the day had been torrid,a hive of activity,a ball of worries and a whole lot of endeavour that repayed us with nothing in return but a litany of failed objectives and a whole new chapter on how things can go so horribly wrong.Kays,Will and I walked towards the bus depot recounting the near misses,cherishing the dark twisted sardistic humour that is so often overlooked but shadows every failure.Will,as ever spun the tales with a flourish and ith the panache of a boxing ring announcer.As we arrived at the depot we could not help but notice a prostrated figure lying on the pavement.A tiny frame,a skeletal frame,she reeked of neglect and cheap booze.Her clothes were shabby and dirty.She wore a light brown blouse that had once been white,her skirt as ridden with patches of in an assortment of colors.She had no shoes on and her splayed and cracked feet caked in dried mud showed she had long dispensed of using such hinderances.As she lay on the pavement her skirt was hiked up revealing pole like thighs and an equally dismissive attitude towards underwear.Her head was at an unnatural angle,even more unnerving was the statuesque nature of her sleep,long dried drool was streaked across her cheeks.She slept on one of the city’s busiest streets,she had people walking over her,she had people jumping over her and some simply walked around her as if she was a broken lamp post obstructing the pavement.As she caught Kays’ eye he immediately suggested we go over and see if she needed any help.Will and I exchanged quizzical glances,as we were arranging the words of our dissent,Kays was already walking over to her.With a helpless shrug Will signaled our defeat.As we trotted to catch up Kays we watched as he gently shook her shoulder and spoke softly into her ear.He soon realised she was out cold,in a sleep so deep,the kind of sleep that can only be brought on by sickness,or alcohol,or drugs,or misery,or God forbid a cocktail of them all.After realising the futilty of it all he set her body to a natural angle and pulled her skirt down.At first as we walked towards her i felt foolish,as we stood over her and attempted to wake her up i felt embarassed.fOR a fleeting moment i thought of Kays i thought of Kays as naive,hundreds of people walked past her and over her.Only Kays had the courage of heart to help her.I saw a drunk,Kays saw a person in need.I thought of him as naive.The world had succeeded in making me indifferent yet he had survived and retained all the senses that truly make us human.
As the new football season prepares to get underway the familiar almost cyclical assertions,remedies and verdicts are tossed about.Nations whose teams’ performances at the world cup seemed painfully inadequate are left to rue the costs of hope deferred.The football teams looking to erase all memory of a dismal season gone by seemingly airbrush all signs of tattered egos and realigned expectations.Football fans are at their core energized by hope,reality plays second fiddle in a game that in essence turns everybody into a rabid romantic.Football like life is largely a field of group think,the ideas espoused by the herd gain prominence,currency and set a standard by which all issues are measured and counted for or against.Once a particular style of play is deemed the “standard” any team seemingly along a different style trajectory is labelled backward or just plain poor.Once a particular player gains fame he is deemed the prototype of how all footballers should play,speak,dress and look.Players with their own unique style become prime targets for irate fans’ when positive results are not forthcoming.Since 2008 the spanish national team was upheld as the true keepers of the path,the football purists purred at their play and every major football club just had to have at least one Spaniard as a signal of its intent to play football that is pleasing to neutrals..Two matches into Spain’s defence of the world cup and the Spanish philosophy had lost all backers,every commentator remarked how they all saw the woeful capitulation coming.By the end of the tournament there would be countless articles waxing lyrical about the superiority of the German way of life,football and the quality of german beer and sausages.Every German available on the transfer market is touted as a club changing signing,you have a sense that even if a club announced Angela Merkel as their latest signining fans would expect her to top the goal scoring charts.Players of the calibre of Iniesta,Koke,Xavi,Silva and Juan Mata are now overlooked and no longer in vogue.Group think reigns supreme.While most of the world was imitating the spanish play Germany was workinh on its own identity and strengths,indeed the hallmark of all the great sides in the last 30 years is their commitment to a brand of football that is novel,built to the strengths of its personnel and a trail blazer,from Arrigo Saachi’s Milan team.Louis Van Gaal’s Ajax team,Fergie’s Fledglings,Hitzfield’s Dortmund and Wenger’s Invincibles none of these great squads subscribed to any form of herd thinking,mass produced prescriptions or pandered to perceived weaknesses.As clubs chase remedies to their shortcomings a long term sustainable approach to success must not be overlooked,some clubs bemoan the quality of players they employ but perhaps the grass is greener on the other side simply because they take better care of their lawns over there.As nations dream up expensively built academies to jump start stalled aspirations,nations like Algeria and Costa Rica prove that with a shared football identity,a resolute plan and tailor made remedies success is made a lot more probable.
