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Theatre of Dreams to Cinema of Nightmares


By Marvin Williams.

Eventually the one year rolling contracts, the mind games and Old Trafford’s chairs eroding due to all the squeaking bums (as if the Glazers didn’t already have enough to pay for) will come to an end. Instead Alex Ferguson will spend his Saturday afternoons berating some poor old horse rather than fourth official and the playing field will be levelled. As rumours of United’s dreaded ‘R’ word once again resurfaced they were quickly dismissed, with the latest reports suggesting May 2011 the date of Alex Ferguson departure. But if this season was a trailer for life post Ferguson expect the transition from the Theatre of dreams to the Cinema of nightmares.

An argument with a United fan is like the stoppage time board at Old Trafford, pointless! Next time you have one close your eyes, convert those southern accents to Scottish ones and you’re practically having a conversation with Ferguson. From my encounters this season I’ve heard how lucky Chelsea have been and how unlucky they were, picking out occasions which support their argument but conveniently forgetting those in their favour. Manchester United have also had their share of contentious moments this season. Reminder…

  • The offside goal scored by Drogba was followed by Macheda’s handball before scoring.
  • The sending off Rafael da’ Silva was rightly so and his first offence merited a straight Red anyway.
  • How would the extra time against Manchester City been received if they were on the receiving end of that goal?
  • How do you justify Vidic not being sent off in the Carling Cup Final?
  • If Mick McCarty forfeited the game against Chelsea what would the reaction have been?
  • The debatable penalties against both Liverpool and Arsenal.

To label it a trait of Manchester United fans maybe slightly unfair because whether you support Man United , Middlesbrough or Macclesfield you don’t deal with defeat well. But United are branded arrogant partially due to how ungracious they are in defeat, which stems from the manager. Ferguson words carry weight and he abuses that. From a single comment he can construct a debate that will last for weeks, from the fitness of referees to the integrity of those ‘Typical Germans’. Alex has created a notion that it’s United against the world and the fans have bought into it, but when he is no longer there to maintain that the repercussions will become evident.

Manchester United have had a poor season to say the least.  Anticipating the responses I’m sure that I’ll be reminded of the injuries and the fact they’ve scored more goals without Ronaldo, irrelevant! The simple response is the squad has lacked depth and goals from midfield. United’s lack of success can also be attributed to Ferguson poor preparation at the beginning of the season. After letting both Ronaldo and Tevez go and stating he had 100million to spend he failed to bring in any adequate replacements relying on unproven kids, Berbatov who hasn’t lived up to his price tag, an injury prone Michael Owen and a once again inconsistent Nani, who scored three league goals. The most worrying factor is that all was that all the above were predictable and the fact Ferguson was unable to deal with them leads you to question the extent United’s financial impediment.

‘Write off United at your peril’, as I’ve so often heard and especially after a single bad season it would be even more ludicrous to do so. But it’s more than just winning the title next year it’s about remaining competitive for the next ten. With reports that the Glazers’ debt is set to rise again this summer the prospect of them selling up appears even more unlikely. Why would they? Manchester United are a very profitable venture.  The Red Knights were inevitably unsuccessful and all the green and gold campaign has done has made it fashionable to be a Norwich fan.

United have been a one man team for years and that man has never changed, Alex Ferguson. If this season proved anything it’s that campaigns to come are only to get harder.  Alex has only had to make a few amendments in the past which has kept United competitive. When the new manager needs to make wholesale changes on a restricted budget it becomes a whole different ball game. I’m sure the name of football’s most famous tourist will come up but Mourinho as a potential successor has many variables involved. We’re talking about his next chapter whilst he’s just entering his latest. What will happen at Madrid ?,  If he does leave will his departure coincide with Ferguson’s?, How long will he be at United for? Will United have the funds to lure him?

Whilst I believe there is life after any manager the role at United is a unique one. Everyday Ferguson remains in employment he simply makes his successor’s job even more difficult. Although he would leave his mark as one of the greatest managers of all time he also departs with several ageing players, the league in one of its most competitive states and a debt and it then it could all unravel.

How do United fans think the club will cope when Sir Alex finally retires? Please leave your opinions below..



  1. Ranj

    May 24, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Liverpool Fan are you Marvin?

