Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Reditor's Blog

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    From the Reditorial of the RN202 Summer/Fergie Special that came out in July 2013…


    A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


    The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


    The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


    So how do you try and sum all that up then? This Fergie, is the really impossible dream!


    But here goes. It will be, as it has been then, emotional.


    The wholly expected, seemed unexpected when it finally did arrive, and that which we should have been well prepared for, left us anything but. It still feels emotional. It was quick, it was sudden, it was right, and it was a fitting end, even more so, certainly when it comes to boring relatives in years to come about these years, that it ended the way it did, not just with overall success, but in a 5-5 emotionally draining bloodbath.


    There were three eventualities left for Fergie's end, an unusual combination of age and achievements affecting where, since 2005 at least (and a lot of humble pie eating on occasion from us all, as he often reminded the press of that period: “Don't forget, you lot had me at the door three years ago. Bloody hell! You had in me in my bath-chair down on Torquay beach!”) any sacking was out of the question; leaving retirement or that sometimes over lightly throwaway comment of ‘he will die on the job’.


    This perhaps was a comment not meant to shock or harm but only as his resignation sunk in did I realise how horrible it would have been to play out to this conclusion - for everyone, those attending any such game, those playing in it, his family. It could and should not have been like that, so he made sure it wouldn't. He would have known when, so he strode to it face on; the question of ‘when?’ was beginning to follow him around in every significant press conference he'd given in the last two or three years, and despite jovial replies, there was a point to this; a man who could pretty much do what he wanted, could not fight time. Even he knew it. “The sand is drifting through now”. Where once Patrice Evra just two years ago talked of Fergie saying: “No chance will I retire. I have worked all my life and I will work until I die. This is my victory. I cannot walk away from this.” But he had to. Philip Roth famously said ‘old age isn't a battle, it's a massacre’. and those of us who have seen the curse of age know it does catch your pace eventually. Fergie did bloody great fighting it off for as long as he did, more so than pretty much any sporting great in this era, that he was allowed to go out on a high at 71 with so much - hopefully - still to do and see is a great feat in itself.


    So I say what I have said everytime since the news; it was the right time, completely, because there'd be no perfect treble hoisting other right time to go, only these moments, not infinite, that would run out, or it would then become the wrong time, when life just came along and played its tricks. And so reclaiming a title was his last target (“I really need to go out a winner”) and something we sometimes again too glibly call ‘our trophy’ after what happened just last May seems as right as right can be. And not just the right time for him. This is the important bit, for the club it's the right time too, more than just being his time, it is ours; leaving a title winning side, at the right(ish) average age, with potential (with additions of course), so it is far removed, we hope, from post-Busby shenanigans. We know this is new territory, and it is scary, but we must embrace it. Hell it showed this was a new era when Fergie's dancing to the Courteneers at that mental title parade!


    Of course if we listed all his strengths, and the glory, we'd be here longer than city waited for a trophy, but suffice to say he rebuilt the stature and then glory and great sides of this great club, not just in the image of Busby and his vision for football and conduct (though ABUs would feed you bollocks about that) but adding his own, mixing it all up to add late winners and miracles to the United mix that makes this club of ours so unique and wonderful at its core. I have said before we are blessed to have had both these men, and maybe now we have time to reflect we will appreciate if not just what he achieved, than what Fergie was, and stood for. The last dinosaur of his earth, who managed when it was changing all around him to adapt and survive. Punch extinction on its general managerial nose.


    A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


    The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


    The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


    Of course there were frailties; that is I am afraid part of our human condition, to err. I always felt wary after the early years to go for him as some did, especially with off field issues, for however disappointed I was with choices, I know I have made many mistakes so lectures seemed hypocritical even if we'd all wished from Coolmore, horse jizz and Glazers he'd come out more on our side, or acted the way we thought he may have once.


    We have had our run ins and our make ups even here. We had greater access in the early days when United wasn't the monolith it was now. When we started in the late 80s on pre-seasons where crowds were in their low thousands and there were no mobs outside hotels, you could walk in and be granted an interview. When those early days seemed to shift from scary waters to danger signals of relegation battles, these pages represented the views of concerned Reds who were beginning to doubt he could do it. If we'd known of course... but he told us that he was fundamentally opposed to fanzines if they criticised any of ‘his players’ as any sort of public slight, against any of them, automatically made you part of the problem, and not a support.


    This came to a head with RN founder (and lifelong Red) Teresa McDonald on a pre-season trip to Perth and after a friendly chat with Brian McClair agreed to a post match interview. Within earshot, Fergie came and grabbed Teresa, in front of a rather embarrassed Sir Matt it has to be said and ranted that we were all a disgrace to United and we could stuff this fanzine up our arses. (I never tried). He'd read an offending piece and reacted; she didn't have time to say she wasn't the actual author and as she then gave as good as she got the poor home staff didn't know what the heck was going on. It lasted seconds and seemed like hours. It seems mad now.


    And the next time they met, just a short while later? He hugged her and said ‘how are you doing?’, as if none of it had ever happened. In his mind it probably hadn't, to the extent that those recipients will remember it like an oven burn, scarring, and whilst we can argue over both fanzine and Fergie being in the wrong, I'd rather point to the bigger point that both forgot it, moved on, forgive and forget and all that and when Teresa fell seriously ill a few years ago, he immediately sent an inspiring and moving note of motivation with a package of items. The positive affect in that hospital when she read it I will never forget. He had that affect. It should always be good outweighing any bad. It was with him. He best summed up this complicated - and we all are such - nature up recently: “But I’ve never held grudges. In all the times I’ve banned you (the press) I’ve never borne a grudge. I don’t think it’s my style. I react, then forget about it some time later.”
    Perhaps his greatest gift was he made people forget he was human. If it is of our nature then to make mistakes, his genius was they were so few and far between so when they did occur, people were surprised or even shocked because they saw him on another level. They treated him like a God and reacted surprised when he showed his human side. This 71 year old man was viewed not as that or even like his peers but surpassing; he had elevated himself to such a level people couldn’t see his actual self. He performed miracles but he was not a miracle. He just had a knack. It worked. We can talk how and why, it just did. He got United and we got him and they sort of became entwined, even if at times after all this glory, we seemed to moan more than we should (or even used to during the shite). He is not United but he was at the same time. Thus, we felt so disappointed when he did make errors of judgement. Because we no longer saw him as one of us, even though he just was.


    As he performed that Mexican wave in the Legends game against Madrid, this man we had long depended upon, and looked up to, looked what he was, an old man - who has done remarkable things. But even with - still! - a relentless, possibly unique at his age, drive, there was no way he would be able to turn back time anymore, even if his sides often did.


    But this is not an obituary, and that is important because it shows it was the right time, and as such it doesn't mean you can't constructively deconstruct some of the darker moments, or even try and see how they were used for any team recovery. You see whilst there were achilles heels over a poorer record in Europe, and consistently playing people out of position, at times, at least when it came to tinkering, it began to work; for whilst us becoming accustomed to it is neither here nor there (though of course that pre-match raised eye brow at some choices would never cease), the players bought into not playing, so that whilst of course they all hoped they did, not many ever rocked the boat when they didn't.


    A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


    The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


    The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


    As we see at other clubs - or don't see as they kick off about it - this was another part of his genius; as well as a protection of his players in public even though we can only guess at the bollockings they were getting in private. “I've said time and again that my job is to keep us out of the press. That's my biggest job. That's why I give you lot nothing.” And of course the purple faced defence of his players (as an extension, his club) from telling Geoff Shrevees to fuck off after he'd tried to dig for answers after a meagre FA Cup tie against Boro, to dig at Ronaldo’s falling down, or those violent purple attacks. The players recognised this as Michael Carrick put it so well: “I'm proud of the boys and the character we've shown this season but it all comes from the manager. You don't just play for this club, you live for this club once you're here.”


    And because he did give the press nothing, be it the odd lie or side step gossip, and they didn't forgive such Perth like bollockings as we did, they harboured, maybe without even knowing it, grievances that would come to the fore during any bad period; pathetic (both looking in design and execution) empire crumbling nonsense of our crest after just a few ropey results, something we must fight back against when it happens under Moyes. My generation coming from an era where we maybe wouldn't win for 10 or so games, to this one now, genius again, where so rare is it that two bad results on the bounce would have the press wanting to light the smoke in the chimneys for ill thought out ‘Fergie must go’ campaigns. He played them like a violin. One hand accusing them of being “youse are all fucking idiots”for criticising Veron, on the other deflecting scrutiny of a player he would not long after concede defeat about by selling, sort of validating their questions! Even in adversity, always ahead. Devious at times, of course.


    Pardon this particular analogy but it does seem to fit, so to speak. Once we went on a path which now seems so remarkable it's almost blase to recall; a title we never thought possible, and if it happened we'd happily just take the one, then to realise he meant business when he said we'd have lift off and go on and on, then Doubles, then a bloody (bloody hell) Treble, to the odd shakey moment but nothing major and certainly never any earthquakes so that this all seemed so settled, so nice and wonderfully predictable by the end, that I saw Fergie as an old treasured piece, like a trainer. There were uncomfortable early days settling in, then a few doubts but for that final end period you are in perfect harmony until you can go no further together. You want them to last forever but you know it can't, only hoping the next one will be half as good.


    You get me?!


    In a sport that is unrecognisable for many of us from our start, he was a reassuring constant, a link between past to worrying present. That has now gone, it closes that era, it'll never be the same. That's exciting and scary, and as an aside the greedy fuckers up top could have even more of an open session than maybe when Fergie might give them a withered look as to not go too far (if official noodle and Mexican banking partners weren't far enough!). He was us, even though it didn't feel like it at times. He was more us than we can ever hope any of the others in this greedy game to ever be. That's why Moyes feels ok, (and ok is ok when you consider the magnitude of change), because he's more past and present than future, with Chelsea and city a good look in the scary face of what the future of modern fucked up football is becoming.


    You spend your 20s and early 30s thinking you're invincible, then the remainder of that decade thinking you might not. By your 40s you know you're not so that all that remains is fighting off the inevitable (and I’m an optimist!), so for Fergie at his age to be not just seeing off the tide (as well as all comers) but dashing here and there whilst controlling not just the biggest club in the world but the one most rapidly expanding is pretty much incredible. Lost in a career that was defined by so many incredible facets you lose track. And only now he's gone will we realise in even greater magnitude that which we already realised, or should have; just how blessed we were.
    Let's be honest, though not United, football in general CAN be tiring, dull, settling into nothingness, bland to watch and be fed. United under him for 99% of the time was nothing like that. Even last season when we felt less excitement, it still had so much goonage and last minute thrillers (West Ham. Soton, Newcastle and on and on).


    I have sold outside probably 75% of all Fergie's games in charge. I have seen all the emotions, missed some of the goals, stayed in for the big ones (Nou Camp) but seen our emotions evolve. Bouncing with big wins, changing with the small ones, as if they are a conveyer belt and also seen greed enter our mindset. Did he change that much, or was it us? I hope we realise that we can't win them all, however much we want to, and that moaning our way through this next stage of evolution will do us no good whatsoever.


    So what memories to take, to cherish the most? An ability to always keep moving for starters. “I never count titles. The next one is always the best.” Of checking for sauce under the pastas, of bloody hells. Of winning over half of all the trophies this club has ever won. Of always being ahead. When asked after a defeat to Chelsea in ‘08 how he was feeling, “top of the league, semi-finals of the European Cup. Disaster”. We smiled some more.


    In his very last press conference. “It's difficult to know what to do for the best, but I certainly have no plans to start hanging round City's training ground. I gave up council housing a long time ago.” Of those child like jigs, and fist pumps, of pointing at watches, of creating exasperation and even the odd moan from the stands (I don't mean the tosspots not happy unless it's 5-0 at half-time) as we then score and you're trying to grab those words back down your throat. Of chewing gum as we chewed nails and begged just give us one final big comeback and we'd never pray for another (yeah, right!). Of changing the attitude of a club in decline (“My job was to bring in players who were hungry, who would react to adversity.”). Of not being afraid of progress (embracing so much use of science at United - “I’m a dinosaur, but what I am is a winner”), and his players embracing his concepts as he would them.


    Of always wanting the win, when everyone else would settle for the draw, Denis Law saying “He was conscious of playing attractive football to give value to people who pay good money.” Of squeaky bum time. “No question about that”, of revelling in adversity, buying into it and selling it to his players so they didn’t shirk it.


    And, of course, “My greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their fucking perch. And you can print that.”, but doing it so well that Liverpool have long ceased, bar the ongoing off field rivalry, of being anything approaching relevant. Noisy neighbours, and not selling Madrid a virus (shame he then sold them Ronnie instead…), the hairdryer, and the vendettas. Of Lee Martin and Mark Robins, the opposite of big names, setting the ball rolling. Of recovering from 1992. Of Eric. Embracing him and his collars as well as his temperament and utilising it with the siege mentality that would leave us in such good stead. Of spotting Bayern’s knack and getting so many ex-players back involved at the club... Or it's just too bloody hard to try and break it all down.


    As he himself said: “It's hard to actually go through 26 and a half years, it's impossible.” He achieved the impossible (that song again). Peter Schmeichel said: “There are thousands of better coaches. But management? The handling of men? There's nobody better.” Harry Gregg talked of his achievements: “Alex Ferguson rescued an institution not just a football club.


    He talked in his final week of his life ahead. “I am going to fill it with nonsense and madness!” He gave us both, in unimaginably great ways. We have said before, he changed our lives. Those of us who saw dark days, now bathed in success shared with people who have known nothing but success and light. He changed United, but still managed to remain much the same man - the good and the occasional bad - who arrived over half a century ago in a world much changed, and often gone mad.
    Think of his final speech on the pitch, one that down played any self interest, inspiring a long injured player, telling the players of the responsibility of our shirt, and how we must all send our encouragement to David Moyes. It was unscripted majesty. This era was exactly that. You couldn't have made this up. Nobody would have believed you. For that, and everything else, thank you Alex Ferguson and as important as anything, I hope he gets to enjoy this well deserved retirement. Bobby Charlton talked earlier in the season of him never leaving: “I think he’ll be there for the rest of time, to be honest". But he will be. He wasn't Manchester United but he became part of it, part of its very fabric. Life sometimes doesn't turn out quite the way you want it to.. but United, somewhat incredibly, did turn out exactly the way we'd not just like it to, but dreamt it to be - proper pie in the sky, ‘please let this happen’ Hollywood stuff.. and then some.


    He gave us anxiety, then trophies, then Eric, then the league, then great football, then the Holy Grail, and he didn't let up, so neither did we. Every one of us loved him, to varying degrees, myself pretty much unconditional by the end (bar Gimps support), but without doubt every one of us had a better life - not just football but the contentedness that footballing success can bring to your wider worlds - because of him. He didn't try. He did. The boxer Joe Louis at the end of his time said: “I did the best I could with what I had.” Fergie did even better than he should with what he had, and made greats and truly great times from what he had.


    Fergie, bloody hell. Thank you Sir Alex. For everything.


    A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


    The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


    The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/
    New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
    Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
    The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
    RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
    Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
    News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
    Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
    Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
    Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
    Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
    Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

    Comment


    • #47
      A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


      Well that was the ultimate bad sex then, like a Michael Bay film; all noise (usually the voice of Sky's Jim White) and a lot of hyped action but the actual dialogue and reality leaves you feeling a bit flat. And in need of a lie down.


      Is that all there was?


      I'm a Fellaini fan. He ticks the box for me with a bit of bite, and guile don't forget, and a steadily improving player who, hopefully, as none of us really know, will continue that trajectory at a higher rate at a bigger club. But I hoped he'd be if not the sideshow to the main event, not the big signing alone.


      But he is, it seems as though he's the only one (of note, right now, the Fabio Coentrao stuff rumbles on) so whilst that flatness gets slightly flatlined as it's not quite the doom of nobody that we feared at around 10.58pm last night, we know rivals have strengthened, possibly quite or very well, and as we heard talk of United's unlimited ambition - and backing - few would have thought this would be the end result. We fear it might not be enough. Granted, the bloated excess of United fans sometimes means we always fear and moan it's not enough; but on this, we had a point. We had no Fergie.


      We'll regroup of course, we always do. We're mumble amongst mates and under our breath over pints and before and after games but if some hysterically cry for the return of David Gill after years of slagging (though Pete Shaw has a point, he should have maybe given more time to showing Woowar the ropes), we'll back United - well, most of us - during games with the support they need.


      But we're allowed to ask questions, more importantly finally seek adult answers and head scratch as to what exactly happened as whilst journos get to grips with stories of imposters in Spain pretending to be United officials (and no, apparently this wasn't Edward 'Woowar' Woodward himself), we wonder what exactly did occur this summer; the talk of deals coming in the next few days, months ago, that disappeared exactly like Woowar's farcical own departure from Sydney that we never seemed to recover from transfer wise. What message did that send out?


      The problem there is we looked not like the biggest club in the world, certainly not with might, more in fright, and all with the bloody air of Garry Cook at city, all that's missing Woodward greeting his new arrival with 'alright brother' on the official site video next week, as we were unhappy voyeurs to this window, griping after United continuing to pluck official partners like a magician out of thin air (how many tyre companies can they bag, can there be?!), yet ours more of the Paul Daniels variety. Oh, and poor old Ander Herrera in all this - we finally had a player who had said yes to us, and we left him stuck outside the cinema like a jilted blind date.


      The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


      Questions Woowar might consider then…


      - why bid so low for Fabregas right from the off? A World Cup Winner after all, and over rely on that bid, without a Plan B (as one wag wrote in RN203, he'd have taken Ben Drew by the end), and then rush around deadline weekend like Dale Winton chasing us with a stopwatch.


      - this urgent business bollocks, it was a rod for his and our backs, and then after that, then just go awol and tap fingers for a good few weeks and then suddenly leave everything until the very last weekend. It's not very professional, is it?


      - why try and beat the clause system, this is United. Clubs try and fleece us. Always will, always have. You are not going to suddenly get them to reduce the price as if you're buying a carpet at a market place.


      - the debt is still 300m and an always ongoing worry but nonetheless half of that which it used to be, as official partners stream in from tomato juice to tyres - the money from that which would seriously shake the bigger teams and tempt them and their players always seems to be held onto, like me clutching a rare £50 quid note in my pocket and not wanting to let it see daylight. The Ronaldo money was always there, we were told, but never used. Will it ever be? (and that's not including the topping up to that which should have happened… adopts cynical pose).


      - Fellaini was a target in May. He was Moyes' shoe in, they reckoned. And we left it until the final hours of the final deadline day to force through, paying more than his actual clause was that ended a few weeks earlier. Take that on Dragon's Den and see where it gets you. It seriously defies logic.


      It's time questions were asked. And answered. We asked Woowar for an interview, no copy approval, hard stuff, but no answer, it'll be honey coated when he does it, cheese to camera. All fake smiles and shiny suits. No real depth, or serious engaging.


      I fear that whilst Woodward needs to answer questions about these senior management mistakes early on, Moyes will be included in the abuse too - and look, I realise this is a huge new role for Woodward but some of my concern is that some of these were basic mistakes (pr or otherwise) that should have been stopped right from the off, a new role doesn't stop you from realising hyping up deals won't work well unless they are signed. He's old and canny enough (you'd hope) to have not made some of these basic human errors. Do not inflate your own ego; the club should speak for itself.


      Moyes of course has some questions though; why he didn't fancy Thiago, or think Modric was up for the big games, and stayed clear of Ozil, the very big names, who have done it at the highest level, that matched those very big bold ambition statements we heard talk of in July, yet he seemed to not want to work with them; he's got to learn for a club our size, we seek the stardust, the arrogant, the best.


      The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


      But surely he must feel disappointed at the lack of backing from above. Not words, their (in)actions. When he saw at Anfield despite all the talk of a good performance - really? - that we needed the midfielders, that he himself had talked of in July and Mike Phelan had also identified now he was no longer 'on the inside.' We've now known it so long it's almost like a bad in-joke, makes me so lunatic I wonder if we'll ever properly address it.


      I continue to make it clear that I want to see Moyes' given time, and hope it will work out and he is given the crucial early support he needs from Reds. It will take time but with the size of United, and expectations, to then see his new boss mishandle such a vital transfer window will not do him any favours. He needed support. On many levels.


      It'll show his talent - hell, it might even mean we finally see Kagawa get a run of games and see if he's as good as some think or as duff as others fear, I'm the former by the way - because we know Fergie was able to get an extra percentage, or ten!, from the players, which probably gave us a healthy extra few points than anyone else would and without that to rely on, Moyes will have to work harder to not see that reduced too much when the title race is decided (and yes doomlords, we will be in this title race). With Fergie's squad and his main man he always wanted, we'll be able to see a direct show of how they compare, if of course not like for like, how well Moyes can do to keep things on track. It was quite obvious real backing in the market would have helped with this.


      None of this is new of course, we've bagged a few big ones in recent times - Rooney, RVP - but for some time struggled to really get to grips with dramatically improving the squad each season, remembering Fergie's point that we were always a moving bus, instead now chasing impossible rainbows and somehow symbolic of 'great owners' who though backed in press conferences by their managers, don't really show it in return in transfer clout, or in real backing. However obscene the whole sorry dance of this transfer window is, the fact is during the biggest transfer market ever, with a new manager and a squad that needed backing because if it didn't got away with it last year (and at times it did) it certainly over relies on certain players, we spent only slightly more than Cardiff this window.


      As RN forumite red lester put it:


      "11 points ahead last season over two clubs in disarray for most of the season. Not the case this time round."