SUPERHEROES AND JUST HEROES EDITION,PART ONE
The biggest sporting spectacle on earth has begun,the world cup commences with every competing nation striving to live up to the expectations(often times irrational expectations) of the their people and usually winds down with a sporting witch hunt that minus the spectacle of public beheadings,would not have been out of place in the dark ages.The reality check on nations’ aspirations always seems to surprise,bruise and injure the respective nation’s ego more efficiently than a mugger in New York City.We going to take a look at each team’s chances but each team will be reviewed as the superhero or just plain hero they best embody.
The man behind the machine like suit is Tony Stark,a man endowed with genius level intellect,a highly proficient engineer,scientist and a wealthy entrepreneur,He has an impregnable suit of armor,a vast array of technologically advanced weapons at his disposal and leads the way in the advancement of military technology.He however remains unlovable and prone to imploding at crucial times.
“my old man had a philosophy,peace means having a bigger stick than the other guy”-TONY STARK
The Norse god of thunder,capable of manipulating weather storm elements,has superhuman strenght(son of a goddess) and is immune to all earthly diseases(talent droughts,low confidence,mediocre aspirations).Carries a magical hammer(Neymar) which he expertly uses to subdue foes.In the world cup his biggest threat will be his half human genealogy coming to the fore(less gifted players than previous teams) and misplacing their hammer.
Clark Kent has above human level strength,speed,x-ray vision and is invulnerable.A seemingly unbeatable opponent,he has one weakness…KRYPTONITE(Lionel Messi in an Argentinian jersey)
Wizardry,enchanting attributes and mystical,somewhat vague wisdom that inspire,bewilder,enrage and bore in equal measure.A seemingly frail looking magician who believes he is the keeper,protector and the only disciple of the one true path.Can this aged wizard continue to defy the more hawkish adversaries?
ENGLAND-THE PINK PANTHER/ INSPECTOR CLOUSSEAU
An endearing,inept,clumsy,incompetent but zealous character who despite his numerous flaws manages to not only compete intensely but to spectacularly build up an immense reputation,and somehow bungle his way to near achievement.Expect the insane,the joyous, the ludricous and flashes of genius,anything and everything can happen with this hero.
PORTUGAL-THE PINKY AND THE BRAIN
The highly developed,ambitious,superior being(RONALDO) teams up with his more humble side kick Pinky as they attempt to redeem themselves by trying to take over the world.Brain’s own arrogance and the impossibility of his plans and pure misfortune ultimately leaves their plans draped in failure
“once we conquer the world,we are on our way to fame and fortune and a world that’s a better place for all”-BRAIN
A statement Ronaldo would be proud to proclaim.
Another Cameroonian world cup campaign and another timely strike action,grumpy smurf,greedy smurf,vanity smurf,jokey smurf,this Cameroon outfit is perfect for a few laughs.They have within their ranks enough talent to turn what would otherwise be a wonderful comedic experience into a bittersweet tragedy.Sadly they are lacking a Papa Smurf to redirect their talents into positive endeavour .
IVORY COAST-THE INCREDIBLE HULK
A manic explosion of power,strength and skill waiting to happen,Bruce Banner had to lose his temper before his alter ego could be unleashed on helpless foes,sadly this Hulk seems all too understanding,patient and docile.The question heading into the competition is what will it take for the immense potential to be released,this represents the last chance saloon for most on this team.
Naruto is the adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition,endowed with skills and elaborate powers that make for delightful viewership but he otherwise does not strike fear into the hearts of his opponents.A worthy opponent..but Naruto’s search will continue.
Captain Planet is summoned when the planeteers combine all five earthly powers to create a super strong,gravity defying,sleek all conquering figure.He seems impervious to defeat..yet he has one weakness,he is subdued by pollution,rendered powerless.A fragile yet dominating figure capable of the brutishly sublime and the absurdly mediocre.
