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Opinion Piece

Red Alert, he’s back!

Hide your wives or girlfriends, children and treasure and most of all, increase your intake of pain medications and Valium, because I’m back baby YEAH! Yes tis I the one and only Grognard (Groggy to his friends) reporting once again on the world of Manchester United and footy in general.

After a long absence and self imposed exile I have returned to offer up my take on what has been happening and what is going to happen to our beloved Red Devils. For those of you who are not familiar with me and for those of you who just don’t give a crap let me just say that I used to be a regular contributor on this site for a number of years.

Although I built a bit of a cult following on here and I had a loyal following of members who liked and appreciated my take on all things football, there were just as many if not more who thought I was an irritating tosser and wind bag or the offspring of some dark sex act between Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho.

Many months ago I left Red Rants in a fury over differences I had regarding content and attitude with our blog leader Ian. Let me say right now that I was the guilty party. Although I stand by my beliefs and views, I was wrong to express them as I did on this forum and I was wrong to have placed Ian in such a terrible position. Let me say right now that I was never kicked off the site. I just stopped writing articles and my ego could not handle what I felt at the time was censorship. Fact is I was just going through a dark period in my life and Red Rants was a perfect vessel for me to spew my hidden venom under the veil of controversial football topics.

I was a bit too abrasive, showed a great deal of disrespect to United, Fergie, Ian and I seemed to get into a lot of arguments with other members who felt I was losing it or crossing the line. Well I wasn’t losing it and in most cases I stand by what I wrote thematically. It’s the harshness in which I wrote things that I erred in. Above all, I should have been more mature and strong when it came to taking criticism. Bottom line was I was one of the old guard on this site and I didn’t care for the restraints and new direction Ian was taking the site. Fact (as Rafa would say), I was wrong. Fact, this was not my site to take liberties with. Fact, I apologize to Ian and to everyone and anyone I offended or upset with my harsh and abrasive way of offering my opinions.

So why then am I back? Well there were a number of reasons really. What might surprise you all to know is that although Ian and I really got into it over my lapses of judgement in the past, we both shared a mutual respect and like for one another. We had our major disagreements but still respected each other and understood that deep down our parting ways on Red Rants was for the good of the site at the time and not anything personal. I was not banished but I just felt exhausted and frustrated and to be honest, my attitude and abrasive way of pointing out all the problems I saw with United were just rubbing too many people wrong. It was time for a self-imposed exile or hiatus.

It’s been over a year now or close to it but a lot has changed with club, world of football and with me. Ian and I had kept in touch and when he broached the subject of me coming back. He didn’t have to ask twice. At the best of times I used to be controversial but I also offered up solid opinions and knowledge on our club and the game of football. I used to be the straw that stirred the drink at Red Rants and although I was not everyone’s cup of tea, I definitely got opinions and traffic flowing on Red Rants. I am hoping to do so again.

Although I am Canadian born and raised, I love the game and adore Manchester United as if I was born a Mancunian and raised on the proper red side of the tracks. I have followed the game for over forty years and consider myself well informed and highly opinionated. My opinions are my own of course and they have often got me in trouble in the past. That no longer will happen. It took an old goat like myself a while to figure out that it was silly, stupid and just folly for me to get upset with everyone’s views on what I wrote, even if their opinions or replies would get personal. An old school grunt like me still has a hard time wrapping himself around the whole concept and universe that is the world-wide web and so I needed to grow up and realize that opinions on my views or on my self didn’t really matter coming from complete faceless strangers thousands of miles. So why get so upset and bent out of shape if some people would lambaste me with hatred and venom after one of my infamous rants?

Well all I can say to you good folks today is that I have grown and learned from my mistakes and I have mellowed. I love footy and I want to partake in all the conversations and debates about our club as it enters an entirely new generation under a new manager. These are exciting times and need I say perilous. We just do not know what David Moyes will bring to the table. Hopefully he will become Fergie Version 2.0 and the beat will go on. As Bob Dylan once wrote and sang, “The times they are a changing”. And so am I. I look forward to the upcoming season and to get back to ranting about football and shooting the bell with some of my old friends on Red Rants (you all know who you are). Now it’s time for some football and for Manchester United to carry on it’s proud tradition. And I want to go along for the wild ride. Always red and not yet dead.