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A New Dawn, Or Same Old?

“If we hit a bad spell, it would not be the right time to go. I would not want to put the new manager into a situation where he was taking over a bad team. I want to leave United in a good, healthy position. In 2002, I made the decision on a whim.”

Those were Ferguson’s words in a recent interview.

To say this was an underwhelming season would be uttering the obvious. But personally, there’s been an unusual sense of calm about the the way things have turned out; as morbid as it felt following Liverpool’s loss to Chelsea.

A sense of resignation — a feeling of “oh well, it’s not like we were pummeling sides to submission, only to stumble at the wrong moments while gifting the title away” — dawned earlier than usual, and despite the heart trying to clutch at the most slender of straws there wasn’t much hope anyway.

United’s season could be primarily viewed through the prism of Wayne Rooney, injuries, and the transfer windows. There’s only so much Rooney can do. There’s only so much you can do with a patched up defence and midfield if your injuries keep mounting. And there’s only so much you can do if you don’t make the moves necessary during the transfer windows to make up for the loss of Ronaldo.

A league win, had it happened, would have been incredible, as it would’ve papered over the cracks gaping voids that had manifested itself. If we’d won, we would have won it despite playing poorly, with half-hearted patched up sides, and due to the munificence of inept rivals. This wasn’t a premier league title race. This year was a sack race; the least clumsy one crawled over the line. [And we all will say, well done to the least clumsy one, grudging praise afforded, but hey, it was only a sack race. So zip it, will ya!]

Which brings us back to the force that held everything together; albeit a rickety together. The one who managed to keep a cart bursting at the seams from spilling all over, balancing it where others failed. Ferguson’s job despite the circumstances and his own stubbornness during the transfer windows was a a study in marshalling resources. There were plenty of occasions where he toyed with bird-brained tactical decisions. But when other fans use the United have money and hence star players and hence win titles argument, they don’t realize what Ferguson’s had to deal with. With midfielders and right backs as old as oak trees, defenders who were either learning their trade, AWOL, dozing off, or injured, it’s an achievement to get this far.

What it still did however, was expose the side brutally for all it’s deficiencies. And if these holes were in doubt during the early half of the season, it’s blindingly obvious now. Ferguson’s quotes, indirectly refer to that. He won’t leave the side in shambles. He’ll leave it in a healthy state. And I’m convinced, no matter what his critics say, if he gets the right talent this window, he is still our man for the job.

The question is, will he act on his words? Well we have this world cup thing in between. Hopefully, something happens prior to the tournament. And if it doesn’t, hopefully he doesn’t forget something needs to be done following the tournament.

Ferguson’s admissions of some of the side’s failings and acting upon those admissions this summer should go some way in turning this supposed adversity around to a renewed era of vitality, before he finally rides off into the sunset.

* * *

Yes, the title of this post is also applicable to myself and this blog. All shall be explained in due course. It’s good to be back though.



  1. tonymontanna4united

    May 19, 2010 at 1:24 am

    @Grognard: Cheers mate is good to see someone who feels the same way about this.
    Worst thing with ferguson is i have been saying now for 2 years i can see the squad getting worse and worse and he has just sat there and done nothing.
    About a year and a bit ago i remember having a conversation with you on here when i spoke about us declining and i spoke about us being in parallels with the barca team of 2007/08.
    They were a team who had had their few years of success, had played some great stuff but as happens with teams had had their day. You could see potential in the players like messi and they still had greats like xavi, iniesta, eto’o etc and the nucleus of their squad was in place.
    However they needed a revamp and if i remember won nothing that season, were thrashed by real about 4-0 away to their rivals and played like crap in the 2 legs against us in the champions league.
    They however saw sense and saw they needed a change and thus sacked their manager brought in guardiola, got rid of the dead wood like deco, ronaldinho, zambrotta, oleguer, edmilson, thurham and went out and spent about £80+m to make the squad fresh and hungry again.
    Needless to say they won the treble in their go of asking and everything was great for them. But did they rest on their laurels no. Even though their team looked quality they went out and splashed the money again. Even though i judge getting rid of eto’o for ibrahimovic a bad piece of business the fact is they werent afraid to change things and didnt want to become stale so spent money even though people thought they looked as strong as they could be. They also went out and bought some defender from zenit for £20m i think it was.
    I dont think this season they have been as good but went on to win the world club championship, the league but were given a footballing lesson to inter. So all in all a good season still and some positives like pedro particularly pleasing.
    Yet again though do they stay as they are, no sounds like villa and fabregas are ready to come in, and honestly if they get those 2 you are talking about seeing one of the best club sides ever.
    But anyway back to my original point in just 2 seasons they went from where we were 2008/09 season to worlds best, possible best team ever. Why then are we so far behind now, because of fergusons reluctance to part with the cash and also because they kept on with players who were past their best.
    Giggs and neville and scholes despite being good in patches are kept on because of the manager being over sentimental about them, as long as he is here i think these 3 will always stay and that is sad. Get set to see neville at RB when he is 40 coming up against robben, now that would be a sight.
    Carrick has been crap now for 2 seasons, why then is he still here. Foster absolute crap why was he even bought. Park, o’shea and players like them are decent squad players but how did we let it become that they became 1st teamers and not squad players. Because ferguson made us stand still, we did not build on what we had and release the crap.
    Ronaldo going was a bad time but it should have been the day we got robben and sneijder in to fill massive holes in our midfield. Why then are we still yet to fill those holes.
    Simply put ferguson failed to take notice of barcelona and act before it was too late. Just 2 years ago we were the best team in the world and now we are a shadow of that team, its a joke how far we have fallen.
    So i dont see this club as simply we have fallen a bit, i honestly think if the glazers are not removed and ferguson too and mourinho brought in we are looking at a liverpool type of run of 20 years without the title.
    Your right ferguson does need to take one for the team, leave now and lets get mourinho in who im sure would turn us into world beaters again, look what he has done with inter. 2 years ago they were no hopers in europe now they look set to win the final.
    Such a great manager and yet united fans dont seem to warm to him, in my mind he is the only man who should be considered for this job. However its true he probably wouldnt come here as it is now, as the glazer bastads wouldnt back him with cash anyway, so the way things are we have to ask ourselves why would he want to come here.

  2. tonymontanna4united

    May 19, 2010 at 1:33 am

    @Grognard: Lol cheers mate, i am just brutally honest when it comes to football i will never beat around the bush ever i will give people flak when they deserve it and ferguson deserves it right now so he will get it despite all he has done for this club.
    And yeah scarface is one of my favourite films ever, pacino was fantastic in that. Just like tony in attitude i have been told, i am brutally honest and always will continue to be. Sounds sad i know but while were on the subject of him does tony ever remind you of fergie.
    The way he had a dream coming from nothing and rose to be the oh so powerful man he becomes before his inevitable downfall.
    Dont want to go on about films but the scene where he kills frank and tells him “every dog has his day frank” just really reminds me of ferguson now. It is so very true every one has their day, you need to step aside before before someone more hungry and young comes along and pushes you out.
    By the way mate, how did you upload your king eric avatar, im thinking of uploading a tony m one for obvious reasons here.

