Archive | December, 2011

Suarez why I don’t believe the excuse

20 Dec

Firstly I want to point out that this article is not about the United Liverpool rivalry. I think the subject matter is too important – Racism.

These are the facts as I believe them to be, Evra claimed Suarez racially abused him numerous times during the game. He even complained to the ref. Suarez has admitted he said certain things which he does not believe are racist and not racist in his country.

Well presumably if Suarez believes this he would have used these explanations countless times during his time in England. Why would he not? According to him they are not offensive so why restrict it to the football field? Of course you wouldn’t,  are we now to believe that the player has used these words frequently and no one has ever picked him up on how offensive they can be to people?

I would like to know what the ref said to Suarez and if he continued and what was in the referees report. These cases are very important because they send out a message to all of us. I know many people hate political correctness and also feel at times worried what they can and cannot say regarding skin tone but in truth that is a small price to pay seeing the countless negative aspects of racism.

What we are all waiting to see isn’t if Suarez is fined or banneand the lengthy of the ban but to see if the governing boy of football is going to take racism seriously.

Suarez has been given a £40,000 fine and an 8 match ban here is the full statement from the FA

An Independent Regulatory Commission has today [Tuesday 20 December 2011] found a charge of misconduct against Luis Suarez proven, and have issued a suspension for a period of eight matches as well as fining him £40,000, pending appeal.

On 16 November 2011, The Football Association charged Luis Suarez with misconduct contrary to FA Rule E3 in relation to the Liverpool FC versus Manchester United FC fixture on 15 October 2011.

A hearing took place from 14-20 December 2011 before an Independent Regulatory Commission of The FA to consider the charge.

The Independent Regulatory Commission announced its decision on 20 December 2011, which is as follows:

  1. Mr Suarez used insulting words towards Mr Evra during the match contrary to FA Rule E3(1);
  2. the insulting words used by Mr Suarez included a reference to Mr Evra’s colour within the meaning of Rule E3(2);
  3. Mr Suarez shall be warned as to his future conduct, be suspended for eight matches covering all first team competitive matches and fined the sum of £40,000;
  4. the [penalty] is suspended pending the outcome of any appeal lodged by Mr Suarez against this decision.

The Independent Regulatory Commission will provide written reasons for its decision in due course setting out:

(a)          the findings of fact made by it;

(b)          the reasons for its decision finding the charge proved; and

(c)           the reasons for the penalty.

Mr Suarez has the right to appeal the decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission to an Appeal Board. An appeal must be lodged within 14 days of the date of the written reasons for the decision.

The penalty is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or should Mr Suarez decide not to appeal. The reason for this is to ensure that the penalty does not take effect before any appeal so that Mr Suarez has an effective right of appeal.

Liverpool Statement

Liverpool Football Club is very surprised and disappointed with the decision of the Football Association Commission to find Luis Suarez guilty of the charges against him.

We look forward to the publication of the Commission’s Judgment.  We will study the detailed reasons of the Commission once they become available, but reserve our right to appeal or take any other course of action we feel appropriate with regards to this situation.

We find it extraordinary that Luis can be found guilty on the word of Patrice Evra alone when no-one else on the field of play – including Evra’s own Manchester United teammates and all the match officials – heard the alleged conversation between the two players in a crowded Kop goalmouth while a corner kick was about to be taken.

The Club takes extremely seriously the fight against all forms of discrimination and has a long and successful track record in work relating to anti-racist activity and social inclusion.  We remain committed to this ideal and equality for all, irrespective of a person’s background.

LFC considers racism in any form to be unacceptable – without compromise.  It is our strong held belief, having gone over the facts of the case, that Luis Suarez did not commit any racist act.  It is also our opinion that the accusation by this particular player was not credible – certainly no more credible than his prior unfounded accusations.

It is key to note that Patrice Evra himself in his written statement in this case said ‘I don’t think that Luis Suarez is racist’.  The FA in their opening remarks accepted that Luis Suarez was not racist.

Luis himself is of a mixed race family background as his grandfather was black.  He has been personally involved since the 2010 World Cup in a charitable project which uses sport to encourage solidarity amongst people of different backgrounds with the central theme that the colour of a person’s skin does not matter; they can all play together as a team.

