The good old days. Patrick Viera and Roy Keane would size each other up. Thierry Henry would give Gary Neville the runaround. Ruud van Nistelrooy would tap it in. Pizza would be lovingly shared in the Old Trafford match after the match, oh the good old days.
Chelsea were that club that once had Zola and them retiring Italians, Manchester City, simply the other club from Manchester.
Fast forward to today and Arsenal were bullied by Manchester United. Not bullied the way Bolton used to kick and shove them, no passing 8 goals past them.
Here are some quotes from The Telegraph’s live commentary. Hilarious.
“Perhaps you’ve spent the day outdoors. Perhaps you’ve spent it at a wedding or a bar-mitzvah or a festival or whatever. Perhaps it’s already Monday morning and you’re just catching up on the afternoon’s football.
If you’re an Arsenal fan, I suggest you read this live blog backwards. You start with a horrific numerical disadvantage but, with the help of an extra man who arrives midway through the first half, you battle heroically back for a 0-0 draw. ”
“I mean, proper, big-ass cripes. What on earth have we just witnessed there? I’m struggling to process it, and I get paid to use words.”
“If I were to admit that this entire live blog had been a joke, at what point do you reckon I started making things up? Sorry, Arsenal fans. You really are losing eight-two. ”
“Honestly, 7-2! What is this, the 1930s?”
“There’s something really quite weird about this. Arsenal don’t look like they’re not trying; clearly they’re trying. But United are just walking around them like they’re a park team.”
Watching the opening ceremony of the IOC Durban 2011 currently live on SABC it came to me just how diverse South Africa is, and how often we fail to appreciate this as a blessing.
We often hear about the rainbow nation but never take a minute to embrace it. Instead we dwell on such political trivia as the ‘kill the boer’ song.
In many places across the world people see people of a different race or culture only on television. All we have to do is pop around to the corner shop and go to work, there we are interacting, laughing and fighting with people from a culture totally different from ours.
I felt joy when I saw Zulu and Indian dancers sharing the stage in the opening performance. What a work of it and how apt, these are two cultures that call both call Durban home.
The world would a boring place if we all were similar, had the same culture and manners. About time that we realised that a rainbow with only one colour wouldn’t be visible, we would simply call it the sky.
Our cultural diversity amongst other intricacies makes us stand out, and most of all it is there to be savored not devoured or buried under political rubble.
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Arsenal are more Sir Alan Sugar than Richard Branson, it’s not that they lack ambition, they are not as flamboyant in pursuing it. If they were a car more Maserati than Ferrari.
I have always been of the view that owning a sporting business must be great, you actually having massive crowds cheering you to win and to profit. The flip side though is that as profitable as you are, you need to please the crowds for the money to keep coming in.
On the face of it Arsenal have a superb business model, get youngsters, nature them to superstardom with brilliant football on the pitch, with only Barcelona exhibiting better flowing football, albeit with no results.
The problems comes with Arsenal playing feeder team. This players are then sold on for huge profits. Suits the boardroom if the profits are coming in but people on the stands expect trophies.
Alex Ferguson won the Premier league with kids, but those get grew with Manchester United going on to win the treble in 1999 with a few reinforcements along the way.
On Monday Gael Clichy concluded a move to Manchester City for £7 million. Cesc Fabregas seems certain to join Barcelona and Samir Nasri is definitely on his way out.
You can tell the level of football morality and loyalty that a player has by the clubs he moves between.
I am always weary of players who between say, Tottenham and Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City.
One such transgressor, Carlos Tevez is proving to be a thorn on his new employer’s back side. The Manchester City captain has submitted a transfer request for the second time in 7 months.
The reasons, to be close to his daughters in Argentina. I know each family has it’s own dynamics but I would imagine imagine being the highest paid footballer in the Premier League, £250 000 per week would make it easier to be closer to your daughters by putting them on a plane plus wife estranged or not.
I have admired Tevez for his work rate on the pitch, but what a lack of ambition, City qualified for the Champions League and though they are not my cup of tea, these coming season if not this one, they will be a force to contend with.
City cannot cry that loud though, it’s like enticing your neighbour’s wife to leave him for you, then crying foul when she skips your fence.
After a string of indiscretions Ashley Cole has asked to be judged only by his football.
Speaking to BBC Sport in New York where he had gone to meet rapper Jay Z about a restaurant they are opening in London he said, “I’ve made mistakes and have just got to live with it,” adding “Judge me on how I play football or on when you meet me.”
After being fined £100,000 by the Premier League for holding secret talks with Chelsea while still under contract to former club Arsenal, Cole has been in the news because of his public divorce from pop singer and reality judge Cheryl Cole.
He hit the headlines earlier this year when he year when he shot a work experience student with an air rifle at the club’s training ground. Cole had this to say “If someone had actually seen the incident – you wouldn’t laugh because it was a stupid thing to do – but the whole situation was crazy. Of course it was an accident,”
Meanwhile ‘Bang Showbiz’ is reporting that Ashley Cole and ex wife Cheryl are back together. This is after they spent the weekend together with the footballer being a guest at her London 28th birthday.
A family friend told The Sun newspaper: “It’s done and dusted. They spent the entire weekend together and properly dating.
“They were out on Saturday night for drinks, but decided against a late night and went back to Cheryl’s early.
Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman has confirmed that Kagisho Dikgacoi is set to sign a permanent contract at Selhurst Park.
This follows a £600 000 transfer from English Premiership club Fulham. Though moving to the championship is a step down for the South African at 26 a move back up to the Premiership is still possible.
Dikgacoi joined Fulham in August 2009 but failed to nail down a first team place in the side and was loaned to Palace in February this year.