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HELLO ALBERT, HELLO SPION KOP!
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HELLO ALBERT • ISSUE 25  

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Editorial
Fan Profile – Richard Goodier
A View from The West Stand
C'mon Arsenal!

Book Review – Moving The Goalposts


C’MON ARSENAL

All my footballing friends know that I have an abiding passionate hate for Manchester United. And yet when they ask me why, the reasons I put forward sound quite pathetic.

It may have started when they beat us in the F.A.Cup in 1965 with the help of an offside goal by George Best (For new readers, we lost 1-2 after leading for an hour). Things weren’t helped by the fact that we were all left on Old Trafford Station to wait for our train back to Chester in the pouring rain. When eventually the train did come it was postal carriages that we were all packed into, standing, dripping wet, nose to nose for our sorry trip back home.

Then, again it could also have been not long afterwards when I went to work in Manchester for three years. I got quite tired of working with people who thought they were supporters of the only team on the planet. They treated my support of Chester FC with abject derision. I very quickly became a sympathetic Manchester City supporter.

My dislike of Manchester United has hardened over their last few successful years (Which I don’t begrudge them, incidentally). It’s the sheer arrogance of the club and their supporters. Look at the faces of their fans when an opposing team has the affront to score against them. It’s a look of total disbelief, as if to say, “How dare they!”

Not only that, but the fielding of under-strength sides in cup matches because of their obsession with winning the League at all costs and the chase to win as many title s as Liverpool. It’s sheer arrogance.

I could go along with fellow Manchester United haters and say that it’s very hard for opposing teams to get decisions at Old Trafford. Fifty-fifty decisions always go Man United’s way at home, and the referee always finds extra injury time if United are drawing at home. But I’m not quite as bad as that. Suffice to say that I won’t watch any match that involves them on TV. I tape record Match of the Day and fast forward their game unless, of course, they get beaten in which case I whoop with delight as the ball enters the net and stick two fingers up at Alex Ferguson when he’s interviewed. Pathetic and sad really but one of the few joys of my life!

Did you know that Ferguson has banned Radio 5 from being given interviews at Old Trafford? Why? Because the greatest of all commentators, Alan Green, called Roy Keane “A lout”. You couldn’t make it up could you?

I’m afraid that after their recent match against Newcastle there is no chance of me changing my attitude. Gunnar Solskjaer hacked down Robert Lee in full flight in a one-to-one on the United goal. The cheers from the sycophantic home supporters were akin to those that acknowledge the kill at a bullfight. Ole! So-called professionalism rules OK! Yet, sadly, in playgrounds all around the country there are going to be tears as impressionable youngsters mimic their Premiership favourites and haul down certain scorers on the tarmac. “It’s what’s expected” will argue the young assailants. For Solskjaer and United it denied Newcastle victory and kept Fergie’s side in with a chance of snatching three crucial points at the death.

I still play five-a-side football twice a week, and had that happened in such a game, the player would have been rebuked in no uncertain terms that it was unsporting behaviour and that he risked losing his place in the game. But of course at Premier League level it is all about money. The desire for success consumes any last vestige of sportsmanship. A sending off and a free kick to was no use to Newcastle. The goal chance had gone. I personally think that this rule has to change – that the punishment should be a penalty.

To make matters worse, as Solskjaer left the pitch he was given a pat on the back from “Posh Boy” Beckham and then refused to apologise after the game. He did it for the team, he claimed. No apology from the manager either (No surprise there). No apparent concern for the negative image this gives of the game. It seems that SELF-image is all important instead – Alex has started dyeing his hair!

Chris Courtney-Williams


ISSUE 25 Editorial
Fan Profile – Richard Goodier
A View from The West Stand
C'mon Arsenal!

Book Review – Moving The Goalposts
 

 

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