I will probably recount the birthday party I attended in Rochdale at a later date but for now,a short story on an incident that occured the following day.It never ceases to astound me how a gift/talent or just a spark of imagination when surrounded by realism can so easily be extinguished,it’s like God will give you the gift,a talent,a touch of genius,but to even things out he makes them brittle and insecure,and identifiable only to the man who sees through your surroundings and personal quirks.Sometimes I think this is patently unfair,sometimes I see men resigned to the will of circumstances whilst loaded with a touch of genius,sometimes I notice the inner peace and joy of a man living and working to the full range of his skills and potential…I guess this is what people call contentment.On the day following the party I awoke with an irresistible urge to write whilst looking at the Mullins River,the sound of waves crashing and smashing into the rocks always has a calming effect on me.The relentless endeavour of the river,flowing over all before it has a majestic quality to it that does not fail to uplift my spirits.I perched on the rocks overlooking the river and began jotting away and in the corner of my eye I noticed a young man casting his fishing net into the river just a little further upstream from where I sat.About an hour later he was fishing just in front of me.I noticed how unusual his nets were and I noticed for the first time what a huge haul he had.In that instance he suddenly looked towards me and we exchanged pleasantries,he looked at me with a baffled expression and asked me what I had been doing for the last hour or so,when I told him he was shocked,delighted and bubbling with curiosity,he surprised me by asking to read what I had written.I was talking to a rural fisherman and the last question I expected was interest in some stories being written by a stranger in the english language,the truth is I never imagined a fisherman in any land professing an interest in literature(dare I call my stories literature) but admittedly I have not met many fishermen,perhaps the stereotype which society perpetuates has many more flaws.HE read my writings with rapt attention for about ten minutes then handed my writing pad back and lamented how he has always admired writers.I steered the conversation away from writing by asking him about his strange looking equipment.He then proceeded to explain how traditional methods of fishing work,he then told me how he had modified his nets and how he had worked out what weather patterns were best suited for him to draw large hauls.As he broke down the intricacies of his livelihood he’s comments on writing kept reverberating in my head “I just do not know how you are able to express your thoughts so well,I just do not know how you do it”…he just did,he had just done it.
One of my favourite movie scenes of all time is from a film called the FIREMAN’S BALL,it’s a 1968 Czechoslovakian production.Its a remarkable film and a cinematic masterpiece.The FIREMAN’S BALL as you no doubt guessed is about firemen hosting a ball,it’s a film that tracks the hosting of a fete to honour an 86 year old terminally ill retired fireman.The film follows the events that prompt the ball,the clumsy efforts at organising the event and the hilarious staging of the fete.On the night the ball is staged a barn catches fire,the firemen arrive at the scene of the inferno merely as helpless bystanders as their truck gets stuck in the snow on their way to the rescue,the stand out scene occurs when the elderly proprietor unable to access warm clothing due to the raging fire tells the firemen she is feeling cold,the heroic firemen draw up a chair for her and edge her closer to her burning barn.In essence a solution that surrenders to the problem.Which leads us to Donald Sterling and the NBA.Mister
Sterling is or was the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers until his girlfriend/mistress recorded a private conversation she held with him in which Donald castigates her for..associating with black people,posting pictures of herself in the company of basketball legend Magic Johnson(guilty of being black) on her Instagram account and for having black people as her guests at Clippers matches.The recording of the conversation was leaked to media outlets and the inevitable furore that followed has left Donald as the certified mad hatter villainous character of sports.Clippers’ players staged a silent protest,fellow NBA owners expressed outrage demanded that Donald relinquishes ownership of the Clippers and sell the franchise immediately,he even drew rebuke from President Obama who no doubt relished taking on lesser foes than Vladmir Putin.This saga is packed with so many surreal scenarios you can’t help but expect a news bulletin with admissions that this was all just a hoax,an immature prank and the truth really isn’t stranger than fiction.This whole affair is interwoven by a fine thread of absurdities,irrationalities,illogical reasoning,hypocrisy and unethical practices.Has society regressed so much so that a man can make headlines over WHAT he said in conversation with his mistress rather than the the fact he has a mistress(a fact that i’m sure has not escaped his wife).The taping and airing of a privately held conversation seems to me highly unethical and carries strong hints of entrapment.A hint to prospective NBA franchise owners,if you don’t like the presence of black people perhaps buying a basketball franchise just isn’t the best idea,buying an ice hockey would probably more prudent.The absurdity of Sterling castigating his girlfriend(whose half black) for associating with black people points to a man probably battling a mental illness rather than a man with tightly held prejudices.The leaking of the conversation also led to Donald having a second upcoming honour fom the NAACP being withdrawn(you just have admire the background researchers over at the NAACP).The NBA with the media glare firmly on them had to act decisively and they responded by banning Sterling from any involvement in basketball for life,a life ban for an 80 year old man they might as well handed him a five year ban it basically amounts to the same thing.Sterling has been a franchise owner since 1981 and to suggest that the NBA authorities or previous employees had no idea he held such views would be foisting undue credit to Sterling who clearly demonstrated in conversation with Miss Stiviano(girlfriend/mistress) the callous manner in which he dispenses with his prejudices.The Sterling affair has reignited the debate on race issues but his banishment from the game which will probably earn him close to a billion dollars from the sale of the franchise is merely firemen edging us closer to the barn and leaves major questions unanswered.Just how much information did the NBA have on Donald Sterling’s views(anti-black sentiments from an NBA owner is like a vegetarian buying a steakhouse),is it ethical to moralize and act on evidence accrued through unethical means,AGAIN..applause and recognition to the NAACP who had previously honoured Sterling(a man with a prior conviction for racial discrimination in the distribution of houses he constructed),should the views held by a man in private impact his public position and the million dollar question..what kind of man objects to having his girlfriend/mistress pose for a picture with Magic Johnson?
