Arrogance and United

Earlier this year, there was a banner at Old Trafford that read:

“Manchester: European Capital of Trophies.”

At that point in the season, Manchester United had won three trophies (Community Shield, World Club Championship and the Carling Cup) and were holders of two trophies from the previous season (Champions League and Premiership).

If they hadn’t lost to Zenit St. Petersburg 2-1 in the European Super Cup final or Everton in the FA Cup semi-final, then their arrogant fans would be talking about winning seven trophies in one season.

Out of the 4 trophies that United have won, 3 have been won by a penalty shoot-out – Portsmouth (Community Shield), Spurs (Carling Cup) and Chelsea (Champions League). True, it doesn’t matter how you win a trophy, but we all know that a penalty shoot is not a convincing way to win a match.

I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to produce a banner claiming to be the European Capital of Trophies. The Community Shield is not a trophy and the Carling Cup is only taken seriously by a handful of Premiership clubs.

Looking ahead to the Champions League semi-final tomorrow, there are some statistics that bring me hope:

Derby County beat Manchester United 1-0 in the 1st leg of the Carling Cup semi-final.

Not one Manchester United player is in UEFA Champions League top ten goalscorers. Arsenal are represented by Emmanuel Adebayor on 5 goals from 522 minutes.

Cristiano Ronaldo has the highest amount of shots gone wide in this seasons Champions League – 18 shots in 830 minutes. Manchester United have fired 81 shots wide. Arsenal 61.

Cesc Fabregas is third in the Champions League assists table – 5 assists in 720 minutes.

There’s one thing that football and life have in common – both are full of regrets. I just wonder if Man United’s dominance of the first half last week and the 1-0 scoreline will come back to haunt them?

In the 1993 film Carlito’s Way, the main character Carlito Brigante beats up Bennie Blanco from the Bronx. Afterward, he regrets not killing him, knowing that Blanco will be back for revenge. At the end of the film, Carlito and his girlfriend are frantically about to board a train and escape from the troubles of New York. That is until Benny Blanco kills him with a silencer.

Which Arsenal player will silence his critics tomorrow?

Take your pick, there are plenty of candidates to choose from.

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