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Mickey Mouse in Japan

Robbo Robson | 14:29 UK time, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Oh no, not another mid-season non-event designed by Fifa's financial wing to spin a few more yen their way. What the heck are Man U doing travelling halfway around the world to play Gamba Osaka?

The 5-3 training exercise was flattering to the inevitably 'plucky' Japanese side - and now United face some mighty powerhouse of a side from Ecuador (who are notoriously poor at sea level but ruddy fantastic over 2000m).

Club World Cup my backside. I see it also features an Egyptian side (presumably deploying a 4-3-2-1 pyramid formation) and Adelaide (with their 1-2-3-4 formation - 'cos it always goes the opposite way round in the Southern Hemisphere, doesn't it?)

It's not as if United are going to be encouraging their players to go hell for leather against a bunch of technically efficient but globally irrelevant opponents. They'll be approaching the games with all the enthusiasm of a toothless pensioner tackling a whelk.

They may get a tin pot out of it and get called the club champions of the world, but it means little more than nowt, this shindig. It's not a football tournament, it's a trade fair. It's a lot more important to them who they might get drawn against in the Champs League, frankly.
Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand
Giggsy made all the right noises, but then as a senior player that is his job. He can hardly clamber down the steps off the plane and say: "Well we're all right racked off we're here. It's all raw fish and feng shui and I can't wait to get back home and have a proper cup of tea!"

No wonder Fergie's dead against the now mythical 39th game. Every time this laughable subject is raised it always suggests some sort of hopeless Hollywood blockbuster. Liam Neeson plays Scudamore, a man on a mystical search to find the place that is destined to host game 39, a thought that came to him in a dream after one too many cheese sandwiches before bedtime.

With cold fish Brit Ralph Fiennes as the hard-hearted Lord Triesman, and Juliet Binoche as Michel Platini. All goes well until standing between him and the entire Indian market is Sepp the Batter Blatter (played by Mike Myers) and his trusty henchman Fergie (the Oscar-nominated Jimmy Krankie).

What's been more interesting is Rio's sideswipe at the Gooners which was more than a bit dismissive, but fair enough given Arsenal are currently about as predictable as the bowel movements of the jalapeno chilli-eating Champion. Villa could well pip them to the top four now that Ashley Young has been called a genius by that master of understatement Martin O'Neill.

What's even more interesting is that Real Madrid continue to leak stories like a Home Office mole, especially when it comes to Cristiano Ronaldo.

It's so typical of Real to accidentally let this sort of drivel slip out just to crank up the pressure on United and the gelled tumbler himself but it's really bloody tedious the way it carries on.

There's the leak, the denials, and of course the Fergie tizzy fit. There's an air of inevitability that the Portuguese Sultan of Simulation will end up at the Bernabeu but why all this cloak and dagger rubbish?

Is it simply that Real Madrid have always conducted their big money transfers this way? And maybe it's that Man U take umbrage a bit too easily when the biggest boy in school tries to nick their best conker.

In the meantime, the wheeling and dealing for the next window is already starting with Robbie Keane sipposedly out of Anfield at the first opportunity. For me it's just another example of where Benitez fails as a manager - £20m for a bloke who doesn't fit the team and would rather be playing in Gerrard's place, when he's half the player.

Rafa just hasn't cut it in the transfer market, Torres aside, particularly in the wide areas. There's even a chance Keane'll be flogged back to Spurs for a quarter of the price (with a few instalments wiped out maybe, if THFC are feeling generous). This could represent the dopiest single bit of transfer business in the last five years, couldn't it?

I can't think of owt worse offhand, although I'm sure you'll correct me. Levy'll be hoping Benitez is in the market for a few more Spurs cast-offs in January... at this rate they'll be competing with Chelsea and Man City for the big names come 2010.

Not that Keane should stay with the Reds given his current form. The lad who comes off the bench from time to time seems a much better bet, and might soon lead to questions about how you're going to Stop Ngog.
Big Sam
Finally, welcome back to Premier League management Big Sam. Pigeons and low-flying aircraft beware. (Not to mention Arsene's wee timorous beasties). I look forward to the man whose face looks like everyone else's face in the back of a tablespoon folding great planks of chuddy into his great gob and barking out the orders once again.

While I've never been a fan of the way his teams played, he wasn't exactly given the time to make a difference at St James' Park and anyway he was really just the shepherd for the first team while all the while Ashley was priming the whole of Tyneside for the second coming of the Messiah.

I'm sure he'll lift Blackburn out of the mire. I'm a bit sad for Ince, who may well have been out of his depth but also might've been able to learn on the job, given time. Except time is summat no manager gets these days. As is always mentioned, Fergie could have been out on his ear were it not for a Mark Robins winner some 20-odd years ago - and now look at him!

Playing not so much a match as a Fifa ad in far-flung Japan and hoping to God he doesn't lose a couple of strikers and a centre-back through injury. Just for today, I don't envy the bloke one bit.

Comments

  • 1. At 4:00pm on 18 Dec 2008, kevthered83 wrote:

    If spurs buy back Keane I dont think that'll be the dopiest transfer in history.

    remember Man Utd bought the talented (?) Eric Djemba Djemba, which in itself was a pretty poor transfer. But then despite showing the world over 2 seasons how bad he was, we sold him to Villa for a profit!!!! For me thats got to be the dopiest transfer...well that and Man Utd making a tidy profit off of John obi Mikel, despite him never playing a game for us!

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  • 2. At 4:02pm on 18 Dec 2008, adrian_chiles_fan wrote:

    Whats even more interesting........all the other articles on the BBC!

    Nothing on the review of the week which is full of wit. I sometimes enjoy these articles but its usually once in a blue moon.

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  • 3. At 4:05pm on 18 Dec 2008, jamminben13 wrote:

    Brilliant, laugh out loud funny.

    I don't agree about the pointlessness of the competition by the way, but it was funny all the same.

    We are all very little England about this, the rest of the world and particularly the mighty South Americans, rate this tournament very highly. About as high as Quito's home ground actually.

    Come on Quito, lets have Fergie traipsing home with an even redder face on Monday.

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  • 4. At 4:11pm on 18 Dec 2008, 9LoftyTheLion wrote:

    I thought Keane would be good - but he needs time - like you say, nobody gets that in the world of football.

    I think he just about loses out to the Sheva transfer in terms of value for money in goals:games

    Hugo Viana was an expensive flop, Klebersen and Veron were poor...

    Very funny blog, being northern I appreciate it alot more than comment #2. Great sense of humour :D

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  • 5. At 4:11pm on 18 Dec 2008, DennyCraneWHU wrote:

    Robbo,

    There were five million reasons for Man U traipsing across to Sushiland. Or something million, anyway -- can't be bothered Googling to refresh my memory.

    Pounds, dollars or somethings. And that's not to be snivelled at.

    Why, as you've pointed out, you could buy two or three Robbie Keanes for that these days. Or an arm or a leg (almost) of the on-loan Carlos Tevez.

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  • 6. At 4:14pm on 18 Dec 2008, rosey05 wrote:

    robbo what is it with you and slating liverpool? firstly strictly in terms of business, if you are to believe what the papers say, then given the fact that liverpool have only forked out 10 million and spurs want to pay 5 million.. so we would lose 5 million in 6 months for a player potentially who could of given us a lot but has failed to deliver. not the end of the world in my book.

    however i choose not to believe everything i read in the papers and think he will get given a chance. lets be honest here... he was brought in to play alongside one of the best strikers in europe and they have played 6 league games together i believe. so to judge keane for his performances so far is still a little harsh. he can't play up front by himself he just simply does not have the attributes for that role.

    So just like how everyone has rallied round Paul Ince after he got the sack after just 6 months claiming he needs more time, surely the same should be applied to Robbie Keane.

    How about Afonso Alves? Correct me if im wrong but for the price your lot paid for him in relative terms to your finances compared to ours, this is a far more disastorous transfer seeing as he sits most of his Saturday's warming your bench!

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  • 7. At 4:15pm on 18 Dec 2008, Bangforyourbuck wrote:

    Great blog Robbo, love the jalapeno-chili eating champ comment.

    I'm a Leeds fan myself (gawd bless me) but my brother is a Liverpool fan so have always followed their fortunes. Benitez' actions in the transfer market always completely befuddle me.

    It's like people are buying these players against his wishes so he refuses to play them properly or at all. But I don't get the feeling that anyone interferes. I think I'm onto it, Benitez is a schizophrenic! The good personality tries to buy these talented players to improve Liverpool, the evil personality tries to destroy their careers by playing strikers as defenders, wingers as goalkeepers and defenders as club mascot.

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  • 8. At 4:16pm on 18 Dec 2008, IanH wrote:

    Even as a Man United fan I find it annoying that even if Quito put on a performance worthy of a Copa Libertadores winner it'll be put down to Manchester United's poor display rather than, gasp!, the possibility that club teams from other continents know how to play football.

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  • 9. At 4:22pm on 18 Dec 2008, Silvio Dante wrote:

    "Rafa just hasn't cut it in the transfer market, Torres aside, particularly in the wide areas."

    This HAS to be a windup.

    Reina, Agger, Skrtel, Alonso, Mascherano and Riera anyone?

    Deluded writing - how did this guy ever get a blog?!

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  • 10. At 4:31pm on 18 Dec 2008, Thanks A lot BBC7 wrote:

    Robbo does exactly what it says on the bin.

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  • 11. At 4:38pm on 18 Dec 2008, SuperStrikerShivam wrote:

    UNITED!!!

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  • 12. At 4:40pm on 18 Dec 2008, snelly1986 wrote:

    at #9, all those players are central players (save riera), and liverpool have been crying out for wide players for years, but Rafa goes out and buys about 4 central players each season - THAT is what is deluded

    Robbo right on the money as usual, and funny to boot

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  • 13. At 4:41pm on 18 Dec 2008, supa1878 wrote:

    Isn't this the tournament that ManUre gave up defending the FA Cup for all those years ago?
    Must be pretty important to them after all.

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  • 14. At 4:41pm on 18 Dec 2008, Bald and Proud wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 15. At 4:44pm on 18 Dec 2008, sheepyknees wrote:

    Hahaha brilliant article!

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  • 16. At 4:44pm on 18 Dec 2008, Obaydah Al-Namer wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 17. At 4:48pm on 18 Dec 2008, Bald and Proud wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 18. At 4:51pm on 18 Dec 2008, Obaydah Al-Namer wrote:

    Next year they will be playing in the U.A.E, Abu Dhabi the home town of Manchester City's owner Sheikh Mansour.

    You don't know what happens in the world of football, maybe Man City will win the Champions League and qualify to play at the home of their ancestores in Abu Dhabi, and Robbo will stop moaning coz the U.A.E isn't that far!

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  • 19. At 4:51pm on 18 Dec 2008, cov1985 wrote:

    "10. At 4:31pm on 18 Dec 2008, Thanks A lot BBC7 wrote:
    Robbo does exactly what it says on the bin."

    He Robs Bo? Who's Bo and why would Robbo want to nick things from them?

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  • 20. At 4:53pm on 18 Dec 2008, cov1985 wrote:

    "18. At 4:51pm on 18 Dec 2008, EL-Liverbird wrote:
    Next year they will be playing in the U.A.E, Abu Dhabi the home town of Manchester City's owner Sheikh Mansour.

    You don't know what happens in the world of football, maybe Man City will win the Champions League and qualify to play at the home of their ancestores in Abu Dhabi, and Robbo will stop moaning coz the U.A.E isn't that far!"

    Most likely not, to play their next year, Man City would have to win the Champions League this season, and last I checked, they weren't even in it!

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  • 21. At 4:54pm on 18 Dec 2008, Obaydah Al-Namer wrote:

    RunRonnieRun
    '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

    A WUM following us from the 606 to this blog!

    WUM ALERT! WUM ALERT!WUM ALERT !

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  • 22. At 4:54pm on 18 Dec 2008, SR819 wrote:

    How was Finnan a flop? He was a consistent right back who proved more than adept at his job.

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  • 23. At 4:55pm on 18 Dec 2008, Storm of Swords wrote:

    Bored the whole "why are Utd out in Japan playing in that tournament?" debate. They earned the right to be there, your own personal jealousy of their success doesn't count as a valid argument. Get over it.

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  • 24. At 4:56pm on 18 Dec 2008, Obaydah Al-Namer wrote:

    20. At 4:53pm on 18 Dec 2008, cov1985 wrote:
    Most likely not, to play their next year, Man City would have to win the Champions League this season, and last I checked, they weren't even in it!

    '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

    I know, i'm just following Robbo school of thought in writing comments

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  • 25. At 4:56pm on 18 Dec 2008, kevthered83 wrote:

    sorry if I sound like an idiot but whats a WUM?

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  • 26. At 4:57pm on 18 Dec 2008, kahoopla wrote:

    Reina can't catch, Agger can't stay fit for longer than three weeks, Skrtel has played what 6 months? and is now injured, a little bit early to declare him as a success, Mascherano is an overrated, vicious, cheating little ******, and riera was awful at Man City and is awful now. Xabi alonso is the only player aside from torres bought by Rafa that could be deemed as successful and he wanted to get rid of him in the summer!!

    Reina cant catch? What planet are you on, 3 golden gloves in a row! Agger has actually been fit for the last three weeks. :) Mascherano overrated? is that why he's be named Argentina captin? must be overrated. And if you think Riera is awful now you havent been watching any Liverpool games, plus Im pretty sure Finnan wasn't signed by Rafa, and was a huge success.

    Lets face it, we could all pull off numerous signings that any manager in the top 4 has made that have flopped.

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  • 27. At 4:57pm on 18 Dec 2008, cov1985 wrote:

    "24. At 4:56pm on 18 Dec 2008, EL-Liverbird wrote:
    I know, i'm just following Robbo school of thought in writing comments"

    Oh I see!!!


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  • 28. At 4:57pm on 18 Dec 2008, mardi12 wrote:

    United will be the world club champions i.e. best team in the world ;)

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  • 29. At 4:58pm on 18 Dec 2008, Obaydah Al-Namer wrote:

    22. At 4:54pm on 18 Dec 2008, Deoxyribose wrote:
    How was Finnan a flop? He was a consistent right back who proved more than adept at his job
    ''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

    true+ Rafa didn't buy Finnan, he inherited him

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  • 30. At 4:59pm on 18 Dec 2008, cov1985 wrote:

    "26. At 4:57pm on 18 Dec 2008, kahoopla wrote:
    Reina cant catch? What planet are you on, 3 golden gloves in a row!"

    Maybe that's why he can't catch. Cant imagine gold has much grip!

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  • 31. At 4:59pm on 18 Dec 2008, rosey05 wrote:

    runronnierun... who are you watching? i love all these liverpool haters!! if benitez's signings are so bad please answer me why we are top of the league?

    if reina can't catch why has he kept the most clean sheets for the past 3 seasons? he is the best keeper in the league atm. he can catch and punch well and on top of that his decision making which was once poor is a lot better now and i cant think of one crucial mistake he has made since we played united away last march. he is also probably the best distributor of the ball in the league, his quick and accurate kicking is rivaled by very few.

    as for the rest of them just because you dont like them for one reason or another doesnt make them bad players!

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  • 32. At 5:00pm on 18 Dec 2008, Bald and Proud wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 33. At 5:02pm on 18 Dec 2008, Darkflame22 wrote:

    "Not another mid-season non-event designed by Fifa's financial wing to spin a few more yen their way. What the heck are Man U doing"


    Stop calling us Man U for gosh darns sake!

    At least go as far as Man Utd.

    And we didnt give up the FA cup, we were strongly advised not to participate in it by the FA themselves, despite our original intentions to do so./

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  • 34. At 5:03pm on 18 Dec 2008, The Professor wrote:

    No. 9 - I think you'll find is that Torres is the only world class player Benitez has brought in. Reina and Alonso are top quality, but not world class. The others aren't near that 'top 30 world players' quality.

    In that respect, Benitez is behind the likes of Mourinho, Ferguson and Wenger (we'll have to wait and see what Scolari's really like in the transfer market).

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  • 35. At 5:03pm on 18 Dec 2008, sandcastlejim wrote:

    United half way round the money to play these little fellas from Japan - all about money.
    can't wait to see look on Fergie's face when Ronaldo finally goes!

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  • 36. At 5:08pm on 18 Dec 2008, digispoonerta wrote:

    I think its a bit laughable that "Fergie" spouts on about the fact that the league are looking to introduce a 39th game, spouts on about how many games his boys are playing, pulls many of his players out of friendlies (due to injuries - yeh right !!!! ) he says that have no point, but then he is quite willing to drag his supposed "tired" little teddy Bears (ah bless !!!!) half way around the world to play teams that most people think would struggle in the UEFA Cup!!!!

    The logic of Man U supprises me year on year.

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  • 37. At 5:10pm on 18 Dec 2008, Chris wrote:

    With regards to the Club World Cup - the world doesn't revolve around European football. With a bit of luck LDU will beat Utd and give their supporters and players (who actually care about the competition) something to cheer about. A Utd win would surely just bloat their inflated egos further.

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  • 38. At 5:11pm on 18 Dec 2008, griolfc wrote:

    "just a few more inspirational signings from Rafa over the years ....

    Itandje, Pennant, Palletta, Morientes, Crouch, Voronin, Benayoun, Aurelio, Dossena, Finnan, Kuyt. "

    Finnan was an excellent, consistent right back - and you will find that he wasn't even signed by Benitez, he was signed by Houllier.

    Crouch? Had a dodgy start but never let us down. Scored some pretty crucial goals and should never have been let go. Was England's top scorer whilst playing with Liverpool.

    Kuyt? Think you'll find most Liverpool fans would have him down as player of the year so far.

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  • 39. At 5:12pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:

    Brilliant article Robbo, and as usual seems all us Scots and Northeners love it and the BBC target audience don't get it.

    Few points though;
    Agree with the comment about the narrow minded view of this comp... so just because we are not playing European opposition they are all crap and it's not worth bothering with?!

    Loved the Rabbie Burns quote, sums up Arsene's girls brilliantly.

    The Schizo Benitez comment was genius. (Mascherano was a good signing though tbh)

    Keane is not a top club player and never will be.

    Oh and the hilarity of some idiot thinking the scumbag bitters playing in the Champions League next year is a possibility.

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  • 40. At 5:17pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 41. At 5:20pm on 18 Dec 2008, Clint wrote:

    I liked the bit in the BBC commentary earlier saying about how surprising it was to hear Man Utd songs at that game today.

    Either there are a lot of Man Utd fans that have made the journey or these Japanese are very quick learners is something like what was written.


    Yes, it was inevitable, have a peek at the crowd next time they play at Old Trafford ---> Tourist club!!! You'll be able to count more cameras than scarves

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  • 42. At 5:27pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:

    He didn't say it was surprising, you did, he said it was amazing, how dare we be so good that we are loved all over the world.

    When Ali boxed I don't remember (on Video/DVD - I'm 24) anyone saying its funny people all over the world love him.
    Schumacher, Samprass, Michael Jordan, Michael Johnson etc

    I'm proud that we are loved worldwide and your jealous.

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  • 43. At 5:41pm on 18 Dec 2008, Red_Sam_ThisYearHonest! wrote:

    Not difficult to guess the allegience of the work experience snotnose drafted in to pen this week's 'hilarious' Robbo slot, is it.

