Belfast Telegraph

Park-life is all a bit of a Blur for Gunners

By Billy Weir

It's surprising that a club with surely the largest number of pop stars as fans would fail to have the X Factor when it came down to the battle to top the charts.

Off the top of my head I can think of the likes of Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, Johnny Rotten, most of Spandau Ballet and the lovely Rachel Stephens, but absent from that list of Gooners is any soul music, or Blur for that matter.

No matter, my favourite United player ever, Seoul man Ji-Sung was on hand with some Park-life to leave Arsene Wenger coming across like Rick Astley moaning he was never Gunner give up on the title.

The first surprise though on Monday night was the choice of commentary team, with Martin Tyler (I’m not a Gunners fan, honest) and Arsenal striking legend Alan Smith, although after his antics at Anfield in 1989 he’ll always have a spot in the hearts of all Man Utd fans.

It did smack a little of Arsenal bias, though, and I half expected us to go back to the studio to find Richard Keys and Andy Gray bound and gagged and replaced by Bob Wilson and Lofty from Eastenders.

And talking of the digging up names from the past, United did just that with the arrival of some of the Chilean miners to Old Trafford.

I was alerted to this on The Alan Simpson Show on the wireless earlier in the day where the topic was raised to the unmistakable sound of Yazz (and the Plastic Population) with The Only Way Is Up. Genius.

Not too much praise though for the mouth of the Bann as Boxing Day is fast approaching and imagine if you’d been standing at the side of a mineshaft for 60-odd days and then some mad hair appeared followed 10 minutes later by a face like a busted sofa. You’d be telling Status Quo to get the chords started on Down Down.

No shortage of stars on show with pop and United links, David Beckham, who must know someone who can sing, and Mick Hucknall caught on camera just before we kicked off for the second-half.

“It’s red, but not simply,” said Martin, as he and Smudger, as old hairy arms Keys referred to him, returned from a quick game of Gunners Top Trumps to get us underway.

The opening period had been largely United, hence wasn’t very good, but as Arsenal pushed forward it was suddenly ‘developing into the match we hoped it would’, only for Gael Clichy to suddenly defend like Gail Tilsley/Platt (or whatever she’s called this week) and hand Wayne Rooney the chance to commemorate a big week for Manchester in style.

Sadly he has taken his Street Striker programme a bit too literally and hammered the ball so high and hard that it desperately threatened to increase the carnage down on Coronation Street.

Martin and Smudger, like Arsenal, were suddenly back in the game, although ‘still struggling to find the passes that light up the league’. Yes, yes.

Indeed had the Red Hot Chile miners been buried in Edwin van der Sar’s goal they would never have been found, and to rub salt in Arsene’s wounds, the man of the match was a man called Rio, although I’m not sure if he dances on the sand.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph