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Day: October 18, 2010

Wayne Rooney And Manchester United: A Sign Of The Times?

They booed the home team off the pitch at the end of Saturday’s match at Old Trafford between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion. For the fifth time in eight league matches this season, United had failed to win a league match and, although they remain unbeaten in the Premier League table and stay in the Champions League places for the time being, for Manchester United supporters that have been plumpened with almost two decades of unbroken success, this is what counts for underachievement. More troubling for supporters of the club, however, will be the apparent breakdown in the relationship between Sir Alex Ferguson and another of his employers’ most prized assets; Wayne Rooney. That Rooney has been out of sorts since returning from the injury that he sustained in the Champions League against Bayern Munich last season is not in doubt. Through the remainder of last season, the World Cup and the first two months of this season, he has come to resemble something approaching a caricature of himself. Whilst the argument over whether players should be booed is best left for another time, if there was a time to boo Rooney, it was probably most justifiably on Saturday afternoon. He seemed incapable of even the bare basics against West Bromwich Albion – it was the sort of sloppy, unprofessional performance that one would expect from… a player...

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Something Personal About Colin Lippiatt

We didn’t quite realise just how much of an event it was until we arrived at the ground itself. St Albans City had finished in second place in the 2005/06 Blue Square South table behind big-spending Weymouth, but the team had hardly set the local populace alight (the average home crowd for that season remained less than 600 and the club didn’t record a home crowd of over 1,000 people for the whole of the season). The possibility of promotion to the Blue Square Premier, the highest level of football that the club had played at since its formation in 1908, seemed to be an acquired taste for local people and it still felt a long way away, even on the day of the play-off final itself. The opposition, Histon, were a village team from near Cambridge. We even wondered aloud on the way to Stevenage for the match whether the crowd for it would attract many more than 1,000 people. Colin Lippiatt’s team deserved better than this. They might have ended the league season as runners-up to Weymouth, but they ran them close, eventually effectively ceding defeat in the championship race only after a narrow 3-2 defeat at The Wessex Stadium with just a couple of league matches of the season left to play. That the team should be anywhere near the top of the table in the...

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