This will be my final piece of 2011 – yes, I am well aware that there’s still about 8 days left and that some would do a dozen or so pieces in that time, but alas, I am busy from here on out. I am off to Ireland for nigh on two weeks as of the 26th and shan’t return to the laptop until the second week in January.
In the new year I shall kick on with the Welcome To The Jungle blog series, which started with a piece on the Juan ‘and only’ Mata. I shall chronicle the likes of Gervinho and De Gea in the first couple of weeks upon my return.
It has been an interesting year, for clubs and country, with Utd regaining the Premier League and Shamrock Rovers retaining their league crown in Ireland. Its not been perfect for either club, with Utd losing badly to City and Rovers losing manager Michael O’Neill after the Spurs game – apparently something behind the scenes wasn’t right, which is a sad way for such a magical journey to end. Utd also got comprehensively outgunned by Barca in the Champions League final in May, at Wembley, which makes things a tad worse – its all very well saying ‘we lost to the best team in the world’ but we should never just accept defeat, not at Utd. Anyways, things have improved since the derby, at least domestically, and the Red Devils are only two points shy of free-spending City. I am not going to mention Europe beyond this one sentence. As for Rovers, the future is a tad unclear despite retaining the league, with financials dictating what will happen in the close season. I shall report more on this once it becomes clearer in early 2012.
On the international front it was a tremendous year for Ireland, with Trap’s men qualifying for Euro 2012. Even if our group looks impossible to get out of, the main thing is that Ireland are there, at an international tournament for the first time in ten years. Bravo to Trap and the boys in green. Moving on. ….
The year 2011 has not ended on a good note for football, with racism and bigots coming to the fore – a problem that seems set to drag on until we have a definitive take on the Suarez and Terry cases, so I expect this season to be remembered for those two incidences, whether that is right or wrong. People seem blinded by the club they support, which saddens me. Loyalty should not come before morals.
For 2012 I’d like to see a properly united stance against racism.
Happy holidays to one and all. May we see each other on the other side.