Alex Ferguson

by craig on May 8, 2013 9:58 am in Uncategorized

Alex Ferguson is fit to be mentioned in the same sentence as Jock Stein. That is most of what needs to be said on his retirement.

Except to remind that fool Abramovic that Ferguson won nothing for his first four seasons at Old Trafford. I recall in 1990, at the end of Ferguson’s third season in charge, Manchester United just escaped relegation and there were Manchester United fans clamouring for Ferguson to be sacked. The reconstruction of the squad and the installation of his system took time and care. It took a full four years for Ferguson to lay the foundations for the following twenty years of great achievement.

Nowadays managers are not given four months, let alone four years, to mature their designs. There can be no doubt the short-termism of glamour hungry individual foreign owners accounts in part for the relative decline of the quality of Premier League clubs compared to their continental rivals.

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86 Comments

  1. A Casual Observer

    8 May, 2013 - 10:08 am

    SAF represents the head of a very influential power structure within the game – he was a great manager but in recent times it’s been more about influence than ability.

    No penalty or sending off against Manchester United since October 23rd 2011 – the longest run in the history of English football.

    That’s why they’re champions.

  2. A Casual Observer: that’s a bit unfair I think. Man U haven’t conceded a penalty for so long because they rarely commit fouls in the penalty area. They don’t get many red cards because they rarely commit red card offences. No blatant exceptions come to mind. I’m not a fan but credit where credit’s due in this case.

  3. I’d say he’s certainly a decent enough manager, but I’d also say that his performance has been just about par for a manager who has consistently been able to outspend almost every other team in the league – if not the world. He’s also very often been happy to poach the best players from serious opponents at vital times (Keane, Cantona, Andy Cole, Ferdinand, Veron, Berbatov, Van Persie just off the top of my head – I’m sure there are more).

    Whoever Grand Caiman Entity Utd employ to replace him won’t have it so easy. ~

  4. A Casual Observer

    8 May, 2013 - 11:01 am

    MJ – If you want to do a little research then there is some great data to be found here:

    http://www.refereedecisions.co.uk/

    Or you could just listen to the apologists and pundits puff smoke up his backside – your choice… it’s only football.

  5. Craig, this is off topic, and relates to democracy in general.

    I have a young nephew who is demoralised by the political situation, not in the UK, but in Canada, though it hardly seems to matter any more, all countries are being screwed by the same perverse policies.

    His very simple question is, “How do we get our democracies back?”. You know, of the people for the people, representative government rather than government by the rich for the rich.

    I suggested he read HD Thoreau’s, “On Civil Disobedience” and in particular think about HD Thoreaus’s statement that, “I meet this Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment, or its rep­re­sen­ta­tive the State gov­ern­ment, di­rectly, and face to face, once a year, no more, in the per­son of its tax-gath­erer; this is the only mode in which a man sit­u­ated as I am nec­es­sa­rily meets it; and it then says dis­tinctly, Rec­og­nize me; and the sim­plest, the most ef­fec­tual, and, in the pres­ent pos­ture of af­fairs, the in­dis­pens­ablest mode of treat­ing with it on this head, of ex­pres­sing your lit­tle sat­is­fac­tion with and love for it, is to deny it then.”

    So, I ask, on the basis that this is really the only mechanism we have to resist Government, how can it be made less damaging to the individual, as refusing to contribute to the State collections is the one thing that will both have an impact on Government, and ensure one is jailed.

    Please, can you suggest a political mechanism, maybe a new party for example, that might deliver this blunt rebuke to unresponsive Governments without landng citizens in jail.

    It is time we started looking to leaders that can describe solutions, not based on the gun and violent rebellion, that might ensure democracy can be achieved.

    What might a political party based on with-holding taxes or citizen directed expediture look like? How could it be achieved?

  6. resident dissident

    8 May, 2013 - 11:36 am

    “No penalty or sending off against Manchester United since October 23rd 2011″

    Funny I thought I saw a Manchester United player being sent off on Sunday!

  7. I think the role of the manager as an influencing figure in terms of a top teams’ success in the modern game is overstated. I see such figures as being more akin to chief executives of multinational corporations.

    I accept that somebody like Ferguson is an exception having laid the foundations for long-term success. But generally, a manager is as only as good as the players he has working under him.

    The quality of the players he has at his disposal is largely determined by money. This explains, why, irrespective of the manager, it’s invariably – with the odd exception – the same four or five teams that compete for the top honours season after season. Statistics show that in the medium to long term, the ability of the manager to improve the results of teams is limited.

    From a young age, professional players have been conditioned into playing within the structure of certain systems of play, having honed tactical awareness and individual technique long before they play professionally at the highest level.

    I don’t see the managers’ role as extending beyond team selection, half time advice by way of team talks, the nurturing of younger inexperienced players and making substitutions during the game.

    Many managers have little or no say as far as transfers are concerned. The current Southampton manager doesn’t even speak English which puts a lie to the myth that their touchline role as communicating information to the players during matchplay is a significant factor in shaping the outcome of matches.

    Experienced professional players’ themselves are able to adapt to specific tactical demands of particular games as they unfold in real time without the input of a manager. Day-to-day training is often supervised and overseen by team coaches.

    Sometimes teams play matches without a manager having sacked the previous one. Regardless, their form and results remain unaffected or even improve in the interim prior to a new manager being appointed. In this circumstance it’s the assistant manager who takes over.

    This begs the question as to why Chairmen insist on appointing a new manager (who more often than not has just been sacked by another Chairman of another team), rather than stick with the current assistant and make the role of an assistant manager redundant. What does an assistant manager do anyway?

  8. Blimey it must be a slow news day.

  9. I gather this is the day the government throws the right some red meat on immigration and benefits. That’s so depressing I thought I might talk about something else! It’s a bit like sticking my fingers in my ears and going la la la

  10. Indeed. Sky News has been virtually wall-to-wall with the Ferguson story. The great British public vent so much passion on stations like Talk Sport. I’m thinking to myself, this is only a sports story, for christ sake.

  11. A Casual Observer

    8 May, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    Resident Dissident – I stand corrected!

    :)

    A new bar has now been set – 560 days in the league without a sending off or penalty. It’s a shame we had to wait until the title was in the bag before it happened.

    Those are some big shoes to fill.

  12. When Scotland gains independence and Osborne turns even nastier, it should name its new currency the ‘ferguson.’ It’s strong, has consistently held or increased its value over decades, a great export success story, and a winner in both GB and Europe. I don’t think the ‘stein’ would have quite the same associations, Craig :)

  13. Casual Observer, I think you grossly overestimate the size of the shoes. It must be really difficult to maintain the success of one of the wealthiest football clubs on the planet.

  14. Rob Royston

    8 May, 2013 - 1:01 pm

    Don’t forget that he was successful before he came to the Premier League especialy at Aberdeen.

  15. Rob, Indeed. His record at Aberdeen was commendable and we have to remember that he achieved success in Europe on a relatively limited budget. I do actually think that figures like Ferguson do have a positive role to play as managers.

    Almost certainly, he has laid the foundations at Manchester United for his successor. But one can hardly argue that his job was made difficult given that Manchester United are financially one of the richest clubs in the world.

    Ferguson was in the privileged position – as another poster pointed out – of being able to effectively ‘cherry-pick’ the top players.

    In general, within the modern game, I think the role of the top-flight manager is largely an exaggerated one for the reasons I described above.

    After having been sacked, it is not uncommon for managers to go from one top job to another – often frequently. This, I think, reinforces my point.

    Being a top manager is effectively to be part of a closed shop – a revolving door merry-go-round.

    This begs the question of how good these managers really are. If I was to get the sack from my job, I wouldn’t expect to be employed in the same role again, never mind frequently.

  16. Daniel’s comment above on the money, so to speak.
    As a soccer-mad friend of mine explained, he said his life-long ambition is to be an soccer manager – bullet-proof profession, huge and regular golden hand-shakes, global travel……..
    The salaries being paid to the top players in England are just total madness, especially compared to the salaries paid in Germany, for example.

  17. Daniel’s comment above on the money, so to speak.
    As a soccer-mad friend of mine explained, he said his life-long ambition is to be an UNSUCCESSFUL soccer manager – bullet-proof profession, huge and regular golden hand-shakes, global travel……..
    The salaries being paid to the top players in England are just total madness, especially compared to the salaries paid in Germany, for example.

  18. Even in the timing of his retirement, Ferguson is a master of tactics. He has been holding back the tide by sheer strength of personality but the time has come to step aside and let the water find its true level.

    Manchester United have been punching above their weight for several years now, prospering with far less talent than Man City or Chelsea. Team spirit, tactics, and the terror of having to face Fergie if they lost have filled the gap – a state of affairs that can’t last. The tectonic plates of the Premier League have
    shifted some time ago – only friction and inertia have stalled the earthquake to come. Ferguson knows it and has chosen to leave before the tsunami beaches.

    Good luck in the future, Fergie. If you’re not ready for full retirement yet, please consider a job with Ross County.

  19. The tectonic plates of the Premier League have
    shifted some time ago – only friction and inertia have stalled the earthquake to come. Ferguson knows it and has chosen to leave before the tsunami beaches.

    Cor. Can’t wait for the nuclear reactor of destiny to get flooded by the tsunami of fate and swamp us all in the toxic waste of a desperate sports columnist.

