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  • TomPattison 14:55 on June 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Euro 2012, international football   

    Pattison’s Player Profiles: Euro 2012 Special 

    As well as having the pleasure of writing for The Faithful, I also guest on  the ‘Can they score?‘ podcast; a weekly pod reviewing the latest games, debating the latest news and previewing upcoming fixtures for our beloved Manchester United. This article first appeared on the blog of the same name. Please have a listen to the pod and if you like it subscribe via iTunes.

    So here we are then; sandwiched neatly between the Jubilee and the Olympics comes the real point of interest for the summer – the European Championships.  It feels like the end of an era as group stage competitiveness is sacrificed for a bloated 24 team format to indulge the whims of Platini.  Despite this I shall leave my cynics hat aside for once. I have spent the last few days eagerly hoovering up tournament previews and the result is a mood of quite giddy excitement. Regrettably what with teaching, playing football, podcasting and attempting to be a half decent husband I lack the deep knowledge of the European scene that messrs Cox and Marcotti gain from watching so many games. I have therefore picked out some players in a loose eleven that I am excited to see with a brief explanation of why. I may even chuck in the odd stat in as this is a set of Pattison Player Profiles after all. I made a rule that only one player per nation so please consider that before slating my choices. (More …)

  • TomPattison 12:04 on May 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Reasons to be Cheerful for MUFC 

    John Lennon once said that ‘life is what happens when you’re making other plans.’ He had a point. Fretting about the future comes naturally to me and my reaction to the events of Sunday was no different. Manchester really was blue; both the colour of the celebrating champions or the mood of distraught Reds. The fear that this was as close as we would be to glory for the foreseeable future felt unshakeable. ‘What if City dominate England? Europe? The world?!’ The foreboding sense was that the garish spectacle of trophies being paraded on the streets of Manchester by a glittering array of mercenaries was the shape of things to come. The future of Manchester United looked bleak. (More …)

    • A J Khan 16:41 on May 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      A very interesting article and a different way of looking at the present United plight. I have been supporting United long enough to fully understand your point of view and the value of United history not only to United fans but to English football as a whole. Only this week, David Gill was talking about United history when a player is choosing between United and another team. The commitment of the Neville brothers, Butt, Beckham, Scholes etc to United cause has been unbelievable throughout their United career and it is interesting that foreign players joining United are given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the club history. However, it will never replace the local player who has supported the club since childhood. I listen to Evra both on English and French media and he is always on about the history of the club and expectations from United players. Unfortunately, he’s an exception to the rule. Pogba is a typical case and I’m of the view that if a young player hasn’t got United in his soul after spending three years at the academy he’d better leave. Liverpool is suffering the same fate and only Carragher would give his life on the pitch for the club. Having said that, I don’t think we can linger on the past. Football has changed dramatically and unless a club brings in foreign internationals it would be very difficult to compete and it is part of the package that the foreign players will never have the same sense of belonging as the local lads. As Fergie once said about Ronaldo: If you can get six good years from a foreign player then it’s not bad. At the end of the day a combination of local and foreign players is a good compromise to maintain players commitment and a winning side. What should never be done is what Arsenal did recently when they didn’t have a single English player in their team. I think United have had some good foreign acquisitions in Park, Evra and Chicharito ( just to name these three ) both in terms of ability and club commitment but players like Tevez typifies exactly the opposite. It’s a matter of choosing the right ones.

    • Govan Red 13:25 on June 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Tom, great article, and spot on. We have some great youngsters coming through the Reserves and Academy. Hopefully a few will follow in Danny’s footsteps.

  • TomPattison 11:51 on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Fear And Loathing Of The Europa League – The MUFC Dilemma 

    O’ Europa League! How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways…..

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    • ChrisW 13:38 on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Oh lighten up. There are some decent teams in it, it could be fun.

      Personally I’m quite pleased that we will avoid our regular, humiliating football lesson at the hands of Barcelona. There’s still more work to be done before we are at their level. Until then I won’t miss the Champion’s League.

    • Philip Gatt 14:24 on February 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Very well written article, couldn’t agree more.

      I’ve been saying most of what you’ve written since United were knocked out of the Champions League, they’re in the Europa League as they’ve failed elsewhere.

      I’d probably feel better if United were in it from the start, though that would mean they had a rubbish season (by our standard) in the Premier League.

      Well done on an excellent post, and keep the good work up.

  • TomPattison 13:32 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    Alex Ferguson’s Lies – A Risk To Souring His Legacy? 

    This article gives me little pleasure to write.

    Alex Ferguson is, has been, and always will be something of a hero to me. Thanks to him my time supporting United has coincided with a seemingly endless run of success. A glorious chapter that could never have been foreseen by those, like my Dad, who have spent the bulk of their football life clinging onto the occasional cup success. However one of the sobering experiences of growing up is recognising your heroes to be less than the faultless, supreme beings you thought they were. Rightly or wrongly, I perceived Alex Ferguson as ‘different’, a bastion of truth, someone who understood what our great club means to the fans. No longer can this be argued to be the case; over the last half decade our manager has become not only distant but purposefully misleading in his communication with the fans.

    In short; Alex Ferguson is a liar.

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    • bruce thomas 14:09 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Couldn’t agree more. But nothing will change. Only when the real slide begins — and by then it may be too late to turn things round. Fucking Gimps.

      • Humanoid 19:40 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Apparently during Chelsea’s rise, United were dead. We came back. We conquered ALL. Fergie makes mistakes. Everyone does. He did with Djemba and co. But he kept his faith with certain players – O Shea, Fletcher, Park, Ronaldo, Rooney etc. All of them became pivotal players for us and we destroyed once more. What people forget is that Fergie is an old man. And old people are more prone to mistakes.

