Tuesday, January 10

When Marcus Rashford Beats Wayne Rooney's Record

Rooney. Firstly, an exceptional footballer. 249 goals in his United career is a phenomenal achievement. The hat-trick on his debut, the City goal, the dive for the penalty that beat Arsenal's unbeatables. He hasn't looked after himself well enough to equal Sir Bobby's record in sooner than 543 games, although at age 31 it's still incredible, but there is no doubt - he is one of United's greatest ever players. But... I was more happy that Marcus Rashford scored a brace on Saturday than I was Rooney meeting the record. It's not that he questioned our ambition in 2010 - after we replaced Ronaldo with Valencia and Obertan, he was probably right to, at least privately - but that he handed in a transfer request, actually prepared to join City. SAF was forcing him out in 2013, probably because he saw the decline of a player who wasn't taking care of himself and was so far removed from the world great he could have become. This time, his transfer request wasn't official but he was ready to leave again, for the oil money again, at Chelsea. More than anything, though, this, for me, is what it comes down to: at age 79, will Wayne Rooney be sitting in the directors' box at Old Trafford watching someone else break his goal record? Hell no. Because he doesn't really love United and he never really has - especially since that original transfer request. There is no bond with us fans, as United has only ever been a trophy-filling job to him. This is a quote from Ander Herrera: "I feel very appreciated by the United fans and want to give the love back to the fans that they give to me by giving everything. I know what Manchester United means, I know what it means to the fans and I try to make them proud." When has Wayne Rooney EVER said anything like that? He may be captain, but there is a disconnect between many genuine United fans and Rooney. Those in Calcutta only see the stats. He's an Everton fan - and I have no problem with that - but he's got no actual affection for the club he plays for and, to me, you need that if you want to be considered a legend. The way we love Eric, Giggs, Scholes, Solskjaer, Charlton himself. When Wayne Rooney becomes United's all-time leading goalscorer, I'll be impressed, but a little sad. When Marcus Rashford beats that record, 12 years from now, I'll be so fucking proud and happy.

Sunday, January 1

I Think I'm Starting To Like Him

I never wanted him. I didn't think he was right for us. Just so shameless, so anti-youth, so... un-United.

But - and I'm honestly so fucking happy to be writing "but", like you have no idea how fucking happy, like so, so fucking happy - 19 games in, January 1 2017, halfway through the season... I think I'm starting to like Jose Mourinho.

Omg I can't believe I just wrote that.

I had shitloads of issues with LVG. A few with Moyes, but that whole season just didn't count. Cos LVG was actually keeping up the post-SAF transition in his first season. But in his second, and even in his first tbf, there were just so many things that pissed me off about him.

The main resulting factor, though, was that he just did not understand Manchester United. He did not get it.

But Jose, I have to say - and omfg I'm so fucking happy to have to say - he gets it. You can just tell. He gets Manchester United. The football, the aura, the ambition, the culture, the history. He even knows our history.

Look, I won't lie. There are things he could be doing better...

- Youth. Try playing Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe, even Riley. Esp over Darmian and Young.
- Einsteins. Who gives a flying fuck what they say?! Don't take any notice.
- LVG. Stop it with the sly digs at him. It's disrespectful.
- Reds. Yeah, leave it at least another couple months before your next red card. Love the passion, tho.
- Martial's shirt number. Why didn't you at least tell him?! Argh.
- Anfield. If we're drawing 0-0 with 15 minutes to go, don't play out for a fucking draw.
- Shaw. Don't publicly blame him for shit, even if it's his fault. He's clearly a sensitive MF.
- Future. If some Turkish journo asks you about managing there in the future, say 'No, I wanna manage Man United forever,' not 'Why not?'
- Cup final. Go back in time and stop your agent from leaking your arrival 10 minutes after we lift the cup!

But, aside from that, I think I'm starting to like Jose Mourinho. Now, fix some of those things and get us in the Top 4 this season - cos I really wanna fucking love you, too.

Thursday, December 1

Albums Of 2016 - No. 15 to No. 1

1. Frank Ocean 'Blonde'

2. Bon Iver '22, A Million'

3. Glass Animals 'How To Be A Human Being'

4. Klangstof 'Close Eyes To Exit'

5. Band of Horses 'Why Are You OK'

6. Frightened Rabbit 'Painting Of A Panic Attack'

7. Drake 'Views'

8. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam 'I Had A Dream That You Were Mine'

9. Santigold '99 Cents'

10. Jamie T 'Trick'

11. Daughter 'Not to Disappear'

12. Michael Kiwanuka 'Love & Hate'

13. Explosions in the Sky 'The Wilderness'

14. Lonely the Brave 'Things Will Matter'

15. David Bowie 'Blackstar'

Albums Of 2016 - No. 30 to No. 16

16. Car Seat Headrest 'Teens of Denial'

17. Whitney 'Light Upon The Lake'

18. Radiohead 'A Moon Shaped Pool'

19. Mutual Benefit 'Skip a Sinking Stone'

20. Animal Collective 'Painting With'

21. Yeasayer 'Amen & Goodbye'

22. Billie Marten 'Writing of Blues and Yellows'

23. Bloc Party 'Hymns'

24. BRONCHO 'Double Vanity'

25. Bat For Lashes 'The Bride'

26. Weezer 'The White Album'

27. Kanye West 'The Life of Pablo'

28. The 1975 'I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It'

29. Twin Peaks 'Down In Heaven'

30. Lady Gaga 'Joanne'

Sunday, August 28

Rashford Time

I haven't really enjoyed this season. Yes, Utd are at the top of the league. Yes, the beautiful, defying arrogance is back. And yes, even the football is no longer devoid of any life whatsoever.

But I never wanted Mourinho. And although I'm supporting him as any fan should, there's one thing he's done that's been pissing me off more than anything else.

It's not the needless circus he's created around Bastian. It's not the fact he's shifted CBJ over Rojo and Varela over Darmian (although really, wtf?). Nor is it the subtle-but-constant 'I'm better than LVG' shtick in each and every press conference.

It's Marcus Rashford. The future of Manchester United. The bright, shining hope who saved last season. The 18-year-old boy from Wythenshawe who, especially after Giggs left this summer, is now carrying the definition of this great club in an era when we've been forced to wreck our identity by stooping to Jose's devil.

The main reason I was fearful over Mourinho is cos of his policy over youth - a Utd characteristic. His idea of the "right moment" for promising youngsters has always been too late, going by our traditions anyway.

Rashford didn't play any minute of the first two games of the season... I wasn't fucking happy.

I get why Jose feels playing one upfront is a benefit to our domination. And I get why that one upfront is Ibra - he is absolute class and, even better, feels like a Utd forward.

But Rashford is too good to be discounted to Europa League and League Cup football.

We should, as a total priority, be giving Rashford special treatment. Given what he represents, the reputation Jose ought to be rallying against and, most importantly, his sheer fucking ability, we need to develop him with regular Premier League minutes.

Play him either side of Ibra instead of Mata, Martial or Mkhitaryan. Play him in front of Ibra against weak opposition. Play him as a sub for 20 minutes in the majority of games, at the very fucking least.

The point is, come the middle of Fergie Time away to a hard-to-crack Hull City, he was the one who stepped up in his first chance this season. Because he's that good.

The most Manchester United player on the pitch won the game in the most Manchester United way. Without him, we'd be lost.