Oct 27

Time to support another club?

Tag: Opinion Piece @ 8:58 am

hi-res-185933096-nani-of-manchester-united-walks-off-the-pitch-as-his_crop_exactIn many ways, yesterday’s was arguably United’s worst performance of the David Moyes era, perhaps with the exception of the 4-1 shellacking the Reds suffered at the Etihad earlier last month.

Granted, United showed the fighting spirit of old in 10 spirited minutes and managed to turn a game on its head with two late goals but however welcome the win was, it was yet again a case of papering over the cracks.

United’s back four looked shaky and uncoordinated, Chris Smalling was once again completely out of his depth at right-back, while Tom Cleverley offered yet again another abject performance, bereft of ideas in possession and devoid of any physical impact when chasing the ball.

Though his performance would have ranked quite among the most indifferent performance of a midfielder in a United shirt – and we have witnessed aplenty in recent seasons – even Cleverley was spared the abuse some sections of the crowd directed at Nani yesterday, as the Portuguese produced the sort of game that makes one wonder whether he is a professional footballer or simply somebody who was in the right place at the right time.

On his day, Nani can be exceptionally good. In every other occasion – which, unfortunately, tend to make up the majority of his days – he’s the footballing equivalent of a diva, as he floats from sheer petulance to mind-boggling selfishness, always demanding  and never offering a glimmer of substance.

Many consider Nani to be one of the few player at United capable to turn a game on its head and regard the Portuguese as one of the best wingers in the team – hardly an achievement considering his rivals for the position – while others see him as poor man’s Cristiano Ronaldo, whose petulance and inconsistency should no longer be tolerated.

While I tend to agree with the latter camp, the treatment Nani was subject to yesterday was simply disgraceful.

As he came off the pitch to be replaced by Adnan Januzaj, the Portuguese was bombarded by whistles and boos from a rather large section of the crowd who, in my book, have nothing to do with Manchester United.

While it’s every fan’s right to criticise their own team – particularly if the criticism is constructive and goes past the “he’s awful” stage – and attending a game these days requires a hefty investment, the price we pay for a ticket does not entitle us to boo our own players off. It never has, it doesn’t and it never will.

Nani was bad, but singling out a player is an act of infinite petulance, arrogance and stupidity, not least because, bad though Nani was, he wasn’t the only player who deserved criticism yesterday. Ironically, many of those who booed Nani off yesterday are probably the same individuals who poke fun at Arsenal fans for their fickleness and criticise Manchester City for failing to sell out their ground week in, week out.

United could have played a lot better yesterday and there’s no disputing that this season’s performances have so far fallen way short of the incredible standards Sir Alex Ferguson set during his 27-year reign, but regardless of the incredible success we have witnessed over the last quarter of a century, we aren’t entitled to expect success.

Success on the pitch is the fruit of the hard work the manager, the club and the players put in on the training pitch and behind the scenes and if we want to boast about United’s success, then we have to do our own part by getting behind the team, however poor, frustrating, or shockingly bad they might be.

We’ve been spoilt for 27 years and regardless of our personal opinions on them, some of the players on the pitch yesterday have contributed to United’s success over the years and thus they deserve better.

At the next misplaced pass, those who feel the urge to boo should remain silent  - as they do for the majority of the match anyway – or strongly consider the option of supporting another club. United are a mid-table side these days, you know, don’t wast time on us, feel free to hop on to whichever bandwagon comes round the corner next.


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Tags: Opinion Piece

34 Responses to “Time to support another club?”

  • True words dan. Watched on TV so i was not quite sure who was being jeered until i read abt it later. Was surprised this happened at OT of all the places. We could do with less of the fickle weather fans.

  • Agree with you. Absolutely disgusting from some so-called fans.

  • He is paid £100,000 a week. I struggle to afford a ST. So I think its my god damn right to boo a player, who has for many years constantly under-performed. I wasn’t even at the game yesterday. How are we as fans meant to show our displeasure and disappointment? Maybe I should not voice my opinion and we should all become communists.

