The class of 92' - "Players who inspired a generation."
The tagline of the recently released documentary is certainly accurate. The story of a truly unique group of footballers who ignited not just my own interest and affection for Manchester United and the beautiful game, but also for countless others around the world. Being released days subsequent of Ryan Giggs' 40th birthday, was also appropriate. It is amazing a player of this age who, even still, has a lot more to offer than some players at the club who are almost half his age. And that is but a simple synopsis of the glaring problem at the club at present, complacency.
The most pressing problem surrounding the club at the moment is not David Moyes, despite the #MoyesOut army of social media would have us believe. It is the aura of complacency and passivism that has been threatening to set in for many years. Only for Alex Ferguson's midas touch, this complacency has not set in earlier. Regailing about past achievements of greatness, is a complacent attitude that supporters, the players and the club in general has seemingly fallen into. With nostalgia comes complacency, and subsequently with that comes under-achievement and ultimately, as supporters have seen this season, underwhelming disappointment. It is a cyclical process of monotony and average performances.
This complacency is becoming more and more apparent on the pitch. Ryan Giggs is an icon of club and it is admirable to see an icon of the game still at the club, but it is simply shocking, that a club of Manchester United's supposedly immaculate standard, to have a 40 year old as the most talented central midfielder in the squad. Giggs, while not in his prime physical condition, still offers the most creativity in the centre of the pitch than any other players available in that position. This is in spite of the fact that he is almost twice the age of the majority of the squad.
Paul Scholes' masterful talent was still on display as recently as last season. As happy as the fans were to see a local hero making a return, this was a quick fix to a midfield that was seriously lacking. However, with this came a cost to Manchester United's future. Paul Pogba, who grew tired of being overlooked by nostalgia, is now in fine form at another European giant, getting his game alongside quality players such as Pirlo, Vidal, and Buffon. He is consistently contributing with quality goals and offering a physical presence in the centre of midfield which is so important in the modern game. Yet, Tom Cleverley still gets his game almost every week with his club.
But the likes of Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Ashley Young and numerous others are probably just happy to be there. He has his name on a United shirt. And why wouldn't he be? That is the dream of so many players; to play for Manchester United. But the real and current problem is that so many players are happy to do just the same. They go onto the field and run around. They play the game in an official sense. They do not invent, influence, create, inspire, excite or achieve anything personally. They simply take to the field at Old Trafford in the famous red shirt and do little else.
They take their handsome wage packet, do as they are told in training, and go home and sleep comfortably with the delusion of being a top player at a top club. They can go out at night in the off season and say they play for Manchester United. That will be the hallmark of their career. They played for what is one of the largest and most successful clubs in the world. But they do nothing more than ride on the coattails of talented team-mates and echoes of past greatness.
United certainly still have some truly quality players, and also those who have potential to achieve. Van Persie, Vidic, Rooney are undoubted talents, and have been for several years. The time and talent is on the side of Kagawa, De Gea, Rafael, Jones and Smalling. And, of course, we cannot forget one of the youngest members of the squad, who perhaps wants to take on the world and achieve. Adnan Januzaj, who is one of those players who gets the crowd excited. Ashley Young gets the crowd exasperated.
In other words, Cleverley, Young, Anderson, Fabio, Buttner and so on, are just some who are obviously not worthy to be at the club. The jury is still out on others. We won't be talking about these names in twenty years time.
The trends should be #DeadwoodOUT #ComplacencyOUT #MediocrityOUT. In other words, the class of 2013 are simply: The players who underwhelmed a generation.
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