Ginola offers a novel remedy for struggling United’s manifest woes

It was that kind of weekend, teams of sundry codes producing deathly displays

Manchester United manager David Moyes shows his dejection as he leaves the pitch following his side’s   FA Cup defeat tot Swansea City   at Old Trafford, Manchester. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA

Manchester United manager David Moyes shows his dejection as he leaves the pitch following his side’s FA Cup defeat tot Swansea City at Old Trafford, Manchester. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA

Mon, Jan 6, 2014, 12:00

Daveed Ginola’s English is, need it be said, infinitely superior to the sprinkling of French that most of us possess, bien sur, but still, sometimes his thoughts get lost in translation, not least after Manchester United’s latest hiccup yesterday.

Owen Hargreaves offered a sober analysis on BT Sport of where it’s all going catastrophically wrong, Neil Warnock offering Warnockisms which are always entertaining, if not terribly enlightening.

After Owen shared his views on United’s “lack of consistency”, which was the polite way of saying they’re complete muck, Daveed offered his cure for their woes: “You need to have a death also in ze team.”

Owen and Neil’s faces suggested they thought that was a little extreme, even if Old Trafford would have concurred, perhaps suggesting 11 expirations were required after that performance, the post-Fergie United so chilled now that the fella who threatened a transfer to Peterborough if he didn’t get 110 per cent is marooned in the stands, watching their muck. So they’re luxuriating in the freedom of not having to give even 64-ish per cent under the new kid they don’t fear.

That and not having a midfield is the death also in ze team.

But, Jake Humphrey shifted a little uncomfortably in his seat, appreciative that Daveed had turned a punditry corner so sharp he made Roy Keane seem Alan Shearer-ish, but a touch concerned by the death wish.

Except when you played it back and used BT Sport subtitles, “death” became “depth”, Daveed omitting the ‘p’ in an unfortunately lethal manner.

But it was that kind of sporting weekend, teams of sundry codes producing deathly displays.

A case in point: “It was,” said Roy Keane on ITV after Arsenal saw off their noiseless neighbours in the FA Cup, “a typical Spurs performance – they’ll always let you down.”

Harsh, perhaps, but possibly true, although if the Tott-ing-ham Army was feeling disconsolate, they should have had a word with their Barmy cousins in Sydney.

David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd: “Outside edge! Gone! Australia 5-0!” And that was it.

Whitewashed. Although pink was the colour of the day, in honour of Jane, the late wife of the legend that is Glenn McGrath, who died from breast cancer in 2008. A glorious sea of pink it was too in the stadium, even the wickets were of that hue, and the Aussies honoured her memory in a pretty darn spectacular style.

Team huddle after the moment of triumph, and then their tune:
“Beneath the Southern Cross I stand.
A sprig of wattle in my hand,
A native of our native land,
Australia you ****in’ beauty!”

Bumble apologised for the fruity language picked up by the fearless Aussie mics, but such was his despair you sensed he would have used fruitier language still if permitted to describe England’s “CAPITULATION!!!”

Mike Atherton: “England flattened, steamrollered, humiliated.” Bumble: “Disgraceful from England.”

Andrew Strauss: “It’s just depressing.”

Ian Botham: “Embarrassed. They got hammered throughout the series, they’ve been bullied. Spineless. If it was a boxing match, it would have been stopped weeks ago.”

An awesome day for Australia, but in the awesome sporting stakes, that Ronan O’Gara documentary will be severely hard to top in 2014.

Just brilliant.

“The highs don’t ever match the lows, that’s the whole thing – avoiding lows,” he said of his career, and you couldn’t but conclude there’s something in the Cork water, sensing Roy was at home howling “EXACTLY!” at his telly.

If you missed it, watch it on the RTÉ player. It was a beautiful, absorbing and utterly revealing profile of one of our sporting greats. We might have celebrated his greatest of days, but he was just eaten with worry that the next one mightn’t be so good.

A different breed, these fellas. Thing is, after a bad day they would feel “you need to have a death also in ze team” to put things right.

Which is probably why they were as great as they were.

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