Soccer

Manchester Derby Puts Millions of Soccer Fans to Sleep

| by Ian Palmer

The Manchester derby between United and City of the English Premier League must have put millions of football fans around the world on Nov. 10. Instead of an open, action-packed game, it was more or less absolute rubbish with neither the players nor managers having the courage to go for a victory.

The brutal game ended in a 0-0 draw at the City of Manchester Stadium, City’s home ground and saw both teams drop two important points in the title race as league-leading Chelsea beat Fulham 1-0 to extend their lead to four points over second-place United and seven over fourth-place City.

While United may be the only unbeaten team in the EPL this year and their 12-game streak has set a club record, they’ve dropped 12 points so far with their six draws. At this pace, they’ll drop 38 points over the season and there’s no way they’re going to recapture the EPL crown from Chelsea if they do.

There wasn’t anything memorable about the game between City and United and it’s doubtful any of the players needed a shower afterwards. There were no great saves, no chances and obviously no goals. This was a game that could have been won by just one goal, but United manager Alex Ferguson started Dmitar Berbatov up front on his own while Javier Hernandez sat on the bench. Park Ji-Sung and Nani were in support of Berbatov, but were invisible.

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When Hernandez did finally get on the pitch in the 78th minute, it was Berbatov who was taken off for him. What was even worse was City manager Roberto Mancini’s asinine move of putting Emmanuel Adebayor into the game in the 94th minute for Carlos Tevez. Neither manager had the guts to throw caution to the wind and go for three points and it’s about time soccer fans, officials, broadcasters and journalists stopped sugar-coating and babying this sport, which is going downhill all of the time. It’s time to call it like it is, and this game was garbage.

We could look closer and how the sport is going down the toilet, but that’s another story for another day. But one thing that sticks out in my mind from this game is the ridiculous clothing some players are getting away with wearing. For instance, Tevez was wearing some type of muffler or scarf around his neck, Adebayor was wearing a hat and several others were wearing gloves and shirts under their jerseys. If you’re that cold, wear a long-sleeved team jersey. What the hell are they going to be getting away with next, wearing a fur coat on the pitch?

When two of the top teams in the EPL combine for five shots on net over 90 minutes, it’s another poor advert for what’s supposed to the best league of the best sport in the world. It’s getting easier and easier to see why many people, especially in North America, ridicule soccer.

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