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Bring on the hate
Why are so many people getting their knickers in a twist over the disallowed goal? the linesman sees a Southampton player three yards offside four foot in front of the keeper when the ball is played into the box, you can debate ‘interfering with play’ all you want but to say Southampton were robbed is a bit much. Southampton were the better side, better rested and had a lot more energy than a United side who had played four more games in the intervening weeks.
The ABU conspiracy theorists are having a field day as per regarding ‘Another’ offside going in United’s favour, if as they spout the FA is bias towards United why can’t we buy a penalty this season? Why did Jose get a fine and a ban for kicking a bottle yet Wenger got an apology?
What all this does mean though, United are back, annoying fans of every other clubs railing at the injustices and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Paul Murphy, Manchester (Hated, Adored, never Ignored)
…I must say, I am thoroughly enjoying Southampton and other club’s fans moaning about refereeing decisions benefiting United this season.
As United supporters, we are used to our club provoking the hostility of other fans like no other club has the ability to do.
It comes with the territory as being the biggest and best supported club in the country and probably in the top three in the world.
Everybody could see that Southampton were the better side yesterday and did not deserve to lose, but why should any United fan care about that?
What is it now? Eight goals that should have been flagged as offside. I only wish it was double that.
United fans should remember that almost all fans of every other club hate ours, so when United have been unfortunate in a few games, their attitude is “tough sh*t, this is hilarious”.
They will hate the club regardless of whether fortune is smiling or frowning so we should enjoy the bitterness, it’s a good indicator of success.
…The debacles of the Moyes and LvG reigns diluted somewhat the hatred of opposing fans towards Utd. After all, why fixate yourself on Utd when they are not being successful or at risk of winning things? Thanks then Johnno for reassuring me that Utd are on their way back. You know you’ve made it in the hate stakes when opposition fans start reeling off all the decisions that have gone for Utd this season, whilst myopically refusing to further their Google search to look at those times when we have been on the wrong end of a linesman’s call.
Maybe we are becoming relevant again? We were very lucky yesterday but I will take that in lieu of all the woodwork strikes and times that opposition keepers have played like Lev Yashin on steroids against us this season.
Mike B (the fact we haven’t lost a meaningful game since Trump became the most powerful man in the world can’t be helping an ABU’s mood either), Staffordshire
Man United poor? They didn’t have to be brilliant…
What’s all this about Utd being so poor? They played well enough all things considered and still had the class to land the key punches. They didn’t put in Soton’s 120% but teams like that always try so hard only when it suits them. Utd didn’t get above 75% but neither did they have to.
And quit this whinging about the offside call. They happen to everyone and with Bertrand coming in offside in De Gea’s eye line this one was as debatable as most of these calls.
The best trophies are the ones you don’t deserve
Something of a return to the good [bad?] old days with United spending untold amounts of money and requiring some soft and incorrect ref calls and thoroughly undeserving of the prize from yesterday. Now; it’s clear United will never be the dominant force again irrespective of the amount of money they spend as they no longer have Alexander Ferguson in charge. However:
For all those bemoaning how poor their performance was I have to ask – Isn’t that the absolute best way to win!?
Two of my favourite cup wins in my almost four decades of supporting Liverpool are the Mickey Owen final and That Night In Istanbul. At no point were we really ever in the game. We got battered. I lost count of the amount of saves Henchoz made in 2001 and we were out on our feet until EMO sprung to life. Same with 2005, we played the sort of football we could be capable of for what 10 minutes? Beyond that we were against the ropes, gloves up and curled to protect the body…
In fact I wish my own team would scrape more ugly wins. We either give top teams a hiding or just as often wimper to defeat against the others. I wish we’d nick (wahey! Scouser joke!) more games than we do. I don’t think it’s portentous of United doing much going forward but it’s certainly a very useful trait to have…
Let’s win ugly tonight against Leicester or will we batter them ‘cos they are Champions!?
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
Oh Harry Kane…
Not the biggest news story of the week but Spurs thumped Stoke 4-0 with three goals and an assist from Harry Kane which took him past 100 club goals.
I think we have all somehow taken Kane for granted. I was mulling over a mail before he even scored his first, you can see when he is in the mood. This is a young, English striker who has burst through and just never stopped. A lot of people thought he would be a flash in the pan, and then a one season wonder. Maybe a two season wonder. OK, three season… no, there is no such thing.
He can score headers, free kicks, poacher’s goals and lucky deflections. He has that uncanny knack of being right under the ball when it drops. He has no great pace so nothing to lose in the future. If he carries on like this he could score 300 club goals. What a find for Spurs, what a great rallying point for Spurs fans. I think they could do with it next season when they move away from the fortress of White Hart Lane to the open wilderness of Wembley.
…Are we now all finally prepared to accept that Harry Kane is, in fact, a real person? The case against is verging on un-answerable.
