brilliant, if extremely quick film) Nemanja Vidic decided that was not enough. Killing humans came far too naturally to him, he decided to try and not kill them - just to really hurt them an awful lot. Football seemed like the perfect place for this as American Footballs had protection, and Rugby players were just annoying humans anyway - he could decide to kill them at a later date.

After sending the Serbian SuperLiga into an immediate striker shortage, with all strikers injured simultaneously (including his own in training sessions), Vidic was taken away from Red Star Belgrade to Spartak Moscow by some stereotypical Russian Communist movie bad guys (they probably only referred to each other as "comrade"). In his time in Russia, accidentally injuring people who spoke to on the phone he inspired all. It's not a coincidence that not long after the Serbian destroyer left Russia that Vladimir Putin took up Judo. Possibly meaning he would survive a fight with Nemanja Vidic for 0.4 seconds longer than than the usual man. Interesting the maximum time you can stay alive in a fight with Nemanja Vidic is 0.6708 seconds - a record achieved by a cyborg made with the genes of Bruce Lee who was coached by Fedor Emelianenko with the brutality of Genghis Khan. Oh, and the eyelashes of Chuck Norris -as he's a big girl's blouse.

Such a toll was sure to attract suitors, and Sir Alex Ferguson decided this was exactly what was needed Alan Shearer to retirement with his tail between his legs and it surely did. Still, Vidic (costing £7,000,000 in parts) needed to be tamed before he could make his debut (cautiously on his debut - he was positioned in midfield to keep his urge for blood down). So Sir Alex hired the smartest people (pictured) in the world try and reconfigure Vidic's programming to not only convince the striker to move to previously cyborg-free Manchester but also to stop injuring his own strikers constantly. Unlike Nemanja Vidic, the new programming on how he works is not perfect. He once confused Fernando Torres with John Connor - and every once in a while will injure his own teammates (hence Alan Smith's move away and subsequent poor form). Sometimes his wiring may go wrong, causing him to bleed before Manchester United's physio/technician Rob Swire is able to quickly solder him back to health.

Since then Nemanja has smashed all human and cyborg records at everything. Except the world record for most swearing which is still held by Wayne Rooney and after being scared by his own reflection in a hall of mirrors maze - until Rooney was then rescued by Nemanja.

Shortly before Nemanja Vidic ends the human population we (possibly at his order) will look back at his achievements and his influence over the world before and after his birth. Jesus, Vidic's favourite disciple. Predator a film based on a slow-witted version of Nemanja Vidic. The Road, a book by Cormac McCarthy about a man and his son who survive the Vidicocalypse. This of course, is impossible. Once the Vidicocalypse comes only Vidic will survive. If you're lucky, you may hear him say "come with me if you want to live".

Next time in The Life and Times... Paul Scholes.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

#53 - Bitter

A derby day win over Manchester City is a great moment for every Manchester United fan. Indeed, there have been some excellent wins over the years but perhaps the more recent wins have been even more satisfying. With every media outlet hyping every next Manchester derby as "the biggest yet" - until eventually it forms a mass so big it implodes under its own gravity causing a black hole that destroys the world. Wayne Rooney's wondergoal was awesome, there's very little other descriptive words for it. The way he had to take a little jump-step backwards from the way he was running before leaping up to smash it past the stranded Joe Hart.

Perhaps, more spectacular for those who watched on Sky Sports, was Mike Summerbee (pictured). Mike Summerbee decided not to let people forget he was a Manchester City fan, wearing a Manchester City blazer, tie and presumably Manchester City naughty underwear underneath too. For the very few who have not since some of the most blinkered analysis ever on TV, until my first appearance on Sky Sports (in which upon a United defeat, I put a bucket on my head and start hitting it with with my own fist) - can
watch it here. Mike Summerbee, was even able to make Jamie Redknapp look like Stephen Fry. In a way, it's brilliant - and when City next lose a derby game, it'll be nice to have him there. Now, if only we could have got Gary Neville on there too.

Chris Smalling deserves credit - there have been times, like with all young defenders - where he has looked a bit dodgy, but his performance against Manchester City in which he he made Carlos Tevez appear invisible was absolutely brilliant. If he can carry on to grow and mature then we may just have found our Rio Ferdinand replacement. Nani too, had another great day, scoring the first (a great goal that will be overshadowed) as well as the assist for Rooney's goal.