      There are so many things to either cry, vent spleen or be absolutely baffled about this window, but as fans we don't get much time to dwell, we have to plan our next games, support, because that's what we do, and we'll once again have to don the tin hats, because there is always a siege mentality at this club, because these are the cards, back the team and Moyes on a matchday but away from that, we need to keep asking these questions, why I think it's shambolic Woowar disappeared and didn't return in public wherever he was to face the music, not fronting an interview so Moyes faced a barrage all tour about transfers and Rooney, and basically left to it. Whilst Woodward did what exactly? 'Worked on deals. Lots of them.', no doubt. And not all come off, as we know from even PLC days. But this was one of the most important summers in recent memory.


      Get behind the lads then, direct pertinent questions to Moyes, and demand serious answers from senior management who seemed to act nothing like is fitting for a club of Manchester United's stature and with Florida hands all over our purse strings, continue to fail to grasp the fact that if they give proper backing in the transfer market, it actually makes their life - and plans - easier.


      A message to them then, the owners and Board. We do our bit. We hope the manager will grow and do his but, and the team, his team now, if though still lacking in *that* (shudders) area, will continue to do theirs. How comes time and time again as your grubby hands finger our beloved, you fail to do yours?


      I am pleased we got Fellaini, but wanted more. I do think, however tired of him, that Rooney staying is important, could be vital and hopefully will be crucial come next May, but it's all been such a sorry dance that you can't help but feel dirty by it all - all our hopes, all those hours wasted checking for it to happen, and then a rather deflated feeling that it was all pretty much a waste of time. Fellaini will want to prove that feeling his a bit disrespectful. I hope so. Prove you're United class then, because we need to start signing the best, the stardust, to stay ahead of the pack in this post Fergie era.


      That feeling of 'meh' can't last for long. United have 35 league games to fight for the league as holders, and we have to back them, and him. And we will do. Those who manage him however, need to ask themselves though if they gave him the backing that he needed in these crucial early days.


      Thank God it's over. I seriously never want to go through that again.


      Barney 11.58pm September 2nd 2013.


      A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php
      New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
      Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
      The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
      RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
      Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
      News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
      Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
      Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
      Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
      Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
      Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

      Comment


      • #48
        Editorial from RN204 on Edward Woodward's summer, David Moyes' pressure and how following Manchester United is still fun as a fan

        A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


        http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php


        The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


        The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


        Red News now available for web/iphone/ipad and android use at www.exacteditions.com/rednews


        David Moyes may already have taken a walk around Old Trafford on a non-matchday to see the club he now manages in all its glory. He could have driven down Sir Matt Busby Way, parked on the road soon to be granted the status of Sir Alex Ferguson Way (always his way, of course), and walked past the Alex Ferguson Statue as he sat and looked at the stadium that whispers such memories from a seat in the Alex Ferguson Stand. That in itself is some weight of history, or as Robert Penn Warren noted: ‘the past is always a rebuke to the present.’ Few manage to hush it.


        If the weight of all that expectation from history wasn't hefty enough, you can't help but feel that alone with his thoughts, Moyes may have given one of his angry Gollum like stares at a transfer window that seemed so complex, much of our own desperate making. For such shoes, ground, statue, and roads to fill, he needed a huge helping hand - he needs it off us too (see last Ed) - from senior management who had agreed with Fergie’s request to appoint him, and instead seemed to produce a window best summed up as one we’ll never want to repeat. Or live through again.


        We always have the right to prod, probe and ask questions, but there comes a balance. We wanted more than we got, but this is what we got. I think too many people moan too often about United, ignoring the real big issue, or picking it up at convenience, on a whim; the Glazers should matter more often than just when we don't sign X or Y, or lose a few games. I repeat that if some fans are not prepared to give a new manager, following all that, not even a season to judge what he's about here then it says more about them than it does actually him. Granted most of the real bile heading towards Moyes is on twitter, at times more rancid than a walk across Stanley Park to the United entrances in the 1980s, but life is different shades of colour, and so is United, and we have to try and weigh up all that happened this summer with perspective. I mistrust the Glazers, I don't think a new manager AND a new Chief Executive was a wise move, and I think both should have done better in the transfer window, but as with every argument and event at MUFC, there is texture, it is not done and dusted in 140 characters and nor is what you or I say or think at a particular moment in time ever completely right, both sides can make salient points rather than ignoring another view out of hand as if only yours matters.

        So whilst many of can agree it was a summer of fiasco, unhinged drama, inexperience, pain, draining, and ended with many of us ultimately agreeing we did not get what this squad needed, namely it was Fellaini and A N OTHER(S) that we required to help us maintain a serious challenge, on all fronts, we won't know for sure the impact, if any, until the very end of the season. And equally, there is THE paradox. Despite the madness of the window (and it was lunatic, come deadline day I think we were all in some sort of frenzied zombie dimension, and in what fantasy world would Harry Redknapp talking out of a car window considered to be part of its fun?!) we did actually improve the squad, albeit by one, and so that whilst doubts remain over the whole, it is still a better squad than last May. And however tiresome he and his sagas (preferred it when he was flirting with SAGA) are, we still kept the fat Scouser who can win us games alone.


        But this isn't a post briefing let off for United. It was badly handled, seemed to border on the absurd, it was way too public at its start, then desperately concluded, and maybe because of all that, our post-window reactions pretty much ignored that we finally got that long sought after lesser spotted midfielder (Henry Winter after his own briefings suggesting we'd been trying for that spot since 2007, as if the very position was a near extinct animal), but a title winning squad was improved. That is important.


        Yet many of us feel we needed more, that this transfer squandering, and doggy paddling isn't actually anything new, that the sum of all these parts bar the Fellaini arrival this summer was still bathed in classic Glazernomics; history certainly suggests so, as we realise it's just a net spend transfer wise since 2005 of £132.4m, or a rather deflating £14m per season, that the Ronaldo money was never actually spent, and then when pacified with briefings that it was still ‘always there’, stored away in Gill's office like some humongous piggy bank saved for a rainy day, the reality in the Woodward invester conference call last week: “we don’t expect to build up large cash balances.” (ie, not on ground development, or big transfer spends). So despite talk of unlimited budgets and ambitions to the media, in the real world, they haven't even spent the rather small £25m a season they promised in their original business plan. They are so lucky they had Fergie. We can rejoice with sarcasm at an official nutritional supplements partner in Japan, but continue to ask exactly where does all that commercial money end up if not on the stadium, or the players that fill it?


        The achievements since their arrival could be pinpointed to the genius, and madness of his miracles, of Sir Alex, and without his power of winning say a few extra points each season by his je ne sais quoi, the man with the unenviable task of replacing him clearly needed a transfer budget larger and spent more wisely than one that positioned us lodged between Cardiff and Norwich. But football, especially Manchester United, is not Football Manager despite what a 15 year old blogger in Timbuktu may tell you. We have always had problems signing players; it can be traced back to the 1970s when we were underwhelming payers of player wages, to the 80s when we couldn't attract the names (Butcher, Lineker) needed to transform us earlier than we did, and then the ineptitude of the likes of Kenyon with Ronaldinho or the near endless DVD repeats of ‘he may come this summer’ that always ejected near the end for the likes of Batistuta, Kluivert, and that old favourite, Wesley Sneijder, so close to coming that I even stored to lasting memory how to spell his name without checking. Our underwhelming reaction to the transfer window is nothing new. Usually results, or the new players, then surprise us. Can we keep pulling that rabbit out, even under new management? When others year-in, year-out continue to outspend? Can United - with all that turnover - keep not buying targets like Baines because of ‘value’ and look so inept in the market?


        I'm told it was a deliberate policy to go from the Fabregas daily briefings to radio silence until that rather unedifying final weekend as United realised early summer mistakes and we are told Woowar will learn from this. But I'm more concerned with his amateurish human errors, than his business ones, telling people like longstanding fans' reps in Sydney that ‘Fabregas was a done deal’ is only going to bite you on the arse. I look unfavourably not at what he missed out on - that unfortunately is still, shit happens, especially if you're under bidding or leave it so late - but the way he handled it. Not fronting up after he went awol from Sydney, when we were all laughing at him by that stage, to appear and cop the flak is the point you start to look bad beyond fanzine circles and do something about it, well, the good Chief Executives do.


        Despite the dubious briefings to Winter or Taylor after the event, whilst the Rooney saga did sap energy and spirit at the club with their constant reassurances to force staying (though United still did expect a request or final push from his people, and this isn’t over), it did not take every waking moment and they had long enough from things settling down leading up to Swansea, to not look so desperate then floating down the Suwannee in the days that remained. An hour or so to placate the ever noisy Rooney brigade still leaves plenty more time, unless the rest of Woodward’s time was spent trying to orienteer back from Sydney from wherever he actually ended up - and if it was the island of Lost, by now we all certainly felt in purgatory.


        What the summer showed is exactly what United now are, a completely new run United, fears that it'll be even more Glazer inspired, when it could be argued, Fergie's more private way, away from the fellatio to the likes of Mr Potato and Manda Fermentation, saw the club being run very well as it was; if it ain't broke and all that.

        And yet, the other side of the coin, this complexity that exists on all levels at modern Utd; many of us don't want city like spending, quick plaster strips just to buy five more in, throwing money like a fat twat in a strip club ‘because he can’, many of us want youth to come through the system as it always has, yet get impatient if players like Daniel Welbeck show immaturity and inexperience when in the first team. We want it all, yet at no cost. At times it can all fit the jigsaw, at other times, none of it makes sense.


        David Moyes said at Everton: “It is good if you can get your boys in at pre-season and get them involved. It gives everyone a lift.” And that was, in this post Fergie haze and maze, what we all wanted, was a lift. It's probably why we frothed so much on September 3rd. Some may argue why do we need it, we're Champions after all, but we appear light for any European campaign against clubs who we should be competing with every single season now with our resources (in theory). But for yet another another window, it didn't happen. So do we sulk, or get on with it? There should become provisos with that of course. Them... The lingering presence of the Glazers can be traced back far longer than Edward Woodward replicating Quinn Paterson in the Mad Dogs series in Spain this summer. Their lack of communication back to us - still nobody official at the clubs speaks to its oldest fanzine - all seems rather immature.


        And despite the hideous caveat it's done because of the debt, is the fact that transfer wise we are living within our means something to be pleased about, so our only debt, is their debt, unlike others who ignore FFP, or do we enviously end up eyeing the sugar daddies like at city where the disparity of transfer money spent, compared to income, is stark and, as we sarcastically look towards Platini, seemingly no end in sight. Should this make us happy that we do business as we do, that Utd despite the Gimps, are run apart from that as a debt free year on year business (there is a sad irony to all that), or is the whole thing simply so fucked, that none of football industry makes sense anymore, if it ever did, so if you can't beat them off the field, just join them? Paris St Germain would argue that latter point, yet it's all a bit sad, as Anzhi Makhachkala would now testify. Everything seems to fucking complicated.


        This complexity of opinion extends to the terraces too. We know Old Trafford can be a right old sea of oddballs at times for games these days, and the changes to it have seen many changes, not many for the better. It has its moments but its lost something too. With a bit of club-fan dialogue that can change - and eventually who knows, lead to the promised land of some safe standing - but it also at times gets completely written off, as if abandon hope all ye who enter here, as if there is nothing to be had from going to a game anymore, certainly no fun. When in fact, on its day, it can still be a top day. Not as often as we'd like, with not as many, and that decline slowly eroding to away games too, but again, that gets written off, sometimes by people not there which probably helps them deal with not being there, as they say ‘United is finished’, ‘the matchday is finished’, and whilst it's awful much that has happened to our culture - what they have done to us; our game, our conditions, mistaking the need for safety and the good that came from that with being greedy with a host of shit add-on conditions like prices, kick off times, Sky on deadline day, Hull Tigers or whatever bollocks it is, Cardiff in red. But United is and never will be finished.


        The away match day goon can still be top quality. We may rightfully groan at the half and half scarf brigade, and point out the ones wearing them at say Anfield, but also rewind, still be thankful it's only one or two being noticed, and because they stand out as a minority - still - that's why you are noticing the oddballs. As pictures like this half and halfer in our end at Anfield splutter around the internet, what about the 1000s who still get it, because despite all the self fulfilling prophecies of shitness, away games are still the same familiar faces - at times too old - not quite as high numbers as we'd like what with finances and hassles a problem for us all, but enough still there, and a good few kids coming through too who with a bit of nous and education (not from the likes of me, I've still not learnt how not to be a bit of a dick when ale is added!) will carry the baton. Whilst jester hat has entered the Utd lexicon apart from the odd few how many do you actually ever see with you in your pubs before a game, or at OT; so slightly OTT?


        It is never the doom laden experience pronounced by the doomlords; attending United games is still a great element to our lives, which adds to our lives. I'd still choose a United game and going away with United (when I can afford it), or a pre or post match pint with mates over 99% of the dull life away from Utd what with Jim White shouting, or Phil Mitchell shouting on a soap, Simon Cowell earning millions leeching on no hopers or Dev getting away with murdering acting skills. United is better than the drone of real life, and the real world; and I actually really enjoy my real life away from United! At United there is always hope and the fact that the majority of us will still buzz and goon at a goal, game, and matchday, discounts the theory that it is all simply finished; again an all too easy put down which ignores the many complex issues around it. Football as it was has gone. We've sadly struggled to deal with that ever since and shape what we want to come next. But don't make out football ‘back then’ was perfect either; we had plankton follow us then, it's just higher numbers now, at a higher capacity, changed, sat down, ignoring you or I, Old Trafford.
        Following United may have many ills, and we must never stop fighting at the ones who diseased our club with their debt, but it is not game over, and nor hopefully is this squad that once again has been written off. Fellaini without the A N OTHER now shoulders big expectations but who knows, he may just like that and grab that challenge. We've seen it before at this club.


        So many views, so much shouting. Sitting there then, Moyes may quietly have taken in the magnitude of the club during this transfer window, and it might not be such a bad thing to learn, mistakes and all, that the demands here seem as big as anyone bar Real Madrid. And on our part, it's alright to realise, we can be right, and wrong, on certain topics from time to time, and they can change, about this thing we love. It's also ok to have fun too after an online rant. In a world where we can be a mix of pessimists, optimists, realists, pragmatists, and annoying gits, United has always made me see its glass as half full rather than half empty, as we've in recent times seen our (football) glass overspill. Going to games for me, and from the buzz of people at away games, and the odd home, is still a glass half full experience, despite what those with empty glasses may tell you. Nobody knows if Moyes will prove the doubters wrong, or his supporters right, but I'd rather be one of those who gave him time to find out, rather than not enough to properly tell. And sing a few songs and get behind the lads in the process.


        History is on his back. We don't have to be.


        So whilst the arguments around this transfer window were as complicated as they were troublesome let us remember what Sir Alex Ferguson said in that fascinating Harvard project: “From the moment I got to United, I thought of only one thing: building a football club. I wanted to build right from the bottom.” With that job done so that United now is another beast in size to then, now is the time to look at it from the top rather than bottom. And from up top, senior management must give Moyes the right resources next time to preserve that football club which the commercial and financial side, so depends on. Whilst we worry about half and halfers going to Utd, I ignore them as much as I can as the game is still more life absorbing and life affirming than it is not - it is still despite it all a great thing in our lives, and our concentration should be more on those who are employed to run Old Trafford, and who own it, than those sorry few who sit in it with their odd paraphernalia.


        A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


        http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php


        The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


        The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


        Red News now available for web/iphone/ipad and android use at www.exacteditions.com/rednews
        New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
        Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
        The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
        RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
        Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
        News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
        Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
        Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
        Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
        Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
        Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

        Comment


        • #49
          From the Editorial of December’s RedNews208, published December 21st 2013.


          New RedNews209 out Saturday 11th January 2014.


          You can read the mag in PRINT, KINDLE, APP and DIGITAL formats.


          A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


          http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php


          The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


          The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


          Red News now available for web/iphone/ipad and android use at www.exacteditions.com/rednews




          With all that change, with all that we’ve seen come our way, scared to lose any of it, we were bound to have if not squeaking bum time, then leaking arses with nerves during any ‘transition’, a term that both explains the upheaval and mystifies in that a squad still so capable, has at times looked anything but.


          As Fergie was a paradox so were his teams, and at times their achievements were beyond what we thought possible of them, and whilst some see the facts clear and simple that this squad won that 20th league by that many points, so how can they decline so much now, others knew Fergie’s magic was papering over certain cracks and without the necessary Polyfilla this summer - what we all said was a huge series of mistakes that could bite us back - there is only so long you can keep flogging that horse, convincing it that it can go on and win again. And take away that genius convincing them of all that, and here is where we are.


          But the Champions should be doing better, and would be right up there with Fergie still here, but the midfield issue was always going to eventually cave-in - and a debate for another day just how lacklustre we’ve been at signing proven quality midfields since the mid 90s (once you take away the name of Roy Keane out of the equation) - as our rivals did the spending that we should have, so us coming a Roy Cropper was somewhat inevitable. We can all agree that the drop back down to reality should not have been as bad as it has. That none of us expected.


          And it is after each setback when concerns over Moyes intensify. Some I feel are valid, he is yet to properly grasp the ‘United way’ and manner and sometimes in front of cameras he has the air of vapidity, saying more the wrong thing than the right and his perceived negativity - which I have no doubt is a self defence mechanism - overplayed our opening five games so that we were on the back foot from the off. Too negative an outlook. The football at times too has been depressing to watch, an un-United way. Games that, and this is unsettling us all, we no longer feel confident about as we approach. I can’t remember the last game I felt we’d win, for sure, beforehand. How spoilt of me I know, but I’ve not enjoyed it!


          But whilst those at United games have been solid behind him during these early stages - even if some keep their counsel just after the game - online it’s been a bit of a mess. I suppose that’s inevitable when those that make the necessary sacrifices to get to a or the match will be shouted down by those sat comfily on a sofa ready to tweet their disgust during and after a game they’ve made little effort for, the exaggerations of opinion forget that only two years ago we were playing in the latter stages of the Europa League, a title quest still on silenced what was an awful, and mainly ignored, set of fixtures on Thursday nights. This squad, as well as its football, has been up and down for a while; Fergie, RVP’s arrival, and results over style kept the din down.


          There were signs that this was coming. We knew Fergie could be worth X amount of points with strength of character and convincing his players alone, and Moyes would be well advised to embrace what we stand for; our ethos, not just the will and want to win, but the way that we do it. Those fans singing all game on the Stretford End in a rather dour game against Shakhtar will continue to stand, and stand with him, if he does actually play like Fergie’s boys, rather than, and this has oddly disturbed me as much as any one thing this season, pulling all our players back for opponents corners, rather than having an outlet, allowing us a chance for one of our famous counter attacks. Seeing United play like an away team at Old Trafford is not good for the soul. It is understandably unsettling after years of our teams, well, in the really good days, running towards not just any challenge, but any fight, but now seeming to refuse it; or, at the very least, refuse belief in themselves that Fergie gave them. A few should take note of Darren Fletcher’s incredible will and determination to wear the shirt that you fear some take for granted.


          Everton fans are loving this up and down season. They’ve even changed our song (youtube it). “Stuck with Moyes, stuck with Moyes, Man Utd, playing football in a negative way.” And a few nodding sages will agree, saying they never wanted him. Well we have him (a move I supported), and to suggest getting rid after just 15 games is lunacy. It’s not United, we don’t want to become a Chelsea, a nother side, and what would it do for future managers to know they are judged on such short scraps. This is not Moyes’ team, it is one that has too few stars, one he needs to rebuild. He deserves to build a team then if not in his honour but in ours, to see where we are in a year’s time, without the deadwood. Mixed messages everywhere too. Rio, error strewn this season on and off the pitch, suggesting teams can play at below par and win - well we can’t, never have! - and then United’s clown apprentice tweeter who told us, via Moyes, that basically it’s the whole god damn thing that needs improving. Lads, that doesn’t look good. We should be better than that.


          At times you wish they’d all be a bit more quiet. David Moyes doesn’t appear as media savvy as you’d hope for someone so experienced, and seems to give them too much of his time, and too much information, a scatter gun series of up and down quotes that come at us when we’re reeling and don’t inspire like Fergie’s aggressive, ‘youse are all fucking idiots’ could, enabling a siege mentality. Somehow Fergie, and he did get stick for it, managed to glue the mess together and make it art. Brilliant art. With Fergie we could get away with saying if it ain't broke don't fix it, but we felt the parts did look worn and now it looks broke, we’ve been too slow reacting after the event and ignoring too many long term warning signs. Each time we’ve seemed to have started to turn a corner - Arsenal, Leverkusen - we’ve hit a red light, let’s hope the win at Villa was significant, but at least some Reds are greeting this strangeness with good (gallows?) humour: “We are staying up, we are staying up!”. We have to stick together (I won’t say it in a Brummie advert voice).


          But if we were winning all the time, we’d be ignoring the little traits that are now picked up from every angle aimed at Moyes. Because it’s different, people don’t like it. They never like change. I’ve felt jittery even though I experienced time before SAF, I suppose after joking that we’re ready for the crap days again if needs be, none of us actually are, nor want to go back there, especially if it’s swapping places with the Scousers. I think we have to take a backward step, to be a bit more patient, because these are not the crap days, that’s when you can see what he means when he says it is transition, and try and avoid the lunacy of modern football, that already seems to have seen the vultures circle over nearly every manager in the Premier League this season, and each appears defined by their last three or so results. It is disappointing that after Arsenal, when we thought a more positive corner had been turned, we reversed back into arse flapsville, but the nuclear fall out after the two home defeats seemed much more of a bleak winter than the good feeling from the unbeaten run. Again, somewhere in between, probably this season lies. Not great but there you have it. And it’s still good enough to get into the top 4, and beyond, with a bit more positive thinking.