Alex G, THFC
Love for Ben Foster
Thank you Peter G for pointing out just how superb Ben Foster has been this season. Just before reading Peter’s email I regretted not sending one in on the quality of Foster. This is his sixth season with the Baggies and he has been a contender for player of the season pretty much every year. He has in my opinion long been the best in the Premier League (and yes better than De Gea, Lloris, Cech and Courtois).
Those mentioned above play for the top sides and the reality is they are well protected and if they can stop a shot will look good. Hence why there is no Claudio Bravo on the list. Ben Foster has been playing behind the admittedly wonderful Gareth Macauley, but he arrived a 32 year old with limited top-flight experience. Some of his quality is no doubt down to the man in the goal behind him. And up until January 2016 Foster has Jonas Olsson in front of him.
Foster has occasionally made errors usually against the Villa and Stoke for some reason. However he has easily been worth 16 points every season and this season perhaps even more. Never fashionable, never given the credit he deserves. He is a great keeper and good lad too.
Ben the Baggie
Ed’s weekend points
* I started the weekend singing ‘Respect the point’ to the tune of Rock the Boat by the Hues Corporation, and I’m happy to pass that along to you today.
* It’s easy to overstate things, but this was a huge step in the right direction for Crystal Palace. They’re out of the relegation zone, although this will change if pantomime villains du jour Leicester City beat Liverpool tonight. It’s shaping up to be a proper scramble for survival between the bottom seven teams. A good run of results for anyone could see them pull clear.
* Sam Allardyce is a difficult man to like, following the recent tradition for Palace managers.
* Quote of the day, part one: Jacob Steinberg, writing a match report for the Guardian:
‘Palace had done nothing but absorb pure, undiluted, industrial-strength Allardyce since losing to Stoke City a fortnight ago. They had downed pints of Allardyce and dumped four lumps of the stuff in milky cups of tea. For breakfast, the full Allardyce. For lunch, the Big Sam. For dinner, the jumbo Allardyce.’
* Next weekend the Eagles are away at WBA, Middlesbrough face Stoke City, Bournemouth are at Old Trafford and Sunderland host Manchester City. Swansea host Burnley, who are terrible travellers, and the biggest game is Leicester City versus Hull City. Like Palace and Boro this weekend, they have the perfect chance to improve their own situation and simultaneously damage one of their main rivals. We’re not completely f###ed, but we’re not out of the woods – one swallow does not make a spring (or a relationship).
* Quote of the day, part two: Luka Milivojevic, told after the match he was man of the match, replied: “Says who? A madman?”
While F365 highlighted Mamadou Sakho as the Early Winner, there was a (more understated) case for a fellow newcomer. Milivojevic was an assured presence in midfield, whose diligence made it easier for Yohan Cabaye and Jason Puncheon to roam forward. His place in the starting lineup was at the expense of James McArthur, who was maybe unfortunate to miss out as he’s been one of the better players this season. When he came on, for Cabaye, McArthur was able to push forward. Previously, Alan Pardew experimented with McArthur nominally at 10, so he can lead a high(er) press, and he has five goals to his name this season.
* McArthur’s yellow card for simulation was an absolute disgrace. Leaving aside the fact that he was actually fouled, ‘simulation’ suggests that someone was attempting to deceive the referee, in this case to win a penalty. Nothing about McArthur’s body language suggested he was looking for a penalty; Andros Townsend, who was closest to McArthur, didn’t appeal for a penalty or react to the incident, instead chasing after the loose ball.
* Sakho was immense for Palace. As Early Winner points out, Boro are not the most potent of attacks, but they did still create plenty of chances. However, Wayne Hennessey in the home goal was not really tested that often, with at least one of Boro’s best opportunities coming straight at him. This is largely down to defensive positioning.
* Patrick van Aanholt was good value for his goal, and cemented his reputation as one of the best marauding full-backs in the bottom half of the table. He and Wilfried Zaha linked up well, meaning Zaha was more effective on the left than previously. Helpfully, Andros Townsend was also much improved on the right, giving Palace a balanced threat.
* Well done to the commentator on MotD who did Chelsea v Swansea, for reminding everyone that the fourth official’s board shows the minimum amount of time to be added on, and that “1” at the end of the first half means anything up to 46:59. Too many commentators and managers don’t seem to be aware of this, or worse, are aware but decide to wilfully ignore it in the name of drumming up controversy.
* Quote of the day, part three: Eddie Jones, following his side’s victory: “You haven’t seen a game of rugby. If that’s rugby then I’m going to retire. That’s not rugby. You’re looking to pass and all you can see is one of their players. I’m not critical of our side a bit because we didn’t play rugby. We practised for a game of rugby all week and we didn’t get it.”
Jose Mourinho, following his side’s victory: “It was a game I was feeling the difficulty. I want to pay homage to Southampton and what they deserve. We have the cup in our hands and probably should be in extra time.”
When Jose Mourinho is the more magnanimous of victorious managers, something’s gone wrong. All together now – why oh why oh why can’t rugby union be more like football?