  20. Munsterman, your post also brings into the focus the disincentivising nature of the professional game. If top managers know that they will be bailed out with massive golden handshakes for effectively failing only for them to almost certainly walk into another highly lucrative paid job with all the additional perks you described that come with it, then they are unlikely to give a toss about the Chairman of the club they work for or indeed their fans.

    But it seems to be the former that bend over backwards for these managers by putting them on an almost God-like pedestal. It amazes me the extent to which the media and fans over-emphasize the importance placed on the manager given that all the statistics point to the fact that on the whole it’s the financial clout of the owners that determines the extent to which clubs are successful or not.

    Avram Grant is the classic example. He was an abject failure at West Ham overseeing their relegation from the Premier League. But at Chelsea, he was miraculously transformed into a genius. More recently, at Spurs, Harry Redknapp was widely regarded as some kind of messiah but failed miserably when he went to QPR.

    This tells you long-term stabilization and success is related to the nature of the club and its owners not about one man who happens to be at the helm on the footballing side at any given moment in time.

    I honestly believe that all it takes to be a decent football manager is to have a good understanding and life-experience of dealing with people in general perhaps in a managerial role in other professions unrelated to football or even sport altogether. If one professional was brave enough publicly to come out and say as much, I think there would be a sea change in mentality.

    I remember a John Robertson interview (then of Nottingham Forest) during the early 1980s in which he touched upon the role of the then manager Brian Clough. He basically said that he only ever saw Clough briefly once a week on the training ground and half an hour before and after games during match days. That opened my eyes a lot.

  21. The tectonic plates of the Premier League have
    shifted some time ago – only friction and inertia have stalled the earthquake to come. Ferguson knows it and has chosen to leave before the tsunami beaches.

    Yeah, yeah, but what about Ross County? Do you think he’ll go for the idea?

  22. He was also a success at St Mirren (as well as Aberdeen which has already been stated). That’s quite an achievement in itself given their opposition in terms of resources.
    There’s no doubting that he has made a huge difference even if he had loads of cash to back him up, and I’m no Man Utd fan. He’s been a continued success throughout his time in football management.

  23. “It’s a bit like sticking my fingers in my ears and going la la la”

    Which is what I’m doing here. I think I’ll go back to reading previous threads. :)

  24. April Showers

    8 May, 2013 - 4:16 pm

    He’s getting more coverage than Her Maj.

    I thought football managers were changed round on a monthly basis!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDRBDX3nt_o :)

  25. AdrianD,

    You might be able to explain Ferguson’s tenure at Man U with the notion that they outspent every other English club – but his performance in his earlier career at St Mirren, and then Aberdeen doesn’t have that explanation – those teams performed the best they’d ever done under his tenure too, without vast quantities of money being thrown at them. Manchester United no doubt grabbed Ferguson for the same reason they grabbed all those players you mentioned – because they figured he was the best guy around at the time, and they could afford whoever the hell they wanted.

  26. “throw the right some red meat on immigration and benefits”.

    Craig, do you think it fair that as I went off to work this morning to my low-paid job, I saw a man from down the road who is on incapacity benefit travel to his allotment on his mobility scooter and proceed to dig a 5 x 20 ft pond, as he has been doing for the last two weeks?

  27. Dick the Prick

    8 May, 2013 - 6:00 pm

    He did kind of instituionalise rape, gang banging, drug taking, blackmail, whoring, bullying and had Carter Ruck on speed dial but err…oops, seem to have lost my thread!

  28. WGAF

  29. Football is bent on a massive scale,i am certain.

    But nobody has the guts to tackle the deep rot.

    They’d soon be whacked.

  30. Coming up next:

    Craig Murray gives his topical take on your all your favourite soaps.

    Horoscopes.

    Bingo.

  31. Giles. This spying on your neighbours must keep you late for your work. Not a great example you’re setting. I think you are incapable of distinguishing disability from disease or ill-health. People can be desperately ill, but still able to function for an hour or so every other day. Should still try to lead normal lives, do what they can, whenever they can, whatever gives them pleasure. For him simply getting out of the house may well have been an aspiration long held and only now for a fleeting time possible. I admire that bloke, good for him, it is taking rather a long time though don’t you think? Two weeks, when a fit and healthy person could have dug the same hole in an hour or two.

    Have you ever thought of going over and offering to help him with it?

  32. Giles,

    Maybe the guy in on Incapacity Benefit for depression or some other mental health issue and the mobility scooter is for a seperate ailment outside his claim?

    Did you follow him from the house to the allotment and measure the pond too?

    All that effort to assume a narrative you really don’t understand in its fullest complexity!

