Our rather schizophrenic football club has assumed one of its more flippant guises this past week. It has been a welcome return to see a swaggering United side pushing forward in search of goals and glory. It seems a shame that we can’t marry that style with the habit of keeping clean sheets that has been prevalent over the past month.
However, I don’t think these things will be mutually exclusive forever. As mentioned in previous posts, this is a young team, which is also dealing with a bit of an injury crisis. As far as I am concerned things are just fine. In the medium and long term view Manchester United are doing exactly the right thing. In the short term, we are second in the league to the most expensive team in history and we have just dropped two points on the back of a borderline penalty decision. These things happen.
On the plus side, Javier Hernandez is in the form of his life at the moment. It was revealing to read a recent interview in which he said he considered packing it all in before he signed for United. Thank goodness he didn’t, at the moment he is holding our season together. Incidentally, he deserves great credit for reuniting United fans with the Sombrero.
Maradona good, Pele better, George Best.
This week saw the sixth anniversary of George Best’s passing. It seemed fitting that it should coincide with the side returning to the kind of play the Northern Irishman’s side made the norm in the sixties.
Fergie was in a predictably excellent mood about the penalty call. “A travesty”, he said, “I don't think anyone in the ground apart from the assistant thought it was a penalty”. One wonders if the changing room for match officials at Old Trafford is bulletproof. I certainly hope so.
It seems slightly inappropriate to whinge on about the men in black in the same week that German referee Babak Rafati has revealed his struggle with depression. It is possible though, to look at this situation without making angry football managers the bogeymen.
It is equally true to say that managers are under unbearable pressure and will likely react when they see perceived injustice. It is a long road, but one day depression will be viewed by society as something we all need to be mindful of, like asthma. At the moment, the structure of the sport is such, that multi-million pound decisions are being made at the blow of a whistle.
There can be no stronger argument for the introduction of video technology than that it would reduce the pressure on individual human beings. It would also be fairer, and United would be two points better off this season. It must be said of course, few will have sympathy with United for not getting a penalty appeal for a change. What goes around, I guess…
Nonetheless, even if the results haven’t gone our way this week I have seen my club go for it in two games and not get the rub of the green. That will change and the important thing is that the philosophy of attack, attack, attack stays the same. Our erratic luck will shift soon enough and in the meantime, we have plenty of blessings to count.
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