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How’s the latest episode of the Ronaldo-Madrid soap opera an ‘exclusive’?

Give me an effin’ break! Or could I be really missing something? The Guardian have gone to great lengths to splash ‘Cristiano Ronaldo ready to leave for Real Madrid in £75m transfer’ across their site and yet, nothing in the articles printed carry any facts to back their claim (that this tale is an exclusive).

I am not saying that Ronaldo won’t go to Madrid; I couldn’t be arsed, to be honest. But what makes me really mad is the three articles dedicated to this scoop, the paper wants us to believe, has nothing by way of quotes or new developments, that actually makes this a story.

I tried my best. Was there a quote from Ronaldo? No. Was there something from the manager? No. But then, they would obviously deny this for the sake of our season. So I looked for quotes from the other side. Shockingly, even Mr Rent-a-quote Calderon hadn’t said anything here. Saying ‘it is widely understood’ can even be pulled from my substantial arse, and hence, does not cut it as an exclusive. I don’t care if Ronaldo stays or leaves, but, puh-leease, don’t regurgitate four month old quotes and sell it to me as an exclusive story.

I’m done with my say on this. Soon you’ll see Newsnow, inundated with headlines screaming ‘Ronaldo to Madrid – Done Deal’. I can’t give a hyena’s bottom debating whether he should stay or leave. That ship has long sailed for me, but it takes a few hacks recycling crap like this for me to start seriously considering the value of my existence in this world.

PS: Preview will be up later in the day. Oh, and now that it is out of my system, let’s cheer the end of the international break.



  1. Red Ranter

    6 April 2009 at 05:44

    @Madschester United:
    “Why did we play Sunday and then again on Tuesday while Pool/Chelsea/Arsenal all played Saturday?”

    This link will answer that question.

  2. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 05:45

    @Redrich: I wasn’t talking about United parking the bus today. It was Villa who parked the bus in the last 20 minutes and I commented on how I hate that in football and why United has been a favorite team of mine for 30 years. Because they don’t do that. Except of course against Barca last year. That was difficult to stomach. I hate it when I am misquoted or misunderstood because I do believe my English is pretty clear and concise. 😕

  3. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 05:46

    @Red Ranter: Interject all you want RR,I know what I read and I didn’t like it so lets just drop the whole thing. I apologized to Madchester about the fascist comment. No reason to get me more pissed off because you know I am sensitive about that one subject of freedom of expression. So please, just drop it, for both our sakes.

  4. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 05:51

    @Natzca: You are absolutely right. Nothing will change unless the rules change. 3 points for a win and 0 points for a scoreless draw will smarten them all up. Add a point for every goal after one and up to 5 that is scored and you will see a different mentality on the pitch. When parking the bus is not awarded with a point, the attitude will change, but if you add an extra point to a win and a point for every goal from 2 to 5 and you will see an offensive revolution in the game. I can dream can’t I?

  5. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 05:52

    @antsBoy: I don’t think so.

  6. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 05:54

    @Madschester United: I have never nor will I ever have a problem with your comments mate. It’s when you have problems with mine or others right to voice our feelings about players that I get upset. Lets forget about the whole thing and chalk it up to a misunderstanding. Cheers. 🙂

  7. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 06:00

    @Madschester United: Anything to make the game exciting and attack oriented is not a bad thing. The game is bogged down with technical overly defensive and dare I say cowardly displays of football that are a disgrace. Adding a point for any extra goal after one is just an outstanding way of promoting attacking play. There is no differentiating from the kind of goal or quality of goal. Simply, a goal is a goal and the game has always been about goals. Winning a game 5-3 is much more entertaining than a 0-0 draw or 1-0 win. Above all, in my thinking, a 5-3 win would give the winning team 7 points. 3 for the win and 4 for every goal after the first. A 1-0 win gets a team 3 points. A considerable penalty to be paid if you want to catch up with the team that just won 5-3. 0-0 would get Zero points in my thinking because no points should be awarded for such negativity where 1-1 would get a point and 2-2 would get 2 points. A 3-3 tie would award a team the same points as a 1-0 win would. It’s all about promoting attack and entertainment and taking the shackles off the great players by freeing them to express themselves better. Tell me mate, is that such a bad thing?

    And I agree with you about fixing the poor state of refereeing.

  8. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 06:02

    @Redrich: Because of the worldwide conspiracy to destroy Manchester United by the Military Industrial Complex led by the evil Dark Lord Darth Cheney. 😉 😆

  9. Redrich

    6 April 2009 at 06:04

    @Grognard: Huh??

  10. Red Ranter

    6 April 2009 at 06:04

    @Grognard: I will drop it. But I’d greatly appreciate it if you avoid going into fits of rage on people who haven’t even addressed a comment to you without thinking it through. You’ve not made this ‘fascist’ accusation on someone for the first time, and you know that. In this century accusing someone of fascist tendencies is unacceptable from my side.

    I know you apologised, but being a senior commenter on this blog, I’d expect you to show more consideration to the newer members before bursting into a lecture on free speech. I don’t want to scare people off my blog on a misunderstanding. Not everyone knows you here. Being a little less impulsive and more considerate is what I ask.

  11. Redrich

    6 April 2009 at 06:05

    @Grognard: And Huh???, again. ❓ ❓

  12. Natzca

    6 April 2009 at 06:09

    @Madschester United: it’s not so much about nice goals or boring ones, it’s more the case of creating an environment where attacking is rewarded more than just parking the bus.
    a good example is when the NBA introduced the shot clock and outlawed zone defense, it forced teams to become more creative and use skill instead of just sitting back and clogging the paint or time wasting while holding the ball

  13. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 06:14

    @Redrich: “It’s his venom and spice that makes him the player that he is”

    I was just joking that I hate spice so if being a total undisciplined prick makes Rooney more spicy, I am one who doesn’t appreciate spicy. After all, my favorite country is Germany. They are devoid of spice. 😀

  14. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 06:20

    @Red Ranter: That is one of the rare times I went off on somebody who never directed it at me but I could see me all over those comments. Not paranoid but the fact that i was down on Ronaldo for his antics and body language. Call it being observant. And I do understand your feelings about the fascist bit. I over did it there but I just get really bent out of shape when individuals try to control others feelings and censor them. I do see your point and I will refrain from ever using it again. As for being more considerate, that is a two way street mate. Others have to be considerate of me and those who rant and tell it as they see it. Someone trying to repress bloggers by insulting our right to do say what we feel is not very considerate either. For you to label me inconsiderate is a little low knowing how I am with most on this site and how well I get along with nearly everyone.

  15. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 06:22

    @Natzca: Well said and the NBA was a great example of a league being very proactive in trying to improve a product that had become very boring with the zone defense and before they added the excitement of the three point line as well.

  16. Redrich

    6 April 2009 at 06:22

    @Grognard: Well thanks for enlightening me. I am now humbled by the your unending wisdom on Rooney and your preference for bland food and the Fatherland. I will never again post to you again without holding these facts firmly, in mind!! 😆

  17. Red Ranter

    6 April 2009 at 06:28

    @Grognard: Agreed, but this is the part you don’t get. No one controls anyone here, except me. I am the only one that can actually censor/delete/moderate a comment here. So if anyone is capable of repressing freedom of speech it’s only me. And I do it only if it contravenes the rules.

  18. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 06:30

    @Redrich: I aim to please mate. 😀

    Seriously though, Rooney just pissed me off way to much with his most recent suspension. If it happened early in the season with less on the line and less pressure on the team, I might have reacted differently. I love him as a player with his hustle and skill but his temperament needs to be addressed. It hurts him and it hurts the team. He let his team down today. The fact that we had a great lad in reserve to come on and save our bacon should not white out the fact that Rooney’s suspension seriously compromised the team’s chance of maintaining it’s lead. I hope he learns form this but as it’s not the first time he has selfishly acted like a dickhead, I wouldn’t bet my house on it.

  19. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 06:33

    @Red Ranter: Fair enough, but now you are telling me that I have no right to get annoyed when somebody puts down people like myself for our views or the right to express them. That’s not exactly fair. I replied to him not so much out of a need to protect others but because I was certain his accusations were targeted at me but not exclusively me. I remember complaining about Ronaldo’s antics and body language and voicing my displeasure about him. That is why I spoke out. I realize you are in charge here, when you are around….. 😉

  20. Red Ranter

    6 April 2009 at 06:40

    @Grognard: Aw come now Grog. You know the rules. If you think something’s wrong you know very well what’s to be done — you shoot me a mail. 😀

    And whether I am around or not, I usually am in charge. 😉 I do read all comments here.