    • Totally understand and respect your point, although I personally don’t agree with it. I’m 100% with you regarding the massive, and largely undeserved, salary Nani gets but do we really think a player who gets £100k-a-week deposited into his bank account is going to care about people booing off the pitch? I’d say he won’t, which makes the public showing of disappointment – justified though it might be – simply look like a petulant effort.

      • @Dan:

        Hello Dan……

        Booing players off the pitch isn’t pretty to either watch or listen to no matter where or when it is heard, but sometimes it is, as managers and players alike constantly tell us ‘part of the game.’

        Players get booed for a number of reasons….. their attitude on and off the pitch, something they said in a newspaper, making unreasonable demands of their club and then not coming up with the goodies to back it up…. etc etc etc.

        However to fully understand why a player or players are booed at OT, one has to take into account all the factors and evidence and not just put it down to a player who might have had a nightmare of a game.

        Someone at OT was ‘sitting pretty’ to become the boo-boys target and that someone yesterday just happened to be Nani.

        Why Nani and not Rooney or RvP or Evans or Cleverley or any other squad player?
        Because, talented though he is, Nani only ever plays when Nani feels like playing. I can’t remember the last time I watched Nani play well in two games on the bounce.

        That aside….. MUFC have created a monster, with an over-inflated seat pricing policy, a club shop that charges fans over the odds for shirts and tacky goods…… and don’t get me started on shirt lettering.
        The tour of MUFC is a disgrace with some guides going through the motions and telling childish stories of how Giggs used to sit there but now sits here. I could continue with other examples but the one that sticks in my throat is the absolute shambles of watching MUFC play this season.

        No matter what anyone says to the contrary, the current shambles have been bubbling under for quite a few seasons.

        The failure to have a quality replacement for Van der Sar already in position with the club… the failure to ask why two players with speed to burn and who tormented the opposition when they were with Wigan and Villa, seem to play at OT with lead weights in their boots….. the failure to draft in ANYONE who can control the midfield whilst being creative…… the failure to address the CB positions (let’s wait until Rio retires and then buy some goat for £30 million).

        All of the above are symptoms of why Nani copped the booing. Next week it could be RvP or Rooney or Rio…. watch this space

        Macca (still pi**ed off with MUFC this season)

        • @mike_macca: I totally disagree with your sentiment for the mere reason that all the ‘reasons’ you mentioned should be ascribed to management. Why not boo the manager? He IS ultimately responsibpe for all aspects of the team. Is he not? Better yet, why not direct that frustration at the management team and owners? This approach seems more like pussy-footing around the real issue by tackling ‘the weak and powerless’

          In fact, I realise it is Sunday, but I am dissapointed at the lack of defense for the players by the club’s management. I would have expected Moyes (AND Fergie), or in the least a club spokesman to berate the fans post match. Their silence indicates that they are glad for a scapegoat. Which also emphasises that nothing will change. The booing is wasted effort because it is directed at the wrong people.

          Nani is being criticised for being brainless (not altogethet wrong :-) )…this act prove that some of the supporters are even more brainless…
          I can understand that people are frustrated and need to vent. But, if you want to affect changes, then channel that anger in the right direction. (I will give you an example. Nani was boo’ed off. In terms of affecting changes, what is the most likely outcome? … Nani will get replaced by a hardworking, talentless, braindead Ashley Young. If you’re lucky, an even hard working, less talented ‘single-dimensional’ Valencia. Gameplan remains the same… will that really solve anything?)

        • @Karl…

          Hello Karl
          “I totally disagree with your sentiment for the mere reason that all the ‘reasons’ you mentioned should be ascribed to management. Why not boo the manager?”

          What does that mean?

          Did you even read what I had written?

          The thrust of my argument was that MUFC have taken their eye off the ball on transfers, on pricing, on what the fans actually want.

          Why would that not be the fault of MUFC?

          Your point about ‘Fergie’ or DM or a representative from MUFC ‘berating’ the fans for expressing their views is ludicrous.

          To all the boo boys I say….. BOO LOUDLY and BOO OFTEN.
          Far too often MUFC have papered over the cracks…. problem now is, those cracks have become too big to paper over.

          I don’t mind anyone disagreeing with me for genuine reasons…… I do mind being disagreed with, JUST for a post entry.