  3. tonymontanna4united

    May 19, 2010 at 1:50 am

    @Grognard: You know some one else i feel very let down by aswell grog, someone i think should have spoken out and that was one gary neville.
    I know ferguson is the manager so some would say if hes not speaking out then why would neville, but as captain and someone who always seems an outspoken kind of person, as well as someone we have come to identify bleeds united, why then has he remained so silent.
    The thing i think, is no matter what his feelings for the club ferguson was never raised a united fan. This was a job to him when he took over and while he obviously has an affinity to us and love (weird considering his glazer support), it still does not compare to the love of the club someone like neville will have.
    The guy was born a red, and as club captain i really think he should have been one of the first to speak out against the bastads. What is ferguson gonna do, tear up his contract. If it was someone like nani or vidic he probably would but for one of his boys like neville is he wouldnt have done a thing im sure.
    It just hurts when these players who supposedly bleed united red sit back and say nothing, supposed long as they get their wages to add to their millions in the bank theyre happy.
    God i tell they dont make footballers, scratch that they dont make human beings like they once were. Do you think keane would be told by ferguson to stay quiet or not pick up a scarf, he’d have knocked his bloody block off.
    What about the king, the man was bloody artist, someone who dispite his years in the wilderness still spoke out against the glazers in 2005 and continues to do so now. He wouldnt have taken this kind of shit im positive, the man just wasnt made like that, which is why we all love him.
    King cantona is exactly the kind of man the red knights should be using to help promote their bid and use to get the fans who arent convinced onside to back them. Your talking about a man here whose word is considered gospel even possibly above the manager, they should have tried to get him in to get the non believers and glazer lovers to change sides because sadly i dont see the RK pulling this bid off.

  4. [OPTI]Madschester United

    May 19, 2010 at 4:07 am

    This Fergie talk is AWFUL BULLOCKS!!!

    If we do not buy a central midfielder, I will run out of Opti-juice by September.

    Love United, Hate Glazers
    Love United, Hate Glazers
    Love United, Hate Glazers

    Let the rioting begin 😈 😈 😈 😈

  5. Grognard

    May 19, 2010 at 5:52 am

    @tonymontanna4united: Great post and totally 100% true and honest. One word in all that really spoke volumes to me. The word was “STALE”. Is there a better word out there to describe the look and feel of this team and how they have been playing as well as how they have been run over the past two seasons. We have gone from dominance to being this piece of bread that is starting to grow a little dry but still has enough moisture in it to start developing mould. One thing for sure is it’s no longer edible or palatable. The Glazer’s are not like the brain trust of Barcelona who are elected and who have to protect their jobs by making sure the team continues to move forward like a shark or it will die. Their is no sitting back on your laurels and just going stale. I think the reason I hate Barcelona and Madrid so much is because I am so jealous of the way those teams are run and how they are so answerable to their fans and share holders. The fans may not always know what is best for the team but one thing is for sure, neither team will allow itself to stagnate and get stale. They will make the moves and changes to continue to not succeed but improve.

  6. Grognard

    May 19, 2010 at 6:15 am

    @tonymontanna4united: I would never have compared Fergie to Frank Lopez. Frank was always to nice a guy. Betray him and you would end up like Keano, RVN, Becks and Stam. Honour him and he took good care of you. But now that I think of it, a good analogy. For me Fergie reminds me more of Ra’s Al Ghul from Batman. The Old Man of the Mountain and a fatherly figure who shows warmth and caring but who has the ability to wipe you out when you least expect it. And even for Ra’s there came a time when he outlived his usefulness. Fergie has simply been at his job for far too long. It has overtaken his mind and his way of thinking. It’s no longer about the team or it’s success but how long can he hold on for and how can he extend his legacy even though there is no money to work with. I truly pity him because he has gone from someone we all bowed to and now is somebody many of us blame and hold animosity towards. And why? Because he has done nothing about Rome while it burns.

    He has allowed the owners of this team who I see more as caretakers to come in to the palace, rape and pillage the safe of it’s crown jewels and stay for dinner. And in the process they have rewarded him and promised him something if his soul is sold to them. So what have we seen from him in the last two years is truly the sad fall of a great man who despite his crimes and deception still has the magic to win things with the club and get them to play way above their true capabilities. He is and always will be the greatest manager of all time, but he also is looking like Judas to me these days because he continues to tolerate and support and ownership regime that continues to steal from the team while the on field product goes stale and begins to show signs of age and cracking. And you know mate, there will be those out there who will think you and I are showing incredible disloyalty by talking about the Boss like this but they just don’t get that we both feel betrayed and burned because when it really comes down to it, Fergie is a man I admire but he is also a stranger to me who is hired to do a job and that job is to make the club we chose to support the best it can possibly be. Well for many years he did that but of late, his allegiance has been to others and not to us or the millions of other supporters who are left asking themselves why the Hell isn’t he standing up to these bastards the way we all want to and the way the Red Knights hope to? Like Desi said to lucy many times when he came home, “Luuuuuucy… have some splainin to do”. Well same goes for Fergie. Enough of the bullshit and lies already.

