Man Utd Stars “to Receive Counselling” After Unbiased Refereeing Display – by Rob Atkinson

Michael Oliver ignores Rooney's plea for sanity and dismisses di Maria anyway

Michael Oliver ignores Rooney‘s plea for sanity and dismisses di Maria anyway

It’s an enlightened football club that looks after its players after some major trauma or shock; attending to their emotional well-being instead of merely training them, like sporting automatons, to go out there and just perform, match after match. So we here at Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything are particularly impressed to hear that Man United, long recognised by themselves and the population of Devon and Cornwall as The Greatest Club in the World™, are to arrange counselling for their deeply traumatised players in the wake of Michael Oliver‘s shockingly honest performance during Monday’s FA Cup 6th round home defeat to Arsenal.

The counselling will take the form of gentle reassurance for those who are having doubts about their ability to dive convincingly, whilst Angel di Maria will receive special one-to-one therapy designed to restore his confidence that he can push the referee if he sees fit and do pretty much as he likes, as per his rights as a Man U player and the long-standing traditions of the club.

Some of the younger players are haunted by doubts about their ability to emulate former stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Mark Hughes, both of whom are legendary for spending a large percentage of their playing hours for the Pride of Devon on their respective arses, having performed a perfect swallow dive and double roll, ending up in a position of abject supplication, arms outspread in entreaty, mouth agape, outraged eyes fixed firmly on the referee.

This remains the officially approved method, according to a Theatre of Hollow Myths spokesman, although there is still scope for the “drop dead” method by way of variety, also known as “the sniper in the stand“. But, our contact informed us, the younger ones are feeling rather less comfortable with this approach in the wake of Oliver’s bizarrely unbiased showing on Monday.

“They’re prey to conflicting emotions,” said the Devon official. “Don’t get me wrong, they want to dive – it’s what they’ve been trained for, after all. But some of them are worried that their technique isn’t up there with legends like Ronaldo, Hughes and even current practitioner Ashley Young. Some of these young lads are harbouring thoughts of trying to beat a man and get a shot in, instead of letting their dramatic training do its job and going down like a good’un. Michael Oliver has done a lot of damage here, and all we can do is provide whatever support and reassurance is needed.”

Worse still is the fact that even senior player appear to be having the same doubts and insecurities, something that is reflected in the fact that The Most Fantastic Club in the Entire Universe™ are struggling even to qualify via the Champions League back door. Ashley Young is a case in point. “Yes,” our man admitted, “Youngy is having a really bad time lately. He’s just not playing his natural game. Twice in recent matches, he’s worked himself space inside the area – and then he’s gone and had a shot, bless him, when all his natural instincts as well as his training tell him to hit the turf and scream for a penno. So, instead of helping the team, he’s inevitably scuffing one wide, which looks really poor and, trust me, the boy’s as sick as a parrot. But we’re hoping to help Ashley too, with this restorative therapy programme. It’s what this great club is all about.”

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything was unable to get a reaction from Michael Oliver himself. When we asked his refereeing mentor for a quote, we were told that Michael is currently incommunicado “until the fuss has died down”. It is understood that the “far too honest for his own good” referee will be spending the interim period relaxing in a place where he is unlikely to encounter too many irate Pride of Devon fans, at least until such time as that self-righteous and petulant anger has dissipated. He will therefore be sojourning “somewhere on the Pacific Ocean sea-bed” for the next five years.

Man United themselves have not commented at length on the Michael Oliver controversy, beyond a brief statement to the effect that “This is what happens when we have a ref who wants to make some sort of “fairness” name for himself. We’ll be demanding a Manc ref in the future, it worked up at Newcastle as you all saw, and it’s really for the best all round.”

Adnan Januzaj, 14, who now has as many yellow cards for diving as he does goals in his Man U career, is thought to be the 45th “next George Best”.


23 responses to “Man Utd Stars “to Receive Counselling” After Unbiased Refereeing Display – by Rob Atkinson

  1. wetherby white

    think Id give Michael Oliver man of the match for his performance. Not phased a bit in reffing at a venue where refs and fair play usually fear to tread.
    Where does this man Oliver come from and maybe the FA could build fifty duplicates of him – they’ve got the cash.
    Pride of Devons dead season is a joy to behold, just keep the criminally overated Smalling and Young out of any future England teams and I will be well happy. Only player I cant help but like is the seriously underated Michael Carriick- just wish he’d play for someone else!


    • Oliver has set the standard – if we’d had refs like him doing a job like that in Devon matches between 1993 and 2013 – twenty years of skewed stats – then our old friends the scum wouldn’t have won 25% of what the records show they did.


  2. Love your blog Rob, especially the light hearted anti-scum rants, but please don’t taint all of us who now live in the West Country as being scum fans. There are more Whites supporters down here than you realise, and yes, like myself, we get to see the boys play quite a few times a season, home and away. Keep it up.