          Many make issue of him getting rid of Fergie’s coaches, though let’s be honest, with DDG ever improving, it’s only Rene we pine for, for his one to one work. But I can understand Moyes’ thinking, imagine now, with these results, if he suspected the old guard were whispering about his faults, behind his back? United life, on terraces, with the owners, is poisonous enough at the best of times these days, that would have been another minefield. We can’t have that poison spreading and becoming terrace rebellion at the start of this new tenure, look how bad the Scousers looked when they took on Houllier and relentlessly went for him. Bile during games does not build.
          In a week when Utd fans were once again choosing sides between Fergie and Keane (it’s getting as tiring a series as Rocky Part 56 now), a rare dose of tranquility came from the Corkonian on ITV at the Shakhtar march: “I think there’s been a slight over reaction to the past week. I think it’s time for cool heads. Give the manager an opportunity to make his mark on the club and give him a bit of time. I think everybody needs just to relax just a little bit and give him a chance to put a marker on it over the next year or so. United fans aren’t daft, they’ll be right behind him, they’ll understand what’s been going on, and I don’t think there’s any need to panic, United fans are great, I think the fans are eight behind and will get behind David Moyes.” When Roy is telling us to relax, you know some of us have tensed up to almost Rigimortis levels.


          When some leave games and say “I’ve never seen it this bad”, they’re telling porkies. The expression the last few seasons in this column was “our bland efficient” approach was working - it’s been pretty uninspiring to watch now for three or so years, ever since Ronaldo left. Teams have sussed us out, worked out that we’ve been weak at Old Trafford for a while now, letting in too many goals for a couple of seasons. For all the negatives and head shaking - and we can’t deny them, there have been positives; him stroking Rooney’s ego, the chances for Adnan, him taking full responsibility for results when that’s not quite the truth, but it’s the right thing to do and something others might not have done. He has not hid even though some wish he might have. Eyes trained on him and him alone though means some of the players have coasted, when it should be their bollocks on the line. It will be though, when he sorts out who has or hasn’t been siding with him. And, sadly a recurring theme, not enough fingers pointing at the owners who wank the commercial devil but whilst millions slipped out of our fingers into theirs and their banks, under financed our squad, woefully and willfully after the Ronaldo sale, so that to think life after Fergie could also survive on the relatively low annual spend as others build is as daft as anything Lee Ryan would say. You despair that whilst we’re great at signing partners, we seem pretty abject at signing players.


          Fergie too, perhaps knowing he didn’t have the energy or time to rebuild yet another squad, also left a weakening squad, even if it were a title winning squad, a problem for any successor to deal with. He knew last November of his change; we don’t know how strong he made his message about how important it was to strengthen from a position of strength, but the club failed in doing so. And whilst he notes in his book that city lost their chance for successive titles by not competing in the transfer market immediately afterwards, we saw all our rivals really go for it this summer; and just looked amateurish ourselves. We all saw this coming and like a rabbit caught in headlights, failed to comprehend that it was so close.


          I also think the players got more complacent than they should have, that coasting Rio’s tweet alludes to. They were allowed also to celebrate ‘20’ for way too long, it went on for weeks. There didn’t seem to be a buckling down - move on to the next trophy aim - like we always hear as soon as the changeover was announced. Kept partying. Results were sliding from April onwards.


          But the press are loving this as are ABUs so that alone should make us close ranks more, when that doesn’t happen it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable seeing such venom towards our own from our own on public platforms; it’s what ‘THEY’ all want. We all know they and ABUs have waited years for this opportunity to propel a shitstorm, United fans, in front of them, can’t be seen to encouraging and actively creating more even though at times it’s hard to take, especially for those experiencing this seasickness of really up and down results for the first time. The sight of Moyes wrestling with Ben Arfa for the ball in the dying minutes against Newcastle was more embarrassing than inspiring. Again, he needs to quickly find that United handover booklet and be better briefed.


          What is Manchester United about? It’s about support, difference, and certainly backing and giving managers time. As well as the football we want to see. Many thought there was no hope with Fergie in ‘89, and yes different times with a really crap squad but then we’d go 14-15 matches without one win. There is always hope at United and why you have to give it time. Not indefinite, but United, and surely sanity, is not about saying after 4 months, with his predecessors squad, without backing from loathsome owners, away you go. It’s not unconditional, nor indefinite but people need to realise, you do know when faith leaves, when it is time. It becomes clear. It’s bottling out of titles, fans showing real hatred, teams totally fucked (Atkinsons, after that 85/86 ten game run), or a continually bland un-United football that lasts for years (Sexton). It is not now. To even suggest it suggests some have become a bit too new age fan. You may not like Moyes, we all have fears, but you have to be calm. As someone on the RN forum joked: “Its all fucking Alex Ferguson’s fault, he was just too fucking good for too fucking long.”


          There is a fear from some that if this haphazardness continues the repercussions grow, more in players not wanting to join us than financial losses for the leeches (and our best players wanting out, whilst part of me thinks fuck them, is a concern), would make the job almost impossible. I don’t know… We simply have to get into that top four, that is a given, though I dread the fact that we may have to celebrate ‘just’ that achievement as if worthy of note come May. I think we’ll do it though. That first trophy, quickly, is vital.


          We can’t have him being shaped by the galleries though. “I was due to take RVP off after 60 minutes, but if I had, people would have said, ‘What are you doing?’” That creates more ‘Dithering Dave’ fears and whilst many looked at that negative quote before Newcastle: “They are coming to OT and we will make it as hard and as difficult for them as possible.”, I didn’t like his comments to MUTV that day which got ignored: “Because I know what it’s like, to try and win 3/4 games in a row in the PL is a hard thing to do.” It’s not though, is it, certainly not at United. A few days later he finally did say the right thing: “The fact at United I know the job is to win. Win well. And be much better.” Yes!


          I feel this season is like being put inside a fast spin in a washing machine. I’m fascinated, disturbed and unable to grab a compass point. We’ve stopped asking what would Fergie do but maybe we should remember what he did do. “I am a gambler - a risk taker - and you can see that in how we played in the late stages of matches.” If we go down fighting, all guns blazing, it’s better than limply conceding records to sides like Newcastle, and bigging them up before we face them. United should hope for the best but prepare for the worst in terms of being able to cope with a poor season, and out of the top four, but by going for it with a United attitude and stance will give him more time to get there. If we see real effort, we’ll all give it back.


          Thomas Carlyle once said. ‘No pressure, no diamonds.’ Let’s hope so. But let's be honest here, Moyes will not last by playing as cagey football and being as cautious with his attitude as time goes on, offering second rate football at the biggest, or so we always hope, club in the world. It’s been too long since we regularly watched good, attacking United football. We’ll give him the time needed, but he needs to come out fighting. So do the players. Be, and act United.


          From the Editorial of December’s RedNews208, published December 21st 2013.


          New RedNews209 out Saturday 11th January 2014.


          You can read the mag in PRINT, KINDLE, APP and DIGITAL formats.


          A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


          http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php


          The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


          The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


          Red News now available for web/iphone/ipad and android use at www.exacteditions.com/rednews
          New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
          Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
          The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
          RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
          Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
          News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
          Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
          Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
          Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
          Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
          Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

          Comment


          • #50
            Reditorial on why supporting Manchester United is about so much more than the 90 minutes

            Red News is 27 years old on the 20th April 2014.


            Support us here


            http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php
            http://rednews.bigcartel.com/ T-SHIRTS and more!
            http://www.rednews.co.uk/shop/index.php
            http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php
            http://www.rednews.co.uk/vip.php
            http://www.rednews.co.uk/support-red-news.php


            The Reditorial from Red News 2012 - guarantee every mag at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


            I’m that fed up with this season maybe now is the time to stop writing about it! For all our angst, it will play out this way or that. And whilst it's been that toilet we'd just like to flush it down the pan, and erase it from memory, such is what Gary Neville called United fans’ collective will to “dream” that, however absurd we know it to be, in those desperately few happy hours after the Olympiakos win, we could enjoy a rare few hours conjuring images of supping Superbock in Lisbon.
            Then we drew Bayern...


            The season has been woeful, as have the players for much of the time, and so part of you was searching out a claims form - injury to my senses - after the Liverpool game (the Scousers had nicked all the forms however) yet just 72 hours later, however poor the opposition, you were left to wonder where that type of performance had been all season. Yet we know that the doom that Sunday was far more indicative of the season itself, yet life is always better seeing our red glasses half full so we cling to the game where dreams hoped for better. Moyes has to deliver them, if not, his fate will be sealed, but for now, one solitary game appears a job saver and has put back his Doomsday Clock (see last ed). For now.


            As has been said, whatever his fate, we can look him in the eye even if some players can't, that at games our support has been solid, and much better. As good as it's been in years at home. Whilst online you get the impression that every single United fan is a moany mard arse their whole existence, we are dreamers and being a football supporter is much more fun if you embellish realism with hope, and actually do what it says on the tin; support. The atmosphere has improved, and so, perversely, we're enjoying our participation this season more than we usually do, when we sat on our arses moaning at success. Let's have some fun! So good or bad, and mainly bad, we have had fun.
            As we well know, the 90 minutes is just an iota of what supporting United is all about. It is the fixed location of our week and attention but however much of a hold United has over each and every one of us, the 11 men kicking a football is just one tiny aspect of this whole, for want of a better word, mad drug. And like with every drug, there are highs, come downs and over doses.


            Since last issue, Reds near and far travelled far and wide to pay their respects to RN founder Teresa McDonald as she was laid to rest. The connection was that 90 minutes, but the bond was infinitely more. Manchester, Cockney Reds, Greece, Norway and many other places in between were represented as a section of United's hard core match going crowd were represented; Tony O'Neill, Boylie, Tommy G, Phil Holt and Welsh Phil amongst many. As one Red quipped: “more than city get for an away game.”


            It was incredibly moving to see this United turn out for something as far removed as travelling to a game as you could get, wanting to pay their respects for someone they had shared many matchdays with. This diverse, eclectic mix a representation of the United crowd itself; a builder next to a banker, rampant right wingers next to looney lefties, the don’t knows in between; the multi coloured spectrum of Planet Red.


            Teresa was much more than just a Manchester United football fan, as we all are. We have our lives, our realities with which we use United to escape to and form, or just to enjoy our lives with United in our lives. There is no set formula, no actual ‘top red’ manual way to do it, do it how you want, how you please, so long really as it pleases you as supporting United is a force for good, should be good, enjoyed. It should not be the negative maelstrom of moaning mard arses that dominate the net so that you think some get no pleasure whatsoever from it.


            Teresa ran a jazz bookshop for some years, serving amongst others the poet Phil Larkin who once praised her for her ‘civilising influence’. The singer, and friend, George Melly described her as “short, intelligent and formidable”. She took photos of Louis Armstrong. She lived. And she lived a varied life but settled upon and knew that at United she was most comfortable, and had the most fun. She realised it can be a wonderful thing; just this. It is often now a derided term, ‘the United family’, it sounds like one of those horribly arsey branded statements the marketing men have bastardised, but the reality is that at United games there is still a United family. The link can be tenuous, just letting on, a nod at a game, or strong, so that a goon together at a game can develop into lifelong friendships. We are not all the same so it's pretty amazing that so many of us get on for starters, and of course you converge towards more like minded people, but if United's spectrum is rich, we are enriched by becoming good friends with people you may never have met, or entertained, were it not for United.


            Two lads who started to go to games with our wider circle, became friends, became RN sellers, were ushers at my wedding, and these two oddballs (Ste and John) will be friends for life because we stare at men in red shirts. We share beers, we share lives; Reds have babies, get married, and yes sadly as a consequence of the fucked up nature of life's cruel tricks, funerals. We take the rough with the smooth at the game, and so we have to when life gets dirty, and Reds will mourn with you, help you through the tough times. The messages of support and kindness from so many of you helps a great deal. Whilst it might not have felt it seeing us stuffed by Liverpool as it looked like a dreaded “shift in power”, even when crap, United is mint.


            United conjures up so much; we remember trips, goals, goons, moments and also mates no longer with us. When we look towards a forthcoming game, again the focus is of course on *it*, the day is much more, we can plan trips with mates, look forward to the pre or post match beer and know that when it comes you can hopefully pack up all your troubles and just get involved and play whatever part you can. Watch United, and dream.


            The modern United is seen as a curse, and whilst the owners, the prices, the hassles are fucking irritating/disgraceful, it is not a curse, and should hopefully be seen as what it is, a blessing; supporting United, and you need to be doing it right I suppose, is life fulfilling. It is unlike anything else bar a drug I suppose. And as far as I can tell, no drug comes close to this fucked up shit we go through each and every season! It is not a hobby but a way of life.


            Mum loved looking after her Utd family as she saw it, these mix of bricklayers, and office workers; male, female, young, old, part of the madness or just part of United, these people she drank, sang, and had a laugh and a life with, and they came to give their respect to someone who got it and lived Utd the right way; to just enjoy it. Fret over defeats, smile over wins. But enjoy the whole experience as much as the moment.


            The players will come and go, as too, though it seems hard to ever accept that with their millions squandered, will the owners (or as she said when wheelchair bound last year: “If I could get up and boot a Glazer up the arse I would:), indeed when one former manager questioned her attendance at a far flung friendly he was told “we will be here long after you've left”. The players, the here, the now, the noise, is a filter during happy times on pitch or off it, but we’ll always remain Reds, we’ll always still go, one way or another, however we see fit.


            With United we can all be kids at heart, we don’t have to lose that, of course treat United with the same scrutiny as the real world but don't necessarily succumb all the time to lifes negativity. On one online poll I saw, nearly a quarter voting said they’d take us losing to Olympiakos if it ‘rid’ the club of Moyes. I just don’t get anyone, ever, wanting their own team to lose. Our team.
            Somewhere along the way, they’ve lost the fun, the point, and their marbles? This is supposed to be fun; to angst, gnaw, as this is United, after all, but to do it with a smile, and a swagger.


            We're all a bit mad, have to be to be doing all this, to be this obsessed with what is just a game after all, and we nutters travel many miles to see blokes who sometimes don't want to wear this shirt, on obscene wages, and we go away, dissect what we’ve seen, have our beers and take something from it. You may go to the game on your own. But hopefully you will find out that there is a United family and when you are need, they will come good.


            Maybe for a while in the aftermath of 2005, with many good people gone to FC, we lost a bit of that United-ness, which is on its return as a new generation who get it start to appear on the scene, got back that bit of community, which if our own club will ignore and not encourage, we can, to help each other out, to just do the decent thing when the time comes. There will always be the few scumbags who want to be in it for themselves, to fuck Reds over, but most get it, what Utd is all about. What it’s really about. Why you’re a Red. Why we’re different.


            My own United journey started with Mum. We sat together in J, H Stand in the 80s with our LMTBs that then became the golden ticket of a Season ticket, her funding my habit when a kid. I saw her happy face against Barcelona in ‘84, and in ‘91 and in Barcelona itself in ’99. I saw her swoon at Eric, love Ronaldo, and get so excited when Stevie Coppell was on the wing. Yes we do like to dream at United and we demand a style of play not for the glory, welcome as it can be, but to get off our feet and feel the buzz, that United go about things differently. Why you know long after a game there will be pockets of Reds here or there enjoying each other's company and the bonhomie and enjoying the day, whatever the game has been like.


            One lad at the wake said how he’d been short of money on one trip, ‘here’s a few quid’ Teresa said, and he never forgot that. So he made the long five hour journey by bus, and five back to say how important one Red has been in his Utd life. That helping of fellow Reds out may be reciprocated back to you one day; sorting a spare, offering a lift. This Red journey is a hell of a lot better not just with company but if we share it. They might not share your politics, but they can share your life. Because it is, as it always has been, a buzz. Even during the shit times we have moments to take to the bank with.


            Utd is not the club who tell us what to do - usually aggressively, with a look down - it is everything. It is as much about the anticipation of the day itself and the day itself as the game. It is often joked that the game can get in the way of things.


            People would have you believe that there is a new representation of the very modern United family with the half and halfers and tourists and whilst there are too many interlopers, at its core, we still have a core. That’s United. That’s why whatever happens this season, for all us sadomasochists, we’ll be there again come August. At the game, or watching it. However you do it.
            When someone is told who we support, you know if it’s a Red or not who answers back, the froth from outsiders driven by an ABU inspired agenda, blinkered, but we know, we get it. We can tell, mainly, and whilst we have no right to ever say who should support Utd, you can begin to tell who supports Utd on your own wavelength.


            Someone reading this will have a family member they are taking to their first game with soon, or going with their Dad, or Mum or have a new born they hope to take one day. Whilst the changes to our culture have been at times as horrible as they are unfamiliar, deep down the circle remains unbroken and goes on, as long as we are allowed to, and can afford it. It is magical, it still has that feel what Busby said: “a sense of romance, wonder and mystery”.


            We go to United because of our own ‘X Factor’ and reasons. And I/we/you will continue to go United so long as we have our health and finances allow. Or if we don’t go, we will not end this support, or link. Success is enjoyable but it does not define our support. We will go when United are shit, or when they are good, though we will demand, angst and want the latter, we will not shirk the former. And we like doing it with like minded individuals, so next time United themselves try and steal the ‘United family’ as some marketing fluff, the real United core means as much now, and is still there, be it at games or watching them somewhere, as it ever did. To that United family, I salute you.


            It is, obviously, not more important than life or death. But it can be life fulfilling and become the most important part of our lives, and whilst football is its core, supporting United is so much more than cheering a bunch of egotistical prima donnas about led by coaches who say ‘try’ a lot. Or as Carlo Ancelotti put it: “Football is the most important thing amongst the least important things in life. And that’s the way it should be.”


            Or better still, “Manchester United stands for something more than any person, any player, any supporter. It is the ‘soul’ of a sporting organisation which goes on sea- son after season, making history all the time”. 28th August 1937, the United programme Editorial.


            Forever and Ever.


            http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php
            http://rednews.bigcartel.com/ T-SHIRTS and more!
            http://www.rednews.co.uk/shop/index.php
            http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php
            http://www.rednews.co.uk/vip.php
            http://www.rednews.co.uk/support-red-news.php
            New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
            Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
            The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
            RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
            Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
            News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
            Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
            Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
            Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
            Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
            Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

            Comment


            • #51
              One of the many attractions Manchester United bestows onto its followers is the desire to not just win, but win in style.


              Some players might feel burdened by the demand that we go out and win every game, and if we don’t, then we gave it a good go, but others, well, when in form, rise to the challenge. Rio Ferdinand saying of Robin Van Persie: “Robin Van Persie loved it. He told me that at Arsenal you wanted to win, but at United you had to win.”


              Alex Ferguson had many regular catch phrases, and one of them was to accept any challenge, because there is always one at the club a size of United’s. And the challenge for any Manchester United manager is to play attractive football in going and getting those wins. It was a demand created and installed of course by Sir Matt Busby, but the great thing about Fergie, after a dreadful opening few seasons, was that he didn’t just provide the long demanded glory, but added to our mix, so we also fought until the end. It was never too late, so many times.


              It is quite remarkable the decline at United since we celebrated a 20th title on scaffolding. I hate to keep bringing him up, but David Moyes’ disastrous reign, though only near enough a full season, it felt like many more, has had a remarkable affect on our mindset and confidence. Confidence is crucial in football, with it the football quality improves and anything is possible. That first title season in 1992/93 could quite easily have turned out differently; until Eric’s arrival that is. Turgid at the start of November, by the turn of the year we were playing with him some of the best football I’ve seen at Old Trafford - Eric onto Irwin, etc.


              Moyes drained the life out of the team, and us. And we are still climbing back up that particular sorry mountain. Lacking confidence, everything seems in isolation. We need to see the bigger picture; United managers are given time for a reason, to prove themselves and build, we know that Moyes with time would have been a disaster but I am confident enough in LvG not just because of his self confidence and stature, but by his achievements. They are in the past and he has to prove himself, but I think 10 games in is too early, we’re going micro with our view of the here and now rather than macro.


              Winning breeds confidence and so on, so a win yesterday was vital. It came over performance and you don’t enjoy seeing United look poor, but you realise how important it can be in this bloody ‘process’ we keep hearing about.


              What I love about United fans is our demands; I think the players and LvG would have realised quite early onto into the bizarre tactic of keeping the ball near DDG with McNair, Carrick, Shaw and co, quite scarily passing to each other as you could smell a mistake coming, United don’t do that not just because we want to sell the ball at the other end, but because we’re not very good at it! But the message from the terraces is ‘attack, attack’ and I like that - they will get the message.


              Palace either defended brilliantly or we were not quite with it yesterday. A mix of both, we have a hell of a lot of our players out of form right now; Adnan, RVP, Rooney again doing lots but not much with it, and Di Maria joining them out of sympathy, and with so many front players not at the races, you can be happy that we did manage to drag a win out of this.


              The atmosphere was better, the singing section finally woke up to its challenge after all the hassles creating it, and I thought Shaw had his best game, pacey, good in a challenge but looking excellent going forward, we saw why we’d paid that much and all the hype, but I thought McNair looked solid beyond his inexperience too, and Blind may be criticised for not being more creative but he’s quietly efficient, sometimes you just need a rubber band in the engine room to keep things ticking, look what Hargreaves did for us that season.


              The challenge is for the attacking players to add the magic, and you saw here it never quite coming off, a blocked run or misplaced pass, and with United taking too many touches we lacked the zip in play we need if we are to do well this season.


