by David McLaughlin
Over the past week or so there has been a lot of controversy over certain decisions going for Manchester United e.g. Rojo and Smalling bringing down Terry and Ivanovic in the box. Now I’m not saying that this situation shouldn’t have been a penalty but as a United fan I always feel that any controversial decision that goes our way is shone under the spotlight of the British media. This weekend my point was strengthened further during the Manchester derby with two incidents not caught by those watching the game live, but analysed in depth later in the day.
These two incidents was Fellaini “spitting” on Aguero and Joe Hart “headbutting” the referee Michael Oliver. I have sympathy for the two players. Joe Hart certainly touched Michael Oliver with his head and possibly shouldn’t of been that close to him and Fellaini was shouting at Aguero so it was only natural that spit would’ve left his mouth when done with such conviction.
However the media doesn’t seem to share my view and want to get their controversial story of the day. This I understand but it’s the fact that when you pick up every major newspaper on the back page there is zoomed images of Fellaini ‘spitting’ on Aguero and as a United fan it angers me that there is very little journalists and pundits who tell it from the views of United supporters but instead would like to please the group that the British media created, The Anybody But United (ABU) group.
On Sunday, Chris Smalling got sent off and he was absolutely stupid to get a second booking. However, his first booking is something that confuses me. When Joe Hart attempted to clear the ball Chris Smalling blocked him from doing so. He then got booked and Martin Tyler explained he shouldn’t have done it and there was no point of him doing it and deserved a booking. Which again I understand but what I don’t understand is that when Mario Balotelli did it against Newcastle on Saturday and he wasn’t booked? The commentator on this game was blaming Tim Krul for not kicking the ball around him. So why is it different for Chris Smalling? Why didn’t anyone say Joe Hart should’ve kicked the ball around him?
As I mentioned before with Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling we’re big talking points this past week over their rugby-like approach towards Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry whilst marking them during a free kick. Again this was all over Sky Sports News and newspapers alike. But all these people failed to notice Martin Demichelis doing the exact same thing to James Wilson. The only difference is James Wilson didn’t throw himself down like a seven year old girl. It’s guaranteed that this won’t be in any paper or a point on any match analysis across the UK.
Finally, after the match Sky Sports had their traditional review of the game and basically said that United were terrible and City were great. Now, I watched the whole match and I’m trying to be as unbiased as possible but I felt City we’re fairly ordinary except for Aguero and that United showed improvement after a tough few weeks. Jamie Redknapp added that it was the worst United defence you’ll ever see. Well I’m sorry Jamie what did you expect? First of all we’re down to 10 men for roughly 60 minutes, Marcos Rojo got injured in the 2nd half and had to go off, and consequently United’s back four at the end was a winger in Valencia, two 19 year olds and a midfielder in Michael Carrick. After all that United only conceded once against arguably one of the best attacking sides of the league, but, Jamie Redknapp still felt the need to say it was the worst United defence you’ll see.
I understand that other clubs across the country may feel similarly about their clubs and even sometimes I see it when I read certain articles and would be the first to admit that it isn’t a fair evaluation. However, I feel that United are never praised ever from any source of media to such an extent that when we play well they always try to find the negatives.