At the 59 minute mark of today’s FA Cup Manchester derby, Brett Favre came out of retirement and strode onto the pitch. At least, on this day, at this time, he had the dignity (allegedly) of returning to play for his original team. At least he didn’t trot out gleefully wearing the colours of his noisy neighbors. Have to grant him that, yes?
Oh, did I say Brett Favre? Ah…..I must have had him on my mind since last night when the camera cut to a laughing Brett Favre at the Superdome as he was watching New Orleans beat the Detroit Lions 45-28, no doubt laughing at the thought that whoever won last night would hopefully (in his mind) topple the Green Bay Packers.
My apologies. I meant to say Paul Scholes. Yes. Paul Scholes came out of retirement at the 59th minute mark of today’s Manchester derby. I honestly had thought his coming out of retirement was just a rumour from the same sort of enflamed pundits who tossed the Frank Lampard to ManU transfer rumour up the flagpole. But no, after the tearful retirement and tribute game in his honour, Scholes, like Favre, came back to play once more. ((Of course, in Favre’s case, there was no tribute in his honour since he snubbed the opportunity)).
I suppose it would be nice to say that Scholes came on and scored the winning goal for his old team, but that was not the case. Referee Chris Foy took care of the outcome early on when he sent Vincent Kompany off at the 12th minute for what Foy thought, erroneously, was a two-footed studs up tackle of Nani….but replay showed that Kompany got the ball clean with one-foot (the second foot being inadvertent because he was sliding) and that he never even touched Nani, who to his credit did NOT flop to the ground. So with their skipper dismissed, City was on their back foot and United took a 0-3 lead into halftime. City was not to be denied a chance however. They came out of the break with tenacity and clawed the game back to 2-3 on shorthanded goals by Kolorov (off a free kick—it was a sweet goal—a perfect kick)) and Sergio-kun who tipped in a scrappy rebound from his first attempt that Lindegaard blocked.
I can’t really say that it was out of a sense of desperation that the game was getting away from United in the 2nd half that prompted Ferguson to bring on The Ol’ Gunslinger. I WILL however say that it was desperation that led Sir Alex to talk Scholes out of retirement (or vice versa) and back on the team. United is in a heated championship battle with their noisy neighbors; they have a raft of injuries—Vidic, their most important player is gone for the season; and they been on a bad run of form that his seen his lads lose 2 in row to such luminaries as Newcastle and Blackburn. Except for 5-0 drubbings of Fulham and Wigan, even their wins this season have been unimpressive.
So the Ol’ Gunslinger is back for more. I hope this doesn’t give Brent any bright ideas. But it would be funny to see him in a Man U shirt though slinging it around ((maybe Phil Jones, the new face of ManU would give up his #4 shirt)). He’d be like a kid out there. Quite literally.