  7. Grognard

    May 19, 2010 at 6:17 am

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: Awful Bollocks? Oh really. Well continue to stick your head in the sand mate and refuse to see the obvious. That’s your prerogative. But I for one am not only looking to hang the Glazer’s. All those who went to bed with them must go to.

  8. AndyCR7

    May 19, 2010 at 6:17 am

  9. Grognard

    May 19, 2010 at 6:25 am

    @tonymontanna4united: I never expected anything from Neville. He is old guard and his loyalty to Fergie is the only thing that matters to him. Fergie stuck by him, Scholes, and Giggs when other managers like Mourinho would have sold them or shown them the door when they turned 32. He may not like some of the things that are going on here but he will not speak out against the regime because in essence, he’d be speaking out against Fergie and his reluctance to get rid of Neville and the old guard.

    As for players like Cantona or even Keane, I would love to hear them speak out against the owners but they won’t. They too all have an incredible respect and loyalty to Ferguson and would never cross the line where their relation with him would be damaged or severed. They are alumni and so they just sit quietly and watch the team decline. It’s sad because it would take a few of these legends to show some guts and conviction and to stand up and against the Glazer’s. But they won’t. I mean if you and I actually knew and worked with Fergie we too may love the man and respect him enough to stay loyal to him no matter what. But we don’t and for other fans to criticize us for being mad or acting disloyal towards someone who is acting like a major Judas is just so typical of thicky’s out there who just don’t get it. All we are to United and to Fergie are consumers buying a product and nothing more. So why should we be expected to treat them like gold when they turn on us? At least I am one of those who put up money for the RK cause. So many of these other bleeding hearts would rather not spend a dime to get rid of the Glazer’s yet they dare speak ill of people like me who question the evil regime.

  10. Grognard

    May 19, 2010 at 6:28 am

    @AndyCR7: Old news mate. We’ve been debating about that very thing all day now. 🙂

  11. [OPTI]Madschester United

    May 19, 2010 at 6:50 am

    @Grognard: I guess I did not make it clear from my statement, but I meant:

    What Fergie is saying is AWFUL BULLOCKS! If we do not spend good money on top talent this summer (especially in Midfield) we will begin to rot from the core.

    How can we compete against Arsenal, Chelsea, City, Barca, Madrid, Bayern, Inter, etc… if we do not bring in top talents? Unless Chicharito and Smallings are ronaldo-esque signings, I do not see us battle for anything next season.

    Grognard, if Fergie states that he has the Ronaldo money available and does NOT spend it on top talent, I will agree with you that Fergie has gone mad and deserves rebuke.

    For now, we need the damn glazers gone ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. [OPTI]Madschester United

    May 19, 2010 at 7:04 am

    besides not spending money on players, I think we are cutting spending on designing cool new shirts:
    Get ready to puke:

  13. Sam

    May 19, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Could we get just ONE newspaper (even the disreputable ones like Goal and The Daily Mail) to just make up a rumor about Gourcuff coming to United? I just wanna read something with that headline to get my hopes up. 🙁

    We’re clearly broke and while I’ve heard that we’ll MAYBE £40m to spend this summer, I’d be surprised if we spent that much (unless you factor in Smalling and Hernandez). If we could somehow grab a world class AM I feel like it would open up everything for the team. Fergie mentioned something about making maybe one more signing this transfer period because he feels like the team is in good shape age-wise and that our young players will be coming into the fold very soon (first off, that’s horseshit, we have no money).

