Derby Day. But first we had to endure Ronaldo being voted Player Of the Year. Can you believe that? When you think of the calibre of previous winners, Tom Finney, Stan Mathews, Bert Trautmann, Don Revie, etc – players with honour, dignity and sportsmanship, but in 2007 a diving cheat who sours his football skills with such behaviour is chosen.
So an early start for the derby. We were a bit down in the dumps after the Barton situation but Blues walking past and buying the 'zine cheered us up. Not many rags seen, and a few variations on the AIG theme aired by Blues ….. ‘Another Italian Goal’ etc.
So to the game. Took my place a bit late, owing to an over officious steward, and what a masterstroke that was by the club putting a sky blue and white bar scarf on each seat, made for a splendid spectacle. So I missed the Ball stomp on the lady boy after the latter’s pathetic pirouette. A bit naughty, but surely cheered by every fan and player in the country.
Sad to see him carried off on a stretcher, never to return, with his career ended, just like Bell, Pardoe, and Haaland. Oh what’s that? It was just a scratch? And he carried on with his antics and gained a penalty? Well, well, never heard any criticism from anyone at united, fan, player, manager, board, and certainly not the press.
So 1-0 down. It probably was just a pen, but the theatrics that accompanied it surely
warranted a booking, that would have made it two and off he'd go. Disgraceful.
Scholes also, as predicted, got away with murder. Nice to hear Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again, blasting out at half time, but no apparent half time problems - unlike last week when Joey, apparently, had to be dragged off easy target Onuoha.
Second half they’d had it, but we couldn’t cash in. Subs Sun, Sinclair and Dickov came on for Hamann, Ireland, and Sinclair. So, after Pearce had defended Samaras all week he didn’t play him (!), our most prolific penalty taker. We had a pitch invader too, with the rags chanting ‘one Joey Barton’! Very funny, well quite funny. Then guess what? We got a dodgy one, I thought we would have carried on and scored if it hadn’t been given. Van Der Sar - who was a decent fellow at Fulham but has now learnt all the rag sneaky tricks - psyched Vassell out, and was only awarded a booking for time wasting. Daz never looked like scoring and we looked a gift horse in the mouth as De Sar fluked it with his legs.
We had let the whole country down, and at the end our players just managed a wave from the centre spot, rather than a lap of (dis)honour. Disappointing to say the least.
Now for the Press hysteria. Paul Wilson in the Observer continued his and the paper’s (remember last week’s inaccurate Keeling piece on City) anti City and rag arselicking. Strange for an Everton (united feeder club) fan, as Wilson is. Instead of writing stuff like ‘City fans, having not won a trophy for over 30 years, only scoring ten home goals this season (we once scored that many in a single game) at COMS, and having to watch their despicable, disgusting, disgraceful local rivals probably go on to win the title, showed an amazing display of passion and loyalty, beyond the call of duty’, which was the truth, he wrote, without any condemnation of Ronaldo or De Sar (but did at least spot Scholes’ misdemeanours) : “…. touchingly, each supporter was given a blue-and-white scarf to wave. That’s City all over. No goals, no guts, no happy ending , but you get a free scarf.” You’d expect better from an Evertonian, who should have some sympathy, considering they have to put up with Liverpool. No e-mail address by the way, and worse, he once sat in our house doing an interview with me, about 12 years ago, over a nice cuppa tea. Time to stop buying the 'Observer' I think, it's not good for the blood pressure.