        But we’re FUCKING 2nd in the table. I am not dissapointed in any way with how this season is going. ESP when u consider most people wrote us off in the beginning.

    • Chris 14:28 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      You’re picking on the wrong guy. Ferguson manages the football team. If you have questions about the finances or underspending or ticket prices address them to David Gill. Ferguson, quite rightly, avoids getting involved in this stuff. He takes the money he is given to spend and tries to win trophies. The same as he did when we were a PLC.

    • Lawrence 14:29 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Look, every United fan knows the restraints the Glazers have put us under, but despite this we are only 3 points behind the most expensive group of mercenaries in footballing history and have a great chance of overtaking them in the title race, all this with a supposed average squad which has been depleted enormously by injuries. Add that to the fact 6 years ago we were in a much worse position than we are now.

      Answer me this, who would you rather see running the football club than the greatest manager to walk to earth, in any sport?

      • TomPattison 14:34 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I’m not calling for Ferguson to leave. He is the reason we are punching above our weight. I just feel he has drifted away from the fans over the past few years which is a crying shame for someone who will be regarded as the finest manager in our history. The way he wields his power to despatch players who cross him has always impressed me so it saddens me that he is unwilling to use that power to hold the owners to accounts when they squeeze the fans for every penny whilst lining their own pockets.

    • Rob B 14:34 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent article as ever Tom, and very thought provoking.

      Personally, I have very defined thoughts about this subject, and similar topics in football.

      With this sport, us fans have an almost metaphysical connection. Our thoughts are governed by emotion as opposed to logic…and we swallow most of the party lines that come out of our club (See LFC last few weeks) and digest in full stuff what we consume from the media, including tweets, etc.

      Ferguson is indeed a living legend within footballing circles, but I think the God-head status we give him as a man sometimes is over-the-top. He is indeed human. He is indeed an employee of a set of bosses we care nothing for. He does have his own agendas..which include being employed as manager of the worlds most famous team, and the fame, adulation and money that brings to an individual. I think the whole thing about him..and managers in general..having the responsibilty to bridge the gap between fan and club is wrong. For me his job is to win matches and to win trophies…and that is it. Football is not politics…at least not on the pitch. The stuff of it that goes on…press conferences, contract wrangles, mind games, etc…are all rubbish in my opinion. The only off field activities that fans can point at and take to heart are transfer signings, and issues of club finance (two facets that are connected at the hip)

      I totally understand many MUFC fans disillusionment with SAF backing of the Glazers, when many consider Fergie a beacon of truth…but thats simply comic book. He was never going to go against them…in the same way you or I do not rebel against a disliked boss…cos said boss pays your wage and that in turns pays your bills and lets you buy Ipads & George Foreman grills.. that matter in the common man’s suburban lifestyle of 2012.

      Ultimately Sir Alex, Manchester United, FIFA and every player on the planet lie to fans…using the press as a vehicle. It is not a case that one man who has been at the helm does anything different to anyone else in this twisted game. The question of lies needs to be directed at the game itself…if honesty is indeed the most importand thing we crave from it.

      Personally im not interested in Sir Alex’s opinions about anything other than playing related matters of urgency. Do I expect him to say our MF is trash and he agrees with the fanbase…not in the slightest…so therefore I dont crave his feed back on this. Results will dictate whether he still has the tools to do the job…if we were sat in Chelsea’s current position..id think it was time to start that debate.

      The old man is 70 now. He is at the endgame. I do not see anything him doing now as effecting his legacy at all. 20 years of success after Ron Atkinson’s jewellry and swagger? Not bad in my book. If City hadnt won the Middle East lottery then i just dont think this debate would be a topic of discussion

      The concept of a football club is no longer a socialist ideal…all linked together in a happy heirachy of mutual benefit. The football club is a capitalist model, and we all feed that with our season tickets, shirt purchasing and financial dedication to the brand. Sir Alex is just a cog (a huge one) in that machine. He sticks his rep on the line and I respect that. He knows he will upset some of the fans with his actions and words, but he rises above it…because trophies are his driver.

      I criticize the man all the time…but I will never forget what he delivered to a fallen giant that was once…and may well be again soon…a Manchester United team that regularly wins nothing….ever.

    • richard 14:39 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Have you completely lost the plot. 4 EPL titles in the last 5 years with a team in transition. The lost of VIDIC for the season, Anderson for 4 months, Cleverly for as long, both Brazilians FB’s for months,Fletcher for as long, Wellbeck in and out of the squad with injuries, same with Rio, Hernandez for a month, Smalling for weeks, Jones for weeks, Evans for weeks, Young for weeks. etc etc etc and yet we are 3 points back!!!! City buying up half the worlds best talent save Barcelona and Real Madrid and without serious injuries to their top players and yet we are 3 points back. No respectable United fan would argue against Ferguson.He has earned the right to do it his way!!!!!! The problem with some of us is that we have been spoiled!!

      • Minhaj 04:51 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Not at all he lost the plot mate. It doesn’t matter how long you have been at the club, doesn’t matter what legacy you have earned, BUT you have no right at all to mislead the faithful fans who pay their hard earned money to watch your team play. Ferguson has been lying all along in relation to transfers policies. Typical Fergie phrases like no value in the market and no quality in the market are utterly nonsense and misleading indeed. Where was no value in the market when he bought Juan Veron for then a club record of £28m, at a time our midfield was already gifted and talented if not one of the best. And how much game time did he got in his time at united? And how much profit did united made after selling him to Chelsea after only a short spell at our club? As far as i remember united sold him for not even half of the purchase fee!

