The streets of Manchester bled last night as the rain poured down on derby day, and there was an unmistakeable blue twinge to that blood. Manchester City hurt Manchester United again, as they have been doing for the last decade. The battle lines were drawn, and in the end it was men against boys yet again. The game elicited feelings of pure de ja vu to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s final season in charge, and that 2-0 defeat against Manchester City at Old Trafford.
Erik ten Hag’s failings this season are a symptom of the issues at Manchester United. The club is not failing as a result of Erik ten Hag, Erik ten Hag is failing as a result of the club. Just like Jose Mourinho did. Just like Ole did. And just like Louis Van Gaal did.
There is a cultural decline at Manchester United. The club is a graveyard for talent. As Gary Neville mentioned, Mason Mount and Harry Maguire were wanted by Liverpool and Manchester City respectively, they come to Manchester United and their careers look dead in the water. It happens to every player, and every manager. Perhaps every now and again you have to take a second to stop blaming the football’s for being flat, and start looking at the one’s who are pumping them up.
Manchester United: The Sisyphus Affect
Sisyphus is a man from Greek mythology. He was punished by Hades, a God, for cheating death. His punishment was to push a rock up a hill for eternity, but every time it got to the top it rolled back down the hill. No matter what he done, he could never get that rock over the hill, thus freeing himself from the shackles holding him back.
The Glazer’s to Manchester United, are Hades. No matter how much progress any manager has made at any given time at the club in these last 10 years, whenever that rock got to the top of the hill, Avram and Joel Glazer flicked it right back down. It’s happening with Erik ten Hag now. He reached the top of that hill last season, and unfortunately now it looks like the same rock is going to fall back down on the Dutch man and kill the project he was trying to build.
I won’t hide away from the fact I do question some of Erik ten Hag’s decisions, but I also did the same with Mikel Arteta during his first two seasons at Arsenal. I wondered why he played this player there, and this other player didn’t get a minute on the pitch, but it all turned out quite good in the end didn’t it? I’m not saying it’s nailed on for Erik to turn out like Arteta, but are we really going to throw the chance to find out away in October?
We Need Daniel Ratcliffe, Not Jim Ratcliffe:
Manchester United need a miracle to return to their former glories. Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% might help a bit, but until the owners who are the reason the club owes over £1billion in debt, player transfers and more leave the club, nothing will ever truly change.
They are like the Voldemort of Manchester United. They hang over a club that can produce so much positive magic if given the chance, and spoil it with their dark arts. The Theatre of Dreams has now turned into the Valley of broken ones, and no matter what any manager or player does we always end up back at this same point.
United need a revamp like never before. They are likely the only club on planet earth without a sporting director. They have the worst recruitment on the entire planet. They have CEOs making poor decision after poor decisions still running the club with absolutely no repercussions.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has to clear it out. He has to start fresh, but hire the best in class. He has to fix the stadium and revamp the training ground. Ratcliffe has to take Manchester United from the being the worst in class at every level football wise for a big club and make them the best in class. If he doesn’t do that, there will be another ten years of failure. Another ten years of sacked managers. And another ten years of scapegoating different players.
It’s A Cycle:
When are fans going to realise this is a cycle? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was hounded out because he smiled too much and apparently didn’t have any tactics. Fast forward two years and the tactician many wanted to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with apparently has no tactics either. It’s gone from Harry Maguire not being a good enough captain to Bruno Fernandes not being a good enough captain. David De Gea and Paul Pogba were billed as the problem, but now the problem is apparenly Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford.
When do we learn? When do we realise that these things are all symptoms of the illness wreaking havoc to the inside of Manchester United. As Gary Neville said, when do we stop looking at the kids in the classroom and start to look at the head teacher? There is a cultural sickness internally at Manchester United. It’s easy for everyone to see, even the fans who like to pretend to Glazer’s aren’t a problem.
You cannot succeed without a structure. Pep Guardiola eluded to this last night post game.
If there’s no structure, there’s no plan. If there’s no plan there’s no point. Erik ten Hag may go. The next manager may start off excellent, but he will find the same problems at reaching that next level as every manager post Sir Alex Ferguson has. The parallels are all there. We’ve watched the same segments on Sky Sports, and had the same arguments about different players for a decade. It’s time to learn from our mistakes, and fully get behind a manager for the first time since the great man left.