Today we start off with some quotes from the boss, who has now rediscovered his rage of old. We all know his tirade against Howard Webb, which we thought was a tad unfair. But now he’s also had opinions on some other issues that dog the footballing world, and the Premier League in particular, voiced out loud and clear.
Fergie thinks that having a limit on number of foreign players is a good idea. He didn’t waste much time taking a dig at Arsenal and Liverpool:
“You want to protect your own, and there is nothing wrong with that. But, for the good of the game in England, it would be good to see more home-based players at the top clubs. United’s critics would say, ‘It’s all right for you, you already have English players in your side.’ But I think if you asked a neutral, they would rather see more home-based players.”
It is all well and good for the game. He makes valid points here and there are equally valid arguments on the contrary as well. But one can’t help but point to the fact that Fergie has indeed acknowledged Arsene as his biggest rival this season, following the departure of Mourinho. It’s time for his classic mind games, so brace yourself for some war of words as the season wears on, and if Arsenal continue to remain a threat. It is amusing to note, however, that Fergie showed a little bit of concern for the English football team, and how more homegrown talent would improve the national team.
If that wasn’t enough, he targetted another object of his ire — agents.
“Agents need to be regulated in a far stricter way than they have been in the past. They are a very lucky breed because as long as you have greedy club presidents, agents will always be in the driving seat. But if world football recognises the need for regulation, that would make a real difference. The set-up has to be more professional.”
Again, there is a fair bit of truth in what he said. Gary Neville has himself been against agents completely. While that might be a little extreme, considering his career was managed completely by his father and he was a one-team man, a lot of agents do take a sizeable amount of money away from the game and that is not good for football. Make no mistake, a lot of agents also do a reasonable job, taking the pressure off players who have to play as well as manage their finances. I will leave this and the bit on foreigners up to you for debate.
Moving on, Vidic has confessed that he is terrified about flying and the longer we are in European contention, the more he is nervous about flying. Yes, it is not major news but bringing into perspective United and its history with flying it merits a mention. He also talks about strikers he’s played against and rates Drogba, van Persie, Kenwyne Jones as among the stronger players he’s faced.
Gary Neville is out, again. This time with calf trouble. So here goes another two weeks.
And finally, Hargreaves expects us to coast past Kiev. He said that Kiev were poor last time round and since we are playing at home there isn’t much they can be expected to do. He makes his CL debut for United tomorrow.
More on the game and other stuff tomorrow.
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