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18 Titles, Champions of England — and those are actually facts

There was a side show — an Arsenal game, which threatened, briefly, to become a party pooper — that ended 0-0. On an ideal day we would have wanted to win the game, but a draw is the next best option. The relief on the United players faces were palpable by what ended up being a case of holding on for the last minutes.

United have played far more number of games this season than their rivals — any arguments people make about footballers getting paid a lot, and hence they should break brick walls with their heads, and having deep squads can hold only so much water — and that showed in the dying minutes of the game. The players wanted the game to be over; the relief of getting done with a long, gruelling season was rather too tempting to pass up.

Today we must rejoice as United fans. It’s a historic occasion for the club to have earned its 18 titles. Ferguson’s done something that began as a dream in 92-93 and have shown good signs of continuing. May we never rise from this slumber, may that dream go on for many more years to come.


I could talk about the interviews with Carlos Tevez, and Ronaldo, which have sort of rained on our parade, so to speak. But I think these things, as well as a more objective look back at our season are best kept for another day.

We’ll Never Die.



  1. jos

    19 May 2009 at 12:49

    @Craig Mc: How is it not fair? It will still be 11 Man Utd players donning our jerseys at Hull’s isint it? We are not gonna borrow few players from others and play them there.

  2. Stephen

    19 May 2009 at 13:05

    @jos: I hope we win, but it will do the younger players and fringe players to get a run out, ideally we win, and so do Villa Shearer taking Newcastle down would be great.

  3. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 13:49

    @jos: If you don’t understand the English sense of FAIR PLAY Jos, then I will never be able to explain to you what I mean. 🙄

  4. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 13:51

    @Stephen: I’m just glad that Hiddink isn’t staying Stephen 😆 😆 .

  5. Stephen

    19 May 2009 at 13:55

    @Craig Mc: That makes two of us bro! 😀 😀

  6. michael

    19 May 2009 at 18:08

    I think playing youngsters maybe our best bet for winning at Hull. The major players will all have an eye on the final now; I think we’ll play a young side, Ronaldo will play because he’ll be hypermotivated to score now that Anelka is level with him, and Tevez and probably Vidic, but other than that a team of youngsters. More hunger, more able to concentrate on the game.

  7. Grognard

    19 May 2009 at 18:42

    @Craig Mc: Alright Bro, now you’ve gone and done it. You’ve ruffled my feathers and I’m going to rant a bit. Sir Alex Ferguson owes jack shit to any of the teams fighting for relegation. It is those team’s consistent ineptitude and inability to play at the highest level that has left them struggling for their Premiership lives.

    Fergie owes nothing to any of these teams and is in no way obligated to field a competitive team with many veterans just so that the teams chasing Hull don’t feel slighted. Sounds to me like you’ve been drinking too many ales in Newcastle pubs there mate, and the Geordies are starting to brainwash you. 😉 Blame Mike Ashley , Alan Shearer and that rag tag band of useless misfits that play for Newcastle for not being in a more secure position. The only responsibility the Fergie has is his to his own players and his own team and supporters. In eight days time we embark on the biggest game of the year and the biggest game in this team’s history. Another chance at European glory against a truly outstanding and fearsome opponent. Our players have had a long and very grueling season and in order for them to play at their highest ability, they will need time to rest and heal before the 27th.

    What that means of course is that Fergie need only concern himself with keeping Manchester United, fit, healthy and motivated. He need not worry one ounce what his plans for Hull City do to other teams struggling to survive. I for one want him and demand that he start a team full of reserves with Darren Fletcher captaining the squad against Hull. The last thing I want is for any of our stars to get less rest, get more fatigued or God forbid, get injured before the Champions League final. Fuck Hull, Newcastle, Sunderland, and Middlesbrough. They can all go to Hell for all I care. My only concern and Fergie’s only concern should be United and keeping our boys fit, healthy and rested for that big game. Fair play and all that load of bollocks goes out the window at this stage of the year. What we have to play for on the 27th is far more important than what those relegation bitches are fighting for. So to Hell with the them and their poor plight. My frakken heart bleeds. I only wish Liverpool were one of those teams threatened with relegation.

    If there is any bright news for Newcastle fans and others facing the same consequences, it’s that United fielding a reserve squad does not mean we will lose. On the contrary. I put our reserves up against 12 of the EPL’s best and I feel we would win. I think the lads will be eager and keen to impress and show their quality and some will obviously be fighting for a spot on the reserve bench in Rome. I’ll put the Da Silva’s, Evans, Possebon, Macheda, Gibson and Welbeck up against anything Hull have to offer. In fact, Hull City will choke and lose on Saturday. Worst case, we will come out of there with a draw. The reserves will not be going through the motions like the veterans did against Arsenal.

