Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

Posts Tagged ‘Eric Cantona’

The Last Days of the Banks

Posted by hakanrylander on December 7, 2010

"Aux armes, citoyens!"

United legend Eric Cantona has today been named Honorary Chief Economist of Between the Lines. Not perhaps because of his brilliant insight into Economics, but simply because he is, as far as we know, the first United player to have forced  the Eurogroup of finance ministers as well as the European Union economic affairs commissioner to issue statements about his comments about the banking system.

Protest groups around the world are trying to coordinate a world-wide cash-point withdrawal today, December 7, the number of Cantona’s United shirt, following an interview where Cantona told the French paper Presse Ocean:

“What’s the system? The system revolves around banks. The system is built on the banks’ power. So it can be destroyed by the banks. Instead of having three million people going out to demonstrate with a placard, those three million people go to their bank branch, they withdraw their money and the banks crumble. You go to your bank in your village and you withdraw your money.”

This statement has stirred some of Europe’s top economic decision makers into action.

I find the operation you are referring to totally irresponsible,” said Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.

European Union economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn said he considered himself a Man United fan, but added: “I think Mr Cantona is a better footballer than he is an economist.”

I’m afraid Mr Rehn might have a point. Personally I don’t see too many benefits from a total collapse of the banking system.

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Posted in Financial, Manchester United | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The End of the Berbatov Debate

Posted by hakanrylander on September 20, 2010

Welcome back, Premier League football. This was electrifying! The second half in particular had everything you could ask for in a football game; individual brilliance, good team effort, a lead wasted by poor defending and a Goal of the Season contender as well as a winner by MotM Dimitar Berbatov.

This will surely be the end of the debate that has been ongoing between United fans for the last couple of seasons. Is Dimitar Berbatov a genius or an expensive flop? No one who was present at Old Trafford yesterday can have lingering doubts. Berbatov is the closest we’ve come to another Cantona. I think Manutd24 summed it up perfectly in the headline “I am not a man. I am Berbatov.”

Finally, a reminder.

Premier League Top Scorers:

  • Dimitar Berbatov 6
  • Florent Malouda 6
  • Didier Drogba 5
  • Andy Carroll 4
  • Salomon Kalou 4
  • Theo Walcott 4
  • Darren Bent 3
  • Johan Elmander 3
  • Craig Gardner 3
  • Carlos Tevez 3

Posted in Manchester United, Match Reports, Player Analysis | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Review: Cantona – The Rebel Who Would Be King

Posted by hakanrylander on September 30, 2009

Cantona the rebel who“I have never and will never find difference between the pass from Pelé to Carlos Alberto in the final of the World Cup in 1970, and the poetry of the young Rimbaud.”

Let’s face it, there’s no way you would attribute this quote to John Terry, Steven Gerrard or even Gary Neville. Or for that matter any player in the history of the Premier League, other than Eric Cantona. Cantona stands out during the last 20 years of English football not only for his skills but also for his attempts to lift football to the level of the fine arts (where it belongs, of course) while other, darker parts of his personality made hot-headed attacks on coaches, opponents or spectators.

The French journalist Philippe Auclair manages to shed light on several aspects of this complex personality, and the book therefore rises head and shoulders above the average football biography. The research is very thorough, including about 200 interviews, but the subject himself has not been interviewed or in any other way contributed.

Until he arrived at Old Trafford Cantona regularly fell out with coaches and chairmen and didn’t stay for long at any club. One of Auclair’s theses is that throughout his career Cantona was looking for a father figure that he could trust and who trusted him, and that Alex Ferguson managed to strike just the right balance by giving the player a bit of latitude.

A must read.

But first, please try to spot the difference: PeléRimbaud.

Philippe Auclair: Cantona – The Rebel Who Would Be King (Pan Macmillan)

Posted in Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

“Je ne veux pas tout analyser”

Posted by hakanrylander on June 3, 2009

Paris_maj_2009_399Yesterday I stumbled upon the latest issue of the French magazine “Psychologies”. It contains a long interview with United legend Eric Cantona. Among other things he describes how he prefers hitting a good pass to scoring a goal and how he misses the “drug” of performing on the football pitch. 

“It’s only with my family, with my friends or when I play that I feel perfectly happy and free.”

He also talks about whether he regrets his kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park,  and explains his famous sardines quote.

Highly recommended.

Posted in Player Analysis | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »