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Not Nineteen Forever

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    Not Nineteen Forever

    Not Nineteen Forever
    By: Meatbag Manifesto

    It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since we last spoke. Well, interesting in mind numbingly dull sort of way. Well, mind-numbingly dull in a miles clear at the top of the league sort of way. But you see my point – it has DEFINITELY been a couple of weeks since we last spoke.

    The derby came and went. At one point – in fact at any point up until around the start of March – the first weekend in April looked like being the definitive point of the season. Everything would hang on that game. As it turned out, it meant next to nothing beyond its own end. We didn’t have a part on derby day – or not one for United anyway. Plenty of people had parties for another reason, but even Thatcher’s demise turned out to be an anti-climax when you looked around you and realised that she had won, and was still winning despite having been doolally for the past decade and now, incontrovertibly, dead.

    United were shit in the derby but then we’d been pretty shit full stop since the Madrid game. Chelsea, Reading, Sunderland, Chelsea and Stoke were all fairly abject, even though we won most of them. There was a flicker of a faint arse-twitch before Stoke – at least there was in our house – as the lead shrank from 15 to 12 points. A blue in work couldn’t tire of telling me that if United dropped points at the Brittania then it was very much game on. I kept sending him YouTube links to KC and The Sunshine Band’s “Baby, Give It Up” because I’m hilarious like that – and also very in tune with modern trends and Wed 2.0 technologies, but secretly I knew he was sort of right. As outlined in a previous column, it doesn’t take much for the pessimistic side to take hold and all of a sudden the run-in might take on a more brown hue.

    But we didn’t drop points. Luckily, we came up against a side in even more of a trough of form than us, and tied in with the catharsis of Van Persie finally breaking his goal drought, it felt like THE moment. You know what I mean when I say that. There is always a moment. A point when you just know. Sometimes it comes via a comeback from the dead like Everton in 2007 or a triumph against adversity like when Chelsea beat West Ham with 9 men in 2006. You just know the game’s up. As ‘moments’ go, it was a fairly unmemorable one, but that’s what happens when you are so far ahead of the rest.

    Anyway, West Ham felt like a walk in the park. By that stage we knew the league was won and, maybe as a result, I also thought United started approaching something approximating a bit of form, too. They’re a formidable enough side at home and it’s never been easy for us at West Ham, but we played pretty well – especially once we were 2 – 1 down – and it was an enjoyable game because there was no stress. Van Persie looked like the player he was up until February again and Kagawa again looked the part. Vidic was brilliant at the back and De Gea again took another step away from being the train wreck that played against Liverpool in the FA Cup last season and towards being a confident, able young goalkeeper. Jolly good show, as they say in East London.

    Yet again, the topic of conversation turned to Rooney, his form and his future. Much was made of his performance in midfield at Stoke, but really he wasn’t that good. He sprayed about a few passes but doesn’t he do that anyway? His best position is behind the striker, with a licence to drop deep if he wants and build play, which he is also good at. Why shackle him by making that his only task and denying him the freedom to make stuff happen further forward? Yes, he could be a great midfielder, but he’s worth more in a free role. Apart from anything else, we should be going out to buy the midfielder we need, not losing a striker (our BEST striker) to fill a gap further back. People used to say the same about Keane – that he could be a world class centre half. He could have, but then you would have lost one of the best midfielders in the world. That’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul and ending up getting caught and having to get a loan out to pay Peter and then ending up having to pay interest as well and you didn’t even owe Paul as much as you stole off Peter in the first place. As the saying goes.

    This is all on the proviso that Rooney is even here at all next season, regardless of where he plays. It seems incredible to me that some United fans think we should get rid of our best player. Why on earth would we do that? Unless there are non-footballing reasons, I’d sell Van Persie before I’d sell Rooney. Firstly, Rooney is better than Van Persie in any way I can think of except maybe in his ability to avoid a pint and Regal King Size. I thought that last season when Van Persie was winning Player of the Year at Arsenal and I still think it this season. Rooney's been shunted around to accommodate others due to his versatility, which in itself is a sign of his all round worth. There is never any question of Van Persie being asked to play in midfield or out wide, and that’s not because he’s a better number 9 than Rooney. The only season Rooney played as an out and out striker in 2009/10, he bagged 34 goals and was as good as anybody in the world in that position. If Kagawa is going to be the man in the hole, then play Rooney up top. Either way he should be the first name on the team sheet and he's also younger than Van Persie too.

    Speaking of the PFA awards, it’s brilliant to see Carrick getting onto the shortlist. I love him and always have, even when I hated him, which I never did. Though at one point in the 2010/11 season I did think we’d seen the best of him. We hadn’t. We’ve seen the best of him now. There is one mate of mine in particular who hates Carrick. “Michael Carrick is not a man” has been his favourite phrase for years and even he admitted to me at the weekend that he’s glad when Carrick’s name appears on the team sheet. The same lad was also wearing carrot trousers though, so I’m not sure if his judgement can be considered sound anymore.

    One man whose judgement appears anything but sound at the moment is Luis Suarez (this shit is seamless). This cat is clearly nuts. How can anyone bite another player in a live Sky TV match, with their 30 cameras and super slow mo replays, and expect to get away with it? It’s mental. It’s also hilarious however, as it will be watching Liverpool fans try to blame someone else for it. My social media feeds suggest that it might be Roy Keane’s fault this time. I haven’t worked out quite how his career-ending tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland (that didn’t end Alf-Inge Haaland’s career) justifies what Suarez did but the line seems to be that ‘the Mancs idolise much worse’. Someone should point out to them that ‘idolise’ and ‘Roy Keane’ aren’t two things you often hear in the same sentence around M16 these days unless the phrase ‘used to’ is in there as well.

    Cantona is the obvious parallel to draw here, what with Simmons and all that. There was an undeniable nobility in what Eric did though. He’d been wronged and lashed out at a man who used racial epithets and goaded him into it. And was also wearing a disgusting leather jacket with elasticated cuffs and waist. Plus he was Eric. Anybody who hates Eric is only jealous he’s not theirs. There has never been a finer footballing idol and he was ours. Suarez is a piece of shit. I don’t blame Liverpool fans for sticking with him – we’d do the same and have done in the past when everyone else was screaming blue murder. But let’s face it – he’s fucked. There is no getting out of this one and just as it was hilarious watching them try to justify a racist, it’ll be equally so again. Best of all is that if they lose him then they’ve lost their only genuinely class player (that isn’t 33 years old). They’re already two titles behind us now and that gap doesn’t look like getting anything except wider any time soon.

    Manchester United - Champions for the 20th time. Mmmmmm. Lovely, isn’t it? I’m so happy I can use a lyric from a Courteeners song and not even feel embarrassed about it.

    Meatbag writes a regular column on UWSonline.com Become a member of our website to read it. He also writes in UWS every month. If you like what we do, don't be a freetard. Sign up and support us like many other decent Reds.

    #2
    Originally posted by Andy View Post
    The same lad was also wearing carrot trousers though, so I’m not sure if his judgement can be considered sound anymore.

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