All entries for Tuesday 10 April 2007
April 10, 2007
In a piece of video-journalism entitled ‘Anatomy of a Firefight’ C.J. Chivers of the New York Times shows up the typical 2007 television news bulletin for what it is: Froth.
Alastair Leithead, the BBC’s correspondent based in Kabul, has occasionally been given free rein to show what the war in Afghanistan is really about, most notably in a brilliant Panorama programme. But not regularly. And not properly within one of the BBC’s main news bulletins. These programmes, with the infrequent exception of the 10 O’clock News, only really treat Afghanistan as a news story when it affects the fortunes of British politicians and troops.
And yet on a daily basis there are fascinating stories coming out of the country, such as this day-in-the-life piece done by a newspaper journalist for the New York Times. I’ve seen C.J. Chivers’ work before, and it’s really good, both as a video and a written feature. It’s the sort of thing which television viewers should see much more often in Britain, but won’t while the bulletins remain so formulaic, nervous and ‘safe’.
The gods weren’t just smiling on Old Trafford tonight. They were on the pitch.
An incredible first twenty minutes wrapped up the game for United, with simply superb goals from Carrick, Rooney and Smith sealing the deal early on. None were just pieces of brilliant individual flair. They were all the result of smooth, efficient and often incredible teamplay, usually finished with a sublime strike.
Carrick’s first two goals in Europe will be long remembered. With Scholes out and expecting only a few more years in the game, the £14m signing from Tottenham made his claim to be the team’s best long-range shooter. Both his shots were completely out of reach for the unfortunate Doni.
From the starting whistle, United played like they were out to win. But having done so within a quarter of an hour, they continued like they had a point to prove. Edwin van der Sar made a number of important and far from easy saves after two poor matches. His clean sheet was spoiled by Roma’s one highlight – a cheeky, quick chip that would have caught the best in the world napping.
Man United won through the sometimes controversial tinkering of Alex Ferguson. Rooney began on the left, Giggs on the right, and Alan Smith almost alone up front. But the pace on the wings and through the middle from Carrick and Darren Fletcher proved unstoppable. Giggs was beyond the control of the Roma defence, and Ronaldo was his magical best. Rooney and Sir Alex both suggested he was the best in the world this week. They were both right. And to think that a matter of months ago I was the recipient of grumbles after suggesting Ronaldo might be better than Beckham ever was.
United’s makeshift defence was tested at times, but despite the lack of Vidic and Neville, they always seemed to have control of the back third. Goals from Ronaldo (2), Evra and a second from Carrick sealed the deal. United needed a win. Instead, they gave out a good, old-fashioned thrashing to a team who were poor, unlucky, and in the wrong stadium at the wrong time.