Saturday, 27 August 2011
Let's finally get this season started, shall we?
Bit late for a Man Utd review, sorry. It was all right for an hour, wasn't it? And then it was very fucking far from all right.
One thing that struck me, though, as it has done many times before: there is something about Being Man Utd that just undoes certain teams, including us (if I knew what I was doing I'd have dicked about with the image so that it was an endless repetition of Tom Cleverly's face, not John Malkovich's).
I mean the names on a sheet of paper aren't exactly terrifying. The new keeper's clearly struggling to settle. Two of the defenders were Fulham and Blackburn players until recently - neither hailed as the best in their position at those far from gargantuan clubs.
In midfield Cleverly did okay at Wigan on loan last year and Young did okay at a Villa. Anderson's a bit fat. And up front, I mean, yes, okay, Rooney, but the main threat was Welbeck, another one who was out on loan last year, this time not exactly ripping up trees at Sunderland.
You could stick six or seven of those Man Utd players in Spurs shirts and we'd actually be a worse team. And they'd play like Spurs players. The magic would suddenly wear off. They wouldn't expect to win. The 'Being Man Utd' effect would be missing and they'd look like Fulham, Blackburn, Wigan and Sunderland players. It's bloody alchemy, is what it is. And bloody annoying.
But, of course, the season actually starts this weekend against Man City. And it's a great benchmark game for us. City will be top three this season, but our best 11 should still be able to give their best 11 (if such a thing exists) a run for their money, especially at home.
The biggest moment of the afternoon may, of course, come before kick off when (hopefully) Luka Modric's name is read out - presuming his slight mind strain has worn off.
Boos? Cheers? Indifference? It's a complicated one. If it can be orchestrated, I'd like us to greet him with a mass chorus of: 'Yes, on some level we understand your desire to earn more money and, let's face it, stand a better chance of winning trophies. Plus, admittedly, it's naive to expect much loyalty from all but a very few players these days. It's also true that Tottenham were here before you and will be here (or maybe a few miles up the road) after you - and as for the risks of keeping a disgruntled player at the club, in the dressing room, well that's a whole other headache. But, you did sign a new contract just last year and we have little doubt that an even better one is on offer if you accept that you're not going anywhere; that your future, for now at least, is here, so you'd better make the best of it. And, yes, when we're 14th in January we can maybe have another chat.'
I'll count us in, shall I?
We'll lose 2-1. Nasri will probably score. And watching that lot do the almost painfully unfunny Poznan thing will probably be enough to make me question not just what's happened to football, but whether or not mankind deserves to continue.