The Blues 1 Arsenal 11 as Ferguson extends his malign influence on football

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by Tony Attwood

That scoreline is of course shots on target.   You might consider goal attempts a better measure.  In which case, The Blues 6 Arsenal 18.   Either way it was rather jolly – except for two things – the dreadful awful tackle, and what Ferguson has been up to in the background.  The F-Word issue has been reported elsewhere but its implications for football have been missed – perhaps because Sir F has said he will stop talking to their journalists if anything amiss is said.

Anyway, to start with the game: if you read Billy’s piece yesterday before the game you will know that it featured Small Heath Alliance, and interestingly a review of the game turned up in the Observer this rather dull Sunday morning was from just such an ensemble.  It sayeth thus:

PAUL RIVERS, We came up against a very good Arsenal side and got no help from the ref in the first half, who denied us a stonewall penalty for handball. In all, the first half was fairly even.

Birmingham had lost one of their previous 29 matches at home, yet we played them off the pitch.   Seeing how it was going, this team who got “No help from the ref” took seven minutes to reveal their old style.   On almost the same blade of grass that Taylor launched his evil attack on Eduardo this club that “got no help from the ref” used the same tactic again.   Johnson, having noticed the Shawcross approach to football, previously developed by his ex team mate, overran the ball, lifted his studs and went straight into Fábregas and could well have ended his career.   If the Shawcross inheritance is followed, Johnson will now immediately be picked to play for England.

Johnson’s own goal later was a reward for his insanity, but really, we should not have people like this on the pitch.  But no wonder Cesc was so happy when he saw who scored.

The Nasri-Fabregas duology (if there is such a word) is a wondrous world to enter and one that I have been awaiting since the days of the Henry/Pires game – two players who just know what’s what, know each other, know how to do it, know where the other will be, know where it all fits together.   Each brought out the best in the other, and each without the other was a little diminished.  More of the same will do a treat.

Meanwhile, and away from our little outing to the world’s only underground football arena, there was something of a nasty turn in English football – and forgive me for adding it into a match report, but I do feel it is worthy of a comment.

Preston North End, a diminutive team with many a run in with the authorities for playing illegal players in their early days, have just sacked their manager, who is the son of the old geezer what does for Man IOU.   Immediately the Old Man of the Trafford has asked for all his loanee players back.  At once.  No delay.  Today.  No more playing for PNE.

Sir F Word has recalled the defender Ritchie de Laet and the striker Joshua King and the England Under 20 player Matty James to return to Old Trafford at once. The deals for De Laet and King were not due to expire until after the New Year matches.

Preston have agreed that within the terms of the loan they can do this, but of course it is a matter of spite from Ferguson.  And indeed it looks very much like the interference of one club in the affairs of another.

There’s more: Sir F is friends with Preston’s majority shareholder, Trevor Hemmings, through their addiction to horse racing, and it is being said that Hemmings was annoyed about the sacking and told PNE’s board that if it went through this withdrawal would happen.  De Laet, King and James are all reported to have told Preston they would rather stay.

Dodgy stuff all round – but here’s another twist.  Stoke have immediately followed suit.  Tony Pulis is a close mate of the Evil Being, and has seemingly asked “how high” as the F Word has said “jump”.   Michael Tonge and Danny Pugh have gone back to Stoke.

Tonge and Pugh are both Manchester-born and both launched their football  careers at Old Trafford before being released by Ferguson.   And to stress, F Word is within his rights.  He can do this.
Football between competitive clubs needs to be competitive, without one club doing another favour.   What has happened here is that Ferguson has manipulated the Championship by ensuring that PNE don’t have five players available for the New Year games.  The fact that he did it as a revenge issue regarding his son (he has refused to speak to the BBC after games for the same reason) is neither here nor there.   The fate of PEN is not something that should be influenced by Man U or Ferguson, or his little lap dog Tony Pullis.
There really is truly something rotten at the heart of English football.  Johnson, Ferguson, different ends of the same scale.  The fact is that neither is being punished (Johnson got a card, but that hardly relates to the offence), and Ferguson of course will never be punished for anything.
This is not really how it should be.

