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Neville’s Return | Benzema’s ‘Interest’ | Sven Urges Bitters to Show Respect

Captain Neville returned to action, finally, in a reserve game against Everton reserves yesterday. And guess what, he scored!

He played 45 minutes without too much trouble. One hopes his run out does no damage to him this time. It’s good to see Neville return and hopefully, he should be back to first team action before long. A bench role against Newcastle may be far fetched, but he should be able to make it back to first team action towards the end of January if he makes good progress from now on.

The English papers seem out of ideas, as one would expect from them, and this time they infer from Benzema’s recent comments that he intends to play for Manchester United. ‘Benzema tempted by United’, declares a Sky Sports headline, but these are his actual quotes:

Milan makes me dream. Also because Ronaldo [the fat one] is there – he’s my idol. He’s from another planet. But I also love Juventus, Inter and Manchester United – the big clubs. What’s important is to win. I would leave Lyon only to continue to win and when I also feel ready mentally.

So you see, United is just one of the top clubs that he would love to play for. Since he spoke to Gazzetto dello Sport, Italian clubs made the list of his ‘dream’ clubs, apart from United. Tomorrow L’ Equipe could interview him and he will probably praise his fellow Frenchman Arsene Wenger and say how good a place Arsenal is to play football. Until there is a concrete bid, or voices from our club, nothing is really going to happen. At least not in January. Or for that matter, until Fergie sees him first hand when we meet Lyon in the Champions’ League.

Sven Goran Eriksson will attempt to tell Citeh fans to show restraint and behave when we mark our 50th Anniversary since the Munich Air Disaster. Thankfully the match will be held at Old Trafford, and not the council house. The City fan ticket holders will be given a letter from Sven and Dunne along with a poster of ex-City goalkeeper Frank Swift who, in his capacity as a journalist, was one of the victims of the air crash. It will be hoped that they manage to curb their infantile urge to bring up those despicable Munich chants. Of course, since it is a minute’s silence that United plan to enforce — unlike the one minute applause seen these days — we’ll have to wait and see if the victims get their due from all fans.

Also it will be good to see the retro style kits, shorn of any advertising, during this game.

And that’s about it for the day. For those wondering where the rest of the half time season report went, don’t worry, they will be posted in a couple of days.

Oh, and what the hell is wrong with Newcastle? They know no patience, do they? Do they really think getting a clutch of new, albeit average, players, can win them a fourth place in the first season under a brand new manager? Do they really think they are better than the likes of Villa and Pompey? Don’t fans have any patience these days? Let’s pray for Shearer to come over and get them relegated with his clearly superior tactical acumen — as evidenced by his impeccable punditry. Seriously, how stupid are these Geordies?

Unfortunately for us, we will be facing a club with a new manager, and we all know how difficult such games can be. But more on that later in the Newcastle preview.