We all have that one friend. They don’t seem to give up the “glory days” and take the present seriously. Instead of looking to the future, they hopelessly cling on to what was, instead of focusing on what could be. They brag about how much they could drink in college, how often they were in the gym, they used to run a 4.5s 40 yard dash, and the list goes on and on. You can’t even argue with this person, because this is all they know and register. The future is the only truth, and the past is nothing but a lie we tell ourselves to escape the current situation. Manchester United need to stop living in the past.
SAF and His Role at United
This may be my most controversial take. Will I get cancelled? Maybe. Will I speak from a space of objective truth? Definitely. I don’t know what Sir Alex Ferguson’s role is at Manchester United is anymore. He was the greatest manager the game has ever seen, but he chose to stop managing in 2013. Whenever you mention SAF, you gotta put respect on his name, but what does he do now? Is he some quasi-director or special contractor for the club to assist with and make decisions on operations? Regardless if the answer is yes or no, something doesn’t seem quite right. After an embarrassing loss to Liverpool on the back of a few weeks of unconvincing football, SAF showed up to training today as Ole’s head is currently in the guillotine and at extremely high risk of getting sacked.
The news then came out that Ole has until Tottenham, and maybe through Man City before a decision is made on his fate. My best guess is SAF said something to buy his former player more time. The issue with this is the writing is already on the wall. For reasons I’ll talk about in a second, you cannot simply “flip a switch” with a team and become the most feared XI on the planet. Whatever SAF did, if anything, I don’t agree with. His name will live forever in United’s history, but currently placating to the history has ruined the future for the past 8 years. Manchester United need to be run like a club in the year 2021, and not 1999.
Sticking to “The Process”
Literally what the fuck is this process everyone speaks so fondly of? Recruit great talent, keep managers past their effectiveness, and just hope you can relive the glory days? Its nonsense. The past isn’t happening again. To think another manager will just come along and reign over the Premier league at the same club for 28 years is unfathomable and frankly stupid. There will never be another Sir Alex. Woodward, the Glazers, and the fans need to get that through their thick skulls. “That” process is the exception to the rule. Of the current greatest managers, the two longest tenures I can think of are Klopp and Pep, who are at 6 and 5 years, respectively. If I’m a betting man, I’m taking the under on them surpassing SAF at 28 years for a single club, not because they’re not great, but because that’s how life is in football.
Now to the players aspect of the “Process.” You’re telling me that teams would ideally like to build their youth, and supplement that with world class talent from other teams and leagues? What a novel idea! This team is worth a billion dollars and you’re telling me the best they can do is 0-5 at home against Liverpool? The team is always a greater investment than the manager, so excuse me for not suggesting they fire the entire team and keep Solskjaer for another 3 years.
Move on from the Past
The ties must be broken. The past isn’t coming back. Execute in the present and plan for the future. This team is ready to win now, so get a manager who is ready to win now. If you can claim this team is ready to win now, I would offer who would replace our current team with? Is Bruno, Ronaldo, Sancho, Rashford, Greenwood, Pogba, Maguire, Varane, and DeGea all not enough? Ok then.
Continuing on the theme of moving on, what do you think the players play for? Is it that Champions League title, the 13 League titles, the League Cups, F.A Cups, Community Shields all won under SAF? Fuck no. These players play for themselves, and their legacy. Who cares about all this silverware they didn’t win while they were playing. People shit on Pogba for constantly wanting to leave, but can you blame him? 4 years and only 1 shitty Europa League trophy is all this team could do with him? He is eyeing glory, not mediocrity. If you think Pogba is the only player who thinks like this, you may be in for a rude awakening.
You don’t want to fire Ole because he scored the Champions League winner in 1999? What does that have to do with the price of tea in China. He’s a club legend as a player. Maybe you convinced yourself a super-sub goal-scorer from 20 years ago would be able to manage a team, with smart, shrewd, thoughtful, and effective tactics. I’m not hating if you did convince yourself, but that is not how his tenure has gone.
Sorry, Not Sorry
This blog is harsh, and I apologize for that. Clinging onto what will never be again is not how you win titles in the present day. I see the same mistakes the Glazer’s and Woodward make and I can do nothing but get frustrated. Doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. When will United figure out that the past doesn’t predict the future results of this Club.