Archive | March 2011

Manchester united Fans’ Insight on the Green and Gold Campaign

Three members of the Talking Red Message Boards and Forum discuss the weakening of the Green and Gold campaign.

There is much more red than green or gold these days.

The Green and Gold campaign is hostage to the club’s success. If Manchester United continues to win titles and challenge trophies in May, then the case for the ouster of the Glazier ownership—along with anti-Glazer sentiment—will fail to mount a sustained and formidable campaign and eventually wither to a murmur. These fans will be forced to hope for the club’s failure as evidence for their cause, which could never be admitted. The conflict is too much to bear.

The members contributing to this thread appear to be pre-Glazer season ticket holders. This gives them a weekly on-the-ground and broad experience as participant-observers with insight to the Green and Gold campaign. On television, it’s easy to see streaks and patches of green and gold amid the smothering sea of red. So red that the green really speaks. But one member posts that the identification is more superficial than it was just a year ago. With season tickets in the Stretford Upper End, this member has noticed that anti-Glazer songs and chants haven’t been heard in some time. The campaign is reducing to a fashion.

Another member posts that the real campaign takes place outside the stadium. The most fervent anti-Glazer fans no longer go to home games, having given up their season tickets in protest. The unfortunate outcome of these fans’ principled boycott is that an equal number of new fans have replaced them in the stands. According to one member, whose information came from a “a girl I know at the ticket office” up towards 85% of current season ticket holders are post-Glazer. Without institutional memory, the big blotches of fresh red smother all alternative and threatening references.


Floating Thai Village Forms a Team

Koh Panyee, Southwest Thailand

A short video of its history.


Tottenham Fans Exposed

Or as overexposed as their team may become? Soon burnt crispy red and out of next year’s Champions League?


Roman Abramovich Cares

Ruthless, autocratic, and seemingly aloof feed the opinion that the Russian billionaire cares little for the club, but this may not be the case.


My parents were very supportive of my youth soccer career. They attended nearly every game from Kindergarten through high school and made sure that I attended every practice. They organized pizza parties and help fund the team through materials and equipment. My father coached a number of my teams and my mother often made the team banners.

I can recall looking to the sideline and seeing my dad, red-faced, screaming “GET IT OWWWWWWWUT!!!!!!!!!!” at the top of his lungs, repeatedly; what we were doing on the field made him a madman until we cleared the ball out of our defense. At ten years old, this could take a while.

Occasionally, I’d catch him throw his clipboard down into the ground, not unlike Arséne Wenger does with a water bottle. I can’t explain how, but in the heated moments, my father’s glasses would fly off his face like a bird with a broken wing. He wasn’t tossing them like he did the clipboard, so my only guess is that it was from the radiating pulses of the fit originating in his temples.

When the game became too intense, my mom couldn’t watch. If we were taking a penalty kick she would turn around and walk a straight line away from the field until it was over.

More often, I’d also catch my mother on the sideline contorted into a position as if she was just about to kick an invisible ball. Her weight distribution wasn’t right, but she created a well-mapped conversion of what was taking place on the pitch. She was feeling and visualization what we should do or were about to do. This was her version of “Get it out”.

Deeply invested in the game, her contribution was to enact a series of desired motions and silent physical expressions.

Not unlike Roman Abramovich. The Russian seldom speaks to the media, remains inconspicuous, and at times prefers his yacht (who wouldn’t) to the owner’s box. When present, his shadowy public support has been interpreted as indifference or as a waning interest in his plaything. But there is sensitivity and emotional connection in that disconcertingly cuddly face. Now and again we see it.


Alex Ferguson on Tackling

Jonny Evans’ tackle on Stuart Holden received a straight red card. Holden was scraped off the pitch, carted away on a stretcher, and will be out six months.


Although Ferguson didn’t know that Stuart Holden would be out for the rest of the season, he did witness the player being carried off the pitch. Yet he is still unwilling to fully concede that Evans’ tackle warranted a red card.

The sending-off was a little unfortunate, he explains, because the foot was not high and the tackle was a fair attempt to get the ball. The referee awarded the red card after seeing that “the boy” (Holden) was badly injured. But Ferguson admittedly makes no complaint, since he acknowledges that any tackle with studs up, regardless of intent and outcome, is likely to receive a red card.

Also of note in the post-match interview was his explanation for bringing Dimitar Berbatov on to replace Javier Hernandez once the team was reduced to ten men.

Without Evans, the team was at a height disadvantage against an aerially strong Bolton. Berbatov was not brought on for his scoring potential, but to rebalance the height ratio without having to go to an overly defensive 10-man formation.


West Brom 2—Arsenal 2

After a sickly surrender to Manchester United in the FA Cup, a withered Arsenal salvages a point against a rejuvenated West Brom under Roy Hodgson.

Title hopes fading…

Peter Odemwingie is a recurring nightmare for Arsenal.

Peter Odemwingie was responsible for Arsenal’s first loss of the season last September and now may be responsible for ending their title run in March.


White Hart Lane’s Moving Minute of Silence

Premier League recognizes the Japanese after last week’s earthquake with a minute of silence at every match this weekend.


Tottenham and West Ham fans carried out a perfect minute of silence. Time was stretched and heavy. The camera cut from players to managers to fans, lingering a little on each. Football can do nothing to mitigate catastrophe, except confirm an event’s magnitude and gravity by confessing its own triviality, but it can do something to affirm the value of things continuing on. The 36,000 in attendance didn’t make a peep, and on conclusion transformed somber reflection into a massive burst of excitement. It was the best of minute of silence of the weekend.

At 40 seconds, a fan sees that he is caught on camera taking the moment too lightly and tries to become very very serious.