YOU ARE NEVER AS GOOD AS YOU THINK YOU ARE WHEN YOU WIN,AND YOU ARE NEVER AS BAD AS YOU FEEL WHEN YOU LOSE-JOE PATERNO
As the football season draws to a close and the winners and losers are laid bare,the pretenders and the genuine contenders emerge,hope turns into despair,excitement into angst,expectations into euphoria and the unemployment line stacks on a few extra numbers.Inevitably and predictably damnations are cast on teams which failed to meet expectations,vitriol is smeared on managers who soured our weekends and deprived us of midweek European football nights much too early.Players deemed to have underperformed inspire derision,dismissive opinions and draw more stigma than a leprosy stricken man in the middle ages.Some players receive more hate mail than an incarcerated paedophile,they are threatened with physical harm and hounded on social networks.Tom Cleverly,Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor are a few examples of those forced to close their social network sites to evade the baying public’s animosity towards them.They did not steal christmas,they did not steal the moon nor did they send monsters into children’s dreams,they might have misplaced a pass,over hit a cross or mis timed a tackle or played below expectations but in age confronted by a myriad challenges,in an age without enough heroes,in age with too many villains its mind boggling to realise we reserve societies staunchest criticism for those whose passions,talent and hard work has lead them to be our representatives on the field of play.As sports fans we vicariously live through the efforts and achievements of our chosen heroes.Sports has so many similarities to life but sports is not life and life is not a sport,the torrent of abuse managers,players and match officials are subjected to dilutes the joys the games bring to millions around the world and overlooks the dignity and hard work these men have put into this lifelong pursuit.We live in a cynical world,managers like Arsene Wenger after building a football club complete with a brand new modern stadium and having produced countless world class players not to mention a few titles along the way are spoken of with contempt,derision and tagged a “nearly man” after every stumble in the ferociously intense pursuit for silverware.Wenger’s more creative critics suggest he is only interested in turning out financial profits,this illogical argument is baseless and bankrupt of reason,seventeen years of six am starts and all along Wenger is musing to himself “i dont really want to win just show me the money” never mind that you make more money the more titles you win,never mind that winning players derive higher values on the market,never mind that the Arab and Oilgarch backed clubs do not have a salary budget to adhere to and would jump at the chance to have Wenger managing their clubs.People will clutch at the most fanciful reasons for players’ and managers “underperformance” and yet overlook the obvious.One aspect were life is similar to sports is,often the best laid out plans,the best intentions and herculean dedication can count for nought.No field is exempt from criticism but when that criticism morphs into abuse,personal attacks,character assasinations then the lives of men have become a sport to entertain and distract us from the drudgery of reality.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO FIND THINGS IN THIS GAME THAT DO NOT EXIST BUT FOOTBALL IS ONLY TWO THINGS-BLOCKING AND TACKLING: VINCE LOMBARDI
My mistakes are my life-Samuel Beckett
The most alarming trend in our social lives today is that the greater your misfortune the more suitable YOUR story is to entertain the insatiable baying public.Our consumption of the arts,global news and social culture leans heavily on three question”who got hurt”and “who is to blame” and “how are they to be punished”.The artist gets more exposure than his art,the politician hoard more coverage than their policies,and socialites eke out more publicity than the plight of the societies they are a part of.
