So Man Utd are BACK!!!!!!! – cough cough cough. Well if you spent over £150 million pounds on players – beating QPR, who were also one of the newly promoted teams, at home, has to be a pre-requisite surely. All the 4-0 win tells me is that with the addition of the newly acquired players there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Manchester United fans, but one win means nothing, it has to continue if they want to be challenging for a top four place, let alone the title. They need to keep a pace as they have the advantage of not being in the Europa League (and now the League Cup), so they should be fresh and will have ample opportunity to learn and understand the Louis Van Gaal philosophy sooner rather than later. This coming Sunday they go to the King Power Stadium to take on another newly promoted team, the big difference will be that Leicester will actually create problems for United’s back four and it will be interesting to see if the win against QPR was maybe just a flash in the pan against a team that basically was not up for it. They say that ‘one swallow doesn’t make a summer’ – lots of them will, hence no chicken counting from me.
Roger Federer, pretty much the greatest tennis player of all time, was thwarted in his quest for an 18th Grand Slam title after a semi-final defeat to eventual winner Marin Cilic in the US Open. However there is still a goal for this year, something the tennis legend has not achieved!!!!!!! Between the 21st and 23rd of November it is the Davis Cup Final and the Switz team have qualified and will travel to France in an attempt to win the tournament for the first time. Fed has won everything in his tennis career, 17 Grand Slams, numerous tour titles, six end of year championships and an Olympic Gold Medal, but the Davis Cup is the only gap in his CV and at the age of 33 and with his chances of winning a further Grand Slam title diminishing this is a trophy he will be desperate to win. Obviously with team tennis, it isn’t all about one man, he will have his old mucker, Australian Open Champion, Stan Wawrinka alongside him, just as he did when he won his Olympic Gold Medal in 2008. They face a French team with the likely singles combination of Tsonga and Gasquet, so they would be a tough nut to crack for any team – and that’s not even taking into account the fact that the French have the country advantage which means they can decide on which surface to play on. Personally I’m expecting the hosts to go with indoor clay as this would play to the strengths of their best players and not to their Switz counterparts. So can Roger Federer fill this final gap on his CV??????? You would not bet against him, even if it is on his weakest surface of clay – what are the odds 2-2 and the ‘Fed Express’ comes out against his opponent in the deciding rubber – destiny?????? Roll on November I say 😉
Just a quick mention for the recently finished Manchester Football Writing Festival, which was run in association with Waterstones, Manchester Deansgate and the National Footbal Museum – across various venues, one of them including a church!!!!!!! – here is what you may have missed – (www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/pages/festivals/manchester-football-writing-festival/200002297/). It ran from the 4th – 12th September, I attended a number of events and they were absolutely fantastic. It opened with Football Weekly Live (www.theguardian.com/football/series/footballweekly) and closed with the Blizzard Live (www.theblizzard.co.uk), in between were various events with fantastic journalists, broadcasters and panellists giving brilliant, insightful comment and analysis as well as promotion of some very good reads. From the events I went too, there were some brilliant anecdotes from actual situations that occurred giving a great insight into the world of football at the sharpest edge – other than being a player or on the coaching staff. Hopefully this will be the first of many and it will return – my advice is if you like your football get yourself involved you will not be disappointed.
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