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Spineless, Hypocrite Holt Joins Fergie Love Fest

Oliver Holt, the journalist for The Mirror who has won Sports Writer of the Year on two occasions, is believed to be a bitter blue. The Manchester man started his career at the Liverpool Echo and has spouted rubbish about United ever since. His write ups on United, particularly during the 2005 period, when apparently we were “in decline” like Liverpool after the 1980s, have irked me tremendously.

Like most United fans, blinded by their love for the club, I couldn’t help but think that the image of our team portrayed by the media was different to reality. We weren’t great but surely it wasn’t all over for Sir Alex Ferguson and United?

In the summer of 2006, preceding the season United won the league for the first time since 2003, Oliver Holt showed little respect for our manager.

If United want to muster more of a challenge to Chelsea next season, the last person – after Wayne Rooney – that they should be selling is van Nistelrooy. Selling him would be a huge step backwards and a massive blow to the club. Does Ferguson seriously expect anyone else to believe that the injury-prone Louis Saha is a better bet next season than a goal machine like van Nistelrooy. If he does, then his judgement is waning faster than everybody thought. Ferguson thinks there is no need to buy a new forward when he rids himself of Ruud van Nistelrooy. The theory is that he will be OK with Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Alan Smith and Giuseppe Rossi. Which is fine, apart from the fact that Rooney’s got a dodgy temperament, Saha’s injury prone, Solskjaer’s played seven league games in the past three years, Smith has never been a natural goalscorer and Rossi’s not ready.

Wayne Rooney scored 23 goals, Louis Saha scored 15 goals, Solskjaer scored 11 goals, and United finished 6 points ahead of Chelsea, scoring 19 more goals than them.

A few months later, with United standing top of the table and Ferguson about to celebrate his 20th year in charge, Holt had more to say about our manager.

Next Monday, Sir Alex Ferguson will celebrate 20 years in charge of Manchester United. In some ways, I’d like to join in the accompanying orgy of back-slapping and misty-eyed remembrance. But I can’t. I’m happy to acknowledge that after Bob Paisley and Brian Clough, Ferguson has been one of the most successful and brilliant managers in English football history. But like celebrating his pal Tony Blair’s 10 years as prime minister next May, Fergie’s anniversary amounts to nothing more than a lazy and meaningless ballyhoo for a man who has stayed on too long. Whatever United go on to achieve this season or in seasons to come, nothing changes the fact that Ferguson should have quit in 2002 when he said he was going to quit. But then, depending on what you want to believe, his nerve failed him, his wife got to him or he found out how much Sven Goran Eriksson was going to be earning as his replacement. And so he made one of the worst and weakest decisions of his life and decided to stay on. In the four years that have elapsed since, his legacy has been irrevocably tarnished…The European dynasty Ferguson vowed to found never materialised. The win in the Nou Camp in 1999 was a one-hit wonder.

When I read these write ups from the journos across the broadsheets and tabloids, I hoped one day we could see them forced to eat their words. I desperately wanted United to bring back the glory days and leave these bitter journalists red-faced.

In the six years since Ferguson went back on his decision to retire in 2002, United have won 3 league titles, 1 European Cup, 1 FA Cup and 1 League Cup. Has Holt got the balls to comment on the fact he said that Fergie’s tenure at United had been “irrevocably tarnished”? Is he man enough to admit he was mistaken in saying that it was wrong for Fergie to stay on and it didn’t matter what United went on to achieve after 2002? What do you think…

“If there’s one thing Ferguson doesn’t need to worry about any more, it’s the applause,” said Holt in Friday’s paper. “It’ll never die out. Not for him. Not now. Because on Thursday, he erased the last quibble about his greatness as a manager by winning the Champions League for a second time. There weren’t many doubts anyway. He has led Manchester United to 10 Premier League titles and established himself as the leading British manager of his generation.”

Weren’t many doubts? Oliver Holt was the biggest doubter of them all.

“Most great managers win trophies in concentrated bursts,” he continued. “Brian Clough won his European Cups in 1979 and 1980. Bob Paisley won his in 1977, 1978 and 1981. But Ferguson has spread his triumphs over nine years. What does that say about him? It says that he’s a relentless man. That he never rests. That he never stops striving for self-improvement. That he craves success. It also says that he loves the game. That he lives and breathes it. And that he is not afraid of change. That he has the ruthlessness required to keep on winning.”

Wow. How someone could be so glaringly hypocritical amazes me.

You know when you’ve been down the pub and you’ve had a few too many? You’ll slur your way in to some argument you didn’t want to get in to, but by the time you realise you’re talking bollocks, you’re already in too deep. You can’t back down now, so you’ll keep going, digging a deeper hole to try and get yourself out of in countless future sober occasions. However, no matter how hard you try to play down your once die hard assertions, you’ll have people there all too happy to remind you of the nonsense you were talking. You have to take the shame of claiming Djemba-Djemba could have been a great player or that you wouldn’t want Cesc Fabregas at United even if he came on a free…

However, in Oliver Holt’s world, where he spouts out nonsense followed by more ABU nonsense, he seems to think he can spend ten minutes writing out some generic, eulogy-esque, arse kissing drivel, and pretend like he hasn’t slated Sir Alex Ferguson time and again. Pretend he didn’t say that Fergie was capable of just a one hit wonder in Europe. Pretend he didn’t say that it was irrelevant what Fergie won after 2002 because he’d stayed on too long.

Well Fergie and his supporters got the last laugh on this one, even if Holt is too spineless to admit he’s one of the doubters we’re all laughing at.

