Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Experience In Manchester

I have dreamt of watching United play at Old Trafford ever since the first match I watched of my beloved team back in 1997. My uncle promised me several times that he’ll take me to OT but I guess his promises had no solid ground. Finally after nearly 12 years I can say that I have realised my dream! A dream which now leads to another dream I want to be fulfilled as soon as possible :- I want to go to OLD TRAFFORD AGAIN!

The atmosphere inside the stadium is just brilliant. I have heard people say that Old Trafford is a wonderful place to be during a United match but unless you visit it you’ll never phantom what makes this stadium truly an amazing experience. It’s just stuff of dreams hence The Theatre Of Dreams.

The Stretford End is by far the best stand a United die hard fan should watch a match from. I was in the North Stand and was quite disappointed that whenever someone tried to stand up and encourage the players another person would shout “Sit Down!” while the Stretford Enders sang and danced the night out. However from the North Stand I had an amazing view so I shouldn’t be all grumpy. After all every high must have a negative.

Finally I heard true die hard United supporters talking the truth about our own players. Rooney is like a god at OT, whenever he touches the ball everyone anticipates a touch of class and the shouts “ROONEYYY ROONEYYY” still play at the back of my mind. He is truly loved at OT. Meanwhile the crowd wasn’t too sure about the World Player Of The Year Cristiano Ronaldo. The phrase “What the F*** is Ronaldo doing there” was constantly heard and so was “Wake up Berba!!” It’s evident that just like me, the United faithful know that something is wrong with Ronaldo, deep down inside our heart we all know that OT is not where Ronaldo wants to be yet we try to convince ourselves that Ronaldo is happy at United. Berbatov, the goal scorer and a constant victim of my criticism, doesn't get the amount of ‘love’ some might think he gets. It is evident the United fans want him to perform more, they want the REAL Berbatov to play, they want him to wake up and if he doesn’t they want him OUT. These are the words I heard from a United fan sitting behind me.

When Berba scored everyone was in an ecstasy of joy. Jumping, shouting, singing, hugging while some girls were,*drum rolls* screaming. Well what did you expect? I wish United scored at least 4 other goals, words just cannot describe the emotion. So if you want to know what OT is like, stop reading this blog, get your wallet out, get ready to spend about 100 pounds, book a stadium ticket and get your ass to Old Trafford. That’s the only way you’ll ever get to know what the Theatre of Dreams, with a performance from the World Champions, could offer.

I saw most of the players apart from Nani, Tevez and Ferdinand. I’ve seen Nani play for Portugal vs Malta but I’ve never had the opportunity to get a glimpse of Tevez and the almighty Ferdinand. Hopefully I’ll get to see them the next time I’ll get to Old Trafford.

Apart from the Match, by paying about 6 English Pounds you can get inside the Museum and get a Stadium tour. The museum is a nice place to re-live United’s glorious years. That's where I got the opportunity(£14) to get a shot with the trophies United won during 2008. The Champions League, World Club Cup and the Premier League(The Charity Shield was missing). And yes I touched the Premier League and World Club Cup before Steven Gerrard and Torres! Hopefully I’ll never experience prison, the place where Gerrard is living at the moment!

Unfortunately due to a very bad stomach ache I missed the Stadium Tour. Another thing I’ll do the next time I go to Manchester.

Now, does anyone want to donate money to my ‘I must get my ass back to Old Trafford foundation’? I’ll be more than just happy with your donations :) C’mon make a person happy!

I didn't put all the photos of OT on this blog mainly because I'm a lazy person who does not intend to spend New Years Eve waiting for these bloody pictures to upload :)


United 1 - 0 M'Boro

Rafael(Neville) Evans Vidic O'Shea(Scholes)
Ronaldo Fletcher(Giggs) Carrick Park
Rooney Berbatov
I was present at Old Trafford during this match. I will give you a rough account of my experience at the Theatre Of Dreams in the next blog.

United should have won this match by at least 3 goals. Ronaldo (who's heart seems set somewhere else), Rooney and Park missed some great opportunities. The latter missed a sitter from a yard out and to be honest I can't phantom how on earth he managed to shoot over the bar.