  33. @ GregLbean 11.14 AM — Your nephew is right to be concerned about democracy in Canada, since the democracy seems to be failing in Canada as well as in the UK. I personally like the Swiss system of democracy and think it has some good points that we could adopt
    .
    But, you know the biggest threat to our liberty is coming from our own intelligence / security apparatus as they morph into secret police thugs using “the war on terror” as an excuse. Organizations like CSIS in Canada, or MI5/6 in the UK can get to know everybody’s secrets if they want to. They operate completely outside the law and without any adequate political control. They don’t have to use strong arm tactics to persuade people, like MPs, Cabinet Ministers, and other Public Officials to do their bidding; nobody’s perfect, so a little blackmail will suffice. It doesn’t have to be much to persuade people to look the other way.
    .
    In its Summer 2011 edition, a UK Magazine (Lobster) that specializes in intelligence matters, and whose disclosures are highly regarded by the mainstream press, published an article headlined “CSIS and the CANADIAN STASI”. The headline says it all. Indeed the article, which describes the experiences of a former senior Canadian Intelligence operative as a victim of CSIS, goes on to allege that Canadian Prime Minister Harper was a onetime CSIS Operative which, if true, could explain much. Certainly under Mr. Harper, the already poor oversight of CSIS has been severely weakened.
    .
    For example: back in 2011, Mr. Harper’s government appointed Dr. Arthur Porter to be Chair of CSIS’s oversight body – SIRC. Dr. Porter, while having access to Canada’s intelligence secrets, was also amazingly serving as Ambassador Plenipotentiary for Sierra Leon and trying to reach an aid financing deal with the Russians. It was alleged that Dr. Porter, who had no prior knowledge of intelligence, was using Canadian Privy Council letterhead for private business matters. Just this year Quebec has issued an arrest warrant for Dr. Porter on another matter, citing allegations of fraud and bribe taking. You can Google on this to verify since all this information has been reported in the Globe & Mail and National Post, who first blew the story.
    .
    Ironically having seriously weakened an already weak SIRC with Dr. Porter’s appointment and the resultant scandal, Mr. Harper turned to the only other review body over CSIS – the Inspector General – and abolished it.
    .
    No form of democracy can function effectively once a secret police operation gets going. We need to abolish organizations that can operate outside the law.

  34. Cryptonym, that’s 5ft deep by 20ft wide. Substantially more than an hour or two’s labour and only possible for a fit and healthy person. There’s nothing wrong with the guy – he’s a dosser, playing the system, like so many others. The gut-reaction of the cryptonyms of this world is that any criticism of the benefit system is an attack on the poor and disadvantaged, and they will use the very worst cases of truly deserving benefit recipients to justify the entire system. The founders of the welfare state did not intend it to be what it has become today. Clearly the Coalition is trying to win back support after the UKIP’s gains, but that does not mean to say that the benefit system is not in urgent need of reform.

  35. First Thatcher dies, now Sir Alex Ferguson retires. Somewhere there is a Scouser with a lamp and one wish left

  36. April Showers

    8 May, 2013 - 10:12 pm

  37. Craig, you can’t spell. It AbromaDick

  38. April Showers

    8 May, 2013 - 10:24 pm

    Please. No. From Medialens.

    Fergie applauded by friend Campbell

    Posted by John Hilley on May 8, 2013, 7:50 pm

    What passes for a character endorsement.

    Jon Snow on CH 4 News hearing plaudits from Alastair Campbell, Alex Ferguson’s “personal and political friend”. Campbell tells us Fergie really understands politics. One can only wonder what kind of friendship, political or otherwise, can exist with a mass war criminal.

    Indeed, how can Campbell get away with presenting himself as ‘politically friendly’? But, of course, those kind of unfriendly questions would never occur to friends-together interviewers like Snow.

    John

    Posted by Morrissey on May 8, 2013, 8:08 pm, in reply to “Fergie applauded by friend Campbell”

    If Ferguson had any integrity, he would now issue a public statement rejecting any association with that criminal.

    I wonder if any of his players would have the nerve to publicly humiliate him like a few of the British and Irish Lions players did in 2005 when Campbell was (farcically) pretending to be the “manager” of their tour to New Zealand.

  39. Good news, famous scientist has made an important decision.
    http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/08/stephen-hawking-israel-academic-boycott

  40. Komodo – Thanks for the laff midst th’encircling gloom of shit storm.

  41. Is there really no more worthy news than a football manager retiring? It had to happen sooner or later, big deal. I remember the same sort of storm in a tea-cup occured when Terry Wogan stood down from his long running radio show. Are these trivial matters all that interest and concern the populus ? No wonder the country and world are in such a woeful state. There really is no hope !