    • @Matt:

      i understand your point Matt, but it doesn’t help the players or the teams results if you boo

    • @Matt: Booing your own player is classless, no doubt, but it happened and perhaps the effect on him will spur some improvement in the mental side of his game.
      He has such a lazy approach – relying only on his skills, which apparently, are not reliable!!

  • I agree with the sentiments expressed in this article.

  • Booing your team players is like laughing @ your child that he got bad marks @ skool,,, to me it doesn’t make sense because if u discourage your own then who will encourage them? Nani is an on-off player we shld b used to that and booing won’t change it Unless that’s the way of showing him the door,,,,, bt as fans who are we to do tht?

  • This article title is so controversial. LOL. I thought that you are one of the fan that booed at OT. Sorry for misunderstood this. Well Written, Dan! As the performance itself, I’m not really satisfy but I like and GLAD that the boys’ winning attitude is still there. Keep it up!

  • Andrija Djuranovic

    Those who boo should direct it to Woodward and the Board, not Moyes and players. Shambolic transfer window is the main guilty part for the inconsistent results and bad form. While every club was busy bringing new players and investing the money it got from improved TV rights, we were advertising bicycle tires and Swiss watches. The team is simply not good enough-only positions where we are rock solid are goalkeeper and centre-forward. It is simply not enough, and Moyes is not a miracle worker. Ferguson was, but that’s why Ferguson is the best manager ever to grace the game.

    Remember famous letter from Woodward to the fans explaining our transfer window. Well, we should write him an answer now-he said we made good deals bringing Fellaini and Varela and he singled out Zaha as a signing “not to forget”. Well Fellaini is warming the bench, Zaha is never in the team and Varela plays for reserves. Take that, Mr Woodward.

    Moyes did his best to improve results and it shows-5 games without a defeat, 3 points away from the CL knockout phase. However, this group of players under Moyes are not good enough to win the title. Third or fourth place-yes. Title-no. We need reinforcements. We do not need five or six players-we need one or two slick operators, ready-made world class,who will lift the team, the performances and the spirits. Just like Robin Van Persie did last season. Player of Persie’s class in the midfield-we’re home and dry.

    If that happens in January, I am confident Moyes can get good results and be competitive with everyone, in both England and Europe. If that doesn’t happen (and, although I still hope, I am afraid it won’t, at least until the next summer)-be prepared for fight for the CL place in the league, 1/8 or 1/4 elimination from the Champions League and more performances like yesterday or in derbies like against City.

  • Nani is and has been the most overrated player at the club. He has consistently under performed and flashes of brilliance coupled with moments of pure ineptitude. He gets away with this because people intemperate skill with quality. The best thing for Nani is to try and stop trying to be Ronaldo. But booing your own players is not acceptable and the glory boys who did are not welcome.

  • The argument with nani for me is not his undoubted ability but whether he can be bothered to put a shift in half the time.There’s nothing worse watching some one of undoubted talent sometimes playing as though he cant be arsed.He’s a bit like marmite, you either love him or hate him.Whatever his faults, personally
    I don’t agree with the booing of a utd player off the pitch, everyone can have an off day, but I can understand the frustrations of others who find it necessary to do it.

  • Booing players doesn’t help. Nani is and always has been inconsistent, so what’s the point of jeering his inconsistency? I think Nani is one of those players that needs to be put in the shop window and offloaded, along with Young, Anderson and Valencia, and new players brought in. It’s not that Nani doesn’t have the potential, he does, but we rarely see it. We still need to sort out the midfield, it still needs a bit of steel in it, Fellaini hasn’t really added anything, as yet, Carrick is getting older and isn’t really much of a ball winner, and Cleverly isn’t much of anything. A change is what’s needed, not booing.

  • The game yesterday highlighted the point G Neville made, the transition through midfield is painfully slow and full of misplaced passes. I don’t just blame the 2 central midfielders, the attackers tend to run away from the ball expecting ‘hollywood’ balls to reach them, and the defense takes too long to pass forwards. The distances are too great all over the pitch and ‘attacks’ more often than not end up with a fairly wild cross from a deep position.
    Why Adnan appears to make a difference when he comes on, is because he shows no fear in running with the ball, attacking players and spaces in an aggressive manner. Far too few players, far too few of the times do the same. Its not because they are ‘techinically or physically’ incapable, its because they seem to lack the confidence both within themselves and in their team-mates.
    This has been getting worse over some a few seasons. RVP had a ‘purple patch’ for the first 6 months of last season, but since then has tended to marge with the rest.
    United need an excellent ‘driving force’ of a signing, central midfield would be great, but anywhere would help. Someone to galvanise the team again. Players like Nani are OK in a winning team/squad, but they are pretty useless as individuals to turn to when your back is up against the wall. Its not his fault, its just the way he is.

  • My heart bleeds each time I remember the ugly incident. For God’s sake, Nani was not the only player that goofed yesterday. Clevz was instrumental to Stoke City’s first goal and when he was subbed, nothing happened. Same as Smalling. Welbeck made us draw against Southampton when he did not square tha ball to Rooney and he has never been booed. Wayne Rooney has requested to leave the club on TWO ocassions and his name is still being sung at OT. Young has been phenomenally poor and he earns a relatively fat salary, yet, he was never booed.

    Luis has never disrespected United in any way. He is an off/on player but his dip in form to me has been due to the mediocrity of the team. When Nani played with the likes of Hargreaves, Scholes, Carrick, Park, Giggs, Tevez and Ronaldo in his first two seasons, he was blistering.

  • That wasn’t cool at all.United fans are respectfull for the most part,so I believe that show of disdain was the result of the feeling of frustration boiling over.We’ve been having a rough time off late,so whilst I don’t condone such behaviour,I can understand where its coming from.Nani needs to get his act together.He was recently awarded a new contract but he is yet to justify receiving it on the pitch.He should reflect on his crap perfomance sofar this season and realise that he is not irreplaceable.But just out of curiosity,how come nobody ever boos Anderson or Young?they aint worth shit and rarely do anything for United!At least Luis can pull a rabbit out of a hat from time to time.

  • Re Nani……

    Been watching the Reds since the 50′s. Given the sharp edge of my tongue to a lot of players in my time, but ONLY opposing players! :mrgreen: However, there was one exception and that was when we played Monaco in the CL at OT way back when. We got beat 1-0 and eliminated, and was ready to lynch Teddy Sheringham for his terrible performance and his seemingly “couldn’t care less” attitude. It’s the only time I’ve seen him play that way, and I was effin livid!! :-x

    Can’t get to games these days (ST way out of my league and the reach of my pension!) so I watched the Stoke game last night on Sky, and I have to say that Nani drove me round the effin bend with his crap performance. Eventually, he was subbed and not before time. I heard the crowd booing him, and at first, I thought it was the Stoke fans, but when the commentators mentioned that it was Reds fans, I couldn’t believe it! Just totally out of order in my opinion.

    Having said that, I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that United have given him a 5 year contract! I just hope and pray that United don’t go completely bananas and offer similar to Young and Anderson, who, in my opinion count amongst all the useless buggers (not that many, thank goodness!) I’ve had the misfortune of watching down the years.

    In a nutshell, support the team. Do your bitching in the pub afterwards. :wink:

  • Tbh fans can only take soo much.If Wenger with some accolades under his belt and a successful stadium project can be booed like hell nani can be booed twice over.the message that fans are not happy should get to someone and frankly it’s a bit of hypocrisy for us pointing fingers towards a season ticket holder with all the banter we broadcast here.

  • Funny a lot of people were in the Anderson “potential” camp were also saying the same about Nani. Anderson because he was Brazilian and had silly hair soe got blind sighted with the fact he was shite. Nani though has ability, but has no intelligence. Again because he is skilful, there is belief he is good. This is simple laziness of thought and football is about end product and the Portuguese has very little. The thought police who prey in anti British players in the smug snobbish mentality where skill is everything and passion and handwork mean little should watch Arsenal. But Rio, Wiltshere, Scholes, Bale and Giggs may beg to differ. But I enjoy watching Nani play but understand why Valencia is more popular, but why let end product get in the way of skill.