Heroes are heroic not because they lose or win but because they are heroic in behaviour-Nassim Taleb
DSTV recently announced that they will be dedicating a twenty four hour channel whose sole purpose is to extensively cover the Oscar Pistorious trial,as an avid sports fan i am acutely aware that Africa has never had a twenty four hour sports channel dedicated to athletics,the irony was not lost on me,Oscar Pistorious by shooting his girlfriend had become bigger than the sport that gave rise to his fame.The hundred meter event remains the center piece of the olympics but it is fair to say athletics remains a sport that does not command a large following,it is well admired but not actively followed,save for Usain Bolt athletics does not posses a global icon who is currently active.That held true until Oscar Pistorious arrived on the scene and not only did he overcome his own disabilities to race in the paralympics he overcame the prejudices of our times by competing against able bodied athletes and came out with a winners medal.In a foot race, conventional thinking lost to courage and Oscar was courage’s ambassador,in the end are we not all striving to defeat the odds,to overcome limits and discard our disabilities and out race our realities?Whatever verdict is reached in Oscar’s trial there is only one certainty in the whole affair,Oscar shot and killed Reeva but the exact details of what transpired or inspired this tragic event died with Reeva Steenkamp.Oscar has become the subject of comedy,fodder for politicians and a stirring reference point for social justice warriors.Some faceless unnamed sources have hinted to journalist that Oscar was a drug cheat and an all round “not a nice guy” ,do we ever truly KNOW the people we cheer for on our screens and at our stadiums,does anybody besides a wife,mother and a couple close truly understand who we really are?Have the lines between the artist and his art been blurred so absolutely that we demand he lives his life as we expect them lest we condemn both him and his art.There is a school of thought that says the difference between a saint and a sinner is that a saint does not view the world through the prism of his shortcomings and sins,whilst a sinner will view everything through the jail of his shortcomings and sins.One gets up to try again the other gets up to discourage others from trying.The Oscar Pistorious who was an ambassador for courage attracted a couple million viewers for his races,the Oscar who goes on trial will draw many times more that number.One group drew motivation from Oscar the other seeks to fortify its own opinions.The Oscar we choose to remember is a reflection of who WE ARE more than who he is.
Every generation,blames the one before,and all of their frustrations,come knocking on your door.Mike and the Mechanics-IN THE LIVING YEARS
My father like most men of his generation seemed endowed with the ability to fix anything,he had the aptitude to take on any challenges and all the while shadowed by a self assurance that has seemingly become a scarce commodity.As a child my father’s abilities seemed limitless and impervious to the notion of defeat and failure.At school when my classmates would exchange tales of their fathers I shared the most elaborate and fanciful stories a prepubescent boy could conjure up,my dad built boeing jumbo jets,my dad was a part time military commando,my dad could have raced Nigel Mansell and won,my dad had been to the moon,my dad had developed cures for unpronounceable exceedingly efficient man killing diseases and my dad had helped design Disney World.Looking back on those conversations I now have a lingering suspicion my classmates considered me an abjectly poor liar but to me those statements were nothing but an expression of what I believed my father COULD do if and when he wished to.Yesterday would have been my late father’s sixty-first birthday and i have now lived a third of my life without his reassuring presence in my life,and yet it seems as though he has never left my side.I still talk/think of landing on the moon,building a fantasy world where children’s imaginations can come to fruition and take flight uninhibited by adult cynicism and fear.I still believe an adult is a grown up who can and will seek out the next challenge simply to defeat it because WE CAN fix anything.I woke up early yesterday morning and when I turned on the radio the song ‘in the living years’ by Mike and the mechanics was playing,as I made my way towards the door my vision got blurry,as my tears ran down my cheeks,they were warm rivulets of sorrow as well as rivulets of gratitude.Next to love there is no greater gift a child can receive than the gift of knowing that no matter what may encumber his progress,block his path he has an innate ability to overcome the obstacles and reach for the impossible,to always work hard and never lose sight of all he is capable of achieving.