  42. April, not on the same level of the Campbell thing obviously, but one only has to recall Ferguson’s disgraceful selling out to Rooney during the wages/transfer scandal/controversy to realize that Ferguson’s much touted integrity isn’t perhaps what it’s made out to be.

  43. BrianFujisan

    9 May, 2013 - 1:31 am

    Max

    Good Post OT but ya beat me to that one… Well Done Mr Hawking..as he Joins Rodger Waters and Co

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/poll/2013/may/08/stephen-hawking-boycott-israelost

    Casual Observer has a valid point

    As well as finding a distinct home bias in refereeing disciplinary action and inconsistency between referees, the research also highlighted that:underdogs tend to incur a higher rate of disciplinary sanction than favourites

    http://phys.org/news81439129.html

    Bring Back the Street Wizards…Jinky Johnston, and Davie Cooper Types….And what on earth has been going on with Barcelona

    Dreoilin — We all have to escape sometimes

  44. BrianFujisan

    9 May, 2013 - 1:46 am

  45. Giles: I see you observed a fully-able bodied disabled person, working like a troj’, yet verifiably on full disability benefits.

    Was this totally believable observation right before you nearly got run down by a black lady driving a brand new Cadillac, on her way to collect social security payments?

  46. Re: Giles’ horrific announcement of a possible benefit scrounger.

    Btw… and this might be an entirely spurious report… I heard some Bankster was doing really well, ordering Champagne at a particularly agreeable restaurant, and commissioning a seriously large yacht. They were talking about actually taking large bonuses. I was shocked, horrified actually.

    I hope that’s not true, because we’ve indulged these banksters with multiple billions in taxpayer bail-outs, so the idea that they might still be walking around with spare cash is unconscionable!

  47. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 8:53 am

    Parky Craig did say that this post was pure avoidance.

    ‘I gather this is the day the government throws the right some red meat on immigration and benefits. That’s so depressing I thought I might talk about something else! It’s a bit like sticking my fingers in my ears and going la la la’.

    Brian and Max – I will post a link when it comes up from Radio 4 Today this morning. They had Dr Toby Greene with an ‘e’ to criticize Prof Hawking’s decision to join the academic boycott of Israel. Greene’s comment follows the blurb prominently, as does a tweet from a Mr Overlander. Garda Karmi’s is tucked away right at the end of the entry in the running order.

    Dr Greene:I am the Director of Research for BICOM, an independent British organisation working to promote better understanding between Britain and Israel. I lead BICOM’s research team in its mission to be the foremost source of insight and expertise on Israeli politics and society in the UK.​

    I am also the Deputy Editor of Fathom, a quarterly journal and iPad app published by BICOM.

    My first book, Blair, Labour and Israel; Conflicting Views on Middle East Peace After 9/11 will be published by Bloosmbury in June 2013.

    I have a blog at Huffington Post UK where I write about Israeli politics and society and issues affecting the Britain Israel relationship. I have also contributed to various publications online including the Guardian (Comment is Free), New Statesman and others. My work has also been published by various think tanks including the London based Foreign Policy Centre.

    I have provided expert analysis on issues relating to Israel for various BBC radio channels.​

    I was awarded my PhD from University College London (UCL) for my thesis, ‘Between the Crescent and the Star: British policy in the Israeli-Palestinian arena in the wake of 9/11.’

    From 2007 to 2008 I was an an analyst and consultant for GCS, a specialist team of international political consultants advising political parties and leaders across Europe.​

    From 2004 to 2006 I was the Head of Policy and Research for the Westminster based campaign group, Labour Friends of Israel (LFI). I worked as the researcher for a number of all party parliamentary groups before moving to LFI. 

    I did my undergraduate studies as Jesus College Cambridge, graduating with first class honours in Philosophy and Theology.

    Mr Overlander:
    Reputation management consultant, dad of 2, progressive Zionist. And big Spurs fan!
    London

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s8qx7/live 7.34am

  48. Christ. I mean Christ. Can’t we keep this thread on football? I’m no fan of the game myself, but I respect Craig’s wish to stick his fingers in his ears, etc, once in a while…

    Ok, I’ll bite.

    We KNOW what the Israel First mob will say about Hawking’s decision. It’s “If you don’t engage with us when we tell you to you are jeopardising the peace process.” (Copy all media, everywhere, and read the fuller transcript supplied by Likud aloud in any public place in which you happen to find your kosher bottom)

    The peace process, which is currently invisible, is unrelated to a just settlement for Palestine. Boycott and divest until the two are identical aims, please.

  49. Paul at 10.11 p.m. yesterday. Very witty. I like that. The last wish couldn’t be independence for Scotland could it? Not according to the latest Mori poll.

