Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane were trending this week after Manchester United’s defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League. It was proof that nobody does overreaction like United fans.
When Solskjaer wins then all is well, but a draw or defeat is treated like the Fall of Rome, social media becomes a cesspit of overreactions to a defeat, football teams lose and draw games but United are not allowed to.
We all want the team to win everything and every game, but this won’t happen, they will lose games and drop points as will everyone else but it’s not the end of the world.
Manchester United’s success can be embodied in two men Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson, a problem the club has had is how do you replace legends?
Every manager who came after Busby suffered from the fact that they weren’t Busby and the club struggled to find its way after he left and the same can be said for Sir Alex almost a decade after his final season.
Almost every time United lose or draw a game the knives are out and it’s time to burn everything to the ground and start again, time is essential to a manager but it’s always in short supply if you are United Manager as you can always be one or two games from a full-blown crisis.
The expectation from the fanbase is to win trophies and be the best club in the world and for its size and history this is true, but it’s not given it is earned. Most fans expect the team to rock up and dispatch any side they play but football is brilliantly unpredictable.
If the club won every game, then it would be boring, without defeat you cannot appreciate victory, the football landscape has changed, and the club have more rivals domestically and, on the continent, than before.
We all want to see our team win trophies and there are only four on offer for the English clubs so unless you win them all there is always going to be one or more teams without silverware come the end of May.
Also, and I cannot stress this enough – EUROPEAN FOOTBALL IS NOT PLAYED LIKE PREMIER LEAGUE FOOTBALL. Teams will not come onto United, they will try to slow down and frustrate United, also teams are more tactically astute and will capitalise on your weaknesses if you are not on your game.
If you don’t adapt to the slower more tactical side of the Champions League then you will always be disappointed, teams will be more organised and have better quality than most domestic teams as they have earned the right to play in this competition.
FC Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Basel, CFR Cluj and Rotor Volgograd have all beaten United in Europe in the last 30 years, but strangely there were no calls for the manager to go. David’s beat Goliath’s in football, it’s why we love it so much.
Personally, I was a little annoyed by the Young Boys result but there are 5 more group games left and 15 points to play for, every bad result seemingly crystallises everything wrong with Solskjaer at United in his bad subs and lack of clear style of play etc.
Every manager makes substitutions and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, and all managers live and die by their decisions except fans after a game who are undefeated with perfect 20:20 hindsight.
There is an American expression for someone who says what someone should have done after the event, they are called a Monday Morning Quarterback. Also, there is even a song called Monday Morning Quarterback by the Great Frank Sinatra which includes a line which sums up most of Twitter after the Young Boys Result.
Yes, it’s easier to win it when you know you’d never play it quite the same. But then, this Monday morning quarterback never lost a game.
Twitter seems to be full of people telling professionals what they did wrong and with the size of United’s fanbase this is magnified by a large number. Sometimes a bad night is just a bad night and just needs to be forgotten about and move on.
United will lose games and drop points a few times in this season and that’s fine, its part and parcel of the game but we need as a collective to stop overreacting to a defeat that 9/10 wouldn’t happen again. We weren’t good enough and the other team deserved the win.
It is one defeat in a long season, there will be ups and downs but that’s part of the journey, I do think Ole got things wrong on the night, but I am not going to lose my head over a bad game.
Every team will drop points both domestically and in European competition so even the great Pep Guardiola/Jurgen Klopp/Thomas Tuchel will get it wrong from time to time, their fans accept this and move but we can’t keep saying United win because of the players and lose because of Ole as its just plain wrong.
Having a defined style of play is all well and good but Zinedine Zidane didn’t seem to have one, he was always vague when asked about it to the media, but his approach worked for him.
3 Champions Leagues mean he would adapt to who he was playing and just made sure that his squad of top-class players knew their roles and he kept them in the right frame of mind to succeed. Ole has experienced players in that squad and they just need time to bed in, mistakes will happen, but I think this team will come good and we just need to keep calm and not worry about 1 defeat.
We can all get upset over a result or performance, but we can’t keep doing this after ever negative result, the good thing about football is there is always another game.