    Now…if he’s actually going to play the youngsters instead of leaving Obertan/Diouf/Macheda/Hernandez/et. al on the bench all the time then fine. But if he’s gonna keep with this 4-5-1 with Rooney by himself, we’ll never see any of the young strikers up top, Hernandez included. Get that AM midfielder in there who can pull the strings, create his own opportunities, and score some goals, coupled with a hard man in behind him to clean shit up, and maybe, just MAYBE we can play one of these other kids up top w/ Rooney or Berba.

    If we don’t grab a Benzema and Rooney goes into some sort of scoring drought or (*knocks on wood*) gets injured, then we’ll never hear the end of the “where are the goals going to come from…?” comments. Perhaps we’d know where the goals might be coming from if we’d allow some of our other strikers on the pitch. Berba can’t do it up top on his own, and our midfield has clearly been so weak in the past that Fergie can’t risk playing with just four.

    Shore that up and let’s see what we’ve got up top.

    All I know is that Neville, Giggs and Scholes need to be making cameo appearances and not the focal point of any of our attacks from this point forward if we’re not going to splash the cash for a world class, 23-25 year-old player in the middle.

    And Blanc, tell Yoann to come to Manchester. The red half. City can f*** off.

  14. Grognard

    May 19, 2010 at 7:17 am

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: Well that’s a relief mate because I thought you were critiquing mine and Tony Montana’s rants against him. Yet again he comes out and speaks of no value in the transfer market. Well all I have to say to him too fucking bad Fergie, get over it and move on. What does this mean, United will never ever again pay top money for a player because he sees no value? To Hell with what he feels. He has to do right by the team and mostly by the fans. We are used to a certain type of standard as United fans. A standard he and sir Matt created. If he can not continue to match the standards of commitment and excellence that he helped create, then he should step down immediately and allow a better more capable man to take over. Quite blaming market condition you already had a great part in creating by paying way too much for players like Berbatov and Veron and charging way too much for players like Ronaldo. What he is spouting right now is class A hypocrisy and it’s really hard to stomach. It’s time for him to stop spouting BS and excuses and just deliver the goods or quit. Stop lying for your employers and show some class and respect the fans who have always stood by you and believed in you, only to see you turn your backs on them and their desires and get into bed with a family of cobras. The man presently disgusts me.

  15. Grognard

    May 19, 2010 at 7:21 am

    @[OPTI]Madschester United: It kind of reminds of stuff from the old days of the Third Reich all that’s missing is the Swastika. Amazing how a Jewish family can run a football club like a bunch of fascist Nazi’s. But now I am starting to sound like Glenn Beck, which for those of you who know who he is , is a rather sad thing to say. 😆 😆

    By the way, what the Hell is up with the Red Knights? What are they waiting for. MAKE IT SO!

  16. [OPTI]Madschester United

    May 19, 2010 at 8:07 am

    @Grognard: I agree. Except that Fergie or Utd did not “charge” 80 million of Ronaldo. They said, Ronaldo is not for sale. Real Madrid said, what if we pay 80 million. United said: Thank you here is your boy.

    80 million for Ronaldo is good business.
    17 million for Anderson and 30 million for Berba is not.

    You can go back to what we paid for Keane from Not. Forest back in the day to see how Fergie affected the erosion of sensible transfer funds, but Ronaldo is not Fergie’s fault.

