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Manchester United's flops boost Cristiano Ronaldo's ego
Published : 20 Aug 2009 11:50:17
THE HEADLINES THIS LUNCHTIME Phil Brown says Spurs will definitely finish in the top four this season. It'll be crowded up there though, if spanking Hull is all you need to qualify. Portsmouth will not be taken over by Sulaiman Al-Fahim, but they might be taken over by Peter Storrie. The only question is whether that takeover will happen before their relegation is confirmed. And Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has been left out of the Everton squad to face Sigma Olomouc at Goodison Park tonight. --- CAN WE HAVE OUR BULLY BACK? The impossible happened last night – Cristiano Ronaldo’s ego got bigger. C.R.E has been visible from space for quite some time now. But over the last 12 hours it has swollen at a terrifying rate. Indeed, Google’s latest mapping technology indicates that almost 90 per cent of the Iberian Peninsula is now cowering beneath its shadow. Why the rapid growth? Has Madrid’s CR9 boutique bucked the credit crunch to post record sales of shiny white belts? No, look no further than Burnley - home to Alistair Campbell, quite a lot of fascists, and, since last night, 11 seriously popular footballers who have jut beaten Manchester United. Who didn’t enjoy that? Perhaps the fans of Portsmouth and Hull, who would have liked the Clarets' points total to be a big fat zero this morning. For the rest of us though - and for fans of Liverpool, Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea in particular - it was superb. But no one enjoyed it quite as much as Ronaldo. Because Ronaldo knows that every time United stutter, every time they fail to score, and every time they don’t beat the Premier League lesser lights, the reputation of their erstwhile number seven will go up another notch. Because they won games like that when Ronaldo was there. Or they certainly didn’t lose them. Against the three newly promoted teams last season, Ronaldo scored seven goals and United picked up 18 points. He wasn’t solely a bully of lesser teams. But he certainly bullied lesser teams, remarkably well. In fact, given that United generally lost against their main rivals last season, you might even say that Ronaldo’s bullying of lesser teams was the key to their success. And if that suspicion continues to play out this season, then that continent-sized ego could grow bigger still. ---- QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Fate's fate, you can't deny them their victory. Their players have worked their socks off and their fans were fantastic. It was great occasion for them" - Sir Alex Ferguson shows that he can be a gracious loser. In August, at least. BET OF THE DAY: Rapid Vienna to beat Aston Villa @11/4 MUST READ: Rob Kelly on Arsene Wenger's ability to make journalists look very, very silly. MUST WATCH: Robbie Blake has ditched his special pants now he's a proper grown-up, get-a-load-of-me footballer and all that. But we'll let him off if he keeps scoring goals like this.