Antonio Valencia has returned to training (with the Reserves for the moment) after his horror injury against Rangers early on in the season. Hopefully, with the brilliant form of Nani on the right wing, we are able to find a mirror image of Valencia so that he can play on the left side.

Bad news though is that ladies' favourite Ji-Sung Park will be out for 4 weeks. Oddly, this news has only today been picked up by the media, but was floating around on Twitter for a good few days before.

Next up for United this time is the mighty Crawley Town. Usually the underdog is a favourite for the neutrals but not so with Crawley Town. Being dubbed the "Manchester City" of anything is a bad thing, especially when it's the "Manchester City of the Non-League". They spent more money than all of the League 2 teams combined in summer. In fact, read more on it here. To add to that, they have since then become even more like Manchester City in the sense of also having awful human beings for fans.

What was that? You want to see Rooney's goal AGAIN? Oh, go on then.

Also, there will be a new series of posts on here starting this week, the first will be: The Life and Times of Nemanja Vidic.

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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

#52 - Drama

After a first half of football that could have resulted in another blog like I posted in January 2010, United cunningly waited, like Homer Simpson boxing (pictured), for Blackpool to wear themselves out after going 2 goals ahead as well as squandering other chances to make a bigger margin. Blackpool even had a penalty denied by the referee before perhaps tiring themselves out.

Craig Cathcart, ex-United reserves captain, who for some reason never got a game and was sold for apparently 28x cheaper then Charlie Adam's corners (of which he scored from). MC GM DJ Campbell got the second after a clever flick-on (similar to O'Shea's assist for Berbatov's first goal against Birmingham) by the disappointing Darron Gibson.

Sir "Evergreen" Ryan Giggs - in a brilliant advert for his new fitness DVD - came on for Gibson for the second half, adding more to United's play. More than the very little of Gibson at least. It's harsh on Gibson, and I rarely like to get on a United player's back (except maybe when we had Kieran Richardson) but this surely has to be his last season to impress. Hernandez came on later for the below-par Wayne Rooney and not long after the goals for United began to flow. 71 minutes gone as Berbatov pounced on Fletcher's cross. Just 3 minutes later and Chicharito scored after an excellent bit of control from Ryan Giggs, who then put in the through-ball for Hernandez to score from. And in the 88th minute, Scholes ball to Berbatov, who stayed calm to smash it home. Not before 10 minutes of extra time, which many ABUs might refer to as "Fergie time" had United not already been winning at that point.

Rafael da Silva's serious looking injury, followed by extra sad close up camera shots of Fabio da Silva - isn't too bad. The brilliant youngster may only miss Saturday's FA Cup match against Southampton which he probably would have been rested for anyway.

It was important for United to get rid of one of the games in hand we've been so complacent about since the league table started looking so good after Chelsea's large blip. Putting us 10 points clear of Chelsea (although yet to play them, twice), 6 points ahead of Manchester City (with a game in hand) and 5 points clear over Arsenal. It's looking good already, but there's still a long way to go. Oh, and if you'd like to know, we're 22 points clear of Liverpool.

Danny Drinkwater has been recalled from Cardiff City. The United staff are apparently big on the young lad's talents, and loaned him to Cardiff to relinquish his thirst for first team football but he's only managed 12 appearances for the Welsh club.

In spite of United not going to sign anyone, we're still linked with dozens of players of the transfer window. Luc Castaignos from Feyenoord, and Romelu Lukaku (here by now always referred to as "Lulu"). In a slightly more surreal take, United (and other clubs) have been linked with two players from Galatico club Dulwich Hamlet. According to Sky Honestly-We're-Not-Sexist-Look-At-Our-Pretty-Female-Presenters Sports, Quade Taylor and Paul McCallum are both under the microscope for Dulwich's blockbuster game against that scummy lot over at Romford FC.Interestingly, the game will be played in the Isthmian League Cup, which is also the Championship Manager Cup. Meaning players who lift the trophy may well get a free copy of the game, which they can then sell in exchange for Football Manager instead.

So until the game against Southampton on Saturday let's turn our attention to Andy Gray and Richard Keys and laugh. We should laugh a lot. Although, in the mists of all of this, especially with Richard Keys' using the phrase "Smash It" many have forgotten just what Jamie Redknapp once said about Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Friday, 21 January 2011

Other Stuff II

I'm always trying to write more, so I did. Here's my bit of United's season up until right this very second I posted it.