  17. CraigMc

    May 19, 2010 at 8:40 am

    David Gill – talk about DELUDED! Manchester United 750 million debt is not a problem, our business model for next 7 years is workable 😯 🙄 , what a tosser! The 76 million due to be payed for matured loans and due in August is 76 million quid, because interest rate hikes! Gill say it is all in hand and can be payed. The bank concerned says this 75 million has to come from somewhere, and no doubt the Glazer’s will take it out of the clubs money. With the bank saying this, I can only assume that this money is for the Glazer’s own PIK debt, which Gill denied United responsible for – yet I understand from reports that the Ronaldo money was used for exactly that last year. No fucking wonder Barcelona have spoken to their financiers to raise 80 million to seek a deal with United for Rooney. Barca say they know that Rooney is happy at United and wants to stay, but they believe 80 million in readies could swing a deal for Rooney with the United owners. This could be media scaremongering, but no smoke in these situations at United lately without fire! Is this how the Glazers will pay the 76 million interest on debt due. If anybody thinks this is not in the realms of possibility for United to sell Rooney, then I want to say up front – I am not so feckin sure! I pray I am wrong!

  18. despicable

    May 19, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Have anyone seen this, whats with the new BPL rule of 25 man squad, this will affect many teams and will force them to buy young people or play academy/reserves more,

  19. d'game

    May 19, 2010 at 9:47 am

    @Grognard: so you think the Red Knights are going to make an offer eh? They will, but i remember them saying they won’t be forced to pay more than necessary for UNITED. Does that ring a bell mate? We all want a change, and rightly so too. But when and how it will come no one knows. 😥

    Plus we can kiss all the sweet daydreaming transfers goodbye as yours truly feels he only needs MAYBE 1 good player. I’ve gat no probs with that, cos nowadays i with Fergie the impossible is possible. I hope he gets a freaking good MF otherwise……. he had better walk out now.Cos trust the occasion is still loud…it can be worse!!! 👿

  20. Grognard

    May 19, 2010 at 10:01 am

    One thing I will never understand is why Fergie cares about value for players now when he never used to? Why does he care so much about balancing the Glazer’s books and not trying to ensure that the team continues to be competitive and that it improves? Christ, he acts like the money is coming out of his own pocket which makes me wonder if that isn’t actually the case? Like I said earlier, one way to get the manager’s loyalty would be to cut him in on the profits. And if that’s the case perhaps Fergie’s interest has transferred itself to those nags he likes to race as opposed to his football club’s on field fortunes.

  21. d'game

    May 19, 2010 at 10:37 am

    @Grognard: Its called PRESENT DAY CLIMATE…… 😀

  22. despicable

    May 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

    @Grognard: But have u seen the article i attached where gill and fergie are talking about new squad rules…

  23. tonymontanna4united

    May 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    @CraigMc: David Gill is a bastad of the highest order, he needs to be kicked out the second new owners came in, if they ever do come in i think i should say.
    God what is it about us and employing slimy greedy buggers as chief executives, first kenyon and now gill.

  24. tonymontanna4united

    May 19, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    @Grognard: I will never take this “value” nonsense seriously ever for one reason, and that is that he didnt even look at a player like sneijder who went for peanuts. He can go on for as long as he likes about the market being over priced (something he started when he sold ronaldo for £80m) but to not even have the brains to go for a player like sneijder is a sackable offence in my opinion.
    How much of a difference wesley would make to our team now, we would immediately become a team who has a good chance of winning trophies from the joke we are now.
    Hes going on about only looking at 1 signing, well if he has the money then bid it all for wesley. 1 player he says he is looking at may be enough if they are actually world class. Gourcuff, silva, sneijder? They would all make a difference to this team. But who will that player be?
    Well the player i would put every penny i have on being our sole signing this summer would be. Drum roll.
    Joe bloody Cole. That is all we will see this summer simply because he is free and we will hear the same old shit, he is a world class player and he is all we need, just one thing i can say about ferguson is pathetic.

  25. Grognard

    May 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    @tonymontanna4united: Well we know hwat it’s really all about mate. It’s because the club keep incurring massive interest payments which are being paid by the club through their profits. Profits which would normally have gone to Fergie for the purchase of players. In fact, it’s a nightmare of over 437 million in interest which has been paid out so far. Enough to buy an all star team of the best players in the world. 🙄

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