59 Replies to “The Blues 1 Arsenal 11 as Ferguson extends his malign influence on football”

  1. Having shown his support for his mate, it would be interesting to hear from Pulis how far he would extend such support.

    For instance, would he be willing to instruct his players to kick lumps out of the players of his mate’s rivals?

    Is McLeish also a mate of Ferguson?

  2. This is the essence of the problem Andy. Every team is supposed to play to its greatest strengths to win. That is why the EPL fined Wolverhampton last year for not putting out a top team against Man U.

    But if one team (Man U) can influence another (Stoke) to get them to withdraw players from a third (PNE), this is utterly beyond the regs.

    The fact that the FA/Championship/EPL won’t touch this with a bargepole shows just how corrupt the whole game has become.

    the loan system can only work when it is all at arms length – and this is not looking good for the loan system.

  3. Hello,

    I think you are right in saying that Ferguson and Johnson are the same. Steve Bruce once said that the Eduardo injury was not even a red card!

    Mcleish, who has amassed a team of thugs, is no better.

  4. The FA/EPL wouldn’t touch anything to do with Alex Ferguson. He and his players get away with things that don’t even shock me anymore because it’s just been going on for too long. That is one of the reason’s I don’t really admire Ferguson’s achievements. Besides, whatever his achievements, he really is a horrible person and it’s just sad that he’s held up as a role model for football. Of course, it just makes me even more proud of our manager. Brilliant manager, and a great person. We would have won a lot more if ManU didn’t have the referees and indeed the administration in their pocket.

  5. Please give them Barazite,Hoyte,Randall(for free) and JET,vela,Lansbury(Fr loan) to show them there is life after Ferguson in english football.

  6. Macleish is a big mate of Fergie, like the aforementioned Pulis, Big Sam, Curbs, Arry and countless other home based managers.This little lot pretty much run the LMA, which is why they let out howls of derision almost in unison when Wenger has the audacity to complain when his player gets a leg snapped, or when Rafa would highlight some of these issues around Fergies untouchability. Most of them have done him favours too.
    A manager with huge influence over not only refs, the cowering media and the FA but other managers as well.
    Still, this team can hit Fergie where it hurts – the next time Utd visit the Emirates.

  7. Sorry, withdrew. That guy steve bruce is also falex’s child. There was one more but he got sacked.

  8. I couldnt believe utd got away with that – they seem to be getting all the decisions their way and im so glad we won because all our rivals blimin won – cmon gunners

  9. I think what Ferguson did was childish and immature. One day he’ll have to pay for this ugly side, but till then he’ll be well protected by FA. On the other hand, the tackles of Birmingham players were really shocking. I hope the FA takes action against atleast one of them.

  10. I was at an event a while back – there was a retired ref on our table and we broached this subject. He was of the opinion the FA were well aware Fergies influence had been allowed to extend too far but were not sure what to do about it – basically they were just doing nothing knowing he will eventually retire!
    He also said in his experience, refs are honest and fair and would initially try to stand up to the likes of Fergies teams but received no backing from their superiors when Fergie would blast them on the back pages. Can you imagine hoping for backing from Mike Riley in a battle against Fergie?
    Refs are ambitious but if you want to ref the big games, do not get on the wrong side of Fergie!
    Depressing really – and to imagine the game is most likely as clean here as it is anywhere!

  11. This has gone up on the Guardian web site…

    Birmingham City’s Lee Bowyer is facing the prospect of a possible Football Association suspension over incidents during yesterday’s game with Arsenal.

    Television replays showed Bowyer, 34 tomorrow, appearing to stamp on the knee of the defender Bacary Sagna as he lay on the ground. In a separate incident Bowyer was shown to apparently catch Sagna down the back of his achilles.

    Peter Walton, the referee, took no action and Bowyer was eventually substituted by the manager Alex McLeish. The FA will now contact Walton to find out whether or not he saw the incidents during Arsenal’s 3-0 win.

    If Walton confirms he did not, the FA has the power to pursue the matter and to decide whether to charge Bowyer with violent conduct. If a charge was subsequently proved the former Charlton and Leeds midfielder could face a three-match ban.

