Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bella Roma

A week after the Champions League final and I'm still smiling about the way in which Demento's boys were taught a footballing lesson by Barcelona's pass masters. The most surprising aspect of the victory was how such an experienced manager as Ferguson could lose the tactical battle with the novice, Guardiola.
  • How on earth could he think that Giggs could play as a striker ? Maybe he thought he genuinely deserved the PFA Footballer of the Year award ...
  • Why waste Rooney out wide on the left ? And leave him there, despite at least 3 changes in formation during the match.
  • What is the sense in responding to Messi playing deeper by removing a midfielder (admittedly the woeful Anderson) at half-time ?
Before the game, the media coverage simply did not reflect the views of most fans I know. First, we did not expect Barcelona to be rolled over, simply because they were playing a team from "the best league in the world" (copyright Richard Keys). Nor did the majority of us even want Utd to win, purely because they're an English team. Maybe the nation would have provided this type of support 20 years ago, but now we don't believe in the franchise any more. Finally, all the mid-season talk about the quintuple annoyed the hell out of all right-minded people.

As an Arsenal fan, it was pleasing to see Henry win the trophy, though I would have been happier if he could have slotted that second half chance against Barca 2 years ago, and I was particularly delighted to see the other ex-gooner Silvinho's aging face wreathed in smiles. It was also amusing to see that the mercenary Hleb did not even make the bench. Nice one, Dribbly McNoscore.

It may seem a bit obsessional to be still wallowing in this defeat, but the jokes keep coming, like the advert in a Manchester paper for a welder to put the top back on the bus. Or the delicious irony of Rio Ferdinand opening a restaurant in Manchester called "Bella Roma".

Finally, some great work from the Guardian's photoshop gallery:

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