Anyway the match was decided thanks to Berbatov who played like crap for most of the match. To be fair with Berbatov, apart from Evans, Vidic, Scholes, Neville, Rooney & Park(not considering the sitters he missed) the whole team played like crap. 6 players from a possible 14 had an acceptable performance, that shows United have still to reach Championship form.

This was the 4th 1-0 in a row, something is wrong and Fergie better finds out what is causing this goal draught. I would prefer to watch United play the champaigne football we got accostumed to seeing at the Theatre Of Dreams, but then again if someone tells me United will win the Premier League by grinding out results, I would take it anyday.

Next match is vs Southampton, a game valid for the Fa Cup.

Stoke 0 - 1 United

Neville Rio Vidic O'Shea(Berbatov)
Ronaldo Scholes Fletcher Giggs
Rooney Tevez

Another boring 1-0 win but 3 points bagged and at the end of the day that's all that matters. A nicely worked goal scored by Tevez and assisted by Berbatov was enough to see off a stubborn Stoke. It was efident that the Stoke players had their mind set to defend and bug the s*** out of the Man Utd players. B0th Ronaldo and Rooney could have(even should have) been sent off after losing their head due to Stoke's hard tackling.

To be honest I don't remember much about this game mostly due to the fact that barely 30 minutes after the match I was going to board a plane to London.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tomorrow I'm Off To England To See United!

I have been wanting to go to Old Trafford for quite some time now and after a lot of unfulfilled promises and a couple of heart breaks in the process my friends and I decided to take matters into our own hands. My parents didn’t understand that I was dying to go to Old Trafford and watch the same heroes I follow week in week out on every available type of mass medium. Internet, Tv, PSP, you name it and if I own it, I have probably done something to follow United through it.

It was the first week of October and I was busy at work preparing a visa for a certain girl called Tatiana, whose face is one of the few reasons my worn out brain remembers her name, when Glen texted me and asked ‘When are we going to Manchester?’ Both Mum and Dad promised me that if I passed my A-Level exams they would grant me permission to go to Manchester and hence fulfil my dream. I passed all the exams except for the bloody hard Maths. Thankfully I passed the Maths re-sit in September therefore that meant I had accomplished the necessary requirements for the go-ahead from my parents. So I told Glen, “I’ll check the Flight fares and if at least another (responsible) person joins us, I’ll book the flight tickets.” And so I did, after another friend, Daniel who I usually call Calleja, confirmed he would join us should this trip to Old Trafford happen. Obviously a lot of preparations were involved. I would like to thank Mr. Tedesco from the MUSC Malta who was of vital importance and managed to acquire 3 tickets for the Manchester United vs M’Boro.

Some weeks passed by when I was talking to a friend of mine prior to a football match at a Sports marathon. This person, Aron, happens to be a United fan too so I decided I should pull his leg and force the ‘green eyed monster’ to make the better of him. As I was telling him about our trip to Manchester, he instantly told me to book a flight ticket for him too. Obviously this was music to my ears as another person would make this 5 day stay in England even more enjoyable. ‘The more the merrier’ is not just a quote, it’s a fact. Luckily there were still some seats available on the planes so I booked a flight ticket for Aron.

3 months have passed since Glenn sent me that pivotal mobile message. These were 3 months full of preparations from Glen, Daniel and I. Tomorrow, after we watch Man Utd take on Stoke(on tv), we’re off to England.

These past 3 months have lead to the next 5 days. These days will lead to those 90 precious minutes I have been waiting for most of my life. I feel so happy, this has got to be the best Christmas ever. An iPod touch, a Wii and above all an opportunity to see the Champions of The World at the best Football stadium in the world. A Christmas I will surely never forget, a great contrast to Christmas 2007 which marked the death of an important person in my life.

Happy Xmas

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Champions Of The World!

We used to say that we are probably the best team in the world, the 'probably' part can now be erased, it is now official :- We are THE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD.
Does our heart desire anything else? Champions of England, Champions of Europe, Champions of the World. We are the only English side to enjoy such bragging rights since no other English club has ever won the World Club Cup. No, not even the big headed scousers. This is the second time we've won this competition.
It feels too good to be on top of the world. A feeling I have never experienced with England's national team(and probably never will). We are the Champions Of The World! :)

Liga de Quito 0 - 1 United

Rafael(Neville) Rio Vidic(sent off) Evra
Ronaldo Carrick Anderson Park
Tevez(Evans) Rooney

We are the Champions Of The World! Thanks to my friend’s stupid car, which somehow got covered in mud, I missed most of this match. In fact I only watched the last 5 minutes of this final. Of course I have watched the highlights and I was amazed with United’s brilliant play at times. The move involving Rooney and Tevez back heeling springs into mind. United’s winner came from Rooney, the tournament’s best player(Hence the trophy and the golden key thing).

