This was the season when Sir Alex Ferguson's long-held wish to qknock Liverpool off their f**king perch' was made flesh. A season so successful that even European Cup Final defeat to Barcelona couldn't fully diminish the club's achievements. Justin Blundell tells the story of United's triumphs in a punchy, rabidly red-eyed review of every single match and goal. In the wake of the euphoria of Moscow it would have been excusable to regard what followed as an extended hangover. Yet the newly crowned European Champions became World Champions in December following their successful trip to the Far East and when they added the Carling Cup in March they held every honour possible excepting the FA Cup. All this despite a close season dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo's courtship by Real Madrid. This two month long tabloid extravaganza, coming just weeks after United's Moscow triumph, was only settled in mid-August. Then there was possibly the most unpredictable and sensational transfer deadline day in history -- if Manchester City's take-over by Arab billionaires beggared belief, their subsequent attempts to sign any and every player in Europe left the old order reeling. The attempts to de-rail Dimitar Berbatov's Ap30m move to United worried Sir Alex enough for him to pick the Bulgarian up from the tarmac of Manchester airport in his Audi A8. The season that followed had it's own sensations - Chelsea leading and falling away before Liverpool appeared to pull decisively away only for Rafa Benitez's infamous 'fact' rant to unwittingly de-rail them. By the time the rivals met in early March, many assumed that a United win would close out the title. Instead, Liverpool shocked the hosts 4-1, a defeat compounded by another loss at Fulham a week later. It took Frederico Macheda to rescue wins against Villa and Sunderland to keep United a step ahead before a cagey nil-nil with Arsenal confirmed United's 18th record equalling championship. In Europe, Ronaldo confi rmed his standing as the best player in the world by almost single-handedly hauling United into another fi nal. This time, shorn of the industry of Darren Fletcher, United were no match for the Catalans in a game that proved to be the Portuguese's swansong. Written with an eye for the humour and pomposity surrounding the modern game, Justin Blundell brings the matches, goals and managerial spats back to life. From the Ronaldo transfer saga to the despair of defeat in Rome, this is an entertaining, minute-by-minute guide to the matches that really mattered. It contains the season's best quotes from the likes of Ferguson and Benitez to Paddy Crerand and Mickey Thomas. Far from following the tired blueprint of statistics and dry match reports, q18 Timesq is a book for everyone who lives and breathes United, not just on match day but every single day.Justin Blundell tells the story of Uniteda#39;s triumphs in a punchy, rabidly red-eyed review of every single match and goal. In the wake of the euphoria of Moscow it would have been excusable to regard what followed as an extended hangover.
|Title||:||18 Times & That's a Fact|
|Publisher||:||Gardners Books - 2009-11-05|