Saturday, 11 January 2014

Dark Days at Old Trafford?

Not been on here for a while as Ive been busy with other things, but its time for a trip down memory lane...

Dark days at Old Trafford? It certainly looks like it but we’ve had them before and came through them bigger and stronger than before. I am too young to remember the European Cup Final in 1968, but I remember listening to the radio when we got knocked out the following season. Dark days? It seemed like it at the time. Best, Law, Charlton, all beginning to fade as across the city Bell, Lee and Summerbee were carrying all before them. The title was a pipedream, as Wilf McGuinness and Frank O’Farrell came and went. The Derby was a nerve wracking time. Could you face school after a heavy defeat? Then came the Doc, and we were relegated. Dark days? They don’t get much darker. But he was rebuilding, and although big names were leaving gradually our faith grew. We had one hell of a season in Division Two, playing teams that were unfamiliar, and we were straight back up. We were on a high, and for a while we dared to dream. The cup final in ’76 ended in heartbreak. Grown men crying on the terraces. But then we returned against the invincible Liverpool. We scored, but they equalised. It was a hammer blow to a team that did not have the self belief to beat their north west rivals, but then we scored again. How we celebrated, but it didn’t last long as The Doc left us. Dave Sexton joined, and the skies darkened again. The dramatic defeat in the 1979 cup final, finishing runner-up to Liverpool the following season, it seemed we were on the up, but Sexton had to go. He left us with Ray Wilkins and Joe Jordan, but Garry Birtles? Dark days indeed. Big Ron, a man with a big personality, took over, and the football improved. Wembley trips became a regular occurrence, but even Big Ron was not immune from criticism. Bryan Robson, Norman Whiteside, Mark Hughes, Gordon Strachan and Jesper Olsen all flourished, but Peter Davenport? No thanks. No title was delivered, how ambitions had changed, and so he too had to go. Dark days, and then came Fergie. The days got darker. But he had to have a clear out. Olsen, Moran, Strachan, Whiteside, McGrath and many more departed. Was he mad? They were our heroes. Dark days behind us and darker days ahead. Gary Pallister? £2.3 million for a defender? He is mad. It cost less than that to bring Mark Hughes back. And who is Ralph Milne? Gradually he started to deliver, and we started to believe again. The clouds were clearing and the dark days were filled with the first rays of sunshine. How much do we owe to Mark Robins? I guess we will never know. But trophy followed trophy, Liverpool were nowhere in sight, and City were playing Gillingham. There were grey days, but never dark. Kleberson, Veron and William Prunier, massively offset by Cantona, Solskjaer, and Schmeichel. How could we combat the excellence of Barcelona? We never did! The departures of Beckham, Keane, Stam, Van Nistelrooy, how would we cope? We did, and easily. There are those who say Keane has never been replaced, and Scholes, and Beckham. We need a new midfielder, and defenders. Well, Fergie brought them in. He nurtured Cleverley, he bought Kagawa and Smalling. And Buttner! He had faith in Johnny Evans, and he brought an ageing Scholes back for one last hurrah. So his legacy for Mr Moyes was definitely a work in progress, and we still need a clear out. Why is Anderson still there? Why is Nani still there? The list goes on, but now it is up to Moyes to sort it out. If City were not towards the top of the league would he be given more slack by the fans? If Liverpool were not enjoying a hopefully brief resurgence would he be given more slack by the fans. I am undecided, but it is easy to judge a manager who was on a hiding to nothing from the start. Add the ailments of Rooney, Carrick and RVP and perhaps he’s done well to get us where we are (only joking). Fellaini was not a great start in the transfer market, and I hope doesn’t revert to the desperation of Herrera, but he will be here for the rest of the season at least, so we have to get behind him. Dark days? Yes, but things are always darker before the dawn. And if things continue to deteriorate at least our next manager is now getting valuable Premier League experience at Cardiff. And we’ll keep the red flag flying high, cos Man United will never die.

1 comment:

  1. I like Anderson. I can see why you might still ask though "why is he still there?" Same as Berbatov - I liked him. But a waste of money and some poor guys time if you've no intention of ever playing them.