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Rooney snub an act of cowardice
As a lifelong follower of Manchester United, I was never before as disappointed as I was last Tuesday night. It wasn't the result but the team selection that annoyed me.
I really thought that Alex Ferguson's dropping of Wayne Rooney, at best, showed a complete lack of belief in the way United play and, at worst, was a cowardly act. What's the point in having arguably one of the best strikers in the world playing for you if you do not have the faith to pick him when it comes to the biggest match of the year? And it's not the first time Ferguson has belittled Rooney. In the first leg he played him on the left wing to help stop the threat of Ronaldo – an insult.
What's the point in winning the Premier League at all with Rooney and Van Persie banging in goals against all opposition at will only to deem these feats not good enough when it comes to playing in Europe's biggest games. This is something Ferguson seems to insist on, influenced by Carlos Queiroz from his time at United.
Matt Busby must have been turning in his grave at these antics on Tuesday night. Imagine the great Madrid team of the '60s coming to Old Trafford on a big European night and leaving Denis Law on the bench. You just can't.
Maybe it's the reason why Ferguson has only won two Champions Leagues (you could argue they were lucky in both finals), a pretty poor return from a team that has won so many Premier Leagues.
United are an ugly soulless monster
The Manchester United concept under Alex Ferguson is a huge unwieldy monster with absolutely none of the glorious beautiful romance and soul which Derby County and Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor had in abundance.
It must also be remembered that the fourth best United player in the '60s, Tony Dunne, was treated like dirt at the end of his playing career.
When it comes to pure wholesome class United are far behind Barcelona, who make no money from their UNICEF logo and are not on the stock exchange as their noble supporters (all Catalonians) would not stand for it.
A lot worse out there than Kidney
Forget Seánie FitzPatrick, Seán Dunne, Michael Fingleton, Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen, Anglo Irish, AIB, BoI, Michael Lowry, Denis O'Brien and all the others. Public Enemy No 1 in Ireland is now Declan Kidney.
His unspeakable crime is that he may have made a bad call in his selection of the team that recently faced Scotland.
To put the matter in perspective, it is worth recalling the words of Samuel Beckett, who when asked what relevance did he attach to a pending game between Ireland and England at Lansdowne Road, replied: "None, other than it will remove 30 ruffians and their friends from Grafton Street for the afternoon." Say no more.
Another low blow for heroic Katie
Do you remember Katie Taylor? She went to London and followed her dream. She carried the expectations of a nation and, unlike other mere mortals, she delivered.
And so on a most memorable day last summer Katie won that Olympic medal she dreamed about as a child and the entire country forgot their problems for a little while. Katie didn't lose the run of herself; quite the opposite, she wanted to get back into training in the knowledge that she had the chance to win yet another European title in her own country this year.
But when she left a press conference to announce a number of high-profile fights she would participate in (to go back training) the Irish Amateur Boxing Association stepped in to announce that not alone would the Europeans not be in Ireland, but they wouldn't be on at all.
I suppose they should not be blamed for saying it in her absence. She can do extraordinary things when she makes her hands into fists. It will be nothing new to Katie. It seems to me that her hardest battles have always been outside the ring. But can we not give her the respect that she has earned?
Magee makes for cringing listening
I have to agree with Eamonn Sweeney on Jimmy Magee [Feb 24]. I have been cringing for a number of years listening to him at football as well as boxing.