So, the noisy neighbours are singing the loudest and while it pains me as a diehard United fan to say so, it may be a long time before we ever get our voice back. You see, they have owners who pump millions into the club while we have owners who take millions out, allegedly.
At the beginning of the season Ferguson said he didn’t need to invest heavily in the squad as he believed it to be amongst the best in Europe. The fact that we got knocked out of the Carling Cup, the FA Cup, the Champions’ League and the Europa League and lost out on the title in our worst season for seven years suggests otherwise.
Indeed, it is a miracle that we finished runners up with one of the weakest squads ever assembled at Old Trafford. No doubt we will be assured that a ‘war chest’ will be made available for next season – around the time season tickets have to be renewed, usually – but this will be petty cash compared with what City, and others, will be spending.
We didn’t miss out on the title because Ferguson picked the wrong team for the derby. The out of form and out of condition Park; Nani, the one trick pony, instead of Valencia, our player of the season; and played a centre half at full back, again. We lost it because we can only invest in potential, rather than proven ability, or recall past masters.
Jones, Smalling and Welbeck may well make it but they are work in progress, as is Evans (with a bit more work needed as far as he is concerned.) Rafael is an average squad player and I am not sure he has a twin brother as I can’t remember seeing them together. And Hernandez has experienced classic second season syndrome.
Scholes proved he is the best player the Premiership has ever seen, but where is his successor? Well as he has played this season it certainly isn’t Carrick, who is neither a Cantona like play maker or a Roy Keane midfield general. Giggs can’t go on for ever, on the football field at least. And Rio is deceptive – he is now slower than he looks.
Meanwhile, who will want to join United with our salary cap? It may be immoral that a player can earn 250k a week, but no fan would turn down a better paid job so why should we be indignant when a footballer gets what he can? Long term, salaries for such mercenaries may destroy the game but in the short term, winning is everything.
Ferguson wants to leave a legacy and to do so, he must stand up to his masters and insist that funds are made available and quickly. City’s title win was only a matter of time once their new owners took over. Likewise, our steady decline was inevitable once our new owners revealed their true colours.
No doubt I will get the mailer shortly with my season ticket renewal form. I would never/could never stop supporting United but somehow I have to make my displeasure known. Do I go or do I stay? That is the big question and one that Ferguson should be asking of himself too. You are only as good as your last figures/season…
Depressed of Manchester