I have always been a die hard Manchester United fan. I remember the first day I fell in love with them was in the early 90’s when they lost to Arsenal in a Premier League game. I don’t know why, but something about them made me fall in love with them. My love affair with them has been a great one with memories of the “Comeback of ’99” against Beyern Munich, the emergence of Christiano Ronaldo, the bull like play of Rooney and the memorable 20th PL season. I am in love. I am not in love because of the victories or the players, or the coach. I am in love because this team has given so much to it’s fans and win or less, there is the hope of better things to come! Sadly, this hope seems to vanishing among the fans across the world and it is a sad thing to see.
Manchester United has been struggling ever since the start of the 2013/2014 Season and these are the reasons why:
1. Ferguson’s Wrong Timing Retirement
Ferguson shouldn’t have retired when he did. The team was in a very bad shape from Top to Bottom and he was the only manager who could have won with such a team. You simply do not appoint a mid-level-table manager to oversee a club like this. Our defense needed help: Vidic, Evra and Ferdinand were getting old, and they were not playing as great as they used to. Besides the old age, these center backs were constantly getting injured and players like Smalling, Evans or Jones were not ready to step up to that major role.
Our midfield has always been a problem since Paul Scholes retired, but Ferguson did not see the need to invest in a young talented midfielder and actually watched Pogba leave. Our center midfielders were Carrick, Fletcher, Cleverly and Anderson. With all due respect, it will be very tough for you to beat teams who come at you with players like Modric, Alonso, Xavi, Iniesta, Toure, etc. While Teams like Man City were willing to spend a lot of money to get 2 star players at each position, we were moving the other direction. Yes, Carrick and Fletcher are decent, but they are not creative Iniesta or Xavi, not as strong as a Michael Essien in his prime, and are simply not feared. We lost most games in the Champions League because our midfield play was not as strong and not as creative.
Our attack was the most healthy part of our team with the likes of Van Persie and Rooney leading that gang. I mentioned Rooney and Van Persie because these 2 are the only consistent players we have in that phase of our game. Welbeck is extremely inconsistent and seems lost in games, Hernandez’s luck seems to be running out, Valencia is just a winger who likes to just cross the ball (sometimes predictable and to be honest, boring), Nani and Young are another inconsistent players who can be flashy at times and Kagawa is the only player who shines out of this bunch, but he lacks power and flare.
In my opinion, in soccer, your attack and defense is as good as your midfield is and we did not have consistency or young players in that area of the pitch to help us out.
Ferguson should have stayed for at least 1 or 2 seasons and used his influence to court more players to the team. His influence and credibility were key in transfer windows and without him what have done so far? Nothing.
2. The Appointment of David Moyes
People are saying we should stand by David Moyes all because when Ferguson came on board as the coach of United, he had a tougher time. Well, guess what, times have changed! When Ferguson became United’s coach, United was not an entity in the stock market and was not traded openly, so Ferguson definitely got away with a lot but in this dispensation, Manchester United has Share Holders all around the world and all what Share Holders care about is their money – you simply perform to increase their revenue and if someone is not going to do the job, they will find someone else.
Teams were not spending lots of money to stay on top in the 80s, but teams are doing so now. Teams want to remain competitive and they want to compete with the best of the best in the world, so to be honest, there is only a small room to make mistakes and be allowed to live with them.
Ferguson is GREAT! Yes, we all know that, but at the end of the day, he is only human and as human being myself, I know for a fact that we are bound to make mistakes. Ferguson made a mistake by appointing Moyes as the Coach because Moyes’ resume was not up to par. Moyes was the coach for Everton, and Everton had never won the Premier League under Moyes. Everton was a mid-table team under Moyes and never posed a threat to finish top 4. What did Ferguson see in Moyes? Nothing. Ferguson probably thought that if Moyes coached a team like United with players like Rooney and Van Persie on board, then he will do well. That is not the case, because if you can’t make good use of the little you are given, you are never going to make good use of the plenty. Mourinho is a perfect example of a coach who did a lot with little: he won the Champions League with Porto and that opened a lot of doors for him, because he had a track record of doing more with what he was given.
Ferguson is human and he probably regrets his appointment, but the majority of us do.
3. Moyes is not influential and has bad tactics
Some people enjoy their job because of their employer – they will go above and beyond for their employer. In sports, some players play their best because of a specific coach, but David Moyes is an exception. These same players at United would have performed under Ferguson because Ferguson was a respected man, and very influential. Manchester United has lost some lousy games this season but I personally do not blame the players, because these players have performed under a different coach for so many years. The players are not playing for him and it is obvious because some of the strong leaders are ready to leave and start else where.
Moyes lack of influence can be seen in both transfer windows. We could not sign any top player because players did not want to play for him. Period. Moyes can make the argument that they wanted money, but we signed Felaini for 27 million pounds. In the January Transfer window, we could only sign a player who was on the bench of our rival team for 37 million pounds. Yes, Juan Mata is good player, but we broke our transfer record for a player who was not even starting. This showed how desperate Moyes was and showed how any team is willing to take advantage of us in future transfer windows if Moyes remains the coach.
Tactically, Moyes has no clue. I remember at some point in the season, we were losing by 3-1 and Moyes brought in Chris Smalling. Chris Smalling is a defender and not a midfielder or attacker. Moyes obviously was content with losing. Moyes has made some head scratching decisions with his line up and I have already embraced myself for the worse.
I am a die-hard United fan and I will continue to be, I will support the team and the players but I am not a supporter of David Moyes. I don’t believe he is the right man for this job. I am willing to say this with confidence because I want him to prove me wrong. Yes, Manchester United is struggling because of some bad decisions internally, but at the end of the day, the Manager is the face of the franchise, and he does not have great managerial skills to lead this team forward. I understand he is doing his best to retain Wayne Rooney, but you don’t treat him like an assistant manager when he is only a player. Moyes has lost the locker room and he looks pathetic allowing Wayne Rooney (one of my favorite players) to get involved in off season acquisitions – something Ferguson never did. It is the players job to play and the managers job to manage, but Moyes out of desperation is making certain decisions which only reveals his true identity as a manager: clueless.
Manchester United is sadly not feared anymore. Teams believe they can go toe-to-toe with us and come away with at lest 1 point. We are not respected anymore and as a United fan, this breaks my heart. We have become the laughing stock of the Premier League an we have fallen greatly from grace. I believe in United and I believe in the future under a new manager, but for now, it will be a tougher time for us next year if we do not finish Top 4 this season, because most of the top players who can help us out would like to play in the Champions League and would also like to play under a manager who can allow them to be World Champions and so far, we are not looking like a Top 4 Team and we certainly don’t have that manager player would like to play for.
Wish the best to all of the United Fans out there. It is only a matter of time.