Manchester United’s season is over. In mid-March. And it’s not the first time we’ve been here.
In the post Sir Alex Ferguson era, we’ve been nothing short of a shambles. Aside from a few trophies won by Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, we’ve never really competed for the major honours.
As fans, it has been tough to watch. Let’s be real here, our demise hasn’t been due to a lack of trying. Big bucks has been spent on overhauling the squad. Managers have been sacked in order to try and turn things around.
Sadly, I think it stems from the top. To be more precise, their poor decision-making. It’s all well and good having bucketloads of cash to throw at players. It has to be used wisely.
Far too often I’ve seen us make the luxury signing over the smart business decision. Alexis Sanchez is the prime example of that. The Chilean wasn’t exactly a need when Arsenal were letting him go, but United signed him and then worried about where he’d fit in later. This is absolutely the wrong way to go about it.
It’s not just been an abject failure when it comes to signing players, either. I look at contracts being handed out to mediocre squad players and can only shake my head. I’m not sure how many times we’ve been burned by this, but again, paying big money to the likes of Andreas Pereira and Phil Jones, in order to get some sort of transfer fee for them, is just absurd. Seriously, what club in their right mind was ever going to pay the astronomical transfer fees United are asking for, when those guys are barely playing (or playing horrifically). The mind boggles.
Managerial appointments have followed a similar pattern. United, a club enriched in history and tradition, have tried to move away from what’s worked in the past. Mourinho was never going to be a long-term solution, while the club probably pulled the trigger on a permanent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer contract a little bit too quickly. Sure, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but we’re not just talking about one or two small mistakes here, we’re making big errors on a regular basis.
We then come to broken promises. The club have stated that they’re willing to be more transparent with the fans. We’ve barely heard anything. I get it, life is tough when you’ve got multiple sports clubs to run but it irks me when they say they’re going to do something but never do.
We’re in a similar situation right now. A new manager will presumably be hired over the next few months, but there’s no such thing as a dugout messiah who can come in and change the fortunes of the whole club from top to bottom. In the end, their good work will be overshadowed by the poison running deep through Old Trafford right now. They’ll no doubt fall like many before him – and round and round we go.
Sadly, major change takes time. Us fans have to be patient and try to trust the process, but that’s hard when this club has let us down so many times recently.
To round things off, I’ll just end by saying try not to set your expectations too high in the short-term. We’ve an awfully long way to go before we’re challenging in the elite competitions again – and that’s something we’re sadly just have to going to get used to…