Liverpool 0 Man United 1, January 17th: A very satisfying headline but not the most satisfactory performance

January 19, 2016

4738447My very good friend Steve and his son James, a David De Gea bonkers 10 year old, are season ticket holders at Old Trafford. Steve who’s an avid reader of this blog sent this e mail today:

Was a great win yesterday from an awful team, two Liverpool fans at my work said I must be embarrassed by the result and performance yesterday, I just smiled at them shook my head and said yes doesn’t it feel great !!

Still not convinced by LVG and his boring football, honestly its dire going to old Trafford, I kept telling James it didn’t used to be like this but think it may last for a while yet

Says it all really.  A father worries about his son and most of all wants to share those magical weekend moments they can relive forever. This is their third year of season tickets. James’ memories are Moyes and Van Gaal football, and the rebuilding job. Poor lad. His Grandma says he’s a built in noisemaker in the house. Can you imagine how loud he would get if United woke up and wowed Old Trafford?

To be honest the mailbox lit up since Rooney’s net bulger. Another email said:

Sack em all.

I was hoping they would lose the next three matches to provoke a real crisis, rather than limp along like this. Then Van Gaal and maybe even Woodward would go, and maybe, just maybe the Glazers would sell.


Serious even heretical stuff. But let’s face it there’s no chance of the Glazers selling or even Woodward getting the sack while Adidas, Chevrolet, DHL, Aeroflot, Aon, and the legions of fast food, beer, wine, noodles, paint, diesel engines and medical equipment sponsors hand over the billions to the brand. In the meantime maybe we should get T shirts made? Brand On The Run.

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Steve, James and the rest of us will just have to wait while hopefully that sponsorship money is translated to success on the field. As argued here loud and often, the problem with that is great players want to win the Champions League; the soon to be great players are hard to identify (see Memphis DePay); and the could be great players are coveted by their clubs – see Harry Kane.

With Adidas’s help United could land a biggie this summer, but is a biggie like Bale or Reus or Muller enough? And what about John Stones? Can United get him if Barcelona are interested? Then there’s the Mt.Everest of “what ifs”. What happens if they are 5th and don’t win the Europa Cup? No biggie for Ed, Louis, the sponsors and most of all us – that’s what.

Sunday’s game highlighted one fallen superpower who can’t buy it’s way back. Let’s hope there weren’t two on the pitch.

The clock is now ticking on an impossible mid-season transfer window. I’ve argued for months that Van Gaal deserves time. I’m sticking with that conviction. It’s not his fault he can’t truly let the players off the leash. He hasn’t got the players.

Couple of last thoughts. There’s another blast about Rooney in the United Rant today. Obviously he will never have the burst or be the same player again. He’s had 14 seasons of being kicked. But he’s still scored 5 in 4 games and you would not want that chance on Sunday, in that position, falling to any other player.

And finally brilliant stuff from Carrick, Jones and Rojo to go in with the crowd. Just brilliant.