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Archive for the ‘George Best’ Category

It’s never over til the fat lady sings . . .

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180 - Wayne Rooney's double against Everton takes him past George Best's United goals tally of 179

180 - Wayne Rooney's double against Everton takes him past George Best's United goals tally of 179

BY JOHN GUBBA

Leading 4-2 against Everton, Manchester United took their eye off the ball and let the Merseysiders off the hook to steal a point in a thrilling 4-4 draw.

It was a sickening blow for United on the day Wayne Rooney scored a double to take him past George Best and Denis Violet in the Reds’ all-time goal-scoring chart.

But it does not change the fact Sir Alex Ferguson’s men will go to the Etihad Stadium in the box seat on April 30 and the destiny of the title is still in their hands. It’s never over til the fat lady sings – and United fans know that better than anyone.

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CLASSIC GOALS from Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle

 

EXCUSE THE QUALITY BUT HERE IS A TREAT FROM YOUTUBE FOR ANYONE WHO WONDERS WHY WE CALL IT ‘THE BEAUTIFUL GAME’

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As a professional film maker it never ceases to amaze me how content is king even when the video quality is shocking.  This montage was clearly produced by an amateur YouTuber and  is poor quality technically and 100% unofficial. But you will still enjoy the beauty of the action. That’s why it has had over 13 million views.

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Classic Goals from the Premier League

Classic Goals from the Premier League

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CLASSIC GOALS from Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham

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Collect all 5 volumes of this great DVD collection

Collect all 5 volumes of this great DVD collection

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MANCHESTER IS THE NEW MILAN: A CITY UNITED AS THE CENTRE OF THE FOOTBALLING UNIVERSE. CAN LIVERPOOL STRIKE BACK?

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A City United by a unique League and Cup double on the same day - but what a disgrace that the Premier League trophy was not presented to the Reds. Were they worried this would eclipse City's FA Cup win

A City United by a unique League and Cup double on the same day – but what a disgrace that the Premier League trophy was not presented to the Reds. Were they worried this would eclipse City’s FA Cup win

BY JOHN GUBBA

Welcome to the dawning of a new era with the City of Manchester now well and truly the centre of the footballing universe. And mark my words this is great news for United because there is nothing like a new challenge to keep you on your toes.

In case you needed a reminder the United are still the top dog, it was sweet irony that once again United eclipsed City on the day Roberto Mancini’s men claimed their first trophy in 35 years.

As City beat Stoke 1-0 at Wembley to win the FA Cup thanks to Yaya Toure’s late strike, United fans were already back in Manchester celebrating another Premier League triumph and a record-breaking 19th League title courtesy of their 1-1 draw at Blackburn secured by Wayne Rooney’s penalty.

Does anyone doubt Rooney's dedication to Man Utd now? After scoring the penalty that clinched the Reds' 19th Premier League title win, Wazza celebrated in bizarre fashion by shaving the number '19' into his chest and posting a photograph of it on Twitter.

Does anyone doubt Rooney’s dedication to Man Utd now? After scoring the penalty that clinched the Reds’ 19th Premier League title win, Wazza celebrated in bizarre fashion by shaving the number ’19′ into his chest and posting a photograph of it on Twitter.

But this was a day for Manchester to be United in celebration. Not just because the City can proudly boast the unique feat of winning two trophies on the same day. It is great for Manchester to be the undisputed Mecca of fooball. Even Milan can no longer match the glamour of England’s hotbed of football. And the odds are that the new intensity is here to stay.

I remember the end of the 60s when United and City last dominated football in this country. It was great for both clubs. And this time that great rivalry can last much longer than it did back in the days of Best, Law, Charlton and Lee, Bell, Summerbee.

With Liverpool getting their act together under the legendary Kenny Dalglish, what are the odds on the North-West giants occupying the top three positions in the Premier League next season and eclipsing the fading stars of Chelsea and Arsenal.

My bet is that Sir Alex Ferguson’s record-breakers will face a rejuvenated challenge from Liverpool next season as the Merseysiders seek to match United’s 19th League title. When Chelsea frivolously handed the Pool £50million for Fernando Torres Dalglish invested the money wisely and now has a good mix of established stars and exciting upcoming youngsters.

But the real fascination will be how much ground can neighbours City make up on Fergie’s champions after ending their 35 year wait for a trophy to add to their qualification for the Champions League.

