The times they are a-changin’. Oh yes, it’s a bit good being a Manchester City fan at the moment, dare I say it’s never been so good. Talk of the quadruple has been making headlines, and whilst the days of ‘typical City’ are long gone, my hopes and wishes are still restricted to one trophy this year – the Premier League – I’d settle for that even with a defeat in the Capital One Final. Dreaming of four is just folly. We do seem a little invincible at the moment though with the ‘we’ll score more than you’ philosophy working rather well, proven again today when we gave plucky Watford a two goal half-time lead in the FA Cup. Whilst I’d like to go on about City’s attacking delights I must stop there. I wanted to write about our ‘noisy neighbours’…
As much as I’m enjoying watching City play this season, it’s a beautiful added bonus to see United struggling and playing – regardless of what Sir Alex says – so badly. Interviewed just a few days ago on Sky Sports he said: “United can do anything. They have got that great philosophy and history, they will always do well… I can watch the team whenever I want and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m going as a supporter now and instead of suffering with the team, I’m suffering or enjoying it with the fans. I’m really enjoying watching the team play.” Absolute bollocks. And enough of the “they”.
Of course Ferguson isn’t going to say it – he still has his managerial hat on, probably always will – but United have been crap this season. If he’s been enjoying watching a team void of solidity and creativity he’s… well, he’s talking bollocks isn’t he? As a manager he was a self-confessed control freak, and yes one of the most successful of all-time, so to give that up after 27 years must have been a hugely difficult decision. To say now that he’s enjoying watching from the stands, unable to do anything about the lacklustre mediocrity seeping from the ‘theatre of dreams’ is perfect managerial bullshit.
On the subject of managerial sackings Ferguson cannot understand why clubs are sometimes so quick to do just that, and says United have a different way of operating – saying they will “absolutely” give Moyes the time he needs. Talking of United’s apparent philosophy he said: “Of course they will [stick to their philosophy]. They’ve always been that way,” and on the subject of the of Moyes’ future he said “There’s no need to go down that road. Everybody knows what Manchester United is, absolutely 100%.”
So, where is the evidence of this managerial philosophy everybody knows about? In January 1990 Mark Robins apparently saved Fergie’s career with a match-winning goal in the third round of the FA Cup against Nottingham Forest. Fergie was on the verge of being dismissed. There! There, you see… United’s managerial philosophy is clear to everyone, the Glazer’s especially. Twenty-four years of sticking with the most successful manager of all time clearly proves that the Glazer’s have patience with under-performing managers. Duh. Football has changed, United have changed, massively. If United, as I predict, do not qualify for the Champions League this season the pressure on Moyes will be enormous. Van Persie will probably leave, and the world-class players who have been so tempted by the United brand will now think twice. Quite simply there are at least four teams in the Premier League with better players, and probably better managers than United right now. Let’s see how long that philosophy lasts.
Not that I wish the sack on Moyes. But even as a non-Manc City fan it’s been bloody horrible listening to the arrogance and bombastic bullshit from United fans, as if they’ve a ‘god given right’ to win over the last twenty something years. Moyes seems like a decent fella and certainly a capable manager, he’s clearly struggling with the weight of expectation, not helped by that United god given right philosophy. Now it’s City’s turn. Not to adopt that conceited and egotistic rag culture, but rather to adopt the already evident Barcelona style so excellently described here. Call it holistic, call it whatever you like but one thing is certain – the future is bright, the future is Sky Blue.