Sunday, 1 March 2009

man utd - carling cup champions

Great weekend for Man Utd. Yesterday, Utd's main rivals for the Premier League title had mixed results and Utd are 7pts clear with a game in hand. Then this afternoon Utd won the Carling Cup Final beating Tottenham Hotspur.

The game went to penalties after a well contested match and Utd's experience from the spot came in handy against an exhausted Spurs. Ronaldo should have had a penalty when brought down by King during the match; though John O'Shea was lucky to stay on the pitch when he should have had a second yellow card.

It's been a great weekend with Ireland beating England in the rugby union six nations championship and Wales loosing to France. Ireland still on for the grand slam, however, Scotland and Wales away from home won't be easy. To be honest yesterday's game was very poor; Ireland seemd to succumb to nerves and England played their usual negative tactics. No surprise to see another two England players yellow carded and Martin Johnson, England coach, was almost speechless with rage after the match because of his side's indiscipline. Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland's captain, led from the front as usual and scored both a try and drop goal.

Come the day and come the hour
Come the power and the glory
We have come to answer
Our Country's call
From the four proud provinces of Ireland

Ireland, Ireland.
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We'll answer Ireland's call.

From the mighty Glens of Antrim
From the rugged hills of Galway
From the walls of Limerick
And Dublin Bay
From the four proud provinces of Ireland


Hearts of steel
And heads unbowing
Vowing never to be broken
We will fight, until
We can fight no more
For the four proud provinces of Ireland

Ireland, Ireland.
Together standing tall
Shoulder to shoulder
We'll answer Ireland's call.


Tim Goodbody said...

Hi Phil,
Foster had a great game on Sunday, and I can't see anyone catching ManU for the league either now. They are playing really well at the moment.(Better than flipping Liverpool anyway!)

Away during half term I read Bobby Charlton's autobiography "My Manchester United Years" which was a good read, especially on the rebuilding of the team after Munich. In his closing comments Sir Bobby notes how under Sir Alex, Man Utd feel they have a right to win.

This was a strange expression to use, but it struck a chord with me as this is precisely what makes me uncomfortable with the bloke as a manager. He seems always to feel that victory is his by right and anyone (especially a referee) who takes that right away has wronged him. That may be a good dressing room motivator, but it's not the raison d'etre of football..

Anyway, just a thought ...

Philip Ritchie said...

Hi Tim,
I agree it is a strange expression to use and doesn't really square with what I've heard him say about SAF elsewhere. I would need to see the context but I take it what he meant was that SAF has got them playing with an expectation that they will win, which is a very different mentality to that under Bo Jangles (Atkinson). This is demonstrated by the way they always play until the final whistle - believing they will score.

Interesting to see SAF is trying to play down talk of a grand slam because anything can happen in a cup match. Also he is quick to move out players who have become content/complacent because once a trophy is won he is looking forward not back.

However, I do agree that SAF is often rather ungracious in defeat and I don't like the blaming of referees (even if they often deserve it). But in that he is no different from Benitez, the special one and most other football managers around at the moment(there are a few honourable exceptions). I guess it is the unpleasant side of SAF's driven character, though it's that same character which means he is at the training ground at daybreak each morning. Not bad for a man in his late 60s who has won it all.

I agree winning is not the raison d'etre of football but it sure feels good.

Thomas Rooney said...

I genuinely believe Manchester United could win all four trophies this season. Players are coming back to fitness at the right time and everyone should be fresh for the run in. Exciting times!

Top site by the way. Would you be able to email me when you get the chance?



ps. my email is in my profile.

Philip Ritchie said...

Hi Thomas,
Thanks for the comment. I think Man U stand a good chance but there is always the possibility of a slip up. In the 1999 treble winning season we were a penalty kick away from missing the FA Cup final before Giggs scored his amazing goal. Losing Scholes and Keane for the final of the Champ League could also have costs us dearly. However, SAF believes he has a much stronger squad this time so here's hoping.