Vidic got sent off, and rightly so! His immature actions lead to Fergie’s decision to sacrifice Tevez, which lead to unpleasant body gestures from the latter. Body gestures which make me ponder, will we see Tevez in a red shirt next season?

Rooney won the ‘Best Player of The Tournament’ and to be honest I’m delighted. For the past couple of seasons Ronaldo scooped every award available and Rooney nicking this award is nothing but a breath of fresh air for us fans who prefer Rooney to Ronaldo. Skill, Flair, Dedication, Commitment – he deserves every trophy he has won during his short career. Well done Rooooney!

I’m still concerned about the attacking department. We are creating a lot of chances but can’t score. Today United could have scored at least 3 goals. Our finishing should improve.

Now, next match vs Stock. Liverpool are losing ground, Chelsea aren’t doing too well either. I believe we can emulate last season’s success. It’s all about belief.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

United 5 - 3 Gamba Osaka

Neville Rio Vida(evans) Evra
Ronaldo Schooles(Fletcher) Anderson Nani
Giggs Tevez(Rooney)

This was a game which reached a high level of mediocrity for 75 minutes. But then the real entertainment began. At two nil, goals from Ronaldo and Vidic, Fergie decided to bring on Wayne Rooney, there was pandemonium in the stands and, soon enough, on the pitch as well. United immediately conceded a goal. Barely 30 seconds later Rooney scored with a delightful finish, Fletcher added another and Rooney bagged his second. Yes, all in the space of 5 minutes. When everyone thought Gamba Osaka were done they came back and scored a doubtful penalty and an excellent goal. A cracking second half, or should I say, a cracking second half of the second half.

Now, we scored 5 goals, Rooney was excellent, Tevez was a tad too sloppy, Nani was creative, Ronaldo was his usual self, we’re through to the Final and yes, I am still worried about United. I don’t think that a team fielding the best defenders(apart from Neville who’s age is getting the better of him) should concede 3 goals, against a team as ‘mighty’ as Gamba Osaka. Our defending was quite worrying at times.

Another negative that came out of this game was Anderson’s lack of ability in front of goal. When will this player score a goal in a United shirt? Today he was presented with the perfect opportunity to score a goal but his header was quite comical. He’s an excellent midfielder though so I ain’t going too hard on him.

Anyway, we’re through to the final. A good opportunity to show the World that we really are the best football team in the world, although I must say, I really don’t think the teams participating in the Fifa World Club Cup are the best teams in the world. So you know, winning this tournament doesn’t really mean anything. I bet Hull City are better than Gamba Osaka. Winning the premier league should be enough to give you the title ‘Best Team in the World’ though.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tottenham 0 - 0 United

Rafael Rio Vida O'Shea
Ronaldo Fletcher(Scholes) Carrick Park
Tevez(Giggs) Berbatov

Just like against Villa and to some extent against Sunderland, this was a game in which United showed a lot of fancy footwork yet with no real end product. The closest we got to scoring was when Ji Sung Park hit a fine strike from outside the area. Now that says a lot about our attacking unit. Doesn't it?

Given the fact that the Spurs had both of their central defenders missing due to injury and we couldn't penetrate tells how poor United are up front. Ok, I know we were missing probably our most inventive and intelligent player(with a bit of madness in the mix) in the form of Wayne Rooney but heck shouldn't a 30mil player make sure we don't miss Wayne? Berbatov is once again my target. I've given him enough chances, and Fergie has given him one chance too many. I have now come to the conclusion that we wasted 30mil. An amount with which we could have bought Huntelaar or that Athletico Madrid guy, whose name I forgot. I'm not saying that Tevez had a great game either. But I think United's best partnership up front doesn't come in the form of Rooney and Berbatov and defenitely not in the form of Berbatov and Tevez. It's evident and proven that United are better off with Tevez and Rooney up front.