        Where was the value and honesty when he said that he sold Beckham to Real Madrid for not able reject too good of a offer and that Beckham was approaching end of his career. and it was all against Beckham’s will is well. That guy loves & dreamed to end his playing career at united. Anyone who even has the most stupidiest brain ever would know that Beckham perhaps is the only sports person in the world that would still bring you profit even if he gets paid the highest salary and that including even if he don’t get any game under his belt.
        He was sold to Real for such a high fee that most of which they recover after only two weeks of his number 23 shirt selling. And in my humble opinion he would still walk into our current midfield at any given day. He can still surely cross better then CARRICK can’t he? In addition he can still assist goals, he can still score a goal every often compare to CARRICK’s one in a million year and he would still have the best corners and free kicks taking ability compare to not only CARRICK but also the rest. All he wanted is Beckham out of united, simply he had a bust up with him. HE LIED!
        All i am saying we have made Fergie is our GOD and he has started to misuse his authority. “No question about it” (Fergie’s best phrase)

        • Humanoid 19:57 on January 8, 2012 Permalink

          youre forgetting that even with those few bad decisions we still owned the fucking league, mate.

          i mean if as a United suporter u cant trust fergie who has destroyed and rebuilt teams succesfuilly over the years than you might as well just leave the damn hall.

          and LOL at your Carrick criticism. He isnt a Roy Keane type of midfield general or a Scholes type goalscorer mf. Stop treating him like he’s one. Here’s a piece of advice mate. Get your head out your arse and start actually watching matches and analyzing these things. People like you are a stain on this club.

    • TomPattison 14:57 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I guess being an idealist I hoped Ferguson might be different to the rest given the length of time he has been at the club. My expectations of that have never been high – especially his claim that looking after his twenty staff were all he cared about when the Glazers took over. It does stick in the throat though that other clubs – especially in Europe – don’t run themselves in a fashion where the fans are so low on their list of priorities.

      I agree that we have certainly been spoiled Richard and expect and understand your reaction to criticism.

    • Stecraven 14:57 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I do think the injuries the squad have suffered from has exasperated our situation but let’s be honest our MF problems have been well documented for 2-3 years.

      I agree with Rob, if the bitters hadn’t won the middle east lottery we wouldn’t be talking so negatively as a fan base. We have to look at the bigger picture because when Abramovich came to Chelsea the same conversations happened, we were finished, it was the end of an era etc etc. But history tells us that any of the teams who have this massive cash injection over a short period of time and challenge us may burn brightly for a short period of time but then normal service is resumed (in my lifetime blackburn, chelski spring to mind).

      Rob also makes a great point that in the wider picture, as the general public, we are lied to and manipulated on a DAILY basis. With the way the beautiful game is such a capitalist venture like any other big business, we would be naive to think that the same doesn’t apply to football.

    • gareth lewis 15:46 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I agree, however i think it is Fergie who does not want to spend! He is always on about no value in the transfer market, but he has wasted money in transfers of sub standard players over the past few years which could have bought us one top class midfield player, i do not think that he could not get the money, i think he is pig headed in trying to raise another youth team like he did over 12 years ago.

      • Minhaj 05:01 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        AND WHY SPEND £18ML on someone like CARRICK, i mean WTF
        i mean with same amount we could have bought 18 Demba BA’s and convert them into midfielders
        and surely at least one of them would have become a better player then CARRICK.

        • Humanoid 19:55 on January 8, 2012 Permalink

          If you have even the slightest of a footballing brain you’d realize that Carrick has been integral to our success ever since he came, its just the last 2 years that his form dipped.

    • Ryan 16:22 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Great article. Brave too because not many would be able to say this about Fergie because of all he’s done, but I agree with most that’s been said. We bring in the most revenue in the world, yet we cannot spend it. Everybody knew what was was going to happen when the Glazers came in, everybody knows what really is going on now and Alex is denying it. I firmly believe that the Green/Gold protests should start again. I also agree with the fact that he distances himself from the fans. This firstly with the media who cannot ask him a proper question – they’re all shaking and stuttering because they are so afraid. It also coincides with the fact that he doesn’t bring out books anymore, like he did in his earlier years.

    • dq73 19:12 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Perfectly put! any fool can see we need investment, I’m not buying the whole – no value, nobody of sufficent quality etc lines. We dont just need to compete in the prem with city etc, were suppose to be member of the elite world class clubs, the best of the best, so we also need to compete and surpass the Barcalona’s and R-Madrids. How can we expect to do this with our current team/squad. With the exception of Vidic NO WORLD CLASS PLAYERS. WhenRonaldo left so did the fantacy, style and swagger. World class players used to want to Play for Utd, now it seem the prefer to go else where, including city. No doubt the Sir Alex knows best brigade will condem any criticism of him and say give it time, Tom Cleverly will be back soon, we dont need to invest, and believe all the Glazer/SAF mantra. As the article says, SAF does make mistakes and plenty of them, I dont want to believe he is the Glazers pupet, but is seems obvious to 90% of fans and experienced pundits alike that the team isnt currently good enough yet he “says” there wont be any new faces. I believe he should be more accountable and take on board the views of the fans, does he think he is the supreme leader and that were all North Korean.

    • Brendan 19:30 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Didn’t Roy Keane say ‘People say Ferguson always does what is right for Man United. I don’t think he does. I think he does what is right for him”.

      • Humanoid 19:37 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        The irony of the situation is that so does Roy Keane. And since Fergie is the manager of the club, and is employed to them, whenever he thinks about himself he thinks about the club BY EXTENSION.

