Rant Cast 86 – why always a podcast?

October 28, 2011 Tags: Rant Cast 10 comments

On this week’s Rant Cast regulars Ed and Paul discuss Manchester United’s heavy home defeat to Manchester City – what does the thrashing mean for the season ahead? We review United reserve’s performance at Aldershot Town, and preview the upcoming the fixtures with Everton and Otelul Galati. Who will get the chop following last week’s thrashing? And we ponder whether John Terry is a f*cking kn*bhead, whatever his skin colour.

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This week’s exit theme tune is ‘Come on You Reds’ – Status Quo.

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RobDiablo - October 28, 2011 Reply

Very good show, guys; best I can remember for some time.

Good point about Fergie’s formation foibles in the three most recent big matches. Unfortunately, this is going to continue to be a problem because, as I put it last season, Sir Alex has a stable of 4-4-2 strikers to go with a collection of 4-5-1/4-3-3 midfielders. So, if he goes for attack, he has to hope that the central defenders and keeper can deal with a counterattack that comes racing at them through a porous midfield with the fullbacks as likely to be out of position as not, and, if he goes for safety first, he has to wonder where the killer passes that will unlock the opposition defense are going to come from.

In my opinion, Sir Alex needs to pick a formation and stock the squad with players who can play it. Considering the exorbitant costs associated with buying the next Scholes/Keane duo (if you could even find such players), choosing to persist with a 4-4-2 seems untenable; filling the gaps in a 4-3-3 will be expensive enough.

Carling Cup draw on Saturday; is anyone else hoping United draw City? The down side – beside the possibility of another loss – would be the unlikelihood of seeing Pogba or Morrison in the match.

Paul - October 28, 2011 Reply

Thanks for the nice words 🙂

I hope we get someone rubbish that the kids can play against!

RobDiablo - October 28, 2011 Reply

Yeah, City can wait until the semi-final round. Two games against City in the tie should help us determine what United are made of.

JonyB - October 28, 2011 Reply

The thing about Pogba and Morrison that impressed was their ability to control and pass a ball in comparison to JSPark’s ability on the ball.

Zi Indefatigable - October 28, 2011 Reply


Damian Garside - November 1, 2011 Reply

Nice. I listened for about 15 mins, then I had to rush home from work because my wife had an `emergency’. So I’m typing slow now coz I feel a bit drained. Anyway, I like the reference to the Ancient Greek notion of `hubris’. We can’t have much of that left now after Man City walloped us in our own back yard (not that we can anyway think of the this as punishment from the gods for being too haughty and arrogantly proud — for in what possible way could City be agents of the gods or have anything to do with the gods?). Speaking of the Ancient Greeks, here’s a horrible parallel, the great lesson of power and Empire: the Greeks laughed at this uncouth rustic people living in a shoddy backward city to the west of them in Italy along a grubby little river called the `Tiber’. Never amount to anything the intellectually superior, much more civilized and refined Greeks said. Then one day these rustics turned up in Greece in invincible legions and beat them 6-1 in their own back yard and liked everything they saw so much they basically took the whole of Greece back to their little village, now grown into a city called Rome.

I think there is a real malaise at United that is just starting to emerge (the kind that we associate with Empires about to pass into a period of decline). Structurally, things seem wrong — the club is run autocratically, has set itself against transparency and the need to communicate with the media (an interesting irony this — the fans who back the club against the media are in reality supporting the removal of their own right to information and right to know exactly what is happening in the club. There appears to be no on field leadership — because , as history has shown, team leaders are precisely the people who sooner or later end up clashing with Fergie. And Fergie don’t like being told things, even if or perhaps especially if it is completely logical or the unmistakeable truth. Maybe the lack of leadership exacerbates the fact that the squad is full of players who can’t perform on the most important occasion: and that there is as much deadwood in the squad as there is really good.

