Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just When You Thought I Was Getting Soft...

I know what you're thinking, first I confess my love for Mila, then I follow up with a measly picture post. Plus I haven't posted about Manchester United in ages. You're probably thinking I've lost my edge. Fair enough...

Things I hate:

1. United "fans" who are on their fucking phones the entire game about "maybe getting a couple bottles because y'know bro we'll probably roll with a crew of about 16, probably 10 dudes, but y'know bro nobody wants to commit because it's a lot of money and I'm gonna stay on the phone with you bro for 15 minutes and reiterate this same sentiment with little to no progress being made by the time I finally get off of the phone with you." AND THEN they come back and sit down to catch the end of the game, giving some empty applause for some empty effort on the field. Then they clap it up at the final whistle, feeling satisfied with a goalless draw where we squander a penalty opportunity away from home and get dominated on posession 2 to 1 from start to finish. Why do they do this? Because they don't really see what's going on in front of them because they're NOT REAL FUCKING FANS.

2. Headlines like "United Grind Out Valuable Draw" and "Solid Display Pleases Boss". They just don't sit well with me. Pleases? That kind of performance pleases you, Sir Alex? Where are our standards? I thought we were trying to make it to the Champions League final not just scrape by. We're in it to win it and you sure as fuck don't win it with 7 shots vs 20 from Barcelona, lack of direction, focus and shape, and generally dreadful play over 90 minutes. 27% posession? Were we allergic to the ball? And how exactly is this a good result for us? It makes the return game in Manchester a must-win while Barcelona only needs to score at least a goal and not lose. To qualify this as a good result I would have to be confident that we play better next game. Right now, I'm not.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo in big game situations. I know that's not exactly fair for me to say just a week after he stepped up for a penalty, stutter stepped, and scored against Arsenal--twice. But that still doesn't excuse the way he took that penalty today. Trying to power it just inside the post instead of just sending the keeper the wrong way and slotting it home comfortably. Fucking amateur. Steven Gerrard would have put it away. That's why he has a Champions League winner's medal and Ronaldo doesn't. There, I said it. Gerrard comes through in the clutch. Ronaldo falls down under challenges from defenders too easily and too often that when he does actually get fouled, particularly on two potential penalty calls in the 2nd half, the ref won't call it because he's the fucking pretty boy who cried wolf. And he loses his killer instinct that he usually has, his swag, and regresses to the Ronaldo of 4-5 years ago--holding the ball too long and either flicking fancy but harmless backpasses or just losing posession and falling to the ground...again.

Things I love:

Real World: Hollywood. Between Will and Sarah's forbidden romance, Joey's alcoholism, and Kimberly's latent racism; it's the only thing keeping me going.

All of the above being said, the most pivotal moment of the game came just before half-time when Rafa Marquez cynically tripped up Ronaldo and earned himself a yellow card--and more importantly, a suspension from the game in Manchester. With Barcelona shorn of their best and most tenacious defender and talismanic captain Carles Puyol still injured, United are actually in a good position to win back in Manchester, despite their worst efforts.

*Update: Puyol is not injured, he was just suspended, and he'll be back for next week's clash. So scratch that bit of optimism I had before. On the bright side Derek Rae wrote an article agreeing with my position on the perils of a goalless away draw which at least lets me know I'm not a ranting raving idiot. I'm just ranting and raving.

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