    • Brendan 19:38 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      just seen the keane quote at the bottom sorry lol. yeah i agree 100% on this

    • dee 21:04 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      im a season ticket holder for the past 5 years. ive been supporting all my life. Sir Alex Ferguson is perfection. All his actions are in the best interests of the club. you are just a t**t. if av a problem. F**k off. we dont want u as a utd fan. And dont wana hear the rubbish.

      • TomPattison 22:26 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        I am a huge fan of Ferguson and indebted to what he has done in terms of success – but to claim he is perfection I’m afraid is utterly blinkered. No-one can be perfection. Like any human – however brilliant – he is fallible. He has acknowledged to mistakes in the past himself such as the sale of Stam. I’m sorry if it isn’t clear enough to you but I feel I articulate the point that it is the heart of the club – the fans – that I believe are not being served in recent years. Despite your polite request I won’t stop following the club I love because you don’t share my point of you.

      • Minhaj 05:15 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Go and suck Fergie’s d***

    • RedScot 21:15 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Having read this article twice, I simply cannot believe what I am reading to be honest.
      Utterly amazed this post has not be met with the type of response that was written on the Faithful during the Patrice Evra article, naturally with out the vulgarities and racial undertones.

      Its quiet sad that a mere few months after Sir Alex’s silver laden jubilee and the North stand being renamed the Sir Alex Ferguson stand . The fabulous testaments that were written bye nearly every United forum on how they adored him and what he had done for Manchester United. Providing so much pleasure and unrivalled success, to now witness such ‘back- stabbing.

      1. Are you unhappy that United have just won their 19th premiership title knocking his aim, and your know doubt of their perch?
      2. Are you unhappy he has led United to 3 champions league finals in the last 4 years.Before this season.To be eliminated in the final bye arguably the greatest club side in the World ever.Winning the champions league cup for United for the 2nd time.
      3.Are you unhappy we sit 3 points off Manchester City ( having spent nearly 1/2 a Billion pounds) to assemble the squad.With 18 games to go.
      4.If you expect him to come out and be critical of the Glazer for the lack of investment in United. Approx £ 10.1 Million per season under their tutelage.What shall he say. “They are s***e owners and do not support me with funding.How will that help.
      5. If you think they are s***e owners and you have a season ticket at Old trafford you are a hypocrite.
      And rather than blame Sir Alex Ferguson and call him a liar look at yourself.
      6. If you want to help the situation get behind the team and the players we have.
      7. Sir Alex will be gone in the not to distant future, then we will see what he provided in his 25 years to date and whatever the small remaining period may bring.
      8.The way you paint it in the article most of it Red Herrings, is he has the ‘wagons circled’ all the time.No he is defending Manchester United against external critics.Letting them know, this is my lifes work.You will not ridicule or malign my club. Manchester United.
      9. As I said I am absoloutely amazed to read this and can’t imagine what would provoke such an article at this time of the season. As a club we should all be pushing on, and fully supporting the football club.Not in my opinion trying to nail the manager to a cross, to crucify him.
      10. David Gill is culpable and the ‘financer’ and its him you should direct questions at regards lack of funds, if it is the team you believe is so wrong.Which I believe, but I support United and whatever players we have, to otherwise defeats what I am. A young United supporter.
      11. If you are unhappy with him, and seriously think he is a ‘ liar’ maybe he should resign.That would solve everything.Yes?

      This will be the last time I post on the Faithful, I will not be party to a site that thinks my ‘hero’ is a liar.

      • Minhaj 05:13 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        This is what i mean, people like Scott are so old and gold that they still think like they’re still living in the 1960′s. People like Scott made Fergie who’s today. People like Scott him from Sir Alex Ferguson into King Of EGOson. People like Scott made him the ultimate GOD.

      • Humanoid 19:37 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Thank you for posting the same thoughts I had formulated in my heart, RedScot.

        • Minhaj 21:43 on January 8, 2012 Permalink

          Ha ha u welcome matey but THIS IS 2012 :)

    • Alan 22:07 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      As a supporter of sixty three years, can’t argue with that. Looks like the feet of clay syndrome. Will he tread the same path as Brian Clough?

    • Alex 23:16 on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      My god. You are an idiot.

    • jarul 02:34 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      i agree 100% with you
      the problem is ferguson afraid of glazer
      i think it is time to quit

    • red devil 69 02:56 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Alex Ferguson will prove you wrong again. Then you you back stabbing twats will pretend you always supported him!

      • eric the king 09:53 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Why is it backstabbing to prove somebody is lying to you? Stop being such a fool, the article doesn’t call for him to quit, it calls him a liar.

    • Minhaj 03:45 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Oh my fukin God you’re the person, the first person i found that matches my opinion 110%. I just don’t have your excellent writing quality. Anyway what p***** me most is that when Fergie say there isn’t a quality player up there to challenge the existing one’s, is like we have Xavi & Iniesta in our midfield. We have perhaps one of the Shiitest midfield even compare to Blackburn & Bolton. And most of all I HATE CARRICK.

    • jon0077 05:35 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant!!! I only wish someone would make him read it, i’ve been saying it all along, well done great stuff!!

    • Dave 08:25 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent, I agree with everything and very well written. The “no value in the market” & “we only want quality players who will improve the team” type comments annoy me so much, smacks of not only lies but complete madness when you look at Bebe, Obertan etc. I read fans comments all the time and it strikes me that we feel he cannot do a thing wrong and the old ‘trust Alex’ stuff is always said. The fact is he has lied to us to protect those yank twats and thus is biting the hand that feeds him. It’s a disgrace that we can’t compete for the players that have quite obviously joined city for money but the players that are responsible for their rise. So Alex, Bebe was worth 7 million but Aguero & Silva weren’t worth their costs??? Silva wanted to signfor us. All these would be coaches who said Schneijder wouldn’t fit in etc suckin up to Ferguson & his smokescreens.. Great article that says everything I’ve thought for s few yrs…

      • Minhaj 21:47 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        “no value in the market” & “we only want quality players who will improve the team” 

        They annoy you BUT they PISSES ME OFF mate. Its so obvious that he don’t have the financial backing or simply lying, FULL STOP.

