Back in the day, Manchester United was a fearful name. Other teams loathed the days when they had to play against the club. They had an aura of arrogance, so much so that even the weakest of their team was psychologically very intimidating. Their arrogance, which was the mark of Sir Alex Ferguson himself put them on one of the topmost positions in World Football. Roy Keane, Eric Cantona, Wayne Rooney are some of those who resonated so well with the team’s ideology. Europe and even around the world, they were the force to reckon and were the favourites. But times have changed.
The arrogance has been lost. As after the season Sir Alex retired, David Moyes took charge of the team. Many argued that the team was not strong enough to begin with and it was Sir Alex’s magic which made that team click. David, though, didn’t have that one quality Sir Alex was known for, it being the arrogance. He might have been sound tactically, but he couldn’t command the team like his predecessor did. He played a very passive role in a team which demanded a leader, an active and dynamic character to guide them. It would have been harsh on the manager to expect results in the very first season itself, but it was clearly visible as time went on that he wasn’t the one. Then came Louis van Gaal, and a promise to bring back the typical United trademark.
But till then the damage had been done. They say the game is more in the mind rather on the grass, and it was visible. Maybe not in the form of results, which the team somehow managed to achieve but as a prospective European Champion. Teams no longer considered the club to be one of the best. Players didn’t see a future opportunity or a chance to shine as they did back in the day. There was a time when United were the dream team if anyone wanted to make it big. Every buy of theirs was applauded not just for the quality they brought through but the swiftness and the criticalness of the whole deal.
The Class of ’92 was a major reason for their fame as a stepping stone to success, ignoring the yesteryear when the Busby Babes took England by storm with their youth and energy. The image now, in retrospect is a dim one.
Only some players who had a childhood dream of playing for the club consider the club as a viable option. With Manchester United still being one of the most followed sports clubs in the entire world, the rumours don’t die and new ones are created by the minute. Rather than being awed by an offer from the club, they use the deal as a fulcrum to get a better contract from their own club, the best example being Sergio Ramos. And those who are fixed on moving out of their previous club only use the bid to improve their offers by other clubs. Players like Hazard and Pedro are just some of the many who have left United hanging. Even within the club, the players now have the audacity to threaten the management of leaving, so as to improve their position financially. But fortunately, Louis has decided he won’t have any of that.
The players which the club does obtain are grossly overvalued. Unlike their city rivals, though, they have the overall revenue to escape from the clutches of the dreaded FFP(Financial Fair Play).
Luke Shaw, who joined the club last year, was achieved by a £30-million record value for a teenager in the English League. This for a player who is known to be injury-prone is a bad deal, in my personal opinion. The drastically rising values of English players and the depreciation in the club’s authority on the Transfer Market doesn’t put a flowery picture in the recent future.
The only way this can be rectified are if the results are achieved. And the herculean task has to be done with the team already present. The team certainly has improved over the past 2 seasons, but the arrogance can only be achieved with constant bashing of the opponent teams on the pitch, and the attitude which the Devils always carry- Believe.
Red Devil forever. Engineer by nature, Football by the heart. Sugar, Spice and a whole lotta tadka on the side.