    Arsenal’s manager, Arsène Wenger, preferred not to highlight Bowyer’s actions after the game. He said: “I do not want to talk too much about that because I haven’t seen any replays. During the game, it was very difficult the challenge on [Cesc] Fábregas [by Roger Johnson] and Sagna [by Bowyer]. I will watch that again and give you my opinion later.”

    In the post-match press conference McLeish said that he “did not see it” when asked about Bowyer’s alleged stamp.

  12. So glad about this Tony. I am looking forward to Walter’s ref watch. I thought the ref was worse than than Probert at the Villa game. There were worse tackles, really dirty stuff all game with a blind eye.

    I was glad match of the day showed it. I keep getting told that we cheats all the time. Even after I complained about this to friends.

  13. ‘Duology’: I don’t think it does exist, Tony, but ‘duopoly’ does. ‘Pair’ does. ‘Partnership’ does.

    I’m amazed you didn’t comment on Chris Foy as well. For the second time this season, Gary Neville is judged not guilty after the jury voted 12-0 to convict. Man Utd should be down to 10 men early in the first half and go on to fluke a win 2-1. Silly West Brom can’t complain about not getting a draw: if you can’t score from 12 yards, don’t complain. But they can complain about playing against 11 for 80 minutes….and they can consider themselves lucky not to concede a penalty at 1-1 for a blatant hand ball as well.

    The radio said RVP took a twirl before the first goal and that he handled in the box at 1-0. So I guess Arsenal had a couple of decisions. They can also thank Roger Johnson for his brilliant defending when he was trying to attack…….

    The most important statistic was that Arsenal won 5:4 on corners, getting the winner in the 2nd minute of injury time. This was earth-shattering as I had £10 on it at 1.51……it tells you something about Arsenal’s style yesterday that they had so many shots and so few corners until late on. I will consider myself lucky and steer clear of such markets in future…..

  14. Thank you Rhys. Duology is thus claimed as one of mine, along with rotational fouling and rotational timewasting. I expect Mr Wenger to use it in front of the press in the coming days.

  15. In childhood our needs are basic and minimum: food, clothing and shelter. But as we grow we are influenced by our inner desires and expectations. Excessive desires and over expectations cause burden, pain and conflict.

    Cutting them down to proper size makes life easier, happier and hassle-free. It gives mental and emotional space to absorb distress, failure, insult, etc. Life does not always work out the way we plan it to be. It is not straightforward, exact and trouble-free all the time because there are many factors and variables in play.

    For example, we suffer because of others, mistakes, when people are rude and stubborn, our computer breaks down, etc. By lowering our expectations we will be surprised with joy when things work out, and when they don’t we will not be devastated.

    Lowering expectations should not be misunderstood with lowering our standards of excellence and effort. It simply means accepting bad moods, mistakes, failures and glitches to be a part of life.

    Over expectation is a sign of self-centeredness. By reducing it we broaden our purview to include others. We learn to consider others, appreciate them, reward them and serve them.

    A shift from being self-centred to all-inclusive takes places. Arrogance gives way to humility, power dissolves into service and dehbhav (believing one’s self to be the body) is eradicated to unveil atmabhav, which is the core to an eternal and blissful life. This is why we need daily prayer in life.

  16. On the subject of rotational timewasting, it took Foster a mere 6 minutes before he started. Thankfully the early goal put a bit of a spring in his step.

  17. Tony, in today’s Telegraph, this from F-W’s man at the bottom: “McLeish said: “I felt two or three of the free-kicks were in the dubious category. Does Van Persie fall down easily? We have spoken about foreign players being cleverer than us. Let’s leave it like that.” Surely he doeth his master’s bidding. And Bowyer (now 34) will be rewarded for such pit-bull loyalty to the cause on the other side of relegation. And speaking of relegation, perhaps McLeish’s sentiments are his opening audition for an honest job as a blogger at Le Grove. Abas The Bowyerites! Onward Les Gunners!

