Thursday, February 22, 2007

Well well well... Man U are back to winning ways, so it certainly brings joy to a Man U fan like me. But that also means Man U are the team to hate again.

Previously it was the bottomless coffers of Abramovich, the lets buy the new Galatico mentality and the cock-sure demeanor of Jose Mourinho that put everyone off - their trophy collection run the past 2 seasons didn't help either.

But now that Man U have kick-started a good season, the hate is creeping back in.
We aren't the richest club anymore - doesn't matter.
We can't just buy players on a whim and fancy anymore - doesn't matter.
What matters now is that we've got probably the world's most hated player in Cristiano Ronaldo, that we've got American owners, that we've got American sponsors, and that we're still commercialized enough (even though last i read and remember, Real Madrid has overthrown our non-football-related earnings dominance) to garner the combined hate of most of the footballing world.

Seems like everyone's forgotten about Chelsea for the moment. They've got a squad of world-class players but people aren't particularly worried at the moment because they're not running away with the title yet. They had internal problems with William Gallas apparently affecting team morale, they had players apparently voicing their concern regarding Mourinho's insistence of having 2 players in every position resulting in no one having a place on the 1st team confirmed, so the seeming invulnerability they enjoyed the past 2 seasons has waned. Chelsea recently posted record losses of near £80 million, and didn't even bat any eyelid, and judging from the ESPNsoccernet polls, no majority of readers aren't particularly concerned since i gather:
1. Its Abramovich's money, he can do whatever he wants with it.
2. Chelsea is in private hands, they can do whatever they want with their money as long as they're not relegation-threatened.

Though hate channeled towards Man U this season isn't that protracted this season, it still disgusts me since i am, and have been a Man U fan since i began watching and playing football. This was evident in the recent controversy of the Champions League Lille v Man Utd encounter. I myself was quite surprised it was allowed to be honest, since Lille was still lining up their wall, and judging from the referee's strictness at the beginning of the game where he was particularly disdainful of physical play, i didn't think he would allow the goal to stand. I saw the Lille goal too, and though i agreed with the referee that it looked like Odemwingie had nudged Vidic out of the way, but i would not say my opinion holds much weight since i am a Man U fan and would naturally be biased towards Man U. But considering Thierry Henry had a similar goal and it was deemed legal, i guess the referee's decision was right. And from the articles i'm reading so far, it would also seem that UEFA agrees to the referee's decision.
Lille are naturally incensed, i don't blame them after such a goal, but its the reasons they give that disgust me. My blood boils in particular to the reason they give that the referee awarded the goal out of favoritism - its almost the same line where people claim Man U are more likely to be awarded penalties just because they are Man U; but to put things in perspective, since i don't believe this is true, i also believe Sir Alex is full of it when he claims that referees are biased against Man U and are less likely to award penalty decisions in favor of Man U. I would probably agree and sympathize with Lille had they argued feverishly on the grounds that they honestly thought it was a set piece and would be allowed time to line their wall and wait for the whistle, but i'm afraid the minute they mention favoritism they've rubbed me the wrong way and now that they've said it publicly, i'll tell them to shove it up their ass and i hope they answer for their words when the disciplinary committee makes a decision.
I read a comment in the ESPNsoccernet forums that said Man U should be investigated for similar match-fixing as with the Italian Serie A teams, i'll say go ahead - and i do hope that the English FA start such an investigation, a proper one and full-scale one at that, not the recent bung claim that fizzled away. If Man U are innocent, i know there will still be cynics out there who refuse to believe it and continue to throw such groundless accusations, but if Man U are proven guilty, i hope it heralds a big change in English football, as we could certainly do with more integrity in this game.

Well, i guess its perhaps the curse of being the biggest or the best. Look at Microsoft, look at EA, heck even Sony's got it. Even more bizarre i actually know of people who hate DBS. So if people in general have a tendency to hate you even if you don't know them, i guess you must be doing something right...


Dr@n|xX at 10:50 PM