Blog template Rock the Crossbar: Which player would you sign?

Rock the Crossbar

Tuesday, January 10

Which player would you sign?

Its a tough call but which of these 3 players would you rather have in your team - one got beat by Clyde, another had his penalty CAUGHT by the keeper - the other is a quiet all rounder, I know my pick.


  • Oi. Cisse had an assist that game. He IS shoite, though.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 1:19 AM  

  • your fetish for traffic cones extends further than I thought....

    By Blogger Tara, at 10:00 AM  

  • What does Simon do with them - enquiring minds want to know!

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 10:33 AM  

  • I love traffic cones, what can I say - unlike women, they dont talk back.

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 4:39 PM  

  • Hmm, it is becoming more and more obvious that Simon is obsessed with Roy. Let it go Simon, let it go. Its just a crush.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 1:02 PM  

  • I can never let Roy go... Ireland may have let him go in 2002, Man United certainly let him go this year - but not me...

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 1:18 PM  

  • Ah isn't that special. Is that because he played a big part in your so-called "Unbeatables" never even winning back to back Premierships?

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 1:52 PM  

  • No, Special is using the term "Premierships". New fan.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 2:53 PM  

  • Sorry Rich...I should have guessed you might not understand "Premierships". Its the plural for those things which you have never one.

    Ah....the gap is going to be 26 years soon...I know it. Ring an bells?

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:14 PM  

  • I deal in "titles", it would be revisionist to call them anything else. We're clearly getting better, your shower are clearly getting worse. Plus we won something last season. "The Gap" is 18 + 5, and not in your lifetime is all you need to know on timespan.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 5:19 PM  

  • The "gap" goes back to 1989-90 so it will be 16 years this year. Thats pretty fuckin funny.
    Its easier to "get better" when you have been complete pants for about 15 years.(Mickey Mouse trebles aside) Spurs are getting better too by the way but I don't see them winning a league anytime soon either.
    Not sure about us "getting worse" either. If you are comparing us to 94, 96 or 99 then yes, we are not as good now as we were then. I do think we are better and more consistent now than we have been for a couple of years though.
    Oh, and the gap in titles is 18 v 15 now. Not quite as bad as the 18 v 7 which it was back in 90.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:34 PM  

  • Oh, you mean the arbitray gap of convenience for yernited fans. Gotcha. Not the actually won stuff gap. I see. Point per game we're better than you at the moment. Chelsea means neither of us are likely to win, but we're currently the second best.

    Yernited, for me, have been in ecline for 4 years. Long may it continue. Benitez is the best manager out there, I think, and am delighted with what he's doing. Sure he buys lemons (Nunez, Josemi) but he offs them fast. *cough cough fletcher, smith cough*

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 5:49 PM  

  • Point per game? What are you? American? Its points on the board that count. And its also at the end of the season when they count. Next thing you will be telling me about Reina's saves per shot ratio or that you are about to post a winning record for the season.

    Arbitrary gap of convenience? Ya, thats it. Pretend it doesn't exist. Its just something United fans have made up. Its a Maths trick. An illusion. lalalala. Deep down it drives you nuts that you are about to hit 20 years without a "title".

    At the end of the day we were the only team to stand up and beat Chelsea in the league. Just like we have done with Arsenal in the past. All after what Fergie calls "knocking Liverpool of their fucking perch"

    We didn't buy Fletcher and we bought Smith as a striker and he has never let us down when played as such. Both players are filling a gap for us right now anyway. I wouldn't swap squads with you right now. No way. Thats just my opinion though. I'd rather not get sucked into a 10-year-old's "my team is better than yours" argument.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 7:32 PM  

  • Numeracy isn’t solely confined to Americans, even if it passed YOU by. Not our fault we’ve played two less games then you. But per game, we are better, even with the pressures of European competition. The timing is completely arbitrary. The two obvious ones are ‘last season’ or ‘forever’. Yernited are pissants using either of those, but I’ll let you use the newfans arbitrary lexicon of convenience. What was yernited’s biggest gap without a title? You wouldn’t know, being ‘post sky’ yourself. Ask your dad. You might be surprised – and yet you still came back strong, although never quite out of our shadow.

