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Old 22-02-2006, 10:29 AM
Teknique Teknique is offline
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Default Todays Terrace Talk

It doesn’t get much better than this

By Steven Kelly
I’VE HAD better weeks. Give me a minute and I’ll try to think of one.

Regulars will know I break out in a rash when everyone tries to tag us The Main Threat To Chelsea. A few poor results put paid to all that but sure enough, it’s creeping back again.

Despite their protestations, you imagine the other two don’t disapprove of the idea as they set about their own transition. Like when Goliath shouted “who’s next?” and David felt this big shove in his back as he ‘volunteered’.

I loved the two victories but what they prove or disprove is another matter. We know we can do this. If we score first we are a difficult team to break down, but that’s been the case since Houllier.

The Arsenal game was exciting, but you can’t dismiss the theory that had the goal come in the eighth minute, not the 88th, we’d have seen an entirely different performance. With key players absent (or in Henry’s case, invisible) it’s hard to gauge what’s going on at Highbury.

Three years ago their hilarious “hoof” chants were at least sung in the smug knowledge that they themselves could produce football from another planet. Last Tuesday, it sounded like a desperate attempt to ignore the evidence of their eyes as they’re all-too-hideously earthbound. Mocking another team’s agricultural clearances when you’ve got Senderos really is a bit cheeky.

It’s amazing how the tables have turned. Back in 1991, Liverpool were a gifted but erratic team coming to the end of a golden age when the football had dazzled a nation.

I’ve sworn not to keep mentioning Chelsea but there is a remarkable irony about an efficient side with an airtight defence doing to Wenger’s Arsenal what Graham’s Arsenal did to us.

Our superstar, John Barnes, haggled over a contract and when he was on fire, we were too. We’d score seven one week and dismally capitulate the next. Now it’s Arsenal’s turn.

McMahon and Whelan were badly injured - Arsenal sold Vieira. The side as a whole just wanted to play their football but balked at the ugly, necessary tasks that make a team great.

I’ve noticed for a while in Wenger’s comments (and even Bernard’s column) the odd reference to entertainment and concern for the “customer.”

Sorry, but I’m really not having that from Arsenal! Like Everton and their School of Science, and United’s preposterous Theatre of Dreams/Cavalier bullshit, there’s no point slagging something off just because you can’t do it anymore.

How much do you think United fans wished they had Sissoko, Hamann and Gerrard in their side on Saturday? Despite the obligatory sour grape-fest from the red-faced one we thoroughly deserved to win. Mr Kurt was right to err on the side of caution.

From the moment Neville did his demented lap-dance and searched desperately for wherever the badge is on his shirt this month, United were on a hiding to nothing the next time they slunk into Anfield. Thus it proved. His performance, especially in the early stages when the damage was done, only proves my point: right-backs really should stay as far away from the spotlight as possible.

When Rooney scuppered us last year someone threw a phone. This year, Neville was almost hit by a half-eaten burger. That just about sums you up.

The usual pre-match dirty tricks in the press didn’t work. The pressure on referee Webb produced a few weird decisions but nothing damaging.

One newspaper linked Benitez to the Inter Milan job on Friday. Having watched their favourites outfought and outplayed, the same paper naturally took it badly and shoved the Alan Smith chant front and centre.

Distasteful as it was, it once again reiterated the papers’ bias. Liverpool, Leeds, City, and especially Wenger, can all testify to the press whores’ selective deafness.

So United fans want to mock Michael Shields (the young Liverpudlian wrongly imprisoned in Bulgaria), call us murderers and sneak your little sotto voce Hillsborough stuff in too? Whatever floats your boat, but keep the lectures on etiquette to yourselves. We’re on to you, have been for decades, that’s why you hate us so much.

That and the trophies.

“We achieve your dreams,” said one banner. “Back on our perch” read another. Ain’t it the truth? I made a joke on the website about Neville being tarred and feathered when the draw was made. It was reported in a national newspaper as a genuine threat!

When you encounter that kind of stupidity you know you’ve entered the realm of the disturbed. Liverpool v United in a nutshell.

