Well the hype surrounding tonight's Champions League final has been going full blast for hours now and I have a certain feeling nagging inside me concerning the injustice dished out to us by Barcelona and their referee in that tightly contested tie earlier on this season. We were robbed, although I feel Arsene got his tactics wrong in the second leg, Rosicky was poor and Arshavin should have started, some of the refereeing decisions were completely incomprehensible, especially the RVP sending off. In fact since that red card I have noticed even more that players shoot as RVP did, after the whistle had gone, rather routinely and never get punished for it.
Still, although Barca are a bunch of cheating, diving, arrogant tosspots, it is hard to even come close to backing the side that comes from the grim hole in the north, Manchester. They have so many unpleasant malignant sorts in their team and their manager is the most deplorable of the lot. They are also a distinctly average side, the fact that we so comprehensively outplayed them as we beat them 1-0 at the Emirates showed this. Their fans are also such obnoxious arrogant numpties in the most part. The fact is that Manchester United have got a great record of winning things when they haven't been that great a side, beating Munich in that final a few years back was the best example of this, distinctly second best for the whole game, one of the most undeserved triumphs in footballing history in most objective people's book.
The role that Ferguson's bullying and intimidation of officials plays cannot be underestimated in my opinion. His comments earlier this season relating to Martin Atkinson's impartiality summed this up. The strangest thing was then that Atkinson didn't get given any more Manchester United games for the rest of the season. The Italian refereeing scandal of a few years back got a lot of attentions and resulted in huge punishments for the clubs concerned, yet in England the way in which officials are given certain games is still conducted in the most hidden and subjective of manners. To me it looks like there is far too much room for manipulation here, in the context of Manchester United's narrow title success, small changes from this kind of systemic manipulation may be rather key in their success. Anyway tonight it's a hard choice for me, and frankly I won't lose any sleep over it either way. If I had to lean either way it would be towards Barca simply because they are far better in footballing terms than this distinctly average United side.
Transfer wise I refuse to get too excited about all the gossip, we have been linked with dozens of players already and most of it will turn out to be utter horseshite, let's just wait until deals are done and then make comment. The most important thing for me is getting rid of those who have not performed and who are not 100% committed, whoever they may be, big name or otherwise. Almunia, Squillaci, Denilson, Vela are just a few of the names we could do without, while they are certain young players who are clearly not going to cut it at the highest level. Good to see Aaron Ramsey confirm his recovery with a cracker for Wales last night. The goings on at FIFA are also rather welcome, let's just hope this can be the beginning of some real change for the better.