Anorak News | United We Fall

United We Fall

by | 4th, September 2002

‘FIRST, Alex Ferguson began to go off the rails. He started talking about his side being the best on paper, and how everyone knew that they were the real number one, even though they had finished at number three in the league.

Keano, Edwards and Fergie sense no harm in their actions

He had said he was going to quit, to do a Cantona, a Borg, a Graf and get out of his sport while still at the top. But he forgot to go and instead signed for another three years. And then he signed £80million of talent in Van Nistelrooy, Veron and Ferdinand.

The new recruits demonstrated the board’s faith in their manager, and how the train of talent that had produced Beckham, Giggs, Scholes and Neville had run dry.

But the club is bigger than one man, and if another one who shows signs of wear and tear is needed, we can take a look at Martin Edwards. Mr Edwards, former chairman and senior director of the club, is in the spotlight for his allegedly pervy ways. It’s been written in the papers of late that Edwards has taken his eyes off the ball and placed them under the doors of women’s toilet cubicles.

Police are looking into allegations of peeping, and while they’re at the ground they might like to have a word with the team captain, Roy Keane. Having courted controversy in his book, the player whose vengeance once stretched to labelling people prawn sandwich fanciers, has been seen of late elbowing national team-mate Jason McAteer in the head.

And to make matters worse, Keane, who was apparently so incensed when Alf Inge Haaland accused him of feigning injury that he launched a vendetta against his tormentor, shakes his head and wags a finger in a way to say that McAteer was making a meal of it. Big Roy doesn’t always take his punishment – on this occasion a straight red card – like the hard-jawed man of literary fame.

And when he gets to the touchline, he is greeted by Sir Alex, who tells the press: ”It’s always sad when a player goes down quickly.” But not nearly as desperate as watching Keane’s slow, inexorable slip from grace.

Perhaps United should stop looking elsewhere and begin taking a hard look at themselves. And if Mr Edwards wants it, yes, why not do so in a ladies’ toilet. Because United are showing signs of stress.

The once cohesive face of a great team has been distorted into the snarling visage of Roy Keane, a purple-headed manager who should have gone and an executive of questionable mores. It all begins to look like the beginning of the end of an era.

Today, United are far from gone and will challenge all the way this season. But new faces are needed, and if they don’t arrive soon, the club could have a long wait until it’s hype once again lives up to its reality. ‘

Posted: 4th, September 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink