This is absolutely ridiculous. Ben Foster, the Manchester United goalkeeper used an iPod in training to learn up penalty-taking habits of Tottenham Hotspurs players leading up the the League Cup final last Sunday. This apparently “had the potential to exploit a loophole in the laws which should be referred to FIFA", according to former Premier League referee Graham Poll.
It was such a game changer in fact that the English FA has had to come up to dispel any notions of wrong-doing in a statement, according to fourfourtwo.com.
It’s amazing to me that this should even be brought up at all. Should anything and everything related to technology used in conjunction with football training be scrutinized as well?
The fellow is in the best form of his career at present. When he gets the ball, everyone doesn’t really know what he’s going to do, that that’s the epitome of a great dribbler, which, undisputedly, he is. Anyone who doubts what a great player he is is simply deluding himself.
Which is why I say that Cristiano Ronaldo will indeed move on this summer, when the transfer window opens. Whether Fergie wants to or not, this chap will want to leave, and the members of the board, acutely aware of the debts the club has amassed during the takeover by the Glazers, will not turn down a generous offer. I mean, come on… it makes perfect business sense. When you buy someone for less than 20 million, and you can sell him off at 45?
I’m not huge fan of his acting talents, that’s true. Sometimes I wished he’d stay on his feet and tussle with the best of them. But he is what he is. And he is a joy to watch. Something about him when the ball is at his feet keeps me mesmerized.
It’s like watching Ronaldo (the fat one) while he was at Barcelona, and his early days in Inter. He was simply superb. You get a sense that you’d lose the showcase of skills sooner or later, but boy when it was displayed did it rock. It’s the same sense I’m getting with Cristiano now.
Oh well, I’m resigned to losing him to whichever club he wants to go. I preparing right now that my MU matches next season will be decidedly less exciting, and to enjoy his performances while I can.
Nothing thoughtful, just something I wanted to get out of my chest. Heinze is reportedly considered to be offloaded either during the transfer window or the end of the season. He, to his credit, has stated that he wants to fight for his place.
As far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t need to justify his place in the squad – he’s a terrific player. Evra is getting better, and he’s getting a run because Heinze was out for a while, not because he’s miles better.
I’m feeling the same way I felt when van Nistelrooy was sold – I’m inclined to believe that Fergie is simply rotating his squad and giving Evra a run out than really having any real problems with Heinze. However, if Heinze really leaves, I’ll be unhappy. Very unhappy. So unhappy I may burn all my Man Utd shirts and toss my TV in the bin. I’d even give it a kick or two for good measure.
I just found this hilarious clip of Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous crossover trick. The place where I found this just can’t say enough of his copious talents.
Yeah, well, colour me unimpressed.
So MU won over Liverpool. I guess I should be happy. Bitter rivals to the very end, but in the end, the silly Anfield boys got what they deserved for trying to mess with the best.
Or did they?
If I’m honest, the game yesterday was really terrible. Even a die-hard fan will worry over the state of things over in Old Trafford. They were swarmed by Liverpool almost from the get go, and looked so damn sloppy. They never looked dangerous, van Nisterooy hardly got a touch, Rooney was clamped down, and guess who’s in midfield? (no, not Alan Smith, thank goodness). Nobody who mattered. And that’s the problem.
MU were lucky to get all three points. They didn’t deserve it.
Liverpool, I hate to admit it, but you were robbed.
8 Dec 2005, London – Just hours after a 2-1 loss to Benfica in the final Group D game which effectively ended Manchester United interest in the Champions League, the board of directors announced that Sir Alex Ferguson will be let go and replaced with a new manager whose skills not normally associated with top-flight football. Direstraits, a 29-year old native from Malaysia has been appointed coach of the Manchester club with immediate effect.
Malcolm Glazer, the investment tycoon who recently seized ownership of the club, is showing his obvious aptitude in the business of football by bringing in the untested Direstraits. The Malaysian worked as an IT consultant with a closet passion for football management, as evidenced by the Championship Manager 4 posters hanging in his suburban house in Subang Jaya. Glazer was impressed by the impassioned plea for changes made by Direstraits via email seconds after the final whistle of the Benfica game was gone, and immediately gave him the much coveted position in football.
“I can’t effing believe it!”, raged Sir Alex during the press conference from which the announcement was made. “So relying on Alan Smith for midfield duties was a mistake. So not recognizing the fact that Giggs and Scholes are a spent force was a mistake. But to be replaced by a buffoon who did, what… computers?… for a living? It’s total bollocks!” Direstraits, sitting next to Sir Alex and looking cool in a Manchester United jersey worn backwards (accidentally, it is believed), looked unaffected at the outburst.
Sir Bobby Charlton, member of the club’s board of directors, said, “There’s no disputing the effect Sir Alex has brought onto the club since his arrival from Aberdeen. I mean, look at that chap! He has a bigger trophy cabinet than mine, and his on-the-pitch skills are shite compared to mine! No doubt Sir Alex has been a loyal servant to the club for many years, but the time has come for a change of guard. I mean, look at Alan Smith!”
The appalling display at Portugal saw Manchester United pummet from second place to finish last in the group, ruling out the football powerhouse from even playing in the UEFA Cup. The club has previously set a record of 9 consecutive seasons of qualification to the knockout stages of the competition. This is a major financial loss for the Manchester outfit, as Champions League knockout stages guarantee clubs millions in revenue generated from gate receipts and other goodies.
Glazer is excited at the prospect of the new managerial experiment. “Mr Direstraits may not have actual top flight football experience, but his virtual hours at the football management simulator is second to none. His enthusiasm is unbounded, and I think that will translate to results on the pitch.”
However experts say there is no correlation between the real life football and the virtual. “The emotion involved in managing a real life game is missing in simulators. You don’t feel the effects of referees making silly mistakes during do-or-die matches, or rival managers making snide remarks about your player formation and your dress sense,” says Dr George Rest, chief sports psychiatrist at the University of Reading. “However, it will be interesting to see how a manager used to an environment devoid of personal affectations will fare in this league.”
Direstraits wasted no time outlining his plans to address the club’s immediate concerns. “Since we now have to content ourselves with chasing Chelsea, we must see to it that we pick ourselves up. Morale will be down, of course, but thankfully we will hear less of it since Roy Keane’s departure. And it’s a good thing too. Sometimes, the best way to improve morale is to fire all the unhappy people. If he was still here bitching about, I’d have given him his marching orders, me. And let’s do something about Alan Smith…”
When asked about his personnel plans for the club in the short-term future, Straits was adamant the change will be as shocking as his appointment. “I will bring in the best people to rebuild the legacy that is Manchester United. All we need is to reboot and reload the season, and money to buy people like Fandi Ahmad, Bambang Suprianto and Ronaldinho. You may not have heard of them, but they are quality players.” Direstraits seemed shocked that at the prospect that the 26 year old Brazillian may not consider a move from Barcelona to Old Trafford. “I have a strategy too complicated to explain, but rest assured, I will sell everyone if I have to to lure him over. Nothing a good Malaysian meal can’t fix!”
Fans stopped for comments in the streets of London are still, at press time, too shocked to make any coherent sense.