I know that I’m a prisoner
To all my father held so dear
I know that I’m hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish i could have told him in the living years
We are what we remember,the less we remember the less we know about ourselves and the less WE are-Calos Ruiz-Zafron
THE PULIS FACTOR
Few spectacles in sports can rival a penalty kick miss in football and when that penalty miss is as horrendous as Puncheon’s against Tottenham Hotspurs with the game level and his side in the ascendancy well it bears a close resemblance to a farce.When Tony Pulis was in charge of Stoke he built a team that was,simply put,HARD to beat,it was courageous,driven and physically dominating,this was achieved whilst playing some of the grittiest,ugliest and man mauling football ever seen.So when Crystal Palace chose Pulis to succeed Ian Holloway the reason was obvious,they were looking to add some backbone their team bring some resilience to their lacklustre performances,for the first fourty-five minutes against spurs they played with such skill,verve and an inventiveness that not only belied their position on the log but was of such high quality you could have thought they were Arsenal or Barcelona in disguise.Did Pulis possess the x factor?Had the tide changed?Had the leopard changed spots?An abysmal penalty that threatened birds flying over the stadium rather than the goal a second half marked by poverty in endeavour and self belief and sadly the mirage fell away,the tide had not changed,Pulis is yet to show the x factor and Palace fans should expect their club to lure a couple out of work rugby players to sign on during the January transfer window.
OFFSIDES AND DIVING
One of the tragedies of football is that a great contest can so often be overshadowed by the ridiculous,inept and just plain dumb officiating by referees.Over the weekend the Newcastle versus Manchester City clash was a fast paced no holds barred exhibition of slick attacking football but the disastrously poor call by the referee to rule out the Chiek Tiote goal as offside was truly unpardonable,four years is more than sufficient time for officials to come to grips with the offside law amendments and yet many matches are marred by dubious calls that play pivotal roles in the outcome of contests.During the Stoke/Liverpool match Raheem Sterling handled the ball with casual ease then went on to take a tumble in the box after a fairly innocuous challenge the barest of contact,he earned his side a penalty and a subsequent goal.Surely with all the technology available football should not be having conversations or accusations[if you are a City or Liverpool fan] when a glance at a screen would suffice to come out with judicious decisions.
To be continually confronted by the same problems is a sure sign of a lack of progress and to continually offer remedies that have no record of success is actively surrendering to your problems.Tony Pulis is a decent manager but precedent has shown that managers thrown in half way through a season,coming in with their own brand of football and philosophy scarcely manage to implement these ideas let alone reap results or survive the dreaded drop.The time for video technology to be actively introduced is long overdue matches should not be decided by the incompetence of referees or by the deceit of competitors.
When the fox walks lame the old rabbit jumps-African Proverb.
The primary skill required in a modern manager is the ability to deal with or rather WITHSTAND the billion opinions being feted out..The traditional media outlets plus the social networks and the quintillion blogs out there have given a voice and a platform to every dissenting thought in the galaxy.Whoever succceded Sir Alex was sure to face pressure,scrutiny and measurement on a scale Sir Alex himself did not encounter,no other sporting club in the world has to deal with this level of intense microscopic attention,you only have to cast your mind back to the month of may and recall the attention given to the retirement of Sir Alex.United’s travails this season have inspired legions of aspiring comedians,delighted long suffering rival fans and left the merchants of doom in a trade boom.David Moyes is a proven manager and the level of scorn he has been subjected to is completely uncalled for and not reflective what he bears responsibility for.The remedies the blogs,media publications and pub experts are advocating for are a a parody of reality.A squad that wins the league by a margin of eleven points does not become mediocre over the course of a summer holiday and a manager who has held his own with good sides assembled on a shoe string budget against teams with budgets which are the envy of most third world nations does not transform into a buffoon overnight.United has very talented young players who have to step up to the challenge of representing Manchester United and it also has ageing/experienced players whose adequate replacements were never found(by Sir Alex) and a creative midfielder deficiency that even the most nominal football fan is aware of.. Six years on and the Scholes replacement is nowhere in sight.All these scenarios and the inevitable different approach Moyes brings has ensured a transition that has brought hope to the vanquished,glee to the vengeful and ressurected many comedians careers.Calls for David Moyes to be sacked may stem from disillusionment and disappointment but they are still DEAD WRONG.David is not blameless but the vocal backing United fans continue to give him at football stadiums is not an endorsement of the current results but a stance of solidarity not with Moyes but with the club culture that has propelled a man of his values to lead this wonderful club.From managing greats like Ginola,Paul Gascoigne and Neville Southall to nurturing talents like Rooney,Barkley and Coleman,David has proven himself for a shrewd operator.Manchester United can boast to have had two managers lead the club for a combined total of fifty years ,this is the kind of support Moyes requires,will receive and most assuredly deserves.David Moyes will not change Man Utd,Man UTD will change David Moyes. In a world of a trillion opinions the true test of leadership is interpreting all the noise and coming out with a solution that is true to your values.