Blood, broken bones, temper tantrums, square-ups and stand-offs, heart-stopping clearances, seven yellows (but nothing for Sissoko)! There may have been the odd bit of football in the 101 minutes. I lapped up every insane, ferocious second of it. Winning helps, of course - and that so many of their fans were there to witness it.

They were hardly roused by a team that belied its concocted image of uninhibited attack. It was hard to know what if anything the English game’s greatest talent was meant to be doing. Apart from getting more wound up by the minute.

How many times have we heard it this season? “If only we had United’s forwards,” etc. Maybe we should form a new club to challenge Chelsea. FC Mancpool of Lancashire? Now there’s a thought.
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  #2  
Old 22-02-2006, 10:31 AM
Teknique Teknique is offline
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No longer any method to Fergie’s madness

By Richard Kurt
WE’RE in the middle of one of those periods when you stop yourself and marvel at the collective emotional and financial commitment of the Red Army.

Truly the force is on manoeuvres this week: 6,200 risk life and limb trekking to Anfield on Saturday, with another 4,500 going to Blackpool that afternoon to follow FCUM, capped by 40-odd thousand to Cardiff on Sunday.

And had we not been humiliated last autumn by Fergie’s Flops, another seven or eight thousand would’ve been digging in for a European away tonight too.

Literally millions are being spent following The Shirts, and pundits ‘n’ players should never forget that, although of course they do. One wonders when the footballers open their five-figure weekly payslips whether they even spare a second to think where all those obscene noughts came from.

After an afternoon such as that endured at Anfield, one is naturally immediately tempted to lay into those very players for any sins that can be identified, but I think most of us realised that there was only one man who truly deserved such a kicking, given that it was hard to fault the players for effort and application.

Yes, it’s another week and another twist of Alex’s Magical United Kaleidoscope. Every match we wonder what Fergie’s playful manipulations will throw up and how the ingredients of United will be patterned. 4-5-1? 4-3-3? 5-0-5?

A tough midfield or a bunch of Fletcheresque pansies? A courageous attacking strategy or a defensive Queirozian cringe? Who knows?

It’s entertaining, I suppose, the sense of anticipation and tension. Though not always funny, unless you find the idea of Giggs as a holding midfielder hilarious. The Scousers did, of course. As funny, I daresay, as the idea of United’s Flimsiest Midfield Ever Fielded holding out against Liverpool’s monsters.

Many a Red emerged from a urine-soaked Anfield Road End suggesting they knew the match and Cup were lost the minute they saw the team-sheet, so bizarre were the omissions of Smith, Park and Saha. As bizarre as the formational changes throughout the match.

Mind you, we’ll calm down quickly enough I suppose: rallying for Sunday will become a priority and many of us will adopt Fergie’s tactic of saying that Smith’s injury “puts it all into perspective”. It doesn’t - but it sounds like a good cliché to mouth.

And we have nothing to feel embittered about, nothing that matches the rage the Scousers must’ve felt when we robbed them in the league match at Old Trafford: we were beaten fair and square and Ferguson’s comments about Liverpool’s “luck” were as embarrassing as his team selection decisions. For once I could barely muster a word of protest as I read ranting Liverpool-supporting tabloid journalists accuse Fergie of “taking leave of his senses” and of being “totally self-delusional”.

Sometimes, you just wish the old man would shut up for his own sake. Every week, with every crazed outburst and bizarre misspeak, another shred of his dignity crumbles away and we, his supporters, cringe. And worry. And debate into the night.

As I have said before, he may well give his kaleidoscope another random twist on Sunday and four-goal Rooney-dominated brilliance may well result.

But it all seems like chance to us now, not design. Fergie was always the great gambler but to many it appears like he goes through his card not using his horse-sense but a pin. We do actually have the talent to win things. We may still win some, indeed. It’s just that one senses that if we do, it might be in spite of the manager and not because of him.

That said, he can still rescue it all.

That’s the beauty of being a United manager. It isn’t the hardest job in football, as some fools occasionally claim - it’s one of the easiest. You have the single greatest name in football to tempt people with - MUFC - and resources to match most, if not all, competition. Even when your powers are fading - and not even Fergie’s fans deny that - you still have room to pull your cojones out of the flames.

