Friday, Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman/lightning rod/chief figure of fun (delete as appropriate) was ‘grilled’ by investors when he reported on the club’s financial results for the third quarter. Much like the ‘grilling’ in the second quarter there was little surprise that investor questions focus little on Manchester United’s on the pitch challenges.
Not a day passes without some form of speculation about the Old Trafford managerial position. When will José arrive? Will Louis see out his contract? Is Giggs being lined up for the top job this summer? It’s almost as if someone wants the fans’ attention to be focused anywhere other than the pitch.
“It’s not who you are underneath. It’s what you do that defines you,” Rachel Dawes tells Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. The billionaire playboy had spent his evening gallivanting with models in the pool of a high-class restaurant before bumping into his childhood friend. The carefree attitude, he pleaded, was nothing but a façade; deep down there’s more than meets the eye. Dawes’ profound, if clumsy, rejoinder leaves an impression on the man who would become the Caped Crusader.
“Never begin to think you know everything. There is always something to be learned.” – Dennis Viollet
Dennis Viollet passed away on 6 March 1999, just a couple of months before Manchester United completed the treble. When Teddy Sheringham and the Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored the crucial goals against Bayern Munich to bring the European Cup back to Old Trafford for the first time since 1968 it’s hard not to think that the dramatic ‘never-say-die’ performance that night in Barcelona was a fitting tribute to Viollet.
At the secret Glazer family money bank, Joel, Bryan and Avram proudly toast inking their latest commercial partnership. Joel strokes his wad as Avram preens, proudly sporting a freshly waxed pony tail. Bryan, known as the ‘fun one’, is busy celebrating United’s latest success by polishing his tractor.
Four goals in two starts, a pair of braces no less, represents a fairytale start to life in Manchester United’s first team for Marcus Rashford. The 18-year old enjoyed a dream Premier League début against Arsenal, to quote an oft-used cliché. Rashford’s strikes were predatory; his movement sharp, while his hold-up play and awareness to set-up Ander Herrera displayed maturity beyond his years. The Fletcher Moss Rangers graduate deservedly picked up the man of the match award for a sensational performance at Old Trafford. What happens next is up to him, but Rashford could become a key player should his progress continue. Read More
Ever heard of a short story called “Den lille Pige med Svovlstikkerne”? It’s the Danish title for Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale commonly known in English as “The Little Match Girl.” It’s the tale of a poor girl trying, unsuccessfully, to sell matches on the cold streets of Denmark. Eventually, as the temperature drops, she makes her way to a nook and keeps herself warm by lighting the matches she was supposed to sell. With each match struck the girl sees visions of happier places and times. It’s a story that ends in tragedy as the cold finally claims the little match girl. Read More
1959. He was discovered dead in his brother’s attic, pneumonia having claimed another penniless soul. Buried in St. Mary’s Churchyard, in an unmarked grave, Patrick Joseph O’Connell was gone and seemingly forgotten. It was an unremarkable end to a man who led a colourful and sometimes controversial life. He was the Manchester United captain embroiled in scandal, a title-winning manager for Real Betis and FC Barcelona’s saviour. O’Connell was many things – in Spain he was affectionately dubbed “Don Patricio.” Read More
Hey, I heard René Meulensteen was on the radio the other day, hope he didn’t fall off. Ba-dum-tish!
Sorry. Was he standing on some monstrously big boom box? Tell you what don’t quit your day job. Read More