He has played with black players and mixed with their families whilst with the Uruguay national side and was Captain at Ajax Amsterdam of a team with a proud multi-cultural profile, many of whom became good friends.

It seems incredible to us that a player of mixed heritage should be accused and found guilty in the way he has based on the evidence presented. We do not recognise the way in which Luis Suarez has been characterised.

It appears to us that the FA were determined to bring charges against Luis Suarez, even before interviewing him at the beginning of November. Nothing we have heard in the course of the hearing has changed our view that Luis Suarez is innocent of the charges brought against him and we will provide Luis with whatever support he now needs to clear his name.

We would also like to know when the FA intend to charge Patrice Evra with making abusive remarks to an opponent after he admitted himself in his evidence to insulting Luis Suarez in Spanish in the most objectionable of terms.  Luis, to his credit, actually told the FA he had not heard the insult.


Football Club Statistics Results from the Past

20 Dec

This is a long term project, I would like to build up a list of websites for various clubs that have results and other statistics.

Various Clubs



Manchester United

Newcastle United

Please send along any good statistical site for any club. Thank You

Phil Jones where should he play?

4 Dec

Jones has been mentioned in the same breath at times with two of our greatest ever players Big Duncan Edwards and Bryan Robson. It is very early to start to talk about him in that bracket but he is a superb prospect and already one of the first names on the teem sheet.

His versatility has enabled him to play various positions full back, centre back and midfield. While this makes him an ideal team player and will help him get an understanding of the various positions on the field it must restrict his development as a specialist. Playing each week in one position against various players, teams and formations is the only way he will fulfil his potential.

Most pundits believe that to be as a centre back, personally I believe his abilities are best utilised in centre midfield.  As a centre back Jones will be restricted in how he can impact a game. However in centre midfield he can run games, break attacks up before danger happens and turn it in to attacks. I like midfield players to be able to change patterns of games aka Keane and Robson to be a leader in a critical portion of the pitch.  His brilliant reading of the game and ability to cut out passes and drive forward through the middle combined with his strength and tackling are aspects of our midfield which have been sadly lacking for years.

Moreover he is a leader even at such a tender age he is far from scared of ruffling feathers if he thinks experienced international players aren’t doing what they are supposed to. When the team is out of form or being out played it is critical to have a leader in centre midfield who can pick the rest of the team up and lead by example and show the opposition we wont roll over or be bullied.

The question of whether he can score the goals that a midfielder should score is as yet a question I cannot answer only guess. He has the determination and the drive, the touch and gets in to dangerous positions, now he has scored I expect more to come on a regular basis. I personally think he will score 10 or more a season.

If we restrict such a wonderful player to centre back or full back we would  only be hurting ourselves and restricting a player from becoming what he can be.

Of course he needs to play there each week to gain understanding of the role and confidence. Furthermore he is wasted playing centre midfield if he is to be restricted to man marking the opposition as he was against Adams – Liverpool. He is a far better player than Adams and the logic of putting a better player on a player who isn’t in the same league I found puzzling, although Fergie no doubt thought everything went through Adams and putting him out of action would restrict their attacking options and control of midfield.

Cappello and Fergie have realised his potential in midfield and Fergie may have hinted in an interview Jones will be given an extended run in that position. I predict a very bright future.

I wrote an earlier article why I don’t think Rooney is suitable for centre midfield.

Please feel free at any point even in years to come if I am wrong, I know people who object to this personally I strongly believe if you want to state an opinion you should be judged on the what you argue, I certainly wont take offence if I am wrong and will take the criticism!

Sir Bobby Charlton

1 Dec

United Career: January 1953 – May 1973
Birthplace: Ashington
Date of Birth: 11 October 1937
Position: Forward/Left Winger/Centre Midfielder
United Games: 766 Goals: 253
England 106 games 49 goals

I think one thing surprises me more than any other speaking to United fans is actually how little they know about one of our greatest ever players. Countless fans think he was a striker. He wore the number 9 shirt and is our all time leading goal scorer and England’s but he did that primarily from centre midfield.