Numquam Moribimur

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Anant says:

    he’s still a little cunt . up there with the people i hate most — like peter kenyon , gaby heinze , special one mourinho .

  2. RedAddict says:

    journalists, i shit ‘em.

  3. nagraj says:

    ill add the entire loserfool team plus dogbra and mikel to that list anant

  4. Simmo says:

    Holt is nothing more than an essay in cowardice. Like most of his ilk he believes that his point of view is somehow more important than that of the average man in the street. His smugness knows no bounds and in that he is at the right paper. Horrible little small minded fool who’s only talent is being able to sling a few words together regardless of whether they make sense or not!!

  5. Martin S. says:

    Never heard of that journalist before, but I reckon many hold him as a good journalist, because as we all know: People know United play the best football in Europe but people can’t admit it because our successes have been so many and to much for non-United fans for the recent 15 years.

    But we’re United and we have to live with being hated, because we’re the best and we support the team that bring the most emotions out of people.

  6. mo says:

    hear, hear! and hes not the only one , alan green, eamon dunphy etc.

  7. pet says:

    Whic club does he support anyway? why doesnt he kep all that crap to him self? as MAN U supporters we have no problem with SAF so let him go to Hell

  8. jimmy Bob says:

    the guy hates saf and hates untd he could hardly not admit he had been a idiot when he wrote that garbage and in his book second is nowhere he is even more scathing of SAF

    the guy is a poor journo with an even poorer knowledge of football , glad to see fergie shut him up

  9. Charlie Camenzuli-Malta says:

    Sometimes people like Mr Holt are very lucky to be paid just to show their readers how stupid they are in that particular matter (In this case things that are related to S.A.F. and Man Utd) Here in Malta we’ v got these kind of journalists who will be the first to triger the gun against United and his name is James Calvert who writes on the Times of Malta. The only way these fools are fucked up is when we ignore them and let them get paid for writing rabbish ! I thing Mr Holt in England and Mr Calvert in Malta at the moment are banging their heads to the wall. So come on UNITED, let’s make them look stupid again next season.

  10. Bee says:

    After reading his previous article, its amazing how 120minutes of football and a CL trophy later, a man’s thoughts can be totally changed.

  11. Stephen says:

    The man is a total fool. Unfortunately we live in an ABU world, how many ex Liverpool players and followers are in our media at the moment.

    BBC – Alan Hanson/Mark Lawrenson

    Sky- Jamie Rednapp/Phil Thompson

    ITV- Jim Beglin

    That is just on the TV. Yes maybe a little paranoid on my behalf, but you get very little ex United players in the media.

  12. suhayl says:

    true point stephen…fuckin media have southern arse lickers ala wilkins or dippers like redkanpp…

    fucking biased twats esp wilkins and redknapp…..they foam and spunk up at every opportunity to talk about dips or rboys

  13. Eugene says:

    Remember you only won the Cl by default . KTBFFH.

  14. Scott the Red says:

    Euguene – default? Someone really ought to explain the purpose of a penalty shoot out to these jonnycomelately’s supporting CFC.

  15. Eugene says:

    Hi , Scott the Red , I am very well aware of the purpose of the penalty kick ,the point I am making is you got lucky again same against Bayern Munich ,outplayed but got two flukey late goals . By the way not every Chelsea supporter is a “Johnny come lately” this one is supporting them since 1965 and I have seen the lot !

  16. Scott the Red says:

    Eugene – Do you really think you’re in a position to talk about lucky goals? Chelsea’s only goal of the game was the luckiest I’ve seen all season. Had the ball not taken two deflections from United defenders and Van der Sar not slipped, there would have been no penalty shoot out in the first place! Oh the irony.

  17. Eugene says:

    Scott , Oh the Irony ! Van de Sar slipped indeed ! It was a slip that handed you the CL.

  18. Scott the Red says:

    Eugene – pay attention. If Van der Sar hadn’t have slipped after the ball took a deflection off two of our players, there wouldn’t have been a penalty shoot out. JT wouldn’t have slipped, Anelka wouldn’t have bottled it, the game would have been won 1-0. JT’s slip is irrelevant (particularly when considering he kicked the ball before he fell over anyway) because he wouldn’t have been in that position had it not been from Chelsea’s luck just before half time.

    Good luck or bad luck, Champions and winners make their own luck. We scored all but one of our penalties and you missed two. Are we lucky that you bought Anelka? Are we lucky that Drogba is a class a cunt and got himself sent off? Chelsea’s inability to win does not make United lucky.

    Congrats on the Treble btw.

  19. Eugene says:

    Scott , I,m afraid a Red mist has has descended not only over your eyes but has infiltrated your brain as well .

  20. Scott the Red says:

    Eugene – well done for bowing out. When you start making personal digs and forget about the football, you’re waving the white flag. Ta ra.

  21. les marteaux says:

    Whilst wholeheartedly agreeing that Oliver Holt is a cunt, the stuff he has written about Manchester United, admittedly garbage, pales into insignificance when you see the rubbish he writes about West Ham. He takes every opportunity to rubbish us, and his comments are vindictive and spiteful. He even intimated that Manchester United threw the game against United, when Tevez scored the winnner for the Hammers, and made out that West Ham reciprocated the gesture the following year, when Manchester United were chasing the title again. Many of his anti-United comments are because he ghost writes for the odious Warnock who took Sheffield United by playing rubbish down and blamed it on The Hammers.


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