  18. Tony – good article – now for a comment a bit off subject – just watching Chel v Villa – I notice they are advertising seats still available for the FA cup v Ipswich next week – we are sold out (as usual) for our fa cup v Leeds and league cup v Ipswich – just interesting (also 74 mins gone Chel 1-2 Villa)

  19. They’ve got (or at least had) one of the meanest defences in the PL. Man U struggled for a draw there (less than a week ago) and Chelski lost there. In their previous nine home league games this season, Birmingham had conceded a total of seven goals and in one match, we score nearly half that number again. THIS is the Arsenal we’ve been waiting for! This is the side we can put out when we’re not wracked with injuries. Cesc, Nas and RvP are the class trio a side with eyes on the title needs. Theo, Song and Jack are an excellent supporting cast. Fabianski is looking more and more solid, as is the rest of the defence. And let’s not forget we have the likes of Chamakh and Arshavin on the bench, with Ramsey and Verm to return soon (I still think Arsh is a lazy git but what a player to be able to bring on for the last 20 mins – even he can run around for 20 mins!). We could still do with one more CB (the Mertesacker rumour are resurfacing) but the one downside to the team looking so good is that it will probably convince Arsene he doesn’t need anyone else. Injuries permitting, we don’t need anyone else and we are due some luck on that front, but please Arsene, don’t rely on it and don’t let this chance slip. Otherwise, one very happy Gooner here having one very happy new year! C’MON YOU GUNNERS!!!

  20. Judging from the TV videotape, I do think that Bowyer’s two assaults were actual, intentional, open assaults. Is there any precedence (as in the U.S. National Hockey League) for arrests? Is there a statute of limitations so that charges could be filed later on, so that the predictable braying and snorting from the usual suspects would not be deployed to unfocus Arsenal’s drive for the title? Surely that’s why Arsene, at least for the moment, sidestepped the matter in his press comment. Even when they nearly end Cesc’s career and openly go after Sagna’s future, we have to zip our lips so that the media circus won’t de-rail our title bid. I do agree that it’s best to keep focused, for now. But is there a statute of limitations on such blatant, indeed criminal assaults and making even a test case in the courts? I’d love to know your thoughts (sometime). Behind all the machismo about not complaining and all that, this is criminal behavior. Must we wait until Cesc and cohorts become the next Eduardo/Ramsey to put the fear of the law into them?

  21. The FA simply must come down on Bowyer via the TV evidence. The assault (not tackle)was an absolute disgrace by one employee on another in the same trade. A deliberate attempt to deny a fellow to further his career. The trouble with thugs like Bowyer, Neville and Scholes etc is that as they move towards the end of their working lives, they lose pace and brain and to compensate they carry out the most appalling assaults on the opposition. The FA now have TV evidence in abundance and they must act on it.

  22. If the English FA doesnt have guts to deal with a sicttish mafia called F, then they certainly dont deserved to call themselves ENGLISH.

  23. Alex McLeish is not English, but definitely racist in his remarks on vPersie.

  24. If the English FA doesnt have guts to deal with a scottish mafia called F, then they certainly dont deserved to call themselves ENGLISH.

  25. So Wenger ‘rotates’ and gets 7 points from 9 (two games away) while Chelsea stick to basically the same team and get 4 (two games at home) – and are lucky to do it!
    Let’s hear it from those Wenger critics.

  26. If the football injury Gods were against us yesterday, Sagna and Fabregas would be out for the rest of the season. And Bowyer was unpunished for two disgusting challenges that went unpunished; is there precedent to ban him for 6 games?

    Am I wrong or was Chamakh not there yesterday?

  27. This is so utterly wrong. This just shows how many managers will do anything to be good friends with SAF. So maybe a loss in a game, why bother as long as SAF pats them on the back every now and then.
    This is shocking. And the Fa will do nothing about it. Nex time you see a team rolling over at OT, well you can imagine why…

    off topic: Ref review is coming to you soon.

  28. Richard B
    Forget Chelsea. They can’t even win AT HOME. Chelsea3 Aston Villa3 today. And they were lucky not to lose.

  29. After watching the last ten minutes of the Chelsea game today (which was really bloody funny), as I watched Drogba, Lampard, Terry and Essien looking somewhat shellshocked, I realised they have a combined age of 122. Therein lies the problem.

  30. Back to the original post – Tony, where there is smoke….and so much of it seems to surround our red nosed friend in the North.
    I very much hope that Wengers refusal to ‘have a drink’ with other managers after games is part of Arsenal remaining aloof from the culture of ‘deals behind closed doors’ that you allude to.

