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Sixteen games. Full ninety minutes. Same intensity until the final whistle. Age 35.
Zlatan is doing well in his bid to make himself a United legend. He’s a dirty b*stard that will do anything to win. I love his aggressive side, though clearly his elbow today and high boot last week were unacceptable, but he plays for my team so I don’t care as long as he’s scoring goals. The way he set himself up for his 2nd goal was brilliant. People will want Ibrahimovic banned but the Premier League is better off for having its best strikers in form, it’s great to watch.
R – (Zlatan would have been brilliant at Real Madrid and helped them compete with Pep’s Barcelona)
Manchester United conclusions
1) Some people (looking at you F365) are always asking what Lionel Jesse does, well that. Be direct, run around a lot with and without the ball, and more often than not make a game changing contribution(should have scored though). I like comparing apples to pears so think a more attacking Park Ji Sung, but..not.
2) Ibra-cadabra – I was too young to see “the Cantona” effect, which the Class of 92 and others speak about, but this must be it. The reverance the players obviously have for him, the great charisma which shines through interviews and even games, the kung fu kicks(more on this later), the way he seems to embody the managers character on the pitch etc etc
3) Marcos Rojo – heard Phil Neville say Rojo is always a step away from a mistake the other day, fair enough, but he has a higher top performance ceiling than Mike Smalling, who is also prone to clangers. I guess what i’m saying is, if we get another CB and anyone has to leave..bye Mike.
4) Phil Jones’ kung fu kick celebration in the background after the second goal was the second best thing i’ve seen live, only behind LVGs dive vs Arsenal. Great to have him back. Him + one of Bailly/Rojo and we good. Possession is 9/10ths of the law though so, Marcos for now.
5) Weirdly, I always liked Michael Owen and his 4-3 goal vs City still send shivers down my spine, but bro, put some respek on Ibra’s name!
Cortez(we’re not Sir Alex back, but we will be)MUFC, Botswana
Are Chelsea Graham’s Arsenal?
After yet another eye bleedingly boring Chelsea first half (you know that part of the game where Chelsea are outplayed before somehow escaping either level or ahead – Spurs, Man City, West Brom, etc)…it struck me…are they the re-incarnation of Gunner Graham’s all conquering Arsenal ?
More central defenders than you can shake a stick at (check), hard assed central midfielders, for whom the words creative is a type of tackle (check), defensively set up like the Rock of Gilbraltar (check), ability and willingness to soak up pressure (check), lightning fast counter attacks (check), devastating centre forward who can make something out of nothing (check). I could add winning mentality…and increasingly “1-0 to the Chelsea”.
It ain’t pretty, but it sure is effective…
Are we seeing a new breed of ‘Champions Bias’ on MOTD? Firstly Danny Murphy deciding that Vardy’s two footed challenge didn’t deserve a red card, whilst in the same sentence condemning Rojo for a carbon copy just three days earlier. Secondly, the normally sensible Jermaine Jenas getting himself in a tangle stating that Simpson gave away a penalty for having his hand in an unnatural position to block a cross, but that he shouldn’t have been penalised because he didn’t have his hand in an unnatural position to block a cross.
Whilst enjoying my own pedantry, I’ll cut them some slack and assume they needed to drink themselves through Lineker’s constant Chris Rea impersonations. I really hope he does Chris Rea impersonations.
Harry, Saints, Devon
Let them go
There are three “PL” teams who simply shouldn’t be here.
They have no identity, ambition or plan.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people within the clubs who do but the clubs themselves simply do not. There are teams who may struggle this season, Middlesbrough and Burnley for example but at least they are giving it a go.
‘Boro especially, new to this (again) but it’d be a shame if they went down this season. It may do Sunderland some good, or they might never come back.
These three stink of Villa and I won’t miss them if they go down and never return.
Tom. MUFC (At least I don’t get called a glory seeker anymore)
Is Carra just jealous of Oscar?
Somewhere in the Amazon, a bile volcano belches, and Jamie Carragher opens his mouth.
With his comments on Oscar’s reported move to China, Carragher exhibits extraordinary levels of myopia and EPL-centricity. He also apparently has the ability to read the future by putting words into the player’s mouth. His soothsaying of “He will talk about the league growing in China, the chance to work with Andre Villas Boas and the excitement about a new adventure…” why, exactly, would that be “nonsense”?
Oscar has won club honors with Internacional and Chelsea, and International honors with Brazil. He is Brazilian, his wife is of Japanese descent. It obviously hasn’t crossed Carragher’s mind that Oscar might not think that signing another deal in Europe might not be in the best interests of himself or his family. He isn’t holding down a starting spot for Chelsea, so it’s unlikely that the Real, Barca or Bayen are going to come battering Abramovich’s door down, check book in hand.
Maybe he’s tired of the demands of life in the Premier League – it’s not for everyone, whatever Carragher’s “league-ocentrity” might have him believe. Perhaps he genuinely wants to experience life in Asia and learn Mandarin, just like he learned English when he moved here. Some footballers actually do have ambitions and interests beyond the game.
He is basically guaranteeing the security of his and his family’s future with one deal. It’s certainly not “a sad day for Football” in China, nor in the Oscar household. Why is that “embarrassing”?
I sense a certain degree of petulant jealousy here.
Oh, and one more thing while I’m on my soapbox, can we stop referring to a player earning “x amount per week in wages”? I know back in the day the team did line up for an envelope from the cashier’s window on a Friday, but those days are long gone. I’m sure Oscar will sign a contract worth X over Y years, with a portion of that money guaranteed. He’s not going to be trotting down to his local branch of the HSBC every week to deposit his pay packet. Thank you.
Steve (Top of the morning, and top of the league), Los Angeles.
Sons > Fathers
Reading Friday’s mailbox, where Mark Williamson ask if there has ever been a son or daughter of a top player that has gone on to replicate or surpass their parent – Surely one of the contenders must be Xabi Alonso and his dad Miguel, known as “Periko”.
To say that Alonso senior was a world renowned superstar is perhaps stretching it a bit, but he was a formidable player in Spain in the late 70’s early 80’s, winning four La Liga titles, playing with Maradona at Barcelona, and played for Spain at the 1982 World Cup. Daddy Alonso won 20 caps for Spain, and scored a hat-trick in the Euopean Cup semi final when Terry Venables’ Barca-side qualified for the 1985-86 final (they would eventually lose against Steuea Bucharest in the final).
Another former Spanish Liverpool player with a famous dad is Pepe Reina, whose father Miguel Reina played over 300 games for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the 70’s. Reina senior was also a goalkeeper, and was capped several times for Spain. He tended the goal when Atletico lost the 1974 European Cup final against Bayern Munich. When Pepe lost the Champions League final against AC Milan in Athens in 2007, the Reinas became the first father/son-duo to have both lost the final of Europe’s top club competition.
Eric Utheim, Liverpool fan, Norway
Eiður Smári Guðjohnsen came on for his less good (but still good) father Arnór Guðjohnsen for Iceland.
Which is ace.
And also is a son surpassing a father.
in reply to Mark (hopefully my kids are better than I was at everything) Williamson
100 % said Frank Lampard.