A new lease, to a Portuguese-Not a poem.

Tormenting. Stormy. Flawed. Chaotic. One could use a large variety of derogatory terms to describe Manchester United’s last four years. The Chosen One, The Boring One (Yes . I just made that one.) and The Special One. All the Ones have tried, and have failed. At least for the time being. Moyes lost a lot of matches. Van Gaal won matches but the style of play was too ‘sideward’. And now José is drawing every match he can find. So let me pose to you, a question. If three, more or less world-class managers have tried and failed to get to the expectations of the fans, then does that tell you about the managers or the team? Probably a wrong question…… Um.. Yes. Forget I ever wrote this.

Possibly all this failure can be credited to a few wrong turns by all the managers. David Moyes let go of some good players. Van Gaal bought some very uninteresting players. And Mourinho has kept his tactics defensive at best. But I also suppose that the fans still live in a dream that is no longer possible. Football has become more equal. No longer, are the big clubs dominating the leagues as they used. And one of the most equal and unpredictable leagues in the world is the Premier League. So I believe it would be foolish to criticize them, if they don’t end up winning the Europa League. So what if we don’t play the Champions League? We’ll get it next year. Those who don’t play in Europe are doing pretty well, in the league.

In fact I feel , if we lose the final in Stockholm, next year, we should give up on the Europa League and focus on the PL. Perhaps we could end up winning it. So, in fact Man United is actually brilliantly positioned for the future. Winning or losing the final isn’t going to decide the future of José. He’s going to be the manager regardless.

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There can be no talk of a club managed by José Mourinho without talking about, José Mourinho. He was the Special One. He became the Happy One, and now he is the Calm One.  He’s been changing the Ones for a while now. And he doesn’t seem to be the same charming Portuguese who sauntered his way into English football, and had everyone completely under his spell. Gone are his witty retorts, his funny little insults and his eye twinkling smile. He’s become The Ebenezer Scrooge  of the Premier League. The frowns, the kicking bottles, the sending offs, all of them add to his Scrooge routine. He’s become the grumpy old uncle with whom nobody wants to converse.

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But enough about him. United are on the cusp of becoming great again. They are playing wonderful football, even though very drab in recent times. The back passes and Cruyff turns are running amok at Old Trafford. One thing that is not, is the goal scoring. Missing sitters is what ails the patient that Manchester United. And Dr. Mourinho hasn’t done much to cure it. Ibrahimovic and Rashford bring down the temperature for a while but then again it worsens. And in recent times, even the antibodies have reduced their potency. The defence may start to leak goals. United only beat Celta Vigo, because some City old-timer missed kicking the ball from 5 yards out.  So MU are riding this Europa League wave on sheer luck. And probably because of City. Also, Manchester United have given up all hopes of finishing in the top four. If this had been the immediate season after of Sir Alex’s retirement, José would have been fired already, like Moyes had been. But since then United fans have become a bit more mature. They have realized that they no longer can dominate football like they used to.  And hence allow more leeway and more time for a manager to get settled in.

So as I was saying a few paragraphs ago, this season is not a total failure. In fact I don’t think it is a failure at all. We are in the final of a European Cup(albeit the second tier), we won the EFL Cup, and we were undefeated for 25 odd games in the Premier League. So  all this adds up to a very good season indeed. Hopefully we can end the season very well,  and with the last piece of the Trophy jigsaw filled in.

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GordonW

Doctor Who-X: The story so far.

SPOILER ALERT!
The following content will / may contain precious information about said episode which should not be learnt by reading a review. ( So to be clear, should be learnt by watching the episodes.)
This SPOILER ALERT was brought to you by Gordon Watson.

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The tenth season of this very Scottish,British show began with a clean slate on the 15th of April . And in the weeks that have followed, we’ve visited rubbish robots from the ‘future’,  rather than the ‘dawn of time’. We’ve visited the biggest fish the Thames had ever been home to. (hopefully)  We’ve had ‘lice’ and intelligent water. And then the old clichéd theme of danger in space.

And I have to say, this installment of Dr.Who has been very positive and sunny.- with daisies, and peonies and probably the odd tulip, hanging out with each other.  And I can’t say that I’m actually a fan of that. I’m a really big advocate of the whole grumpy old man routine The Doctor pulled in the first season of the return of the old men, but that has overtime faded and the good ol’  madman in a blue box returned to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy and satisfied.  But this is probably the best character of The Doctor that Peter has had to adorn. Cruel, cold and calculating in some places, and emotional, passionate and kind in others. 

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And the new Martha Jones is  Bill Potts. Her frizzled-frazzled hair has got people bewitched into liking her. Honorable mentions to her acting too.  Nardole, who when last scene before 25th of December 2016 was the AI interface of King Hydroflax, has now been reassembled, with the odd screw making his life hell.

