Pete Molyneux’s “ta ra Fergie” banner made its way to fame in the nineties. It read, “three years of excuses and it’s still crap, ta ra Fergie”.
It was subsequently celebrated in book form, as Sir Alex Ferguson dispelled all the venom and vitriol flung in his direction to become the greatest manager in the game and masterminded United’s largest spell of dominance in a trophy laden career.
Fast forward to today’s footballing landscape and, as far as Jose Mourinho is concerned, it’s just three years of excuses and yes, it is still crap. Enough is enough, I cannot speak for everybody but I cannot keep making excuses for this outdated manager living off past, bygone glories.
Whereas Ferguson saw off challenge after challenge – Keegan’s chokers, Wenger’s Invincibles, Mourinho’s powerhouses, Rafa’s bottlers and City’s oil fuelled rise. Mourinho is seeing off supporters and players, being the villain in the centre of the shit storm that is this current Manchester United side, an imitation of their former self.
How much longer can we continue to hopelessly back a man who has blown £400m, doesn’t know his best eleven or style and continues to come up with excuses for their worst start to a Premier League season, closer to the drop zone than the title and a negative goal difference in December? I put it to you that the current football is worse than Van Gaal, whose possession philosophy at least had a semblance of style. I thought it would take a lot to eclipse Van Gaal’s boredom but congratulations Mr Mourinho, you are achieving that right now.
This has all come from a non footballing, Glazer yes man chief executive running the show, parasitic owners bleeding the club dry of money they make solely and the continual aberrations of hiring conservative managers. As if those nauseating ingredients were not enough in this horrendous melting pot, we are stuck with remnants of four managers, including has-beens, hangers on and not good enough recruitment. The situation is exacerbated by Mourinho calling out players who have saved his bacon in recent weeks and our undoubted world class talents with rather precarious contractual scenarios.
Poor Scott McTominay. The young Scot who Mourinho is effectively utilising as a hostage in his quest to secure another centre-back we know he is so bitter about from the summer. You cannot apportion any blame on McTominay, who must be thankful he is in the team, but Mourinho is compromising United’s chances before a ball has been kicked with nonsensical team selection. Play the role of business person for a second, would you trust Mourinho with any more money, having already blown obscene numbers and fork out, for argument’s sake, another £91M on Napoli’s Koulibaly, as per Bleacher Report? Odds are you would not dish out more finances when vast amounts have been wasted. It’s a real catch 22 for United, as no doubt they will need to see improvements if they are to land the precious top four money they deem adequate and crave so badly.
Mourinho himself has even acknowledged that the game has evolved since his all-powerful glory days. So why on god’s earth does he persist with outdated, dinosaur methods? The art of management is managing players according to their personalities and qualities: Mourinho is clearly lacking in these skills, preferring to liken young players these days to pretentious snowflakes and having the nerve to call Paul Pogba a ‘virus’, as suggested by the Daily Record. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?
Once you go out of your way to throw your players under the bus publicly, not in house, you cannot regain the dressing room. This United side are going through the motions, almost waiting for Mourinho’s P45 to hit his desk.
United are making ANY game look like the Guardiola masterclasses dished out in 2009 and 2011. Even Southampton, in the relegation zone as that’s where they deserve to be and one home win ALL YEAR, not just this season, led a merry dance round United in the first half an hour. If this is deemed acceptable by Woodward, who invariably is watching on haplessly from the crowd, then we are dying a slow, painstaking death. What does it have to take for something to actually give? Any team with hunger and mobility overpowers this spineless United side, I dread to think what Emery’s tornado will cause on Wednesday night.
That is what it has come to these days, watching United games with dread, were it not for David de Gea’s brilliance, something we are overly blessed with, Young Boys would have claimed a famous win last midweek. Sandwiched in between two draws against the league’s cannon fodder, when Mourinho said United would use these as a springboard for a top four place by the New Year, the joy and hope we used to have in abundance has dissipated into thin air.
Young Boys, if they had a bit more quality, would have beaten United, yet Mourinho chose at full-time to show his true colours and make it all about himself. Skating over the fact that his team had secured qualification from a group containing one of the favourites for the whole thing, Mourinho had rehearsed an impassioned, yet egotistical speech highlighting his nigh-on unblemished record in Europe. The smashing of the water bottle crate appeared to vent out frustration at his side’s abject display, yet we have to endure the same crap week in week out. Nothing is changing, other than our estimation of Mourinho taking ever increasing downward turns.
United’s struggles are exacerbated by bitter rivals City and Liverpool looking the real deal and contextualised by the impacts Messrs Sarri and Emery have had in just half a season at their respective helms. Compare that to Mourinho’s three and it is clear that a rot has set in at Old Trafford. Chelsea and Arsenal have been reinvigorated after the chaotic Conte and winless Wenger saw their time run out, it begs the question what would a change of manager do for United? Surely not much worse…
At the time of writing, news has filtered through that Mark Hughes has lost his job at Southampton (via the Guardian), I suppose that’s the price people pay these days when they cannot beat this pale imitation of a Manchester United side. In all seriousness, it is deeply annoying that clubs of all sizes can see when a change is desperately needed to transform their fortunes. Maybe that’s because they have actual footballing men running the show.
Ed Woodward has never been averse to gloating about United’s flourishing revenue streams, so do us a favour Ed and fork out the £14m it would take to bring this torturous hell to an end.
Three years of excuses and it’s still crap, Pete Molyneux said it then and I’m sure he is still saying it now.