  8. Grognard

    19 May 2009 at 18:46

    @Stephen: Sorry mate but I have seen this man in action and seen what he does with a team tactically. He will turn Chelsea into a well oiled and discipline machine like they were when they were managed by Mourinho. Like I said, he is a perfect fir for Chelsea because his one big weakness is the inability or inflexibility to use young players and have confidence with them. Notice how he benched Pato and stuck the second half with Inzaghi. He loves veteran players and Chelsea is built around that principle alone. He will do well because he is actually well suited for the English game technically and tactically.

  9. Grognard

    19 May 2009 at 18:54

    @Craig Mc: The English sense of fair play that you speak of belongs at a wank fest in my opinion mate. Like I said earlier, I think living in Newcastle is softening your mind a bit bit Bro 😆 Seriously, fair play? I think the fair play not shown us by the FA and the fair play not shown us by referees on a million rubbish calls all season long and at least on 10 goals called back for off side that weren’t, I’d consider those examples of no fair play a lot worse than us fielding a team of reserves 4 days before the biggest game of our lives. Take the English sense of fair play and flush it where it belongs. Honestly bro???? 🙄 Other teams need to owe up and take the responsibility for their situation they find themselves in. Newcastle owes their misfortune to their own ineptitude and pathetic lack of footballing skill. Why should United hand them anything? Let them earn it by playing better football and not hoping for some silly excuse like fair play to bail them out of the shite. Honestly mate, there are times your perspective on things really needs to be readjusted…..with a polo mallet. 😉 😀

  10. Grognard

    19 May 2009 at 18:59

    @Craig Mc: From a technical and tactical perspective Ancelotti is a much better manager than Hiddink. Hiddink is a great teacher and motivator but his teams do not always play the best tactics. He wins on his motivational abilities and his ability to judge talent well and utilize players well. Ancelotti is much more of a mathematician type, like Mourinho. He understands strategy and tactics and can find strengths and weaknesses in opponents that others cannot see. He will have Chelsea score fewer goals but also give up fewer and play a tighter more disciplined game like Mourinho. That is designed to frustrate opponents, not give them hope like some of the shootouts Chelsea were in while under Hiddink.

    Everything United are doing right now is based on the Ancelotti model. Look how we possess the ball and how good and tight we are defensively. That is the Italian and AC Milan way of doing things. It’s not pretty but it works

  11. Red Ranter

    19 May 2009 at 19:01

    Newcastle are a joke of a club, run by a clown. The fans deserve every bit of this the moment they hounded Sam Allardyce out of the club. So what if he played shit football — with their status what do they expect, one touch Barcelona football? They are still stuck in a time warp harking back to the days when they were briefly leading the league.

    I hope Newcastle get relegated. End of.

  12. Red Ranter

    19 May 2009 at 19:05

    @Grognard: I personally think Ancelotti is over rated. He may have won the whole lot, but the language barrier will be telling when he comes here. Motivation is as important as tactical nous. If he screams in broken English during a half time team talk it will amuse the players more than getting them charged up.

  13. Red Ranter

    19 May 2009 at 19:11

    However, all that said, I believe Chelsea would suit his preferred Christmas tree formation because they have a surfeit of central midfielders. All he needs is though, a creative spark of an attacking midfielder like Kaka was at Milan, and a good finisher. Drogba might be sold I guess. And wingers will get less love from him, going by his tactics at Milan. He will have two full backs who are very good offensively in Cole and Bosingwa who can bomb forward. But it all depends on Chelsea getting a genuinely creative attacking midfielder who plays in the hole.

  14. Stephen

    19 May 2009 at 19:17

    @Grognard: I will bow down to your knowledge mate and lets see what happens 😆 😆

  15. Grognard

    19 May 2009 at 19:46

    @Stephen: I like that bowing down part. Now if more people would do that, I could have my Kingdom of the Grognard. 😉 😀

    Seriously though, only time will tell if I am speaking with wisdom or if I’m full of shite. 😀

  16. Grognard

    19 May 2009 at 19:50

    @Red Ranter: That’s your opinion mate and I respect it as always but I for one am siding with Fergie who is a major admirer of Ancelotti and his tactical nuances. That’s not to say he is perfect because the lack of English could very well be a problem that derails everything he tries to achieve. But he is a solid manager who understands the importance of ball possession and graft in the game. Something Chelsea had under Mourinho but have lacked ever since Special One’s departure..

  17. Fred The Red

    19 May 2009 at 20:00

    @Grognard: I think the Italian coach who SAF most admires is not Ancelotti, its Marcelo Lippi.
    I think locking horns with the Italians down the years has influenced SAF more than the Spanish teams.