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The first episode featured the intelligent water that I mentioned. The whole atmosphere of the episode was different than that of the preceding ones. There was a lighter tone to the picture. The music was less ‘grave’ and The Doctor was, as usual up to his own eccentric antics. (almost spelled that antiques). The whole ‘new companion in the TARDIS for the first time’  rigmarole was  not a ‘knock through’ and took longer than usual, but finally got there. We get an peek into Bill’s love interests, or at the least the…. genre.  And she falls for the victim… as usual. Usual for cinema, not for Bill..I hope.  The episode featured one of my favorite scenes, the water versus a Dalek. “Exterminate”!. The episode changed the whole positive feel at the end when The Doctor decides to wipe the memory of Bill, but she realises what he’s doing and pleads him to stop.(Should have used  neuralyzer Doctor… ) He, for once , listens to his friend and doesn’t go through with the mind wiping. And then ends up inviting her to travel in all of space and time. (A bit cheesy if you ask me..)

Another part of the story I forgot to mention is something called The Vault that is being guarded by The Doctor and Nardole, and hence he’s had to go undercover as a teacher/professor in a university.

Episode 1- The Pilot- 8.5/10

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The second episode, was a bulk load of positivity inside a smiling plane that had crashed on the road to extinction.  Robots keeping people happy, start converting them into fertilizer. A new planet, new civilization of humans, new set of Vardys, and a new companion make one hell of a combination. We all know half information is very dangerous. Well, in this case, it almost blew up humanity’s last hope to kingdom come. The Doctor thought this was a trap for the incoming human colony, but it turned out that the colony were already there,. And hence had to abort his childish impulse to blow it up.

This was not one of the Doctor’s clever episodes because he misunderstood every single thing until the last moment. The Vardys had begun to consider themselves as a species. And as a result, when the humans attacked them (as usual), the Vardys identified themselves as under threat and retaliated. The Doctor eventually reset everything and told the humans to basically sod off. But then decided to negotiate rent for the humans in the planet of the emoji robots.

  Episode 2-Smile-9/10  

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The third episode was more of a traditional storyline of a big scary thing hidden somewhere, eating people up. In this case the ‘thing’ was a big fish, and the ‘where’ was the Thames. The last of the great ice fair, where The Doctor has also taken River Song. This was more of a distant and impersonal story, and was only documenting the adventures of The Doctor and his companion, which was great fun to see. It’s been a long time since Doctor Who has given us a joyride of an episode. Even the Christmas special was a tiny bit emotionally investing. But this one, to a great extent did not need that kind of emotional investing.  The characters other than Bill and The Doctor were basically non-existent. And the fish got a big happy ending, even though it had eaten innumerable people.

Episode 3- Thin Ice-8/10  

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After that came my favorite episode off this season, ‘Knock knock’. Guest Appearance by David Suchet, a house that eats people, and The Doctor out  of his depth with teenagers, what more does one need to enjoy this episode? Bill and her newly formed friends decide to rent a house, and a strange landlord (played by Monsieur Suchet) offers them a deal of a lifetime. They move in and strange things start to happen. This episode does not deserve a dissection of a review. You just need to it behind the sofa, with your eyes popping out and whimpering at every creak of wood. David Suchet puts up an enthralling performance,with it varying from a dangerous man, who is prepared to do anything and everything and to a child at heart, who loves his mother a lot and doesn’t want to leave her.

Episode 4-Knock knock-9.5/10

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The fifth episode is a well named episode called Oxygen. This involves the ever present hunger for money, and hence the air we breath is also paid for. This story, which I presume is just a passing through one, is not the most impressive. Probably the second worst after Thin Ice, the third one. I know, this contradicts my view about that episode, but story wise the third episode was indeed the worst, and now this comes a close second worst. But this does not mean that the story is bad. It is very good. The suits have been programmed to deactivate the organic component of themselves. That means killing the human. And all for what? To gain a profit. The height of capitalism. I suppose the story should have ended with a shock, but I didn’t exactly feel very shocked. (Probably Person Of Interest’s fault).

Episode 5-Oxygen- 8/10

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The Vault’s story line is also coming along pretty well, with Nardole quite frightened of what it holds  and The Doctor having dinner with it/him/her. Nardole’s job up until now, has only been failing to keep The Doctor ‘on’ world and constantly reminding him of this ‘vow’ he had taken to guard the Vault.

So overall, the Doctor Who revamp has been a success, for now. And it is truly promising to be a above average, wonderful season. And  hopefully is the perfect sending off for the Best Doctor of them all.

Overall-8.5/10

GordonW