  31. @ Jervis: We could still do with one more CB (the Mertesacker rumour are resurfacing) but the one downside to the team looking so good is that it will probably convince Arsene he doesn’t need anyone else. Injuries permitting, we don’t need anyone else and we are due some luck on that front, but please Arsene, don’t rely on it and don’t let this chance slip…

    Compared with what I have read from you in the past, this is mild and I agree with you that we probably need another CB. However, I don’t consider it a down side if Arsene takes a look at what he has and what is coming through and decides not to go for it. When we had our fears about the team, he had his eyes on the 1st eleven we have now seen perform a miracle of a game in two matches and looking to keep churning out the same performance injury and adequate rest permitting.

    At some point we have to just come around to admitting that he is a damn good coach and he is on top of his act more than we possibly can as concerned fans on the sidelines – however we deeply love our team. Please this is not a criticism of your comment but just taking a position slightly to the right of the comment.

  32. What’s happened at Preston is so ridiculous I couldn’t quite believe it when I read it. Preston were rock bottom of the league and five points adrift, they were perfectly within their right to sack Fergie Jr.

    It’s a measure of the man that Fergus Sr is only too willing to use the resources of Man Utd, possibly causing damage to the development of Man Utd’s young players, to punish Preston for his son’s incompetence. Not only that, but he’s got his mate Pulis to do the same!

  33. did anyone else see cameron jerome stamp on a player he could have got out of the way but made sure his foot landed on our defender

  34. you only have to look at the penalty man u got against us to realise something is not right, would that penalty have been given the other way in that game.

    man u have the refs in their pocket and refs pretty much look for reasons to give them decisions cant remember the last time they conceded a dodgy penalty for a poor ref decision

  35. Please, don’t cut my head off for saying this, but comparing it to previous tackles on our players, i didn’t find Johnson’s tackle on Fabregas malicious. No really.
    Birmingham were playing foul, i agree, but that one tackle seemed not that bad. His leg wasn’t fully stretched like others, it was bend, he didn’t came in at full speed and it seemed that he was really going for the ball, albeit it was poorly timed.

    Bowyer was just disgraceful, but Johnson’s challenge seemed more late and stupid than malicious, as we came to know Birmingham lately.

  36. Alex F is using corporate assets (players) for personal reasons (revenge on those unkind to his son).
    ManU are losing money in the middle and the owners should be so pissed with him…

  37. Oh my God

    With my job I get to travel around the world and visit many different places and stay in many different hotels around the world I spent yesterday in manchester and I must say that I am shocked at how easy it is around the world to watch football but in england it can be difficult at times.

    you either have to go to a bar or pub in order to watch it and yet in 99% of other countries I can watch it in the comfort of my own room.

    Now to my point and the reason for the oh my god is because I think yesterdays ref was the worst one I’ve seen in my life and I am shocked that no legs were broken.

    He offered no protection to our players at all he should have issued 2 red cards for the challenges on Sagna and Cesc watching yesterdays game was very scary for me.

    It was like standing near a train line and watching a train wreck I have never felt this way about any team but I can now finally say birmingham should get religated.

    There were to many bad tackles in this game and their players didn’t even try to mask them.

    I’m shocked that this ref could make it to this level and it’s a disgrace.

  38. Having David Dein as the FA head would have been a step in the right direction but maybe sir F-word may have had something to do with him not being considered for the role.

  39. Walter, I’m trying to get to see the full context here.
    If long-in-the-tooth referee Peter Walton claims he did see the two assaults, then is he not guilty of abetting the rule-breaking? Would a ref not be committing professional suicide to admit that he saw that and did nothing? Or, is Walton too old to care because he is on his last months in the league/profession anyway? Could he not fall on his sword this way for an eventual (not too distant) retirement thank-you, or at least not risk losing his benefits? Alternatively, if he claims he did not see the two assaults, then he passes the decision to the FA, is that it? What about the assistant who was closest to each outrage? Don’t they have to advise Walton? If not, why not? And if not, are they (or one) not abettors? If Walton says he saw no evil, then the FA would just damp it all down with a 3-game suspension, and end of story? Would they prefer this? This way Walton and the McLeish/Axis of Fevil continues to work its toxins, yes? Lastly, does a FA referee have a potentially vulnerable pension to worry about (just to help me understand all the variables at work)?

