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The Week That Was

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Wednesday saw the British, well English, media backtracking furiously to prove they knew it all along. Manchester United’s current lot isn’t the greatest team ever, they told us. That’s Barcelona! Despite spending the previous few weeks pontificating on how many the Red Devils would put past Barca’s makeshift defence.

A particular favourite was El Tel’s scarily accurate analysis in the Daily Mail: “If it does come down to Messi against Ronaldo, well, Messi is one of the best players in the world, but give me Ronaldo. Messi is wonderful on the right but Ronaldo is terrific on the right, the left and through the middle as well. He also scores goals with his head, which Messi couldn’t do even if they put a top hat on him,” said ex-Barca manager Venables (credit: the Spoiler).

We’re sure you’ve read more than enough analysis on the game itself so we’ll not bother adding (too much) of our uninformed two-penneth on why it went wrong for United. On the night they were slightly under-par and beaten by the better team and that’s that. Go behind to Barcelona and you’re in trouble. Next year they might turn Barca over, who knows?

After all of that you’d be forgiven for thinking nothing else happened last week, far from it obviously. Newcastle’s 16 year run in the top flight came to an end following a pretty lifeless 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa while Boro’s expected relegation was confirmed at Upton Park.

Meanwhile Hull City boss Phil Brown continued his ongoing campaign to dispel any early-season goodwill he generated by leading an on field chorus of ‘We Are Staying Up’. All that aside though, congratulations to Hull City FC for surviving their first season in the Premier League. 

Sunderland were keen to get in on the act too with chairman Niall Quinn joining Ricky Sbragia in a post-match interview about as far removed from the vote of confidence as it is possible to get. It’s sort of like getting told off by the headmaster isn’t it?

On to the play-offs and next season’s final Premier League team were confirmed as Burnley pipped Sheffield United to the post. Considering the Clarets remarkable form against top-flight opposition this season – they’ve beaten Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and WBA – we’re sure they’ll be up for it next year.

A big round of applause to Burnley chairman Barry Killby, a lifelong fan, who pledged all existing season ticket holders a FREE one this season if they were promoted. It’s a remarkable gesture and shows his commitment to the club. There’ll be more on this in tfs 016 due for release in the next week. Join the FSF and receive your copy free and to your door six times per year.

Congratulations are also in order to Scunny and Gillingham FC both of whom triumphed in their respective play-offs. Well done to all the play-off winners and commiserations to the losers.

Last week’s FSF Daily Mirror column looked at the heartbreak of administration, read Voice of the Fans here.

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