There were two things I wanted to rant about this week, but I’ve decided to save one until next week, with the subject of this post likely to change once again after this weekend’s football.
It concerns Manchester United fans and who they are blaming for the poor performances at their club.
Before I start, I don’t mean to cause offence to anyone in my writing. I write these pieces to cause debate, meaning I can’t please everyone and agree everyone’s opinion.
Last season, as was well documented and known, was one of the worst in Manchester United’s history, as they finished seventh in the Premier League, with David Moyes getting sacked just nine months into his new job following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
This season, with new manager Louis van Gaal in charge, United have made a poor start, despite a promising pre-season. A 2-1 home loss to Swansea on the opening day was followed by a 1-1 draw away to Sunderland and then an embarrassing 4-0 mauling at the hands of League One MK Dons in the League Cup.
Yet right now, most United fans are blaming the players for the disappointing results this season, not all supporters, but quite a lot are slating numerous players for their contribution to the downfall.
But why didn’t they blame the players last season?
United have made four new signings this summer – Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and now Angel di Maria. Between them, due to injury, work permits or whatever, they have only made one start in three games.
This means that the team who have played poorly this season is pretty much the same as last season, except for a few players who have departed Old Trafford this summer.
So what I don’t understand and why I am ranting is that why did David Moyes get the blame in 2013-14, but Louis van Gaal is not getting the blame from most United fans this campaign when both managers worked/are working with pretty much the same squad.
It makes me feel quite sorry for Moyes, who wasn’t given enough time at Old Trafford and took unfair criticism – yes some of which was fair, but a lot of what he received was unnecessary.
So United fans, please sort yourself out. Take one of two solutions.
If you want to blame Moyes for last season’s disappointment, then blame van Gaal for the bad start to 2014-15. Obviously the Dutchman may be able to turn things around, but if Red Devils fans want somebody to blame at this moment in time, choose van Gaal, not players, if you think it was Moyes’ fault last year. It might give the former Holland boss’ confidence a much-needed knock.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to blame van Gaal, and insist on saying the players are crap, then perhaps think twice about the criticism Moyes took last season. Maybe the players were to blame in 2013-14 as well, can anbody get this squad back to how it was under Ferguson?
It’s virtually the same squad, so why not blame both demises on both managers or the players on both occasions.
There is perhaps a worry that you cannot criticise van Gaal because of his previous managerial record. He has had such a successful career in management and has just got to the semi-finals of the World Cup, so would anybody dare to downgrade his credibility as a boss.
Whereas David Moyes became somewhat of a scapegoat because he hadn’t arrived from another superpower of world football (sorry Everton fans), so could be picked on and criticised because he wasn’t as successful a manager as United fans are used to.
Finally, because Moyes wasn’t expected to win everything at Old Trafford and some people predicted United’s downfall, then criticism of the Scot almost became acceptable, purely because he was never going to do well in the first place.
But van Gaal is expected to change United’s fortunes around, so supporters are afraid to put his knowledge into question and think he will turn it around, which of course the 63 year old may well do.
It would be great if any United fans could get in touch with me on this situation. Who are you blaming if anyone? Am I talking rubbish and offending your club? Was criticism of Moyes right? Can van Gaal turn it around? I’d love to hear from you on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.