The Warm-Up: United fans' plane stunt ludicrous

The Warm-Up: United fans' plane stunt ludicrous
The Warm-Up: United fans' plane stunt ludicrous

MONDAY’S BIG STORIES

United plane stunt completely misses the point

Name: Edward Gareth Woodward

Job: Executive vice-chairman of football club.

Remit: Make money, spend money.

Achievements:

  • Generated off the chart revenue streams, with commercial partners for everything from global lubricant and fuel to mattresses and pillows to paint.
  • Assembled a squad littered with internationals for somewhere in the region of £400 million.
  • Gave that £400 million squad to one of the most successful managers of the last decade.
  • Expected great things.

On the surface, Ed Woodward, a chartered accountant by trade, has fulfilled his remit as executive vice-chairman of Manchester United Football Club.

However, Woodward is, as anyone who thinks they know anything will tell you, not a football man. But neither are the Glazers. They are business people. They own the club, so they can operate it in any way they see fit. Currently they see Woodward as fit for purpose.

Ed WoodwardGetty Images

This is not to say United are not a shambles. They may have beaten Burnley but they remain a shambles. They have bought poorly (not necessarily Ed's fault), and, looking at the shape of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly, have been coached pretty horrendously.

Yet, flying a plane over an away(!) ground is about as pointless as it is self-indulgent. Now the Warm-Up is not a betting blog but would assume that literally nobody on God's green earth – and certainly not the Glazers - gives a toss about a light aircraft flying over Turf Moor other than those who forked out for it.

Yes, fans flew a banner over Old Trafford in March 2014 and David Moyes was sacked in April. If anyone believes that said plane had any impact on said decision, well, the Warm-Up bids you good luck with everyday life because well, pal, you don't live in the real world.

Moyes was sacked because he missed out on the Champions League; the same did for Louis van Gaal. Did United's hierarchy give a toss about the brand of football? Nope. Their primary concern was the commercial implications of the lack of Champions League football.

'Moyes Out' banner (Getty)Getty Images

Woodward is providing the Glazers value, so he is going nowhere. United fans could land a Boeing 747 in the middle of Old Trafford during a match and it wouldn't matter a jot. So United fans, instead of ludicrous shows of petulance like flying banners, why not hit the Glazers where it hurts. Stop buying merchandise, stop going to games.

It is quite telling, in the Warm-Up's humble opinion, that for all Arsenal Fan TV's - sorry AFTV Media's - blustering about change, it only came about when the stadium was half full. When the commercial interests of the club were put in some jeopardy by the fans.

Gloating is great, but a rivalry is even better - the return of the Old Firm?

Now United fans, let the Warm-Up point you in the direction of some actual director incompetence. Rangers FC are yet to fully recover from the complete and utter debacle that was the Craig Whyte era. They have climbed the leagues from the Scottish third division but have yet to offer Celtic much competition.

The cold hard facts do not read well for those of a Rangers persuasion: they sit seventh in a twelve-team league and have just lost another Old Firm fixture. Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers remains unbeaten in 12 Old Firm clashes, while Rangers last won the fixture in March 2012.

However, make no bones about it, despite losing the first Old Firm of the season, Rangers are clawing their way back. The defeat at Celtic Park was their first under new boss Steven Gerrard and they have qualified for Europe proper for the first time since 2010-11. They are hard to beat and, with the draw of Gerrard as manager, have been able to attract a higher calibre of player. Their league position is a misnomer.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers shakes the hand of Rangers manager Steven Gerrard before the matchReuters

While the Celtic fans will have no doubt enjoyed mocking their cross-town rivals’ financial – and playing - travails, it is a good thing for not only Scottish football but also Celtic that Rangers that the latter are building their way back to be being a force.

Watford are quite good at association football

Played four, won four, scored nine and conceded three. For anyone’s money, Watford have made a decent start to the season.

However, Sunday represented their first real test – no disrespect to Brighton, Burnley or Crystal Palace – and they passed it and then some. They ceded possession and territory yet came from a goal down to beat Tottenham 2-1.

It was a performance of a team that were fully invested in the tactical plan they were sent out to execute. Watford have quite slyly put together a pretty solid team. They have made a tremendous start to the season, and are a decent bet for the Europa League.

IN THE CHANNELS

Say what you like about Mourinho, but never question the man’s ability to work a crowd.

He even gave away his coat. What a human being.

HAT TIP

Oliver Kay of the Times wrote extensively on United and Mourinho this weekend.

" There comes a time in a football manager’s life when he cannot make a simple philosophical point in a press conference — not even quoting Georg Hegel, for goodness sake – without being likened to David Brent in The Office. José Mourinho is at that point right now, mockingly cast as the under-fire middle-manager retreating to his office at a paper merchant’s in Slough, swotting up on Dostoevsky so that he can come back armed with enough trivia to bluff his way through his next encounter with an overqualified temp next to the photocopier."

HEROES AND ZEROS

Hero: Fabio Quagliarella

Quagliarella is 35; he is still doing things like this.

This goal was so good that the Warm-Up is willing to give the no celebration business a pass.

Also, that Samp kit.

Zero: Andy Gray

Look, the Warm-Up isn’t the sort of place to suppress opinion, Andy.

The Warm-Up will respectfully disagree with your enlightened self on the merits of Liverpool employing throw-in coach Thomas Grønnemark. See below tweet for Gray’s grey opinion.

However, what the Warm-Up cannot allow a free pass for is an atrocious joke. And one that Gray repeated on successive days.

Even Richard Keys sounded at the end of his tether when Gray trotted out “I am going to become a kick-off coach” for the second day on the bounce.

RETRO CORNER

On the subject of a return to the glory days of the Old Firm rivalry, here are 10 classic goals from down the years.

COMING UP

There is a rest day in the Vuelta but, fear not cycling fans, because the Tour of Britain is here to fulfil all your two-wheeled needs. Elsewhere, Novak Djokovic faces off against Joao Sousa for a spot in the quarter-finals of the US Open.

Entering the Warm-Up fray tomorrow is Nick Miller, but you may know him as his pseudonym, Thomas Grønnemark.

This article was written by cool news network.

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