First Team Match Reaction News

BLOG: Opening Day Blues

Hi. Losing makes me sad. I don’t like losing money (thanks, Stoke), I don’t like being killed in video games, and I don’t like watching Manchester United come out second best on the football pitch. Losing is, of course, part of the game, and, indeed, part of life. Sadly, however, the current United narrative is depressingly unoriginal. Different names, same old story.

It was just all so awfully familiar. Or familiarly awful. I’m not sure which one is more apt. Perhaps both. Either way, it was poor, wasn’t it? All of the optimism built up during pre-season gone in one early televised afternoon.

Pre-season papered over the cracks, of course. Actually, it didn’t even do that. I’ll start again. Pre-season was a shiny distraction from the cracks. As you looked away, the cracks got bigger. They’re gaping now. Injuries are playing their part, this much is obvious, but can anyone remember a time when injuries weren’t prevalent at United? It doesn’t help when you only have, for example, three senior centre-backs, the eldest of which is still only twenty-six himself. It’s an embarrassing state of affairs for a club of United’s size. But this much we already knew, we were just distracted by that shiny US pre-season.

So who’s to blame? I didn’t want to start a first blog being so negative, but this stuff is kind of writing itself.

Louis van Gaal? Of course not. He may have made a mistake or three today (Nani? Fellaini on for Herrera? Abandoning the 3-5-2 entirely in the second half?) but it’s clear already that he has a vision for the club and the stature and experience to implement it. But he needs time. It’s easier to suggest as much when you have a manager who exudes confidence in the way LvG does, as opposed to that previous pretender we were stuck with for almost ten months.

How about the players? Perhaps. The effort and willing is there. But if you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough. A player can’t suddenly make himself better than he is, and a manager, new or otherwise, can only get as much out a player as there is to be milked. United have too many players who can’t be milked any more.

Ed? He’s getting enough stick as it is, and he’s still got two weeks to make us all happy. I’ll leave off on him for now.

It’s gone rather quiet on the Glazer front of late, I think you’d agree. This isn’t on. I’m not sure I can say anything new on this horrid subject, though. We’re currently enjoying the fruits of years and years of underinvestment in the squad. Why the underinvestment? Because the American owners have been bleeding the club dry since the day they took charge. Basically, the club has spent almost as much servicing debt as City have spent strengthening their first team. And they’ve spent loads. I often say that, without the Glazers, United would be closer to a Bayern Munich as opposed to, right now, an AC Milan. A European powerhouse instead of a once-magnificent club in turmoil. But Fergie, the magnificently talented bastard that he was, continued to win trophies which distracted us from the cracks that were being created. Except now he’s gone, and so has the distraction. The time to sit idly, often-times joyfully, by is over. This goes for us and them.

And so to the game: It was poor. Too many (shocking) crosses, pedestrian passing, no invention, too slow a tempo, a painful over-reliance on set-pieces. As I said, awfully familiar. Or the other one.

Actually, a quick rant about the set-piece situation. What was with the loading of the box every time United had a free-kick in or around it? Pile men in the penalty area and lump the ball in. Every. Single. Time. No invention, no creativity. And don’t get me started on the pointless run over the ball Juan Mata did at each free-kick! Absolutely nobody thought you were going to take it!

It was nice to Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard start, I guess, but I couldn’t help but think that with the proper investment in the first team squad, the two of them would no nowhere near the Manchester United starting XI. That might be slightly perverse thinking, given our “history”, but it’s also true. Adnan Januzaj, on the other hand, is clearly ready. He’s already our most dangerous player on the pitch, and I include Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata in that. The two can sometimes be so laboured, slow on the ball, whereas Adnan only has one thought when he gets the ball and several more inventive thoughts of how to pull it off. He’s going to be worldclass one day, this much is certain. Although sooner rather than later would be lovely. It’s not as if we’re desperate or anything.

I’d moan some more but there’s something glistening over there and I’m off to see what it is. Hopefully it’s the glint off of Arturo Vidal’s Hummer as he’s driven up to Carrington.

Enjoy that? Give it a share!

By Jack Holt

Once got told off by Steve Bruce.

4 replies on “BLOG: Opening Day Blues”

“familiarly awful” was more apt to describe the performance. It is ridiculous to assume that after loosing the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Vidic, Ferdinand and Evra that we would be alright without replacement. In any business forward planning and investment is essential and although admiral, LVG’s decision to take time to assess and give chance to the present squad has only added to the delay. It is unfair to fetch youngsters into a poor team, to step up they need the support of experience around them to help them develop.
There are only two weeks left of the transfer window and… if… we sign any players they will need time to settle and adjust to the EPL & LVG.
Yesterdays performance was a re-run of last year, I only hope it is a kick up the backside for the powers that be and removes the ‘everything is ok’ from the gloss of pre season ‘friendly’s’.

Well it probably wont be this season they get to tops,they might be the biggest Club,bla bla.No excuses and hype about anything,manager,players,tactics.ManU look average and not a top runner.Did we hear some Moyes excuses from the new manager,well we just have to wait see what develops again.Best of luck.

I wanted to believe that LvG could work his magic with bringing in these youngsters and start the transformation….but after seeing the game…it’s obvious that this is more of a mental barrier with the senior players which easily catches on with the young ones….am just hoping these new players we keep hearing about come with so much ego that performances from players like Nani..Cleverly..Felli…Smalling..Chicha doesn’t affect them…and they can go about performing as per LvG’s vision for our club.

Oh ya about the owners, I don’t get it, how can you imagine to keep running a successful business without reinvesting? How? Especially when you need to accommodate the major change in managers and how the club was run under SAF? I just think about how Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been coasting for the last decade and a half without winning anything….Glazers I hope, know that this is not NFL where your team can suck but they’ll come back to play in the same league….this is football not played in US….you don’t work on keeping the ship sailing…it will sink eventually!

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