Satire: An open letter to my favourite Manchester United player Mike Riley
Disclaimer: This is a piece of fiction written for humorous purposes and should be taken in jest.
The writer is not a Man united fan.
I hope you are fine. It has been quite a while since I've seen you in action. I was wondering where were you and asked some of my friends about your whereabouts, only you hear the dreaded news of retirement from the game back in 2009.
Hope you are enjoying your new endeavour post your retirement from the game. You have given the Manchester United fans great moments to cherish. Prior to 2004, when you on the field along with the Manchester United players, the team use to route the opposition, giving them no chance for a safe haven. Your on-field phenomenal performance helped Manchester United win 12 penalties out o23 matches until 2004. You also made sure that the United's opponents were booked mercilessly with your staggering record of 44 bookings and 5 reds for the opposition before 2004.
But, there is one match for which you deserve special appreciation. Yes, I’m talking about the match against Arsenal at Old Trafford on 24 October 2004 because in that match you were at your ebullient best.
You were defensively good and made sure you had Rio’s back and covered the Neville brothers well. Offensively you were kind of mixed, but when the team needed you the most, you upped the notch in seventy-first minute and helped Manchester United win a penalty. That made the fans feel woozy. Sol Campbell, the chief antagonist and perpetrator in conceding the penalty, became even more vociferous in his intent to cancel the penalty.
But, Sol forgot that he was on a football field and not in a house of parliament to scream frantically and moreover, Sol was up against you Mike, the best and the most unstoppable player Manchester United had on the field. Sol Campbell on any given day could stop the likes of Messi and Ronaldo but definitely does not stand a chance against a Manchester United player of your quality. The fans were thrilled after Van Nistelrooy converted the penalty, it was retribution for him after the way Arsenal defenders had ambushed him in the same ground last year.
Wayne Rooney put the result beyond doubt in the 90th minute. But, your performance was worthy enough to win the Ballon d'Or, because you did against Arsenal, the team which was unbeatable and untouchable. You knocked them off their perch. And the worst thing is that Arsenal still finds it difficult to come to terms with the ignominious defeat. All thanks to you Mike.
You have always been Manchester United’s lucky mascot. You were on the field with the team when Rio Ferdinand scored the winning header in the 87th minute against Liverpool in 2006. And who can forget your amazing presence on the field when Federico Macheda scored the stoppage-time winner against Aston Villa in 2009 that felt everyone speechless.
But, Mike now coming to the crux of the matter. Manchester United is going through epic crises. The team has spent millions, billions of dollars on egoistic players like Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but to no avail. Had you been around, the team would have saved ample amount of money. You can be the solution to Mourinho's problems. I have a dream, Mike, that one day you step foot on the Old Trafford turf and Manchester United will be unstoppable again. Waiting for you.