7 Reasons AC Milan vs Manchester United was a Disappointment
1. Pancake Day. Who the hell schedules a match on Pancake Day? After all, no one plays on Christmas Day or on Easter Sunday. That’s because important holidays should, rightly, be observed. I had to listen to it on the radio while making the pancakes. Why couldn’t they have played it on Valentine’s Day instead? I love football, after all.
2. Hype. No mere football match could possibly live up to the preposterous hyperbole that preceded this game. For a week on BBC 5Live they trailed it as “David Beckham’s AC Milan vs Manchester United”. David Beckham’s AC Milan? Am I missing something? The LA Galaxy player who is on loan at AC Milan? That David Beckham? The David Beckham who isn’t the captain, manager or owner of AC Milan? The David Beckham who doesn’t usually start for AC Milan? Silvio Berlusconi owns AC Milan and he’s the President of Italy, so to describe the match as “Italy vs Manchester United” would have more accurate and less preposterous than “David Beckham’s AC Milan vs Manchester United”.
3. Palestine. Fergie’s tactics were odd to say the least. Both Graham Taylor and Alan Green remarked on it. He set Manchester United up with a five man midfield and had Park Ji-Sung marking the Palestine Liberation Organisation. I’m no tactical genius, but even I could see that Milan’s goal threat did not come from the P.L.O.
4. The Referee. Early in the first half, Ronaldinho went down on the edge of the opposition penalty area. The ref didn’t give Milan a free kick. Technically he was correct, there was no foul, but he obviously hadn’t read the script. Has he never seen a Hollywood movie? Of course he should have let Beckham have a free kick from the edge of the area. The occasion demanded it. Wayne Rooney obviously hadn’t read the script either.
5. Alan Green. He came back from some time off to resume his monomaniacal ranting about David Beckham. Among the first words Green said on taking over the microphone during the first half (after his customary dig at Sir Alex Ferguson) were, “Beckham, in 24 minutes, has taken two free kicks”, he went on to complain that he had been, “static in the midfield”. There were 21 other players he could have mentioned, but no, not Alan Green. The one occasion on which Alan Green didn’t mention Beckham, was when the Man United fans sang “One David Beckham” as he left the pitch. I don’t know what Beckham ever did to Alan Green, but I hope he does it again. Frequently and with vigour.
6. Behaviour. As I write this it is over eleven hours since the match ended. There have been no reports of players drunkenly cruising the autostrada in golf carts or capsizing pedalos in Lake Como. Why can’t footballers act more like the gentlemen that play cricket and rugby? Football players are over-hyped, over-paid and over-behaved.
7. Excitement. There were five goals and a last minute sending off, Rooney was brilliant – it was an enthralling and exciting match. You might wonder how this is disappointing. Let me assure you, it’s bloody disappointing when you’ve got a piece of paper in front of you with the heading “7 Reasons That AC Milan vs Manchester United was a Disappointment”, which is just as well, really.