              The squad is much better than last season, and I do see progress, but we need to see more. Chelsea’s passing was superior against us and if our whole ‘philosophy’ is based on keeping the ball, we have to do it better and be more clinical. And faster. At the moment RVP is slowing play down, and that’s painful to say, Wilson showing a spark that might have deserved a full 90.


              Mata came on and despite his poor 3 game audition during Rooney’s suspension, he has a great knack of scoring often because he is prepared to have a go. I have lost count this past year when United players haven’t taken the gamble, been more brave, and on many occasions we’ve not had enough shots on target. Have a go. That too comes from confidence I know.


              So winning helps confidence and confidence helps performance. So we need a winning run. This past year and a bit has been what Fergie recently said was ‘one step forward, two back’, when we’ve not gone on winning runs, the bricks to all our successes. Arsenal is a huge game now. We can’t afford to not get a win away as soon as possible and with their own problems it could be 5-4, but United don’t just need a performance and win for confidence, but to kick start our season.


              Again we’re thinking too much about United. Fretting, concerned, where for years we just took it all for granted. When LvG says he needs three years we can recoil, but we need to see where we are at the end of the season, not in November when we’ve missed those midweek fixtures to help things too. We’re enjoying the madness of post Fergie, there is a buzz about going to games we also took for granted, and I’m glad despite the lack of edge to our play yesterday that we just reminded them ‘in-game’ that we need to see better, attacking football, but the win can’t be underestimated. It’s the sort of game we threw away last season.


              Another international break now. Bollocks. Stop-start the theme of a season where clubs in England if not abroad are feeling a World Cup hangover. At United we’ve had one hell of a fucker of a Moyes hangover. We need to start seeing past that. We have quality, success ridden players. Hopefully their confidence will return, because with it, so will the winning and the quality of our play.


              5/10 but still hopeful for the future. Let’s look forward, not backwards.


              Barney 9th November 2014.


              http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php
              http://rednews.bigcartel.com/ T-SHIRTS and more!
              The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
              The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/

              PS. Bizarre as it is to say about a player who only just joined but I do think we are missing Herrera as a link man. Think he started well and the team will look better, and offer more, with him.
              Last edited by Red News; 09-11-2014, 05:26 PM.
              New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
              Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
              The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
              RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
              Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
              News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
              Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
              Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
              Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
              Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
              Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

              Comment


              • #52
                Editorial from RedNews 222 - Why Red News is carrying on…


                Support RN & MUFC fanzine culture


                http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


                The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


                Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper


                Why Red News is carrying on…


                There are a good few decent staffers at Manchester United; a few moan privately that there are not enough ‘football’ men at the top of the club. The club that itself removed Football Club from its crest over a decade ago. In other news. Bear shat in the woods today.


                I love going to Manchester United Football Club games, and though I despise some of the shit around it, because the life as a Red is so much more than the 90 minutes, of more than pandering to the whims of Ed Woodward and his dancing partners, I see enough to cling on to to keep going as much as I can, as often as I can, for as long as I can. The people around me in K, those same faces, pretty much (and I realise in that I’m fortunate) are mental but a sane leveller to the maddening changes at Utd so that going to games at home, as much as away, is still a great, enjoyable experience. But a world away from when I first moved there from H Stand in 1989.


                The game isn’t sick. It’s wiped clean with bleach, in need of its stomach pumped. Where tv is king, money is obscene in wages and ticket prices and as a whole whored out as people with no interest use it for greed, laundering or self promotion (just don’t mention the human rights). The working men’s game, is now anything but.


                I know the game had to change. But to this? Let’s not ignore the progress. People don’t die at football grounds anymore and that, bar to the demented, is a good thing. But time moves on. There is safe standing. We can learn a thing or two from the Germans. Prices, standing in safety; but it would affect the gravy train so they further insult our intelligence by either ignoring it or hazily pointing off to the far off future as something to discuss then; the game so in excess it doesn’t dare change too much for fear it rocks their lofty perches. We, the stakeholders, ignored and avoided. Or just shoved around like lego pieces. Spurs, 12pm on a Sunday, no trains there. Soton, on a Monday, no trains back. Arsenal fans to us this coming Monday. It’ssssss showtime…


                I cover my ears to most of the bullshit. I pick and choose my away games now. Now over £100 with travel and ticket even if you were to fucking dehydrate and get a urine infection with no food and water for the rest of the day. ie; not have fun. And don’t dare have some fun. ‘Sit down. Shut up.’ Don’t get up, say anything, or else… Where you can’t see coppers down your street but you’ll see hundreds when United come to town. Where news stories cover tomato sauce being thrown around, but not the debatable practises of many inside the game.


                In other words, football is fucked. It’s not finished, but it has been a naughty boy. I still go. This is my drug. But a diluted one. With a lot of shit making up its content. But I keep asking the pusher for more. I’m older now, but my life is so intrinsically linked with United, that I still eagerly await the next fix. So what do we do? Many of us go because we always have. Or you get off at the next stop, when family, financial or just plain fed up reasons come to play. You still support United. Just not quite in the same way. You need to still enjoy all this to want to go, otherwise that’s just pointless, but I fear Old Trafford is ageing, too lop-sided, the club failing to realise the ageing nature of the ground, and they haven’t properly planned for who will come in our place. The club do nothing, really, to help younger Reds. We need an influx, and not a coachload stepping off and heading straight to megastore heaven. I see mates now as fathers, bringing their own kids. And that’s great. You see that innocence we all had as kids, seeing all United as unblemished. But there are not enough youngsters who don’t want to be in the Family Stand inside OT. Undervalued and ignored. They have to entice a younger crowd.


                And we need, somehow, football to have a bash to its head and regain its common sense. Football bloated, in boom, has long seen predictions of its demise at this peak. But it will falter. There is a natural cycle to events in life, and ‘business’ and saturated coverage means I can’t be arsed watching other teams as I once did, and I actually get tired of some of the United coverage now, because of the boring platitudes uttered and the utter imbecilic mind numb of deadline day. In an absurd tv deal, I reckon most want to watch less, not more. I’d rather spend an hour with Roy Cropper than Thierry bleedin’ Henry. It’s endless gloop when all that matters is buzz, match, goon, and beer. And when a United chief, dear old Ed Woodward, to appease lead shareholders in the latest conference call has to big up, er, ‘Utd had four of the five biggest NBC audiences for games this season’ rather than on field performances, you can stop the clocks, because I for one ain’t listening to the turd stream.


                We never hear anything of real interest from our players; North Korean Kar En Shotbolt sees to that with copy approval. We chase official partners more than we do the local youngsters on their bikes cycling past OT. They then comically create press releases where more and more obscure companies, so we are told/patronised/laugh at, share the ‘same core values’ as a leeching global multinational as a football club that once just played football. Football has never been better marketed, but never less bearable in its complete and utter smugness, summed up by Richard Scudamore who talks up the brand, patronises its fans, and who has milked this cow to within an inch of it’s udders. It’s udder madness. (sorry!).


                It’s never been as big, but nor as bland. Never has a deadline day got what it deserves amidst all this sickening hyperbole than just gone as Sky tried to big up Adebayor actually not joining anybody. In fact, United recently signed up ‘Manda Fermentation, our nutritional supplements partner in Japan.’ I think they should have retired partners like US does shirt numbers, as nothing will top that. Irony is dead. Manda FC.


                SKY does not own football. Sad though that many fans think it does; and that life pre-’92 didn’t exist, or is simply worth ignoring. If Carlsberg did anything but piss, then their Sky probably couldn’t be as self righteous, excessive and unnecessary as the real SKY’s is right now.


                If Dickens were around today, he could not have created as slimy characters as Scudamore, Ashley, the Glazers. Where opulence is celebrated and the fact that it’s the poor fuckers with tickets or high tv charges (hardly worth it in honesty) being rinsed, avoided. I realise it’s a microcosm of the real world. Jesus, what a world. The gap widens. The resentment festers. A RN seller saying ‘whilst some of the moaning is rich, like after Burnley, we had shit night games in the old days don’t forget, we are more resentful of it all with the money they earn’. It’s them and us, where it once was not, and needn’t be. Yes, capacity has increased and so has average attendance meaning the face of OT changed; but not all has been in the name of decent progress.


                It’s high farce, We see through it. Thank God. But more of us depart, fed up. And what comes in their place is exactly what they want; a megastore swilling brand junky who will fill the tills and the air with more than us bastards left cursing it all. That’s one of the many factors of ’05 that is so thoroughly depressing; the good lads that went, and what came, in large numbers, in their place. ‘But the money keeps ticket prices down, and is spent on players’ (cough, only really last summer). Many avoid the conversation, but that’s now edging ever closer to the ONE BILLION out of the club from the takeover costs; money that could have been spent in so many better ways. Servicing debt, and their greed, rather than the club. The £150m last summer would have been nice as the norm, rather than the exception since ’05.


                But I feel there’s life enough left in this dog. For this fanzine will continue to fight, because these are the issues we were founded to fight, and need to continue to do so; this shiteness. The brick wall seems that much tougher, that much higher. The Fellaini wigs and half and half seem ever greater with each passing game. I ask again; does anyone really look back at that ‘MUFC vs Burnley, Wednesday night’ scarf and think anything but ‘what the fuck was I thinking when I paid a tenner for that?!’. If we lose more of our soul, our identity, what is left is the exact type of fan that United are looking for in the short term, but will come to regret in the long term, when the days aren’t quite as bright; United’s history suggests nothing, ever, can be taken for granted.


                Especially in a modern world where attention spans seem limited, and loyalty can be fickle.


                Thankfully our United is not their United, but they control the engine and the car keys and we wistfully look at some if not all of their direction, kidnapped in the boot, just wondering why the map has to fucking ride over that which we held dear. That so many feel outsiders at their own club they’ve supported for decades. They rejoiced at RI’s demise because it meant one less voice; just like when you may decide to stop going. Our voice may not be as loud, but let’s fucking shrill for as long as can. Because if we can prod, provoke and just ridicule Mr Potato, then, at least, we are fighting these small battles. As one swagman said recently on the forecourt, pointing towards the glass offices above ‘there are more blaggers and chancers in there than out here’.


                The first time I knew United as it was, was if not properly fucked, then a distant negative of that which we once knew, was after Niall Quinn for city missed in front of K Stand, long since told to sit down, and those giving him just a friendly Derby Day reminder about it received letters from United warning them about their future behaviour. Old Trafford was now its own Nanny State, and we were tolerated rather than greeted. Soon to be exploited and not really that welcome in our own home. This all led by Martin Edwards, who not long after would show us all how to conduct himself (and I don’t mean in brothels in Brazil or toilets all over the world) by scrapping with a photographer over United’s FA Cup ommission. Imagine if that had been any of us? BANNED.


                None of this is a recent phenomenon. Old Trafford has always had its chancers and blaggers, need we look further than those meat pies and grotty practises of Louis Edwards your honour. The Woodwards and the Kenyons depart, yet they get to decide the almost threatening levels of provocation towards the faces in the crowd who have been there since dot. United engage with a farcical Fans Forum; and ignore, and treat like shit, people who haven’t missed a game in years. Constantly told we’re a business, they never act like one, who else would treat its most loyal ‘customers’ with such disdain, ‘cos it’s football’. The greater core which United think they depend on is very loose, and they ignore those who are willing to give it the most, in terms of real support, and its local community so long ignored, at their peril. It’s very sad to witness.


                Around the country from Leeds (despite the sniggers and ‘fuck em’s) to Wrexham and Rangers the cost to real fans, even if they are rivals, from the actions of the fuckers supposedly running them for the greater good, but only for their own good, is there for all to see. Fortitude coming from an FA who are willing to turn a blind eye to the arse fucking of its clubs, but will gladly charge Louis van Gaal, and rebuke a man who swears after celebrating a hat-trick. A blind eye and all that.
                Going to United is still about the fun and the good and pretty much, despite the football these recent seasons, we continue to do that. It is life affirming. We all support United how we wish to, or if not, should do. It is still great even when lots of it has gone to shite. Orwell wrote: ‘Let's face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.’, and United provides a light in all that mud. But it involves a lot more hassles, than it should, as unwelcome as they should be unnecessary and this fanzine is there to not only give you a voice but to continue to hope - and fight - for a better and easier future. I love that our Utd, with our boozing, trips and buzz, is not their Utd. But dealings with our own club should not be this difficult. In 2013, Richard Arnold talked of United looking to the German ‘model’; "I think some of the work they do on fan communication and fan consultation are areas that we can learn from. We will continue to strive to improve in those areas." Progress since then? Not one single step.


                You can see why so many Reds keep their heads down, just step this way and that to avoid the bullshit, and take what they can, while they still can. But United isn’t just about the winning, it’s about its soul too. And trying to be at its core more United together. And fighting for a better MUFC. We might not always get it right. But we will try.


                Because going to United could be so much better. And we need to re-energise within our support, wither away the growing apathy, our supporters’ groups grow more teeth once more, as well as fight for United fans’ concerns. We at least should give a shit against those who certainly don’t give a fuck back. Why imitate their derision? Being a Red is far from shit, but there’s a lot wrong with the way we are treated. It isn’t a closed shop either, this top Red manual nonsense is just that. Though with the few weapons we do have in our support, you’d like to think a few older heads would advise on certain general rights and wrongs.


                ‘Buy the ticket, take the ride.’ Still then, for many of us, if some only just. Hating an aspect of that which we love so much. But we’re dead a long time, and I’m not at my stop to get off when I still can have the (albeit reduced) craic. So as long as there are still enough that see through the bullshit from all angles, especially from those mercenaries/interlopers up top, and enjoy what’s left, we’ll converge closer together knowing at least in pockets their assimilation of our support is not complete, and enjoying the scraps we are fed. But whilst we still publish we will always try and fight this consuming tide. Because who knows where the ripples may, still, take us. But they - all of them - ignore, once more, the now almost absurd rift between us and ‘them’ at their peril.


                They show a lack of immaturity in their dealings with us, and treat us like an enemy. Yet it is, and always will be, our club not theirs.


                Support RN & MUFC fanzine culture


                http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


                The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


                Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
                Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
                The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
                RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
                Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
                News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
                Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
                Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
                Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
                Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

                Comment


                • #53
                  When 4th doesn’t become us… Reditorial on Louis van Gaal’s first season at Manchester United


                  http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                  The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


                  The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


                  Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper


                  this is the Editorial from RedNews225 which came out in May.


                  It could have been remembered as the season where Phil Jones took corners. Or where the roar of angst like some slumbering yeti when Evans passed it back against Sunderland grew into something more hostile, as some grew tired of the repetitive references to unknown philosophies and processes, and possession over actual performances seemed king. But instead it’ll probably be recalled as the season where the ship got steadied, and we didn’t do a Liverpool. And saw them off.


                  It never quite took off though, all that excitement over the transfer window - did we really suddenly have Angel Di Maria and Radamal Falcao in our ranks after years of painfully searching for ‘value’? Yet that was bought back down to earth with a Phil Jones shuddering tackle as suddenly Leicester fans were singing “we want six”, West Brom that “you’re not famous anymore”, and Sam Allardyce got to LvG with a throwaway Big Samism that saw Karen Shotbolt win a gurning award for handing out a detailed reply which looked beneath any of us. We’d sit in 10th place after 10 games with 13 points, and just 3 wins. It felt as though if the wheels came off under Moyes, we’d lost use of the brakes after the first 13 games. In the next 22 games (bar the recent stutter) we got 52 points and could begin to dream again.


                  We even, eventually, saw Anderson join the other departing dead wood, one big double whopper we’d struggled to shift from his seat at the front of the queue so you could see method to the LvG madness, but after his Dutch adventures in Brazil, it all seemed a bit too hurried, players and fans struggling to understand and adapt to the change in culture and extra detail. He and Moyes both carried their intricate notepads, only one man seemed to know how to use them, 11 team and individual meetings before each game, trying to educate these ‘social human beings’ in front of him that may be clever enough to have earnt a Utd contract but lack the know-how to take all this in. And it showed. With Moyes we couldn’t win at home but did ok away, with LvG it was the other way around. We said this season wouldn’t be dull even if it wasn’t great, instead it became both for far too long.


                  Whisper it but Evan’s mistimed and misdirected spittle, together with injuries to RVP and Di Maria’s suspension might well have been blessings in disguise. Finally we got what we asked for, a Santa-esque arrival of Mata and Herrera together, like cabbage patch dolls smiling back at you, eager to please. And that they did, helped by the ultimate cabbage patch player, Fellaini, but who has been reborn like Young under LvG. The hope if he’s done that to our ‘meh’ contingent this season, what will he do to those stars - the ones who want to hang around for all those endless team meetings - next season? The dark clouds after Arsenal in the Cup, gave way to Spring sunshine. And at Anfield, where we finally - finally! - showed up. And then all that bloody good feeling seemed to evaporate from Chelsea onwards. We were crawling over another finish line, but unlike just three years ago (and it’s only four since we were watching our third European Final in four years), this was for 4th place ‘triumph’ rather than 1st.


                  But I left that Arsenal Cup game and honestly thought with the 10 games to play, and 5 of them against those in the top seven, we would struggle to make the top four. Then came that powerhouse first half against Spurs. Be it more luck than process, it worked a treat. Asked if he’d discovered this post Arsenal Cup formula by accident he said: “You can say that, I cannot say what is happening in the process, you can think that it is accidentally but I don’t think so.” Next season will tell us that answer, when he finally settles on what his best team, or the ones he trusts the must to execute his phases of play, will be.


                  Mata and Herrera, often playing at the expense of the other, or not at all if RVP was available, showed, even with a buffer of hair in Fellaini behind them, they could play together. And when they did play together, we played better. They aren’t liked by United fans just because they are down to earth, but because they are pleasing to watch. And their assist and goals ratio now defy any doubts LvG had over them. And Michael Carrick’s stats, and our dreadful results without him, show just how much he’s not only dependable, but we depend on him. The scary aside is nobody at the club seemed to work out that he’s ageing and more injury prone (though clearly Moyes was doing some kind of injury dance in the Autumn to everybody which not even our legendary Toshiba Medical systems could prevent) so needed an adequate replacement long before now. The areas that need top quality purchases suggest that we won’t be returning to ‘value’, or at Glazer peril, for some time yet.


                  Watching LvG’s football reminds me of that quote by the former Dutch player Jan Mulder who talked of the memories of Mr Philosophy at Ajax: “There is too much cold blood in Dutch football. Much too much. Ajax won the European Cup in 1995 but it was boring, boring. They outplayed opponents, but it had no soul. All this passing, passing... tick tock tick tock.” LvG arrived saying both he and United needed to adapt to each other, I still feel he has a way to go to realise what United’s demands for purist football, at least in theory, actually is. You’d have hoped Ryan alongside has been proving reminders throughout the up and down season. At times the only real philosophy and process we were seeing was in the continual references to them in his Friday media chats. “Sum up my philosophy? Then I need more than one hour, when I want to give it to you, then you can ask me about that.” To be honest, a season on, I’m none the wiser, certainly in what we’ve seen and the constant changes to team formations that went from 3, 4 and 5 at the back, like a very strange dance. I think in March he condensed its complexity down for us. “I attack in four phases and I defend in four phases.” I think I get it; control the ball, possession, tempo and energy levels, as players adopt set roles, and spaces on the pitch (preserving energy and waste) and let the other team wilt with none of the above. Do I get a gold star?


                  Someone like Di Maria might not enjoy that cerebral responsibility, it might perversely contain them. The whole point for Madrid was he didn’t have to think, he just did, and whilst Rooney has done well with his footballing brain, his colleagues might have too much cement between ears to understand, and especially implement, this blasted ‘social human being process and philosophy’. It became indecipherable. It clearly should not be lump it up to Fellaini which it became far too often for my liking at one stage. If there is a rigidity to play and positions, then at least have some stardust to just ‘do’ as the likes of Eric and Ronaldo provided in our greatest of periods.
                  Ed Woodward on tour asked us to ‘watch this space’ and we did and for once it wasn’t like paint drying. And it felt better than watching nothing happen after travelling home ‘on urgent business’ from the Sydney Triangle the year before. The Glazers for the first time used money for the club instead of their own gerrymandering, and it was exciting. The folly is not doing it sooner. United were suddenly playing catch up to a league they’d pissed year after year.


                  It’s not been a bag of shite this season. I’ve seen much worse (the late 70s and early 80s, the mid 80s after the Wembley triumphs, the early Fergie years), but only under Dave Sexton have I ever felt as bored watching Manchester United play. Or make that, possess. It’s made us turn our heads seeking an exorcism of this football.


                  At our worst moments, It's looked as bad as last season, but more dull, LvG's brash exterior and confidence avoiding the stick if it had still been Moyes in charge. At our best, those too few moments which could probably best be described as ‘end of March/Start of April’ we have looked like a side with more additions that could be turned into a title competitor. He certainly seemed to get lucky, which is great to call on, and the red is righters could with complete confidence say we were still getting results if not performances. A side that looked so good against city 4-2, would just a few weeks later look like blancmange trying to break down West Brom (0-1) at the same home. Breaking down, deep defending teams continues to be a problem.


                  But it’s been an undercooked trifle overall as we've veered more that way than this and some of the tactical decisions - I’m sorry but Robin Van Persie in midfield for a period at home to West Brom is still like a vivid Vietnam flashback - have been peculiar which only fuels any uncertainty.
                  He has the pedigree. He will have the money, again, but hand on heart I have no idea if it will all combine. We’re better, that’s good but really we should be doing much better than we have. He steadied the ship, enough, but next season we have to be right up there. The football will have to be better; the performance, the goals return, the whole feel about the place. Fergie only departed two years ago but that effortless steamrolling of all seems further away than ever. The players are happier than a year ago; but still, a long way to go and you'd hope next season we see players in the right positions, and everything a bit more right than it's been.


                  Because of his retirement, those 23 years of a wonderful journey, you can be mindful to forget how dreary, plodding the football was from the 18th title onwards, Reds roused only by those great comebacks which littered the horizon as they always had under him. It hadn’t been great for some time though and a mess of varied making left an incapable manager in Moyes one hell of a mess not even the greatest of managerial Houdinis could escape from. Perhaps it suited LvG, or anyone, to miss the beat of that first season to be given greater movement around an even greater mess, but outsiders would be mistaken to think we just wanted Champions League football, an Arsenal like wooden spoon of ambition, or being just ‘up there’ again; we also wanted good, attack minded United football. It’s been a while. Saying that, the Premier League excesses in its boasting, reach and whoring, under delivers in its general levels of quality, if not excitement.


                  But for all talk and eyes towards the three different managers these past two years, and how un-United that may seem, the players themselves, many performing below par at least, have put in some very consistently average and infuriating performances. It’s been rather sedimented football.


                  Suddenly that which we took for granted is at an end and I can't then take it that LVG will succeed. His job this year was to halt a decline, job done but I’m still wanting more. I’m more confident than a year ago, but it’s dog littered with white turds of fear still. And we still seem only one or two bad games away from an undercurrent of tension and anger amongst our own crowd because of the yearning for a type of football which we haven’t seen for about 4-5 years now. 16 times so far we’ve seen league returns of one goal or less in matches. That creates an allergic reaction to the modern day United fan. And the modern United deserves to be seen in a different light to its 70s-early 90s incarnation because of status, silverware and where we should always now aim to be, not just dreaming of it ‘next year’. We needed LvG, or a LVG, to take back control after the Moyes’ disaster, the question is does he still have it in him to get us back to where a club of our size, and dare I say it ‘brand’, should - and has to - be. It’s not what he once was, or did, but if he still is, and can.


                  You may think this is being a tad harsh. In my dark moments, which usually come after dark days for United, I have trouble convincing myself he is the right one after the frozen one. I trust him, but I wonder, do I trust him enough? I think whilst he talks up his three years, this second season is crucial. Though I try and quell the greedy smacked arse inside me, I just continue to struggle, as United do themselves, to find a compass point on where United exactly are, not in the table but, dare I say it, in this post-Fergie ‘process’.

                  I have not been comfortable all season with this downgrading of expectation, that 4th was enough. That was his target from the owners set who want its money and glamour of Champions League football, and to keep its best players, but lose the sense of that complete state of winners that we had been for 23 years. We’re in a better place than a year ago, but by exactly how much? (and I don’t mean three places). Only time will now tell, and time he has. I cling to performances like the great goon filled day at home to city that that’s his United, or could well be.


                  For us fans, we should not be so easily fooled though. Demanding the best shouldn’t be considered spoilt or greedy with the modern United that they created and promote, and breed, often at our expense. This summer is as important, if not more so, than the last two. Scholes said, this the once very quiet Paul but now very pertinent and interesting: “He looks really happy to be fourth but this is a club that needs to be challenging to win the league. He's spent £150m… My issue with Arsenal is that I don’t think they are striving to be like the great teams of theirs who used to battle us for the league title. They seem happy to finish fourth every year.” Let’s hope that doesn’t become United, because really, it doesn’t become us.


                  http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                  The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


                  The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


                  Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                  New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
                  Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
                  The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
                  RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
                  Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
                  News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
                  Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
                  Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                  Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
                  Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
                  Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    A tribute to the departing Brian McClair and a look at a quite incredible 1997/98 season for United.


                    From the Red News Editorial of RN224.


                    http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                    The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


                    The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


                    Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper


                    By my maths (though it took two O’Levels to pass that subject, young readers please Grant Shapps, I mean wikipedia, O’Levels), Brian ‘Choccy’ - cos it sounds like Eclair - McClair has been at Manchester United, man, player and coach, for nearly every month of the past 28 years bar one year or so, give or take 11 appearances at Motherwell and that role as Assistant to Kiddo at Blackburn.
                    Whereas Fergie couldn’t forgive the other Brian for reasons still but speculated, but surely not just suggesting we sign John Hartson, however madcap an idea, this Brian returned to Old Trafford with warmth as youth team coach which became reserve team manager which became Director of the Manchester United academy nine years ago. That will all end when he heads North to support the SNP ruling the country by proxy. Or something.


                    We interviewed McClair last week for the next mag, our last of the season and what will be his last weeks at United. It’s lighthearted and upbeat, but I felt saddened realising a long term link to old/our United, once ridiculed for being the first son of Fergie before Fletch, is at an end. Considering when we first got to interview Fergie over breakfast in Scandy land pre-season of ‘87 that he was almost splattering his cornflakes over us with anger at what Celtic wanted for him, which had to be settled by a tribunal, I think we got a good deal. And then some. A bargain set at £850,000. And of course he also broke that 20 league goals a season hoodoo which cursed many a United striker; though typically, never gets mentioned for any other club since.


                    Moved to midfield which affected his dynamic but which helped that of the team, he was a very good striker who was a very decent Manchester United footballer. He sort of helped steer the club through its final years as a troubled league chasing side, and left when it had smashed through that first league title and never looked back, unrecognisable from that which he had joined. And he also had a very catchy song. For a time he really was here and there.


                    And it got me thinking of Kosice when he was nearing the end, we could all see it but we were winning comfortably enough in a tiny town to have some fun and change every single Utd song of the time into one about McClair; so he was ‘running down the wing’, ‘what a Friend we had in Choccy’, and ‘Choccy’s fucking magic...’


                    In fact that 1997-98 one is a very forgotten season in the Utd memory banks, probably because we won fuck all and you’d rather erase them from the memory banks (our grandchildren won’t pay much attention to these last two bar the different managers listed). But whilst its end was one to forget, and Fergie only felt it worthy of 3 pages in his first autobiography (the good one), looking back that was one that deserves a bit more respect. And clearly laid a lot of acorns for the Treble that was about to put that whole era in the shade.


                    It would be disrespectful to suggest McClair's departure that summer of 1998 would lead to Dwight Yorke easing into his spot in the squad but Fergie saw enough from the one point loss to the emerging Arsenal (Wenger’s first title) and yet another infuriating European elimination to a team, Monaco, we would beat on paper but who would haunt us on grass, as Barnsley in the FA Cup completed that particular treble, of failures.


                    David Beckham's ridiculous circle from national zero to hero was yet to start as an effigy in a shit part of London after France '98, the failed SKY bid was but an office conversation in one of Rupert Murdoch's many offices and a leather jacket clad John Gregory had yet to threaten to shoot Dwight Yorke if he made his move to United, but there was a drama in our failure that season before.
                    Teddy Sheringham felt a tortured soul as he struggled to replace Eric (who could?), telling RN after one of his droppings that ‘I’m down, it’s tough’. He'd have a point to prove the next season too and whilst Andy Cole did his bit with 25 goals, our other trio that season would not be half as dynamite as the next year with Ole on 9 and Sheringham on a half decent debut 14 but criticised. Scholes was more up front than deep with 10 and McClair’s last season saw him more deep than up front but without a single mini clenched fist goal celebration of his, though 14 of his 20 appearances came as a misspent sub.


                    What we were though was a team, one that was fast developing from not winning anything with kids to progressing as men, and whilst we were trying to find the right formula post Eric with 30 men used, we had some very grand moments. We beat Juve 3-2 in a forgotten belter in October and in a spell that at other clubs would probably warrant eight books or something (for finishing second, cough), we later that month went on a run that saw us beat Barnsley 7-0 at home, and Sheffield Wednesday 6-1 just a week later. We were often scoring six was the joke that week* (*could have done with some work, clearly), and we trotted off to Feyenoord and scored another three with Cole's second hat-trick in three games. That game gets more remembered for the violence, on the street before the game with a huge Utd turn out and at the end of the game with Fergie's verbal onslaught to Paul Bosvelt after that tackle on Denis Irwin. “You scumbag, you ratbag, you dirty bastard”. The Pogues used it for inspiration for Fairytale of New York.


                    We scored 33 goals in 8 games. That’s United lads. That was Fergie's United who didn’t give a shit for a good few years. A cracking Cup tie at Stamford Bridge saw us hammer Chelsea 5-3. It was an era when sides weren’t concerned with possession, just with trying to score. It fitted perfectly for the emerging United squad under a more confident, success bolstered, Alex Ferguson.


                    We had Ole when the title was drifting out of sight after Arsenal had beaten us at OT in a must win game, selflessly take one for the team by taking out Rob Lee as last man back against Newcastle and receive a bollocking off of Fergie and a standing ovation from Old Trafford as he rushed down the tunnel. Only Ole could see his reputation throb after a red card. There was Roy Keane's crucial cruciate injury at Elland Road in an ‘incident’ with Alfie Haaland that was to have far reaching consequences with future red cards, tackles, injuries, lies and books. Schmeichel rushing forward against Arsenal as we chased the game, having to rush back and the big daft sod doing his hamstring, so that we faced Monaco in the 2nd leg without him, Giggs whose own hamstrings were at their twinging worst, and a European defeat that hit us if not as hard as Dortmund the previous season, then one that caused a rethink on strengthening up top.


                    It was the first season post-Cantona, so no wonder we found it tough, as much psychological as anything, especially for love sick fans.


                    Fergie had wanted Ronaldo (the one who became fat but was good), Batistuta (one of many times) and Desailly but blamed Utd’s salary structure. He took United and Martin Edwards to the brink to demand we go the extra mile to Villa Park to get the player who wasn't quite the missing link, but filled the spaces. And even in a season that failed to deliver, there had been enough fascinating sub-plots to fill at least half an ed 17 years later!


                    So McClair departs and the only link from that United, visible link that is, and I don't mean as United Ambassador forced to smile cheesily with travelling Fred the Reds and fake Premiership trophies, will be Nicky Butt and Giggs, who despite rumours of uncertainity and friction says to certain mates he’s happy and he’s been privately reassured that he will be given the job once van Gaal's philosophy class (hopefully masterclass) is over. It will be some gamble, but it can work, as we look to the Pep project at Barcelona. We can't say we want United to have a model in place so old familiar faces rather than the likes of bullshitters like Peter Kenyon or even Ed Woodward can occupy the key positions at all levels of United without making the first tentative steps in this strange post-Fergie world of upholding the traditions which he'd upheld from Sir Matt and had sort of been forgotten, ignored and displaced in the years between them.


                    That is for another day, but as we traipsed home from the final (league) game at a relegated Barnsley, with only 3 of the Treble first XI starting, we had no idea what a year and 16 days would bring. You build on success and failures and it is good to hear that United realise whilst the ship has been stabilised and the waters look a hell of a lot calmer since floated away, that we must not get carried away, there is still much work to do. To improve.


                    We’re told Woodward is beaming, him and Dicky Arnold tucking into their cakes excitedly about their future plans, both profit and transfer, and he keeps mentioning to sponsors and smarmies that something big, again, is about to happen ‘in the market’. The gamble is DDG possibly going the other way, or that way at least, so you hope any show stopper negates the possible loss of the shot stopper. But we're excited again, and that is no bad thing. But whilst we eye the Bales and Ronaldos, it is, with the benefit of the hindsight, the names that at first may surprise or just the worker bees that are vital to our bigger success. Few could have thought that Cole, Sheringham, Yorke and Ole could have made such sweet music in their multiple permutations. Whilst on paper our current strikeforce was supposed to be as eagerly anticipated, that paper has been crumpled up by rocky patches, scissors of surgery and, sadly, old age. The strikers who can bag the 20 goals are the names you want, rather than just being names.


                    The past makes us and makes this United. The past can teach us invaluable lessons. And at the very worst, even during our downers, we still have more fun, and usually see more, than the rest of the miserable bastards out there. You'd have thought it was us about to welcome the title judging by the bouncing Utd fans in the pubs around Earl's Court after the loss at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea, the modern ones of course, seemed all glum faced, deserving of their football, win at any cost, when, usually, Utd want to win but do it a certain way. And Utd fans, generally, know how to do this supporting lark and how to enjoy it. Method and madness. With a team rather than a few individuals.
                    We would be well placed to find another Choccy, head down, shunning limelight and big star status but who help you achieve results and success, the likes of Michael Carrick for example, for it’s players like them which don't just litter Utd’s history, they help make it and then shape it. History records not just the success, but the men who helped make it. And attention should be paid also to any barren years for what we did to alter that course and you hope in LvG's dossiers he has the sudden spark of eureka that Fergie could always pull out of his pocket, like that summer of 1998 (and ‘87) where he only had transfer ideas and a World Cup summer column in the Sunday Times to ponder his next, vital moves.


                    Choccy was one small but important cog in the modern United, whose signing was vital to Fergie's early silverware, which is why Fergie was so determined to wrestle him away from Celtic, and who may have grown frustrated at constantly changing regulations affecting his work off the pitch but grew to love United on it and came to see United as his own club. We wish him well.


                    http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                    The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


                    The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


                    Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                    New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
                    Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
                    The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
                    RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
                    Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
                    News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
                    Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
                    Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                    Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
                    Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
                    Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Reditorial - The average age at Old Trafford is too high and more needs to be done to get more youngsters in


                      When Alex Ferguson finally knocked Liverpool off their perch with his penultimate title making it 19, and a full two years before scaffold Reds meant anything but those working on them, he said after chanting ‘Are you Watching Merseyside’ on the top deck of the bus of the 2011 parade around Manchester that: “What it shows is fantastic loyalty, The number of children, kids sat on their fathers’ shoulders, that’s the future of Manchester United. Young people.”


                      Four years on and the average age of Season Ticket holders at Old Trafford does not represent that; when this fanzine first started it was in the mid 30s, in the 2000s it was 40s, then the MEN last May claimed it as 52. 52!


                      We’re getting old. And our support is getting disjointed, and fractious, and well less United together. And whilst we have a right to go ‘til we stop, as I don’t think anyone has yet suggested euthanasia to our support once they cross into middle age, it creates its own problems, the failings of nurturing youth to replace Reds gone and keep that average down, and old age naturally suppressing the youthful enthusiasm that propelled us into so many famous Old Trafford atmospheres. Of course the list of reasons for all this grow; terraces gone, it now a distant fading memory of people queuing with their mates paying fuck all to get onto terracing and have a bounce. It can be being slightly annoying to those younger to hear how much better it was in the old days (and some memories can play tricks, people were dying in that era after all just going to a match, a lot of it was better but not all), but it was easier for young and old to do football in the manner they so wished.


                      Older Reds would either stay put, or some saw an unwritten rites of passage; stand, sit, then move regressively through the alphabet so you’d maybe start off in J and K Stand and somehow end up in A as you approached pensionable age. Age can also play another trick, with humour as, even if not to you, it can make some people, well, a bit miserable and moany. Some go because they feel they have to, rather than want to. Some do nothing but moan at the match, and away from it. Moan over parts but it - this - has got to be positivise experience. When Fergie said on his latest latest book tour about now watching games: “I think the media hoped they would catch me acting like Statler or Waldorf, the two curmudgeons in the Muppets, who are always criticising what is happening on the stage”, at some Utd games it feels as though OT is now full of Statler or Waldorfs.


                      Now I can remember title years greeted with a bit of the larynx movement being used for the negative chords rather than the positive and it is easy to say being younger changes all that; but I’d suggest there is also a chord that United’s ageing support has become a bit stale and needs a bit of a younger kick up its collective arse by the adidas wearing schoolkids now being tempted, sadly, by city. I don’t mean to arrive at United aways and pour beer over each other, in the old days respected Utd heads would have had a word for a sea change there, but I fear Utd just do not get that more needs to be done to stop ‘them’ from challenging Utd’s city wide dominance. Because whilst your sons and daughters will stay Red, there are swathes of those without like minded parents to show them a path, and the Blues know that, and are trying to seize a long waited opportunity. It might not be in 1000s, but it is in 100s.


                      Unused tickets could be used for starters. The ACS started as optional, and should not now be seen as a tax where like HMRC, Utd send us reminders with glee about next game charges even before we’ve won this game (so that the likes of the Mail then have a field day when this arrogance does come a cropper). Some Reds remain in the ACS but don’t attend midweek Cup games. That always strikes me as a missed opportunity that there are empty seats for League Cup games because people don’t want to opt out and lose away applications (which I can understand), or Cup ticket priority for big games, but their unused tickets can’t be used for good. So in affect Utd are encouraging nobody to fill a seat to see the team play. I always feel sad a youngster can’t have it in some new system. Instead we are faced with unenviable sight of lots of empty seats at some midweek Cup matches. Every missed seat is a missed opportunity in my eyes and not in the spreading the brand suit attitude, for it having been sold seems to have seen the club avert their gaze; surely a way could be contemplated where those seats could be filled? And not only that, for the 1000s of seats that do go free, unsold; say North Tier 3 closed for Boro, why not just fill it with local school kids, the future rewards and possibilities not really needing to be spelt out. The club say that they do get offered, but that means schools and willing teachers (who usually pay £20 and the kids a fiver) making an effort; Utd should be more proactive and not just find the schools but encourage them, take them if needs be to games. Do more.


                      Of course city are only offering discounted tickets because they have those famous empty seats but Reds might be a tad premature to mock city for wide ranging reductions in prices, for kids especially, the joke might be on us as Utd seem unwavering in realising the missed opportunities they make on certain issues and keeping a lot of prices high and inaccessible. There have been positives, fivers for League Cup matches for under-16s and the work the Foundation does across town, but I fear Utd think they have community based projects sorted with that when more is needed than the positive work going into schools and colleges.


                      I’d go further still. A section should be provided in the ground if not then for pay on the gate, for younger Reds - say 12-18/19 - to make their own. It can’t be right that the Family Stand with all its very young associations be seen as the only section for younger Reds, and whilst again discounted tickets are now more readily available, if I wanted to eventually take my son to games, it could not be in K unless I paid full price at any age, the rules say it has to be in the Gods. Even if there are spaces Utd will not countenance junior Season Tickets in certain areas, which seems madness. There might be short term profit loss but you are again nurturing Reds who will be with them, hopefully, for a lifetime. It should not be about profit ratios per seat.


                      United were quick to boast in the recent Fans Forum that domestic rights are up 70% in the next tv deal, so neglecting or prohibiting younger Reds from mixing with mates or family seems less business important than ever. United seem to take for granted that when we do eventually die off, we can and will be replaced, but fall short of making the real effort to ensure this. Many die-hard Reds have stopped going, they feel neglected or fell out of love with the changes to the United they knew; can Utd really guarantee that their next generations will pick up the bug so easily, when they are seldom treated with the encouragement they not only deserve, but will need to ensure so that our future really is in safe young hands.


                      The PL as a whole has a problem attracting youth, at decent prices and value; I myself would like to add the likes of Richard Scudamore to the sewerage in which Blatter and Platini are now drenched but Utd and the other 19 clubs are happy to flirt and then embrace the status quo because that’s what has made them all, to varying degrees, very rich. The bubble has long been expected to burst, but it never gets near to a pin. That may well change when those average ages rise even higher; it’s, sadly, called life. Where is the noise at most grounds bar for goals? Grounds don’t bounce, they buckle at older men sitting back down in their seats. Told to remorsely by stewards with no common sense, on minimum wages, the PL very well branded, but just not as fun as it should be or they think it is. The PL in their annual survey this month were full of their usual self gratifying bullshit: “The Premier League also noted that the average adult fan age has now decreased to 41, and that 40 per cent of match attenders in 2014/15 were 18-34 years old.” That 18 year olds are bunched in with 34 year olds says it all on ages.


                      One RN reader complained when he wanted a ST with his son, but not in Tier 3: “It is a shame and, in my opinion, short sighted to make it so difficult for an U16 supporter to become a ST holder. Any incentive for a ST is undermined by the fact that junior priced tickets can be bought anywhere in the ground as a member yet STs are severely limited. It gives the perception that the club doesn't really want junior ST holders and the reduced revenue they bring. Given the ageing support base at OT, junior ST holders are the future support and revenue for the club. To overlook his support isn't just the cash for the season ahead, he is a potential ‘customer’ for the next 40+ years. Even for members, the club cashed in this season by selling the entire season upfront which counters the purpose of membership for many supporters, particularly youngsters, who cannot afford that upfront outlay (in effect turning membership into a League Match Ticket Book). I just think it is a shame that junior tickets are so limited and hope that one day the club doesn't rue that policy when there is a lack of regular match going fans coming through to replace the current ST holders. I feel strongly that the youngsters coming through are so important to our future support.’


                      The response from United: “The reason we only offer the Under 16 concession in the Family Stand or Tier 3 is because we aim to keep our younger fans together in an attempt to keep them in a more family orientated environment as other areas of the stadium and have been deemed unsafe…. our aim is to keep our younger supporters together and if we offered them all of the stadium then this means we may put our younger supporters at a greater risk. ” Modern football that eh. I’d argue those who give Utd its safety certificates would surely dispute any area at all at OT is ‘unsafe’ but it seems another example of finding an excuse when there need not be. It should not be Tier 3 or Family Strand, or else. Our reader replied: ‘my son regularly attends OT as a member in various parts of the ground, so the safety issue doesn't reconcile with the fact you can sit anywhere as a member but not as a ST holder (plus it was suggested that I buy a pair of adult priced tickets which further contradicts the safety argument in that it's safe if he pays an adult price) I find it hard to accept him being excluded as a junior when on the other hand being offered the chance to buy adult priced STs.’ Utd argument, meet massive holes. The final email exchange saw Utd explain: “the pricing structure and concessionary policy is set by the board.” In their lofty towers.


