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Score! Manchester United revisits the orchestra

When Sir Alex Ferguson retired last month as manager of Manchester United, some commentators recalled his eye-opening experience on witnessing a symphony orchestra in action.

Now, his star striker Robin Van Persie has revisited the metaphor and expanded on it. Here’s what Robin had to say:

“I loved the way Sir Alex and the coach Rene Meulensteen prepared us for matches,” van Persie told The Mirror. “They would design ­training sessions to suit both the team and the individual.

“It was like being a musician in an orchestra. We had a conductor and when everybody did his job the way he was expected to do it, the end product was fantastic.

“We used to train all week on a certain pattern with our attacking play.

“Every detail had to be right, but if we scored on Saturday using the things we had learned in training then the joy was incredible.”



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  1. Theodore McGuiver says:

    I find it heartening that footballers and managers refer to classical music. Via gentle suggestion it serves to increase consciousness about high-level arts amongst people who might not otherwise encounter it and that can only be a good thing. Keep talking, lads…

  2. Libor Novacek Sen. says:

    ….Football is notable mainly by a few thousands of poor young people screaming in the stands at twenty-two millionaires+ managers: ” Play hard! ”
    Concert Hall: fill it yourself…..

    • Theodore McGuiver says:

      I don’t suppose for a moment they’d come, but it’s progress if they at least just recognise the words. By the way, there aren’t any more poor people in the football grounds, at least not in the English Premier League. They couldn’t afford to go…

  3. For exactly this sort of parallel between “popular” entertainment and art, may I suggest you check out the amazing work Alasdair Malloy has been doing for years? Not only in Manchester but all over the UK, in Europe, Northern America and in Asia. Introducing young people and families to high quality music (not only the “Classics”), but in a context they can relate to and with language they can understand. I think that the role he plays in getting uninitiated people into the concert hall and excited about their local Symphony, is inestimable: Bravo!

  4. It seems as though it’s not just footballers, magazine editors too…

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