Is this guy Kevin McCarra for real? Judging by how inane & inept his columns usually are, one would associate him with the kind of grim reality the Guardian's sports pages could well do without.
While I do have a fair amount of respect for most of Guardian's columnists, McCarra is possibly someone the alley-cat brought in through the thoughtlessly left open back door of the Guardian during a long weekend. It is also entirely possible that during the said long weekend McCarra managed to attach himself like a limpet to the deserted desks of the Guardian's sports section. That he has managed to hang on for so long is possibly in equal measure due to his 'magnetism' and the reluctance of the Guardian management to undertake regular spring cleaning.
Remember the myriad apologies masquerading as 'fact-finding' journalists & incisive columnists who came out of the woodwork before & during the latest Iraq war. Remember their voracious appetites in swallowing hook, line & sinker every morsel thrown towards them by a desperately scheming, lying Government headed by the champion snake-oil salesman of recent times, Tony 'Spinner' Blair. Remember how they strove to convince their readers that Saddam Hussein possessed enough weapons of mass destruction to obliterate the rest of the world and that the Iraq war would be over in a matter of weeks. While most of that tribe have disappeared from the pages of whatever publications they were visible in at the time, McCarra continues to feature in the Sports pages of the Guardian.
Given his sheer ineptitude, lack of anything incisive or original to say and his petty biases which he wears on his sleeve, one wonders about his familiarity with the nuances of football. It appears that the only kind of balls he has some familiarity with are the ones that were inextricably & irreversibly attached to him as he made his lugubrious way into this world.
The Champions League final was such a close affair that any objective person would not have begrudged either of the teams winning it finally. Any game also has its fair share of coincidences, half-chances & missed chances. Yet the bumbling McCarra turns these into major occurrences. Witness gems like " Had Drogba not been sent off for a slight slap delivered to Vidic he should have taken the fifth penalty shot and would have surely converted". Indeed!! Had Tevez started sprinting about 0.5 seconds earlier he would have surely got his foot to the ball and then it would have been Manchester United 2-1 at half-time!! Had Carrick slanted his shot by about 15 degrees Cech would not have been able to bring off a reflex save and then Manchester United would have won the game 3-1 in full-time surely. And so on & so forth.
McCarra's overt bias and perpetual chip on his shoulder even makes out Drogba's slap to have been a slight one, indirectly admonishing the referee for brandishing the red card as a result!
That Manchester United won the game finally was, as Sir Alex himself put it so aptly, sheer fate. One hopes however that inexorable fate delivers a light 'tap' to McCarra, consigning him to the lower layers of the toilet bowl for a while till someone notices him nestling there and depresses the flush handle in a hurry. Surely it would make for better quality overall for the Guardian's sports pages & more enjoyable reading for discerning readers henceforth.