                      Time changes, granted, it was no doubt health and safety that saw stewards told the unwritten ‘wink’ rule of taking really young Reds in between the turnstiles to go with you in your seat has changed and must be stopped. The family club became a dysfunctional ageing Utd, moaning and griping without the natural process that had, generally stood it in good stead, handed down by generations rather than that umbilical process yanked here and there and the half and half brigade grab what’s left. Old Trafford used to feel like it was all our home, now it can feel like we are tenants abused by a greedy landlord.


                      Old Trafford is a big ground. No shit sherlock. But I find it sad that Utd don’t seem to find it big enough to make bigger strides and statements. Be the first, in adopting and challenging on safe standing, and realising the youth of tomorrow in our ranks might not be there unless you encourage now. Find space. It has worried me for years now, and all the time our body clocks tick and the average age at Old Trafford grows. It used to be the joke ‘don’t get old’, you could reflect that at United, ‘don’t be young’.


                      At the Fans Forum meeting Woodward was asked: ‘It appears City are running riot through all the schools in the Manchester area, giving out free tickets, gifts, training kits, interacting with the kids of the future, i.e. easy access to the players, are we doing similar things to counteract this?’ The answer concerned the admirable Foundation work, but ignored the as important part about tickets and real interaction, not for the few, the ones whose Daddys can afford to be different, but the whole. They are the ones who will and could reenergise the ground, who make noise, and make it livelier. Utd should be for all. One day they could look as life impedes on our 50+ season tickets and reflect that greater accessibility for all when it was possible and available might have been long term sense over a suit somewhere arguing of its short term folly.


                      Barnsley away, tomato ketchup might have grabbed the headlines for a few acting up, but an end that bounced. It’s there. It’s just not fed enough. And ask any of them do they feel the club goes any way, let alone out of its way, to entice, embrace or elevate them? Allowing a few banners in on a match day doesn’t really count does it? The atmosphere can still be good, I bloody hope it is today, and I am not dare suggesting those of us the wrong side of, ahem, 39 should give our places up. But what comes in our place when we no longer attend has to be given greater consideration and encouragement than at present where I fear Arnold and Woodward, because of the Foundation work, think they are doing enough. It is city with all their bullshit and unintentional and intended humour, but, sadly, I don’t think we can take for granted what happens and what they do anymore. Utd have taken their eye off the ball because to them it feels as though Shanghai matters as much, if not more so, than Stretford. I am proud of United’s worldwide appeal, that people have been travelling to see United with that same fervour from near and far for years and years, but it should not be an either, or, at any expense. That Utd’s local kids feel alienated from the very club on its door step. However modern, a 76,000 capacity ground can surely still find space for a good few young Reds and run with it. Be brave.


                      Richard Arnold when clearly getting jealous of Rio’s large spam head and announcing - stop the clocks people - United’s ‘First Official Leisure Headwear Partner of Manchester United’ said in his cheesy way: “Manchester United’s success is built on the support of its fans.’ If only you really felt the suits meant it. Everything for sale, for a price, but the soul and foundations of the club, I fear, being ignored, taken for granted. That freshness that is needed, generally disregarded.


                      Manchester as any fool apart from the deluded divs know is Red. But Manchester needs to stay Red and the club needs to, no has to, do more. Ed Woodward recently said: “It is important that football reflects the feelings of the communities in which it is based.” As ever Woodward, actions>words. Less soundbites.


                      Fergie starts his latest book. “As the years have gone by, my appreciation for youthful enthusiasm has grown. Young people will always manage to achieve the impossible. If I were running a company, I would always want to listen to the thoughts of its most talented youngsters, because they are the people most in touch with the realities of today and the prospects for tomorrow.” Sadly his United ignore its next generation because they took for granted this one. I hope that changes. I hope they do what Fergie asks then; listen. And then get that average down.






                      Reds feedback on new RN229 - ‘great content’! ‘on the money with gossip’ - so order it here in Print, Kindle, App or Digital pdf format ‏


                      @DJT68 “top gossip”


                      @AmaCadd “on the money with gossip.”


                      @punitrajpara “Well well well . . . @barneyrednews Had G.Nev down to move into management role in his last mag. Well called.”


                      @marcuszb86 “spot on once again, nailed the editorial. Great content as always. Cheers!”


                      Phil Gatt “As good as always”


                      Leon James Kenny “Really enjoying the new #RedNews 😀⚽️”


                      Haider “Totally agree with @barneyrednews from what he wrote that Utd is the escape from the fucked up world/life .. Its not right now. Its not fun.”


                      Print or PDF. singles


                      http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php


                      Subscribe in Print or PDF form


                      http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                      App/itunes/Newsstand


                      http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


                      New Red News 229 now out for Kindle UK


                      http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...tpmanunblog-21


                      <iframe style="width:120px;height:240px;" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdH tml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=pr oduct_link&tracking_id=httpmanunblog-21&marketplace=amazon&region=GB&placement=B018HJ3T K8&asins=B018HJ3TK8&linkId=&show_border=true&link_ opens_in_new_window=true">
                      </iframe>


                      RN 229 now out for Kindle US


                      http://www.amazon.com/Red-News-229-B...ds=rednews+229


                      The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


                      Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                      New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
                      Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
                      The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
                      RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
                      Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
                      News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
                      Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
                      Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                      Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
                      Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
                      Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        What has become of our football club; the Editorial from RedNews232


                        Mag subs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                        “Our solid results off the pitch help contribute to what remains our Number One priority, success on the pitch” Ed Woodward, Feb. ‘16.


                        Bloody hell, as I write this in the hours after the defeat to whatevertheyarecalled, the worst performance out of Denmark since Brigitte Nielsen went on Fantasy Football pissed, Louis van Gaal, somewhat amazingly, is still in his job. Forget putting him out of his misery, it’s ours that is needed.


                        I’m sure that it won’t be far away and he will be well looked after, and whilst I have nothing against him bar an annoyance at his ego and resistance to solve what were pretty consistent and clear repetitive problems, I have a lot against his football. He’s being seen and treated as a lame duck and Utd are all but playing him now which does not reflect well on them either; after all that talk of succession planning, we’ve stumbled right back into a DeLorean into the post-Busby era with all the mistakes, skulduggery, politics and cockhanded decision making that took years to clear up. Fucking hell. It’s a disaster lads and I am worried there is not an instant cure.


                        It should have happened after Stoke away, when he looked like the team; beaten. He offered it we are told, yet Ed said he was needed as any change wouldn’t alter the course of the season. Er, it got worse. And yet after Soton, nothing. Sunderland, nada. After this, nothing. Only in the fatelines of fanzine deadlines will he get the sack as we’re at the printers. Only the US Presidential nominations seem to be as boring, and take as long, as Louis van Gaal’s inevitable final act. Does he have selfies on Ed or something?


                        Ed has delayed, and the football team and our season has suffered. They get rid of Paul McGuinness, well regarded, over results and direction, and kept LvG after each disaster. Work that one out. The best football we’ve played all season is under Warren Joyce for Under-21s. What does that say about Louis van Gaal’s team a level above. Well, he thought two wins over Stoke and Derby were “sparkling football’. “I think people are a little quick to forget that we have been first in the Premier League this season. ” We were top months ago, we got a round further in the League Cup; brilliant, bring out the champers. Fuck me, what do Wings put in his soup?


                        A defeated man. After Sunderland he just looked the condemned. The most bizarre logic as was used with David Moyes appears to be wait until we mathematically don’t make the top four and then change it rather than knowing with him we won’t, and see if another will cause an upturn in fortunes instead of it being too late. Clearly good at commercial deals, that is where their talents rests, because we see little of it on the football side as Fergie’s magic highlights the dismantling of what he left behind every single day since 2013. There’s is loyalty to your manager, and then there is insanity (which is also the act of LvG’s teams trying to do the same things over and over again with the same disappointing results. He wanted their brains to work, yep, brazen stupidity as results suffered).


                        Mag subs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                        The next man is for another day. To dissect where he’s gone wrong, now. For starters I believe he was one big contrary fucker as he wanted one last proof of his self diagnosed genius. He has no ties to Utd bar the job title, so he could at a whim attempt the baffling to see if he was as good as he thought, no real concern how this job will look on a soon redundant cv, as the wine consumption helped cloud the reality. It became a joke; Phil Jones taking a corner, confusing decisions, subs that never worked (or made sense) whilst producing an annoyingly repetitive catch all that it was all - anything - part of the ‘process’. As we got back in the CL, with more games, yet he chose less players in his squad. A fraudulent Emperor declothed, he decided to play this season with two .75% strikers, a young Anthony Martial and a confused but less angry looking Wayne Rooney. It was madness and he may well have thought ‘look at me when it all comes off’. He probably still backs himself. Instead we looked at him with growing dismay. He was trying to be too clever; luck stayed with him a fair bit but after all that time, all those 0-0 half times and possession - we probably have 5 games to look back at with any fondness - Martial debut, Rooney and Mata at Anfield, isolated moments in what were very few, if any truly outstanding games in a process and philosophy era that made no sense. One shot on target a theme. A game! Maybe he just got kidnapped at half-time at Leicester away last season and replaced by a drone, that flamboyant approach of Di Maria, Falcao and RvP running at them a bizarre exception to his rigid rule. He certainly did drone on. First there was the frozen one, then came the dull one, the Dutch Dave Sexton. Where his press conferences became more exciting and appealing than the football.


                        As Utd’s manager conceded the chance of making top four. In mid February, the decline we all feared and warned against, suddenly keeps hitting us in the face and we appeared more L4 0TH than M16 0RA. This season it’s like the party we helped plan year after year has torn up our invite and every fucker is laughing his head off through the window as we keep banging into the door, blind.


                        I’m sure he’ll enjoy his life in Portugal, and Ed will give him a warm send off. He may leave Carrington with his Sbenu shoes, our official casual footwear partner for South Korea, with a voucher to cheer him up from IVC, our official wellness partner for China as Banif Bank, the official partner for Malta, bank the compensation. He can take a holiday and gamble some of it with Donaco, the official casino resort partner for Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and South Korea and that well coiffured hair will always look in place with some Unilever, the official male shampoo partner in Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.

                        If the football team had a quarter of the attention all this nonsense does, we’d be pissing it lads. It’s clearly depressing and with a thick skin that even a severe Cushing's syndrome sufferer would be impressed at, Utd announce each new one with joy even during our moist miserable of weeks. You think someone pr savvy would say ‘hang on lads, let’s delay this today’.
                        On the football pitch the stats are so damning, there’s no point repeating the sham of lack of goals, wins, shots, anything resembling attacking football and if for Moyes we can say his nadir was Fulham at home then for Louis it was Crystal Palace where there was the first murmurings of mutiny to ‘give us a goal’. It went unheeded, the players sank into their shells and worse still just went through the motions, and because of the mess around and above them will get away with it again during the managerial change as they talk such platitudes I feel like their bounce back talk could be the only robotic drill they’ve actually remembered from this shambles of a year. He had such sycophants around him nobody was telling him the truth. “In England, it is more the result than performance, only when Scholes started he influenced a certain amount of fans.” No, we were clued up last season and concerned about the state of your football, hoping after a season of achieving an all too low target of 4th, you’d be bolder with your football. The minute talk was of 4th as a target, United were helping to ruin Fergie’s work. Where money finally got spent, after we failed rather than reacted to prevent failure.


                        When Captain and manager admit, and not in isolation, that Sunderland of all teams have more hunger and aggression, Ed should have stepped in there and then to try and salvage the season. Instead the man ever eager to tell us which marquee signing we’ve got no chance of making decided to turn his phone off. I said Moyes shrunk in the job, and whilst the same can’t be said of van Gaal’s head or ego, the rest of him has shrivelled into those inedible prunes at Xmas that you want to stop looking at and keep asking why are they still there. Finally you realise they are out of date and bin them, saying ‘never again’. LvG is the man who steadied the ship and then ran it aground. And this Captain was going to go down with it; so he refused to leave.


                        But it’s not all Louis van Gaal’s fault you know, nor was it David Moyes’. Whilst both are targeted for criticism, the men behind the scenes continue to get off lightly.


                        But this is reaping what the money men did sow. Many of us angered at the Glazers, depressed at where Utd are off the pitch know these truths; we became customers instead of supporters and the priority for them is the commercial side, however much they dress it up in pathetically oiky conference calls. They can’t admit that of course, but the nonsense press releases that rain down on us more than Manchester rain just confirm it. 4th our target for the money, not the football. Less football men at the club, less Utd fans, less people that really care ahead of carting about their own personal ambitions ahead of the club itself meaning short term greed and exploitation causes no long term planning, consistency and a mess all of their own making so that the worst ABU in the world couldn’t have fucked up MUFC since 2013 any better. Ed’s picked two belters to start his own regime. Due diligence should have identified both for their consistent traits; they mock us fans and say we should leave it to them. That we did, and look at this bloody mess.
                        I’ve seen a lot in the past 40 years but the defeat in Denmark really got to me. I wasn’t there, sober, not paying £71. So I should be beyond ranting to a seven month old who just stared at my impressions of Mata shirking a tackle and Giggs and Louis van Gaal sat next to each other speechless like Easter Island statues. Look, I know people find these Eds depressing, trust me,


                        I’d much rather be talking about Eric, of ’99, of happy shite like I tell young Albert about the ethos, the soul of United that is all that is great and why we love the club, but it’s being fucked about, has been for well over 10 years, and Fergie’s magic has worn away and in its place has come the pure rampant capitalism that has proved so costly when it sees Utd as digits rather than story makers. Ed’s blunt ‘baseline’ was that even if unsuccessful, the club were assured we’d still sell more shirts, here and in Asia. When the football side of things is taken so much for granted that they admit that success almost doesn’t matter, the fools running the show have taken charge and smeared shit in the fridge. Fergie fumes. For all accusations, some warranted, of his greed, he helped make Utd into a giant once again, and he’s slowly seeing the men he instantly distrusted but kept his counsel about dismantle that. It’s a shambles and it’s almost hard to believe and credit how it’s unravelled so quickly. Well done Ed and Arnold, you’ve achieved in 1000 days what Scousers dreamed of over 10,000.


                        Mag subs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                        Manchester United eye finances more than its football, and in Ed, what did people really expect? A JP Morgan man who helped circumnavigate the ‘debt is the road to ruin’ brigade and become their man on the inside, as Fergie and Gill were eventually shoved to the outside, the very men, for better and sometimes worse, who kept things tight, and afloat. We haven’t only started a decline since 2013, Fergie’s magic covered the charade even with ‘value’ but with a debt over a decade old that still is only halved and owned by a family who don’t even visit our club yet rinse it for its partners. Louis Edwards’ rotten meat pies are a million miles from this lot.


                        Sponsors are aware of this talk from us though, they don’t like their brands tainted nor associated with crap. adidas spoke out knowing full well the weight of even one line of lowkey criticism. A stand of K Standers aghast at the football means fuck all to the Gimps compared to one man in Germany. Modern football that.


                        Top four is the Manchester United target now, just three years from it being top or anything else not worth talking about, just all the while keep those tills rolling. That’s where performance matters in Florida. We’re a spreadsheet not a fucking football club anymore. So perhaps we should think why there is more venom aimed at an old bloke out of his time and surprisingly out of his depth at a Utd in the hotbed of the PL, than Ed Woodward, with not even a song aimed his way, or at any of them for several years. Like Kenyon before him, he’s just a different bald guy in the same suit, spinning plates for the other guys, making out that he’s United, when profit is their only love. “This continued financial strength will enable us to compete at the highest level.” Have you looked at the table the last three years?


                        Change will come, but not, also, any change. In a tiny box in the Cayman Islands (c/o Walkers Corporate Services, Walker House, 87 Mary Street, George Town, Grand Cayman, KY 1-9001, Cayman Islands to be precise) which the Glazers have used to call an official banking home, the figures will boast yet more success and Ed will spin to investors who don’t give a fuck like you or I.
                        Back in Manchester, Stretford ignored for Shanghai, Manchester United fans stopped asking long ago what became of our football club (even those very words withdrawn from sight), now they just ask what will still become of it whilst these men exploit it for greed.


                        From RedNews232 Mag subs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php
                        New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
                        Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
                        The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
                        RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
                        Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
                        News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
                        Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
                        Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                        Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
                        Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
                        Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          What the FA Cup means to me


                          this was a longer piece I did for the series of FA Cup memories at http://thepeoplesperson.com/2016/05/...replay-147452/


                          I think Reds of a certain vintage have a high regard for the FA Cup and rightly so.


                          We know it wasn’t United who devalued it with the farce of the 2000 pull-out and with Semi Finals at Wembley and daft kick-off times, it’s importance in the world of a top four place eyed with more financial scrutiny has been skewed just a few decades on when the Cup Final was the prized finale of the season; cameras on team buses, all day coverage (all good until Jimmy Trabuck turned up) and the happy jigs with the top of the Cup for the winning team.


                          In darker times for this team of ours we clung to the victories of ’77, ’83 and ’85, hoping for better, dreaming of better after ’90 and that we got. And then some.


                          Whilst we demand better again now we shouldn’t cloud our enjoyment of an all too rare appearance for a trophy that did matter, should matter and hopefully will be the kickstart for this young squad, whatever the managerial question marks, to go on and eye bigger trophies.


                          As we know, United is much more than the 90 minutes and yet it’s history runs parallel with your lives. You remember events and occasions around matchdays and seasons and the FA Cup provides an entertaining reflection on my life so far.


                          Lucky enough to get to United games when I was 5 in ’76, in the struggle for Final tickets that mirrors today’s, I saw Mum and brother head off for the finals of ’76, ’77 and ’79 and jealously dreamt when it could be my turn. Watching events unfold on the tv I lapped up every single moment; daft suits and huge collars as the United players arrived, gave the pitch the once over and then were caught out by an offside decision against Soton, fulfilling Tommy Doc’s pledge on the balcony of Albert Square to 1000s of Reds still celebrating the achievement as he promised to win it the next year. That we did, sending those lucky enough to be there to a great place as we stopped Liverpool’s treble. In ’79 it was heartache. Such a strange, compelling game, all bottled up in its finale. So near, so far - cut the bloody cross out I still beg whenever their winner comes on. I had a Utd flag draped over me all day. And cried. This was hell. Summer ruined. Well, a good few days of sulking followed.


                          And then ’83. Finally there. As we queued for Replay tickets at Wembley on the SUnday after the first game the pull of United obvious as the Brighton end queue was drwarfed by Reds around the ground buying tickets on general sale, and then canny enough to join the smaller queue and get for their mates. That was a great night. We could enjoy this one, we sang songs for Sir Matt watching on, ‘Stevie Foster, what a difference you have made’ and Robbo was at his brilliant best. Don’t forget Arnie Muhren too - so classy - and Gary Bailey had saved the day and had little to do on this night.


                          In ’85 the Utd end was packed. Loads had got in. You didn’t think there would be room to celebrate Norm’s majestic winner but we did. One of our greatest Final goals, to be behind the goal as it curled in still remains high on my finest moments. I was with my Mum and we hugged and wondered if this side could finally deliver a title. We won the next ten league games. And then didn’t. That was awful, how did that team not go on? Big Ron was gone as a result the year after and Fergie arrived.


                          We had to wait. We had to suffer. We even suffered during that 1990 Cup run as we only seemed to do it right on the Cup games - the aways, the great away ends - we did it the hard way and the Final was a belter. Stevie Coppell got his songs of appreciation but don’t beat us! A tight, tense Thursday Replay and then Lee Martin. Mark Robins and him then to thank for saving the day, from Forest to Oldham, you felt the name was on the trophy.


                          And then it was a stepping stone. And then we actually did - finally - go on to better things.


                          But the FA Cup still mattered. We chased Doubles. And got them. 1994 I always thinks doesn’t get enough recognition as it was probably one of our most clinical displays - Chelsea pre Roman were slaughtered in the rain, Eric had a field day. Paul Ince inspired.


                          We’ll ignore the loss of ’95 and then ’96 - oh that felt good. It was the day I felt we’d really knocked them off their perch. They were gutted. Fergie had done them good and proper with the mind games, they melted in their suits and I still don’t know how Eric got that goal in, especially past Ian Rush’s nose. The celebrations that night in the West End of London, from the Kennedys Hotel at Euston to the West End of London were as good as any during those 90s.


                          1999 was more workmanlike, before the real dreams were sealed a few days later. But it felt great to get it down, and see Shearer mope. And 20 of us headed to Spain for the time of our lives. I stood with Mum on the third tier of the Nou Camp and saw something that still defies logic. Top of the world; the FA Cup was huge for that season, even though two bigger trophies came as part of it.


                          The move to Cardiff was welcome and enjoyed. Transitions came again and we took 2004, and spat out 2005 summing up an awful few days with the Glazer takeover. Awful way to lose; awful period.


                          And then Chelsea ended a modern run and we had to wait. And wait.


                          Sadly Mum is no longer with us. I now have a son too young to attend, too young to appreciate any of this.


                          But my United is family, mates, life lived, enjoyment, and not disowning any good times as if they are beneath us. The FA Cup mattered during barren times and also during the best of Fergie time.


                          Absence made the heart grow fonder with the Semi, and that winner, but we’ll make the most of the Final because after a shit few years it will feel good.


                          We’ll demand more, and better but we’ll know Manchester United and the FA Cup have history, and it’s why we do, and should respect it and that.


                          Some of my greatest moments as a Red have come at Wembley, icing on the cake or hoping for more. Norman, Robbo, Eric; heroes provide and whilst the ground itself isn’t anything like it’s hyped to be, its history is. It’s special even when others have tried to lessen that. It’s an actual occasion rather than a £ sign on a balance sheet.