Two Cantonaesque signings this summer and you could easily see United restored to fine fettle and title challenges. Incredible though that may seem, after four largely wasted years and 200 million-plus spent to turn one of Europe’s greatest sides into also-rans, we still haven’t fallen so far that a good couple of weeks wheeler-dealing couldn’t cure everything. We’d need luck on top of that, of course, plus we’d need all our kids to grow faster and reach what we all think is their potential, but it’s still conceivable.

As one Red remarked to me the other day, “If only Carlozzz would fall off a cliff and Brian Kidd came back” - actually a canny remark, since many feel that with better advice and assistance, Fergie could still be propelled towards silverware. But in the meantime, we cede that path to the Scousers.

And to City, who think their name is on the Cup and whose success would rob us of our favourite “30 years” jibes. 2006 will never be as bad as 2005 for United, but it’s looking grim. And if Fergie really thinks, as he claimed in his programme notes last week, that a League Cup win on Sunday will “make this season a success”, then times have changed beyond all recognition.
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  #3  
Old 22-02-2006, 10:38 AM
xvis xvis is offline
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don't bother with the arsenal and chelsea ones.


..Kurt is always a good read.
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  #4  
Old 22-02-2006, 10:40 AM
Fat Tom Fat Tom is offline
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Kurt is a fucking muppet.

As for hiding to nothing - 1-0, some hiding and Kelly's comments about the Hillsborough chants are ridiculous considering Liverpool's Munich nonsense.

Its sad pedantic nit picking bullshit.
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  #5  
Old 22-02-2006, 10:43 AM
Teknique Teknique is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xvis
don't bother with the arsenal and chelsea ones.
Trizia is a muppet

Quote:
Originally Posted by xvis
..Kurt is always a good read.
Most United supporters round these parts normally dont agree with him
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  #6  
Old 22-02-2006, 01:13 PM
STEVIEG STEVIEG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknique
It doesn’t get much better than this

By Steven Kelly
I’VE HAD better weeks. Give me a minute and I’ll try to think of one.

Regulars will know I break out in a rash when everyone tries to tag us The Main Threat To Chelsea. A few poor results put paid to all that but sure enough, it’s creeping back again.

Despite their protestations, you imagine the other two don’t disapprove of the idea as they set about their own transition. Like when Goliath shouted “who’s next?” and David felt this big shove in his back as he ‘volunteered’.

I loved the two victories but what they prove or disprove is another matter. We know we can do this. If we score first we are a difficult team to break down, but that’s been the case since Houllier.

The Arsenal game was exciting, but you can’t dismiss the theory that had the goal come in the eighth minute, not the 88th, we’d have seen an entirely different performance. With key players absent (or in Henry’s case, invisible) it’s hard to gauge what’s going on at Highbury.

Three years ago their hilarious “hoof” chants were at least sung in the smug knowledge that they themselves could produce football from another planet. Last Tuesday, it sounded like a desperate attempt to ignore the evidence of their eyes as they’re all-too-hideously earthbound. Mocking another team’s agricultural clearances when you’ve got Senderos really is a bit cheeky.

It’s amazing how the tables have turned. Back in 1991, Liverpool were a gifted but erratic team coming to the end of a golden age when the football had dazzled a nation.

I’ve sworn not to keep mentioning Chelsea but there is a remarkable irony about an efficient side with an airtight defence doing to Wenger’s Arsenal what Graham’s Arsenal did to us.

Our superstar, John Barnes, haggled over a contract and when he was on fire, we were too. We’d score seven one week and dismally capitulate the next. Now it’s Arsenal’s turn.

McMahon and Whelan were badly injured - Arsenal sold Vieira. The side as a whole just wanted to play their football but balked at the ugly, necessary tasks that make a team great.

I’ve noticed for a while in Wenger’s comments (and even Bernard’s column) the odd reference to entertainment and concern for the “customer.”

