Sunday, 27 October 2013

Manchester United's history of managerial change - reality from those with long memories

I vividly remember the last managerial change over at Manchester United and would like to make a probably futile attempt to convey a dose of reality to those already attacking the new manager David Moyes.

The famous banner attacking Ferguson, three years after the most successful football manager in history started his job at Manchester United

  • If David Moyes stays manager at Manchester United it will be all downhill at the club for the next three years
  • If David Moyes leaves Manchester United it will be all downhill at the club for the next THIRTY years 

Obviously the club has been spoilt with success for decades but the team that Alex Ferguson eventually began to win trophies with at United bore very little resemblance to the team ( three time FA Cup winners) he inherited from the previous manager Ron Atkinson.
Ferguson in that horrible first few years cleared out all the fan favourites from Old Trafford, including Gordon Strachan, Paul McGrath, Kevin Moran and Norman Whiteside. It was heartbreaking, especially as some of these players would return to haunt the club later for their new teams. Ferguson knew what he was doing though, as club captain Bryan Robson was kept as a figure of transition, and Ferguson's final job saving trick was to bring back the fan favourite player Atkinson had foolishly sold to Barcelona - Mark Hughes.

The big new players to the club were massively expensive defenders like Gary (WHO?) Pallister and chippy busy midfielders like Paul Ince. None were flair players like Jesper Olsen. Ferguson swapped and changed with goalkeepers disastrously seemingly playing safe with a known Scottish keeper before somehow winning a European trophy by beating Barcelona with a solid shot stopper on loan from Luton (Les Sealey).

The style of play was rank and the player purchases were boring because Ferguson spent years building from the back. The stars we'd loved and cheered to epic FA Cup victories were replaced with some dour loyal Ferguson secret policemen. This gamble took three years to pay off, but it did eventually at the clubs darkest hour - losing the last 1st Division Championship to Leeds United (containing Gordon Strachan) when it was there for the taking.

The Championship had been lost in exactly the same way it had been lost throughout the 80s under Atkinson, with United surging through the table until a vital midlfielder (usually Bryan Robson, in this case Ince) was injured, and team collapsed. This could have been the end of the team and Ferguson's career. But by now, staffed with Ferguson's loyal soldiers, it only made them stronger. They won the Championship the year after and from there on the only way was up and eventually, only eventually, Fergie's teams became known for exciting football as well as being impossible to beat.

If you are looking at the United team now and saying to yourself "Moyes can't win with this team" - you are correct, because when he does start to win big it will probably with a totally different team. But if Moyes is removed and fans all jump on the managerial merry-go round we've seen at every other club for that last 30 years United may not win again at all.
The David Moyes of the late 1980s
And one final thing. DON'T LISTEN TO THE MEDIA. Liverpool fans and Newcastle fans have a point when they say the media has it in for them because turmoil at their clubs attracts attention and sells papers. Ferguson has spent decades making enemies in the press and the vultures have been circling for a while. There are a lot of journalistic careers waiting to be made by feasting on the corpse of Manchester United, and the tragic collapse of a giant followed by a annual managerial and player clear out is a narrative that makes a lot of people a lot of money.
You won't be one of them.

To go along with the "well today people don't have the patience to wait.." is a tacit admission you are a sheep whose head gets filled with whatever crap a tabloid news source is willing to peddle. Go along with it if you don't have ability to think for yourself but don't dare moan to me because I've seen it all before..

No comments:

Post a Comment