I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be a Manchester United supporter. Each game is almost guaranteed to be a win. Not only that, but it’s almost always a one-sided win against an inferior opponent. Then, every season there are several trophies to add to the cabinet. For supporters of other clubs, every game is an unknown and there are no guarantees.
Right now, Manchester United are playing so well that they’ve become boring to watch. It seems very unlikely, almost implausible, that any team can beat Man United. The team has no weaknesses. Even when they suffer injuries, their reserve players such as Jonny Evans and Danny Welbeck have seemingly stepped in without missing a beat. On Saturday, 19-year-old Richard Eckersley stepped in for John O’Shea early in the second half, and seemed like a natural fit.
Man United reminds me of those kids in high school and college who always got the highest test scores. You didn’t know whether to admire them or hate them for their continual perfection.
With Man United, the reality is that Sir Alex Ferguson has built an incredible team that is full of skill, confidence and desire to win. They can’t be blamed for that. If anything, the opposing sides are the ones who are more to blame for Manchester United becoming boring to watch. Few teams go for Man United’s jugular (Hull City was a rare exception earlier this season). Instead, teams fear United and play a game of trying to eek out a draw rather than putting the Red Devils on the backfoot.
Such is Man United’s dominance that the last time they lost two league matches in a row was almost four years ago when United lost against Norwich and Everton in April, 2005.
The whole concept of sport is built on the understanding that two opposing forces will attempt to win, resulting in a back and forth battle. Sometimes teams or players win. Sometimes they lose. In Manchester United’s case, they’ve perfected the skill of winning so well that it leaves the neutral observer convinced that they’ll win each match. It’s something that Ferguson knows well and has to ensure that players don’t become too overconfident, but for the rest of us — especially those of you, like me, who root for the underdog — it eliminates the whole element of surprise. And where is the fun in that?