Manchester United: The (Possible) Season of Being Average, Yet Invincible
for The Oval Log.

As always. READ IT! If you want me to write things because I can, then tell me.

The Oval Log is well worth checking out too.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

#51 - Easy

So, the United vs. Liverpool rivalry rolls on, except last weekend it came and went fairly unspectacularly. Once again, a team pretty much sort-of let us win without us really having to get out of first gear, or even neutral. We pretty much didn't even get in the car, but just search the directions then decided to call a taxi instead. Still, Liverpool (pictured) made it even easier then most teams this season by conceding a penalty and then getting their captain sent off before whining and going home to bounce back to a, er, 2-1 defeat away to Blackpool.

Was it a penalty? Probably, yes. Well, by the law, yes. For some reason in England there's a culture of what many commentators say "could have got away with it [a yellow]". Yes Agger and Gerrard could have both gotten away with it if it wasn't for those pesky rules! Agger did make contact with Dimitar Berbatov, and did not win the ball. Penalty. Doesn't matter if Berbatov was too lazy to stay on his feet and maybe possibly score/assist anyway. It's how the game is.

Gerrard's was a certain red though. Jim Beglin's not-at-all-bias "I feel a yellow should have sufficed" after ITV had already screened a few replays, which I assume he did not see. In fact, many replays later he moved slightly up the scale to "he has a case there, the referee". Yes, Jim. His main case is that the tackle was textbook for a red card offence. Two feet lunge off the ground. Maybe if Michael Carrick's leg was shattered all over the pitch Jim may have been inclined to think it was warranting a red card. It's not the aftermath that should decide the punishment, it's what action is actually done.

Besides those nothing incidents, possibly given too much screen time for an otherwise average game - Liverpool looked a shadow not just of their former selves, but also of a shadow of many other teams as well. Not that I *enjoy* sticking the knife into Liverpool, I bloody love it.

So, besides the League Cup (which we're not even too arsed about when we win it) United remain unbeaten since the Chelsea game at the back end of last season. Not too shabby.

Goalkeeper's have been hogging pages of the internet lately, with Anders Lindegaard arriving and being on the bench against Liverpool, Tommy K trying to push to become the team's goalkeeper and Rene Adler telling the world his love for the club. They just never shut up those goalkeepers, do they?

Speaking of not shutting up, Sky Sports News is delighted when David Beckham does ANYTHING they can get their hands on. Giving no interest to Serie A or MLS as Sky never does, when Becks comes back to England they feast around him like a group of hungry ducks around a lovely thick pack Warburton's* bread delivered by an old lady who gets caught up in the feeding frenzy. Or something like that. So David Beckham, who always likes to say he would never play for another English club, may well be on the way to Spurs. Should we care? Not really. We should cheer him, but for the most part, as much was we love him, he's had his day. Which is a sad thing to say considering what a legend he was for us. Sometimes he even made the England national team likable, no mean feet indeed.

(((*Wikipedia (as of posting) has an amusing unsourced "fact" of Warburton's saying they won a Bread World Cup (better than the Rugby World Cup) against 32 other types of bread. Now firstly, that would be mean 33 teams (of bread?!) - which doesn't make sense in a knockout-round way. And secondly, who would bother? Although, thirdly, I can understand why it would have won.)))

The press, despite Fergie's statement that we probably won't sign anyone, are still linking us with... anyone. Southampton's brilliantly named Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (apparently not a 19th century philosopher, despite the name) is apparently on his way to a bigger club. Don't pretend you have insightful thoughts on whether he's good enough, you don't know yet! He has though, been described as the "next Theo Walcott" which is a lazy description in itself. I can't wait for the "next Jamie O'Hara"s or "next Gavin McCann"s to start crawling out of the woodwork in a few years time. The "next" tag should purely be used, used again, and used yet again for Diego Maradona. Isn't that right, Aimar? Messi? Tevez? Aguero? Saviola? D'Alessandro? And the many other players missed out.