  18. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 20:24

    @Grognard: Well you have your opinions, and I have mine, and in this case of Fair Play I don’t agree with you. Oh and I don’t need mallets for folk who don’t agree with me 😆 😆 .

  19. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 20:29

    @Grognard: Like I said, some folk don’t understand the English sense of fair play. So lets leave it there eh? 🙂 .

  20. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 20:31

    @michael: Vidic won’t play mate. I believe Fergie has said he is thinking of Neville and our reserve team Centre back, and reserve team GK. So don’t expect miracles 😆 .

  21. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 20:36

    @Stephen: 😆 😆 Stephen, I love the Hiddink type of football. I hate the SLOW, pedestrian and bloody boring Italian type football. But that’s me mate. O for the days when we could go to OT and know we would see the Cavalier type football – bloody magic to watch mate. Those were the glorious days when the United philosophy was ‘the best kind of defence is ATTACK. I stood on the terraces as a young lad with my brothers and Uncle, and I was raptured Bro at the football dished up. Aaaaah happy days indeed 🙂 .

  22. Grognard

    19 May 2009 at 21:44

    @Fred The Red: He admires Lippi too. I have read interviews where Ferguson has praised both men but I also remember the praise he handed out to Ancelotti after they beat us in 2007. Lets put it this way, his favorite managers are Italian and his all time favorite player I read is Paolo Maldini.

  23. Grognard

    19 May 2009 at 21:53

    @Craig Mc: Ah come on Bro. Is that the best you can muster? “Well you have your opinions, and I have mine”. 😀 🙄 I expected more. But then how can you come up with a truly valid argument that makes sense in this case? No team should ever rely on the good graces of an another in order to survive. Fair play is rubbish mate. It’s a kill or get killed game and United only owe allegiance and fair play to themselves and to ensure that they are 100% fit and and prepared for Rome. All other considerations belong in the sewer.

    There is not valid debate here. Face it mate, you are not only wrong but you are completely outnumbered in the polls. From the sounds of it, nobody is buying into your fair play policy. Like I said to you earlier Bro, I think living in Geordieville is making you a little soft and sentimental for that Newcastle loving rabble you are surrounded by. If I’m wrong, so be it, but that’s my opinion. If Newcastle gets relegated, they need not look at Fergie and at Man United as the reason they failed. They need only look at themselves and their complete and total useless ineptitude to make the required changes and add the right elements in order to attain success. Problem with that club is it’s the inmates in the asylum that run the club and not the managers. Once you let supporters dictate policy, you are heading down a slippery slope to oblivion.

  24. Grognard

    19 May 2009 at 21:58

    @Craig Mc: Sorry mate but the English sense of fair play is just a load of bollocks you conjured up to make your point. And so let me just say right here and now……YOU ARE WRONG. 😀

    That sounds more like the Losers Mantra for Excuse Building 101. More suitable for the English National team and their rich history of failure I think. 😉

  25. Grognard

    19 May 2009 at 22:02

    @Craig Mc: That same style that constantly failed in Europe? Listen, I agree with you mate but not when it comes to playing in Europe. Our present style is the proven method for success in Europe and the number of Italian sides as well as Spanish sides that have used it proves it. But I agree with you that I would wish for the return of our cavalier style of attacking play in the EPL. The reason we don’t see it though is that I feel Fergie wants the team to get used to one style and get really good at it. Trying to play two or three different styles may cause confusion and cause the whole machine to break down. And lets face it, Europe is all that the Boss is concerned with and so it’s this style until he retires.

  26. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 22:06

    @Grognard: Well if Fergie wants to continue to play that BORING 1-0 pedestrian shit – FINE, but I will not be watching it 🙁 .

  27. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 22:11

    @Grognard: All I have to say Grog is, if that is what you think, that the English sense of fair play is something I made up, then you need to come over here, and you’ll understand better the English culture. The whole feckin world has derided us for years, because of our cultural characteristic of sense of fair play. Then again, this world has so gone to shit, that anything FAIR has long gone out of USE All I got to say to you Grog, is that I would rather be fair than FOUL 😆 😆 .

  28. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 22:17

    @Grognard: So what Grog? If I want to continue to believe in FAIRNESS to those at the bottom, what does it matter if nobody agrees. Like I said, you have your VERY STRONG opinions, and I have my strong beliefs. I do not feel we should field a team of reserves, but if everyone else feels we should, well that does not invalidate my belief does it? Everyone is entitled to think what they think, and if I think differently, well that makes me fucking unique in this one thing doesn’t it 😀 . Think we better let it go now anyway, before everyone else is bored to death with this arguement. I am bored with it now. I am off to play somewhere else 😆 .