    Andrew Neil writes on Facebook: “Mori poll shows support for Scottish independence down three points to 31%, support for Union up four points to 59%. Tough time for Alex.”

  50. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 9:40 am

    Five reasons why Hawking is right to boycott Israel
    Hawking should be commended for pulling out of an Israeli conference as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
    09 May 2013 07:48
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/05/20135953058699815.html

  51. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella)

    9 May, 2013 - 10:44 am

    @ Craig :

    Good try, and it went well for a time, but you’ll have to do better to keep the obsessionals away from their favorite topics.

    I wonder what it’s like to go through life with just a couple of themes in one’s head (eg,Israel/Cameron/Royal family)? Must be fairly joyless unless walking about in a permanent lather provides some kind of strange joy?

  52. RR

    ‘No form of democracy can function effectively once a secret police operation gets going. We need to abolish organizations that can operate outside the law.’

    It seems as though spying is one of those forbidden fruits that are forbidden for a good reason. God decrees what is good for us. He isn’t a nasty cruel monster clawing back our natural desires.

    Do as you would be done by. If those who have the power to satisfy their temptation to spy indulge their curiosity, it seems as though it makes blow-back on their own psychology.

    I was listening to some bee talk on UK Radio 4. They can brush on ferremones for other bees. Us human beings are not so daft we can’t work out what the crack is when we’re being spied on.

    The Qur’an instructs us not to spy in case we find out something we do not like. The spied-upon can feed all manner of insults to the spiers, which they have to digest and listen to. No blocking of the ears for those who give into the temptation of spying.

    I would go so far as to say that the economic paralysis we are now in globally is created by the absence of trust that was created by the power freaks in the first place. Blow-back big-time.

  53. Hobbyhorse

    You run around the yard on your old hobby horse. Don’t forget to come in at tea-time.

  54. Guano [was: goo goo]

    9 May, 2013 - 11:19 am

    What is football anyway? Is it a game?

  55. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 11:22 am

    The new chair of Labour FoI.

    http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/107300/stirling-mp-anne-mcguire-chair-labour-friends-israel

    Note her association with Miliband E.

  56. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 11:29 am

    One of the troughers is being sued for refusing to repay illegally claimed expenses of £54,000!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2321791/Tory-MP-sued-expenses-watchdog-refusing-repay-54-000-profit-taxpayer-funded-home.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    Welcome
    ….

    It is my honour and privilege to have been elected in May 2005 and re-elected in May 2010 to represent the Peterborough constituency in the House of Commons.

    I have made it my duty to work for Peterborough in Westminster and not for Westminster in Peterborough. I am working for your interests, not self-interests. Above all, I will always put my constituents’ interests above my political career. I am always available to hear your concerns.
    His website

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stewart_Jackson

  57. In earlier days Alex was mocked and belittled for his accent. In his success it became a charm.

    I love these guys with talent that come from fuck all. It’s a right smack in the mouth to elitism.

    Media attempts to replicate this, but absent the talent.

    Anyway, seems Man U are now going for an other Scot, and I mean an other Scot!

    With Alex’s blessing no doubt.

    Oh yeah, and Alex boycotted Israel too!

  58. I see the guy who organises 11 men to kick a ball around is up there with the bankers both as regards comparisons of his wider utility with a chocolate teapot and as regards emoluments payable…

    http://citywire.co.uk/money/why-alex-ferguson-should-net-a-top-pension/a678403

    He deserves every penny for diverting a large section of the community from thinking about anything else, I suppose. And at least the taxpayer isn’t stumping up for it.

  59. Guano [was: goo goo]

    9 May, 2013 - 12:09 pm

    When I travel to Muslim countries I find a lot of UK football worship going on, players and manager footage included. Football, like English Language teachers, is one of the key subversive exports of western ignorance to Muslims. Shockingly it is marketed as creating unity.

    There is plenty to put your fingers in your ears about in football. The Muslim children are surrounded by respectable, pious, patient believing men and women, survivors of persecution and wars. Yet they dream about sordid, arrogant, empty-headed non-believers running around in their boxer shorts.

    But, this illusion of Western paradise, and the nightmare of Western imposed war, will never extinguish the obvious, that Islam is the beautiful religion of peace and knowledge for all time. In spite of the overwhelming violence meted on our countries and the overwhelming power of delusion of the media.

  60. Guano [was: goo goo]

    9 May, 2013 - 12:15 pm

    Komody

    Ha Ha Ha hee hee hee.

  61. It a mistake, Komodo, to think that The Games are only the elites distraction to their own games.

    That’s their intention of course, but they also produce unintended consequences like Spartacus.

  62. Six thousand of Spartacus’ followers were crucified, along the length of the Appian way. His own body was reportedly never found. Much the same result would be expected if [insert any overpaid prima donna footballer here - can't be arsed Googling one] were to lead an uprising. Even if Millwall casuals were involved.

