Hello Manchester United fans,
Hope you & your family are safe in these unprecedented times.
Speaking of unprecedented, its a similar phase in the history of this great club too.
The club is going through a rebuild & I see many fans getting frustrated by the club’s operations as well as my failings in the previous season to land a trophy. Moreover, many fans were calling for my head, after the palace loss as well as the narrow escape we had at Brighton. Therefore I thought to pen down my thoughts, not to please you guys, but to give you my perspective.
Last Season Antics – For starters, let me admit that many of you are right, we did aim for a trophy last season & it would have capped of a good ascend for all of us. However, it was not to be. In sports & in life, we don’t get all we want every time. In the rich history of our club, we have landed trophies & we have failed to land them after coming close to them too, doesn’t mean the team or the coaching staff were sacked. In 2012, Manchester City won the Premier League by Goal Difference, it hurt all of us to come so close & lose it. But we went ahead & rectified it in 2013, thanks to a certain Dutchman (RVP)! Sir Alex, went ahead & bought a proven goal scorer in RVP who had strong pedigree in the Premier League & voila, he delivered!
Transfers – Our job is to put in efforts, there will be ups & sometimes downs too, but we got to keep our chins up! Our failings haven’t been limited only to on-pitch efforts, we have been sprucing up our squad in the transfer window & trying to get in the right players. We have let some players off the hook due to player’s demands, agent’s fees or selling club asking for outrageous money, because its Manchester United. But I have always believed that I’d rather be a player short than getting the wrong player at the club.
The club is filled with players who have come here, because of money & not because they wanted to play for my beloved club. I have packed off some of these bandits while some are on the way, trust me on that one! The salaries that they have been paid to play for the club is atrocious, to say the least. The complications arise when we want to sell XYZ off to another club. The buying club can’t seem to be able to afford the wages of XYZ & on top of that we ask for transfer fees as well, which is a strong put off! Look at Barcelona, the way they have cleared out deadwood this season, nothing short of miracle.
Additionally, there are certain transfer targets we had decided before the window opened, like Sancho, a left back, Telles (Reguilon earlier), a center back (if we sell Phil & Rojo) & an attacking midfielder to push Bruno & Pogba.
Heck, out of the blue, we captured Van De Beek, out of sheer luck, thanks to another Dutchman (Van Der Sar), who’s doing a fabulous job at his boyhood club. BTW (my son taught me to use that acronym, whew, kids these day 😉 ) I wish we had hired a Director of Football though, I had emphasized the importance of the position to Ed long back, but he trusts Matt Judge more, I suppose. Unfortunately, Matt is very close to Ed & he listens to most of what Matt has to say (he doesn’t even have a footballing background & he looks after recruitments, what a joke!).
To mildly put Matt’s role & how he operates into perspective, there’s a joke amongst us staff, that he reads rumors first in The Sun & then targets players for the club. Hope we are wrong! 😀
Club Operations – It isn’t my job to comment on club’s operations, but the way the club is being run currently is shambles, even Molde (my previous club in Norway) was better run than Man United. Talking of Norway my native, let me tell you a famous story. I’m sure if you let your imagination fly for a moment, you’d be able to gauge the club operations & connect the dots.
In Norway, for centuries, Trolls have been a part of native folklore. The tale I’m about to tell you is of a certain Askeladden, the youngest son of a farmer who needed wood from the forest to pay off his debts.
When his first two sons went into the forest and returned empty handed – having been scared away by the troll – Askeladden went into the forest with a piece of cheese to keep him from starving.
When he encountered the angry troll, Askeladden pulled out the piece of cheese and, pretending it was a rock, squeezed it until the whey came out.
Thus, the troll was fooled and, fearing his great strength, offered to help the boy with his wood cutting.
After working hard, the troll invited the boy back to his home for a meal. As he was tending the fire, he pointed to two huge buckets and asked the boy to fetch water.
The boy realized that he couldn’t carry such massive buckets, let alone filled with water, so he claimed they were too small and that he would simply bring the whole spring instead.
The troll obviously didn’t want a whole spring in his house and so they exchanged chores. The boy tended the fire while the troll went to get water to make porridge. Once it was ready the boy suggested they have an eating contest.
They ate as much as they could, however the boy had placed his knapsack under his shirt and was filling it with the porridge, without the troll noticing. Once it was full he slashed a hole in it and continued to eat.
Once the troll was full and could eat no more, the boy suggested that the troll cut a hole in his stomach, like they boy appeared to have done, so that he could eat as much as he liked. The troll, being rather stupid, did so and promptly died. Thus, the boy took all of his gold and silver and the farmer could pay off his debts.
Well, just like the troll (who are considered stupid & dumb), there are some people at the club, who are trolls!
I won’t dig deeper, but I’m sure you are smart to figure out who I’m talking about in this case. Everyone at the club knows what we are trying to achieve & what our aim is this season (to close the gap to Liverpool & Man City as well as win trophies). But we are resting on our laurels & basking in the history of the club.
Tactics – Recently some fans have clamoured about me getting my tactics wrong or not making subs in a game. To them I only say, Trust me, not because we have done well against stronger tactically sound teams earlier but I believe, we will keep doing so. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a strong bench then & even now, but with the current set of players, I have got you to 3rd last season, so Trust me!
Hopefully, we can get a couple of more players I need over the line before October 5th & we should have a decent squad to challenge our for trophies.
Conclusion – When I signed permanently, as a manager, the one thing all of us agreed upon, was to take Manchester United, back where it belongs, at the top! Yes, there are gaps, which even Stevie Wonder could see, but I’d do anything & everything to take back Manchester United to the pinnacle once again.
So you as fans, do not stop backing the players, the club.
Vent your ire, resent when we lose a game, but support us through thick & thin!
If I were you, I’d not give up on my club!
I’d not give up on my players!
I’d not give up, come what may!
So are you #OleIn or #OleOut, let me know in the comments below, look forward.
Ha Det (Goodbye in Norwegian)
Please note, this is a fans perspective & not written by Ole