  21. Natzca

    6 April 2009 at 06:42

    @Grognard: interesting concept err.. i’d rather see a change in the style of play allowed, instead of changing the points system, it’s not cricket 🙂

  22. Natzca

    6 April 2009 at 06:49

    @Red Ranter: gotta say what I love about this blog is the quality of ppl are top notch, and not full of ****head posters who waste comments with low-level thoughts, but actually having some good conversations/debates.
    big ups for creating an environment like this mate

  23. Madschester United

    6 April 2009 at 06:52

    @Grognard: Maybe here is your problem. You think people are out to get you – my comment was not about you, in fact as A LOT of ranters were complaing about body language and Ronaldo. I have been on this blog for a while under various names before setting with Madschester United so I know a lot more about you than you want me to know (internet comments are public domain) and I know you are a fiery ranter.

    Why would I put you down? What do I get from belittling you – NOTHING. All I can do is make sure that a comment/belief about a player/manager/club is given a fair and balanced discussion from both sides of the coin. Yes, that does mean that I will disagree with a lot of negativity because I think there is a brighter side to most things. So we over this debacle?

    *shake hands*

  24. Madschester United

    6 April 2009 at 07:05

    @Grognard: I cannot buy the NBA comparisons for a couple of reasons.
    1. In the NBA you are expected to score points on every possesion.
    2. In the NBA defense is a vague concept that is left on the sideline – no one cares for great defenders (with Ben Wallace as the exception) since they need 90+ pts to win a game, whereas in football it is a big part of the game. A great defense is often as good as a great offense – ask our 14-game clean-sheet streak.

    Changing the rules to favor offense anymore than it is now would be a disaster for the future of football.
    1. Defence. It would destroy the concept of defense – why would a manager use more than 2 defenders in a game is he can increase his goal tally by adding more midfielders/attackers?
    2. Slippery slope. If you take this step people will just expect more goals. Let’s say that now we expect about 2-3 goals per game in the EPL. With the new rules we would want more like 5-6 goals per game. 10 years later we want more – 10 goals per game so we need to change the rule to let bicycle-kick goals be worth 2 goals, etc… and we end up with NFL rules and football will lose the value of goals.
    3. Value of goals. Why do we cheer when we score a goal? It is because this goal can win the match. If the rules change so will the value of a goal. It seems almost equivalent to goal inflation, something I greatly despise (see NFL scoring).

  25. Natzca

    6 April 2009 at 07:20

    @Madschester United: hey mate, I might take a shot at rebuttal to your points, since i brought up the NBA comparison, and also because basketball and football are my top two sports (amongst others):
    1: true
    2: defense is not vague, it’s as important as havinga good offense, nearly all teams who’ve won championships have one of the best defensive records, e.g. detroit pistons, bulls (jordan was consecutively defensive player of the year), spurs, even the cavs at the moment are an extremely good defensive team.

    I agree on all your points, I guess I brought it up at looking at how/if there’s a way that teams would not look at “parking the bus” when they know they don’t have a chance to win. the last thing i wanna see is the essence of the game take out for thrills and goals

    I brought up the NBA comparison as it actually made the game much more interesting, as it forced teams to be pro-active.

  26. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 07:30

    @Red Ranter: Fair enough mate.

  27. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 07:35

    @Natzca: You can’t change the mindset of managers and coaches because the nature of the professional game has turned them all into cautious cowards. They are only concerned about keeping their jobs therefore, they design cautious and negative systems of play which will ensure their team’s success as well as their job security. It’s not about entertainment anymore, it’s all about the result. Winning ugly is the way it’s done today so any idea which open the game up and promotes attack while penalizing defense or lack of ambition should be seriously looked at. Manager will not change their stripes unless they are forced to conform to a new way of doing things. When they see that playing for a 0-0 draw is pointless, then they will have no choice but to change their approach and the game will be better off for it.

  28. Natzca

    6 April 2009 at 07:40

    here’s a soccernet link which includes SAF’s thoughts on Berba: link

  29. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 07:40

    @Madschester United: I don’t think everyone is out to get me mate. I am not a paranoid moron who is constantly looking over his shoulder. And even if you never included me in your post, I felt included because I counted myself in as one of those who felt that way about Ronaldo’s antics and body language. I respect and understand your desire to keep things positive but you can’t go demand that of us by condemning us for being negative towards one of our own. That’s why I lost my cool. I realize you weren’t intentionally putting me down but that you were commenting about a certain cynicism and attitude many of us were conveying. I just felt it was unjust and so I kind of lost it. No hard feelings and we can definitely move on in a very positive way. 😀 And yes shake hands and a high five for todays win.