I think we are talking about maybe trying this player here and this player there and chasing that player, who is never going to come to OT anyway and thinking that we can just speed past City in the fast lane when the wheels come off the sky-blue bus. But I don’t think they are going to implode: beating us 6-1 should see to that: it has ensured that they think they are better than us (the Champions) and therefore must be the Champions-elect, that they have done what no other City team has come close to doing, and therefore must be the best City team ever. It’s going to take a lot for their confidence to be shaken, for them to lose their rhythm etc: and its going to take us a while for us to find ours: by that time they may be far over the horizon. If this should happen I will console myself with the thought that as galling as this will be for me, its going to be way, way worse for Fergie. And in reality it would be payback time for all his hubris — all that talking crap and pretending he is the Socrates of modern football: that he can see we have entered an age where we don’t need central midfielders any more, just wingers and strikers, and we can buy unproven young talent for rather serious money, only to find that the Walt Disney magic wand does not work and even dressed in the red of United there is no way they are going to make it as Premier League footballers. Whilst, of course, no value in the market. Are we still in the age of the gold standard? Of course, you gets what you pays for: no way that Cristiano Ronaldo when he came to us was worth twelve million — if we had sold him after just a day at OT we probably would have come out even. But every game he played for us his value increased — so at the end we sold him for 80 million. So, if we had paid 80 million for him, we would have come out even: of course not, because of the titles that we won with his assistance: to have given Sporting Lisbon value for the player we should have given them at least 90 million. That would have been fair. But impossible because of the risk: suppose he had been crocked after a single season: then certainly not worth 90 million. And that’s the think: you can’t assess value like Fergie is doing — because it doesn’t take into account potential, the flip side of risk. Fergie wants potential but he doesn’t want to take financial risk. So it becomes a lottery thing: for how many Bebe’s that turn up, will there be a Ronaldo? Burt lets look at City’s expenditure : 600 million to beat us, is a line in Paul’s song: but after the derby drubbing, what they bought for 600 million can be sold for a healthy bit more, and if the win the League and Cl, then the increase could be as much as 50% or more. This means Balotelli and Aguero, combined cost in teh 60 millions could be sold for a combined price of 90 million if City should want to (they certainly would never need to with Mansour around). So winning has a double plus affect: the prize money comes in and the players’ value increases. Conversely, suppose we don’t win the league this season, and are not lucky in the CL either. In fact, we finish third. The value of our players will diminish as a result of this. If we had won the league and Rooney gets the Golden Boot — if he came again with a transfer request we could probably get something in the region of 80 million for him. If we don’t win anything and he doesn’t score another goal — the asking price will have to be dropped by around 20 million, possibly more. And we are meant to keep quiet, like brain-damaged sheep when we hear the world’s greatest Scottish philosopher since David Hume tell us `there is no value in the market’. Fergie has become an insult to the intelligence of United fans. He hasn’t figured out yet that some of us are way smarter than him, and treats us accordingly (contemptuously). In my opinion he is about to lose his legacy: the longer he stays, the worse it will be, because whilst he clearly was the man to fix Liverpool and break their hegemony — he isn’t, patently isn’t, a thousand times isn’t, the man to stem the new sky-blue tide (it has taken him long enough to realise just what a threat they pose). As City start to win things — which they are already showing that they are capable of doing — we are going to see stranger and stranger things from Sir Alex. And a club starting to lose contact with a sense of reality. It’s my hope that you guys at Rant can help to nurture and galvanise the fans’ resistance to this: after the City walloping I was amused to read that a poster was so relieved that he had elected to take his annual holiday starting the Monday following the match, thus ennabling him to avoid the taunts of his 93 City supporting work colleagues. This could set up a pattern: United fans taking ever increasing amounts of sick leave to dodge embarrassing encounters with sky-blue colleagues cock-a-hoop as the City machine rolls on, flattening its opponents.