                          I can’t wait for the day I get to take my son to an FA Cup FInal and continue the tradition; because for United fans the FA Cup Final is a welcome tradition.


                          (So long as we win it.)


                          Barney, May 2016


                          A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                          http://www.rednews.co.uk/current-issue.php


                          The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


                          The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


                          Red News now available for web/iphone/ipad and android use at www.exacteditions.com/rednews


                          Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                          New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
                          Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
                          The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
                          RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
                          Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
                          News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
                          Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
                          Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                          Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
                          Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
                          Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Manchester United; crisis, moaners, perspsctive and patience. A Reditorial


                            The Reditorial from RN237, published October 26th 2016


                            News all on one page and full entry to all RN Forums at http://www.rednews.co.uk/vip.php
                            Mag subs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                            So where were you during the ‘Manchester United crisis of September 2016’ and how did you survive?


                            As Danny Taylor has noted so well, after Fergie's press conferences started to be recorded for MUTV, so did many of the gems recede, give or take a few memorable encounters. But Fergie would always be of value facing the press. It won't make any top 10 but I always loved his comment in April 2008 after we’d lost to Chelsea and there’d been yet another over-reaction. Top of the league, European Cup Final ahead. The pause for, it’s a ‘disaster!’ was impeccable; the Genius of a man on the top of his game.


                            I have been wary as you know of Jose and I still think it'll all go tits up prematurely, but that will be after an enjoyable ride and a good trophy or two and to be honest I like what I have seen so far. I still think this phase of the early Bruce Banner period when he is in two minds how to control his Hulk, is better off to just be who he is, but the Einstein throwaway was entertaining and picked up and eaten by a hunger press who sadly live only now on click bait to ease their famine.


                            The man with the long hair, Einstein that is, not Fellaini, had a thing or two to say about stupidity. “Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.” And I have to wonder if my age group is built for this even changing modern era of football life; 24/7, yet no more actual substance than 30 years ago, and maybe actually less.
                            Social media has many benefits but it certainly doesn't seem to have made the many any happier and when I don't go to games the only thing the Internet tells me during Utd games is that it's a great psychological observation in the erratic and absurd. I now realise that there is a portion of people who are never going to be happy, especially about Manchester United. And the modern way is to moan. Big time. At games we see that if we dare to be 0-0 at half-time (and fuck me they had to get used to that under LvG), so the moronic booing as LvG lifted the FA Cup should not have surprised though he didn’t half depress.


                            In a paradox of who is feeding who, press or punter, we must not forget that they have always been brutal fuckers - Alf Ramsey, Gazza, then and now, Bobby Moore and Brian Clough let alone Dave Sexton could testify to that - and when Utd lost at Soton 6-3 and Newcastle 5-0, Piers Morgan and cohorts made it, almost, a public holiday. But as Steve Black in UWS has noted, those seasons we won the league. When we beat Ipswich 9-0, we didn't. A solitary game in a season is just one piece of that puzzle. A tiny piece.


                            So I remain baffled how just one defeat, however annoying in its wake, or God forbid three in a row can see such a meltdown that it makes grown adults act like my 15 month old. *Pogshit* actually became a hashtag during that week. Grown men. People lost perspective, forgot that however shite it felt after city, and however fluctuating the Bitters had been last year, they'd still been building half a side and reached the Euro Semis, rather than been on its knees with Moyes and LvG. Money spent by either across one summer is not a barometer, it's what you do with it and at Utd anybody thinking there was a quick fix after LvG had drummed the philosophy into them and drained the life out of them was not living in the real world.


                            The real world. Ah, remember that? If Fergie saw empire crumbling crests and the like after invisible kits, the over-reaction, however disappointing, to a Utd defeat depresses me and it may seem surprising in a fanzine, powered by discontent but I half plead for our support to give its head a wobble to try and get a sense of perspective. Mainly twitter of course. However enjoyable, at times, much as entering a mad red light bar is at 3am you are also grateful to come our unscathed from it at 6am, both courted by proper loony tunes.


                            We've all become too precious and this may surprise the GGMU nutcases but Alex Ferguson and Matt Busby lost games of football. Lots of them. Had bad patches, and even - yes even before forums, social media and phone-ins - received criticism at the games. It was not all a bed of roses and Utd’s successes skewed expectations so that by Fergie’s end even during periods of peak, people would over amplify their criticisms. We moaned during title winning seasons. We forgot the real world.


                            The reality now though is worse at United; it’s football365 having a whole home page dedicated to us, SKY now creating some bizarre world of their own stat making - where duels and bravery is made up as a fucking stat! - and it makes me actually think where Utd are now concerned less is more. You end up wanting to avoid half this bollocks. Why the fuck should I care what some absolute moron thinks about our club?


                            But it wasn’t just the bloggers. This was also well (well...) respected journos. @JBurtTelegraph: ‘Is Jose Mourinho up for the task at Man Utd or has game moved on without him?’ The Times told us, leaked by one of these shallow, pandered to sources in the dressing room that Jose was nastier than Fergie. It narrowed down the field of recent under performers granted but nastier than the boot throwing, motorway selling Jaap Stam tyrant who brutalised his early dressing rooms? Come off it. Report it, but do it without all the bullshit. We'll come to it if it's any good, and actually well sourced anyway. ‘Paul Parker says he is concerned about Jose Mourinho’. Can I say I'm concerned about what Paul Parker is saying these days? ‘Is Pep Guardiola's Success Exposing How Football Has Left Jose Mourinho Behind?’ We were five games - yes, five - into a season. Fuck me, we're inhabiting a world where only the previous 24 hours counts. How shallow. In a great example of how the press create a ‘narrative’ (sorry, shoot me now) to self fulfill, old hack @PeteSpencer007: “Bet Mourinho is glad next game is 'only' Watford. Needs win to settle nerves. Drums rumbling”. The drums were only of their making, well, that and the goofs online who have yet to see daylight and the great outdoors.


                            Football violence moved from the terraces to the internet. Those violent fingers tap away their venom, unhappy with, well, pretty much everything it seems, misdirected and entranced like Peter Pan by bloggers and journos and clickbaits and websites that, even by their own plunged standards, seized on a bad week to hammer at Jose that even surprised us cynics who thought we’d seen it all before. There are certain terms we never had to deal with growing up ‘footballing narrative’, ‘source’, ‘5 things we…’. Players have ‘camps’. Everyone has become an all too precious whiner.


                            I actually think Jose's comments about trying to get into the minds of the players blancmanged under LvG have been interesting. And spot on: “What is more difficult is that me and Mr van Gaal see football in a different way so it is normal in their football brains there are moments of contradiction between what they used to do and what I want them to do.” To alter that takes time; something few seem to want to give when it’s actually all we do have. But that sounds dull in this endless, repetitive shite that replicates the modern consumer culture in wanting it all, with no patience, but actually getting next to fuck all in return.


                            Mourinho is not here to be nice. He’s here to be a nasty bastard, reign in a set of players who have consistently under performed for three years and the players might actually need hammering in public as it’s not worked in private. Don't fucking start a petition that you're unhappy Luke Shaw got criticised for not doing his job, or another ‘Petition to bring Bastian back into the first team’ which actually had 399 mentalists sign it. One of the best (worst) criticisms during that week was Jose can’t handle the pressure. Yep, of course, because managing Real Madrid is a fucking siesta on a beach. ‘Jose Mourinho should avoid ‘having a pop’ at Manchester United's young players as results falter, Stuart Pearce has told Sky Sports News HQ.’ Said the man who played David James up front for Manchester City. ‘Five things José Mourinho must do to stop the rot at Manchester United’ claimed Jamie Jackson as Jose sent him some champers as thanks as he hadn’t thought about that. ‘Has Jose Mourinho lost his magic? Mirror Football writers have their ...’ AAARGGGHHHHHHHH.


                            Neil Ashton, who some regard as on the top of his game actually wrote the following: ‘Leicester, the champions, at home on Saturday lunchtime, already has the feel of a defining game for Mourinho.’ No, no it didn’t. It really did not.


                            There is debate, constructive criticism to be had about United under Jose, what he has done so far and intends to do, but don't get carried away in the bullshit of people either there to hit a certain number of clicks to please their bean counters or those looking for high follower counts. United is much more enjoyable if you enjoy it how you want to. We don't want to lose. But we'll fucking cope when they do.


                            It's not because we were shown five years into Fergie that patience pays, because we knew under Moyes it had to end as it was fucked, and we had to see it end under LvG because we all felt fucked. But if three games into the second month of Jose Mourinho's reign at Utd created such a maelstrom of shit you could power Sellafield on it, it's all fucked and you fear that now the once golden boy is at Utd, so he will be targeted.

                            This isn’t holier than thou, I sulk way beyond my pay grade and years, and was gutted after City and Watford but there’s coming to Manchester United to enjoy yourselves, have a laugh and try and get what it’s all about - the most important non important thing in our lives - or just scowling away at everything and boiling piss and keyboards to strangers who may not even be who they say they are. A game is a solitary grain of sand in our fortunate lifetimes supporting the ups and downs of United. Shit, like sand, happens. With good Reds late in each night, who love the club but realise they will enjoy their time no matter what, the gloom did eventually cast aside like mist; I realised there is nothing I can do. No amount of moaning long into the night would alter the reality check.


                            I have also been an idiot online. A while back with Mum in hospital and Dad poorly, my life at a strange crossroads as me and the missus entered a crucial stage of IVF I got too pissed one night and had a row with a stranger about Rio Ferdinand online. What the fuck was I doing?! I was staring into nothingness and the abysss was screaming back at me ‘you plankton’. I have tried to realise ever since, have a laugh, the odd moan, but if you turn into too much of a negative bad arsed fucker, switch the net/phone off.


                            I have however always remained perplexed at those who scream the team is shite when it’s announced, whatever the XI, as Mystic Megs (as was shown at Anfield) they are not. The hostility at our starting team for our biggest game just does not make sense when surely it should just be a siege moment? ‘Come on United?’ The people at games, on the whole, seem to, despite all the shite, still be having a good time. The people online anything but. Or am I reading that wrong? But still it did not end. Straight after Anfield, a 0-0 that was actually tense and tactically enjoyable if short in actual action, the Telegraph leapt in the air wanting attention and clicks: ‘The last time Jose Mourinho had fewer points after eight games of the season he was manager of Uniao de Leiria.’


                            Any talk of crisis after it or City was much more in the minds of a few repetitively posting individuals on twitter and forums and on cheap journalistic portable laptops than it was from most of the Manchester United supporters I spoke to, who, seemed level headed and realised that after three years of shite this may take time.


                            After the three defeats we beat Northampton. Scored three. It wasn’t great nor was it bad. It was, well, a Cup tie. How strange! Yet the press didn’t like this. The Guardian dressed it down: ‘Marcus Rashford helps stuttering Manchester United beat Northampton’. For some fans and hacks, it still wasn’t enough.


                            It never is.


                            There was an edge to the reporting, old scores, it being Utd, it being Jose AND Utd and all those things. And I hope fans see through some of the very poor attempts at having a dig. It wasn’t constructive, it didn’t come with much perspective and it was done with a lot of poor quality journalism at its heart, sadly all too frequent in this vacuous world we live in. The garbage of transfer shite has spread to the actual games. Sad, really.


                            I had doubts about Jose but remain convinced he’s the right man for right now. We can’t keep sacking them! Support and be patient and know there is always another game to put things right.
                            And so it ever was with the modern Manchester United where fans move with the technological times, but might be better off if we didn’t. When winning is unenjoyable, we really need to take a breather from the hysteria that surrounds itself around United, particularly when we lose.
                            It may not be that patience pays, but perspective certainly helps. Something that is sadly in short supply when it comes to the modern Manchester United.


                            The Reditorial from RN237, published October 26th 2016


                            News all on one page and full entry to all RN Forums at http://www.rednews.co.uk/vip.php
                            Mag subs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php
                            New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
                            Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
                            The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
                            RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
                            Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
                            News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
                            Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
                            Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                            Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
                            Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
                            Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              RedNews Editorial on why we should look back on Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United career more fondly


                              A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                              The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


                              The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/


                              this first appeared in February’s RedNews241


                              “I regret my dispute over terms that led to the manager putting me on the transfer list. I acted very immaturely. When you are young you don’t listen. Those events are really my only serious regret in the whole of football. The important things is to learn from them I did and I am sure others will in time.”


                              These words weren’t uttered by a chastised Wayne Rooney after Fergie seemed to reinvigorate himself (much needed at the time, and though crassly and selfishly done, ambition did need to be questioned at the height of the ‘value era’ under Glazers) in the space of 24 hours as he turned an incendiary situation into another battle for control as he came out on top with the inspired ‘cows’ and ‘grass’ speech as Wayne performed an eventual u-turn which saw some Reds never forgive him about.


                              It was Denis Law speaking in 1971 about his then much publicised transfer spat with Sir Matt Busby a while before, and I offer it not to dig at a Utd legend, but to highlight that Law and of course George Best had their transfer issues and ‘want aways’ and it rightly hasn’t altered the respect and adulation their generations and subsequent have viewed them for they are heroes. Perhaps Wayne is a victim of an era when we all expect too much, of pretty much everyone, all of the time. Bobby Charlton, like Denis Law and Bestie, did not have very good last seasons for United, that happens. Few go out on the top, or maintain consistency or even improve from a serious blip, like Giggsy did, and even he and Scholes showed the label was coming off their vintage a bit at the end.


                              “You can’t afford to let a player like Wayne escape your clutches just 30 miles along the road from you.” was how Fergie greeted his arrival and that remarkable debut set the tone that suggested we had a real gem on our hands. We did well to capture him, though I always suspect Newcastle’s counter bidding was agent led to try and force a late Utd move. And whilst I always applauded him for swapping blue for red I know it was purely down to greater ambition he knew would come at his new club, yet those origins have sometimes tied the argument against him in knots by some Reds whenever things didn’t go well.


                              The argument about good and great will rage for years I am sure, until, like those heroes before, it doesn’t really matter as the smaller details are no longer obscured by the greater facts, and whilst I’ll admit I really didn’t like the way he handled ‘ambition/cowgate’, during a match week as well, nor the way both he and Fergie spun the acrimonious end to their relationship in 2013, nor the way Fergie’s retirement seemed to give the player, rather than the next managers the greater centre of power gravity at the club, I still try and see the whole canvas. And I honestly thought after a performance fitting for the occasion at the European Cup Final at Wembley, the only one in a Red shirt that evening, that he’d go on and start to really compete with Messi and Ronaldo in his prime. So I have not enjoyed watching the decline of a player sooner rather than later whose lifestyle and genes have accelerated the slowing down of a footballing body whose mind seems the only working part still able. But…


                              It’s the modern way to highlight the negatives. Why should it take until after it’s over to really appreciate? Certainly in another era the beating of such a record would receive greater headlines and plaudits than it did, and though the way the approach towards the record slowed to snail pace, it began to feel like many - certainly Jose judging by his rather churlish comments at Stoke - were rather bored of it before it had even happened.


                              Despite the publicised moments of ‘immaturity’ he did not up ship like Ronnie did, as Rooney put his shift in so a player like CR7 could become the world star he always knew he was. You can bet Ronaldo away from his own mirrors appreciates what Rooney did for him during that magical spell for United which pesky Barca apart, was as good as any in our history. Ronnie may well have won us many games, and he’s the best Utd player for ability and *it* that I have seen, but if we were in a hole, Rooney would be digging like fuck to get us out of it.


                              He arrived half way through the ‘slump’ at Utd where we’d not won the league for four years and whilst some Reds doubted Fergie then, the ever re-ordered hampers of humble pie we regularly searched for online during Fergie’s many resurrections as shite tabloids split the Utd crest in half and talked of the fall of our empire, Wayne Rooney was one of the reasons we did return to the top. His goal return should have been higher then. 16, 14, 12 and 12 in those first four league campaigns highlighted his inconsistencies, still apparent, and how he always seemed to go on runs, and then not, of goals rather than a more natural beat. But then came 2008, and in 2009/10 and 2011/12 he was immense; 34 goals in each. And sometimes sacrificing himself not just with his workrate but with his body as he played when not fully fit or in the case of Bayern away, when clearly not able which was to cost him, us and England (not that many cared) that summer. I wanted more and thought we’d get it, but perhaps the injuries as much as the fags (both he and Bobby Charlton smoked so don’t tell the NHS, as pints and Chinese takeaways were taking their toll), and the goals started to dry up from 2011-12 around about the same time he started to control his aggression where, the odd red card (and what fucking what the FA were thinking of that one I still don’t know) apart we and he needed that rage; there is no greater tribute to him playing with a bit of the devil inside than that Newcastle goal as he barked at the ref, and then the ball, and then the back of the net felt all that anger.


                              At Stoke away, in the dying embers of a Utd game as well as career, feeling unloved, but accepting his fate as he probably now sees what others could a year or two earlier, he didn’t do Giroud at Bournemouth and look for self gratification after the equaliser and record breaker. He looked to his team-mates to get the ball and try and get the winner. Cutting away from all the pub arguments and sometimes ridiculous social media bullshit about him, it was a man who had got Utd and wore it well. It was, still, great to see. One last splendid moment, possibly. An Evertonian who got United, that mentality. Imagine that. Not all players do, remember, or care as much. At Liverpool at home he came on, and gave Pogba, rightly so, shit for giving the ball away so carelessly. Pogba the man who has the world at his feet like he once did, hopefully takes on that kind of ‘advice’ for he’s good at that we hear. Good to gee up players.


                              There was a period when Wayne Rooney turned up, and then you knew Utd would (and the stats that we have won 164 of the 189 games he scored in is quite remarkable) and for those questioning his body now, I prefer to reflect on that goal at Arsenal which showed the pace he did have, racing through, connecting to Nani’s speed alongside as Rooney rushes past him through the middle to receive the pass and for once Nani did the intelligent thing, lays it on and bang, it’s in at the Emirates. We were a joy to watch on the counter during that period. No team better at it.
                              So some suggest he didn’t live up to the expectations, maybe we asked for too much (saw too much on the debut!) and if this isn’t reaching the heights then blimey, he didn’t do too bad did he?! After that four year toil, and Keane’s departure and all the shit we and Fergie went through, Rooney was at the core of a side who from 2006-07 won 5 out of 6 titles. For those who just see him as a ‘Scouse bastard’, who can’t see past that, this is perhaps the one example where I will say, look at the bloody stats, these are not alternate facts, they are one hell of a career.


                              He became an easy target, and again, I’m not denying where once a big fan it pains me to watch such a decline, and I never thought it would take nearly 3 seasons to get the last 34 goals for the record, where he crawled to it like a boozer seeking his home after a night out, but that’s what happens when you watch from boy to man a player who has been here 13 seasons and like Fergie himself, and Ryan Giggs saw, you at times become too familiar with each other. He was shifted all over the place, he argues that affected his goalscoring and form, and affected his rhythm, and he has a point, but perhaps he was shifted too as he was no longer able to do what Zlatan has shown even at his age he can do well, put the ball in the back of net with a 1 in 2 ratio. His weight yo-yoed, poor from a professional. This talk of him moving to midfield also frustrated me. He might have the brain for it, but his legs don’t have the stamina or ability; he couldn’t do it at the top there.


                              Certainly his power base in the dressing room became too strong and its hold meant that Moyes and LvG (of all people) never dealt with it head on, the painful truth that he was no longer the automatic starter he wanted to be. Maybe Jose gave him enough rope to hang himself with his own performances at the start of this season, maybe that was the intention or he discovered the man he had once courted at Chelsea was in decline, simply, the proof was in that performance at Watford away, a painful experience for both fan and player to witness.


                              In the dressing room he was a force for good despite many rumours. For even with a disagreement, Marcus Rashford highlighted the importance of Rooney for Utd: “That reaction after the goal at Stoke is what we learn from the older players as well. He just broke the record, it’s an amazing achievement and he still wants to get the next goal, he’s not fussed about his goal. I think it does rub off on the other players and certainly the younger players.”


                              Jose does realise what some Reds can’t. That as a sub he can still offer something these next few months. He scores irregularly but his assist rate is good this season, and he’s now in that awful island where so many can’t see any good no matter what he does, when that’s not quite fair even with this slide. He has kicked off in the past, but he’s handled this particul saga - in, out of the side, written off - without rocking the boat. Maybe he knows his footballing mortality now, but others would not be so forthcoming to accept their fate and at last it’s good to see an agent who was too manipulative in the past finally just give it a rest at the end here.


                              For me there are three regrets. Some of what he did off the pitch, his ‘lifestyle’, his crass handling though Fergie’s reply was enigmatic and re-energised both men, and that his natural aggression and hump which drove him on declined for a few seasons near the end. But the good far outweighs the bad. He gave his all, worked tirelessly so the likes of Ronnie only need do that where they thought it mattered and he was the cog that got Utd clicking. The Captaincy didn’t propel him onto greater heights as it should, it seemed to signal a stagnation. This in itself seems mad but shows how high we thought he could go, that 250 goals, records for club and country, still sees this debate as if it wasn’t enough.


                              Of course it’s horrible seeing a career come to its end, where it’s now China not Madrid he’s linked with, but I often say think what you’ll tell your grandchildren. We won’t tell them about Bebe when talking about Fergie the miracle worker, we’ll talk the great memories, and likewise with Wayne, we’ll smile at those moments we were lucky enough to experience in a grey, and now quite darkening, world. That hat-trick, Newcastle, the over head kick. You know them. The end should not define the middle and beginning, where his prime coincided with United’s renaissance not as a coincidence but as a result of his grit, determination and fucking plain stubbornness. He did that here, not elsewhere.