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  • 44. At 5:43pm on 18 Dec 2008, Teiam - problem solved wrote:

    Good column Robbo but a trophy is a trophy and the fact that you have to win the biggest club trophy to take part in it gives it some credibility, even if it is there to make some money!

    Also, just to shoot down your column a bit, i'm not usually a tool but "'cos it always goes the opposite way round in the Southern Hemisphere, doesn't it?" is just a myth!

    Much love Robbo.

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  • 45. At 5:45pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:

    Don't he support Boro?

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  • 46. At 5:54pm on 18 Dec 2008, ojohnnyboy wrote:

    i meant robbo youre a joke, its just that all the bbc journos seem as bad as each other.

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  • 47. At 5:54pm on 18 Dec 2008, ojohnnyboy wrote:

    its shocking how you have a job...

    united are there because they earned the right to be there, any other team in europe would love to be there because it means you won the champions league and are representing the whole of european football.

    and its funny how you always call ronaldo a diver, but never refer to ashley cole or steven gerrard as divers. ronaldo gets fouled more than any player in the prem and half of them arent given.

    robbo you are a joke, and i can believe my license money pays your wages.

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  • 48. At 5:59pm on 18 Dec 2008, Ayoade Oluwasanmi wrote:

    I can see that youre back true to form and funny as ever after that aberrationn talking about cricket. You really should stick with talking about football

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  • 49. At 6:00pm on 18 Dec 2008, Boshorange wrote:

    Are you this ignorant and xenophobic in real life, or is it just the way you write?

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  • 50. At 6:02pm on 18 Dec 2008, Studs First wrote:

    Juliette Binoche as Michael Platini :-)

    had no idea about WUM either - turns out it's a wind up merchant, unless it was meant to be Windows Update Manager....

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  • 51. At 6:13pm on 18 Dec 2008, dave-is-a-don wrote:

    At 5:27pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:
    He didn't say it was surprising, you did, he said it was amazing, how dare we be so good that we are loved all over the world.

    loved or glory hunted?

    this goes for Manchester as well as around the world!! have you ever even been to Old Trafford?? yeah like your other 1000million fans you are all season ticket holders!?!

    worst ever signing - Tore Andre Flo - Rangers actually paid £11 Million for him when he was past his prime - if he had one.

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  • 52. At 6:26pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:

    Yeah i have dave, have you?
    I've also had the misfortune of going to Pittodrie, rubbish dump indeed. Are you jealous you cant fill a 25000 capacity stadium with perma-tan Jimmy's team of crap? What you lot wouldn't give for some glory hunters eh?

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  • 53. At 6:29pm on 18 Dec 2008, SpookyRichard wrote:

    Geez, way to be massively patronising. I guess any team outside the Premier League, or even the 'Big Four' doesn't interest you?

    It's interesting to see top sides competing with teams from mid-size leagues out of Europe (MLS, J-League, A-League, etc...), because we rarely get to see them in competitive situations together to use as a yardstick for their growth.

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  • 54. At 6:31pm on 18 Dec 2008, Australian_Gunner wrote:

    I'M ADELAIDE BORN, I'm ADELAIDE BRED,
    I'M ADELAIDE UNTIL I'M DEAD.

    Well done Adelaide United. We would have destroyed MANURE!!!

    Worst ever signing looks like it could be Jo at Man City.

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  • 55. At 6:35pm on 18 Dec 2008, Australian_Gunner wrote:

    Robbo do you remeber 3-1 at Upton Park??

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  • 56. At 6:57pm on 18 Dec 2008, redboychris wrote:

    hmmmmmmmm yes benitez does not know what he is doing what a suprise Robbo has another swipe at Liverpool.first no keane is meant to play alongside torres or just off him that is called a striker or a supporting striker Gerrard has either been a centre mid or as he was last season an attacking midfielder mistake numer two is writing off keane it has taken lots of players half a season or more to get their new careers at a bigger club to get going. Crouch,Vidic,Ronaldo and tevez are just a few that come to mind. Keane has hardly had any time to play up alongside torres due to torres injury problems he has had to play a lot as a lone striker which does not suit him
    but I reckon he has done ok despite the fact that he has only scored 5 or so goals but he has set up a lot as well and judge him at the end of the season not now. Finally benitez signings you say they are poot errrrr no bentez would love to spend 30 million on a class player any time he wanted to but he cant so he has built up in only 4 or so years a excellent table topping squad from a frankly poor Liverpool squad he inherited from houllier. You say apart from torres he has signed poor players what about Reina,arbeloa agger,skertal,aurlio,kuyt,alonso,
    ,masch,lucus,babel,ngog,crouch and torres did they just slip your mind robbo oh and Liverpool wont sell keane think before you write another poor article you could improve a lot which would be good oh and Gamba Osaka are actually a decent side no need for you to slate them as well.

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  • 57. At 7:03pm on 18 Dec 2008, Spitfire wrote:

    I strongly disagree! Jalapeno chilli-eating Champions are known for their grit and strong stomachs. Don't insult them by comparing them with this bunch at the Emirates Stadium.

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  • 58. At 7:04pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:

    Keane is not Tevez, Vidic or Ronaldo because he is not new to the premiership you absolute tool.
    Benitez has had the money but spent it on crap as per the list you reeled off.

    Please learn to write that was painful tryin to read.

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  • 59. At 7:06pm on 18 Dec 2008, dave-is-a-don wrote:

    52. At 6:26pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:
    Yeah i have dave, have you?
    I've also had the misfortune of going to Pittodrie, rubbish dump indeed. Are you jealous you cant fill a 25000 capacity stadium with perma-tan Jimmy's team of crap? What you lot wouldn't give for some glory hunters eh?

    calm down it's only 22199 capacity - when it is full or empty at least it is only real Aberdeen fans there - in the home end at least - don't think they are aberdeen fans in the away end.

    why would I have ever been to Man U I don't support (or pretend to support) Man U.

    On your other point they are all individual sportsmen not team's so what are you going to do watch a tennis player for their 10 year career then never watch tennis again because your 'team' no longer plays.....duh

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  • 60. At 7:22pm on 18 Dec 2008, Rita Cocking wrote:

    The only reason I can find for Manchester United taking part in this Mickey Mouse tournement is to bolster England's hopes of hosting the World Cup in 2018.

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  • 61. At 7:25pm on 18 Dec 2008, nogginthenogforever wrote:

    60. At 7:22pm on 18 Dec 2008, loudLovelyrita wrote:

    The only reason I can find for Manchester United taking part in this Mickey Mouse tournement is to bolster England's hopes of hosting the World Cup in 2018.

    ---------------------------------------------

    So the part where its a Fifa tournament that the winners of the European Champions league have no choice but to take part in isnt reason enough?

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  • 62. At 7:53pm on 18 Dec 2008, chapanella wrote:

    ROBBO,

    Just because the media in this frozen little island of ours don't seem to understand the value of being WORLD CHAMPIONS, does not mean the tournament is unimportant.

    I seem to remember people saying the very same thing about the European Cup. Now look at it.

    If you go around the world, and ask the African champions, and the South American champions, and the Asian champions, whether they think the cup is important or it, i can bet what answer they'll give you.

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  • 63. At 8:25pm on 18 Dec 2008, lobotics wrote:

    16. At 4:44pm on 18 Dec 2008, EL-Liverbird wrote:

    Why didn't you mention Manchester's flop Berbatov who cost them 30m?

    50% more than Keane, who wears his socks off for the team, unlike the that lazy B*M Berbatov

    - Do you know Robbo, you're a WUM




    why doesn't he mention berbatov? cause berbatov actually scores goals every now and then.

    that is what strikers are supposed to do, isn't it? correct me if i'm wrong.

    i'm sure liverpool fans would rather keane is a miserable sod who plays for himself and scores 25 goals in a season or something, than a keen little bunny running all over the field getting no goals whatsoever.

    (after all, isn't that what kuyt's for??)



    (i jest, kuyt actually does something for the team)

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  • 64. At 8:31pm on 18 Dec 2008, lobotics wrote:

    and on the topic of dopy signings, did hamann moved to bolton from liverpool (on a free, i remember) and then a few days later decided he actually wanted to go to man city, so bolton made a nice little profit - 5mill if i remember correctly?

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  • 65. At 8:40pm on 18 Dec 2008, peronelle wrote:

    To all those who find this blog so dismal week after week and cannot stop complaining about it. Stop reading it. It is not compulsory and your replies waste space.

    Enjoy your work Robbo, even if I dont understand it all.

    Cheers.

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  • 66. At 8:47pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:

    Dave-don(have a clue)

    Why would you have an opinion on Old Trafford when you aint been then? Please dont be like a lot of the people on BBC and just make cliched comments on things you don't know about.

    Is it hell all real fans, what about the countless free tickets N'sound give away to their sponsors and the tickets the club give away? (They need to do something to fill all those empty seats)
    And is this all the real fans you're talking about that boo nearly every game, don't attend games and cry for the 80's every day whilst doing a piss poor job of supporting the team?
    So for the sake of some idiotic moral high ground, you would rather have all 'true fans' - what a redundant phrase that is by the way - than fill your ground, sell merchandise and make money for the sake of the club?
    Hmm, you are a good fan Dave, I stand corrected.

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  • 67. At 8:51pm on 18 Dec 2008, Scousejay23 wrote:

    To everone slagging Benitez/Liverpool off i have only four words to say.......... Top of the league!

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  • 68. At 8:52pm on 18 Dec 2008, Forest McFlorist wrote:

    The World Club Cup will always be a tin pot competition because it cannot be given the time or attention it would need to flourish. There are far too many other competitions and tournaments above the WCC, and the only way it would work properly is to have a World Cup style tournament, and that will not happen. As Robbo says, it's just a trade show.

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  • 69. At 9:48pm on 18 Dec 2008, tarquin wrote:

    Robbo, I'm not one to come on here and slag you off but I was really struggling with what the bleedin 'ell you was saying, particularly in the first few paragraphs

    Keane isn't going anywhere - it's just a semi-logical step for the press to assume he's got to leave because he wasn't even brought on in the last match

    He's played in 18 games this season, he's at his favourite club, he cost 20 mil - he's not going anywhere

    I agree he was a bizarre purchase - liverpool shouldve bought a wide man, especially a right winger

    but you have to give him a chance - look at drogba... and anelka - took them a season to settle in

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  • 70. At 9:51pm on 18 Dec 2008, BognorRock wrote:

    I'm no Liverpool fan but surely Keane hasn't become a bad player overnight. He's been banging in the goals in the Premier League for 10 years now and suddenly hes terrible and a waste of money based on half a season? And Robbo, for a manager whose, according to you, made just one decent signing in 5 years at Liverpool, they seem to be doing OK to me!



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  • 71. At 9:51pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:

    To Scousejay....

    Lets see come the end of the season eh?
    How many draws at home has that been now? And will Mr.Cup be able to make your very thin squad challenge for more than one trophy?

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  • 72. At 9:56pm on 18 Dec 2008, tarquin wrote:

    62 chapanella

    that wouldn't have anything to do with the European's having the best league in the world and a tournament that is immensely harder than the 'world club championship' - and therefore better

    The whole idea of a world club cup is ridiculous and as Robbo says, just a money-spinner

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  • 73. At 10:22pm on 18 Dec 2008, dave-is-a-don wrote:

    j**oke273

    seems you know a lot about Aberdeen - are you from there?

    did you used to support them until you realised there was no glory in it?

    do you want a ladder to get over yourself?

    like 95% of football fans I do indeed support a fairly rubbish team who are lucky to ever even get near winning anything - but as long as we beat our main rivals every so often that is all that matters to us.

    didn't pass any comment on Old Trafford - just said I'd never been there - learn to read!
    and yes I would rather have 'only real fans' attending games - that is what football in the smaller clubs is all about - like most people I would be happy watching a kick about in the park as much as watching a 'big' game on TV - that is what being a football fan is all about.

    read the blog why not answer some questions raised in it!

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  • 74. At 10:34pm on 18 Dec 2008, Wot Kuyt 'e did wrote:

    @#9: It's not Rafa's purchases that are wrong, it's what he does with them once he's got them - continually playing these guys out of position because he supposedly knows better!

    The players who perform best are the ones who are left to do the job they know best. Even Gerrard was less than his best when made to play on the wing.

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  • 75. At 10:53pm on 18 Dec 2008, gstonesunited wrote:

    The tournament is a good idea. If we had have been palying Boca or River Plate or even Fluminese who lost to Quito on penalties everyone would've been entralled (Milan 4-2 Boca last year) because it's all too rare that the best in Europe play the best from South America.It just so happened Quito got lucky the whole way through thier campaign and qualified and thus it's not really what we hoped for this year but next year who knows?


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  • 76. At 10:55pm on 18 Dec 2008, scatteredtimbers wrote:

    Side-splitting stuff, Robbo, & controversial as ever.

    Living in South America, I take issue with your comments about the WCC.

    The title of world club champion is much coveted in SA as, in the early years, it was in Europe too (by most clubs, anyway). And with good reason; the year's top team from each of the world's two footballing superpowers, Europe & South America, battle it out for the world championship.

    For a while now, with European clubs snapping up SA's talent no sooner than it’s out of short trousers, there's been more incentive than ever for the Copa Libertadores champs to get one over on the elite European clubs, & they always raise their game accordingly. For them, the WCC still decides the world club champion.

    Why don't the Europeans take Tokyo seriously? Is it the fear of losing to underdogs? The tournament format? A genuine lack of interest? Whichever, it shows a lot of disrespect to the footballing world, especially South America, whose players have helped give European football the prestige it now enjoys.

    As for LDU Quito, they were huge underdogs & won the Copa Libertadores fair & square. It was awesome ... tantamount to Aalborg winning the Champions League. Re the advantages of altitude, LDU had to play home & away, of course, so although being Quito-based helped, it wasn't decisive. They also had to go & play games in steaming tropical conditions which were equally detrimental to them. Key to LDU’s success was their amazing team spirit.

    LDU have since lost many of their top players & are languishing mid-table in Ecuador, but don't write them off. They've just beaten Pachuca, a top Mexican side who play in a strong Mexican league, & will be baying for MU blood come the final.

    May the best team win & proudly declare themselves world champions.

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  • 77. At 10:58pm on 18 Dec 2008, rs wrote:

    An adrain chidles fan is hardly going to be amused for his humour is merely waving his hand then stating how amazed he is at something obvious. im beginning to find childes not that funny anymore...he got more famous and seems to have gone weird

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  • 78. At 11:00pm on 18 Dec 2008, rs wrote:

    not one top player plays outside europe, despite what any south a lover says. tim vickery articles are so unintersting. because there game is very slow and very boring.

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  • 79. At 11:04pm on 18 Dec 2008, gstonesunited wrote:

    78. At 11:00pm on 18 Dec 2008, pinnicleoffruit wrote:

    not one top player plays outside europe, despite what any south a lover says. tim vickery articles are so unintersting. because there game is very slow and very boring.

    =============

    Landon Donovan, don't care what anyone says he is top quality

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  • 80. At 11:13pm on 18 Dec 2008, Just1keano wrote:

    Amazing how some people insist on slagging off Robbo week after week, and wondering how he even got a blog..
    Writing is an art, and a good writer develops a style. Robbo's got his and it's loved by many, including me (and I'm not Northern or Scottish, not by a many long miles). So get over it.
    I think the critics should be slagging us Robbo lovers off instead, cos I guess we're the reason he's here. Long live Robbo, you light up my face every time...
    About my darling United in Japan, I only wish to ask Robbo...if Boro were to win the Champions league (yeah, I know pigs will fly first, but try to imagine it), just what would be your opinion on contesting the World Club Championships?

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  • 81. At 11:33pm on 18 Dec 2008, mankyblue wrote:

    Crikey !
    Some wound up looneypool fans and the usual bunch of ManUre lemmings banging on about nothing.
    Take the blog as it is, a bit of fun.
    Why dont you ask Santa for a sense of humour ...

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  • 82. At 11:56pm on 18 Dec 2008, Sandiman91 wrote:

    A bit of a slow response from me here but whats with this comment...

    16. At 4:44pm on 18 Dec 2008, EL-Liverbird wrote:
    Why didn't you mention Manchester's flop Berbatov who cost them 30m?


    In what way is he a flop?! I admit he had abit of a slow start but hes scored 6 goals and he just shows what hes worth every game he plays with his class. He has brilliant close control and awsome vision. He complements either rooney or tevez perfectly with their workhorse approach and his casual (some say lazy) approach.

    Some critics may say "why do you need him? you did great last year with rooney and tevez, what a waste of money"
    but you always need to alter your game to keep the oposition on their toes which is exactly what we have done. We seem to play with another dimension than last year.

    Speaking of good signings, Rafael da Sivla was a brilliant signing (hopefully his brother will be just as impressive!) at times he may be a little weak but that will come with time. What I love about him is he is everything Gary Nevile isnt. I used to be a big fan of gary but since he has come back from injury he has been nothing but negative. Everytime he gets the ball his first though is "lets go backwards" whereas Rafael is positive all the time just like Evra. Incase you hadnt noticed, a lack of Gary Nevile last year gave Ronaldo the freedom he requires which allowed him to score his 42 goals.

    Anyhoo, thats me done with my little rant, I hope to get some response! =D

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  • 83. At 11:57pm on 18 Dec 2008, Scottoffee wrote:

    Sometimes, somebody's just got to take one for the team.

    This is Fifa's showcase club competition and the brainchild of Sepp Blatter to boot. Not exactly a secret that he and Platini have a bit of a vendetta against the Premiership as well as the Home Nations national sides, I reckon it's probably a good idea to big the comp up and get on with it without complaining.

    For Utd, this trip may be seen more of a hindrance to their league aspirations, but for the other 6 clubs (and continents) involved, it's massively important in terms of financial benefits, but more importantly, the wider coverage and interest for their regional football.

    To me, that's good for the game on a global scale, so shove the elitist attitudes emanating from most quarters in England and think about the bigger picture.

    Besides, there's a prize pool of $16.5m (worth a lot more to us right now!) up for grabs, on top of the many millions the clubs will rake in from merchandising and potential new sponsorships, so it's not all that bad for the teams involved.

    And by the by Robbo, Feng Shui's Chinese, not Japanese.

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  • 84. At 11:58pm on 18 Dec 2008, Mike wrote:

    Typically unfair and prejudiced comments about world football which sums up the smugness and arrogance of the average Engish punter.
    There's the presumption club football doesn't exist or matter once you leave Spain or England.
    After living in Asia for many years, I see the passion, the spirit and the desire for football from Thai's, Koreans, Japanese.
    It's an ignored continent in terms of football.
    Just because they don't have the tradition and quality of the top leagues in Europe doesn't mean they should be deprived of having a chance to compete on a world level.
    English football mentality seems to often suffer from the Adrian Chiles syndrome - self depreciating parochial attachment to whatever non-national decides to make a fortune at glamorous clubs like West Brom or Plymouth.
    Give us a break - it's not your game - it's a world game - and as a City fan I can still say God bless Matt Busby and Alex Ferguson for having the foresight to see the bigger world picture.

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  • 85. At 00:40am on 19 Dec 2008, Ged Sweeney wrote:

    SCOUSEJAY (No 67)

    3 words to add

    For the moment

    Actually I would love it if 19 years of title doldrums are undone. Man Utd went 26 years without the Top Division Title and I would hate it if Liverpool went longer

    Regards

    Ged

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  • 86. At 00:53am on 19 Dec 2008, amilAO wrote:

    robbie keane is going nowhere, he could move to us (spurs) but he will not be able to play til next year and he cant move to another club til the summer......

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  • 87. At 00:57am on 19 Dec 2008, tracksuit top wrote:

    "In the meantime, the wheeling and dealing for the next window is already starting with Robbie Keane sipposedly out of Anfield at the first opportunity."

    "sipposedly??

    how did this one slip through the spellchecker on word?

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  • 88. At 01:27am on 19 Dec 2008, lordservant1 wrote:

    Robbo, your are a disgrace. (Typical British arrogance) If Sir Alex & Co. are fine going to the World Cup Cup then it must have some value. It is absolutely thrill for the clubs in the rest of the world to have this opportunity.
    How the hell is the rest of the world ever going to improve if they have no chance of ever playing the better clubs in the world?
    But I guess you have to write about something to pay the mortgage.

    I would suggest that FIFA though allow 2 or 3 more clubs from Europe and maybe 1 more from South America to make this Tournament more representable.

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  • 89. At 01:48am on 19 Dec 2008, Parag wrote:

    Robbo,

    You donot have any right to condemn the world club championship for the sake of premier league. Premier league is just another league out of many leagues in this world.
    where were u when these club championship matches were organized last year and years before that??

    Look at the bigger picture Robbo. Winning UEFA CL (or any other continental championship ) means you have to take part in the World Club Cup Championship, and every team that goes to the CL knows this fact. If they don't want to take part in the world championship, then they can withdraw from the champions league as well.

    And talking about the injuries to one more player doesn't support any arguments. Injuries can occur to anyone, anywhere, regardless of what he or she is doing. Try to pay a little bit more respect to something thats outside your world. Try to get out of the pond Robbo, there is an ocean outside that pond.

    I know the championship doesn't have any history right now. But as time goes by, one day it will gather some history and just think after 50 or 70 years when people think of any club A, B or C as the world champions. I guess that will be a even bigger boost.

    And its not good to undermine the clubs from other continents. Yes at the moment Europe is in a different league, but then we could see a different scenario in the next 30 years. Time changes a lot of things.

    Finally to round up the things, it is never a good culture to criticize others' culture. People have their own feeding habits, based on their geographical, climatic and social conditions. I have ate fish and chips too. I like the taste, and if i din't like, i would simply not eat.

    Grow up robbo, your posts are getting dumber everyday...

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  • 90. At 01:57am on 19 Dec 2008, aussies60 wrote:

    It is a micky mouse tournament - Sir Bobby Charlton admitted it at half time last night on Japanese TV.

    He said the match was `more of a friendly than a competitive match`

    before realising what he said and then went on to say `Gamba are putting up a good fight and making a game of it`.

    Lol...

    The fact Adelaide Utd were one win away from playing in the Club World Championship says it all... a tournament designed to advertise the game to new / upcoming footballing countries...

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  • 91. At 03:13am on 19 Dec 2008, CharlieRedDevil wrote:

    Point 16... how the hell can u give more credit to Keane for wearing his socks off!

    Who cares if someone runs themselves to the ground, if theres no output?! Berba has scored goals and made goals (6 assists in Prem League), scored 4 goals in the Champs League in his 1st 2 champs league games... who cares if he's lazy? He puts in less effort and gets more results... money well spent... unlike Keane who's barely scored

    Shut ur noise n stop defending Rafa... a fault is a fault, all managers do, its his turn to have his mistake highlighted

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  • 92. At 03:37am on 19 Dec 2008, jujigen wrote:

    Feng shui... in Japan??? Right, they're all the same over there, eh? That comment says more about your xenophobia than about Man Utd or Japan. Your contempt for anything other than what you know is obvious. At least Google insults before posting them.

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  • 93. At 04:40am on 19 Dec 2008, Ozman wrote:

    To the "Australian_Gunner". #54

    Your support of Adelaide is fine (tho not reflected in your name). However, your assertion that they would have beaten Man Utd is ludicrous. They were lucky to beat the Kiwi team, who themselves seemed to be newcomers to the game of football.

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  • 94. At 05:36am on 19 Dec 2008, RoryBoxer wrote:

    the thing i get the least from this blog is the abuse directed at Robbie Keane. Im a chelsea fan and i have to admit he is pure class. he may not be banging in the goals but he has turned provider enough times. Kuyt might be having a memorable season but is merely the running man. kuyt will not be able to unlock world class defences. Keane will. Keane is a proven international goalscorer and has scored goals everywhere he has been, except inter. but i think he was around 20yrs old and only played a dozen games.
    Perhaps a player worthy of a blog on how totally ineffective they are is Paulo Ferreira. the guy plays right back(apparently). his attributes i believe him to have are:
    poor in the air
    poor left foot
    poor right foot
    poor positional awareness
    slow
    ability to lose the ball anywhere!
    we paid 13million for him and i honestly think we were meant to sign his cousin of the same name.

    i have to agree with the comment of liverpool being poor in the transfer market.
    finnan was obviously disliked from day1 by rafa so he tried to replace him instantly.
    Josemi
    Kromkamp
    arbeloa
    and still finnan was the best of the lot!
    remember morientes?
    and who is dossenna? even the cruyff turning djimi traore is better!

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  • 95. At 05:46am on 19 Dec 2008, ZEUSFC wrote:

    all a bit too obvious this week robbo

    4/10 could do better!

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  • 96. At 08:12am on 19 Dec 2008, big_red_devil_07 wrote:

    no wonder the bbc holds no responsibility for this content.

    Absolute s**te....no idea what he is on about.

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  • 97. At 08:45am on 19 Dec 2008, digispoonerta wrote:

    40. At 5:17pm on 18 Dec 2008, jdkoke273

    I am fine with our best teams going out and playing teams from all over the world. It pits ours best against theirs....

    The point of my post (and something obviously you didn't get) was that if you are a successful club like ManU, Chelsea, Arsenal etc.... You will have to play alot of games like this .... don't winge about it .... all clubs/ players/ fans of those clubs would be complaining if they weren't successful.

    Just don't then play 60 odd games during a season and then go half way across the world during the pre-season as well .... and then complain that you have played too many games/ not enough time off/ too tired etc...

    You also have to remember that the ammount of games you play and the rest in between does make a profound effect on ammount of injuries, types of injuries and also length of playing career.

    Maybe if you had sat down and actually thought about the post you were writing and re-read mine instead of spouting off ... moronic is not a word you would have said....

    By the way i am a supporter and have been since i was 4 (35 years) ... and for my sins I am a Crystal Palace supporter.

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  • 98. At 09:31am on 19 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    Well Done Robbo, more good stuff to pass an office day?!
    back on form my friend with the funny analogies to ava good old chuckle too!!!

    "the enthusiasm of a toothless pensioner tackling a whelk." - Brilliant

    "Portugese Sultan of Simulation" - Quality, we may have a new rival to the good olde "gelled tumbler" referance, hahaha

    Not that Keane should stay with the Reds given his current form. The lad who comes off the bench from time to time seems a much better bet, and might soon lead to questions about how you're going to Stop Ngog.

    "the man whose face looks like everyone else's face in the back of a tablespoon" - Genius, ive never noticed it before, but its sooooo true, hahahaha

    Keep up the Good Work!

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  • 99. At 09:42am on 19 Dec 2008, Scousejay23 wrote:

    To jdkoke the answer to your question is Liverpool have had 4 draws at home (the same as Chelsea) and five wins(2 more than Chelsea) and no losses(2 less than Chelsea). So all in all not a bad record, I think you will agree? Maybe not.

    One things for sure we are looking strong regardless of the draws, and I for one am loving every minute of it. I don't care that we haven't destroyed every team in out way we are still top and have beaten chelsea and Manchester united. Again not a bad record.

    At the end of the day whoever has the most points in may is the best team that season regardless of the amount of draws and defeats!

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  • 100. At 09:44am on 19 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    Of course I have to disagree with the views of Robbie Keane, any player played out of position will be crap! Look at Rooney last year on the wing for example. Benitez I think is a lucky manager to be honest. He inhereted a decent team but has bought about 2 more teams that he doesn't know how to fit into what he had, as for letting finan go......well says it all for me.
    Number 11 great comment thanks for that mate, I agree as would most people I think. ..
    Robbo you sound a bit like mr Bah Humbug Scrooge if you ask me. I think you will be eating your words in about 10 years time when the competition gets pretty big and no English team is able to win it anymore!

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  • 101. At 09:47am on 19 Dec 2008, Robbo Robson wrote:

    All you lot who think that my comments show a disrespect for world football... isn't it a bit of a patronising lark to send the mighty Man U over there for a couple of kickabouts rather than organise a genuine competitive World Club Championships over the summer with say sixteen teams in it and see who really does cut the mustard. You could do it every odd year so it didn't clash with Euros or WC.

    Trouble is, whether you think I'm a xenophobe or not, the winning teams would be European. FACT. And we already have a bloated cavalcade of footy called the Champs League, don't we? This is simply an exercise in making money and those of you who think otherwise are very bleeding naive. (Watch Quito beat Man Utd now).

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  • 102. At 09:58am on 19 Dec 2008, no1Rooonster wrote:

    Why is everyone so jealous of Utd playing in Japan!!!!!

    I know everyones gonna miss the quality of the united boys on MOTD this weekend, but other than that why make such a big fuss if United have been entered into a World club tournament!!!!!!!!!

    Too many united haters i think!!

    it can only be a good thing for the english game, and great awareness for the club, good break for the lads and £££££ for the club, therefore on the whole well worth it!

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  • 103. At 10:01am on 19 Dec 2008, TheChronicSmoker wrote:

    "Pigeons and low-flying aircraft beware." - BEST QUOTE OF THE YEAR.

