It is the morning after the night before …and like a zombie apocalypse the Manchester United landscape feels like a barren and ravaged vista. The metaphoric bodies and screams from a million twitter accounts, left strewn across the car parks and fields. Hashtags sprayed upon walls, in the blood of Ed Woodward. David Moyes’ name, already spoken like a British Prime Minister, who led us into an international war we could never win. The taste in the mouth is positively radioactive. Like battery acid mixed with lemons provided by our tabloids. It is frankly a mess. But not for the reasons you might assume.
One thing that was proved to me last night unequivocally, is how bad ‘supporters’ have become. As we all witnessed Arsenal unveil their stellar signing via social media and Sky Sports News, the jealous rage of United fans was palpable. Once upon a time, such a signing would’ve have triggered mass debate (ahem) …maybe even some tribal name calling. all in the name of our clubs. However, what we received was a ton of random shouting at the CEO and the manager…all as hollow and vapid as could be. Nothing constructive. Just a wall of noise, like a pack of howling dogs.
Now don’t get me wrong – this window has not covered the Manchester United board in any type of glory (a board that also contains Sir Alex and Sir Bobby) – but I have never seen such unbelievable outrage about something that was at best ‘a non event’
Yep, we didn’t get the players we wanted. But we did address an age-old problem in our central midfield – something we have craved for many moons. Yet many United fans allowed the event to be their first opportunity to attack a manager and CEO, who are still in their infancy in terms of tenure. For Ed Woodward, I really feel nothing. No sympathy or pain. But to suddenly ‘love David Gill’ as so many Reds professed yesterday – it’s simply hyperbole of the highest and most Scouse order. David Gill is the man who implemented and protected Glazernomics – the business plan of a bunch of American owners who have sucked the financial lifeblood from Manchester United. But suddenly the fans love him? Suddenly he is tons better than Woodward, because the new CEO has had a poor window? This is the point where I would normally swear in real life…
The reaction of our fanbase was more shocking than any failure in the market this summer. I think strong questioning can be made of a lot of the tactics in this window…I think the Fabregas move was poorly conducted, and I hate it when any club does its business in the media, let alone the one I support. But I do not think that any of the result is worth hanging anyone for. We have played three games. Yet fans seem desperately more interested in transfer gossip and tabloidism, than they are in the players who actually play for the club – players who walked the league last year. I’ve discussed with many United fans about the strength of Chelsea and City this year. This is a Chelsea team who missed out on their number one target of the summer (yes he plays for us) and also don’t seem too keen on their own best player from last season. Even Lukaku is getting offered around by them. This all sounds like genius to me…I mean…it sounds like idiocy. City on the other hand have already lost at Cardiff, but they are the best team in the land on paper – much like they were 12 months ago. Hmm? A Tevez for a Jovetic? No thanks.
I’m disappointed by our fans reactions last night, and over the summer. The transfer window is devised to put bums on the media seats – to make fans swim towards the trawlers net, only to be caught in one big swipe of the ocean net, capturing a thousand minds, and driving you all nuts – and SO MANY allow this to happen to them. And not just certain facets of society – it seems to affect people from every race, religion and class bracket. Fans dress this up as ‘passion’ or ‘having an opinion’…when all it amounts to is kids squabbling over a load of sweets, fresh from the shops. Most of these fans do not blink an eye, when we try to openly debate the abortion that our ownership is, yet…don’t sign a short German chap from Madrid, and its primal screams on repeat! Priorities of the Man Utd fan seem odd at best in 2013.
Everybody supports their club differently, and there’s is nothing wrong with that. But once upon a time such a summer of transfer inactivity would have been shrugged off. It has happened many times before. The key difference is the absence of Fergie, but Moyes has been given a diamond encrusted squad, built with the DNA and knowledge of the greatest manager in the history of football. Things are simply not the bad. Answers will be needed as to what happened with Herrera and Baines, but ultimately it didn’t warrant the reaction we have witnessed. Moyes and Woodward will have a new transfer window to deal with in just over a hundred days – that is no time at all. They can learn from the mistakes that were made in this window, and move forward. Fergie and Gill worked so well together, because they were friends and kept everything top-secret. I hope we no longer read of ‘unlimited budgets’ and ‘fancy Spaniards who played for Arsenal’ being publicly talked about again. Who cares about better relations with the press? Fergie kept it tight for a reason. Sharks swim in our waters all of the time.
So now the window is shut, and fans need to get on with it. Supporters need to realise it is not opposition fans that will bring us down, but our own actions will. No one is asking for ‘blind support’ – but blind panic will only serve to break our football club. We are at a crossroads. We either believe the press’ ideology that Man Utd is finished now Sir Alex has moved upstairs, or we retain that siege mentality that the man taught us. About how to deal with adversity. About how to utilise the power of being the underdog. Ozil to Arsenal is a lovely thing for Gooners, but clever fans from North London understand that they have more deep-lying problems than anything our squad has to worry about. Chelsea fans are dogmatic in their praise of their saviour returning, but they know with their current defence and attack, they are still short. And even City fans will admit that despite spending £100m on signings, that there are no guarantees that this season will be better than last. Was Mancini that bad? Most will say no.
Sir Alex left us with one bit of advice, on that Old Trafford football pitch, as we cried rivers of tears in those stands. He didn’t ask for us to give him more accolades, or to live in the past. He asked us to look forward and get behind our new manager. Our supporter base needs to remember those words. Fergie chose them as his final statement for a reason. If the opposition better us, so be it. We are United, and we fight another day. But if we implode and beat ourselves, then that will be the saddest end possible to the glory years of MUFC. We will sink like Liverpool, and that will be the end. Reliving distant victories – can you imagine in the year 2033 us not having won a league title for twenty long years? It has happened to us before.
Sing for your club and sing for David Moyes. If he fails, at least we would’ve kept our part of the bargain. Welcome to Manchester United Marouane – we needed steel. Now show your detractors why Moyes has this trust in you.
Things are good for United right now. But an apocalypse is only around the corner, if you invite it into your house.