  40. For the good of UK football in general, the eventual departure of Ferguson, for whatever reason, will be a benefit to ALL managers and those who follow them. The more he has gained success, the more bullying and pompous he has become. This latest episode following the sacking of his son’s total failure as manager of PNE demonstrates how disgraceful he has become.
    My gran, Ada, is a cleaner at OT. When he reads this comment will he sack her?

  41. Walter, I’m trying to get to see the full context here.
    If long-in-the-tooth referee Peter Walton claims he did see the two assaults, then is he not guilty of abetting the rule-breaking? Would a ref not be committing professional suicide to admit that he saw that and did nothing? Or, is Walton too old to care because he is on his last months in the league/profession anyway? Could he not fall on his sword this way for an eventual (not too distant) retirement thank-you, or at least not risk losing his benefits? Alternatively, if he claims he did not see the two assaults, then he passes the decision to the FA, is that it? What about the assistant who was closest to each outrage? Don’t they have to advise Walton? If not, why not? And if not, are they (or one) not abettors? If Walton says he saw no evil, then the FA would just damp it all down with a 3-game suspension, and end of story? Would they prefer this? This way Walton and the McLeish/Axis of Fevil continues to work its toxins, yes? Lastly, does a FA referee have a potentially vulnerable pension to worry about (just to help me understand all the variables at work)?

  42. bowyer is a cunt de jong is a cunt neville is a cunt fergie is a cheating cunt howard webb is a bald cunt phil dowyd is a dwarf cunt that mike riley is an old cunt shawcross is a cunt …theres too many cunts for us not to get fucked

  43. Think Utd playing Stoke next week – doubt if Utd will see the side of Shawcross that we regularly see

  44. Good point, Mandy Dodd! Shawcross, the pit bull will be re-Leished and turn into Pulis/Fergie’s lap dog, so to speak.

  45. Let’s assume, just as a thought experiment, mind you, that each of the god-Father’s club of post-match drinking partners (sorry, Fellow managers) always manages to have one or two designated hit-boys in his keep; and who owe him Favors, or are auditioning for pit-bull status, available for use on that one day when he is asked to perform a service. Would we not have a clearer, if no yet provable glimpse of the inner workings? or a good case for at least say, a Godfather IV, or a real Ken Loach follow-up to that Cantena flic, or grounds for an inquiry (formal or real) to help true fans of all and any stripe recover our brilliant game from the gamers? Methinks that would be part of a New Year that just might be Happy! Go Gunners!

  46. Allow me to say about the questions you have asked about the ref this will be covered mostly in my ref review.

  47. I had a rather pleasant dream last night. In it Ferguson, Pulis and McLeish had all vanished from the football scene and Mark Hughes was about to follow. It seems that good old Mark had been forced to play a bit of football when at Manchester City and he took these lofty ideas with him when he was recruited by Al Fayed at Fulham. The problem was that Fulham immediately began to plunge down the league and Mark wanted to reprise his unique style of play we all enjoyed so much when he was manager of Blackburn Rovers. Go on, you must remember when artists like Robbie Savage and some bloke called Todd kicked, punched and gouged their way into the top half of the table. Who can possibly forget Todd’s immaculate defensive display against Robin Van Persie, an encounter that should have seen him charged with grevious bodily harm.
    Imaging seen Man Utd’s truly woeful display yesterday and then hearing so many people, Ferguson being the cheerleader, claiming that Rooney had been World Class and factoring in Foy’s obvious love for all things United I realized that the referees will make sure that this will be United’s year again. They will simply not allow Arsenal to get anywhere near the title. Lee Probert, Webb, Mariner, Foy and that idiot yesterday who missed every assault launched by Birmingham’s truly horrible team (what IS Hleb doing there?) will ensure that they get the decisions that will allow them to win, just like yesterday. I predict they will also ensure that United stay unbeaten at Old Trafford as their away form has been so poor.