Speaking of people not knowing if a player is good or not yet... Federico Macheda! The "hard bastard" as Fergie has once described him has gone away to Sampdoria on loan until the end of the season and managed an assist on his first substitute appearance for the club. Kiko Macheda is said by some United fans to be: no-way near United quality, because he's frankly not won any ballon d'ors yet and he's already 16 years too old for us anyway...... or by some United fans as: deserving another 5-10 seasons in the Reserves just to really see if he is ready or not to cut it. I exaggerate, but on the internet, you can't really tell anyway.

So what next for United? A game away to probably-David-Beckham-less-Spurs. Which will be a hugely tough game and perhaps a major turning (or unturning?) point in the title race. And it's a sunday so Sky Sports will be on the very best to hyperbole it as GAME OF THE FUCKING MILLENNIUM.

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Sunday, 2 January 2011

#49 - Shrug / #50 Rossobianchi Awards 2010

The snow in Manchester has finally melted. It's a fair amount warmer and no one fears instant death by slipping on ice anymore as they step out of the house. This isn't caused by global warming this time. No, thousands and thousands (millions?) of Manchester United fans (pictured) collectively shrugged their shoulders over the holiday season as they saw the club somehow hold a fantastic place in the league table. It's a bizarre situation that is making most people rewatch the league thus far to find out how exactly it's happened.

Or perhaps, on the run on to his 69th birthday and beyond, Sir Alex Ferguson has finally discovered that playing good football isn't actually necessary at all.

After a dodgy patch in Birmingham recently, culminating in an unlucky draw against Birmingham City and a lucky win against West Brom, United now stand top of the league, level on points with Manchester City, but with two games in hand over them as well as a superior goal difference.

Gary Neville too, ever the apprentice, shows that you no longer need to be able to play football to play football. It's genius, really.

But the fad of not needing to play football should come in handy actually, as our next game is against Stoke City Rugby League Club.

Moving on. It's a new year. Which means wasted breath and thought on New Year's Resolutions and pointless transfer speculation for an entire month, with United doing no major purchases in January since 2006. Now, as I do my best to put tabloid papers out of business I can tell you this from my "sources". No Ronaldinho, no Kaka, no David Beckham. No anybody! Except possibly a current nobody, who might, or might not, be a somebody in 2-3 years.

In fact, more likely is the excellently named Magnus Wolff Eikrem on his way back to Norway, striaght into the arms of the ever-lovely Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Without ever being able to make an impact at the club, except when sitting on the substitute bench a few times.

Federico Macheda too, one excelling on the subs bench could well be on the way out on loan to either Lazio, Parma, Fiorentina, Juventus, or whoever Darren Ferguson manages next.

A recent interesting quote from Sir Alex Ferguson regarding a mystery player's agent demand an entire block of flats for a condition of an incoming player. We can only assume this player in question wasn't Nemanja Vidic, as t
here is no block of flats in Manchester stretching from the ground to the moon.


Hurry up and win the Asian Cup, Ji!


So, everyone, put on your penguin suits, it's time for the Rossobianchi Awards 2010 (prize pictured). Last year, only one award was given out, but this time I'm going with two. Simply because all it takes for me to do them is to write and think a little bit. Not even that much.

Rossobianchi Player of the Year 2010:
Originally the award was to be given to Dimitar Berbatov, for going from flop and classy bastard to simply classy bastard. The Berb has had a great 2010, especially the beginning of this season, ending this current year top goalscorer in the Premier League, and in our hearts, probably. Unfortunately though, Dimitar Berbatov told us all not to vote for him anymore. Well, actually he only meant in Bulgaria, but I rounded up to include the world. Berbasex is too classy for awards anyway.

So instead the award goes to another player who has stepped up in 2010, massively so too, Nani. The owner of the best statue ever is no doubt delighted with his award and would like to thank god, or whoever else. Maybe his agent. Definitely his teammates and manager. And without a doubt he'd like to thank me for giving him this award. Nani's assists in particular have been exception with 15 last season and 11 already so far this season.
Runner Up: Nemanja Vidic.
(2009 Winner - Patrice Evra)

Rossobianchi Obligatory Award for Patrice Evra 2010:

Winner: Patrice Evra.
Runner Up: Ji-Sung Park
Third Place: Rafael da Silva

So there it is! It was a glitzy night, and all the stars were out but the Rossobianchi awards still produced a homely atmosphere. So, here's 2011, where my waste of space resolution is to try and update this more.

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