Day: August 22, 2011

Match Of The Week: Manchester United 3-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Old Trafford has a swaggering confidence about it this evening. A new sponsorship deal with a package delivery company will be bringing an eyebrow-raising amount of money into the club and, perhaps more importantly as far as the supporters are concerned, less than convincing starts to the season for Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool will have only served to heighten the expectation that league title number twenty will be on its way to the club by the end of next spring. The ground is almost completely bereft of green and gold scarves these days, too, and to mark the new sponsorship deal, the new sponsors have given out free scarves with “Champions” emblazoned across them. Corporate Football 1-0 Grassroots Protest. Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, finally get to start their league season after a delay that came about thanks to rioting by the people of their own back yard. Spurs’ failure to qualify for the Champions League means that they may be back to their default position of several of the previous few seasons, of being a selling club this summer. The most conspicuous name is the one that isn’t on their team sheet. Luka Modric’s absenteeism this evening is being hailed by many as proof that his rumoured move to Stamford Bridge is all but a done deal, and there are ghosts from summers past on the Manchester United substitutes bench...

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Arsene Wenger & The Complex Current Frailty Of Arsenal

Pathetic fallacy is the use, by a writer, of words that give human feelings or qualities to objects or in nature. It reached, perhaps, the zenith of its usage in the gothic novels of the late eighteenth century, and one cannot help but wonder whether the likes of Bram Stoker or Mary Shelley might have been looking down approvingly on Saturday lunchtime as the heavens opened, both literally and metaphorically, upon Arsenal’s season. As London was washed by an unseasonable shower of rain, so were Arsenal swept aside by Liverpool, and in doing so, a trickle of criticism has become a torrent, to the extent that it is possible that the club’s season may evencome sliding to a halt before it has had the chance to build any momentum. Sometimes, simple imagery speaks more loudly than words and if there was a higher being of some description looking down upon The Emirates Stadium on Saturday, it was a being intent on loading Arsenal’s weekend with such symbolism. The front rows of seats there are exposed to the elements, meaning that those that sit there who are caught in the rain may shuffle back under the cover that it provided by the back of the stand. This is all very reasonable behaviour, but on Saturday it left some viewers idly wondering aloud whether swathes of the support had given up and gone home with fifteen...

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