  48. I do not believe that “Whisky Nose” Ferguson has the influence as described. Whisky Nose is a self-styled socialist who loves spending other people’s money, BUT is a miser with his own. Raised in the shadows of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in Govan, trade union demarcation lines RULE OK!!! The only contracts left for these “work shy” zealots are cost-plus Government ship building orders. The “Rock of Gibraltar” horse stealing court case that Whisky Nose raised, showed the extent of the Ferguson family involvement in transfers and agency fees.

    The Whisky Nose acolytes are rampant in the EPL because instinctively they know what Whisky Nose requires from them. With the League Managers’ Assoaciation has no Code of Conduct, but is a Whisky Nose vehicle for his demand for control of “vital decisions”. Ferguson Senior is a good judge of a footballer and the composition and tactics of a football team. Give credit where credit is due, BUT Whisky Nose is not in the same league as Sir Matt Busby as a human being or as a gentleman.
    History will judge the merit of this “socialist” and will not be kind, once the critics are denied their partiality to the contents of the ManIOU whisky decanter.

  49. Nice brief piece Tony on a topic that seriously needs to be addressed more extensively and properly!
    I have been disgusted and ashamed by the hypocrisy and arrogance of the British footballing establishment and authorities spearheaded by the likes of Ferguson for some time, and i was furious following the 2018 world-cup-bid debacle when our failure was hugely deflected away from looking at just this very problem – is our football so clean and pure that we have the morality to criticise others such as FIFA?!
    Our self-proclaimed “good and the great” spout activities that are beyond corruptibility which is farcical when one has constantly seen behaviour that exhibits otherwise (usually placed under banners such as “mind games” or “they are a massive club” by the money-hungry media and fat-cat FA!  It’s footballing institutions like Ferguson and the FA that potentiate the hatred of the EPL by UEFA and FIFA! When sides such as MIOU see themselves as the pillars of footballing aristocracy with concomitant transparency and incorruptibility is laughable when their, un-punished, activities in past transfer markets, and now within the loan system, provide evidence of the complete opposite! Yes, one might say that the big Spanish and Italian clubs do the same but they are not in our top flight or lower leagues and are not really of our concern! Anyway, their time of pain has also started to come and will continue to do so!
    I am so very glad and relieved that the climate is now finally changing with the pending UEFA financial restrictions, and it’s only a short matter of time before ALL clubs that have been practicing amorally and unfairly are exposed and FORCED to live within their true means and address what they truly stand for (i refer here to Chelsea and Liverpool as wonderful examples)! Attaining fairness and self-sustainability is always painful to those who least expect it and those who have been living in a deluded fantasy world!
    On the match yesterday, mesmerising and wonderfully disciplined performance as our Xavi (Cesc) & Iniesta (Samir) showed one and all the inevitability of our Lord Wenger’s legacy! Amazing times at the Grove are well and truly nigh!

  50. Good article Tony. Clearly these player loans made by Manchester United-are a blatant front for favours being done for family members and friends. Yet another example of the lack of proper regulation of business between clubs in the Football League.
    Notoverthehill-I dont know what your dislike of socialism or Clydeside unions has to do with this-it seems to me that players need a stronger union in order to prevent them being hired and fired at will by unscrupulous over-powerful football bosses like Sir F.

  51. Tony, it has been a while but you have cost me some sleep this night. 😉

    The more I was thinking about it, the more scaring it got.
    If SAF barking when his son is being fired at PNE is enough to get some other managers joining in and making decisions against the interest of their own team this is a frightening thought.

    Calling back players on loan for no other reason because of SAF asking them shows that SAF has an influence that goes further than most of us could ever have dreamed. What next? Kick players from from teams who also fight for the title off the field because SAF asked them? Oops, this already happened. And then? Throw away games? Just give Utd the points like that?

    Maybe Arsenal should make a gesture and loan out their young players in group to PNE?

  52. Walter, I heard that suggestion made on ACLF as well and thought it was very funny and wicked a thought! Perhaps we could send them several players from the reserves and save PNE from relegation–perhaps get them into the playoff for promotion! It would really help kickoff a nasty rivalry between Wenger and Fergie–just like old times!

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