Sunday, 13 May 2012

The End of Manchester United As We Know It - A Flashback

A Post from January 5th 2012...
... before all the seriously organised sporting crime.

On the 23rd of October 2011, an idea for an app came to mind...
... the number nineteen on a red background would slowly morph into 1-6 on a sky blue background.

Less than a fortnight later and Steve Bruce and Wes Brown were needed to ensure that Sir Ferguson's 25th anniversary was marketed correctly.
The naming of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand on that very date was the ultimate sell sign.

Manchester United are in terminal decline - there are no redeeming aspects.
Like Chelsea post-Mourinho, the fade from glory will see the occasional triumph but the days of dominance will fade into the mists of universal time.

Unable to get more than three draws against the might of Basel and Benfica, the financial cost of failing to reach the second phase of the Champions League is colossal.
Even more so when oodles of cash are needed to fund the interest payments on the leveraged buyout enacted by the Glazers in their medium term strategy of asset stripping par excellence, while grabbing some financial action themselves.

And the internal psychology of the club is in decline too.
Insider trading from within Manchester United accompanied both of their Champions League Final defeats to Barcelona (hardly an indication of a robust structure). United were not even competitive in either of these events.

Massive insider trading against United was also undertaken prior to the two most recent defeats against Blackburn (bottom of the table) and Newcastle (five points from 8 games prior to Man U). Very serious money indeed was traded against the mighty reds in both games.
You could get 30/1 on Blackburn winning!!!

The holistic is dire - Ferguson announcing three more years (and the timing) is a strategic weakness, the battling with an already declining Rooney is counter-productive, while chatting with Asian bookmakers is surely not what one should expect from a knight of the monarchy.

There is no waiting list for season tickets, and tickets are available for virtually all home games, the power structures behind Liverpool, Sunderland, Newcastle, Chelsea, Tottenham, Villa, Manchester City (especially) and even Stoke are more robust (only Arsenal are similarly self-harming), Ronaldo and Tevez haven't been replaced and there is no money available for anything other than low/mid tier transfers.
Worse still, the 'acclaimed' next wave of youth is not looking quite so promising anymore - they are certainly not Giggs, Scholes, the Nevilles and Beckham anyway.

And even worse still, the available squad in their current state of injuries, form and mind are simply not up to it.

De Gea is not der Sar.
Lindegaard's mentor is Roy Carroll to the delight of the laying community. Hence the media campaign against De Gea.

United don't have a right back, Jones is an incredibly amusing blundering buffoon - it is a little like watching Tommy Cooper on wiz as his three own goals this season outscore his one goal at the right end in his entire club career.
Ferdinand must have a good agent because he crossed the white finishing line a decade ago.
Vidic is out for an eternity and Smalling is injured. Evans is poor and only Evra is up to scratch in the defence.

Nani is not the player of last year, Fletcher is probably not going to play again, Giggs cannot juggle his sex life and the football for much longer, Carrick is useless, Gibson and Valencia haven't evolved and Anderson frustrates. Park is okay though.

Berbatov is a dodgy smoker, Rooney a loose cannon, the Little Pea has been podded and has lost some pace to boot, while Michael Owen has a Timeform squiggle next to his name.
So Welbeck is the only forward.

In comparison, City are stable.
Their owners have a long term strategy and are self-financing, so no payments to financial institutions.
City fit into the array of businesses that the Abu Dhabi Chaebol are assembling.
The psychology is positive. The sky is the limit. The best young kids are veering to City.
Tevez hasn't been missed and can be replaced by anyone they want as Champions League is no longer a distraction.

I was at Newcastle for Manchester City's 4-3 victory that gave the Sky Blues the title in 1968 - United imploded on the same day at home to Sunderland.
So it seems apt that City fans can start celebrating the next title on the night that United yet again imploded against a north eastern team.
And 44 years and 2 days on, City will be handed the EPL trophy as United no doubt implode once again against Sunderland on May 13th.

Knowing when to stop is the mark of a man.
Sir Ferguson is going on three years too far...
... for his legacy and for the club.

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