    • tonymontanna4united

      @Stephen: I’m sorry mate, I don’t want to turn this into another Nani debate, but come off it, between January 2010 to the end of the 11-12 season, Nani was top class.
      His goals/assists to games ratios prove that, and he was single handedly one of the few players that kept us competing for the 10-11 title up to xmas when Mr Ambition was throwing a strop and off at fat camp in America.
      Contrast that to Anderson, who has never had more than 2-3 decent games in a row at any one time, has regularly been overweight and overall a waste of space and I just think it’s a little unfair to compare the two tbh.
      In saying all that, Nani does need to buck his ideas up, because he was woeful yesterday (although it’s quickly forgotten that he had been playing atleast decently well the previous 3/4 games before), but that last line of yours about end product, could so easily be applied to Valencia and all our other wingers too (Valencia especially who hasn’t been playing any better for the best part of 18 months now).
      Personally I prefer Nani because I prefer wingers that try to take players on, are flexible and are known more their offensive game than their work rate and how much of a shift they put in.
      I also think a Nani on form, results in a better style of football, which God knows is something we could do with seeing.
      The thought of Valencia or Young back in the team, quite frankly depresses the hell out of me, but then I’m not calling for Nani to be given preferential treatment and kept in the team if he’s not performing.
      Personally the way our wingers are playing right now, I’d love to see Zaha brought into the side or failing that, we change our formation and try out the diamond once again, because it clear that for a side that famously relies on it’s wingers, ours right now are failing badly.
      It was why a new winger in the summer, was just as high on my priorities list as a new CM, because it’s been obvious for a while now that we’re desperately lacking there.

  • Agree completely about Nani. No matter how bad a player has been in a game, he should never, ever be booed off by his own support.
    Nani was totally off it yesterday but he didn’t deserve that.
    Over all as a team performance you’re right it was a win that didn’t fill me with much pride. A long way to go.
    Glad Kagawa got a full game, he should have started with Januzaj on the right. And Cleverley was very poor again.
    So uninspiring im struggling to find anything to say about it. Very dull really.

  • I am disgusted at the club’s silence over the Nani incident (my views of which I have expressed in a previous post). On manutd.com they have some useless articles over Evra’s 10, how the manager dies not really rate Zaha, and then about 5 articles over the relief of the Stoke victory (as if we’ve just won the FA Cup final). It all just proves that a scapegoat is most welcome and that Moyes is relieved his act of desperation paid off. (I get the feeling that he was under intense pressure to get a positive result). However, nothing about the senseless booing. I am no expert or fortune-teller, but I get the intuitive funny feeling that – contrary to Stephen’s Churchill quote – that this is the beginning of Moyes losing the dressing-room. I can definitely see all the ingredients for a sect starting to grow within the ranks of the players. Here’s to hoping the Chosen One is big enough to deal with it.

    • Greenhoff the Great

      @Karl:. Some might claim that we have been playing “boo-able” football at times long before Moyes arrival ,especially after the departure of Carlos Quirroz and Ronaldo .. For all the talk about the loss of Rene Meulensteen and his influence on the team , to be fair to Moyes , are we really playing that different – tactics-wise , skill-wise etc – to when Phelan and co were in charge ? The difference was SAF and his ability to pull the team over the line…

      • @Greenhoff the Great: fully agree wkith you. Why did we then not boo then? Instead, because we were winning we accepted the crap that was put out in front of us.Now that we’re not winning we want to target it at the players? In fairness to the player in question, he has ALWAYS been a bit inconsistent. He has the ability to single-handedly win us games…and he did…but has always been inconsistent. He is no different now than he was then. Only difference now is a different management team and the fact that we’re not winning.
        I’m not saying there’s no reason to boo, but rather, why not direct it at a channel that can facilitate a positive change?

        I think the frustration with Moyes is exactly what you mentioned. He is serving up the same crap…without the winning belief. I personally am battling to be optimistic over our future with him at the helm as I cannot see entertainment being valued like for example Arsene does. His main ambition is to live up to the Fergie legacy…win trophies…nothing else.

  • You can understand the fan’s frustrations. We have gone from a title winning team to a midtable club. Ultimately both the manager and the players deserve the blame.

