Despite having been forecast a weekend of rain, today was the first we saw of it, and we have pink cheeks from yesterday’s afternoon in the sun at the national stadium to prove it. We were treated to a bizarre rendition of “Glory, Glory, Man United” ahead of kick-off yesterday, with an old guy wearing a ‘Chicharito 14’ shirt dropping to his knees to belt it out. Maybe the heat sent him funny. Bryan Robson was interviewed and was told he was like Elvis. “I wish I was like Elvis,” he replied. Maybe the sun effected us all.
We splashed out £15 a head for one of those hop on, hop off bus tours today, which is decent enough seeing as though you get transport around the city all day and never have to wait longer than ten minutes. We started the day at Vigeland Sculpture Park which is full of sculptures by Gustav Vigeland which show the ‘human condition’. They’re all naked. Men beating their wives, laughing children, hugging couples and so on. The only sculpture that isn’t naked is the one he did of himself.
Our next stop was the Fram Museum which is all about polar exploration, looking particularly at explorers Nansen, Sverdrup and Amundsen. It was particularly interesting reading about Captain Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition to the Antarctic, if not fairly depressing.
In between looking at the impressive new Opera House, City Hall (where the Nobel Peace Prize is handed out every year), the Royal Castle and Oslo Parliament, I was able to take a few minutes to scan for any United related news. After Bob Cass’ “exclusive” about Lucas Moura’s medical with us on Sunday, reports from Brazil claimed PSG had a €40m bid accepted today. The Daily Mail quickly followed suit and cleaned up after Cass’ mistake, claiming the national team wouldn’t release Lucas for the medical. Hmmm. Surely this would be an obstacle United would have overcome before Sir Alex Ferguson cancelled his trip to Oslo and the club booked in a medical… Lucas’ agent has since claimed that no deal has been made with either club. Maybe Ferguson is using Cass to create a smokescreen so we can get our intended business wrapped up. Van Persie? The Baines talk has dried up in the press.
Whilst Lucas looks cracking on YouTube, as most players with a compilation on there do, an article by a neutral expert on Brazilian football has made me question the decision for us to spend £30m so frivolously. This kid is nowhere near the complete package so why spend such an incredible amount of money on him? Let’s not forget that Kleberson was in Brazil’s World Cup winning squad but, at £6m, was a gamble worth taking. Essentially, you have to trust the boss, but if we keep Nani and don’t sign Lucas, I will be happy enough.
The other United related transfer news was seeing that Ravel Morrison, former future United legend, has been shipped off to Birmingham on loan. He played just 9 minutes for West Ham in the half season he spent there, with the London club believing his potential was worth £1m, despite his attitude problems. Morrison’s career isn’t over but West Ham have obviously learnt, as United did, that right now he is not ready to make the sacrifices required to be a professional footballer. Despite claims that Morrison’s head was turned by more money or more playing time, the truth is United grew tired of his bad attitude and failure to turn up for training. After giving him way more chances than would be afforded to someone less talented, enough was enough, and they didn’t offer him a new deal. He will have been told of that ultimatum time and again, but he wasn’t bright enough or mature enough to do something about it. That’s why we moved him on to West Ham and, more than likely, that is why he is now at Birmingham.
They like a bad boy in Birmingham though, with both Jermaine Pennant and Lee Bowyer recently on their books. Now they boast the “talent” of Marlon King who has convictions for 14 offences. Assault, wounding with intent, sexual assault, theft, fraud, drink driving and speeding are amongst the crimes he’s been found guilty of, having served two prison sentences. He is on the sex offenders register and broke a 20-year-old girl’s nose after punching her in the face. Who needs the guidance of Paul Scholes when you can find a role model like King, eh Ravel? Whilst some United fans have taken a strange pleasure in his latest fall from grace, I suggest we just let him get on with it. He will never be the player he could have been and that is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life. We don’t need to be gleeful about that.
I will be back in Manchester tomorrow, after checking out the Ice Bar. Oslo is a nice city and a place I would probably have never seen if not for United. The things this club does for us eh…
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.