Anyway we had a chance to cut Liverpool's lead of 3 points but we fluffed it. I hope we can get back on track in the premierleague and , given the circumstances United will have to face in the coming weeks, I don't think we will. Scholes said he isn't concerned about United's goal draught (2 goals in the last 4 matches) but heck I am more than just concered. Off to the World Club Cup...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

United 2 - 2 Aalborg

Neville(Rafael) Rio Evans O'Shea
Nani Gibson(Park) Anderson Giggs(Scholes)
Tevez Rooney
A game from which United should have taken all poins at stake but ended with a 2-2 draw. United scored after 3 minutes when Tevez fired home. Aalborg managed to score two goals to put themselfs ahead. Rooney scored what was the last goal of the match 7 minutes into the second half. From then on it was all about United and despite all the huffing and puffing United couldn't blow the Aalborg defence away.
United managed to gather 10 points from a possible 18. 6 points less than last year. However we still can boast about our unbeaten record in this competition which now stretches to 19 games. It's quite an amazing feat. Apart from this record, United have the best defensive record(along with Juventus) in this year's competition. We only conceded 3 goals.
Next game vs Tottenham. I have a feeling United will draw this match. I hope I'm wrong.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

United 1 - 0 Sunderland

Rafael Rio Vida Evra
Ronnaldo(Giggs) Carrick Fletcher(Anderson) Park(Tevez)
Rooney Berbatov

Goal thanks to Nemanja Vidic during stoppage time.

If you ever watch a match as one sided as this one, please call me. I would be very amazed. The fact that United had 81% possesion at the end of the match says a lot. United attacked and attacked but Sunderland literally parked 9 players in their box, with Cisse fighting up front to hold a stray ball, but to no avail.

Some say United were lucky to score during stoppage time. Whoever says this, mostly Liverpool fans of course, has surely not watched the match. If there was a team which was lucky, it was Sunderland. I have never watched a game like this before, it was an absolute joke. Any minor team that plays against United seem to be happy to play a dull game and aim for a draw. Counter attacking teams such as Arsenal and Chelsea have experienced such circumstances and their supporters know how irritating it is to watch a match in which the opposition defends and defends without ever bothering to attack.

Now, I want to make a point clear. I am absolutely disgusted with Sir Alex. What on earth should Tevez do to earn a place in the starting XI? Learn how to fly? It seems that the gaffer is doing his utmost to piss Tevez off and I think he is doing one heck of a job. Berbatov was once again poor today. He should have scored at least 1 goal, but instead he headed wide from an ideal position. If he starts on the bench for at least one darn match he'll realise that his place in the starting XI is not guaranteed and maybe he thrives to perform better for United. I don't doubt his potential, but I do doubt his commitment to United.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

United 5 - 3 Blackburn

Rafael Neville Evans O'Shea(Evra)
Nani Gibson Possebon(Scholes) Anderson
Giggs(Manucho) Tevez

What a game! Whoever bothered watch this match was treated with some beautiful football moves, a feast of goals, a 5 star performance from Tevez and of course the return of Paul Scholes. We are now through to the semi final of the Carling Cup. I have a strong feeling we will win it this year. The match was pretty much decided after 55 minutes when the score was 4-1 but Blackburn, credit to them, managed to score 2 goals in the last 10 minutes which produced a tense finale. But Tevez had the fourth and last laugh by scoring a beautiful goal during stoppage time. 5-3 was the final score of a topsy turvy match. Nani was the scorer of the other United goal.

Now, for those who didn't watch the match, you should defenitely search for the highlights and watch United's 4th goal. It had class written all over it. Anderson played a one-two with Giggs before doing likewise with Tevez with the latter scoring his second goal of the night. The best goal of the bunch.

It was a great performance from the whole squad. The only negative was our defence's performance during the last 10 minutes during which they all went to sleep. Tevez was exceptional. Apart from scoring 4 goals(one of them a penalty) he constantly threatened the Blackburn defence. He will surely feel hard done by if he doesn't start the game vs Sunderland on Saturday after being credited with 4 of the 8 goals scored tonight!

It's time to show the Bulgarian that his place isn't guaranteed at United, please Fergie this is not just my cry, this is all supporter's plea, START TEVEZ AGAIN NEXT SATURDAY!
A picture that speaks a thousand words.Fergie! Why Aren't You Playing Me???