There is no doubt City must spend another vast fortune if they want to rival the Reds at the top table. But that will be harder said than done despite their untold riches and their Champions League status.

The reason is the introduction of UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play rules.

Michel Platini has warned that the likes of big-spending Manchester City and Chelsea, and some of Europe’s biggest clubs, will have to ‘face the music’ if they do not comply with the new FFP regulations.

UEFA’s latest figures show that financial problems affecting European clubs are getting worse, with spending on player wages up almost 10 per cent – and increasing at a faster rate than income.

Under their new rules, clubs will face possible bans from European competition from the 2014/15 season if they spend more than they earn in the three years before.

Sir Alex Ferguson hugs Ryan Giggs as United celebrate record 19th title - both have won an unprecedented 12 Premier League trophies

Sir Alex Ferguson hugs Ryan Giggs as United celebrate record 19th title – both have won an unprecedented 12 Premier League trophies

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CLASSIC GOALS from Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham

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Can Liverpool strike back? Kenny Dalglish with Andy Carroll (left) and Luis Suarez

Can Liverpool strike back? Kenny Dalglish with Andy Carroll (left) and Luis Suarez

ROONEY’S RANT HAD TO BE PUNISHED – BUT MEDIA MUST SHARE BLAME FOR OBSESSION WITH BAITING OUR SPORTING HEROES

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Wayne Rooney's rant had to be punished - but media are the only winners

Wayne Rooney's rant had to be punished - but media are the only winners

BY JOHN GUBBA

WITHOUT doubt Wayne Rooney’s rant into the TV cameras after scoring his match-winning hat-trick at Upton Park was a big mistake. And he deserves to be punished. The Football Association had no option other than a suspension. But there is another aspect of this story that needs to be aired.

Rooney, everyone’s footballer of the year last season when he was universally paraded as England’s finest, has been subjected to levels of criticism from the media since last summer’s World Cup that have been destructive and deliberately provocative.

To put it bluntly the media are guilty of baiting the Manchester United star – and must share the blame for bringing the game into disrepute. There is an unsavoury cynicism in the way all sections of the media revel in building up sporting stars and then take great pleasure in knocking them down. It has been that way ever since George Best was hounded all the way to his self-destruction.

It is true that Best’s Old Trafford team-mate Sir Bobby Charlton would never have dreamed of any inappropriate behaviour when he scored a goal, or on any other occasion. England’s 1966 World Cup winner is a true gentleman who was never even booked or sent off, a feat that is almost impossible to comprehend in the modern era.

Charlton was the ultimate role model from a by-gone era when there was no malice in football.

I do not doubt that Sir Bobby would have stood tall above all the abuse that footballers are subjected to if he was playing these days. Yet that does not negate my argument. These are different times. Sir Bobby was a saint in the world of football greats the likes of which only United’s current role-model Ryan Giggs has remotely come close to emulating.

The truth is the game has changed beyond all recognition, along with the whole atmosphere that surrounds it. The appreciation of what was once called the beautiful game with genuine pride has been replaced by the negativity of the critical fans who queue up to fuel the media’s craving for confrontation on radio phone-ins.

The media have turned their pursuit of football heroes to new levels of intrusion, turning character assassinations into a public sport and whipping up an air of malice and hatred among rival fans that is unhealthy for the game and society at large.

Eric Cantona was only half-joking when he jests about the satisfaction he experienced when he lashed out at an abusive fan with his famous kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park back in the 90s.

The vile abuse dished out by fans grows worse every year and it is the media’s unrelenting desire to stoke up the atmosphere of confrontation and criticism that makes it forever worse.

Didier Drogba famously snapped when Chelsea were beaten in the 2008 Champions League Final by Manchester United and directed a tirade of abuse into a TV camera. The difference on that occasion was that he was criticising the integrity of the match officials. But there is no escape from the glare of the media and the blame culture that pollutes our society when things go wrong.

What do the public expect when the media puts these sporting stars onto a pedestal, then takes great pleasure in attempting to knock them off their perch, baiting them at every twist and turn and then putting a TV camera in their face when passions are at fever pitch.

As I said at the start Rooney’s rant was wrong – and rightly or wrongly Manchester United will be handicapped by his enforced absence. But do not make the mistake of thinking the problem is solved by the punishment dished out.

The only winners are the media who thrive on the feeding frenzy created by the never ending negative headlines.

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