    I think Moyes has been too quick to try to impose his own style. Avram Grant has shown that if you take a settled team and do not make any changes there will not be any real change in the results. But then of course Avram Grant didn’t sack his entire backroom staff like Moyes did. Also his training style clearly hasn’t helped and could go some way towards explaining why our players seem so jaded.

    Moyes has rotated a lot and while you can understand his desire to give all the players a chance to impress it hasn’t helped in the short term even if it has allowed us to bring through Januzaj.

    He also seems to have misjudged Fellaini’s ability to make the step up to a big club and having coached the player for the last five years you would have figured he could have got that decision right. Instead Fellaini is doing what most players out of their depth do-they stop trying and make cynical fouls.

    But then again our players are better than this. After winning so many trophies you would expect they could deal with a bit of adversity and show the strength of character to dig deep and prevail. Thankfully they did exactly that second half. But that quality has been lacking until now.

    We have had a terrible start to the season and our priority now should be finishing in the top four. That will be incredibly difficult but it is still achievable.

    January will come by soon and it will be tempting to throw some money at the problem. Personally I would try and sign a central defender as we need to firm things up at the back. Also Valencia should be back up to Rafael because neither Smalling or Jones looks convincing in that position.

    It would be nice to sign a midfielder. But we have all too many average midfielders and I would rather break the bank for a world class midfielder rather than gamble on yet another midfielder unproven at the top level. It is unlikely we will be able to sign a player of that calibre in January so we will have to wait till the summer.

    Until then I really think it would be prudent to play a 4-5-1 and load the central midfield to make up for the lack of quality playing Rooney on his own upfront. This may be offensive to many fans as we are overloaded with attacking talent. But until we can start dominating in midfield we will continue to look vulnerable and we need to start winning games 1-0 to create a platform for playing more expansive attacking football.

  • I cannot help thinking how different things would be if Mourinho was in charge. Despite not having a perfect start to the season and inheriting a team without a world class striker and with Terry and Lampard well past their best he is slowly but surely making a difference and taking Chelsea to another level. He has even managed to get Torres playing half decently.

    I would still support Manchester United if we became a midtable team. The possibility was always there with our best players such as Rio, Vidic, Van Persie, Carrick and Giggs well into their thirties. But I think Mourinho could have squeezed a few more trophies out of this squad.

    • @colver:

      Hello Colver…….

      Trust me… Mourinho is all about Mourinho… He will fall out with Abramovich again, once Chelsea depart the CL.

      Pep was the man…… and look who we got.
      Not only did we get him…. but we have him under a 6 year contract.
      Nice work if you can get it eh!!!!


      • Greenhoff the Great

        @mike_macca: For all of the talk about Moyes not knowing beforehand about SAF retiring ,in February he was given advice by SAF by phone not to renew his Everton contract, and that he ( Moyes) had”had ten years there “and “thats long enough ,youll get a bigger club”.”I kept phoning David to make sure that he wasnt going to sign a new contract” . Then when the league was won, SAF invited Moyes over , told Moyes he was retiring, and that he wanted Moyes ( Shocked) to take over..See Toffeë Web article ” Ferguson urged Moyes not to renew Everton contract” which discusses part of SAFs book….

  • Of course you realize that the same malcontents that booed Nani will call for Moyes’ head by singing “you don’t know what you’re doing”.
    It will come as a great revelation to the prevailing lazy philosophy on here, that United’s problems stem from it’s new manager and not its penny pinching transfer policy, dating back to the time the Glazer family tainted the purity of this club.
    A new manager (other than Moyes) will, no doubt, turn the likes of Cleverly, Evans, Smalling, Young, Evans and Anderson into WC players who can play against their WC peers and win the battle. I THINK NOT. Fairy tales only exist in your dreams and as a reminder that things might get better.
    Not a chance, my friends, a pigs arse is a pigs arse and without better talent, all the hard work put in by the players and the coaches, will fall flat against the superior talent that our adversaries clearly have.

  • @JW

    Absolutely spot on. I have been saying thre same,thing for an age now. We play too,wide to make transitional,play impossible. The distances between midfielders and attack are just too great. The wingers play right on the line which limits their contribution to crosses. The forwards are always up top or they come in deep and congregate thr middle and the wide players don’t move forward in thosr moments. They just keep their posts on the touchline. Static and rigid

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