    Step down Ashley Young, Robbo is the new genius! ahaaha nice on mate

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  • 104. At 10:22am on 19 Dec 2008, BillBobJoeKenny wrote:

    There is no guarentee they will win the tournament, would be very funny if they didn't.

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  • 105. At 10:26am on 19 Dec 2008, Robbo Robson wrote:

    PS Apologies to Japanese folk everywhere by suggesting that feng shuey might have come from there. Of course the good citizens of Osaka don't spend day after day sorting out where best to put a pouffe.

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  • 106. At 10:30am on 19 Dec 2008, panchopuskas wrote:

    Your comments on Benitez are on the mark. He really needs somebody to help him talent spot just like Peter Taylor did for Brian Clough. Of course he's found the odd winner (although I don't agree that Reira is one of them) but he does seem to have a penchant for mediocrity.

    Just hope you're right about Ngog.

    As for the WC in Japan, isn't it a case of flying the flag in a country where football is just taking off? And a country with brass, as well. Better they play English football than the American version. The Far East is an enormous market for the Premier and football in general with a quarter of the world's population living there although I suspect, Robbo, you have an incling for keeping the beautiful games within the confines of the sceptred isle.

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  • 107. At 10:35am on 19 Dec 2008, collie21 wrote:

    I wouldn't think most of the european teams are a certainty for a win over most of the South American teams. You might like to check that out with Tim Vickery?

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  • 108. At 10:36am on 19 Dec 2008, therealwiggy wrote:

    A pointless blog. You must be fishing Rob and caught a few from some of the comments.

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  • 109. At 11:02am on 19 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    Wow I just love it how sooooo many Liverpoo fans get so angry of the smallest bit of critisism or banter towards their team?!
    they are so up their own sphincter muscle its untrure!!!!!

    Mind you I cant really say im so surprised as to their reaction, seen as 90% of the bbc pundits are ex-Liverpool and just spend all their blowing smoke up the clubs posterior?!

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  • 110. At 11:16am on 19 Dec 2008, Shaun wrote:

    A utd fan in peace here,

    Just thought id mention we won the champions league, which inevitably means we are invited to this competition, just like Liverpool not so long ago.

    I think it stems more to jealousy from the other fans of other clubs. Its a competition for the winners of each continental cup, so believe it or not....we are there (shock horror).

    Despite popular opinion that its a big waste of time, i think it would be incredibly disrespectful to the nations of the remaining continents to not turn up.
    Football is a world game, and money or no money its still good for the other nations in the world to see the superstars of european footy playing against them in what they feel is a major competition (south american clubs especially)

    I dont think Liverpool,Chelsea,Arsenal or any other fans would be kicking up a fuss about old fergie if they were in this competition.

    With regards the comments on Rafas signing, i personally dont write liverpool off with anything. Fair enough the last 10 years they havent been one of the expected 2 teams to win the title. But perhaps now that works more to their advantage? They do have the players capable and they seem to have the motivation also. I know its unlike a Man.Utd fan to compliment anything liverpool related but its been a good season for them and with the talent they have why cant they compete?

    With regards robbos original comment about the World Club Cup I think it came across as ignorant and dispectful.
    To be honest the small teams in this competition have as much chance of winning just as much as the likes of Galatasaray or even Lyon winning the champions league? So yes your correct on paper Quito dont have a chance, but then its the same the world over. Europe is to blame for a lot of the problems with player quality shortage. We scout the world and take the talent from teams who cant financially compete!


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  • 111. At 12:13pm on 19 Dec 2008, WordsofWisdom wrote:

    Robbo, I don't normally comment on your article as it's hard to type while falling around laughing but I have to offer my thanks this week!

    To say your a man after my own heart is an understatement: http://soccerlens.com/fifa-club-world-cup/18754/

    And as for your stance on the Rafa transfer record try: http://soccerlens.com/liverpool-view-it%e2%80%99s-either-good-buy-or-goodbye-for-benitez/3825/

    But what you're really all about is this:

    "I look forward to the man whose face looks like everyone else's face in the back of a tablespoon..."

    There are 6 billion+ people on the planet but only you could come-up with this! Classic!

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  • 112. At 12:18pm on 19 Dec 2008, MrBolvine wrote:

    Although the article was amusing enough to read - how many flaws can you fit in one blog?!

    To start with, saying that that club world champ is a complete waste of time and means nothing shows such a narrow view. Living anywhere in England means you probably don't have to travel more than 50 miles to see a top-flight match and some of your favourite players, something we take for granted, whereas the thousands upon thousands of Japanese who will attend the matches would never normally get a chance to see a matches like these, and the Ecuadorians following their team will see them play a team never thought possible to them. The championship can only spread the enjoyment of football more globally...

    And then saying it's more important to Man U who they are drawn against in the Champions League - it doesn't matter. Man U are the reigning Champions of Europe, and you can bet Fergie wants to retain that. Whoever they are drawn against they will be looking to win - whether they play them in the quarter finals or the final itself.

    It would be a shame for Keane to leave Liverpool so quickly - look at how slowly Rush took off playing them - and how do the Reds regard Rush now?! Keane just needs a little longer, he will get there.

    So thanks for the blog Robbo,

    always interesting to read!

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  • 113. At 12:33pm on 19 Dec 2008, WordsofWisdom wrote:

    #110 and #112 as a Man Utd fan I say: Rubbish!

    Try #111 for a genuine insight.

    To hold these views as a Utd fan you don't understand the big picture.

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  • 114. At 12:35pm on 19 Dec 2008, manumanier wrote:

    So Japan is "mickey mouse" - some of us remember the 1950's.
    Chelsea won the champioship but refused to enter the "Mickey Mouse European Competion".
    Then United won it and Sir Matt said "we are going into Europe" so the league threatened to throw United out of the league if they went into "Mickey Mouse Europe".
    All fans asked "what is this European thing - it will get in the way of our league programme" - waste of time.
    Then Real Madrid won it five times on the trot in the Mickey Mouse era but in any list of winners I have never seen "Real Madrid 8 (5 Mickey Mouse wins).

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  • 115. At 12:37pm on 19 Dec 2008, mickredsun wrote:

    I think the casual racism inherent in this article is despicable, Egyptian Pyramid Formation? Australians are upside down...

    Is there an editor at the BBC these days or is it becoming acceptable again to slur a nation with sniping comments like this...

    I'm sure if a Scottish team was in the cup there would be a bagpipe formation or we'd all have to eat haggis for one reason or another...

    Someone stop this now

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  • 116. At 12:47pm on 19 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    mickredsun -

    PLEAS, PLEASE, PLEASE, for your own sake go and find a senso of humour, that is no racist comment !!!

    its only like the french and other nations believe the english to all walk round in suits and bowler hats and stop for tea an cakes at 5 o'clock every day !!!

    RACISM......... I hear you cry !!!!

    Sadly I think not

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  • 117. At 12:51pm on 19 Dec 2008, WordsofWisdom wrote:

    #115 I missed the announcement in the press! A-sense-of humour-ectomy. Now that's a breakthrough procedure in medical science!

    You seriously need to get a life!

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  • 118. At 12:51pm on 19 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    manumanier -

    Very good point Sir
    I see and understand what your saying, nobody says that Real Madrid 5 Micky Mouse European Cups !!!


    WordsOfWisdom -

    love the quote relating to the FIFA CWC of -
    "This competition is no more than an excuse for Blatter to continue his showboating around the world, planting his ample backside on the best seat in the stadium while staying at the most luxurious 5* star hotel in town, dining at the local gourmet restaurants and pontificating at several press conferences, in between being bowed and pandered to by the ‘minions’ of the Japanese football hierarchy."

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  • 119. At 12:54pm on 19 Dec 2008, Virtuet wrote:

    This is the sort of comment that makes us appear arrogant to the rest of the world. Roobo is saying "We are the best but we do not need to prove it these competitions are beneath us". It just makes everyone more determined to beat us when we do try. World and European national competition have been treated with the same contempt when first started. We have won one World Cup but we still claim "English is best", we ar kidding ourselves.

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  • 120. At 12:58pm on 19 Dec 2008, luton3arsenal2 wrote:

    hardly a mickey mouse tournament isit cos most of these teams could actually cut it in the top leagues. look at the utd team they put out and won 5-3, they only left out berbatov n rooney cos they had to.

    goin bak to berbatov, u ppl really fink utd bought him for his work rate?? and keane has been good this season, very similar player to kuyt at the moment and he will score lots of goals eventually. like ppl sed, remember crouch at liverpool? went lyk 20 games widout a goal

    back to bad signings by benitez, particularly the wingers, babel n riera r quality and mascherano n lucas r good, maybe not quite utd n chelsea quality but liverpool make up for that wid gerrard n torres. also i do rate pennant (dont laugh) cos he was amazin for birmingham (i know dont laugh again) but he is one of the best crossers in the world but maybe he doesnt have a good passion for the game cos he is pretty rubbish now and on soccer AM all the liverpool teammates section they hav pennant down as the worst trainer so there u go. also i fink benayoun is a good player as a fill in wen the lyks of babel n riera aren't there cos compare him to man utds back up players lyk fletcher and he is in a pretty similar class to them

    oh and WUM is a word used by nerds who seem to lyk footy aswell but prob cant play it, not sayin im the next ronaldo or anyfin but im not exactly useless

    good to get that off my chest lol

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  • 121. At 12:59pm on 19 Dec 2008, luton3arsenal2 wrote:

    gr8 champs league draw by the way

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  • 122. At 1:16pm on 19 Dec 2008, tokyotower181 wrote:

    Feng shui is Chinese.....i'm sure you're other 'worldly' views are accurate though!

    What's your point anyway?

    Football is a business, and a very lucrative one. The game bought into capitalism and grew because of it.

    Expect your team to fly wherever the yen,yuan or whatever else can be got!

