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United’s Dutch connection


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Piers Barber

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And so the inevitable finally becomes a reality. Louis van Gaal is the new Manchester United manager, an unsurprising but highly important piece of news which will prove vital to the future of the Old Trafford club. He will leave his current job – as boss of his national side, the Netherlands – following the conclusion of his team’s involvement in this summer’s World Cup.

Yet the Netherlands – the home of legal weed, Total Football and a loads and loads of flat land – has produced surprisingly few players who have gone on to star for Manchester United. Only eight, in fact, one of whom is Alexander ttner, a player so raw, excitable and defensively shaky it seems likely he won some sort of scarcely publicised competition to win brief ownership of the No.28 shirt at Old Trafford. Read the full story

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Why Did It Have To Be A Relief At The End?


A big sigh of relief at the end of the game but why did we have to sigh at the end when it was so comfortable for so long in the match? It was because once Manchester United took a 2 goal lead, United decided to take the foot off the pedal and instead of passing forwards, United decided to pass sideways instead. United could have scored three maybe four maybe if United had decided to keep attacking and keep up the pressure on Liverpool. At the end of the match, we cannot help but feel satisfied and extremely delighted to have beaten our hated and hostile rivals, Liverpool in one of the most eagerly awaited matches of the English and world football calendar. I think all of us, Manchester United fans, could relate with Patrice Evra’s celebration at the end of the match because that is how we felt and given a choice, we might do the same. Read the full story

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Irrational exuberance, football fans and the Mona Lisa!


What do footballers and football fans have in common with the Mona Lisa? Well I wouldn’t be asking the question if the answer wasn’t “something”, would I now?

In his book Irrational Exuberance, the Yale economist Robert Shiller explains how the inherent psychological characteristics of human beings and their application to social situations and, well, life, cause irrational stock market and housing market bubbles, with a bubble being where an asset (such as a share in a company or a house) is valued at an amount that is greater than what it is actually worth (think of the famous Tulip-mania in 17th century Holland, those silly Dutch buggers).

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