A few words--just a few--on Man United's loss to Real Madrid. Every other team in the EPL is feeling more than a little of the ol' schadenfreude as they enjoy their coffee or tea. Make no mistake; if the boot were on the other foot, Sir Al would put forth such musings as, "He's done that sort of thing before" and "A dangerous play is a dangerous play" and "(bovine scatology ten-feet deep)". I particularly liked how, for every single play thereafter, the whaling and gnashing of teeth of every United player (no exceptions) wondering why on earth they weren't getting the calls they flat-out expect to get every single time they take the pitch.
Look, SAF is a genius. I worship John Wooden but even the Wizard of Westwood has to take second fiddle when it comes to the staggering achievement of Ferguson. Has any manager in any sport enjoyed such extraordinary success? Will anyone ever do so again? No and not likely. And that in no way changes my opinon that SAF, like his team and like many of their plasticine fans, is obnoxious in the extreme. And, Rio? You clap your hands directly in my face and I don't care if I lose my refs license for life, you're getting your wrists broken.
I'm not sorry to say I don't feel sorry for Man United at all. Red Devil fans might say today was injustice. Those on the business end of ManU calls over the years would take away the prefix.
Here's the roundtable. We got four this week but, man, what a four. Feel free to share in the comments.
Fact or Fiction: If Man City doesn't finish second in the league and loses the FA Cup, Roberto Mancini is looking for work.
Danny Pugsley: Fiction. My personal view is to keep him regardless and that a trophy or second place doesn't alter that. I don't think it will matter to the powers that be either. What I'm sure they will look is who is best positioned to deliver their aims in the long term. Short term success won't alter this. Now, is Mancini the man they have in mind? That will be the key question.
Kmoney: Fiction. Come on now, who are we Chelsea? But seriously, RM has been, in his own words and mine, the best manager in England. He's right, he has won an FA Cup and the EPL in a matter of 15 months, and so he has earned his "keep." I also don't see City dropping out of Champions League position; I think that would be a bigger disappointment. A change will come if City get the majority of Mancini's target transfers this summer, and results aren't positive (i.e. another early Champions League exit).
Lafaitele: Fiction. Roberto Mancini will be fine. He told management repeatedly after last season that if they didn't bring in more top-class players, that it would not be enough to beat United this season, especially if they got RVP and we didn't. He was proven right, and management realized this, getting rid of Marwood and bringing in Begiristain. If Bobby had been predicting that we would run over everyone and then we performed like this, he would be fired. As it stands, he called what would happen. He will get another season to prove himself. ***We are not owned by Abramovich. The ownership is in this for the long haul and do not make knee-jerk reactions. They are businessmen committed to a sustainable model.
sonics097: Fact. I don't want this to happen should we miss out on 2nd and the FA Cup, but sadly, I think there is a good enough chance for it to happen, especially with Mourinho's future up in the air. Ultimately I don't think that both of these criteria will end up happening, so we should be okay.
Kmoney: Fact. The way they are playing right now, combined with the controversy coming from both Arsenal and Chelsea camps, I don't see them dropping from their position in third. They might drop points if they continue their run in the Europa League, but Chelsea is in that same position. Only reason I didn't say they'd finish second is because City won't let that happen, I hope!
Lafaitele: Fact. Chelsea is a mess in midfield and central defense, and Arsenal is rubbish at the back. Not to mention either manager who is currently under fire. Tottenham is an exciting team. They play with a high line, pacey wingers, and a strong midfield. If they had gotten AVB the striker he wanted, they would be pushing past City for 2nd right now. They will be an extremely dangerous team next season.
sonics097: Fact. Now, Spurs do this every year for a period; they go on a strong run and people start talking about 3rd and sometimes 2nd place. But this time, Chelsea look a mess and Arsenal are... well, Arsenal. Oh, and there's that creature named Gareth Bale. He'd look great in sky blue I reckon.
Fact or Fiction: Even if he doesn't win player of the year, Gareth Bale is the best player in the league.