Is Manchester United losing its identity?

You’ll know that I haven’t been blogging much these last few weeks. I’ve been watching the matches and ignoring the transfer window bullshit, of course.

I think I’m not writing as much because it would be repetitive. Why is Louis van Gaal still here? Why aren’t we playing better? Why do the players talk so much and perform so little? And most of all, how the hell is Ed Woodward still anywhere near our club’s football operations?

It reminds me of this incredible clip from HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’ – I’m hoping you’ve seen it. The pretty co-ed asks the panel why they think ‘Murica is so freaking awesome. She is met with some typical platitudes and then bowled over by Jeff Daniels and his Will McAvoy character – who is clearly not only the smartest guy in the room but the one with the biggest set of balls, too.

I hate to say it, but this is exactly how I’m feeling about United of late.

We have an incredibly proud history. Full of trophies, but so much more.

A belief in youth. A responsibility to entertain. A never-say-die attitude. The Theatre of Dreams. Sir Matt and Sir Alex. Munich. Best, Law, Charlton. The Class of ’92. That night in Barcelona. On and on it goes…

Now we have one world-class player, we play a dour brand of football, no one is afraid to come to Old Trafford and have a go and our former players have their kids at City’s academy, not ours.

The only thing we are better at than most clubs in the world is the dreaded ‘commercial activity’. It’s the one thing Woodward should get credit for. If you need a deal done with adidas or an official sex toy partnership in Slovenia – he’s your guy.

Well, maybe two things. Our supporters are amazing.

Did you hear them at Derby the other night? Have you ever run into a Red in another part of the world and had an immediate kinship? Or been to Manchester and have a pint bought for you by a local just because you support United and came all that way to see them?

What happened?

Is this all down to Glazer-nomics or is there more to it than that? Is this a blip or the new normal? Are we spoiled or are we entitled to not want to let the standard slip?

Where do we go from here?

And more importantly, who is going to lead us there?

I honestly don’t think the personnel are in place at Old Trafford right now. I hope I’m wrong.

Because I want someone with the wisdom of Sir Matt, the fire of Roy Keane, the bloody-mindedness of Sir Alex and the flair of Georgie Best.

I want opposing teams to fear us and to have to adapt their games to ours – not the other way around. I want 100% effort from everyone on the pitch and for those lucky enough to pull on that shirt to play with guts, guile and flair.

And I want this club to be a leader in everything we do – not just balance sheets. The academy, the stadium, the coaching, the players. All of it.

Because I fear most of all that if we continue to let these things slip away, that we will never be the greatest club in the world again.

And that would be a shame.

UNITED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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