A moo point, basically …

Arbit/ Random

I heart MU

with 2 comments

Note: Extremely self-indulgent, obsessive and Manchester United-centric post, so feel free to ignore.

Manchester United - Best club ever

I never really blog about Manchester United and football and the English Premier League in general because a) There’s so much to write, and I know from experience (and from feedback) how long-drawn, verbose posts can be extremely boring; and b) Most people find football boring, which is astonishing but sadly true. Also, they find my passion for Man Utd a bit too obsessive and even disturbing at times.

But on the eve of the Champions League Final in Russia, I just can’t resist blogging about my mostest favouritest thing in the whole wide world … drumroll … Manchester United!! Chelsea and Man Utd will battle it out for the biggest honour in European Club football, and man am I psyched about the whole thing! Woo hoo! The match might very well end up boring, but that’ll be because Chelsea are the most unattractive team among all the top clubs, and because ‘The Drog’ has a bad habit of breaking opposite defenders’ noses and stuff. But still – fingers crossed!

If we were to begin from the beginning, for me, it all started with the dramatic victory of 1999 in Barcelona in the Champions League (highlights here). If someone were to make a film about it, it would be panned by critics for being ‘too filmy’ and totally unrealistic. But to witness Teddy Sheringham‘s brilliant equalizer in the last minute followed by Ole Gunnar Solksjaer‘s winning goal in extra time which helped ManU grab a fantastic win against Bayern Munchen – after that, I had no choice but to become a Red Devils fan. Then came a fairly relaxed college life which allowed me to feed this obsession quite indulgently, and now there’s just no looking back. Unlike some people (they know I’m referring to them), changing loyalties has just seemed so ridiculous. Not when Man U endured 3 seasons without a trophy; when they had the most random (and shit-expensive) players/ mistakes playing on the pitch – Veron, Forlan, Djemba-Djemba and Kleberson to name a few; when RVN and Saha (not a bong) were busy squabbling for not getting to play enough; and not even when it seemed like Sir Alex Ferguson (SAF, the coach, the terror, the GOD) would have to resign or be fired.

But the last 2 years have been among the best 2 years ever. Except for the fact that Stamford Bridge (Chelsea’s home ground) remained unconquered (damn!), ManU have truly sparkled as a team of brilliant individuals. I hark back to August 2007, when Man U had started the season disastrously (they were placed eighth at one point of time i think). Roo had gotten injured and Ron was throwing tantrums and getting red-carded. In the middle of all this, you had SAF going on record that this was the strongest squad he had ever managed. Such a proclamation required a fairly large set of cajones, and was aptly ridiculed by quite a few people. Today, 10 months later and with the statement seeming to make a lot of sense after all, maybe it is time people realize that unlike the Rafas and Special One‘s and Not-so-special one’s, Fergie doesn’t blab in that nearly undecipherable Scot accent of his unless he has a point.

The team today has everything that I love about football – It’s fast (except for VDS and Carrick) and everyone runs in pants-on-fire mode. They’re beautiful to watch- fluent passing, crazy one-touch exchanges, brilliant counter-attacks, it’s like poetry in motion. They’re attack-minded (maximum goals scored in the league this year) and yet, in RioVidiWesEvra, have the best defensive record (least goals conceded). You have dynamically changing formations, and players switching from one side to the other quite frequently. And then you have a perfect blend of experience and youth. The two btw are not mutually exclusive qualities, as it is foolish to call someone like Rooney with 6 years of Premiership football experience a ‘youth player’ :P.

Then there is style, and lots of it – A certain lad by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo comes to mind, as does the pretender for his crown i.e. Nani. Then there are Roo and Scholesy and Giggs and Rio and Park too. There is brute strength – Vidic, Roo, OH, Anderson and Tevez are like rabid but surprisingly nimble dogs on field. And there is that unwillingness to give up, which is what makes it all so special. Ask Scholes, who is probably the most complete midfielder except for the tiny detail that he simply cannot tackle cleanly. (You rock nevertheless, Scholes!).

The weekend of 6th October 2007 which I spent in Manchester (although I couldn’t get inside OT 😦 ) has been the most memorable weekend of my life so far. Watching 76,000 fans streaming out of the stadium all dressed in some Man U clothing and cheering wildly because Man U had just defeated Wigan Athletic 4-0 was pure heaven. My boss in London ( (who also happens to be an MU fan) promised me that the next time I come to UK, he’ll take me along to watch a match. You bet your @r$e that I will hold him to his word!

Only time will tell whether SAF was right or wrong – whether the current lot are indeed better than the team of the mid-90s comprising of Beckham, Giggs, Neville(s), Scholes, Keane, Stam, Butt, Cantona, Schemeichel, Hughes et al. But till that debate is resolved, allow me to raise a toast to the best football team on the planet 🙂

Champions 2008

Ed: This Just in – Man U won the Champions League final on penalties (that too in sudden death) on a wet pitch in Moscow. The score will be remembered, but the match will soon be forgotten – not a classic by any stretch of imagination. But still – WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! Yay!!!

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Written by sujaybedekar

May 21, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Posted in football

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Okay, Chelsea supporter here. (so, well, had to comment!)

    Congratulations on ManUtd. winning the Champion’s League!

    I just have an issue with the comments – “…because Chelsea are the most unattractive team among all the top clubs.” If you watched this match, you’d know they’re not. In fact, there was very little to separate these two very good and well-matched teams – good bit and bad bits included. I can provide examples but then this would end up being a post in itself. Nobody on either is really doodh ka dhula, SAF included!

    Also, this year’s was one of the most entertaining CL finals in a few years. Not only was it evenly matched, it had skills, power, verve and passion on display from both sides. Admittedly, not every second of it but still.

    I do agree with the Drogba bit – if you’re going to go, at least take the guy down à la ZZ, instead of a sissy slap!

    As for Chelsea, I think they’ve played very well in the last month or so; closer to what I think they should be doing regularly. When on song, they can every bit as entertaining as some of the top teams in Europe. For instance, very few teams have even taken to Barcelona like Chelsea did in 20 exhilarating minutes in 2005 CL QF.

    P.S.: Just for the record, I’ve been following Chelsea from the Ranieri days.

    SRavs

    May 27, 2008 at 2:12 am

  2. Heh 🙂
    Fair enough, my (negative) feelings towards Chelsea are somewhat like my feelings for Arsenal and France (the football team) – probably somewhat unjustified/ vague, but still very strong

    sujaybedekar

    May 27, 2008 at 11:23 am


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