    Deal with it.

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  • 123. At 1:40pm on 19 Dec 2008, 2tonnedunne wrote:

    Wowzers!
    Never heard so much fuss out of Liverpool fans in all my life. You'd think Robbo had done something serious! Instead he dared to venture forth with an opinion on Benitez's transfer dealings.
    True, Torres and Alonso have been good buys, but seriously fellas - I've played enough Champ to know that they are good enough for the prem.
    Riera? Ngog? Arbeloa? Dossena? Still a bit early to be lauding those guys I think.
    £20 mil for Keane was a ridiculous buy and everyone knows it. However, contrary to some of the comments here, Robbo wasn't saying get rid of him though, simply that he's unlikely to be there for much longer. Last time I checked Robbo wasn't actually in charge of Liverpool's transfer policy and so the anger directed at him seems a little bit strange. Especially as he's probably going to be proved right. These days there's little or no room for error - especially at the top of the league.
    And in defence of this blog - it's supposed to be funny. I can't believe so many people read it, then read the comments, then are so angry they feel the need to be downright vicious about the author. It's been said on the messageboard before - it's a free country so don't read it if you can't appreciate a little humour.
    And for those who wonder why Robbo's still in the job... how many other blogs on the BBC website get this sort of reaction? How many garner such praise? Or such levels of Mersey-based histrionics?

    Robbo - take a bow and be happy with a job well done.

    P.S; the Club World championship is 100% marketing tool, just accept it everyone.

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  • 124. At 1:49pm on 19 Dec 2008, WordsofWisdom wrote:

    @Tokyotower181; Do your research. This competition is nothing to do with business. The media interest is minimal and the world footballing public are apathetic.

    The prize money for the winners is $5m which pales into insignificance for a team like Utd. if it jeprodises their chances of winning the Pl or CL, and it is a handicap.

    Understand what your talking about before pontificating.

    Once again try this:
    http://soccerlens.com/fifa-club-world-cup/18754/

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  • 125. At 2:27pm on 19 Dec 2008, dodiesmith wrote:

    Found your comments on Benetez quite fascinating, Robbo. I will support Liverpool for ever but every time the team players are announced, I have worried (being a woman, no doubt) as to where he is playing Gerrard, Keane, whoever.... his choices boggle the mind, always have done, it's frustrating as he never seems to have a plan.

    I had a dream -- I wished for Mourinho to come to Liverpool after he left Chelsea....but think he HAD to get away from English football (and the Russians) at that time. However, I would still LOVE to see him in action at Liverpool.

    Ferguson calls him a character....
    well, Mourinho never threw shoes at his players... or criticized their wives....
    I thought he HAD character. I'll just dream on, I guess!

    Thanks again, Robbo, for doing what you do best. Writing from your heart and gut and even though your humour is a bit over the top for me at times, I like to think it is not mean spirited.
    Happy Christmas!

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  • 126. At 2:28pm on 19 Dec 2008, Armchair Dave wrote:

    @panchopuskas

    You're absolutely right about the WC Champs. It's just an exercise in PR and drumming up more cash. No one, not even Fergy, takes it as a valid footballing competition. Manu are out there to promote their club in an area where they could make a nice bit of cash. FIFA are doing the same in promoting football out there.

    Hilariously some people here have been trying to defend it as a football competition. Anyone with half a brain knows it means very little in comparison to the league title or Champions League. Those competitions aren't a 2-bob knockout.

    Nice blog Robbo, but you should have delayed submitting it and you could have got the Champions League draws in. Now there's some talking points (in a REAL competition)! :-)

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  • 127. At 2:43pm on 19 Dec 2008, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Quite right, mate. Mouth-watering these matches are always called although I don't find myself salivating at the prospect of a football match ever. That's just a bit weird if you ask me. But cracking stuff nonetheless with the aforementioned Jose revisiting the scene of his really rather fabulous touchline sprint in the days before he was having his chain yanked by Roman n Kenyon

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  • 128. At 2:58pm on 19 Dec 2008, Samwell2804 wrote:

    ******** ABOUT TIME THAT WE HAD AN INTELLIGENT LIVERPOOL FAN ON AT LAST********

    stand up and take a bow -

    #125 "dodiesmith"

    some one who isnt so blind and realises the point at hand.

    and without sounding all Mike Newall here.........(u know what i mean)...........

    it a WOMAN !!!!!! Lads!!!!!!

    yes I can hear your gasps now !!!

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  • 129. At 3:29pm on 19 Dec 2008, futbol77 wrote:

    Man Utd are not playing Quito. They are playing Liga.

    The team is called "Liga Deportiva Universitaria" de Quito. Meaning the team is based in Quito (the capital of Ecuador - located on the Equator between Colombia and Peru). It could be translated as "Liga University Sporting Club" of Quito.

    In Ecuador the team is called "Liga" or "LDU". They are never called "Quito".

    They used to refer them as "Liga de Quito" back in the 80s as there was also another team called "Liga" but based in another town called Portoviejo. Now there's only one Liga.

    Should that United fan that called the South American team "lucky" for winning The Libertadores, call Man Utd "lucky" as well?? As they wouldn't even be in Japan had John Terry not slipped in the Champions League Final. And Man Utd probably wouldn't have won it had Drogba not slapped Vidic in the dying minutes of extra-time.

    Oh if other teams win, they were lucky, if Man Utd win, they deserved it.

    Funny logic.

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  • 130. At 3:39pm on 19 Dec 2008, Clint wrote:

    .........and the tournament itself would probably not be held in Japan had Man United not qualified for it. You see, the winners may only receice 5 million as someone mentioned, but think of the marketing that they're getting through in Japan and Asia in general. They are reaching out to a market they were always keen on dominating and the popstar perception that Asia has of them means this is a worthwhile business exercise. It's like another week of pre-season.

    Hold a league with Europe's top 4 and South America's top 4 and then you'll have something closer resembling a battle for title of "World's best club"

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  • 131. At 3:55pm on 19 Dec 2008, jdkoke273 wrote:

    Dave the don.

    You did comment on OT you fool, making a comment about the fans that attend, learn to read your own posts.

    I did answer comments made in the blog, long before you started spouting rubbish.

    I live in Aberdeen, never supported them, started supporting United in 88-90 my dad tells me (at age 4-6) as does my whole family. (By the way we were not good back then - unlike Aberdeen)

    Your percentages are wrong, your comments are wrong and you are just wrong. Notice how you never replied about the fact barely any Aberdeen supporter actually supports the club, just go for an excuse to boo and moan. I'm not talking about little clubs, look at Derby fans, happy all the time because they love their club as are most others.

    And stop with all this elitist crap about what a 'real fan' is, I'm not gonna criticise a fellow United fan just because he dont go to games, is a One-United member, MUTV etc like I am, I'm just glad they support the club.

    You, my friend are like everyone else in this gray sink-hole of a city and just a miserbale faced, narrow-minded git with barely 2 brain cells to rub together but likes to moan their sour face off anyway so they can feel big about themselves.

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  • 132. At 5:58pm on 19 Dec 2008, U13691428 wrote:

    Watford are awesome

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  • 133. At 9:35pm on 19 Dec 2008, Robbo Robson wrote:

    Crikey look above and you can see that Elton John has added a comment.

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  • 134. At 11:21pm on 19 Dec 2008, gringo Loco wrote:

    You, my friend are like everyone else in this gray sink-hole of a city and just a miserbale faced, narrow-minded git with barely 2 brain cells to rub together but likes to moan their sour face off anyway so they can feel big about themselves.

    Olay.

    I was thinking that 75% of the bloggers must be surviving brain transplant donors.

    MU were not invited. They were contractually obliged.

    The CWC is at a bad time for English clubs against S. American clubs because it is mid season, with a busy schedule in the next couple of weeks against being between seasons for s. american clubs. With MU, they will provbably go back in pre-season because of the comercial aspects. Maybe if we had a winter break, it would be different, except then the clubs would complain the season is too long, going into June, maybe. Please don't ever introduce a winter break. I love to see the players in their gloves and overcoats earning theire 100 grand in the cold. The pampered gold-diggers.

    Robbo, luv the blog, always look for it. not as funny as a couple of weeks ago, but nevertheless... I don't understand some of the jokes, but then who understands 100% except the writer.

    The bloggers who say it's rubbish, if they were not tranplants survivors, should stop reading it.

    It's also educational. I've learned a new word WUM. Robbo is an expert WUM, which is part of his job.

    There are far too many sheep and "grey" people, Robbo is neither.

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  • 135. At 11:30pm on 19 Dec 2008, gringo Loco wrote:

    In the CL we have Real Madrid 9x champs (5 Mickey mouse) v Liverpool 5x champs. Should be good. Plus Mourinho v SAF. If some teams do not like the draw, they shouldn't have put out their reserves. At least from now on, that will not happen.

    We also have the deciding matches as to whether the EPL is better than Serie A.

    The CWC may at the moment be commercial at best Mickey Mouse, but maybe in the future it is held in the same esteem as CL.

    They renamed the EUFA cup for next season, but shouldn't it have been renamed CL Div 2? or European mid-table league?

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  • 136. At 10:46am on 20 Dec 2008, arnoldric wrote:

    when we talk about Man Utd, we talk about talent, success and wisdom. Other teams may have the money but not the success

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  • 137. At 11:57am on 20 Dec 2008, bluewonder57 wrote:

    speaking of dopey deals - how about the dispatch of the radar deficient ben-haim to the arid wastes of eastands. apparantly the welsh wizzard who conducted this wonderful bit of summer business is now complaining that he was misled by the light blue scouting corps into thinking he was getting a defensive messiah. must believe in miracles!

