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..
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