  63. Spartacus today is incorporated into the elite. It doesn’t fight it as an other.

    That in itself will change things.

  64. Herbie, probably a large majority of football fans rely on the Sun for their politics (subliminally, along with acres of purple sports-hack prose and pictures of men kicking footballs). Hence the elite is now cosily incorporated into Spartacus’s head, and nothing will happen as far as that demographic is concerned. Can’t see anyone who is paid as much as *insertkickballerhere* starting a revolution, either. Why rock the very pleasant boat?

    The main danger for the elite/establishment/Them is that the bourgeois start getting impatient, see also UKIP, and the terror on the face of Cameron. When the bourgeois are actually cutting back on food, rather than Porsches….then. Not yet, or nearly.

  65. And…
    http://images2.dailykos.com/i/user/312562/Kos111-teaser.jpg

    (‘sequestration’ roughly = government funding cuts)

  66. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 5:47 pm

    That item on Radio 4 Today about Prof Hawking’s boycott of Israel was never given a separate live link. If you want to hear the Israel propaganda, it is at 1hr 34mins in on http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s8qx7

    0734

    One of the world’s best known scientists, Professor Stephen Hawking has decided to support a boycott of Israel by pulling out of a conference which he’d been due to attend in Jerusalem next month. Dr Ghada Karmi, a research fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter University, and Dr Toby Greene, research director of BICOM in Jerusalem, discuss the significance of the decision.

  67. April Showers

    9 May, 2013 - 10:29 pm

    Moyes is another Labour supporter like Ferguson who is up for a peerage according to some reports.

    Hope Mr Moyes’ judgement on choice of MU players is better than his political judgement.

    ‘He is a supporter of the Labour Party and in 2010 backed Andy Burnham to be leader in the Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 2010.’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Moyes

  68. Regarding Manchester United getting more than their fair share of favourable refereeing decisions. There might be an explanation other than Fergie’s charms.

    I read an article a few years ago which claimed that referees favour teams/contestants wearing red. They analysed the results of Olympic boxing matches where fighters are randomly alloted either red or blue colours. In contests which went the distance, the referees decided in favour of the contestant in red significantly more often than the one in blue.

    They claimed to be able to detect the same bias in football and other sports, reckoned that it’s part of our evolutionary hard-wiring to associate red with dominance. They also believe that the opposition suffer from the effect of playing against a red team.

    It was a Guardian article but I (Google) can’t find it. Here’s another similar article:
    http://pss.sagepub.com/content/19/8/769.extract

    However the effect don’t seem to be doing Aberdeen much good in the Scottish Premier League.

  69. It could be a very weak effect (discrimination between red and blue) and still be statistically significant given more than ~30 odd random bouts to correlate. I expect it is very weak, if not its discovery would affect betting calculations.

  70. crab: “I expect it is very weak, if not its discovery would affect betting calculations.”

    But how would you seperate the ‘colour factor’ from the team’s history of success? If you want to bet on Man United winning next year, you’re going to get short odds. Why? Cos they win a lot. Why do they win a lot? Maybe partly because they play in red.

    The studies into boxing, Taekwondo and wrestling are more reliable and they suggest the difference would be worth betting on:

    “These types of one-on-one combatant sports are the most suitable for producing reliable statistics. A major reason for this is the fact that the opponents in all three sports are randomly assigned a color — either red or blue — for their clothing or protective gear. According to Hill and Barton’s report, published in the journal Nature in 2005, athletes dressed in red had a measurable advantage. This was particularly the case with Taekwondo (red won in 57 percent of all matchups), following by boxing (55 percent victory quotient) and wrestling (Greco-Roman style, 52 percent; freestyle, 53 percent). “

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/the-annals-of-sports-psychology-winners-wear-red-a-570918.html

  71. “But how would you seperate the ‘colour factor’ from the team’s history of success?”

    See its a silly question -the separation of the ‘colour factor’ is very clearly marked by the colours!

    A significant tendency may have an effect which is much weaker than other tendecies present, yet still be confidently ‘noticed’
    Things are very often statistically significant, yet of the least importance to individual outcomes.

  72. For journalisms sake they list the sports out with the highest percentage win, but it is very doubtful that these individual sections are significant. A certain correlation, perhaps unlikely to be more than a percent in average outcomes (strength) has been significantly (confidently) measured over all sports. But i dunno i cant read the article cause education aint free.

  73. April Showers

    11 May, 2013 - 8:15 am

  74. April Showers 11 May, 2013 – 8:15 am

    “Right then all you footie pundits. Which Roberto will win the cup?
    Predictions?”

