You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
How appropriate if you’re a United fan. Sir Alex Ferguson came, he saw and he truly conquered. And be honest. We took it for granted. Being the best. Dominating the league. Demanding respect. The fear factor of Old Trafford that once was. The drama. And the goals. All under the great man himself. The affectionately nicknamed ‘Fergie.’
Being a tender (i joke) twenty-two year old myself, all my life the only United i knew was the one managed by Sir Alex. I have seen many trophies lifted by my team and for that I am grateful, and dare I admit a little spoilt. For some fans can only dream of seeing their beloved club life one cup in a lifetime.
Why is it then, that the majority of United fans just can’t accept what is happening right now? Is it because Sir Alex got us so used to success that we just can’t live without it? Or that we forgot what it’s like to truly rebuild a squad? It’s easy enough saying through the good and the bad times we’ll support them. But actions speak louder than words. Do we expect better? Absolutely. Do we deserve better? Only if we can be there through it all and not just for the glory. And it’s fair to say we’ve had our fair share of that.
Admittedly, I’m frustrated. Not necessarily because of the results. A defeat (or several perhaps) I can accept. But sometimes it’s not what you do but the way that you do it. What happened to the never die attitude? Where’s the passion? That’s what I miss more than anything. That unmistakable love for the club and what we stand for. The likes of Vidic would defend (quite literally in his case) the club with honour. Just seven years ago the famous run in the Champions league final could bring a grown man to tears. Could we expect to see that kind of emotion today? Certainly not if the last few games are anything to go by. So, what changed? Who’s to blame?
Louis van Gaal’s method or philosophy has been called into question. Is his style of play restricting the players and therefore restricting their passion too? Or should the players themselves accept some of the blame too? After all, regardless of who is in charge, they’re the ones representing Manchester United on the pitch. Are the fans, even, somewhat to blame? Expecting too much perhaps since the retirement of a great manager and poor season that followed. Or could the modern world of football take some of the flak too? The big clubs seem to be struggling, whilst the so called ‘small’ clubs are flourishing, with more spending power and less fear. Of course, all this is speculation. None of us know, despite all the stories we read, what has truly gone on behind the scenes.
But what next? Rumours are abound that Louis will be sacked after the defeat at home against Norwich City with the possible prospect of Jose Mourinho taking his place. But for the moment, whilst unsure of our club’s future, there’s only one thing we can do. In these uncertain times, we have to remember there was a United before Fergie and we have fallen on hard times before. The only way we can act is to get behind the team. Who knows what’s next for us or if a new manager or even the same one can turn this season around? The one thing i am completely sure of is that my love for the club hasn’t faltered. They need our support now more than ever. Not boos.
Of course it’s disappointing to see such unforgettable performances. If I was to say I wasn’t a little worried you would be right to call me a liar. Something needs to change. We need to see the squad get their spark back. But the one thing that can never change is our support. I don’t know when the glory days will return. But when they do, they will be all the sweeter for the struggles we’ve faced.
Ironically, the last time we had this many defeats on the bounce, we won the treble. Not for one second am I expecting that now, especially with it being impossible and all! But in this crazy world of football, anything can happen in five months. All I know is come rain or shine, change of managers, players in and out, we have to back our boys. And in return, I’m not expecting a christmas miracle. Just a bit of passion from them. Good old fashioned love for the game.
Whatever happens, we have to remain United.