Sorry, but I’m really not having that from Arsenal! Like Everton and their School of Science, and United’s preposterous Theatre of Dreams/Cavalier bullshit, there’s no point slagging something off just because you can’t do it anymore.

How much do you think United fans wished they had Sissoko, Hamann and Gerrard in their side on Saturday? Despite the obligatory sour grape-fest from the red-faced one we thoroughly deserved to win. Mr Kurt was right to err on the side of caution.

From the moment Neville did his demented lap-dance and searched desperately for wherever the badge is on his shirt this month, United were on a hiding to nothing the next time they slunk into Anfield. Thus it proved. His performance, especially in the early stages when the damage was done, only proves my point: right-backs really should stay as far away from the spotlight as possible.

When Rooney scuppered us last year someone threw a phone. This year, Neville was almost hit by a half-eaten burger. That just about sums you up.

The usual pre-match dirty tricks in the press didn’t work. The pressure on referee Webb produced a few weird decisions but nothing damaging.

One newspaper linked Benitez to the Inter Milan job on Friday. Having watched their favourites outfought and outplayed, the same paper naturally took it badly and shoved the Alan Smith chant front and centre.

Distasteful as it was, it once again reiterated the papers’ bias. Liverpool, Leeds, City, and especially Wenger, can all testify to the press whores’ selective deafness.

So United fans want to mock Michael Shields (the young Liverpudlian wrongly imprisoned in Bulgaria), call us murderers and sneak your little sotto voce Hillsborough stuff in too? Whatever floats your boat, but keep the lectures on etiquette to yourselves. We’re on to you, have been for decades, that’s why you hate us so much.

That and the trophies.

“We achieve your dreams,” said one banner. “Back on our perch” read another. Ain’t it the truth? I made a joke on the website about Neville being tarred and feathered when the draw was made. It was reported in a national newspaper as a genuine threat!

When you encounter that kind of stupidity you know you’ve entered the realm of the disturbed. Liverpool v United in a nutshell.

Blood, broken bones, temper tantrums, square-ups and stand-offs, heart-stopping clearances, seven yellows (but nothing for Sissoko)! There may have been the odd bit of football in the 101 minutes. I lapped up every insane, ferocious second of it. Winning helps, of course - and that so many of their fans were there to witness it.

They were hardly roused by a team that belied its concocted image of uninhibited attack. It was hard to know what if anything the English game’s greatest talent was meant to be doing. Apart from getting more wound up by the minute.

How many times have we heard it this season? “If only we had United’s forwards,” etc. Maybe we should form a new club to challenge Chelsea. FC Mancpool of Lancashire? Now there’s a thought.

He's a good journalist (my favourite out of the 4) but is embarrassingly insecure about his own club and obsessed with Chelsea, Arsenal and United.
Anyone paranoid enough to worry about what newspapers report about various clubs should seriously get out more
It's almost as embarrassing as Rick Parry complaing that his club were honoured by the Queens Honours list
Smalltime
And he should probably have waited to see his team equal the crapness of United's Benfica result before shooting his mouth off about a perfect week
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  #7  
Old 22-02-2006, 01:49 PM
Teknique Teknique is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEVIEG
And he should probably have waited to see his team equal the crapness of United's Benfica result before shooting his mouth off about a perfect week
Sat 11 -Sat 18

Wigan 0 - Liverpool 1
Liverpool 1 - Arsenal 0
Liverpool 1 - Man u 0
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  #8  
Old 22-02-2006, 02:07 PM
POL POL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STEVIEG
embarrassingly insecure
Quote:
Originally Posted by STEVIEG
about his own club
Quote:
Originally Posted by STEVIEG
obsessed
Quote:
Originally Posted by STEVIEG
paranoid
meh
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  #9  
Old 22-02-2006, 02:23 PM
STEVIEG STEVIEG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POL
meh
Ya you!
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  #10  
Old 22-02-2006, 02:25 PM
STEVIEG STEVIEG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknique
Sat 11 -Sat 18

Wigan 0 - Liverpool 1
Liverpool 1 - Arsenal 0
Liverpool 1 - Man u 0
Well i suppose if he counts beating a Wigan team with no stikers a good result fair enough
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