Opinion: Tackling the anti-Manchester United narrative and lazy punditry

“Manchester United aren’t really second, they’re in a false position.” So said so-called pundit Jason McAteer just two years ago as Manchester United sat behind only neighbours City in the table. To this day I’m not sure what he was trying to imply other than to spin some kind of silly anti-United narrative.

Fast forward to now and we’re here again, with a slightly adjusted narrative. After eight straight wins either of side of the World Cup break, United sit joint third in the table, are into the semi-finals of the League Cup and the fourth-round of the FA Cup. Yet, ask any TV or radio pundit about it and they’ll tell you that it doesn’t mean anything because United haven’t played anybody yet.

How utterly insulting. It could be argued that it’s a reasonable comment given that those eight wins have come against Aston Villa, Fulham, Burnley, Nottingham Forest, Wolves, Bournemouth, Everton and Charlton. These are teams Manchester United should be beating, we’re told and comfortably too.

Yet if we rewind even 12 months, these were the sort of teams United weren’t beating at all, let alone comfortably. Watford, Aston Villa, Everton, Leicester, all teams in the lower half of the Premier League table who came away with a result at Old Trafford whilst the Reds were also knocked out of the FA Cup at home to a side from a lower division.

United fans, unlike these so-called pundits it seems, are all too familiar with failing to beat sides ‘you’d expect Manchester United to beat comfortably’ we even lost 2-0 at home to Burnley not that many seasons ago. It also conveniently ignores that Erik ten Hag’s first 20 wins have included Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham, or are we counting them as nobody now, too? It also ignores that Fulham ,who United beat just before the break, currently sit above both Liverpool and Chelsea in the table. At best it’s lazy punditry, at worst it’s driving an agenda.

We can take this one step further. As a deal to bring Wout Weghorst in on a short-term loan nears completion, we’re told it reeks of desperation and that United have allowed the better option, Joao Felix to walk to Chelsea. It’s yet more lazy journalism.

Firstly, it ignores the fact that United need a centre forward, something Felix, isn’t and never has been. Paying close to €20m to take a player who doesn’t suit our needs would actually be the more desperate move. Secondly, this isn’t Odion Ighalo. United haven’t waited until the deadline and then signed whoever was available. Rather they’ve identified the type of player the manager wants and settled on a player who fits, there would have been players far easier to obtain than Weghorst.

It’s hard not to agree that United need a striker and that a loan in January is a last resort but with that being said Weghorst is a short term fix to a problem that can be solved more long term in the summer, it shouldn’t be viewed in any other way.

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1 Comment

  1. Lots of pundits hate United and most are either from Merseyside or have links to Liverpool. If Man Utd won the league they’d say the standard was poor. Fans in the pub know more than the stupid pundits.

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