Things at Manchester United are spiraling out of control right now. Nobody likes losing, of course, especially when they’re so accustomed to winning all the time. It must be difficult to lose more games than they ever thought possible and to be in a league position they thought they would never see.
It must also be difficult after winning the Premier League title last season by 11 points to not come last in the race; but worst still, to not even be in the race. No wonder the fans are upset. It is understandable to an extent. At some point though, somebody has to stop for a second and take a reality check before things get ridiculous. In fact, they already have.
During the derby defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday, it was reported that David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson were both subjected to direct abuse from supporters who sat in their vicinity during the game. For me, it’s going too far to abuse any manager. To abuse Ferguson, the greatest manager in the history of the game, however, is another story. Imagine if he never bothered to put the club there in the first place? Would the fans prefer that?
Abusing Ferguson because they don’t believe in his successor is absurd. Not only that, it is completely disrespectful to a man that put Manchester United in a position where fans were spoiled beyond belief. Sure, United have always been a big club, but do fans think anybody else could have done for United what Ferguson did during his tenure? Honestly, it’s crazy.
It’s taken just 10 months for people to forget just how incredible Ferguson was. He was so good that he actually won the league with these players last year. With an aging and fragile defense, a midfield that completely lacks any semblance of speed, movement or defensive capability and wingers who can run up and down but can’t cross accurately unless they’ve got 10 yards of space, Ferguson did the impossible.
Moyes is underachieving, for sure, but you would think he has an All-Star XI the way some people talk. That squad needs a complete overhaul — not the team, the entire squad. Don’t take the achievements of Ferguson and minimize them to an average standard that others should be judged against. It was anything but normal what he achieved, especially recently.
At least in eras past, he had genuine quality throughout his team. That doesn’t exist now; it’s a sprinkle here and a sprinkle there.
We’re in a market now where the better players routinely go for around £30m and above, yet Ferguson refused to ever spend that much on one player in recent years. Apart from Robin Van Persie being an exception, perhaps he wasn’t allowed to? Fans would have to ask the Glazer family about that.
Either way, he could get away with it. Instead, Ferguson would pluck an Antonio Valencia or an Ashley Young from a mid-table team for half the price. That’s no slant on other managers — it’s a testament to Ferguson. He overachieved with average-to-good teams recently and as you’re seeing now, others can’t. That said, it shouldn’t really be a surprise.
What is happening right now should be screaming to United fans just how much of a genius Ferguson was. Instead, he’s the one being screamed at. To get back to the top without Ferguson as manager will cost the club a fortune, and that’s what the club will have to spend now.
The reason for that is because Ferguson was one of a kind. He was the foundation that held the old, rotting house together. Without him, it was always going to crumble to a degree no matter who the next manager was. It will take time now and eventually, the club will rise again.
Until then, instead of abusing the team’s greatest ever manager, fans should be thankful because if he hadn’t stayed as long as he did, United would have been rebuilding long before now. And the house they’re currently rebuilding might not have been so big.