Of course, I’m probably wrong: lets imagine another scenarion: Fergie changes the central midfield players for every remaining game based on what he perceives the gameplan against the opposition needs to be: unlike before, when he got it right most of the time and won the League (and we soon forget the debacles and drab displays where he didn’t get it right), this time he gets it right every time and we win all our remaining games, and good it was too, because City only dropped six points: three draws and a home defeat against us, where we sensibly did not look for full blood for blood revenge but settled for a 1-0 win. At the end of the victorious season he repeats the usual mantras: happy with the squad, no need for new players and anyway no value in the market, may stay on to win the title yet again, and the euphoria of victory dies almost immediately as we begin to think of how much spending and rebuilding everyone else will be doing in the Summer.

DeadRevel - November 26, 2011 Reply

Just what the idiots said in 2005/06.

You people never learn. Now you’re doing the really pathetic thing of emulating your own torturers in talking about empires crumbling and other such melodramatic nonsense.

It was a freak result, nothing more. Apart from needing a new midfielder and a new striker, we have a fantastic squad with huge potential and I see bright times ahead, especially when Chelsea and City succumb to the financial fair play regulations.

RobDiablo - November 1, 2011 Reply

Commenter said:
Fergie has become an insult to the intelligence of United fans. He hasn’t figured out yet that some of us are way smarter than him, and treats us accordingly (contemptuously). In my opinion he is about to lose his legacy: the longer he stays, the worse it will be, because whilst he clearly was the man to fix Liverpool and break their hegemony — he isn’t, patently isn’t, a thousand times isn’t, the man to stem the new sky-blue tide (it has taken him long enough to realise just what a threat they pose).

While I can see at least one area (the midfield) in which Sir Alex continues to get it horribly wrong, I do not hesitate to admit that he knows a great deal more about football than I do. I do not think that it is as much a matter of intelligence as it is integrity. Whatever his reason(s), Sir Alex made a pact with Satan by welcoming and supporting the Glazers, and the time for Satan to collect is rapidly drawing nigh. Money going out of the club much faster than it comes in does not allow Sir Alex to compete with the financial powerhouses who are – and who will continue to be – among the truly elite sides in Europe. City and Cheatski, on the other hand, do have that kind of money and, unless something miraculous occurs, will soon put United in a situation similar to the one Arsenal faces at present: needing to finish no lower than third in order to collect UCL money without having to risk the qualification rounds. If that happens, a debt-free Arsenal will actually be better positioned to compete with Liverpool and Tottenham for that third spot than will United.

Damian Garside - November 2, 2011 Reply

Rob, you are probably right on the lack of integrity — but I think its precisely to evade being caught out as an insincere sham who has been in the service of Satan (love that!) for too long that he hides behind this style of acting like he is the great football gurur who can make these great (and dangerous for us) pronouncements on the game — like the infamous `no value’– and I think you and I feel similarly about this remark.

RobDiablo - November 2, 2011 Reply

Damian – I hear what you are saying and agree with much of it, but I cannot say that I know what Sir Alex’s motives were in striking the bargain with Satan and, so, cannot assert that he is an “insincere sham”. It is entirely possible that he entered into the deal with his eyes wide open and with the best of intentions. He had – and still has – a huge personal investment in Manchester United; his success at Aberdeen was amazing, but his legacy will be all about his time in charge at United. Perhaps, his motivations were entirely personal: he had to be the one to lead United to that 19th title; I don’t know. What I do know is that I have no problem second guessing Sir Alex’s tactics and lineups at times, precisely because I do have enough information to do so. I know, for example, that no two from Anderson, Carrick, Fletcher, and Park are good enough to form a midfield that even Norwich cannot slice through seemingly at will, so I cannot fathom setting up to confront a star-studded City side in a 4-4-2. What I don’t know is what has gone and continues to go on behind the scenes at United. Clearly, “no value in the transfer market” is bullshit, and spouting it is an affront to the fan’s intelligence, but having started on the slippery slope of bargaining with Satan, it might have seemed like the best from a limited choice of very bad options. It wouldn’t be the first time Sir Alex has gotten in over his head: the Coolmore Mafia fucked him every way but sideways. If it was all about him, I think he would have retired at the end of last season. That he stays on – at the risk of tarnishing his legacy – makes me willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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