Congrats to Derby County. On a day where Cricket was the headline in England throughout (thanks ECB), Derby County came up with another dozy…technically being 180 minutes away from European competition.
However that’s where the hyperbole stops for me. Sir Alex Ferguson obviously had a plan in mind for tonight’s game, damage control. While yes the 1-0 scoreline could be considered flattering for the number of chances Derby County had, Derby were unable to really punish Manchester United and the lighthearted nature they took this first leg. When the ninety was up, the scoreline should have read at least 2-0.
But let’s be honest about this game. Manchester United have a big tie Sunday against Chelsea at Old Trafford and they host the return leg to this tie in two weeks time. Sir Alex killed one bird when tonight’s game ended 1-0. He was able to rest key players and with the damage held to a minimal, should be able to turn over a Derby County side that will have the post manager change glow wearing off in a fort night. So let us all not over blow this result. While yes it’s a bit of a shock, let’s put this into perspective first. If Derby manage to hold on at Old Tafford for the Wembley final, then we can wonder about the what ifs of this night.
Busy day at St. James Park. First we find out Shola Ameobi signed a new 3 year deal. Let’s hope he gets healthy to play a large part of those 3 years. Secondly we find out that Obafemi Martins is off to see the hernia guy in Germany. See ya in six weeks. However if I was Martins, I’d tell his agent to shut up about blasting the club and the medical staff saying ‘The Newcastle medical staff is woeful’. Why state the obvious when at any time you can look at their injury list and go ‘is this West Ham from last season’? And finally we find out that Alan Smith looks to be sold from the club. For some odd reason that will probably come to me later, that surprises me.
Mark Hughes believes in an open door policy. I guess his players just don’t want to take him up on that offer. If players are taking up their grievances in player only meetings and with chairmen, then in my mind the players have either revolted or no longer care about you as a person.
We have a new leader in the club house in the Richest Club Owner Invitational, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Manchester City. That’s what happens when you have more money than everyone else. Roman Abramovich falls to third.
Tell me if I’ve got this nightly Jermain Defoe update correct. 1) The story comes out that Defoe made his own deal. 2) Bitter ex agent who is suing Defoe over breech of contract makes claim that Defoe’s mother helped broker the deal. So would that make 3) Bitter ex agent is trying to get both Defoe and Tottenham in trouble? Now I just want this story to end!
So John Terry is disappointed to see Wayne Bridge go. I guess they must have become great friends on the Chelsea medical tables.
Major League Soccer bust Denilson is on trail with Bolton. Hey Gary, you can’t be that desperate for players.
Here’s our daily warning from Middlesbrough saying Stewart Downing isn’t for sale.