  30. Red Ranter

    6 April 2009 at 07:46

    Since this thread is slow due to a lot of comments — and the fact that I have the match report up — kindly head over to the new post that’s just up. Will make life much better for everyone. 😀

  31. Natzca

    6 April 2009 at 07:51

    @Grognard: It looks like all the imbalance comes down to the fact we don’t have a salary cap, so the rich get richer and the poor well… the solution could be to introduce a salary cap maybe, then teams have to be wise in their selections, and brings back balance to the game.
    A great club shouldn’t be determined by its riches ala Real, but by the quality of it’s systems and spirit.
    but then, I can’t imagine any of the rich clubs, including us agreeing to that, it’s very hard to take money away from someone when they already have it.

  32. Madschester United

    6 April 2009 at 07:51

    @Grognard: I actually think it is UEFA who have created this mind-set. If it was only the winner of each league that made it to the champions league, I am sure wenger and benitez would have been seriously questioned for their impartial approach to winning the league in the last couple years.

    Why should Arsenal worry about not winning the league when in 4th place they secure themselves the riches of ECL.

    Changing the rules will also favor the top teams since they have the best attacking players (who are the most expensive players to buy).

    If an inferior team is playing for the 0-0 draw, the onus is on the stronger team to find a way around the proverbial bus. Remember, the weaker teams have 10 year plans for achieving success so it is imminent to them to stay in the league until they improve to mid-table, UEFA challengers – and this means get one pt from the big guys is crucial. Forcing them to open up their game would destroy small teams as they would be exposed by the superior opposition. Lastly, why wouldn’t a small team just park the bus even with the new rules. If they open up they lose and get zero pts, if they park the bus they may get zero pts from 0-0 or they may nick a goal in the end and get 3 pts from 1-0. I still have to hear a well formulated “algorithm” for tallying pts that deal with my above pts and avoid destroying small team who cannot afford the firepower up front.

    @Natzca: You are right about the defense being important part of basketball. What I meant to communicate was that the defensive role of a player is often secondary to their offensive roles in basketball because of the fact that teams need 90+ pts to win a game and the fact that you cannot switch players easily in basketball when the possession changes the team from defense to offense. If MJ was a mediocre offensive player I am not sure he would be as famous as he is now. However, Paulo Maldini is a defensive (and overall football) legend despite severely lacking an offensive aura. Does that make sense at all?

  33. Madschester United

    6 April 2009 at 07:54

    im off – school is back tomorrow… Goodnite and Go UNITED on Tuesday!

  34. Natzca

    6 April 2009 at 08:00

    @Madschester United: yeh, totally hear ya,
    well back to the drawing board..

  35. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 08:01

    @Madschester United: First off, I disagree about your points regarding basketball. I played and have Level 3 coaching certification in basketball and I believe with my heart and soul that the game has tremendous emphasis on defense both from an individualistic and team perspective. Defense wins championships and it still would win in football with my change.

    “1. Defence. It would destroy the concept of defense – why would a manager use more than 2 defenders in a game is he can increase his goal tally by adding more midfielders/attackers?”

    As much as one once to score more goals, the idea of losing a game 5-6 is just as bad as losing it 0-1. A loss is a loss, but at least if you attack more and stop folding the tent and parking the bus, the chances of winning with style and enterprise increase.

    My best example of what I mean is the Bundesliga from the 1970’s. Go to the following site in Germany
    and check out their seasonal archives for those seasons and check out the average scores in games per week. They will astound you as to the emphasis on offense. 7-4, 6-3. 5-4 were common scores in a league that had the Beckenbauer’s, Mueller’s, Netzer’s, Bonhof’s, Heynckes’s etc.
    This was the greatest period in German footballing history and their greatest national teams came form this period. Did they let defensive and negative tactics dictate to them? No. They believed in outscoring the opposition but the teams still believed in defense. It’s just a great defensive game for a team was limiting the opposition to two or less goals a game, as opposed to a shutout today. Play with defense in mind but always keep the offense as your primary weapon and emphasis. I remember thebest goalkeeper I have ever seen Sepp Maier give up seven goals one game at home to Schalke. Did that make him any less a player? No, but even good teams could get blitzed on an off night. Back then teams played a true 4-3-3 and there was no such thing as a defensive midfielder. Today many teams use two of them in 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-2-2 formations. It sucks and it has taken the fun out of the game.