    • Tom Addison 09:37 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Cracking stuff mate, great argument and bloody well put, can’t disagree with a word of it

    • eric the king 09:51 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I’m so glad somebody is putting into an article what I’ve been saying for years vocally.
      Yes, I’m so grateful for the memories of the fantastic teams of 94, 96 & 99. Andw of course 2008.

      The worst thing is, they are quickly becoming memories. The team compared to that just 3 years ago is shocking. No recognized rightback, indecision in goal, which is no criticism of de gea, he simply does not have the experience, the embarrassing bottom half of premiership quality centre midfield, & on & on.

      The problem in writing an article like this is, as I expected, you attract the snipers at once.
      You haven’t called for fergie to resign, we ALL know we would be much further down the league with theses players & ANY OTHER manager.
      But just because of this, you cannot detract from serious issues.
      No, he won’t directly criticize his paymasters & put himself out of a job, but surely he has the financial security to not have to go to such pitiful lengths to protect the glazers & to actually slate people for daring to point out the obvious.
      Don’t forget, this is also the shipyard shopsteward, your common working man, who told probably some of the clubs most fanatic, & time serving supporters to f off & support chelsea if they don’t like it, because they dared to point out this day was coming.
      Just because you have the honestly to say, hey, actually, everything isn’t ok in the once rosy united garden, does not make you a traitor. The facts are you ARE being lied to, & as I knew, the fergie knows best brigade, come steaming out, put it this way, if utd was their marriage, would they put up with such dishonesty & contempt from their wife. To pretend the problems dont exist is to be somebody’s fool, & it doesn’t make you less of a fan.
      As rightly pointed out, much of this falls at Gills feet also, though the article isn’t about Gill.
      As it says, its about lies, & to claim that money is there, decent players aren’t gets more pathetic by the week. Tell that to city, Madrid, barca etc. As for y’days comments of “who do you get in January,? Nobody!”, well tell that to messers vidic & evra.

      For the record, although always against the gimps takeover, I kept going til summer 2009, which I guess does make me a bit of a hypocrite, though better that than a mug, then I jacked in because I simply could not accept the theft of the Ronaldo money. The people pretending that 3 points behind, injuries etc, & totally ignoring the massive incomes yet cronic underinvestment aren’t uberfans in my book, they are merely encouraging the problem, though its not my place to tell them how to live their lives.

      If something is not right, despite doubts of owing loyalty that you will obviously feel, don’t be afraid to point it out, you get nowhere in life turning a blindeye & being taken for an idiot.

      • Humanoid 19:47 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        here’s a question for ya mate. how did u feel in 2005 and 2006? when united went down the gutter for real? u really think our team of this year is as inconsistent as that team? we’re still challenging for the title and doing quite well, just 3 points off the pace and just knocked city out the FA cup. but we rebuild with that 2005 side too and won the UCL in 08. so yeah.

        If someone is giving u good memories, u need to accept the bad memories that come along with it. because I’m sure 20 years of mediocrity with an un-lying supposedly honest manager wont sound as good as 20 years of awesomeness with a few blip years here and there.

        • eric the king 23:15 on January 9, 2012 Permalink

          I totally appreciate not all times will be great, however in 2005&6 we weren’t being starved of cash like we are now. If we were playing in front of 25000 & charging a tenner for tickets & we didn’t have such massive amounts of cash coming in, fair enough, but thats not the case, far from it, & I would say fergie would have more dignity saying nothing on what is surely a tricky situation for him, that take people for fools with this money is there bollocks, I’ve been allowed to sign whoever I want.
          We used to bully clubs, like the stam, ruud situations to get the top players we wanted, now if chelsea or the like get mentioned, unless its a case of like ashley young who had eues only for united, then we won’t even try to compete for them.
          That’s what I find unacceptable. I’m not calling for fergies head, I’m saying stop taking people for fools to protect the thieving Gimp parasites.

    • Adam Love 09:53 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Couldn’t agree more. I can’t believe Ferguson has sat back and let the Glazers destroy the empire he helped to build.

      • Humanoid 19:36 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Since the Glazers came in, we’ve won trophies. Same as before. Empire being destroyed? What drugs you on, mate? Send some my way. ;)

        • Minhaj 21:52 on January 8, 2012 Permalink

          @ Humanoid the NO1 GLAZERS online blogging agent, what is your per blog wage mate, tiny must be $$$ yes? Go and fukk Glazers mom you dikhead!
          We carry on winning is because of our already established foundation and the Yanks contributed nothing but destroying our beloved club!

    • Tony 12:27 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant resume of the reality with Ferguson. I suspect he is happier with old men players round him as it makes him feel he still young but in truth he has lost his way leaving players like Morrison and Pogba likely to leave soon yet keeping rubbish like Park, Gibson, past-it Giggs et al.

      • Nigel 18:36 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Past- it Giggs? He’s getting even better, I can’t believe the negativity. So, SAF isn’t giving youth a chance, with Welbeck, Jones, Smalling, De Gea .. and De Gea doesn’t have the experience? Do you think Pogba and Morrison do? From what I’ve seen of them, they’re both good prospects, nothing more as yet and don’t deserve a chance above the excellent Giggs and Carrick. Cleverley is a far more certain bet.

    • Nik 12:50 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply


    • Humanoid 19:32 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      “At times his treatment of the fans has been verging on contempt.”

      To be honest, if the fans had called for my head right before I had delivered to them the type of success that they could have never even dreamed off, I would treat them with the HIGHEST of contempt. Just saying.

    • Minhaj 19:35 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply


    • Minhaj 19:35 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply


    • Humanoid 20:02 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      All the comments here… they remind me of something that’s very common in our modern society.

      A parent cares for his kid but the kid takes up little points and turns them into huge things to cause an argument over, even if the kid’s life is going swell and the parent has a proven track record of dealing with the hard times and bringing in more happy periods. But the kid will always be an ungrateful brat who takes up a couple points where the parent lied as things to cause wars over. My suggestion to all you success spoilt brats – keep calm or leave the hall. Y’all acting like we’re in the relegation zone. Y’all acting like you never told a lie in your life. Y’all acting like a bunch of people who’ve never seen how a real rugged old school fucker with a sense of pride acts. Because that’s Alex Ferguson. And that’s why I will always admire him. He takes no shit, not even from the fans.

      And this marks the end of my comments. I know better than to argue with close minded people who only see their side of the picture.

    • Dean ,Collyhurst, Manchester 20:36 on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      This used to be a good well respected united blog, but articles like this and most of the comments that follow read like the childish spoilt ignorant sort of thing you see on the clubs facebook page.

      I suppose this is just the typical attitude of the clueless new age internet plastic United fan.

    • Roy Brennan 09:39 on January 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Absolutely spot on…a galloping case of Roman Emperor Syndrome – well done!

      Fergie should have backed the fans many times over and yet instead he chooses to lie down with the Glazer camels. Ultimately either he or the next manager will wake up with fleas and a club in irrevocable decline.

      He is a genius, and I admire and love him for what he has brought to our club over the years, but he’s sadly also a massive liar and I find his attitude toward the fans unacceptable. I gave my season ticket back some time ago and I fear greatly for the future of our club.

      Without its true fans, a football club is already in decline IMO. SAF’s actions, together with Judas Gill, are actually aiding the Glazer parasites to gradually bleed the club to death. I for one thought that he stood for much better principles than have been demonstrated and feel utterly betrayed by him, his condescending comments towards the supporters and his continuing silence and support for the greedy asset stripping owners…

  • TomPattison 17:29 on December 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    MUFC Books: The Difference Between Bloggers And Writers… 

    All human beings frequently adopt a persona when interacting with others. The explosion of social networking has catapulted this previously latent behavioural quirk into a key element of our social lives. Nowhere is this truth more evident than the unholy union of Football and twitter.

    For some it is the brash, ‘take me as I am’, extrovert persona that provokes worship and contempt in roughly equal measure. For others it is the weathered, cynic who has seen it all before and shrugs their shoulders at the predictability of it all. Then there is the self-deprecating, understated approach; reticent to partake in open opinion warfare preferring instead to offer isolated observations to hopefully rise above the crossfire.

    I’ll leave it to others to judge where I should be pigeon holed. Yet I confess that beneath my veneer of politeness lurks an ego; an ego dangerously massaged by my words being read or heard via blog and pod. An ego which arrogantly feeds off the proviso that the views that I spout about Manchester United are based on a near complete knowledge of my subject.

    A wake up call arrived courtesy of Father Christmas. A realisation that too often I have vainly exerted more effort propagating my own views than furthering my knowledge of both club and sport. Knowledge that the festive season has exposed as meagre. Somewhat pretentiously the books I requested for Christmas were written by people I have interacted with through twitter; fuelled by a misconception that they are my contemporaries because we share a new media pathway. How wrong I was. The distinction between professional writer and casual blogger is a debate for another time but the quality evident in these published works is certainly food for thought.

    (More …)

    • Jason Kahn 18:06 on December 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This was an enjoyable, very self-aware take on the spate of amateur pundits on Twitter who crave validation more than anything else. With the exception of their articulation, the more ‘uppity’ MUFC contingent (ROM blogers, The Faithful, etc) usually don’t offer anything more insightful than the average fan who simply enjoys watching and playing the game. It’s very important that more people focus on what bloggers / writers are saying, rather than how flowery it comes across – whether one is discussing football or anything else for that matter. Men who made careers at professional levels of the game are really the only ones who can even begin to take the moral high ground, albeit at the expense of aesthetics. Every self-proclaimed expert is just trying to be heard over the din with whatever extraneous talents they can muster – especially on Twitter.

  • TomPattison 16:32 on December 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    United in Crisis? Keep calm and carry on. 

    Age can be a curse. Despite being a spritely twenty eight I spend a remarkable amout of my life being reminded that I am ‘not as young as I used to be.’ As a teacher I look upon my Sixth Form students in particular with a mixture of sympathy and jealousy for all the excitement and heartbreak they are faced with on a daily basis. I seem to be discovering new muscles to pull with each football game I play whereas ten years ago I would think nothing of playing two games in a day. One night on the lash renders me entirely obsolete for at least 24 hours and the nocturnal lost weekends of my early twenties seem but a distant memory. Even in my part-time role of ill-informed United analyst on a United podcast I am routinely taunted for my advanced years compared to some of my junior contemporaries who probably celebrated the treble by writing ‘MUFC forever’ on their school bag. Allegedly though there is an upside to this onset of middle age – perspective. In this post I will attempt to delve into my archives to explain that the recent headlines proclaiming ‘United in Crisis’ are nothing new and should are rarely pre-cursors for the doom they predict.

    (More …)

  • TomPattison 10:49 on September 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Leeds, Hargreaves & Hatred: Why MUFC fans refuse to look on the bright side. 

    100% record.

    Infusion of exciting young players.

    Bucketloads of goals sweeping all before them.

