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Media Digest: derby drama, the fans and the Avengers

632   //    19 Dec 2012, 10:06 IST

For many, Sunday is a day spent in the company of the family and friends, reading that unfinished book, or watching a new episode of a favourite show. Over at United Rant it’s a day spent catching up on the beautiful game. Join us, in Rant’s weekly round-up of Manchester United-related news and blogs – Media Digest.


As bloggers sober from the derby win, after examining every moment in microscopic detail, rewatching Robin van Persie’s goal for the hundredth time, and wondering how lucky Rio Ferdinand is to retain two functioning eyes, Rant takes a look at the best articles of the week. (Hey, City, “There’s one more guy you pissed off… His name is Phil.“)

“I still believe in heroes”

Wow, just wow. More than a week has passed, but United fans are still pretty excited: the noisy neighbours are silent once again and the Reds go marching on (on, on!) The last 10 minutes prior to van Persie’s winner were pure agony, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s men first trying to not lose an advantage, then fighting to stay in the game.

But Sir Alex’ bold move, noted on this week’s Rant Cast, paid off big time. What seemed destined to become a story of injustice and despair turned out to be one with a fairy-tale ending. Victory is not revenge for the last season’s drama – nothing will, bar securing the Premier League –  but fans will settle for a derby win. For now.

And the moment when van Persie’s strike hit the net?

Steve Rogers: Stark, are you seeing any of this?
Tony Stark: Seeing, still working on believing.

There was fullsome praise for United in general, and van Persie in particular this week, with fans voicing respect for Fergie’s approach to the game.  Dan from Red Rants argues that “United might have taken a much-needed step towards the future”, echoing Colin Millar’s optimistic views expressed in “Tactical Adaptation Shows Ferguson Is Far From Extinct”, Can They Score?:


For all the top teams, it’s important to get squad rotation right. Having already alluded to the exceptions – goalkeeper rotation and overuse of older generation – Ferguson has proved year after year that he is the master of this. Rarely do you hear of United’s players discontent. Javier Hernandez is positively beaming when he comes off the bench to score a winner, in stark contrast to the moody Edin Dzeko at City.

Steve Rogers: Stark, we need a plan of attack!
Tony Stark: I have a plan: attack!

Sometimes it works! Meanwhile, Darren Richman enjoyed watching the game at Eastlands and described the experience in “Oh Robin van Persie – A view from the stands”, Stretford-End:

Then we got the free kick. Despite myself, I had a sixth sense it would go in. It seemed to happen in slow motion. There was only the tiniest gap between Hart’s hand and the post. The ball span towards us and into the goal. The rest is noise.

To wrap it up, Red Mancunian offers a chance to re-live the moment as if you were right there!

“That’s my secret, Cap: I’m always angry”

There’s a nice line in The Avengers: “You know, when you say ‘peace’, I kind of think you mean the other thing.” And so it is when fourth estate echoes authorities, in demanding fans should be hoarded behind nets and that players should be forbidden from celebrating in front of their own supporters.

Whoever threw the two pence coin at Ferdinand is, of course, an idiot but one imbecile doesn’t justify a dozen moronic suggestions from the powers that be. More importantly, actors from the both sides of divide are too quick to jump on the blame bandwagon. Darren Jennings is furious, as he articulates in The Blame Game”, 7Cantonas:

I believe too many fans are simply spoilt. We think we have a divine right to see our team win, especially at home. On our patch we can call opposing players every name under the sun and they should take it like automatons. God forbid they should ever score against us. However, should they then celebrate that goal right in front of us by doing a crap little dance that even the gangnam-style bloke would think was uncool, well that’s licence for us to attack them isn’t it. After all, we only suggested that they sexually abuse children and animals or hoped that their own offspring died of cancer. Fans really do have to get a sense of perspective and realise that you cannot constantly dish it out and not expect to never receive any back. Football doesn’t work like that, just as life does not work like that.

However, Jennings isn’t the only blogger surprised with fans’ reactions. In the article Players Shouldn’t Celebrate With Their Own Fans! Ever!”, The Republik of Mancunia Scott argues the reaction of some is nothing short of ridiculous:

Are we seriously saying that if your team scores a last minute winner against your title and local rivals you shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate with your fans? And that if you do celebrate with your fans and are in throwing distance of opposition fans you deserve everything that’s coming to you? Do me a favour. On Radio 5 Live, these moronic people text and called in to try and lay blame at Rio’s door. Thankfully, Paddy Crerand was on the case, and put these idiots straight.

Stretty News carries audio with a full transcript of Crerand’s hillarious interview on the subject.

Tony Stark: I thought we were having a moment. 
Pepper Potts: I was having twelve percent of a moment.

It seems like fans must take a long look at themselves if those precious little moments are not to become extinct.

You put those people together, you can’t expect what’s going to happen

If Michael Carrick cares what fans think of him, the midfielder may be a proud man this week. Often a past scapegoat, Carrick is now praised by many, including some of his more stubborn critics. But has the midfielder filled a Roy Keane-shaped hole in United’s midfield?

Doron Salomon, amazed that it has taken so long for United fans to ‘get’ Carrick, doesn’t answer the question, but believes the Reds will soon face a new task: replacing a Carrick-shaped hole in the midfield. Salomon shares some thoughts on United’s metronome in “Michael Carrick and Roy Keane: so dissimilar and yet so alike”, Stretty Rant:

Actually, a comparison with the great Roy Keane is probably as apt as it ever has been. Not because of their style or in the sense of leadership. Rather, Carrick’s made himself invaluable to the side through his intelligence and sheer repetitiveness of every single thing he does – his role in the team makes him a guaranteed starter almost every game. Whether it’s a pass or tackle you can be sure that it’s almost always perfectly executed to the highest level. His perfect partner is arguably yet to be found but putting energy and dynamism around him appears to be the best route for a generally underwhelming midfield. In fact, Keane in his pomp would probably thrive playing with the Carrick of today.

Carrick’s partner is in for some praise too. Tom Cleverley, whose “brand” is the butt the many jokes, emerged as one of the team’s key players in the past week. Sam Peoples briefly reviews Tom’s current performances in his blog The Peoples Person.

While press speculation about Nani’s move to Arsenal was just that, many can’t help but wonder how long it is before the Portuguese winger leaves the club. As Stark said: “I thought I didn’t qualify. I was considered, what was it? Volatile, self-obsessed, and I don’t play well with others.” Can Nani can overcome a similar problem or does the winger’s future lie somewhere else? Red Flag Flying High wonders.


The Busby Way takes  a look at Vidic’s return and finds an elephant in the room.

Kagawa sings “Gangnam style”, thanks to Stretty News. Fortunately, Robin’s got a better taste.

The most brilliant moment(s) of November can be found in GIF format on Beautifully Red.

For those of you who still dream of Cristiano – ‘they’ say, his agent is looking for an option to bring the player back to England, so you never know –  The Busby Way has a video from Anton Alfy on Ronaldo’s United years.

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