    You make it sound like you finished above Chelsea in the league – you didn’t. We beat them to the European cup, you won bugger all. This season, we beat them in the same qualifying group, but you wont catch me banging on about some moral victory: It’s tiny. If we win silverware, then that’s worth talking about. Smith has never let you down or himself in terms of effort, it’s his systemic shoiteness that I’m laughing at. But if you’re happy, I’m delighted. It’s your prerogative not to want to swap squads, and thankfully not managers. We’ll keep on improving. You keep on, erm, rebuilding, or whatever.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 11:47 PM  

  • Er, ok. Go win-loss column, winning % and all that. I'll settle for the league table though if you don't mind. Bird in the hand and all that. And even then I would advise against pleasuring yourself while looking at the league table in January. I know its been a while since you were involved in a title race but it actually runs until very late April or early May. I think it was the same pre-Sky but can't say for sure of course.

    The pressures of European competition? Thats funny - we played the same number of group games as you did this season. Not sure how the pressures of Europe were any greater for you then they were for us. If anything we were under more pressure in our group than you were.

    What is so completely arbitrary about the last 5, 10, 15 or 20 years? My point was that its been almost 16 years since you won the league. If you want to ignore that because those 16 years are a "completely arbitrary" period in time well that’s your choice. The Ostrich approach has its merits. I hope you have just as much fun ignoring it when it hits 20. I am sure you enjoyed reminding United fans when it was 26 years for us. Or did you walk around talking about that being a completely arbitrary period of time as well?

    Our biggest gap without a title would have to be the 41 years between 1911 and 1952. I am sure you remember that well being the century-long supporter you are. You probably fought in the two great wars in between as well. Well done. Even though I wasn't born I knew that immediately of course because I made a point of learning our title and fa cup winning years when I was 8 or so. Nothing special - just basic anorak practice. It was pretty easy then anyway - only 7 leagues to remember. Maybe thats why you are so good at numbers? Because you had so many titles to remember as a child?

    Nice try with the post-sky jabs. That's really going to upset me. I am scampering though ebay as I type looking for a 1981 United away shirt that I can take a picture of myself in and send to you. That will show you. I do understand though that you want to pretend that real football ended when the Premiership began since its been pretty bleak for you since then. Anybody who mentions events of the last 15 or 20 years is a "newfan". I guess its almost time to start referring to people who talk about Liverpool title wins as historians then?

    I go all the way back to the Ron Atkinson days but I don't need to prove myself to you. I am confident enough in my background not to start telling football rattle stories. It must have been nice growing up in the 80s when your team was winning everything though. You are a true fan.

    I didn't make it sound like we finished above Chelsea in the league. I said "we were the only team to stand up and beat Chelsea in the league". If Liverpool and Arsenal did that a bit more regularly(or at all for that matter) we all might have a better chance.

    You've got some nerve having a go at Smith for being shite when you have Harry Kewell in your team. He turned down United because he didn't want to fight for his place. That should have been a warning for you. No surprise he had to come off injured when you were 3-0 down in Istanbul either.

    I don't know about being happy. Its tough to be happy when we are so obviously miles behind Chelsea in consistency. We are already a very good young team though who, like you, are improving. The next two or three midfield signings will determine where we go from here.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 1:11 AM  

  • Fair play. Obviously we're not happy having not won the league for a while, but it has happened to teams before and they've come good, is my point. I'm delighted with our progress and our manager.

    Kewell has by all accounts been playing injured for a year. He ripped a tendon in half in the CL final, don't really know how I can blame him for that. He seems interested at the moment, which is good for us. He turned yernited down because he thought Liverpool had a better future and was a Liverpool fan.

    Smith is a b+ striker and a c+ center midfielder. I'm not disputing that you have quality over the rest of the park, but your center mid is shockingly bad. (like our strikers).
    Fergie seems to think otherwise, as he's in for every position but...

    We'll see what the future holds - are chelsea the new yernited in the fact that everyone hates them, or do you have an eternal leeds like hatability (outside of merseyside). The league i sbeyon both our grasps - scant solice that aresnal have got it even worse. Beating chelsea is no good if you loose 5 and draw 8 other games in a season. They wont.