    This is a good time to be a Manchester United fan, actually scratch that, this is a GREAT time to be a Manchester United fan. The youthful adventurism we had been craving has arrived and even earned a surprising number of admirers for our faith in raw British talent. Over this week however it struck me that even with all this cause for jubilation, several United fans remain committed to nashing their teeth at all around them. In this post I will attempt to reflect on why many United fans appear so keen to hate.

    (More …)

    • tony 11:08 on September 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      didn’t expect to ever read a united blog and agree with the writer! ..as a city fan may i say you are welcome in any city pub i frequent any time mate, you are a intelligent football fan and i am positive your comments will earn you a terrible backlash from a lot of utd fans, the sort who have succeeded in making utd the most hated football club in the uk , if not the world, but stick to your guns mate cos you talk a lot of sense.
      good luck with the idiots mate but i’m sure you can handle them!!!! lol.

    • Henry 14:45 on September 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Good article!
      It always mystifies me why it is ‘other clubs’ that have the idiots, when common sense tells us that fans everywhere are the SAME.
      Good, bad and indifferent!
      The fact that the press has a bias against certain clubs does not help!
      Liverpool fans frighten me the most, but I have some bad moments at most clubs.
      The bigger the club, the bigger the problem.
      It does reflect society at large, but in the heat of the moment, we all can let anger and frustration take over.
      Not just the fans but the players and management forget that it is just a game.
      When the opposition player fouls, we want him booked or sent off.
      Our own player “was making an honest attempt at getting the ball”!
      Hypocrisy makes the world go round.
      Without the passion, it would not be the same game.

  • TomPattison 13:09 on September 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Why I chose Manchester United over England. 

    Another tournament , another scapegoat.

    Ten years ago the unthinkable happened. I remember it well; I was working until six and the whole town seemed to shut down by five. Still my boss wouldn’t let me knock off early and it was only an uncharacteristically energetic dash to the pub that ensured I made it in time for kick off.

    Thank God I did; despite going behind we turned the match on its head and routed the opposition. Our biggest tormentor was on his knees! The reaction to the goals ranged from disbelief, to jubilation, to hysterical laughter. Every single goal was scored by an employee of Liverpool football club yet it mattered not one bit. I felt on cloud nine. A huge night unfolded as it seemed everyone was sharing the joy. We had all won and partisanship was put aside as we celebrated into the night. Our small town nightclub even lifted it’s prohibition on wearing sportswear so the dance floor could be filled by polyester Umbro shirts stained with Metz and Boddingtons.

    I’m 28 years of age and for my generation that demolition of Germany in Munich sits alongside the drubbing of Holland five years earlier as genuinely great moments watching England. Sadly they are isolated incidents and I have never felt that same rush when watching my nation since. I have fallen out of love with my national team and I’d like to explain why. (More …)

    • wiuru 13:43 on September 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Great read and true . ill be watching Scotland only to see how Darren Fletcher is looking . Absolutley no interest to this day how our national team do .Re-jig the FA root and branch then maybe that mindset will change .

      • TomPattison 13:56 on September 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks wiuru. I have to say I take no pleasure in the situation. When I see the pride fans of other countries like Ghana I actually wish I felt the same about my national team but all the England car flags feel fake when it seems to always degenerate into arguments between supporters of different clubs.

    • Alan Gilpin 14:17 on September 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry Tom, I stopped reading shortly after you stated that Neville was part of the nucleus of the national team! He only played for England at right back and only because noone else could fill that role. England in the late 90′s and early 00′s was never about United nor was it ever filled with United players to the brink. You are sadly slanting the National side towards the English side you favour because you are biased by this.

      Watching England is about being English. I’ve supported Villa for my sins and for years and yet I’ve not claimed that England is Villa through & through when actually in recent history there have been more Villa players in the National side than any other team in football. Do we complain about our stars being taken for International Duty? No, we’re proud as a club to have them on our books, unlike too many other clubs that put their side ahead of the National team and this results in their supporters doing the same. This doesn’t happen in Spain, who are now the giants of International football.

      If you want to know why England are so behind in world football you simply need to look at its top teams and how they “protect” their players from playing for their country.

      • TomPattison 14:27 on September 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Fair points Alan and I admire your passion.

        Villa certainly have a proud history of producing players who have represented England and you are right to celebrate that. I’m not certain what you mean when alluding to clubs putting their side ahead of the national team. First and foremost the priority of any football club should be to achieve their own goals with any national consideration secondary. Despite this my own team pulled out of the FA Cup to support the England bid for World Cup 2006 (and were promptly hung out to dry by the FA) to serve the national good. United also did not stand in the way of Beckham playing for England in 2002 when clearly unfit to do so and the same again in 2006 when Rooney was chosen and played despite being far from match fit.

        I would also politely request that if you are going to comment on an article you have decency to read it to it’s conclusion as it is unfair to judge individual points without considering the wider context of the piece.

      • Salford Red or Dead 15:51 on September 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I’m sorry Alan, but the reality of it is playing England, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Arsenal or Man City, etc will never be as higher honor as playing for Manchester United. The legacy, traditions and standard of play will always be far higher at MUFC than it will be with England. Even when England won the World Cup in 1966, the foreign media at the time made the point that Manchester United’s team were of a higher level then the national team with Best and Law etc. It may be hard for you to take and therefore you may react bitterly, but it’s the truth im afraid.
        The jealously shown by opposition fans towards ManchesterUnited players, such as yourself when you say Neville, a European cup winner, twice, not to mention Englands most decorated right back, was only in the team because there was no-one better shows your envy, and illustrates why MUFC supporters pity England and its ignorant supporters. Your right in saying there was no-one better than Neville, because he was a class player and a winner and respected throughout Europe. Despite SAF almost single-handedly saving English football and dragging it out of the dark ages and into the future, you can already see the jealously towards United’s new crop of young stars creeping in. If England played football the MUFC way they would mucch more respected in world football rather than a joke.
        All this is without mentioning England’s shit, classless, racist scumbag, little ingurlander, bigoted support.
        United’s hardcore support is famously anti-facist to the core, so, as we like to remind grounds up and down the country on regular basis, much the bigots annoyance, “you can shove your shitty England up your arse!”

