The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Drinking on the Cheap

Watching Bébé (Tiago Manuel Dias Correia) play for United against Wolves was truly a weird sight. Ferguson’s opposite number Mick McCarthy (who sometimes seems like a character from a Samuel Beckett play) [“…one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker’s spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them…”] would never have put the Portugese on the field. None of his crosses came anywhere near the box. Watching him was surreal—as if he had won a contest (Your Chance to Play with United) and was guaranteed 40 minutes on the pitch. The fact is Bébé could not play for most English second division teams. I’m not sure even Cambridge would take him. No MLS team would have him, except on a developmental squad.

So what gives?

It’s vintage Alex Ferguson, of course, thinking he can transform a raw talent into a Premier League regular. The man is bonkers sometimes. I think he really believes he can create a player through sheer strength of will. Sort of like the Henry Higgins of football. It was embarrassing for the lad, though. You could see it on his face. His stricken expression made me sink into my seat.

Of course, Sir Alex is also the supreme politician. It’s fun watching him support United’s American owners, claiming he doesn’t need new players, that his current group are more than adequate. There’s a place for the old genius in some political appointment in Europe after he retires from football. Ambassador to France? It would be the perfect spot for him. Then he can drink all the claret he wants on the cheap.

November 10, 2010   Comments Off on Drinking on the Cheap

296

Last train to Brooklyn
With peeps no mother could love
And I among them.

November 10, 2010   Comments Off on 296