Rafael Benitez’s tirade against Sir Alex Ferguson was probably a little ill-judged as it proves that the words and actions of the Manchester United boss have got under his skin. And to be honest, Fergie’s response that his Liverpool counterpart was ‘disturbed’ was a masterstroke by the old warrior. However, at least we have seen a manager in the Premier League who is prepared to stand up to the Old Trafford boss. Far too many of them seem to tremble in his very presence which must give United a massive advantage at the start of any game.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Love him or hate him?
Personally I lean towards the latter though hate is far too strong a word. I’m not keen on the all over tan, the earrings, the constant appealing and the occasional falling over. However, as a fan of the game, one truly has to marvel at the skills Cristiano Ronaldo brings to the football pitch. His 2008 season wasn’t far short of miraculous and his recognition as the Fifa World Player of the Year was well deserved as were all of his many other accolades for his performances last year.
Buona Fortuna Becks
Last year, as David Beckham approached the milestone of Bobby Moore’s record 108 caps for England, the former national captain was mercilessly attacked by certain national newspaper writers as not being worthy. His crime? Playing for a ‘pub team in the USA’. Well he aint now. Beckham made his Serie A debut for AC Milan on Sunday and played 89 minutes of their 2 – 2 draw with Roma. Now Beckham may not be in Moore’s class when it comes to quality of caps bearing in mind that subs weren’t massed on the bench in Bobby’s day but as a player who wants nothing more to represent his country to the best of his ability, Beckham is doing all he can to ensure that Fabio Capello decides he’s deserving of a place. And he can’t be criticised for that, even by those writers who were fortunate to call Moore a friend.
FA and United
The big wigs at the Football Association really don’t help themselves do they? At pains to apologise to Manchester United for making public their findings over the Patrice Evra affair, it now turns out that the chairman of the disciplinary panel, one Nicholas Stewart QC, is a season ticket holder at – wait for it – Arsenal! While his impartiality and professionalism aren’t being called in to question, it’s a bit like putting your local hoodie gang in charge of the neighbourhood watch scheme. Not very clever.