        UNITED>ENGLAND, Always have been, always will be.

    • Rob B 16:46 on September 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Bright and interesting article Tom

      I finally fell out of love with England after this last World Cup. It was the final straw. Terry crossing swords in a press conference. Total apathy on the pitch. What really is the point in supporting all that as things are? If the players have little national pride and are more turned on by the colour of money, then what Alan says above about being English is null en void.

      I accepted for years hearing United players booed by the so called brilliant supporters England have. Wembley would cheer the Villa players for sure…but would then boo when Nicky Butt touched the ball. Or Nev. Or Becks in the early days. It made you sick. Yet United fans are castigated when these facts turn us off from the national side? Who cares…we certainly dont.

      I will continue to avidly support the English cricket team…cheer on GB athletes on the track, and generally pin my national colours to my chest for any sport the country plays. But while England are captained by a cretin, and have sub human beings trotting their way through the team such as Ashley Cole and Gerrard…then I …and many Reds…just aint interested.

    • @JasTheDevil 17:29 on September 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Great article, Tom. I’m forced to support the USMNT, whose crowning glory was Donovan’s goal vs Algeria. We haven’t been very good and probably won’t be for some time. Manchester United trumps just about everything in my life, sports or otherwise.

  • TomPattison 15:34 on August 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Young United Reds Earn Their Spurs. But Can They Really Keep This Up?? 

    So the season is really under way. That unrivalled feeling of excitement as you feverishly seek out match reports from each and every newspaper, site and blog to relive the match all over again. It is fair to say that a buoyancy has enveloped United supporters which began in pre-season and reached its highest point so far last night as a young team triumphed over an established Premier League force. When I say young, I really mean it, not like when Ferguson still describes Darron Gibson as a young man, this team was proper young. To put it in context, as I was tweeted last night, only Rooney, Young and Evra from the team that lined up against Spurs were even BORN when Ferguson became manager of Manchester United.

    Take a moment and reflect on that.

    Good isn’t it?

    Like the miserable happiness destroyer that I am I’d like to reach up and drag you off cloud nine, shove some black coffees down your inebriated soul and bring some sober reflection to the events of last night. A crucial process that I am forever telling the kids I teach is to identify not only what could have been done better, but also what went well. A victory without recognising how you achieved can all too easily remain an isolated triumph. There is already a plethora of blog articles rightly hailing the glorious football that brought three high quality goals but I want to raise a few of my own reflections that I haven’t seen covered in-depth elsewhere. (More …)

    • DAVSPURS 15:54 on August 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yes if the want to become ill like Fletcher and banned like Kolo Toure don’t be fooled its tunnel Top up

    • Jonno 16:32 on August 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Errr Davspurs, in english please?

    • Red 20:15 on August 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I would be loathed to put too much pressure on these Kids at this stage. To be honest, when I saw whats Tottenhams midfield was last night coupled with the unrest within their squad and inability to ever beat us I expected a rout. 3 – 0 was probably the least I was expecting but I did not expect them to match us for the first hour and create us the problems that they did. Yes the last half hour saw us put the burners on and them wilt but on the basis of last night and the opening day at the hawthorns I think that we should be letting the potential develop quietly rather than exaggerate its relevance at this stage. I fully expect to see more of our experienced players in the coming months and for me the jury is very much out on our keeper. I have not doubt he will be top draw but I just worry about him at present, particularly given that up soon is both Bolton and Stoke away where he will have everything chucked at him in the sky.

    • Written Offside 21:06 on August 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Great review Tom, I really enjoyed the way you picked out the things that others (including me no doubt) missed.
      I agree 100% about how often the key to success is in the mind with Gary Neville the example of someone who made the most of limited ability but huge strength of mind.

      As good in written form as you were on our podcast recently Tom, I look forward to your next piece.

    • Philip Gatt 08:35 on August 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I really enjoyed reading this article, it gives a different, positive view about this ‘new’ United team.

      It won’t all be smooth-sailing, but as always, the players and fans will be ready for it, and we all look forward to another roller-coaster of a ride throughout the season, with hopefully a lot more ups than downs as the season progresses.

      Well done on a very good post.

    • Red 19:47 on August 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply


  • TomPattison 08:09 on August 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Fear of the Unknown: Are United stronger than last season? 

    The ‘unknown’ very much characterises what lies ahead for this season. In this concluding part of my season preview I am going to speculate on the second great ‘unknown’ which will determine the direction of Manchester United over the next ten months.

    1)     Are United stronger than last season?

    I won’t make many friends by saying this but I believe in some ways we got lucky last season. Chelsea were undermined spectacularly by their owner, Arsenal undermined by the intransigence of their manager, and City took two-thirds of the season to gel as a team. In fact an argument could be made that were it not for the criminally underrated contribution of Nani whilst we patiently waited for our number ten to finish his self-imposed gap year we might not have been in a position to benefit from our rivals’ flaws. The football we played in the final three months of last season was a joy and the overdue return to focusing on pace and swift movement produced a team to be proud of.

    (More …)

    • hugh williams 08:26 on August 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      i think they are the team is very attack minded and lots of quick young player can’t wait for the league to kick off

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