He did start his United career for the first three seasons as a goalscorer/finisher but then in the 1960 season he was pushed out to the left wing. He would frequently use his electric pace to beat a player cut in and blast the ball past the keeper. He scored 21 goals in his first season in that position and stayed there for 3 or 4 seasons but he didn’t like it. He found himself too isolated during games and wanted to be more involved. Jimmy Murphy claims it was United who moved him in to centre midfield first although many disagree and claim it was England who used him in that position first. Either way his partnership with the ball winning Crerand was very successful and Paddy referred to Bobby as “pure poetry” on the pitch!

Bobby Charlton was only booked once and that was rescinded and his longest period out of the game due to injury was 2 weeks. He was very quick, faster than Best and was genuinely two footed, it wasn’t possible to know which was his stronger foot as he didn’t have one. He was a superb passer, at times he was criticised for too many Hollywood passes rather than keeping it simple especially in his early days. And while the joke was he went bald due to heading the ball the truth was he very rarely headed the ball and it wasn’t his strength although watching the European Cup final you wouldn‘t know that. He had a blistering shot, his trade mark was moving up a gear or two in centre midfield dropping a shoulder to create space or go past an opponent of course it didn’t matter to him if he went left or right and then would let rip. He had a superb engine and despite being a smoker he would cover tremendous ground each game. Although he wasn’t a ball winner.

He was very close to Jimmy Murphy and gives him enormous credit for developing his engine and two footed technique. And his understand of the game – when to keep the game simple and when to try to change a game.

Bobby was apparently a carefree individual before Munich but that changed after and he was often seen as moody and distant although apparently he did have a wicked sense of humour. His relationship with Best was not always on good terms and Best in one of his books admitted to not passing to Bobby on the pitch. Bobby loved United and did not like what Best’s antics were doing to the club. And there was even a short period when Denis Law and Charlton were not on speaking terms. While new signing Ted McDougall argues Bobby hardly spoke a word to him while he was at the club.

Bobby had become club captain In the season 1968/9 he had taken over from Denis Law who had taken it over from Noel Cantwell. The state that the club was in had hurt Bobby more than most and probably saw it as his job to try to get the club back to its rightful place.

Tommy Docherty in his autobiography is critical of Best and Law as players but he has nothing but good things to say about  Sir Bob.

Bobby’s best friend at the club was Nobby Stiles!

Follow me on Twitter @themancunianred

Ravel Morrison

1 Dec

Ravel is the best youth player I’ve ever seen in over 40 years watching the game. I first heard about Ravel when he was around 11 and have watched him live countless times and enjoyed watching him develop. While he doesn’t have the electric pace and dribbling ability of a young Giggs, he has an excellent football brain, vision and that rare ability to pass to a player exactly where they want it when they want it. He can beat players for fun and not only turns up in the important games but scores important goals on a regular basis. He has a good work ethic and can run games.

I have reserved my judgement whether he is ready for the first team due to the fact it isn’t a question a fan can answer. The gulf between the premier league and youth/reserve team football nowadays is monumental. And it is a question only the coaching staff can answer watching him in action in training with first team players. When I started watching football it wasn’t uncommon for players to go from the youth team in to the 1st team if they were deemed special but the demands of United nowadays and the quality of the premier league make this a lot less common.

Furthermore the coaching staff have to assess how a player will cope with bad games or stardom at such a tender age. I remember Gordon Strachan saying he once started a young player and because he wasn’t ready it put him back 2 years. Confidence is obviously a critical factor and if a player suddenly feels he is out of his depth and embarrasses himself on the pitch that can have a major impact on the rest of his career.

I also have little  doubt newspapers will have stories ready to go to print if Ravel does make the grade. They will be holding back until he is in the limelight and people know him and want to know more and will sell papers. Moreover no doubt so called friends will come out and sell information whether true or not. And this will be difficult for him to handle. The club will be aware of these events and they must be sure he can handle the fame when it comes.

I watched Ravel live for the 1st team for the first time yesterday and found it very interesting. Physically he struggled, he was shrugged off the ball a few times and while some of his passing and touches were nice he needed more movement than Macheda and Diouf managed to create opportunities.  While he had been able to go past youth and reserve players with relative ease he struggled to go past a Palace player. Moreover Palace defended deep and in numbers and the space he is given at the lower levels was never available.

Perhaps a good way to introduce him to 1st team action would be as a sub when we are in control of the game and it is more open with Rooney to link up to and Chicharito’s movement as options.

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