Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Istanbul revisited

Oh, how much has happened since the last post. Let's take quick stock:

My beloved Manchester United are champions of England once again, in spite of all my early-season negativity and cynicism. There we're some tricky moments along the way, and I for one thought after loss against Portsmouth and when Everton went 2-0 up that the dream was over. Thanks to Bolton Wanderers, Bouhlarouz and that Gilberto Silva penalty (not forgetting Ballack and Shevchenko for a variety of reasons), we finally have our trophy back.

FA Cup Final
Which was, admittedly, a big bore. The only encouraging thing from the game was watching the trophy presentation as a trophy presentation should be - from the stands, with the captain receiving it first. I truly hate the new-style trophy presentations on the pitch, which really ruined two great World Cups (2002, and 2006).

Keane-O is back!
And boy am I looking forward to those Sunderland vs. chelsea matches next season, and when Sunderland come calling to Old Trafford. Surely the crowd will give their favourite son the reception he well and truly deserves.

In a suit and behind the touch-line, but he's back, baby!

Anyway, on to other things, and tonight we see if Istanbul can indeed be avenged (by Milan) or revisited (by Liverpool). This also heralds a new era for *dish* *bish*, as we welcome our co-writer: my cousin and hard core Liverpool fan, Mat Kolej.

Oh, yes - a United fan and a Liverpool fan can work together at times, and if anything I'm sure there'll be more updates here, starting with the following one:

Istanbul revisited
After 24 months since that crazy match which most probably gave millions a few irregular heart beats and half of those people a really memorable memory to hold on to, Milan and Liverpool are at it again.

This time around I feel that too much has been made about Liverpool putting another one over the red and black of Milan. Every paper that you see on the news stands is dominated by articles on Liverpool - probably a ratio of 3 to 1 in terms of articles published. Normally these days when a person and the media goes over board and starts hyping about a team or a certain player somehow or rather the opposite happens and things do not go down too well - damn all this jinxing!

I feel Gerrard should not have taken a go at the guy he claims scares him like a kitten. Absolutely needless, just look what happened the last time Milan’s President took a go at Liverpool. He just ate humble pie and made a disappearing act after Istanbul. Maybe the two cases differ but you get the point.

We need to handle this psycho better than Carrick did

Despite all those stories from how to stop a certain Brazilian maestro (use Mascherano, Rafa), to tickets allocations not being enough, to people selling tickets at ludicrous prices, to whether Milan avenge their scarring defeat in Istanbul, or whatever you have read on the papers or the trusty net you’ll be a fool to put your foot down and bet your life on which team will triumph because when it comes down to European Nights like this anything is possible…well maybe less spectacular than Istanbul but still special.

Milan remain the favourites but either team is capable of pulling off something.

My three wishes for the final are:

1. That it turns out to be a cracking game of football
2. It does not start raining and Astro doesn't start tripping
3. Zenden does not start for Liverpool (could there be anyone more unfashionable and dull?)