    I grew up watching a show called Soccer Made in Germany so my first real exposure to the game was the Bundesliga in the 70’s. After you have watched that brand of football, everything else that has come since pales in comparison and absolutely stinks in comparison when entertainment value is measured.

    Another example I’d like to use is watching the National Hockey League in the 80’s I was blessed to have been brought up in Edmonton Alberta which was the home of the powerfully awesome Edmonton Oilers of the 80’s which had the 6 best players in the world as well as the greatest in Wayne Gretzky. Back in the 80’s this team’s style of play and attack oriented play started a revolution of attacking hockey where goals were up 100%. Scores were 9-5, 8-4 7-3, 6-5 as opposed to the game today where average games are 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. Yes defense was not as sophisticated as today
    but the game was faster and much more wide open and highly entertaining. Yet I would put some of the defensemen and goalies from that period against any of the ones today who give up fewer goals but who see the third of the number of quality chances in a game. Defense was appreciated but offense was what brought the fans in and made those games exciting. Defense is for the birds and is for boring scared people. The game is for the fans and the fans need to get more for their money. I wished we got 2 or 3 goals a game today. More like 1 or 2 is the accurate number.

  36. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 08:05

    @Natzca: Salary cap is important for the financial well being of all clubs and leagues and for more fairness but it does not ensure a more attractive product. Rules and point systems have to change to open the game up. The one change I am not for which has been suggested is making the goals bigger. I just feel more incentive is needed to force managers to change to more attack oriented tactics.

  37. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 08:14

    @Madschester United: To be honest I actually prefer the old format for the European Cup. I really am a believer that only the champions of every league and the defending European champions should be fighting for that trophy. The idea of letting a third and fourth place team into the competition is repugnant to me. Also, the idea of having a two leg system with aggregate knockout is more exciting than having divisions where teams play 6 boring as hell games before they move into the knockout round. It’s too long and too many games and it really hurts teams trying to win in a number of competitions. Back in the 70’s a team like Ajax or Bayern would play 8 or 9 games in the European Cup, 5 or 6 in their domestic cup and 34 games in a league season. Between 45 to 50 total games. Today the teams that go as far as possible can play up to and even exceeding 70 games. In England you play 38 league games, 6 or 7 league cup games, 7 or 8 FA Cup games and up to 13 games in the Champions league. Also, lets not forget the Charity Shield, the European Super Cup and 3 or 4 game sin the World Club Cup. That’s 70 games. Far too much.
    Champions aren’t always the better team when you play that much. Some times it’s the team that is the deepest and luckiest in avoiding injury that wins. Not a true marker for greatness.

  38. thethreeRs

    6 April 2009 at 14:44

    Grog, I suspect your added hatred of opinions being policed is your experience at the hands of a female control freak whose agenda had an undermining effect on you. I experienced something very similar and am still very thin-skinned at times. This site is good because most here try to resolve perceived slights and RR runs a tidy ship.
    PS attack attack attack

  39. Grognard

    6 April 2009 at 17:40

    @thethreeRs: I had a bad experience with a female years ago but she was not a control freak and our break up had nothing to do with that. I’ve have always been and always be a non conformist in many things. Although I respect authority figures, I do not like to be told I have to do something or must do something if I honestly doesn’t want to do it. I wasn’t brought up by hippies, I just hate authority, especially the kind that doesn’t come with a badge.

    So your assumption is way off the mark. Being undermined by a female can do a lot of damage but in my case, rebelling against control freaks is not not an after effect of it. Sorry but your theory is wrong. Perhaps I’m just a miserable asshole. 😉

  40. thethreeRs

    8 April 2009 at 00:32

    @Grognard: Thanks for clearing that up. Your comments often echo what I’m feeling and I lmade an assumption or two too many.
    Free speech is something to be guarded and is under threat in many parts of the world. Let’s hope for performances that allow us to express joy rather than worry. I think Arsenal could rip us to shreds at the moment and we could have to play them 3 times in the near future.

  41. RedDevilEddy

    19 June 2009 at 22:31

    @Nino: Good times… :mrgreen:

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