A new lease, to a Portuguese-Not a poem.

Tormenting. Stormy. Flawed. Chaotic. One could use a large variety of derogatory terms to describe Manchester United’s last four years. The Chosen One, The Boring One (Yes . I just made that one.) and The Special One. All the Ones have tried, and have failed. At least for the time being. Moyes lost a lot of matches. Van Gaal won matches but the style of play was too ‘sideward’. And now José is drawing every match he can find. So let me pose to you, a question. If three, more or less world-class managers have tried and failed to get to the expectations of the fans, then does that tell you about the managers or the team? Probably a wrong question…… Um.. Yes. Forget I ever wrote this.

Possibly all this failure can be credited to a few wrong turns by all the managers. David Moyes let go of some good players. Van Gaal bought some very uninteresting players. And Mourinho has kept his tactics defensive at best. But I also suppose that the fans still live in a dream that is no longer possible. Football has become more equal. No longer, are the big clubs dominating the leagues as they used. And one of the most equal and unpredictable leagues in the world is the Premier League. So I believe it would be foolish to criticize them, if they don’t end up winning the Europa League. So what if we don’t play the Champions League? We’ll get it next year. Those who don’t play in Europe are doing pretty well, in the league.

In fact I feel , if we lose the final in Stockholm, next year, we should give up on the Europa League and focus on the PL. Perhaps we could end up winning it. So, in fact Man United is actually brilliantly positioned for the future. Winning or losing the final isn’t going to decide the future of José. He’s going to be the manager regardless.

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There can be no talk of a club managed by José Mourinho without talking about, José Mourinho. He was the Special One. He became the Happy One, and now he is the Calm One.  He’s been changing the Ones for a while now. And he doesn’t seem to be the same charming Portuguese who sauntered his way into English football, and had everyone completely under his spell. Gone are his witty retorts, his funny little insults and his eye twinkling smile. He’s become The Ebenezer Scrooge  of the Premier League. The frowns, the kicking bottles, the sending offs, all of them add to his Scrooge routine. He’s become the grumpy old uncle with whom nobody wants to converse.

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But enough about him. United are on the cusp of becoming great again. They are playing wonderful football, even though very drab in recent times. The back passes and Cruyff turns are running amok at Old Trafford. One thing that is not, is the goal scoring. Missing sitters is what ails the patient that Manchester United. And Dr. Mourinho hasn’t done much to cure it. Ibrahimovic and Rashford bring down the temperature for a while but then again it worsens. And in recent times, even the antibodies have reduced their potency. The defence may start to leak goals. United only beat Celta Vigo, because some City old-timer missed kicking the ball from 5 yards out.  So MU are riding this Europa League wave on sheer luck. And probably because of City. Also, Manchester United have given up all hopes of finishing in the top four. If this had been the immediate season after of Sir Alex’s retirement, José would have been fired already, like Moyes had been. But since then United fans have become a bit more mature. They have realized that they no longer can dominate football like they used to.  And hence allow more leeway and more time for a manager to get settled in.

So as I was saying a few paragraphs ago, this season is not a total failure. In fact I don’t think it is a failure at all. We are in the final of a European Cup(albeit the second tier), we won the EFL Cup, and we were undefeated for 25 odd games in the Premier League. So  all this adds up to a very good season indeed. Hopefully we can end the season very well,  and with the last piece of the Trophy jigsaw filled in.

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GordonW

Manchester United, Attack!

The current form of Manchester United is utterly dreadful. The injuries overflowing, the manager stubborn, and the fans disappointed and furious. The situation is not good. Don’t be mistaken by this facade. They are winning and drawing a majority of their games. They have the second most no.  of clean sheets in the whole league.. But the style, the atmosphere and the spirit have all hit rock bottom, and are still going down. They are hesitant to pass forward, and ponderous in possession.  ( Not my words.) They pass backwards many more times than they pass forward. The misuse of talent in the team is also another issue. Mr. LVG is saying that he’s trying everything to this around, but nobody has any idea how much of this is true. Me being one of them. The ground has more chants of attack and of booing rather than cheering. Even though the team is still in contention for the title, the level of play is no where close one of that of a champion team…
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Even so, Manchester United’s win percentage in the first season with the current manager is better that that of the manager who is considered the best manager of the club, Sir Alex Ferguson. This season  has been a carbon copy of the previous one. That is not what the fans want. ( That kind of goes without saying.)
Make no mistake..( again) . There have been moments of utter glorious goal scoring prowess. An example of that is the 3-3 draw with Newcastle United. There have been matches where MU has completed dominated the whole game but still came up short or at best, with a draw. The main goal scorer , this year has been without a doubt, Mr. Wayne Rooneyimage

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This guy’s goal scoring started with the game against Swansea, where he flicked a ball from behind into the goal, with the assist going to Martial. And the streak ended with yesterday’s game with Southampton. Louis Van Gaal has been constantly barraged with accusations and pleas to quit as a manager for the Red Devils. But it seems the players continue to believe in him. And so does the board. ( The words of a certain manager of a certain team.)
But seriously? .. Am I the only who thinks that ManUtd is not playing badly???? I mean, its not as if they are losing every game… (Touch wood) . Yes, they did a play a really bad game against Southampton. With only one shot on target. But come on! They beat Liverpool! ( And yes, with only one shot on target, that being the goal.) The smash and grab job would have given them some kind of confidence, Ja? But as Van Gaal said, it is not the case.
Many of the fans want him to step down and let Mourinho or someone else take control of the reigns.

Then there’s the case of the stubbornness. Many say Van Gaal is stubborn. But it Manchester United who have gone through two managers without much difference. So maybe it might be time to ask, who is the who’s stubborn.
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Side note:- There might be few mistakes in the time words such as yesterday or tomorrow as it took me a few days to write this. Apologies.

GordonW