To Sir Alex – with many thanks from Barcelona

There are few things in this world that gives more satisfaction than watching an innocent, starry eyed child develop into a mature, successful man. It can happen in any walk of life but more so in football where there are relatively few opportunities in a dog eat dog environment. One such man is Spain and Barcelona central defender Gerard Pique who came to Manchester United from the Spain as a 17 year old and stayed four years before returning home. At the age 24 he is now a World Cup, twice Champions League, twice La Liga and a Premier League winner yet he still rates those early years at Old Trafford under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson as immensely critical to his success.

Football justice has to be just for all

Manchester United Youth team captain Paul Pogba stepped up to take a penalty during the FA Youth Cup quarter final against Liverpool at Anfield. The spot kick was successfully converted but referee David Coote judged him to have feinted during his run up. The giant midfielder received a yellow card in accordance with ‘Fifa rules’, and being his second one of the game, was sent off despite furious protests. Now cast your mind back to the Jamie Carragher vicious tackle on Nani at the same ground seven days earlier.