Soccer is a brutal game. You can play your best, have a dominating performance and come out the wrong side of a 1-0 result. This was the fate of Manchester United this past weekend and Van Gaal did not hold back his frustration in the post-game interview below.
Proud and frustrated is a tough way to win the league but United look poised to secure a Champions League spot, something we would not have been talking about around Christmas time.
This video was good. It could have been better but it is worth posting solely for the line “My son said I had to come here to see your fourth-place trophy.” That line was pure gold. I wish they had been more aggressive with her comments though because a little old lady could get away with much worse lines in enemy territory than the ones she attempts in this video.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s full length Christmas day interview
He talks about Fergie time, Louis Van Gaal & developing players
Sir Alex Ferguson has earned everyone’s respect no matter whether people like him or not. You can’t argue against his success despite what you may think of his coaching style. However, everyone knows he planned his exit at the right time. Manchester United was on the verge of getting overtaken by Chelsea and Manchester City and Sir Alex wanted to go out on top. Can’t blame him for that.
It is one thing to lose your first league home opener in the past 42 years.
Just in case you forgot some of the fun:
It’s another to draw your next game in an inglorious fashion.
It is completely different and borderline unacceptable for a team as “mighty” as Manchester United to get played off the park by a League One team. MK Dons taught Manchester United a lesson. In front of a sold out home crowd of 29,000+ the Dons found a 4-0 win against a Manchester United side that looked eerily mediocre and stoic. You can argue that United played a bunch of young players that were incapable of handling the pressure or the task at hand. You can argue that the new system is taking longer than expected to shine through. The best argument is that United just were not good enough. They looked lifeless, as if MK Dons was the team with massive reputation and payroll. Sometimes it is easy to be the underdog; there is no pressure or expectations and any success is a lucky benefit. This time, MK Dons, whose total payroll of 235,000 euros (Rooney is on 500,000/week) found a result and a dominant one at that!
So the question becomes, is this humiliating enough? Or is United destined for greater shortcomings before they return to greatness. You look at the transfers in this summer and it seems that the defensive posture needed in Van Gaal’s system has largely been forgotten. Herrera and Di Maria are the biggest signings of the summer but offer no solidarity to a defense that couldn’t stop my U12 team from getting chances. We must wonder what is going on in Manchester? Three in the back requires some incredible athleticism and excellent 1 v 1 defending. Does Manchester United have that back there? No. And the club continues to pursue attacking options and that would be fine if United scored four goals a game. Alas, the struggles are on both ends and the signs of improvement and progress are limited at best.
All is not lost though. The next three fixtures for United are quite favorable with the likes of Burnley, QPR and Leicester City on the docket. It is almost like the league knew United would need to be bailed out from its struggles so it could once again compete for something. If United get 7 points out of these three games, this could be an early turning point in the season to hopefully instill a bit of confidence in the group. It does not matter that two of these games are on the road. If you are Manchester United, you need results and you need them now. I am not a Manchester United fanboy but I do appreciate when the big clubs stick to a system and find a way to success, so I hope, and I know all Manchester United fans hope, that Van Gaal and company figure themselves out sooner rather than later. It would be some travesty to see one of the biggest clubs in the world find itself in the Championship division next year!
This is absolutely disgusting. It is such a direct shot that I think he swallows it before he even has a chance to realize it. What a great opening day for Ashley Young. Manchester United loses 2-1 and continue where they left off last season and he swallows a one in a million shot directly from a birds butt. Can’t get much worse than that sans injury.
