Man Utd: What’s Gone So Wrong?

Man Utd fans, I’m sorry for what’s about to happen. For the next 900 or so words you are going to have to listen to a Liverpool fan of 45 years tell you what’s gone so badly wrong at your club that one of the most dominant forces in English and World football has been reduced to…well…a Liverpool team that couldn’t win a piss up in a brewery if they’d organized it every 12 months for the best part of three decades. The fact is that the once-mighty Man Utd has been reduced to a shadow of a team that stood astride the footballing globe like a colossus, teabagging any unfortunate opposition that happened to get in its way, and it’s now about as much of a threat as a puppy. That’s been shot. And has had both of its legs amputated. And is blind from an infection it caught during that procedure.

Oh…and it’s also dead.

But don’t feel that this is just going to be a hatchet piece. It isn’t. If anything, as someone who lived through Liverpool’s glory days, only to watch them fall off a cliff faster than a bus driven by a blind man, I know only too well the pain you’re going through right now.

It breaks your f*cking heart, doesn’t it? To watch your once magnificent club be forced to settle for The Europa League where you’ll probably find yourselves in the back ass end of Turkmenistan playing some team you had to Google to find out who the hell they were – while through the entire tournament Ronaldo seems to suddenly come to do with these blinding headaches, every other Thursday – and wondering how it could’ve come to this?

And that’s the question, isn’t it?

How has Man Utd – one of the most decorated clubs in all domestic football – found themselves in this position?

Man Utd shirt logo

Survey Says!

Transfers. That’s what has been at the core of Man Utd’s problems since Fergie handed the reins over to David Moyes back in 2013. Okay, I’ll admit, not everything that has happened at the club can be solely linked to the comings and goings of  the transfer market, but as an outsider looking in, I fully believe that a vast majority of it can be put down to the so-called transfer policy of Man Utd.

Let’s look at some of the “big names” that have come into the club since Fergie decided to call it a day.

  • Marouane Fellaini: £29 million
  • Juan Mata: £40 Million
  • Ander Herrera: £32 million
  • Luke Shaw: £33 million
  • Angel Di Maria: £67 million
  • Memphis Depay: £30 million
  • Morgan Schneiderlin: £31 million
  • Anthony Martial: £54 million
  • Eric Bailly: £34 million
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan: £37 million
  • Paul Pogba: £94 million
  • Victor Lindelöf: £31 million
  • Nemanja Matić: £40 million
  • Romelu Lukaku: £76 million
  • Fred: £53 million
  • Aaron Wan-Bissaka: £49 million
  • Bruno Fernandes: £56 million
  • Harry Maguire: £80 million
  • Donny van de Beek: £35 million
  • Raphaël Varane: £36 million
  • Jadon Sancho: £76 million

And with the possible exception of Juan Mata and the definite exception of Bruno Fernandes, every single player on that list has been a bigger flop than a 60 year old trying to cop off with a couple of hookers without a lil blue pill.

Why? Simple, really, Man Utd is run by people who don’t know their arse from their elbows. The over riding factor behind Man Utd’s recruitment policy is “F*ck it. We’ll just spank as much money as we can on as many hot properties as we can find and that should sort it out”. But football doesn’t f*cking work like that.

Carlton Palmer made an interesting point on TalkSport radio the other day, where he said that he couldn’t believe that they bought Paul Pogba back for that extrodinary amount of money and didn’t build a team around him that would let him shine. And as much as I’m lothed to agree with anyone that’s on TalkSport these days, he’s got a point.

When Pogba resigned for Man Utd back in 2016, Utd fans and the footballing world in general sat up and took notice. Here was a guy who had helped Juventus pick up six trophies, including four league titles, in his time with the club and had become an intricate part of the French national team. So what did Man Utd do? Did they allow him to go out and play that maverick role he had with The Old Lady? No. They stuck him next to Marouane Fellaini, hoped that it’d work out and that Zlatan and Rooney could help paper over the cracks, and that’s pretty much where he was left to rot for the next six years.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending Pogba and his behaviour. In fact, I think he’s an entitled douchebag who’d rather be famous for being famous than actually put a shift in, but it’s an example of the systematic problem that runs through Man Utd like cancer. Instead of having people behind the scenes that know what they’re actually f*cking doing they’d rather just throw good money after bad and hope for the best.

Take Jadon Sancho for example. Here’s a young lad who was the future of English football. A Manchester City reject – for want of a better turn of phrase – who’d gone to Dortmund and proven himself as a fantastic player who could go onto become one of the GOAT’s, if given the right guidance. So Man Utd snapped him up last year for a whopping £76 million. Then go and resign Ronaldo because they’d heard City might make a move for him.

Seriously? What the actual f*ck?

Not only did tney take away any chance of Sancho leading any line for Utd until Ronaldo’s contract runs out, his confidence has blatantly taken such a hit in the fact that the club who signed him for such just a role didn’t trust him enough to allow him to do it. Don’t give me any of this “Oh, he can learn from The Master” bollocks either. Sancho was signed as the next big thing and by bringing their old number 7 back into the fold, well that’s done more damage than you can possibly imagine.

So what’s the answer?

There isn’t one really. Not until the Glazer family are convinced that enough is enough and sell to someone…anyone…who might actually care about the history of Man Utd and, believe or not, that saddens me.

I’m not one of these fans who celebrates the decline of other clubs. Well, within reason. Watching Chelsea nearly go out of business again was pretty f*cking funny for anyone who wasn’t one of Roman’s Boys, but to see Man Utd – a club who has a history that is hard fought for and desrvedly won, and yes that did stick in my throat – reduced to hoping that Barca will let them buy Frenkie de Jong for an exorbant amount of money just on the off chance that the reuninon between himself and his old coach/ new Man Utd manager can spark some kind of revolution? That’s almost as sad as watchin Bambi’s mother get shot.

Man Utd deserve better, but until they get new owners, that ain’t ever going to happen.

Written by Neil Gray

SPOBS very own Mouth Of The South (West).

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