Football success is a fickle and slippery harlot. Personally I echo the sentiments of the famous theme tune to ‘Only Fools and Horses’ that the beautiful game is ‘Like the changing of the seasons and the tides of sea’.
Football glory runs in cycles and it’s clear that The Red Devils are on the
fruitless side of the arc.
The gargantuan hole left by Sir Alex Ferguson was seemingly ready made for David Moyes to fill. The similarities between their playing careers, management styles, authoritative Scottish
brogues and thousand yard stares was plain to see. However, I think the very same similarities became a hindrance rather than a help.
The expectation was always going to weigh heavy, however being personally headhunted by Fergie himself and given the moniker of ‘The Chosen One’ multiplied it. On top of that, the decision couldn’t be decried as it would essentially be disagreeing with The Great Scot.
It seems that Fergie’s last decision was possibly his worst…ok perhaps on a par with shelling out a reported £7.4 million for the Portuguese blunderkid Bébé.
Ferguson was known for breaking records and Moyes followed suit, though at the wrong end of the spectrum. These include a first home defeat to the Magpies since 1972, the Baggies since 1978 and Swansea…ever.
Also included was the fastest goal conceded at Old Trafford in Premier League history - to Edin Dzeko in the Manchester derby - and possibly the worst reading for United fans is three consecutive home defeats for the first time since 2001.
Even the most loyal Red Devil fans (Mick Hucknall?) would be hard pressed to stay positive after some of the woeful performances they saw last season.
I’d argue that the manner of defeat had a greater impact than the actual losses. The lack of heart is what really rattled the Stretford cage. Moyes’ responses did little to raise confidence.
Yes, Brendan Rogers had a shaky first full season in 2012/2013 with Liverpool finishing in seventh place but you could at least sense he had the bigger picture in mind. Brendan was building something, re-evaluating their playing style and the fans dealt with 3-1 losses to Aston Villa, Spurs and Swansea at Anfield and away defeats to Stoke and even Oldham in the FA Cup.
The inconsistent performances ended with a seventh place league finish but
the motivation and drive to kick on.
United, on the other hand, were brushed aside by Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City but all without really having a go. After Moyes’ admission to Sky Sports that their noisy neighbours were playing at the “sort of standard and level we need to try and aspire to get ourselves to” I’d imagine the only thing red about some fans was their faces.
Although it’s disappointing to watch your team offer up cheap goals and points each week, United fans must remind themselves that they’ve had more success in just the last 25 years than most football clubs can envisage enjoying in their entire history.
Their current squad, however, is falling way short of previous team's exploits. Most worryingly though is it the same squad that reclaimed the title from the blue side of Manchester.
So it looks increasingly now like Louis “The Ego” van Gaal will take the reins from Ryan Giggs and attempt an overhaul.
However. it is becoming ever more noticeable that the 12th man of Old Trafford was not the crowd but Sir Alex himself.
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