Beer Parlour Talk: Can the ten witches save Manchester United?


China Acheru

The club, Manchester United began to die from the day Sir Alex left a few years ago. David Moyes could have done a decent job with the club, but the management, players and fans showed him no respect.

They did not back him in the transfer market and he was soon sacked, with Ryan Giggs holding forth until Louis Van Gaal came on.

Van Gaal was old and too conservative for the job. The Van Gaal of Ajax Amsterdam in the 90s was gone and what we saw was a coach that was scared of being adventurous. The football was dull and uninspiring and he was let go for Jose Mourinho.

For some reason, Mourinho was not trusted by the hierarchy and they were maybe tired of his style. But he got them the Europa League and put them back in the Champions League, yet he was not backed with signings and was soon sacked. Ole Gunnar Solkjaer came in on interim basis and then was confirmed for the job. He flattered to deceive and his head was soon on the chopping block again.

Michael Carrick coached for a bit, and then was replaced with Ralf Rangnick for the rest of the season, but United continued to sink deeper and deeper into Oblivion. Each time they got a new coach (except David Moyes) the fans were optimistic that he would be the man to take them to glory days, but it seemed each one just sank them deeper and deeper.

Now, they went for Eric Ten Hag and many people do not know why they did. The banter mill went full gear saying things like the problems of United cannot be solved by one Hag, so they went for ten of them. Some even said, the club may need as much as thirty of forty hags to solve their problem, but these people did not know they were on to something. There could have been some truth about the number of hags the club was bringing in to coach them.

Many people do not know what a Hag is, so I will take time to explain. A Hag is simply a witch. The Glaziers knew no truly mortal man could solve their problems, so they got a witch. And they did not just get one witch, they got ten of them disguised as one man.

It gets better. According to the Collins English Dictionary, hag in American English 1 ; 1. an ugly old woman, esp. a vicious or malicious one ; 2. a witch or sorceress ; 3. a hagfish. Don’t all of these definitions fit the man that is coach of Manchester United?

But can the ten witches save them? After a poor start, the revival of the club started after he cast a spell on Juergen Klopp and they beat Liverpool. They have not looked back, at least in the league, since then. But the question is, Can the ten witches save Manchester United?

Liverpool may be sinking too, but their fans are in denial

The five stages of grief, they say, are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Now, I was told on Facebook last week that I was in the first stage, which is denial. Maybe that is the stage that some Liverpool fans are in right now. While a lot of them are calling the team out, calling the coaches out, calling the owners out and calling the players out, there are a few who believe things will be okay eventually and that there is no crisis.

Are these ones in the first stage of crisis that they cannot accept what is going wrong with the team? Liverpool have had their worst start to the league since the horror days of Roy Hodgson; the team is so laden with injury prone players that it is a wonder how they can complete this season and won’t have to use players from their academy at some point; the Liverpool team this season has lost its spark, the 4-1 loss at Napoli last week being the height of it. Most of all, the team looks completely disjointed, so surely it is time to panic. In the pre-match presser for the Ajax Champions League game, Klopp was asked if postponing games to respect the Queen would make the team lose their rhythm and his response was, “What Rhythem? Have you now watch our games? We want to lose it.” At least he has not lived in denial and knows the team have been horrible this season.

But the other side of the debate will cite the injuries that plagued the team before the season. Liverpool started with Calvin Ramsay, Konate, Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Keita, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Diogo Jota, Curtis Jones and Roberto Firmino injured. Then they missed Darwin Nunez for three games due to suspension.

Surely, if Thiago and Matip were not injured, James Milner would not be starting games in midfield. Surely, if, Matip and Konate were not injured, there would be no Joe Gomez running like a headless chicken in defence. Surely if Calvin Ramsay was not injured, there would have been a back up plan for a faltering Trent Alexander Arnold. So, maybe, they are right. The season did not start right for Liverpool and this is why the Champions League game against Ajax on Tuesday is important to them. Luckily, they had their game against Wolves postponed and also the one against Chelsea, but they must play against Ajax. All their injured players, apart from Ramsay, Oxlade Chamberlain and Keita are back to training and playing, so there will be no excuses this time if they fail to perform well.

Good weekend for Nigerian clubs in Africa

For the first time in a long time, Nigerian clubs, all for of them came out with results in the same weekend of playing in Africa. Rivers United did not just thrash Watanga FC of Liberia, they did it in style. It ended 3-0 and the boys from Port Harcourt were a joy to behold.

In Lagos, Kwara United thrashed AS Dounes of Niger 3-0 while Plateau United went to Stade Manji to draw 2-2. The most shocking result of them all was Remo Stars going to Rabat to get a draw against Royal Armed Forces.

But while we celebrate this feat by Nigerian clubs, one thing comes to mind. It is that two of the four clubs cannot even play games at their home grounds. This make me wonder why Nigerian clubs do all they can to qualify for the Champions League or Confederation Cup only to play far away from home because they did not have stadia that meet the minimum standard. Kwara United have left Ilorin to play their home games in Lagos. This is at least 5 hours by road. Plateau United will play their home games in Abuja, at least four hours by road from their base. So, what is it about not having standard stadia nor quality pitch, yet you want to win the League every season?

Nigerian state governments must do better with facilities. It does not make sense that the fans are in the stadium every match day to watch the league games and when it is time for the Champions League they are told that they have to travel 5 hours to watch them. Not in Nigeria of today with bad and unsafe roads, but we wish our clubs the best of luck on the continent.

The truth about Nigerians, finally revealed

< br>Nigerians, at every turn try to show disdain for the British and it always made me wonder why. They were colonial masters and until this day, a lot of Nigerians relocating want to go to either, England, USA or Canada, yet it seemed Nigerians have little love for them.

In football, majority of Nigerians would not agree that the English Premier League is the best. You hear statements like ‘Over hyped league’ and most recently ‘farmers league’ so one would think that Nigerians just watch it because they want to, and not because it is their first choice league. After all there is the German League, Spanish League and Italian League.

And Nigerians would really give that impression that the English League was not all that, until the Queen, Elizabeth II died last week.

As a mark of respect, English League games did not hold last weekend and the Nigerian football space was like during the COVID 19 lock down era. I saw people on Social Media or heard them on radio say things like, it, being a boring weekend, they, not knowing what to do with themselves, and the one that caught me most was when some people said, there was no football that weekend. But there was a lot of football last weekend, just that there were no games in England.

Football is BACK! We welcome the Champions League and the EPL next weekend. No need to pretend. We all watch the English League! We all enjoy the English League! Thank God it is back.

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