Tag: Manchester United

Sliteseier for Solskjær at Old Trafford

Saturday, 30 March, 2019

There’s nothing like the glamour of the Premier League to brighten up the day for those who toil far from the green and pleasant fields of England. Millions of Egyptians, living in squalor and under repression, have been inspired by the deeds of Mo Salah at Liverpool FC since 2017, for example. And, in a very different climatic region, up in Kristiansund, where heavy snow showers are forecast for tonight, the 20,000 Norwegians who call it their home are warmed by the fact that a local lad has made good and is now the new manager of Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjær had his official managerial debut today at Old Trafford and Verdens Gang (“The way of the world”) was keeping a close eye on the game.

Overall, the Manchester United vs. Watford match was a pedestrian affair, declared the tabloid. The Norwegian word Sliteseier can be translated as “abrasion” and, depending on circumstances, an English synonym — tedious, characterless, monotonous, unimaginative, prosaic — might be better at putting the ball in the back of the net. That said, Manchester United vs. Barcelona on 10 April in the Champions League should produce a very different headline word. Nervepirrende, perhaps.

SLITESEIER FOR SOLSKJÆRS UNITED


Bestie unabandoned

Sunday, 15 February, 2015 0 Comments

Forty years after his glory days with Manchester United and a decade after his untimely death, George Best remains a star. Despite disastrous relationships with wives and lovers and a public battle with alcoholism that he eventually lost, fond memories of this gifted footballer remain undimmed. Bestie: A Portrait Of A Legend was the title of the biography he co-authored with Joe Lovejoy and the the byname was perpetuated during the Share a Coke campaign last year. Voltaire said, “The best is the enemy of the good.” Best, the soccer god, was the enemy of the mediocre. In a word, Bestie was best.

Bestie


David Moyes and the brutal game

Tuesday, 22 April, 2014 0 Comments

When football analysts reach for the cliché, which is frequently, “the beautiful game” is the one that’s especially prone to being abused. In the hands and mouths of the scribes and commentators, the grime of the modern entertainment is washed away by the application of the magical term. Watching the slow motion, public demotion of David Moyes, the Manchester United manager, however, it’s obvious that new clichés are needed.


Transfer window: Boston Globe signs John L Allen

Friday, 10 January, 2014 0 Comments

Background: The transfer window is a period during the year in which a football club can purchase players from other teams to strengthen their lineup. With the January window is now open, all kinds of fascinating questions have been raised: Will struggling Manchester United sign the workhorse Diego Costa or the workshy Fabio Coentrão? Can Arsène Wenger find suitable subs for the injury-plagued Arsenal bench? Is the flamboyant Chelsea star David Luiz heading to Barcelona? Was it arrogance or indigence that led Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti to say that he won’t be signing any new players?

The transfer window is not confined to soccer, however. There’s a permanent media version and the Boston Globe made news this week when it signed the superb John L Allen from the National Catholic Reporter. “Allen, widely hailed as the best-sourced and most knowledgeable English-speaking reporter on the Vatican, will help lead coverage of Catholicism and the Vatican as an associate editor of The Globe,” declared the press release. And then comes the really interesting bit: “He will also help us explore the very real possibility of launching a free-standing publication devoted to Catholicism, drawing in other correspondents and leading voices from near and far,” said Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory.

The Globe would be placing a big bet on Pope Francis if this were to happen, but it might pay off nicely. The whirlwind pontiff has set the media industry alight and more headlines are sure to come as he attempts to fill the “God-shaped void”, as Blaise Pascal put it some 300 years ago. While core doctrine is not going to change, Catholic theology is set to become more dynamic and millions of people will want to read all about it. Secular fads like the Occupy craze and the global warming cult offer little of substance to those in need of spiritual comfort so it falls to Francis to curate his global, 2,000-year-old movement in a way that makes it relevant to both sides of the digital divide. There’s no better person to interpret the coming Church changes than John L Allen. Game on!

Francis