                              I didn’t like some of what Wayne Rooney did away from pitch, I don’t like some of what I do away from the pitch, but I have read some ridiculous things about him. It’s just daft and wasted energy when there’s so many ABUs to direct it at. The hardest thing to do in modern football, strange when it has never been so full of creative players, well full of ego as much as ability, is to put the ball into the back of the net. Look how many toil across the world at it, or who look the part one year and then just falter the next. Rooney did the business for 10 out of his 13 seasons here.


                              I’m so glad I got to see it. Here.


                              Eyes are always drawn to the here and now but it should be about the whole. He chased lost causes, never gave up when others did, helped shape the best Utd team of its generation, and in an era when you question commitment, on the pitch he gave his all for a shirt that wasn’t his by birth. What a shift he would put in. Compare and contrast to the elegance of Berbatov, very much hit and miss for United, or RvP who only wanted to do it for a season. That was enough for him. Year after year, Rooney chased the lost causes with hunger. There are so very few like him.
                              Let’s celebrate and for once not castigate. It’ll be a perfect time to part ways this summer maybe, because this sounds like an obituary for his time here, but I for one, will praise his achievements. Enjoyed him. Good or great is our pub debate, and we create them to bring life to life, together with wondering what might have been if he’d have lived his life with a more, er, Continental rather than Liverpudlian approach to his habits, but Manchester United, and us fans, yes, even the moaning ones, were fortunate to grab hold of this impudent, gifted, and unselfish youngster when Utd did.


                              Well played, Wayne.


                              Barney


                              A print or digital subscription http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                              The Red News app on itunes - at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp


                              The Red News Kindle store http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q/
                              New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
                              Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
                              The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
                              RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
                              Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
                              News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
                              Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
                              Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                              Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
                              Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
                              Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Red News’ exclusive interview with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for our 30th anniversary here in full.


                                This interview first appeared in RedNews’ 30th anniversary mag in April 2017, RN242 and was conducted in February 2017


                                RedNews, each month during the season - all formats. App, Kindle, Print, PDF.
                                News all on one page and full entry to all RN Forums at http://www.rednews.co.uk/vip.php
                                Mag subs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                                Ole. 366 games, 150 as a sub. 29 goals scored as a sub, 97 goals from starting.
                                126 goals in total. Lovely.


                                RN: So how are you then?
                                Ole: Good, good, preparing and looking forward for a new season (at Molde). It’s completely different because obviously the facilities here, you never know, for example today the under pitch heating didn’t work so it was broke and it was minus -2 so instead of being able to train outside we had to go into a 60 x 40 indoor hall so you’ve got to work day to day really. And it’s a long, long pre-season, friendlies in February and March and then we start the league on 1st April so I was used to it as a player, I remember thinking because it was really hard period of pre-season so we train maybe too long, too hard, loads of running, compared to now where we focus more on high intensity, shorter distances, so how to adapt. English pre-season sometimes the difference maybe 6-8 weeks, maximum 9, while here we have got pre-season for 12 weeks. And that’s probably the shortest one because we started a week or 10 days later than anyone else in Norway.


                                RN: And how does it feel going back? Did it feel right?
                                Ole: Yeah it does, it’s great just working with players day in, day out, players who want to improve, to develop, players here are dreaming to play abroad, play in England, Germany, so you’ve got 100% attitude every single day, so too many players, say in the Championship then, they’ve got enough money, they are comfortable where they are and it’s not about stepping out of the comfort zone it’s just ticking over.
                                RN: Sir Alex often said that you were observing the game on the bench, is that true, were you taking it all in?
                                Ole: Yeah, I think so. Because first of all I was privileged to be involved in what I was involved in so I felt no, there was not many times I sat on the bench thinking ‘I can’t do this anymore’. I was there and I was always ready to get on and most of the times I would get on because if we were losing the Gaffer would change because he knew the affect I might have just both on supporters, our own team and the opposition team because we built like an image, like a myth that when he came on he scored goals! Then again if we were winning 2-0, he just gave me 20-30 minutes at the end or at half-time because he wanted to keep us all happy so a 1-0 win was probably the worst result! He wouldn’t put me on! Laughs.


                                RN: So were you observing the tactical side or positioning, what was it?
                                Ole: I was just mentally preparing for the game. It’s a bit of a myth that I was analysing the lot but I did come on and of course I watched the game so I did see which one of the full-backs was slow or which one of the centre-backs I could beat in the air, really important things, you can find spaces, find weaknesses so in a sense it’s true and in another it’s a bit more exaggerated if you know what I mean. That’s the way I am. I can spot the players quite quickly.
                                RN: So you’re sussing that now as a manager? And passing that advice on to the players?
                                Ole: Yeah of course. It’s one of those things that I’ve always got with me that I can use to my substitutes, that you might be able to change the game, you’ve got to do this, that or the other, you’ve got to not sulk. No point sulking to me because I know what it’s like, I never sulked. There’s absolutely no point in feeling sorry for yourself because it won’t help you.
                                RN: Did it piss you off the ‘supersub’ tag because you started a fair few too banging them in?
                                Ole: To be fair it didn’t piss me off but obviously I realise after a while or towards the end of my career that I was the perfect sub for the Gaffer because he knew I was never pissed off or I would never sulk so when I came on it would have an affect on the game. He knew he could trust me as a squad player because I just did my best no matter what. Of course I enjoyed starting games but coming on and doing so well as a sub so many times, changed quite a few games, but it made my name and I’ll be remembered as a good sub.
                                RN: More than that!
                                Ole: But it doesn’t matter because at least you made a name for yourself. When I grew up there was only one or two subs back then, I remember David Fairclough came on for Liverpool quite often, I was happy doing the job that the Gaffer demanded and required from me.


                                RN: There was one thing I have never seen you asked, Teddy and Andy Cole didn’t get on, so how was that for you as one of the players who was sometimes playing with both or alternating, was it uncomfortable?
                                Ole: None whatsoever because what we did in our spare time and leisure time didn’t really matter and there was only in one argument, in one game and after that they still played as well as possible together, they never ever had a ‘no, I’m not going to pass to him’, absolutely no chance and the Gaffer sussed that out quickly, that he could trust them, they are top professionals - you don’t have to get on, you don’t have to go and have dinner with each other but when you play you play as well as you can play as a player and it never frustrated me, no. Never, ever.
                                RN: Now looking back does it feel surreal that so much time has passed since, ’99 was 17 years ago! It just feels mental that…
                                Ole: Yep! Time flies when you have fun! And I had 14 and a half years at United, absolutely fantastic but now I’m going into my… in the summer it’s 10 years since I retired so it’s gone really quickly. I’m not a person, I don’t like to sit down, and sit back and look back at what I did, I always want to make new memories for myself or make something happen but of course in the last, when my kids grow up now I have got Noah who is 16, Elijah will be 9 in the summer, Karna is 13 and it’s like, when they sing my song at Old Trafford, I get emotional, ’well they remembered Daddy! They do remember it still!’
                                RN: Always!
                                RN: How much did Cardiff scar, are you glad you did it?
                                Ole: I’m glad I did it. I’m very glad I did it because for me like an experience it was invaluable, you can’t learn in a coaching course, you’ve got to go out there and test yourself and do it. We might look back at it… I look back at it, well it was the wrong decision right now with hindsight to take that job, I’m sure Vincent Tan they look at it as they’ve, it was the wrong decision to hire Ole, but at the time for me it felt like the right move because if I could get the club going it would have been a great achievement because Vincent still wanted that club to be successful, it was a great chance for me.
                                RN: Do you still see managing United as an aim? Or are you happy being happy without the stress of that huge job?
                                Ole: I would have loved to have managed United, that’s my dream job and still is. That’s a dream job and when we came to Old Trafford with Cardiff, that’s the most surreal experience I’ve had. Without a shadow of a doubt. So the United supporters singing my song for about 75% of the game and I’ve got to be professional because I’m doing a job. We had a chance to get a result up there and my support, or the Cardiff supporters singing my song, it was such a surreal, difficult position to be in. Even though I was professional and we had a great chance, but it was just bad timing. Robin Van Persie came back, they’d just signed Mata… To have got the result at Old Trafford would have been… on Sunday when Warren (Joyce) was stood there (with Wigan) on the touchline, and he’s like, it’s a strange feeling. Because Man Utd does something to you, it’s not just a normal, everyday club, it scarred me for life! It touched me for life.


                                RedNews, each month during the season - all formats. App, Kindle, Print, PDF.
                                News all on one page and full entry to all RN Forums at http://www.rednews.co.uk/vip.php
                                Mag subs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                                RN: You still feel that connection?
                                Ole. It never goes. Yeah. Oh! Now, when we’ve got the good times going again, with Zlatan is there now, Mkhitaryan, Paul is back, because I had Paul in the reserves, we’ve started to look like Man Utd again. We’ve got the big names, when we beat was it Boro, when Paul scored in extra-time, I was watching with my Noah and with 15 minutes to go ‘don’t worry Son, we’ll win this one, I’ve seen this before!’. It was New Years Eve wasn’t it? Then I said to him ‘I’ve watched these games so many times, don’t worry about it, we’ll win this’.
                                RN: So you’re up celebrating when it goes in, jumping around?
                                Ole: Yeah! So I text the Gaffer after that game ‘we’ve done that before, haven’t we!’, and he said ’yeah, we’ve done that a few times’, because we text him Happy Birthday, just like the old times.
                                RN: What happened after Fergie, do you think that’s just what was going to happen whatever, how do you replace the greatest?
                                Ole: It always happens. If you just look at every single club, at home with Rosenborg they had Nils Arne Eggen and they won the league for X amount of time, when he retires, downturn unfortunately, because he had that strong personality that everyone, there was so much respect there so that’s them, 3% or 4% that players will step off the gas a little bit because the Gaffer is not there, that’s enough in the top, top league to be 4th, or 5th.
                                RN: And do you think Jose has cracked it and he will get it right and a 21st title?
                                Ole: Yeah, oh we’ll get it, we’re on the road, we’re on the way again. Of course the league, it used to be between us and Arsenal to be fair when I played, and towards the end Chelsea came in there, now it’s Man City, now you’ve got Tottenham, Liverpool back in there with a shout and now it’s one of six. I’m sure that with the strength that we’ve got in the management team now, and the players we are attracting, that we are on the road.
                                RN: Who was the team that you looked out for, the fixture that you wanted?
                                Ole: Of course Liverpool. It’s the Liverpool game. That’s the first one you looked at. There was a couple of seasons when Man City were down in the Championship, and even League One I think wasn’t it?
                                RN: Yep, ’99, brilliant…
                                Ole: But it was the Liverpool game, home and away. Maybe especially away because you looked at that one and say ‘we have to beat them there’, and we did a few times!


                                RN: I was on the top row, third tier, it’s still vivid, I can picture it all, is it still vivid for you in the Nou Camp?
                                Ole: Yeah to be fair it is. Because I’ve seen the pictures so many times, I’ve seen the goal so many times…
                                RN: How many times have you had to talk about it!
                                Ole: So many times I’m asked to answer that question about ‘how did it feel’! So it’s still there and I can still remember my chat with Jim Ryan before the game and I tell him ‘something big is going to happen to me’. Everything in and around that game is quite easy to bring out memories.
                                RN: How does it feel watching it with your kids now, now they are old enough to understand what you did?
                                Ole: Of course you’re proud that you have been part of Man Utd’s maybe proudest moment.
                                RN: Does it feel odd that many men have named their kids after you?!
                                Ole: No. There are so many grown men that come to me and say ‘it’s the best moment of my life, don’t tell my wife and all that!’
                                RN: It was though!
                                Ole: Yeah. It does something to many people.
                                RN: It did something demented, I still can’t explain it. We’re normal people but that sent us a bit deranged.
                                Ole: Yeah I think so! Laughs.
                                RN: I was at Charlton, and you came back and scored that goal after that injury, I have to say I didn’t think you’d come back, how satisfying was that little period, the swansong period? Was it hard, were you suffering badly?
                                Ole: My knee was never 100% but it’s part of a story here now… that after my injury because Noah was, when I was injured, Noah was born 2000 and I got my injury in 2003 so he’s 3, then I made a comeback but it was not right, so he was 4 when I did the operation but my Dad used to be a Roman Greco wrestler, and he was Norwegian Champion 6 years on the bounce, from ’66, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’70, ’71, he was Norwegian Champion but that was before I was born, so I’ve only seen his paper clippings so I don’t remember my Dad wrestling, but that was always, every day when I was in the gym, my main motivation was ‘my Noah is going to watch me at Old Trafford, score a goal and remember seeing that day for the rest of his life’…
                                RN: Oh that’s lovely… Wow.
                                Ole: So that was my main like, that’s what my heart, that was the main thing to get back… And when I did, scored that goal at Charlton, that was unbelievable, I missed a chance very similar to the chance I scored just before and the relief when I scored that goal was massive and I came on and I got the Captain’s armband and celebrated in front of the away fans was unbelievable but then again when I score at home and Noah was there, 2-0 against Newcastle, I can still picture him, both hands fists celebrating, I know it is too much! That’s for me is probably the best moment I’ve had. After the injury.


                                RN: Is that your favourite goal then?
                                Ole: You know the favourite moment, when I walk off the pitch after that 2-0 win against Newcastle and he just clenches his fists. (RN: I think I’m crying at this point!). But of course the 10 days in ’99 were massive. My best goal is probably the one I scored against Sturm Graz in the Champions League, with my left foot volley that went straight from the 18 yard box.
                                RN: What was the low points then?
                                Ole: Of course the injury towards the end. Losing Finals but probably the lowest and the most vivid memory is the 1-1 away to Bayer Leverkusen when we lost in the Semi Final of the Champions League. We drew 2-2 at home, we should have been 3-1 up, I think it was Seba Veron hit the post, hit the other post, out, counter attack instead of 3-1, they scored, it’s 2-2 at the other end. But I had a chance in maybe the 85th minute or something, a half volley from about 14/15 yards, just palmed that over the crossbar, that’s the most vivid memory I’ve got, of missing that chance.
                                RN: Do you think that we should have won more than one European Cup in that spell?
                                Ole: Definitely. With Eric when we lost the Semi Final in ’97 to Dortmund, as I felt we were the team to beat. Of course you played Juventus a couple of times, and had tight games against them that I thought we could go onto win it. That period after ’99 we thought we could go onto win a couple, Champions League is its margins. Post in, post out, that’s the difference.
                                RN: Roy Keane said in his book that he was looking at the line up at Leverkusen and questioned the hunger, do you think that was it? Or unfortunate moments in games?
                                Ole: Well you can say both but when you’re that close. 2-1, we’re winning at home, I’m sure it was Veron who had a shot and it hit both the posts or close to it anyway, that chance inside the post and they go out the other way and score a counter-attack, that’s not down to anything but luck, that’s football!


                                RedNews, each month during the season - all formats. App, Kindle, Print, PDF.
                                News all on one page and full entry to all RN Forums at http://www.rednews.co.uk/vip.php
                                Mag subs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php


                                RN: What was it like sharing a dressing room with Eric and Keane, two huge characters?
                                Ole: Fantastic. Eric and Roy were two different persons obviously but Keano is the best Captain you could ever have in a team. For me. I’ve been asked so many times ‘pick one player that you played with’ and I can pick Cantona because he was the best player in my position when I came, I could have Ronaldo because he’s the best player now, Giggsy because of his qualities, Scholesy, he was probably the best player, Becks for his crossing, Jaap Stam, Rio, no-one when past him, Laurent Blanc, because he’s a legend, but for me if I pick one, I pick Roy Keane. Because all the influence he had on the squad and all the players around and everything he did. I’d pick Roy.
                                RN: How often did he call you out? Was it only occasionally and these stories get exaggerated over time?
                                Ole: He picked me out a few times but then again we’re mates now! Or we speak on the phone, and we text each other quite often. And when I’m in England we go for a cup of coffee. I understand that Roy did that because he can affect me in a positive way and he wanted me to do well for the team because the team needed me at my best. The players that never had a bollocking from Roy, you had no chance anyway!
                                RN: The Newcastle game, you’ve got sent off, how scared of the bollocking were you from Fergie?
                                Ole: To be honest I didn’t see it coming. Because it was the only right thing to do in my mind there and then. We lost the league by one point to Arsenal that year, it was in the 90th minute, 1-1. We could still get hold of that ball and score a goal towards the end in the other end so we needed to win the game. We would not win the game if 1) I gave a penalty away or 2) he scored. So to be honest I didn’t see a bollocking coming! Laughs. But I deserved it, yes, I can see that because it’s not fair play. Players patted me on the shoulder ‘well done, you did it for the team, you took one for the team’, but as the manager for the biggest club in the world it’s the only right thing to do is to give me a proper hairdryer. And he did! I was called into his office the next day. I had one more. One bad and more. After defeat to Sheffield Wednesday away at Hillsborough, so it was one of the two proper hairdryers I’ve had! You take it on board, there is absolutely no point trying to get back at him, just take it, you receive it and you accept it and you move on and you learn from it.
                                RN: Was it more worrying when he wasn’t angry, keeping it hidden?
                                Ole: To be fair I have to say I really enjoyed coming into half-time when he said ‘well done Ole!’ or when he mentioned me ‘look at the attitude’. I think he trusted me. What he does is he learnt how to manage everyone. So he knew, yeah, the bollocking once in a while did me good because I had to grow up but he praised me, he knew how to keep me on my toes and make me play at my best.
                                RN: Obviously the Utd fans have such love for you, how does that feel? When you said about Reds still singing your name? Nobody has a bad word about you, you could murder cats and get away with it…


                                Ole: It’s surreal. It is surreal and as I said it’s ten years ago that I retired, it seems like a past life but when I remember back on it and I wish, you can’t wish because I’ve picked it myself, I’ve moved back to Norway, settled, we really enjoy it but I wish I could have been to Old Trafford more often to watch the games and see the atmosphere because it’s the best feeling you can have.
                                RN: We’ll have to get you in the away end Ole because a good away day is the best…
                                Ole: Don’t I remember! Yes, I will!
                                RN: So what are your ambitions left now?
                                Ole: Of course I’ve been in the Premier League, got relegated, I would like to set that record straight one day but I can see now that because I was up and young and not so experienced, it’s 3 years ago now I took that job, I was 40, I think I’ll be better suited in say 3 or 4 years to get back in the big time.
                                RN: If not for a goal, what’s your favourite moment, where you thought at United ‘this is the business, this?’
                                Ole: I never thought I’d made it because I was always striving to get into that first XI more often, I would want to be a regular. Probably not believing 100% that I could nail down a first team regular spot really, but I probably realised I could have such an affect on the team as a sub. But when the Gaffer, because Spurs and Man Utd agreed a fee for me in the summer of ’98, but that not happening was down to the Gaffer. He called me in and said ‘well the clubs are agreed, I don’t want you to leave. We’re going to sign Dwight Yorke but if you stay you’ll play enough games, you’ll be an important part of this team’. That was enough for me. But then he also said ‘don’t tell anyone I said this!’. After what happened in ’99 and I scored that goal I think it’s justified that everyone should know that the Gaffer convinced me to stay! It was down to him.
                                RN: And how are your knees today, are they aright?
                                Ole: No, not really, no. No, to be fair. I live a normal life. Without being able to play football. The cold doesn’t really help. I can jog round the pitch and I can have a little kickabout but I can’t play proper football.
                                RN: One last question, on the 30th anniversary of the fanzine, through all the good and bad of Utd, if you’ve one message to Utd fans, what would it be right now?
                                Ole: We’ll get back to Number One. Just keep supporting the players and the club. And I’m sure we’ll turn it round. What’s been amazing, for me I’ve only experienced Man Utd supporters, they’ve always been positive. When I speak to players, my ex-team-mates that have played in Spain, or in Italy, the backing the Man Utd supporters give their own team is second to none. You see now, Real Madrid, if they lose a game or two games, Zidane’s got to go out to a press conference and maybe have a little comment about well the supporters should keep supporting the team and maybe the manager, that’s never happened at Man Utd. Never happens. Through good times and the bad.
                                RN: Thanks so much Ole.
                                Ole: Pleasure. Absolute pleasure.


                                Interview by Barney, thanks to Per at Molde for sorting so very quickly when they heard it was for our 30th. No fuss, and Ole a gent, as you’d imagine!


                                Copyright RedNews.


                                RedNews, each month during the season - all formats. App, Kindle, Print, PDF.
                                News all on one page and full entry to all RN Forums at http://www.rednews.co.uk/vip.php
                                Mag subs at http://www.rednews.co.uk/subscription.php
                                New Red News 266 out 20th October 2019 https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...6-october-2019
                                Subscribe to Red News, print or digital at https://rednews.bigcartel.com/produc...l-subscription
                                The Red News App. on itunes at http://bit.ly/RedNewsApp
                                RN now on Kindle - all our recent and current issues available on the Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barney/e/B009N4YJ0Q
                                Become an online RN Supporter - full news on one page and forum access https://forum.rednews.co.uk/settings/subscriptions
                                News on one page at https://forum.rednews.co.uk/articles
                                Browse our unofficial United shirts + hats + books + fanzine deals http://rednews.bigcartel.com/
                                Android users can get each Red News through the Exactly App at https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...d.androidpaper
                                Donate and help the cause at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=MA6YL67J7QQAE
                                Red News Podcasts on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/...655778894?mt=2
                                Red News. Founded 1987. United's first fanzine. twitter @barneyrednews email: [email protected] There's nothing on Earth like being a Red

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X