There is a breed of Rhino known as Javan Rhinos that are hunted so often that there is roughly 20 left on Earth and the number is falling rapidly. As a species, they’re in better shape than Manchester United.
At the helm is possibly the most incompetent manager in football history managing what was once the world’s greatest club.
Responsible for the hiring and firing of managers is an accountant who couldn’t be less qualified if he tried. A mutiny is growing among the supporters and alumni alike. They have a potentially excellent squad being criminally misused. They’ve neglected to pick what was best for the club for years and act as though a quarterly surplus can take its place alongside the Champions League in their trophy cabinet.
But the majority of their problems come under one word. Style.
Much has been made of the phrase “The United Way”. Opposing fans claim that such a thing is ridiculous but for the ones seeing clearly, it’s an undeniable fact. At no other club in England, would the manager have been under so much pressure as a result of the classless football their boss has coined his “Philosophy”.
The pressure on the Dutchman has intensified because of the recent results but he was far from popular after the football he oversaw last season, typified by the deafening boos in reaction to Johnny Evans 50 yard backpass to David De Gea. But van Gaal’s tactics is just one part of United’s identity crisis.
There is a culture within United which far predates their successes under their two beloved Scots.
Playing with passion, pride and working hard is Commandment number one on Sir Matt Busby Way. In recent years, their players have shown some fairly listless performances. Olympiacos away, Norwich at home and PSV away have all embarrassed the now long suffering United fans.
But Thursday’s performance against Liverpool was so gutless, memories of generations of United players were disgraced.
With the exception of the superb David De Gea, van Gaal’s charges seemed to think it was a friendly match behind closed doors not the club’s most important game in years against Liverpool in Anfield. To a man, they were embarrassing and disgraceful. The likes of Paul Scholes in the studio or Gary Pallister in the stands are unrecognisable compared to Thursday’s cowards. How can a team which won a Champions League with two goals in three minutes come to this?
How can a team which in the past decade went toe-to-toe with football’s greatest ever club team be in such a sorry state?
Another part of this fabled United Way is a somewhat new addition. Van Gaal’s steadfast supporters, all 3 of them, often say how if we took the stance the majority have against van Gaal, Sir Alex would never have gotten his chance. But United are a wildly different club to the one the Scot took over in 1986.
Winning is now part of United but barring a miracle, United fans won’t see a trophy raised this year for the third season in a row. The results are unacceptable and embarrassing. And yet, van Gaal is nowhere near getting fired. As I have written before, it’s entirely possible the former Ajax man will never get fired.
Throughout van Gaal’s tumultuous reign, there has been one constant, a sound bite from van Gaal at every press conference.
“My philosophy works” he says with worrying regularity. The very fact he believes that is concerning as to the mental state of this man.
But back to the philosophy. From various interviews, I understand the crooks of it is you pass sideways and backwards as much as possible until a gap opens up which United can exploit. That is the polar opposite to what United is built upon in every way. Why has van Gaal harked on about his philosophy from day one and how the fans and players must learn his way but neglected to even attempt to learn our philosophy?
That’s not how it works Louis. Allow me to enlighten you. United pass quickly and offensively. We attack with pace and precision. We score goals, we win matches. Try that out for size.
But the Iron Tulip is just one floor of United’s crumbling tower.
The bloodsucking, malevolent architects of the once great club’s downfall are a couple of rungs above the manager. The Glazers are the most corrosive influence on a football club you could possibly imagine for those two words exactly. They ignore the football and disregard the fact it’s even a club. Manchester United LTD it’ll be called soon. Once they make money, it’s all hunky dorey.
They probably couldn’t tell you who the club captain is an yet they own the club. Just contemplate how ridiculous that is. Every single one of Manchester United’s fans is better qualified for their job.
The well known liver bird was in grave danger of going extinct not far from Manchester but the authorities acted and it’s beginning to flourish. If United don’t act, they will become extinct. The most worrying part is, who can start the change without getting themselves fired?
A sorry state indeed.