Terrible idea Rory, just terrible. You are playing at Royal Liverpool, do you think the fans are going to enjoy hearing a Manchester United fan won in Liverpool? He should just be glad he didn’t mention this during the tournament or else he would have been booed at every shot.
h/t SB Nation
If you had not already heard David Moyes has been fired then you probably already assumed it was inevitable. This Manchester United season has been historic, historically bad. In fact it was so bad that Manchester United put up these clubs records:
- United are guaranteed to finish the season with their lowest ever Premier League points tally
- United fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995
- United’s worst home league form for over a decade
- Suffered three defeats in a row for the first time since 2001 this season
- Eliminated in the FA Cup third round – something which happened just once under Ferguson
- First ever home defeat to Swansea this term
- First home defeat to Newcastle since 1972
- First home defeat to West Brom since 1978
- First league defeat to Stoke since 1984
- First time Man City & Liverpool have beaten United home & away since Premier League’s inception
- First time United have conceded a first minute goal at home in the Premier League
- First time Everton have beaten United home and away since 1969-70
- First time Everton & Liverpool have ever done a league double over United in the same season
After perusing those stats it is no wonder that there have been calls for his head (and not just figurative calls for his head as many hot-headed Manchester United fans probably think he deserves the same fate as Robespierre). This Manchester United team has looked nothing like the teams Sir Alex Ferguson coached. They played boring soccer, they looked unprepared for many of their games, and they lacked the cutting edge they had last year that had allowed them win all their close games. To many casual observers of Manchester United and the Premier League it comes as a huge surprise that the reigning champions could have fallen from grace so quickly. However, their fall from grace isn’t as unexpected as some may have expected. The core of the team has gotten older and sluggish and management has been to slow to replace their aging core with new signings this past summer. Also, a large part of their run last year was owed in part to Robin Van Persie who has had a career plagued by injury problems and has never finished a complete season, which he failed to do yet again this season. Lastly, there is always a “hangover” when switching coaches, especially when switching from a a club coaching legend to a newer coach from outside the organization.
This is not to say David Moyes was the right man for the job. He has some success at Everton but success at Everton is measured differently than it is at Manchester United. At Everton, David Moyes showed he was was capable of keeping Everton competitive while being hamstrung by small funds for player transfers. A Champions League place was seen as a lofty goal and not an essential requirement necessary for Moyes continuing his tenure at Goodison Park. Because of this David Moyes enjoyed a comfortable career at Everton. Although David Moyes’ Everton did not play the type of soccer that soccer fans prefer to watch, they did win games and gave fans hope that they were capable of winning trophies. The coaching job at Manchester United came with a lot of high expectations, none of which David Moyes had experience reaching. He can be appreciated for trying to challenge himself and grow as a coach but the Manchester United job was a trap.
No one could replace Sir Alex Ferguson. He is one of the greatest soccer coaches in the world and is a huge reason why Manchester United has grown into the global soccer powerhouse it is today. The vacuum of power he left could not be filled immediately after his retirement. It was destined to take time. Therefore, the coach who replaced him was destined to fail. The new coach was always going to be constantly compared to Sir Alex Ferguson and that is an unfavorable comparison to make as there are so few coaches of his caliber. No coach could have done what Ferguson did with this squad last year and thus the team was bound to fail to meet expectations no matter who the coach was. David Moyes was not brought in as the Manchester United coach for the future. He was brought in as a scapegoat. His job was to fail and when he failed he was supposed to be sacked and take the blames for the squad. Once this happened room could be made for a high-value coaching target. When this coach is hired he will have the ideal position of being a savior for the club rather than a replacement for a club legend, which is what David Moyes was when he was hired. Next season the new coach will be able to exceed expectations by doing better than David Moyes whereas David Moyes spent all of the 2013/2014 season trying to stay afloat in the raging flood waters that are Manchester United’s expectations as set by Sir Alex Ferguson.
In essence, David Moyes was brought into to fill the big shoes left by Sir Alex Ferguson while the organization knew that no one could fit in the shoes he vacated. Therefore, it should have been no surprise that David Moyes stumbled his way through the 2013/2014 season while walking in shoes that were too big for his feet. Whichever new coach comes in to replace David won’t be forced to fill those shoes thus they are immediately at a more favorable position than Moyes was when he was hired. David Moyes was a necessary cog in the transition from Sir Alex Ferguson to the new Manchester United coach. He was only going to last a year and in that respect he was the right man for the job but he was never United’s coach of the future. They brought him so that they could fire him. If they had wanted him as their coach of the future they would have at least given him one more year.