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If the Devil is Six then God is Seven

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  • If the Devil is Six then God is Seven

    If the Devil is Six then God is Seven
    By: Meatbag Manifesto

    We charge £10 per year to access the advert-free . We use that money to provide original content from match going reds like this article - or video diaries from European away trips. You also get access to the Groundside message board. Enjoy the article.

    All you ever hear about players is that they are the first in to training every morning and the last to leave. If every single player was the first player in to training every morning and the last to leave, then every single player would be constantly in training, and if they were, then nobody could ever be the last to leave or the first to re-enter, so somebody somewhere is telling porkies. And it ain’t me.

    David Beckham is one such cat. It’s ten years since his particular circus left town and he’s still going, having just made headlines with a move to Paris Saint Germain and donating his wages to a Parisien children’s charity. Fair fucks and all that – he doesn’t need the dough – but what’s 100 odd grand a week to someone like Beckham anyway? His commercial appeal is a direct result of his clean cut image and this will only enhance that image. Thus it will enhance his commercial appeal. Thus it will enhance his marketability. Cynical maybe, but it’s a win win situation for all concerned. Part of you is automatically drawn to thinking “should United have taken a punt?”

    There’s no doubt that Beckham is still fit and is younger than Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs; both still cutting it at OT. If he was going to waive remuneration then we literally would have nothing to lose, and the three wingers at our club are all having their own difficulties at the club at present. Valencia is suffering from a crisis in confidence. His effectiveness was in his no-nonsense approach and he seems to have forgotten that. It used to be a case of: get it, shift it two yards, drive it into the box. We scored lots of goals that way over the last 3 years. Now it’s more like: get it, stand still, pass it back to the full back or into midfield. It seems there is something short circuiting in his brain after the ‘get it’ stage and he just can’t see the process through. It’s the footballing equivalent of the yips.

    The alternatives are Nani and Young. The former continues to be capable of moments of brilliance but far more moments of complete brainlessness and is constantly being linked with a move away. The latter is slightly more consistent than Nani but with just not as much talent. I’m still not sure how much he actually adds to the team. Beckham might have been a canny addition to the squad for the second half of the season but realistically, Ferguson would never sanction such a media feeding frenzy and overall you still think – a decade on – that we probably parted company at just about the right time.

    There is also Wilfried Zaha. I’ve never seen him play but similarly hyped and sought-after youngsters such as Gareth Bale have slipped through the net in recent years and gone on to be shit hot, so it’s good to see United finally bag one of them. He’s also got the potential to expand United’s song book outside of reworkings of ‘This is How it Feels’ and ‘Sloop John B’. There’s a ‘Rock the Casbah’ based nugget in there for starters, though “Nani, he won’t like it…”

    On the subject of United fans being idiots, White Hart Lane last week provided further ammunitition. 90% of people in the world are bell ends. You only have to anywhere that there is a high concentration of humanity to see that, such as airports or the city centre on a Saturday afternoon. Football matches, too, are awash with people – and thus idiots. Much has been made of the shambles outside the away end at Spurs and it’s true that the police were obtusely trying to force 1000 or so people through a single file entry point and a close encounter with a 70 stone horse. But the amount of 40 and 50 something Reds shouting the most idiotic pish at the police made you wonder if half of them were on day release.

    It was the same at half time. There were huge signs at every kiosk saying no booze was on sale. Yet every single person around me asked for some and then, when rebuffed, directed a tirade of abuse at some poor bastard behind the desk. Ten years ago I might have laughed at some of the shit they were coming out with but now I just think ‘are these people for real?’ United fans have had allocations cut at getting on for half of our Premier League away fixtures now and it’s not hard to see why. I love going to the match and buzz off the 90 minutes – and clearly there are still loads of switched on heads still going to the match to have a good time and buzz off the football and the atmosphere, which is generally still pretty good in a United away end – but the phalanx of mongatrons that you see make you wonder if it’s worth it half the time. Get a bus from Chester Road back into town after any home game and you’ll see what I mean. Men in their 40s and 50s shouting the most inane shite to what they perceive to be their personal audience and thinking they’re hilarious when really they are just fucking morons.

    The dropped two points at Tottenham was a sickener. Standing through 90 minutes of freezing cold in between two 20 minute trudges through slush between Seven Sisters and White Hart Lane in appropriate footwear would have been worthwhile for a hard won three points. But it wasn’t to be. Still, a point at Spurs is probably a good point if you remove the nature of the last gasp equaliser. De Gea has copped for a lot of stick after his shitty punch. Rightly so – it was a shitty punch – but he’s clearly going to be a top goalkeeper so I hope we stick with him. He’s shit on crosses like, but that’s where coaching comes in. You can’t coach reflexes. It seems simple enough to me. After everyone else has gone for their chicken pasta, De Gea stays behind and for hours on end someone launches high balls into the box while Nemanja Vidic and Phil Jones – or some other big lumps – try to challenge De Gea as he goes to catch it. Eventually it becomes second nature and that’s that.

    Since that aberration from the Spaniard, city have dropped unexpected points at QPR and we’ve stretched it back to seven. So it’s all good. The gap will probably shorten and widen many times between now and the first weekend in April, but the fact is that we have much more appealing looking fixtures in that intervening two months. Fulham away could be more dropped points and we too have to go to Loftus Road and also to the Stadium of Light and Upton Park. Draws or even defeats aren’t unthinkable at any of those places. Our home fixtures are with Reading, Norwich and Everton though. Only the latter should, in theory, be anything less than a cakewalk – whatever a cakewalk is.

    In that time city have away games at Everton, Southampton and Villa and home games against Liverpool and Chelsea. If you looking at it dispassionately, you’d say that city are more likely to drop points than we are with our respective fixtures. They’ve also lost Kompany for a while, though defending hasn’t been the problem for them, it’s been at the other end. Aguero is undoubted class and will return to form at some point, no doubt, but it wouldn’t amaze anyone to see Liverpool take something from Eastlands on Sunday. Thankfully also, Hazard has been spared an extension to his ban for doing the decent thing and booting that spoilt little bastard ballboy and will be available to play in their Beswick summit. That’s a good thing, as he’s fucking brilliant. Another one who got away.

    These are the little things that you find yourself worrying about at this stage of the season and you end up paying as much attention to your opponent’s fixtures and form as United’s. It was the same with Newcastle in 96, Arsenal for years and then Chelsea more recently. The fact that it’s Eggs Stains now just gives it that bit of sharper focus. There is also the spectre of that 8 point lead last April and that makes you realise that 7 points right now is fuck all really. Not with 14 games to go and the fluctuations in form and fitness that will occur over the coming months. Still, you’d rather be in our shoes than theirs – and not just because their shoes are made by Kickers.