April 23, 2010
United, eh? Bloody hell! All the metaphor and analogy in the world couldn’t do justice to the maelstrom of yet another last-minute winner against City, though of course I’ll have a go. United, eh? Bloody hell!
Once again, every claim, every threat, every promise, demolished in a devastating swish of red, or as Wordsworth would have it, “sweet is the lore which nature brings”. And though approaching it from the opposite perspective, Shakespeare knew it too, teaching Macbeth the same lesson; you can’t subvert how things are meant to be, and should you try, the restoration of what’s right and proper is going to sting. A very lot.
April 17, 2010
There was a time when people thought that the Earth was at the centre of our universe, orbited by all the other objects. Even when this was disproved by Copernicus and Galileo, it was some time before anyone paid attention - entrenched beliefs are hard to shift. But eventually, it became impossible for people to query what they could see with their own telescopically-enhanced eyes, and theory became fact.
So when United, first against Chelsea and then Bayern Munich, supplied incontrovertible evidence that zest and pace are essential components of any cohesive football team, it was fair to assume that even stubborn old geocentric Fergie would accept what he once knew, but of course he did not. Though in the press conference prior to the Blackburn game we were warned of his likely selection, there remained the hope that it was yet another lie, but sadly it was not; the oldies were back, and unsurprisingly, they soiled themselves.
April 11, 2010
Towards the end of Wednesday's game against Bayern Munich, ITV commentator Peter Drury informed viewers that United's centre-backs had been "penetrated twice". And I must say, I know how they feel, consecutive defeats annihilating an entire season in a single week of gratuitous incompetence.
There are few moments, however dark or light, that aren't enhanced by recollecting United's status are league champions. Now, for the first time in nearly four years, the prospect of being without it is within genuine contemplation, life suddenly less good, less bearable, or both. Who knows when we may next feel that surge of delight?
No doubt some will wonder what I'm bitching about, characterising me as the archetypally spoilt United fan, but it's a matter of relative expectation; or as Marx might put it, from each according to his ability, each according to his need. United have no right to succeed, but we absolutely have the right to demand it of them.
April 2, 2010
“It’s like when you put your head to the grass. You can hear it growing. You can hear the insects, bzzz”.
This, apparently, is the sound of the calm before the storm - well, at least according to Stansfield, Gary Oldman’s character in Léon and one of my desert island psychos.
But it’s only because he’s a psycho that he’s capable of enjoying the moment; most normal people can’t wait for it to be over, either on account of the tension, or the overwhelming desire to know how things will pan out. And with games against Chelsea and Bayern coming up, we’ve reached precisely that part of the football season.