    • Truly Kev, I am aware of and have total respect for all the West Country Whites. You can never accuse an out-of-town Leeds fan of being a glory-hunter, and I take my hat off to those guys and girls. But the nature of satire is, you establish a micky-taking image and then you have to stick with it – and, for me, the concept of coaches rolling north from Devon to Old Toilet every fortnight is a very telling one. So, I’m sorry for any discomfort it might cause, but I’m rather committed to it now. Just don’t for a minute imagine that for one second I think of the plastic, armchair-bound glory-hungry and insecure “fans” of Man U in the same way as those hardy individualistic cheery fanatics that lend lustre to the name of Leeds United.


  3. Alan Rhode

    Hey guys, you are being biased in your comments! I really hate ManUtd, but you have to agree that Ferguson was a genuis to get these Manutd rags where they are. Funny article!


    • I’ll take that in the spirit in which it’s doubtless meant 😉


    • He was a genius with his innovative 4-4-3 formation. Forget your 4-4-2 your 4-3-3, your fancy Dan European formations like 3-5-2 and 4-2-3-1. 4-4-3 is the way to win matches on a consistent basis.

      Also has rob has alluded too, modern training techniques involving the cast of coronation street helping with the coaching.


  4. Jean Marc Godin

    Hi Rob, I am a leeds fan from Mauritius. Really appreciate your blog, especially your funny satirical side.


  5. Reality Cheque

    Spot on Rob, very amusing but actually quite true. If my memory serves me well (despite increasing senior moments!), wasn’t it as a result of the scum repeatedly getting in referee’s face’s en masse and shoving refs that the footballing authorities had to legislate that only captains could make verbal appeals to referees following any disputed decisions?

    It does appear that former footballers employed as commentators and pundits are still struggling to come to terms with the fact that referees must act fairly despite officiating matches involving the scum as the initial reaction to Di Mario being sent off for grabbing and tugging the referee from behind was, “I think that was a bit harsh, the ref’s being a bit petty there”!!! Any other team and the commentators would have been in outrage and suggesting an immediate lengthy ban.

    Its gonna take a few more years to change the media’s mind set after two decades of cowering to the Glaswegian bully. Michael Oliver was defo MOM for me and was consistently fair throughout, including his decision not to award Arsenal a soft penalty. Respect!!


    • I think that’s right as regards the media who, as an entity, are always more comfortable with the cosy and familiar preconceptions they’re used to. That will take some turning around – but it’s encouraging to see that the actual authorities are showing signs of waking up to the fact that Uncle Nasty is really gone and they don’t have to be afraid any more. And, as I’ve said before and will again – it puts those so-called “Fergie Glory Years” in the harsh glare of a particularly cruel and revealing light. It was all SO bent.


  6. You need to write books Rob, an enjoyable read

    On Adnan Januzaj…..I have a bug bear there…….he looks an amazing talent but hes stagnating at Man U, perhaps because of Van (lets buy a hundred foreign mercenaries and then scratch my head in disbelief when the club goes off the rails ) Gaal…….

    If Fergie had stayed on, he’d have cleaned out the lower division of all its youth. The likes of Delph, Cook, Kane, Bale would all be top of his shopping list. I hated him but have to admit old red nose knew what he was doing. Mourinio is a paradox, a unique freak…….. for every other side in England, consistent world domination normally requires good youth development or atleast a back bone of British talent……….players who’d still be motivated on a wet windy day at Cambridge FC in the CUP

    The great danger to Leeds development is now Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool. No doubt he will be eyeing up our kids before long


    • e.g Arsenals best recent period came when they still had Adams, Keown, Parlour lifting the side when the foreigners didn’t fancy it


    • He was casting a beady eye over our kids at Wigan, wasn’t he?


      • One thing in our favour if the club show ambition, is compared to most championship sides there’s a Stature in playing for Leeds (possibly forest too)

        Now we hopefully have the money side sorted out, we only really need to worry about the likes of Liverpool, chelski, the manure, man city & arsenal. If we look like going up can’t see players leaving for smaller premiership sides. Well the homegrown talent at least.


      • That’s true – we might be in a good place to keep hold of the family jewels this time, with the fat cats shopping abroad.


  7. 1st man on the moon, JFK, John Lennon, the Twin Towers and now Michael Olivers MOTM performance on Monday evening…one of those unforgettable moments that (non Scum supporting) people will always remember where they were!


  8. king sniffer

    Excellent Rob. I think Oliver should have got man of the match. That’s got to be the greatest performance by a ref in the cauldron of smugness, and lets hope it proves to be a shining beacon for others to follow. Rooney remains unbelievable. If he paid as much attention to actually trying to play the game instead of attaching himself to the ref’s shoulder,their results might improve. As per your previous article, they are so used to the majority of decisions going their way, the Arsenal game must have been like a living nightmare for them. Well lets just hope this particular bogeyman is not going to go back into their wardrobe. MOT


  9. Another excellent blog, Chareose is right put them all down into a book……Diary of a yorkshireman?….but thats been done….a tale of two Uniteds?


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