    Put our money where our mouths are, eh?
    Well, my head says Mancini but my heart says Martinez. I’m following my heart.
    WIGAN FOR THE CUP

    We come from Wigan and we live in Mud huts,
    ooh, ah, ooh ooh ah
    you should be a Wiganer.

    Everybody Do the Wigan Wiggle,
    Al-habsi in Nets, Alcaraz Defence, Shaun Maloney Midfield, Super Kone Up Front,
    Everybody Do the Wigan Wiggle.

    And it’s Wigan Latics,
    Wigan Latics FC,
    We’re by far the greatest team,
    The world has ever seen.

  75. “Everybody Do the Wigan Wiggle”

    Not today. With my rollers in and my slippers on I’d look a right **** . ;)

  76. ….. and the winner is ……WIGAN!!!!!!

    Go on, Dreoilin, everybody is on the other thread, nobody’s watching this one ….. do a little Wigan Wiggle.

    We come from Wigan and we live in Mud huts,
    ooh, ah, ooh ooh ah
    you should be a Wiganer.

    Everybody Do the Wigan Wiggle,
    Al-habsi in Nets, Alcaraz Defence, Shaun Maloney Midfield, Super Kone Up Front,
    Everybody Do the Wigan Wiggle.

    And it’s Wigan Latics,
    Wigan Latics FC,
    We’re by far the greatest team,
    The world has ever seen.

  77. April Showers

    11 May, 2013 - 10:15 pm

    A Node I was out but I see that ‘the boys done well’ as the saying goes. Excellent 1 – 0 in the 91st minute. Were they the better side anyway?

  78. Hi April Showers,

    I was busy in my workshop most of the afternoon, listening to the Scottish football on the radio, hoping that 2 teams above my beloved Ross County would both lose so that we would still have a chance of finishing third and getting a European place. Both teams did indeed lose, one in the 90th minute, leaving the dream alive. Our first season in the Premier League and we’re still fighting for a top spot with 2 games to go!

    I watched the last half hour of the FA cup final on the TV, and based on that, Wigan deserved to win They played magnificently, with team spirit and organisation making up for their lack of talented individuals. When a Man City player was sent off with 10 minutes to go, Wigan redoubled their efforts, and the ball didn’t really get out of City’s half until Wigan scored a fine header from a corner. Then and only then did Man City really push forward, but of course by then it was too late.

    Wigan’s win was satisfying on many levels – giant killing underdogs; passionate local chairman whose last visit to Wembley was as a losing player who broke his leg and ended his career in the process; a reward for a modest unassuming manager who’ll probably be moving on soon; a consolation to a team who may soon be relegated unless the victory spurs them to great things in their last 2 matches; and once again, the English Premier League defying the pundits, except me :)

    It must be the most exciting football league in the world.

  79. “Go on, Dreoilin, everybody is on the other thread, nobody’s watching this one ….. do a little Wigan Wiggle.”

    There was me, wiggling my arse off last night, and not even a whisper of applause from this place. I ask you …

  80. On behalf of 20,000 grateful Wigan fans and myself, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for your wiggle. I’m pretty sure I heard somebody say that they know someone who overheard Roberto Martinez saying “It was a gamechanger, an inspiration, we couldn’t have done it without Dreoilin’s wiggle. I look forward to seeing the slow motion replay later”

  81. :) :) :)

  82. I saw you, Dreoilin. From behind a tree, with my binoculars. You lewd Jezebel. When’s Wigan playing again?

  83. April Showers

    13 May, 2013 - 6:54 pm

    Man U are really milking Fergie’s departure. There is a parade tonight into the city with a double decker bus and another sea of red. Q Who is paying for all the flags?

    PS How does a Komodo lizard use binoculars? I thought their eyes swivelled individually and had unilateral sight on either side of their heads! :)

  84. April Showers

    15 May, 2013 - 8:19 am

    It’s a shame that Wigan are our of the Premier League now.

  85. April Showers

    15 May, 2013 - 8:19 am

    OUT

  86. April Showers

    16 May, 2013 - 3:14 pm

    David Beckham has announced his retirement.

    ~~~~

    The World Cup is coming to Brazil at great cost to the people by order of FIFA.

    Romario Tackles Brazil
    Duration: 25 minutes
    First broadcast:Thursday 16 May 2013

    Brazil is getting ready to host the 2014 World Cup. But the preparations have become mired in controversy. And leading the charge against over-budget stadiums, vested interests and corruption is an unlikely figure: Romario. Brazil’s World Cup-winning footballer has transformed himself into a serious, hard-working politician. Tim Franks meets him for Assignment. Is this a genuine transformation for one of Brazil’s most notorious celebrity bad-boys?

    Produced by Linda Pressly

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0188d2n

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