Thursday, May 25, 2017

Aficionados of these pages will know that, over the years, I have developed an almost pathological dislike of anything and everything to do with Manchester United. (I`ve long thought I need help!)  From the brutal assaults of Roy Keane, through the ranting, thuggish `management` of `Sir` Alex Ferguson, to the modern day when the self-proclaimed `Red Devils` continue to display all the arrogance and assumed entitlement encapsulated by the antics of their current manager, Jose Morinho, who had to dub himself `The Special One` simply because no-one else would.

And yet I found myself wishing and hoping that they might actually win the Europa League against Ajax of Amsterdam in last night`s Stockholm final.  And so they did - by 2-0 - and for just once it seemed entirely fitting for Manchester to have that victory to provide at least something to hang on to given the appalling events suffered by so many just two nights ago.

And yet again it has taken events such as this to provide a context, a perspective and a reminder that the excesses and spurious bubble of the Premier League become almost irrelevant against the backdrop of the reality of the wider world.   But if nothing else, last night`s victory in Stockholm being dedicated by United to the city of Manchester was a fitting demonstration of solidarity with the community they represent. 

And so, for once, I congratulate them on the two accounts of winning the Europa Cup and conducting themselves with the kind of dignity which goes some way to enhance their reputation.  (Maybe I don`t need that help after all?)

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