Article 5 | Man U Deluded!
Football fans are a lot of things. Emotional, passionate, irrational, proud and unthinkably stubborn – I too on occasion demonstrate some of these wonderful traits. I usually base the validity of my opinion on whether Gary Neville agrees. I stay furthest away from Jamie Redknapp’s views, and even further from Paul Merson’s. I do entertain the brutal honesty from the likes of Paul Scholes and Graeme Souness, despite their often clumsy delivery. As far as the fans go, I usually just rely on my own opinion. Seeing as most of you cannot argue that we possess the personality traits listed above, my reluctancy to take on board your views shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to you.
So let me be clear on some hard facts for the sake of those who have allowed their emotions to once again dictate their footballing brains. Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers on this planet. It’s pretty simple really, and I’m not even his biggest fan. I needn’t fill this article with all the reasons why, rather I ask you to simply Google his illustrious career for yourself. Take special notes when reading about all the trophies he’s won, the teams he’s managed, the home records he holds and importantly the age at which he has achieved it all by. We’re questioning the ability of a manager who didn’t go a single calendar year without winning at least one trophy between 2003 and 2012. Yes, you read that correctly.
As a United fan I share my own opinion as to why our team is under performing. If you cared to deter your attention away from the manager being the cause, whom as we’ve now established possibly possesses one of the most decorated CVs in the game, I’ll share with you my thoughts. Recently I’ve witnessed a strike of balance in our line up with the use of Carrick, Herrera and Pogba down the spine, with Mata pulling strings and setting up whoever is willing to run in behind.
My main concerns however present themselves at the other end of the field. At the point in which we were seemingly striking a growing confidence in our performances, we lost Smalling, Bailly, Valencia and Shaw. Take a moment to think about that – four starting defenders, one of which put in a man of the match performance against Arsenal last weekend on his return.
The dilemma we’ve faced is that our foundations have been rocked and our movement through the gears has been hindered. It all starts from the back, my second article – a good read. Confidence is low, our spine is dented, and our stability further falters. If the cement isn’t set, the wall will sink. This, cannot be denied.
I am honest enough to openly concede that I am not a big fan of Mourinho’s tendency to repeatedly behave like us. By that I mean to let his emotions get the better of him far too regularly. As I said, I am not his biggest fan yet, and I am certainly not claiming his methods are perfect. What I am claiming is that he is a winner, and our recent results do not reflect what I believe he is building at our club. I am probably amongst only a few when I say that I am a firm believer that if given the time, which I believe he deserved, he would have turned his bad fortunes around at Chelsea. The first thought that came into my head when he lost his position there – when will he become our next manager.
As I keenly play my part as the voice of reason, I’ll happily ignore my instincts as a proud stubborn fan and not deny the abundantly obvious question – would a dip in form to such a degree have occurred under Sir Alex Ferguson. You cannot shy away from this fact, however fickle I choose to be, that even with a weakened back four featuring the likes of Carrick and Evans, we would still perform. What a frustrating reality. I stand firm and deflect any blame away from Mourinho. The bar has been set higher than the sky, and this achievement is a tribute to the manager we had, rather than finger pointing towards the manager we have.
Time, belief and consistency will bring confidence and results. The true outlook on our current situation is that the world watches on hoping we fail. The thought that our current manager and squad can still achieve greatness in the short term sickens our rival fans. They would never admit this, as that would relieve themselves of their duties as stubborn, proud maniacs. But it’s the truth. I say in response to this attitude, just keep watching. Whether it’s this season or next, something at Manchester United will click and you’re all dreading the day. You cannot stop greatness reaching its potential when it’s already written in the stars. I’ll end on that, which I feel suitably introduces an additional and final personality trait of a true fan – delusion.