  2. ishan hades

    May 24, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Marvin Williams. I hope u are aware of the fact that sir alex has denied any retirement rumors. yet, you have provided us with a date, which tells us you know the future of the scot more than himself.

    next, as far as we are concerned, if and when the date finally comes for sir alex to retire. we will find another great man to fill his shoes. cux thats wat united does.

    we are manchester united – we always keep the red flag flying high cux united will never die!!

  3. samuel kusi-addai

    May 24, 2010 at 10:18 am

    it is very convenient that you will consider Manchester united season a bad one.. it can be argued that Manchester season is bad to Manchester united standards but compared to other teams in particular like arsenal, what we did this year would be a fantastic season for their standards.. in addition to this it may seem that the Manchester united is in very bad financial situations and that is the case but your forgetting Manchester’s united ability to overcome any obstacles put in front of them and that is the Manchester united way so remember that…!!!!!!

  4. Alex Ferguson

    May 24, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Marvin we never spoke how come you know so much about my life are you stalking me? better yet having sex with my wife?

  5. Ditonocomment

    May 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

    The Man Utd is always ready to Win All the compatitions, and Alex is still there for all this year, and aftr that for sure othr will come and United will keep wil sucess…. Glory, glory Man utd. Nothing will stop us…Never

  6. Anonymous

    May 24, 2010 at 12:33 pm


    • Marvin Williams

      May 26, 2010 at 11:16 pm

      And your just a little rat that even fears to leave his name on a comment even through a computer. MUG !

  7. Omz

    May 24, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Great Article very well spoken…love the stoppage time board thing haha

  8. Ricky Li

    May 24, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    ‘we are manchester united – we always keep the red flag flying high cux united will never die!!’

    ‘Manchester’s united ability to overcome any obstacles put in front of them and that is the Manchester united way so remember that…!!!!!!’

    You United fans just make me laugh!

    Nicely written piece Marv, I argue the fact United had a bad season? As Samuel mentioned, they did have a bad season to United standards, but they did fight for the league till the last game. Personally, they surprised me, they had a much better season then I thought! I was just hoping for Rooney to get injured to see how rubbish Untied really are!

    I read this article a while back, and believe what you want, but it doesn’t look very good for United:

    We all know how much debt United are in, the fact that no adequate replacements were bought in last summer shows the bad effects are starting, AND IT AIN’T GOING TO GET ANY BETTER!

    Arsenal are managed very well as a business, although I dont know the ins and outs, I don’t see another Prem club as safe and ready for the future as Arsenal are (expect Man city obv)!

  9. shaun

    May 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    abit of a **** u marvin arnt ya, how can you possibly say we are a one man team after winning 3 titles a champions league two carling cups in the past 4 years, get real you deluded p****.

    • Marvin Williams

      May 24, 2010 at 5:25 pm

      Glad u enjoyed it Shaun and the feelin is mutual.

  10. Hamza

    May 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Marvin, family…first off it’s SIR alex ferguson!!!! haha

    Mourinho aint the one to take over from fergie, he aint got nice football in his management, its just about winning and believe it or not united fans aint that shallow! going 1-0 up and defending for the rest of the game? no thanks. Fergie will look to get a replacement who has the tradition and also some of fergies traits. mourinho only cares about himself and brings too much fuss with him wherever he goes.

    Obviously we’re reliant on rooney, same way arsenal rely on fabregas to provide inspiration. and the debt can rise to whatever levels it likes, united will not die! if fergie was to go and buy a few big names this summer and we were to win big next season everyone would just say we’ve bought our success, we came close this season with a defence missing for half the season and players having to adopt new positions due to injuries, yeah i know injuries are a part of the game but when near-half your first team is out injured it has a big impact. Big name signings aint a priority for me, we should be looking at rising under-21’s seeing as the squad limits come in to effect next season.

  11. Mark

    May 25, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    i think to say utd had a bad season is laughable, we scored more goals this season then we did when we had tevez and ronaldo if anything we lacked creativity and our squad was stretched at times but the statement regarding Nani, i think you can look at it as ” yeah he’s not good enough or inconsistent” or you can see it as “he’s a rejuvanated player who can be a force next season if he carries on his form” i tend to look at the latter but i think if SAF applies a few faces i.e RB,CM CF we should be nice

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