Manchester United Is Not Going To Finish This Season Without A Fight

This is called gut check time. This is the time to find out who the real supporters are and who the bandwagon fans are. After Monday’s loss to City, on so many message boards and blog sites, I saw expressions of rage, grief, sorrow and denial. And yes, to a degree it was warranted. But come on people! So many fans ‘leapt to their deaths,’ ‘slit their writs’ and ‘wailed to the football gods’ that the final result was wrong and that we had been cheated.

No we weren’t.

Reading this blog post probably won’t make the loss feel any better, but guess what? It’s another day in the long life of a supporter of any team that you get behind. And it’s also called a reality check. By the way, I am still wearing my Red and Black jacket proudly today, how about you?

Let’s take a hard look at this entire season and face the fact that everything that has happened was nothing more that the call to make key changes in the off-season to shore up weak positions that opposing teams have taken advantage of all year long. And honestly as any fan that looks past just the wins and losses, you can see where the team has lacked this season and before I go dragging stats into this, it’s already evident that United lacked at the midfield position and at defense.

Look at what happened. Sir Alex Ferguson had to convince Paul Scholes to come out of retirement to fortify the post that younger legs like Anderson and Tom Cleverley weren’t yet prepared to do. And also with the huge loss of Nemanja Vidic and an aging Rio Ferdinand holding the back end, the defense had to really step up. The bright light of it all really has been that it caused Jonny Evans to mature and become a better player even though in the last Manchester derby, I still think he was the stupid red carded spark that set City on fire that helped light us up for 6 goals. Even David De Gea, who I lost confidence with at mid-season, has shown surprising form late in the year but he still has a long way to go to solidify his post at goalkeeper. Even the strikers may need a bit of work in finishing on key plays but the upside is that with youth comes improvement through Danny Welbeck and Chicharito. There has been a lot of spark coming from both of them and hopefully the future is brighter with them both being on the team.

I am saying all of this to say, supporters be prepared. While some of you may read this and get angrier, I will say again that this is a reality check — one that I have seen so many times in American sports with dominant teams failing in the final leg to get the Big Finish:

  • Watching the New York Yankees come up short in the post season because their pitching staff fails or the aging line up can’t score,
  • Watching the Baltimore Ravens execute well on the defense but struggling on the offense and losing games in the waning moments because the defense faltered,
  • Seeing the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers poised to take it all only to run out of gas at crucial times in the latter stages of games because the teams relied heavily on their stars and not having a bench to support them.

There are many cases also where teams ‘stacked with stars’ simply get outplayed by a scrappier hungrier band of no name players itching to take the giants down.

These things happen and one can only hope that United has learned from the crucial mistakes that cost them key games. All this past month it has been about key games and we blew it on two occasions; losing to Wigan Athletic and although it led to an astounding run against Aston Villa we “lost” against Everton. Huh? Yes, I saw the 4-4 score as clear as day and there was no reason why we should have drawn that game except complacency and the lack of depth crept in. So yes that key draw “lost” us the cushioning lead at the top of the table. Had we beaten Everton, Monday’s loss wouldn’t sting so much and now United has to win the last two and still have to seriously hope that City loses one match in order to secure the title and the odds are long that these things will happen.

So, are you long time supporters angry at me now? Good. But let’s remember one very important fact about this season, the one piece of good news that has carried us all the way to this point. Despite yesterday’s loss, despite the injuries over the course of the season, despite watching players struggle to grow into their positions, despite not qualifying for other tournaments and despite some news outlets quietly asserting that this Manchester United team is not one of Fergie’s best, this team still fought to the top of the table with spare parts, glue and spit. Even way back in February and March when City had a substantial lead, United still fought when it was easy for other teams to give up, they continued to fight. And even if it comes down to the wire, to the last day of the season, it’s not going to be easy for City. They will have to earn it, struggling and clawing tooth and nail until the final whistle on May 13th. And then defend it. THAT is how you get to 19.

I know this may have read like the glass is half empty, but realistically speaking this side has still excelled far more that what people would have expected to see at the beginning of January.

So have hope people. There are 2 games left and when the dust clears, either way it will be time to plan for next season and shore up those key spots that we have sorely lacked in.

Hang in there, step away from those rooftops, put the razors down, light a match at the altar of your football gods and pray. Even if we don’t get the results we are looking for in number 20, be proud of the team’s accomplishment in the table run and that at least we didn’t go down without a fight.

23 thoughts on “Manchester United Is Not Going To Finish This Season Without A Fight”

  1. Still a supporter. There’s always next year (yes, I believe its over).
    A bit upset that SAF didn’t put Valencia in right after the half.
    Quite a few terrible passes and decisions by Nani.
    Overall, I thought they did well defensively against a red hot city team.