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  • 138. At 12:18pm on 20 Dec 2008, Guido de Maupassant wrote:

    C'mon Robbo, less of the blinkered isolationism please... We all know English football is at the top of the pile at the moment but doesn't mean football outside of the top nations is a waste of space. Surely we've got past the 'jolly foreigners spoiling our game' mentality. You seem to think that Gamba Osaka are a kind of joke, so you will probably be surprised to know that average attendances in the J.League are higher than Serie A. Urawa Reds, for example regularly attract over 50,000 to their home games. Only Arsenal and Man United can claim more. Can I make a plea to you and other English fans... start taking an interest in football from further afield than the UK and Europe. People will then start taking us a bit more seriously and perhaps we may even get the World Cup in 2018, because unless you haven't realised, people like Platini and co (who decide who gets the World Cup) don't like us very much because of our blinkered attitude. More to the point, football beyond Europe is far more interesting to watch and less focused on business. Having been to an African and Asian Champions League final and a Copa Libertadores final, I can assure your readers that they were much more exciting to watch than the stale corporate European Champions League finals we usually get served up.

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  • 139. At 12:22pm on 20 Dec 2008, aries22 wrote:

    I've given up on the BBC 606 forum trying to persuade some proponents of the Club World Cup what a waste of time it is. How you can count part-timers Waikatere of New Zealand and Adelaide United of Australia as two of the eight teams going for the title "best club side in the world" defies common sense. I've been called an elitist for trying to deny these smaller fry the chance to compete in an international "tournament". Yes, I am an elitist for wanting to keep standards high. I say if you're going to choose eight club sides to play for the CWC title, AC Milan and Real Madrid have got to be in there somewhere, not Adelaide United and part-timers Waikatere. The truth is, the CWC is a political PR exercise based on geographical inclusion and nothing to do with bringing together the world's eight best club sides.

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  • 140. At 1:39pm on 20 Dec 2008, braunstone wrote:

    Number 33 Comment.

    Good shout.

    This was a very overlooked fact at the time and is often conveniently forgotten when people get on there high horse criticizing United.

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  • 141. At 5:39pm on 20 Dec 2008, U11947716 wrote:

    I don't know who enjoys these articles but can only assume it is the borderline illiterate.

    Calling Man Utd's club championship opponents globally irrelevant reeks of the most obnoxious form of ignorance, in fact most of the time you sound like you've never left the north of England, Robbo.

    And using the accent for "comic effect" is so lame, it almost makes me question the point of life.

    This is the last time I read your blog I'm afraid, it is she-ite.

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  • 142. At 7:00pm on 20 Dec 2008, tomoedinburgh wrote:

    A football thug with a brain the size of Micky Mouse like this man poo-pooes all the effort FA, clubs, coaches and players are making for the occasion. Thank you very much for
    representing "real" Man U fans.

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  • 143. At 7:53pm on 20 Dec 2008, JoliVague wrote:

    Robbo, first time I've ever disagreed with you on an article but let me tell you this story.

    I'm in Tokyo on hoilday and had the amazing good fortune to meet a guy on the plane who had a spare ticket for the Gamba game. We met up, met a few other reds and got on with the business of enjoying ourselves in a culture that celebrates life, and this time round football is the centre of that festival, Manchester United most of all.

    This championship is the future, and goes beynd Europe's head-up-their-arse attitude that european football is the be all and end all of football.......you need to get over yourself and pull your head out of the sand!

    Football is global, and it's people like you who decry why England fare so badly in international competition, this championship is the answer. English footbal, European football, nay WORLD football, needs this, it needs teams to come and show what football is truly about, not just on an international level but at club level. Football goes beyond any boundaries be it race, colour, language or creed.. If you had bothered to come to Japan and see it for yourself you wouldn't have written it off, if you were here you would be revelling in the magic, that tomorrow is going to be even better.

    You're missing out, and you're bitter, which is why you reckon it's not worth anything other than money.

    Grow up.

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  • 144. At 9:41pm on 20 Dec 2008, JayRed - The Babes' Remembered Forever and a day! wrote:

    Robbo please. I saw your question on the bbc sport front page and after reading your blog I came to this conclussion.

    While people maybe quick to point out I don't have to read or leave a comment on your blog. But I propose the same to you, you don't have to write a blog on the Fifa club world cup.

    So what if it is a FIFA trying to "spin a few more yen their way" each of those clubs competing in this mini-tournament didn't just get their by mistake or luck. They had to do what many players on every continent dreams of. They had to work hard all year to win their continents Champions League.

    I really do think you could use the blog space more appropriately because lets be honest, it's a load of tosh!

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  • 145. At 9:43pm on 20 Dec 2008, Peter D wrote:

    I agree with 143, the Premiership is an interesting league but in the big picture its a bit player. The real prizes are the World Cup, Champions League, the South and Central American "Copa" version and World Club Championship.
    There are very few "English" teams. Arsenal has one or two English players, Man U has more than most, and in the second tier teams like Portsmouth,Wigan look more like African teams than English.
    So the Premiership is a really a place for players from overseas to ply their trade, and the club Championship a place to measure their quality. Nothing to do with English football.. to find that go to the championship, League One or Two, or maybe the Conferences

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  • 146. At 11:32pm on 20 Dec 2008, aries22 wrote:

    114. At 12:35pm on 19 Dec 2008, manumanier wrote:
    So Japan is "mickey mouse" - some of us remember the 1950's.
    Chelsea won the champioship but refused to enter the "Mickey Mouse European Competion".
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Refused? That's well wide of the mark. For what really happened, follow the link:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/european_football/article385542.ece

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  • 147. At 08:23am on 21 Dec 2008, japanchris wrote:

    I'm from the North East of England - like Robbo.

    Why make cheap remarks about Japan?

    The Japanese love British football, and different bars are always full of fans of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester Utd etc. on matchdays. There's even a barman that supports Sunderland.

    Most of these fans follow their Japanese team and an English team.

    The World Club Championship at present has its limitations, but as other posters have mentioned, it is absolutely the future of football...to be the best team in the world.

    I'm sure almost every fan who reads this will put their club above their country.

    Who do you support? Middlesbrough? England? Both equal?

    I support England in the world cup because I have to, but I don't cry myself to sleep when they lose.

    Give credit to Manchester United for representing Europe. This tournament will be of equal status to the country world cup later, but it's got to start somewhere. Like Uruguay 1930.

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  • 148. At 09:13am on 21 Dec 2008, SkrtelsMeanestScowl wrote:

    Why is it Robbo can't let a blog slip by without having a swipe at Liverpool? I can only assume he's a closet Manc silently praying that we fail, as many in the media appear to be.

    "Benitez fails as a manager"? Top of the league without our principal goal threat and looking a good bet to make at least the quarters in the Champions League again. Top class players like Torres, Agger, Reina, Arbeloa, Aurelio, Alonso, Mascherano, Reira, Kuyt, Skrtel, Babel and Lucas. More failure please Rafa!

    The only people who seem to think Keane is leaving are the red tops. Benitez has been in this management lark a while, and unfortunately for the sniping gutter press I'm pretty sure he knows it would be shortsighted to only give a player 6 months to find his feet at a new club. While it's possible there were better players to spend £20m on, Rafa wanted Keane, and Keane hasn't lost the qualities that made him one of Benitez's top targets overnight.

    I know this blog is meant to be - and sometimes is - amusing rather than informative, but to hop on the "Rafa has failed in the transfer market" bandwagon is very lazy journalism. Must try harder!

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  • 149. At 10:21am on 21 Dec 2008, Granadaland wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 150. At 11:06am on 21 Dec 2008, Jammis1902 wrote:

    It would be easier to digest what you write if you didn't sound like an ignorant little so and so. How many clitches do you want to use in your articles? Somethings are funny, somethings you should avoid like the plague, I don't think you've found the balance yet.

    Thanks for the Mickey Mouse article...

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  • 151. At 12:58pm on 21 Dec 2008, Busby1991 wrote:

    Dear Robbo, Please cheer up you miserable old smoggy. If it was Boro in this competition you would be buzzing. But because it's not your having a whinge. I don't read your block to hear your moaning if i wanted to do that i would spend christmas day at the mother in laws. Poor blog.

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  • 152. At 1:27pm on 21 Dec 2008, Granadaland wrote:

    Feng shui is Chinese, not Japanese.

    I'd like to think making this mistake was an intentional poke at footballers' half-wittedness, but given Robbo's apparent idea of humour, I'd be surprised.

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  • 153. At 1:33pm on 21 Dec 2008, jwellington wrote:

    Does Robbo really think that he has to explain his "jokes" because his readers are too thick to get the references. This must be one of the worst blogs so far.

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  • 154. At 1:31pm on 22 Dec 2008, scottsewell wrote:

    Another good blog mate.

    I was in absolute stitches at the start with the formations.

    Egyptians 4-3-2-1 because they build pyramids etc.

    Can't wait for the next one mate.

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  • 155. At 4:17pm on 22 Dec 2008, Robbo Robson wrote:

    It's too late now but for heaven's sake how on earth was that tournament worth playing except for the acquisition of wealth it brought a fair few organisations. There are United supporters on this website claiming that they are now champions of the world. Gimme a break. Boro might have made champions of the world if we'd've sent them along instead, that's how very average the teams were. You've got to start somewhere but - as one of the brighter posters mentioned - why not have the top four in Europe v the top four in S. America if you really after the best club side in the world. That wasn't the point of this though, was it?

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  • 156. At 2:49pm on 24 Dec 2008, wedontknowfootball wrote:

    maybe a little change in the format in the world club cup championship would be good, and when i say a little i meant quite a bit.

    plus, maybe putting a mid-season break into the english premier league would help such competition.

    but then, we wont have the boxing day matches.

    ya, useless competition.

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  • 157. At 3:55pm on 24 Dec 2008, ArsenalIndian wrote:

    Benitez not good at signing wide players? Riera's not done too badly, has he?

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