People win football games, not tactics. And the problem right there is obvious. You have to, well, deal with people.
On the surface of it, on the ink-riddled paper, ManU(re) has better and more talented people than Swansea. But on the evidence of the scoreboard, that was not the case on opening day. Garry Monk was able to do more with less. Van Gaal, on the other hand, was unable to do more with more….and both on paper and in real life, Van Gaal has for more pressure on him to do more with more than Garry Monk does with less. Did that make sense?
I said in my last missive that:
“So The New Lord Ferg With The Pet Ferret On His Head® will have a reasonably easy go of it in his home opener.”
Clearly I was a bit over my skis. I forgot that Van Gaal ((which is pronounced Van Gaal, in case you’ve been wondering)) also has to deal with people…people like Wayne Rooney, and people like Ed Woodward….and dealing with people is not as simple as cracking a whip or waving a magic wand.
So the opening match of the 2014 Premier League season was a pleasant surprise for the neutrals, the ManU(re) haters, and the Swans fans worldwide. Newboy Gylfi Sigurðsson, formerly of Tootenham, scored the winner on 72 minutes and assisted on Sung-Yong Ki’s opening salvo and is very likely going to make everyone forget that Michu ever existed as the season rolls along. I’ve forgotten Michu already, but I also, somehow, overlooked Sigurðsson when setting up my English Premier League Fantasy Football team. I opened the season with Sigurðsson’s teammate Jonjo Shelvey in mid-field. Like 614,936 others, I will be correcting that oversight for Gameday 2.
Three Laughing Points From The Opening Match:
Top banter there, Fang. I was going to get to that, but since you mentioned it, why not right now. Captain Rooney does need to brush up on his English speaking skills n0w that he will be featured, along with The New Lord Ferg With The Pet Ferret On His Head®, at the little presser after every ManU(re) match from now on. Also, if he needs to fire up the flaming hairdryer on the pitch, as he did early in the match with the youth Tyler Blackett, he’ll need to hold forth with a bit more eloquence if he wants his points to get across.
Van Gaal ((which is pronounced Van Gaal, for you literary pedants lurking down at Toby’s Bar in Blanchardville WI)) speaks perfectly eloquent English even though Dutch is his native tongue. Perhaps he will be giving his erstwhile Captain some English lessons in the days and months to come.
2. Joey Barton is Queens Park Rangers’ resident Musicologist. Any thoughts on his critique of Rio Ferdinand??
I do have some thoughts on that, but not at the moment. At least not musical. Rio, if he was still at Old Trafford instead of at Loftus Road, would sing just as horrible and would play defense just as slug-like as any of the current ManU(re) starters….which would be, for those keeping score at The Grumpy Troll, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, and the aforementiond Tyler Blackett to whom ROONEY gave the aforementioned flaming hair dryer treatment.
We’ll save Joey Barton for another day since this little missive is all about ManU(re)….and of course, Swansea, but mainly about ManU(re) since they are the enemy and it never hurts to know your enemy all too well and make a big show of it.
Best moment of the match ((other than Sigurðrdsson’s winner, of course)) was when instead of opening his mouth to sing, Ashley Young opened his mouth to jaw ((express his disapproval)) at ref Mike Dean. Dean was having none of it, and neither was the bird that was flying overhead. It took a crap that landed in Ashley Young’s mouth.
Laughs all around.
3. Rumour has it that Tactics Tim Sherwood will be the next gaffer at Crystal Palace….
Tactics. I knew we’d have to cross that shaky narrow bridge that’s about to collapse into the Manchester Ship Canal ((which was Manchester’s FIRST attempt to knock Liverpool off their facking perch)).
Well…compared to Van Gaal ((which, for all ye patrons, noble and ignoble alike down at Marcine’s in Mount Vernon WI, is pronounced Van Gaal)), Tactics Tim Sherwood is merely a Crown Prince of Tactics. And I only mention this rumour in passing as the manager-less Crystal Palace acquitted themselves surprisingly well in their opening match with Arseanal. They took an early lead on a Brede Hangeland goal, but were pegged back in first half extra time by Laurent Koscielny….while Aaron Ramsey won it at the death.
Down 0-1 at the break, The New Lord Ferg With The Pet Ferret On His Head® marshaled his troops with a change of tactics. The favoured 3-5-2 that Van Gaal wants to pursue was scuppered for the old-fashioned Lord Ferg styled 4-4-2.
So 10 minutes after Captain Rooney led his scurvy lot of full kit wankers onto the pitch for the 2nd half, he showed what being a Captain is all about by snapping a backwards volley into the net.
But I believe a few words ago I said that tactics mean nothing without people, or something like that. Aha!! Here’s the quote:
“People win football games, not tactics.”
So it was back to the same old tactics of yesteryear with the same old people…..hell, even Nani who will soon be gone gone gone was press-ganged into action. After Sigurðsson’s 72nd minute winner, they all might as well have just walked off the pitch and down the tunnel for all the good that Van Gaal’s revised tactical nou accomplished.
And thus, the opening match of the 2014 English Premier League Season is over and in the books. Nice win for Swansea.