Manchester United: A Fallen Empire?

KCvsJyMZ  Published by Makasa Junior on 16/12/2015 at 22:34


 

Throughout the world, most people would have heard of Manchester United FC. Whether you’re a football fan or not, most people can agree that they have heard of the club. What am I getting at, you may ask? What’s the point in me saying this? Well the very fact that many people have heard of or know of this football club, implies that it’s big, very big. I’m not talking about big in size alone, but big in terms of income, history, fanbase, honours – to name a few. Not so long ago, once a team had arrived to play against Manchester United, they were struck by fear. The fear that they’ll lose no matter what. Manchester United was that team -you scored two goals against them, and with three minutes to go (including another two minutes added on for injury time), they turn it around and score three. This was the reality for several teams, they could not bury the Red Devils due to a fear factor and the mere fact they were THAT good. Recently however, it appears like those days are long gone. Nowadays AFC Bournemouth licked their lips and sensed blood once they saw the team sheet Manchester United had put out for their game recently, which the Cherries won 2-1. The same has to apply for Wolfsburg in THAT Champions League game in which United got knocked out in the group stages. Fair enough, the Red Devils haven’t lost many Premier league games this season, three to be exact (Swansea, Arsenal and Bournemouth) but the manner in which they play isn’t good enough.

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Memphis has not lived up to his billing and Wayne Rooney has been horribly out of form this season.

Manager Louis van Gaal said the fans were ‘living in the past’. How can Man United fans not live in the past? With the amount of glory they had with Sir Alex Ferguson in every competition, they ought to live in the past. Man United means titles to the fans, it means winning, it means being on top, going as far as possible in the Champions League. It doesn’t mean struggling in the most open season of the Premier League to date, or getting knocked out of the group stages of the Champions League. That’s foreign to the fans, especially if the Champions League group consisted of minnows (no disrespect to those teams).

 

Fact of the matter is Louis van Gaal did not buy or utilise the money he had well. His choices were poor and his sales were just as poor. £250 million spent on players to supposedly improve the team but that hasn’t worked out as planned. Victor Valdes, proven winner at Barcelona, won the treble (La Liga, Champions league and Copa Del Rey) and more with Barca, however he’s been frozen out by van Gaal. Johnny Evans, solid defender who had a future at the club according to Sir Alex Ferguson, sold alongside Shinji Kagawa, Robin van Persie, Luis Nani, Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Patrice Evra and the most surprising of all, Angel Di Maria.

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Angel di Maria cut a frustrated figure at Manchester United.

How does one justify selling a player of di Maria’s calibre after just one season? He did a good job bringing him in but the Premier league isn’t easy, it was going to take Di Maria time to adjust, he was doing well all in all, only to be frozen out towards the end of last season and eventually sold to Paris Saint Germain. Di Maria was a good dribbler, goal scorer and assisted team mates as well. Yet £49million was enough to take him away from Old Trafford. The new signings haven’t been as effective. Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind, Memphis Depay, Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sergio Romero and Anthony Martial. Some have been good, and justified, such as a new left back in Luke Shaw (since Evra was ageing), a need for new central midfielders in Herrera and Schneiderlin, a new winger in Memphis and a new keeper in Romero as de Gea’s future wasn’t clear.

 

However Darmian wasn’t necessary, Rafael Da Silva was solid, yet was sold which forced the need for a new right back. Darren Fletcher was injured, came back and is still solid but van Gaal decides to buy Schweinsteiger, whose legs have clearly finished and isn’t at the same level as he was two-three seasons ago. Selling Welbeck and Hernandez was the worst mistake van Gaal has made (after selling Di Maria). Two strikers that are young, quick and impact games. Van Persie is justified, he did well at his time at United but age was always a factor. Hernandez is doing well at Leverkusen so van Gaal’s decision has backfired terribly as he needs goals. Martial is too young and lacks the ability of dependence and Rooney is just as lost in front of goal these days (to add to his injury).

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How long until the good times return to Manchester United?

The way forward is a new manager come the end of this season. Van Gaal hasn’t helped United nor himself, and giving him more time, gives him more room for error, and excuses which isn’t acceptable anymore. A new manager, with experience is needed, if United need to break the bank for one, they should, Pep Guardiola is on the fence of going and staying, try convince him. Carlo Ancelloti a proven, much older winner is there too. United fans, have your say as I’ve analysed what I see, a fallen empire, ready to crumble even more. Don’t be fooled by your position on the log, if a better manager was in charge, you would’ve been out of sight with the league, or at least higher up, and would’ve been in the draw for the Champions League last 16.

 

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