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 2:05 AM  

  • Well based on what I know today - United beaten again - Liverpool presently leading.
    John you cant crow about league tables in May and all that - you in August mocked me for putting Liverpool higher than United and talking about how you have improved - fat chance - in August it looked good for you but Liverpool are going to pass you and then still have 2 games in hand - next week is going to be great to watch, I may even have to cheer United as its in Arsenal's interest. As for Harry Kewell - mock him all you like but today astute Burke has him in his fantasy league.. and he got me my goal!
    And United under greater pressure in the CL than Liverpool - not with the group United had - they should have walked it - Liverpool had Chelsea in theirs and they topped it.
    As for Liverpool - tough to find a lot wrong with them right now - they are in excellent form and we have them twice in a month shortly...

    By Blogger Simon Burke, at 11:32 AM  

  • I am say we put ourselves under pressure right until the end of that group. Unlike liverpool who coasted in pretty easily.

    Fuck it, don't have a leg to stand on today :-)

    I'll be back.

    Good debate Rich.

    Simon - you are a wanker :-)

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 1:15 PM  

  • Just one small point on this point Rich:

    "your centre mid is shockingly bad. (like our strikers). Fergie seems to think otherwise, as he's in for every position but..."

    I disagree with your logic here. You seem to be saying that the fact that Ferguson has not gone in for a centre-midfielder in the January window implies that he is unaware of the problem or considers what he has to be good enough. I think Ferguson has been in the game long enough to recognise that this is our glaring weakness right now. I think he also recognises that he will probably only get one more shot at getting it right after Kleberson, Djemba and Miller.

    For that reason, spending a lot of money on this position in January, when we are already out of Europe and in a race for second in the league just doesn't make sense.

    The best players in this position are very unlikely to be available in Jan as their clubs won't want to lose them mid-season and most of the top candidates are still involved in the CL. Why would they want to move to United right now and fight for the Carling and FA cups? Additionally, I think top players like a bit of stability leading up to a World Cup where they can concentrate on their form instead of dealing with a new club and all that comes with it (new house, language, moving family etc etc)

    Finally, United still technically have a contract with a player (Obi-Mikel) who is widely considered to be one of the brightest prospects in the world in this position. Personally, I don't think he will ever play for us but its worth figuring out where we stand on him before deciding on our next action.

    I am going to give Ferguson the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is perfectly aware that Fletcher, Smith and O'Shea are not our future centre-midfield. Give the man some of the credit he deserves. If/when he does make a big move (or two) for this position during the Summer, he will also need to decide on the futures of one or two the aforementioned players. He may as well play them now and figure out if they offer anything worth hanging onto.

    By all means criticise Ferguson for getting it wrong in this position but I don't think its right to suggest that he doesn't recognise we have a problem there. I would equate it to the goalkeeper situation. We lost a legend (Schmeichel) in that position and Ferguson tried a number of candidates over about 6 years before eventually finding somebody who looks anything like a replacement for Schmeichel. Likewise, we have lost a legend (Keane) in midfield. I think we all, including Ferguson, recognise that he won't get 6 years to get this one right.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 4:52 PM  

  • I agree to an extent - Yernited have always been likely to have their talent bubble pop - because of teh outstanding cropof youngsters tha came through at the same time. That being said, and with yernited's coin - there must have been someone somewhere?

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 4:55 PM  

  • Someone somewhere isn't what we need right now though is it? This is it. Fergie gets one more chance to sort it out. Lets say I put you in Fergie's shoes and gave you 20 million right now to sort out United's centre midfield. Would you spend it now on "someone somewhere" or would you wait until the Summer when players from teams like Lyon, Villarreal etc might be more available than they are now.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:36 PM  

  • So Fergie can't spot talent anymore? Only expensive, established players? I don't think he's looking that hard. He found *some* signings, so talent must be out there in January..

    By Blogger Rich Hughes, at 5:37 PM  

  • Who knows what is going on behind the scenes? Not us. For all I know, he has two 16 year old wonder kids from China lined up to sort it all out. More likely, he realises how important his next move is in this position and wants to do it right during the Summer when the pool of available players is larger. If we were still in the CL I think I would be more impatient and would want him to do something in January to give us a better chance of winning it but I am fine with him waiting until the Summer.

    If Vidic is what they say he is and can improve Rio as well as spelling the end of Silvestre then it will have been a good Jan in the market for us in my book. Evra I am less concerned about as we have Heinze to come back there next year anyway.

    By Blogger TheBusbyBoy, at 5:53 PM  

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