In a season of lows and false dawns, today’s game runs the risk of being both without hopefully being neither, for it is complicated to fully analyse United’s 3-0 win at West Bromwich.
Did United simply make the most of West Brom’s deficiencies or has the penny finally dropped and has David Moyes realised that he has to build a system around his players to maximise their strengths, rather than shuffle his personnel around desperately trying to come up with the magic equation that will fit his archaic tactics?
How things change. The last time United traveled to this part of the country, they conceded five goals and scored just as many during 90 incredible minutes and yet the game itself was nothing more than a mere backdrop to what was the day’s main event – Sir Alex Ferguson’s last ever game in charge of Manchester United.
As the travelling Reds basked in the May sunshine, incessenatly serenading their departing manager throughout the game, we all had the impression of witnessing a historic moment, one that few will ever forget and which has now tinged with melancholy, given the dismal turn things have taken since that day.
David Moyes has written to all season ticket-holders to thank for their support throughout his dismal inaugural campaign, while admitting that the job of managing Manchester United has been a lot more complicated than he could ever imagine and the season has exceed even his worst expectations.
With United seventh in the table and almost out of the Champions League, many feel that the United manager should be relieved of his duties at the end of the season, or else the club could run the risk of wasting a lot of money in the summer to sign players that Moyes has identified as prime targets, but who might not deliver if forced to play within United’s archaic system.
If you haven’t read or received the letter, here it is…
Nemanja Vidic’s departure from Manchester United was today made official as Inter Milan confirmed on their own website that they’ve agreed a deal to bring the Serbian defender to the San Siro from next season, ending speculations over which club Vidic will join this summer.
Vidic, whose contract with United runs out at the end of the season, had last month spoke of his desire to face a new challenge after eight seasons at Old Trafford and the 32-year-old has got his wish, as David Moyes and the club decided not to offer their captain a new deal.
MUST chief executive, Duncan Drasdo, has dismissed the notion that Manchester United need a sugardaddy to follow in the footpath of Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour to rescue the club and he maintains that the Glazers might have to accept the idea of having to sell the club for less than they would like.
Drasdo’s reply came a few hours after BetFred founder and Salford-born billionaire Fred Done claimed that Manchester United are in desperate need of a figure like Sheikh Mansour and Roman Abramovich or risk falling further behind Manchester City and Chelsea over the next couple of seasons, given the lack of investments the Glazers have made since taking over the club in 2005.
Reports on a Sunday newspaper suggest that Manchester United could be looking at appointing a Dutch duo at Old Trafford, were David Moyes to be relieved of his duties at the end of the season, which, on current form, would be a rather sensible choice, given how dismally poor United have been under the former Everton manager.
Louis Van Gaal and Frank de Boer are being considered as replacements for Moyes, with Van Gaal thought to be a perfect fit, given his pedigree and experience in international football, while de Boer would be an ideal assistant to the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern manager, a role he’s already familiar with, given he was part of Holland’s coaching staff at the World Cup in 2010.
Gary Neville insisted that United players are more at risk of facing the chop than David Moyes after a dismal campaign reached its nadir against Olympiacos on Tuesday night, leaving United on the brink of being knocked out of the Champions League, the only competition which could rescue their shambolic season.
Neville remains confident that the United hierarchy will stand by their manager for the remainder of the season and will also back him financially in the transfer window, but while he insisted that a few players could see their United careers coming to an abrupt end, Neville conceded that at another club “Moyes would be in a lot more trouble”.
Amid the different reactions to Tuesday’s shambolic defeat in Athens, there was a common theme to be found in the feelings United generated – and have generated throughout the season – for the way the result arrived – more than the result itself in fact – sparked an array of different emotions: from disgust to indignation, from anger to shock.
The one feeling that was almost never mentioned, however, was the one we as fans, have been desperate for this season: relief.