  2. As a red devil since 12 years I was dejected,pissed,angry after last night!!but this was a good read and made my pain subside a bit!!

  3. This is highly recommended for any man utd fan to read, really describes our season entirely. For me though, I was happy to see Ferguson looking angry on the touchline, he’s the reason all this is happening. He was on his bed smiling when players like Silva, Aguero, Nasri, Luiz were being signed by other clubs and he was saying that he had “youth” players. Where are they? The only players to have stepped up this season were Welbeck and Evans. When I saw cleverly against city in the community shield I thought “hang on a minute, this boy has potential” but all of a sudden here we are in may and cleverely is nowhere to be found. I had a lot of hope in Jones who has turned out to be a player who scores own goals with senseless direction on the pitch. I just hope Ferguson opens his eyes and signs PLAYERS that will IMPROVE our squad next season. I think this league is gone unless city capitulate. Players like Evra, Nani, Anderson, Cleverely, Rafael, Hernandez all have to show signs of improvement and potential or else a large proportion of the squad needs an overhaul.

  4. I’m sorry but is the season over?! You plastic Styrofoam finger waving fans. We still have a shot!

    Cody & Malkudi – who are you? Coaching credentials immediately please.

    1. Sharing an opinion on who I think should have started at RW doesn’t really call for coaching credentials.
      I guess you believe Nani has played a more important role this season than Valencia?

      1. Cody – second guessing a proven winning coach does call for coaching credentials. When’s your next prem league game coach?

        1. I don’t hear you drumming the Podcast hosts, who had the same opinion on Valencia’s playing time that I had…..a bit scared? Moron.

          1. Are you serious? If you have some type of mental disability I’ll discontinue the discussion but you are seriously stupid. Podcast – don’t listen or read the posts. I do however pull up the blog and read/comment on articles that interest me.

            Who would I be scared of? Do you know you’re typing on a keyboard on the internet. I don’t care about what this blog’s podcast has to say on the situation but if they think they are better tacticians than SAF, as you clearly do, than they’re clueless.

            Scared? I just keep laughing about that. Should I be on the lookout for keyboard warriors such as yourself jumping through my computer screen? Are those that hold the podcasts coming for me? You sound 12. MORON!

  5. This season is far from over, Manchester United still have a shot at the title, two more games to play for both teams… I still believe in my team.

  6. I’ll always be a fan, but I think we blew it yesterday. And I give credit to City. They beat us in both fixtures this year, and they deserved the wins both times. I’ll watch the last four games of the year and hope that City drop points somewhere along the way, but I’m not holding my breath…

  7. “Manchester United Is Not Going To Finish This Season Without A Fight”. Yes, this is probably the first thing that comes to mind if you are a United supporter. This has been trademark of SAF and his teams. Well, I’m not sure about _this_ United team. Not anymore. They didn’t put too much of a fight yesterday to be honest. I cannot really pinpoint one particular thing that would have changed the outcome. It was just depressingly toothless performance from the manager and the players alike. Beaten by a better team and helpless to change anything.

  8. United will win the Championship by one point! This will make City fans want to jump off their roofs. City will lose to Newcastle and beat QPR….United will beat Swansea and tie Sunderland. Go you Reds!!

    1. You seem to be confusing the two set of fans Jim, if City Finnish second their fans are still in dream land. People seem to forget where they were only a few seasons ago. The only people jumping off anything if they don’t win it would be those arrogant morons who have been making the champ20ns t shirts and shooting there mouths off as usual etc.

  9. United will win on GD. United will beat Swansea 8-0 and then beat Sunderland 4-1. Man City will meek out a 2-1 win against Newcastle and then beat QPR 2-1 (the goal for QPR will be a penalty kick because Balotelli dropped a safe on a QPR striker).

    What? Too outlandish? Eh… it isn’t like I’m predicting De Gea will score a hat trick…

    …he’ll only net one goal.

  10. I’d lower the expectations a little and root for them to put a shot on goal this weekend. It’s gonna sit on 19 a long time. . . . .

  11. I was gutted by the loss. The worst thing about it is that even if United win their remaining matches, we will need Newcastle to get a result. We have gone off the boil at the worst possible time. But then, “We’ll never die, we’ll never die, we’ll keep the red flag flying, cos Man Utd will never die!” Come on United!

  12. A tough game, I thought we started to negatively and defensively. Even harder realizing that neither MU or City can be argued to be among the top 5 in Europe right now. The match was well over hyped.

    The thing that has attracted me to MU still holds. We don’t give up we fight to the end. The title race is not over. The club came back since Christmas in a big way.

    Much in the blog is right relative to improvements .

  13. Man U has 2 virtual lock games
    City at New Castle is the title game – could go either way even a draw and City is in trouble- I think the race is clearly up in the air

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