Maybe I’m gloating a little bit, but I do think the Arsenal-Birmingham Carling Cup final was one of the best since… we won it last year! That’s match has been so good to United fans for three years in a row now – here’s hoping it puts The Arse off their stride as we had towards the title run-in!
Archive for February, 2011
I’ve been going to watch United for a number of years now, and I can honestly say that Saturday’s performance against Crawley was one of the most toothless I’ve experienced.
Of course, the game meant a lot more to the Crawley players, and we put out a second string side, but that shouldn’t matter. Players like Obertan, Bébe and Gibson should realise that cup games like this represent their chance to break into the starting XI, and they should be showing that they can play against the Chelseas and Arsenals of this world. They shouldn’t be struggling against a side like Crawley.
Fair play to the non-leaguers though, they certainly put up a hell of a fight and even Fergie said they should have snatched a draw. Thank God they didn’t – we don’t need the extra game or the embarrassment.
The last few weeks have been quiet in Barker World. I’ve been spending my time since the New Year just keeping calm and carrying on. I’m single again now, and I’ve stopped drinking and doing the sorts of things a man in his 40s shouldn’t be doing. I’m finding lots of time to read, which is nice, and the production work I’m doing flies by now as I’m a little bit sharper and more focused.
I’m considering moving out of Chorlton, as I don’t think it’s the type of place where I want to grow old. It’s nice and green, and serene, but every day I see more young people moving in. I don’t think it’s my place anymore. But where to next? I don’t want to live in town as it’s too busy and I don’t need the stress. Maybe the country would be a good place for me. Bands would love to record in a nice remote area, and longer weekend-stay-sessions could work out both financially and in regards to productivity. Food for thought…
The news that Gary Neville has retired won’t come as a shock to many Reds. The last few years have been an injury-ridden nightmare for Neville, taking away from him the ever-present status in the first team he had enjoyed since the late 90s.
Neville has been the United player other fans loves to hate, and I completely understand why. Put him in any other team, and United fans would have hated him too. He is true to his cause, and has never had a bad word to say about the club. Even when the likes of Gabriel Heinze, Carlos Tevez and even Roy Keane pointed the finger at Sir Alex, Neville remained a loyal servant. In fact, in the case of Tevez, Neville pointed a finger back…
Neville’s last performance came over Christmas against West Brom and, hand on heart, he was lucky to have remained on the field for as long as he did. It seems that the press and the fans weren’t the only people who noticed that Neville was not the same defender he once was, and he made up his mind to quit.
Full-backs age quicker than most players. Their game dealing with nippy wingers relies on pace and fitness. As Neville himself has said, he wasn’t the most flashy or technically-sound player, but fitness he had in droves. Time, of course, takes such attributes away.
Neville’s commitment to United will always remain, and it’s not difficult to see him as a part of the Old Trafford set-up in one way or another for the rest of his life. Perhaps his absence won’t make the headlines the eventual retirements of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes will, but football is a less-interesting place without Gary Neville at right-back.