  29. Fred The Red

    19 May 2009 at 22:26

    @Grognard: I agree, SAF, in my opinion, has been heavily influenced by Italian coaches and your right, he does admire Ancelotti, but if you hear him speaking about Lippi I think you can see he has a deep respect for the man, as well as Hitzfeld.
    As for our current tactics, I also agree with your above post, SAF is trying to play a more controlled, patient and tactical way based on solidity and the ability to counter from all areas at pace.
    That seems to be his preffered system now and if it working in Epl games then he doesnt change it. Its not what United fans are used to, so I can sympathise with Craig a bit, but whenever I see the strides we are making in Europe then I think it is worth it, coz to try to play two different styles from one match to the next, might mean that the players master neither of them.

  30. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 22:31

    @Fred The Red: If your right Fred about continuing this style of football for both CL and PL, then I will NOT be watching the snooze fest football. To be honest, I HAVE BECOME BORED WITH IT ALREADY bRO 🙁 .

  31. Fred The Red

    19 May 2009 at 22:37

    @Craig Mc: In an ideal world all teams should play thier strongest teams in all matches, especially when other teams are being effected by it, but its a no win situation for SAF and I hope that if he does play a weakened team that they do the buisness, not perfect, but its just the way things are mate and I dont think anybody else would do ant different in his position.

  32. Fred The Red

    19 May 2009 at 22:43

    @Craig Mc: I think he will continue in this way mate, but I also think that our attacking play will improve with experience and fine turning. I dont think some of our snoozy play was by design, it just happened coz some of our players were below par too often.
    Both legs of our semi final against Arsenal are an indication of the potential of this system when it works well, I was impressed mate.

  33. Craig Mc

    19 May 2009 at 23:48

    @Fred The Red: Your probably right Fred Bro, but it still doesn’t feel good to me! O well like you say, that’s the order of the day, but not a day I like 😆 😆 . I feel sorry for Ronnie really, because Anelka and Ronnie have both got 18 goals, and Ronnie wont get chance to increase that if missing Hull game, whereas Anelka will play for Chelski at Sunderland. I know Fergie doesn’t want to risk Ronnie with CL and all, but it is a shame also if he loses Golden boot for top scorer. Lets hope Anelka doesn’t score, although the Chelski players will be giving him the ball all the time, because they want him and not Ron to get top scorer award. Ron wont like that at all, but he won everything last year. Shame 🙂 .

  34. Grognard

    20 May 2009 at 05:03

    @Craig Mc: Sure, I’ll bet. 😉 You are United through and through and you will watch them if they play park the bus direct football and are in last place. And so will I. 😀

  35. Grognard

    20 May 2009 at 05:07

    @Craig Mc: Yes Ok Craig we’ll do it your way and start Ronaldo, Rooney, Vidic and Rio and when Ronaldo or Rooney go down with a broken ankle and don’t play in the CL final, then don’t hold it against me if I come looking for all those in the fair play committee. If that happens you can count on the number of headhunters who will flush your fair play committee down the toilet it belongs. Their is being fair mate and then their is being careless and stupid.

  36. Grognard

    20 May 2009 at 05:09

    @Craig Mc: And mate, you are bored with this argument because you have no argument. You lost this one mate. If this argument was a football match I would have won it 7-1. You looked like Roma 2006/07 with that lame ass cause. 😉 😀

  37. Grognard

    20 May 2009 at 05:11

    @Fred The Red: Yes you are right. He does respect Lippi a great deal and he is a good friend of Hitzfeld who he also has great respect for. Notice all these managers play the continental style of football that is based on ball control and slow buildup.

  38. Grognard

    20 May 2009 at 05:13

    @Craig Mc: Oh come on mate, as much as it may not be our cup of tea, I seriously doubt you would stop watching Man Utd. Perhaps you would feel more comfortable with that outstanding brand of new wave football being played at Newcastle? Or are you not that desperate? 😉

  39. Grognard

    20 May 2009 at 05:17

    @Fred The Red: Fact is that Fergie’s reserves are better than ten or twelve of the Prem’s teams. We can beat them with the kids and therefore, there is no need to risk our stars. Nobody in football has played as many games as we have. United have played 63 games and Liverpool 52. That alone gives Fergie the right to sit down his stars down and rest them for the biggest game of the year. It’s a no brainer and nobody with any common sense in the game would begrudge him for doing that. If Shearer and Southgate have a problem with it, they should only kick themselves for putting their team into such a pickle.

  40. michael

    20 May 2009 at 05:52

    Yes our reserves are good, but I expect a mixed team at Hull. 3 or 4 final starters for certain

  41. Craig Mc

    20 May 2009 at 10:54

    @Grognard: oNLY IN YOUR HEAD grog AS ALWAYS, Only in YOUR head 🙂 .

  42. Tesha Brownd

    8 July 2011 at 20:46

    How can I setup wordpress to allow memberships?

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