The ‘United Way’ Will Endure, That Means Changes Will Be Made In Manchester

The identity of a football club is something many fans and historians hold close to their hearts.

The best example of this would be at Barcelona where they believe they are “Més que un club” (More than a club). A bond between the club and the Catalan people was fortified during the Spanish civil war and in later years a style of play was introduced which became symbolic of the ‘Barcelona Way’.

With Barcelona, it’s about playing well and then if you manage to win, even better. The club and its supporters want to see “beautiful football”.

Barcelona always try to direct the game, they don’t wait for the opposition. They are always on the attack. That’s the way it has to be, that’s what their fans expect.

The identity of Barcelona’s long-time rival, Real Madrid, is unique in its own way. Although the club’s footballing philosophy has morphed in recent years, the club’s identity is still that of the “Galácticos”. This was a term born from a policy pursued by former Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez where during his early tenure he would try to sign at least one world class playereach summer.

His efforts were made in order to ensure the club returned to European glory year after year.

Real Madrid has one of the most talent-laden squads in all of Europe and is one of the richest, most popular clubs in the world while also accumulating nine European Cups/Champions League titles. But despite this wealth of on-the-field talent, the club has not won the competition since 2001-2002.

It could be argued that Real Madrid’s philosophy has led to the players becoming more important and powerful than the manager. The identity of the club has become that of its star players.

Manchester United’s identity was built on the set of beliefs laid down by Sir Matt Busby and was later enhanced by Sir Alex Ferguson. The foundation of the philosophy was simple: “The hard-working people of Manchester toiled all week in anticipation of watching football and they deserved to be entertained.”

What Busby, and later Ferguson, demanded from the players was to play entertaining, attacking football; while the manager made a commitment to self-producing new talent and allowing brilliant footballers to express themselves fully.

That is the ‘United Way’.

But too many times this season, Manchester United has shown a lack of desire to win. Whether it’s because of the players disagreeing with the manager’s training routine, poor tactics, a lack of talent or players just hitting the downside of their career. The bottom line is Manchester United is failing to live up to the values set forth by previous teams.

Most fans would accept losing if the players were fighting for the shirt and showing some kind of progress on the pitch. But each week Manchester United supporters are left wondering, “What team is going to show up today?” or “What exactly are we doing?”

For the fans to be worried about that, goes against the most basic value of the club’s identity set forth by Sir Matt Busby.

“The hard-working people of Manchester toiled all week in anticipation of watching football and they deserve to be entertained.”

This weekend, former Manchester United forward Dwight Yorke worked the match against Everton for SkySports and had this to say: “What I have seen is a Manchester United team who lack the desire to win a football match. What stands out even further is the desire from the players – they don’t seem to have it.”

Too many times this season, David Moyes and his players have stood in front of the media and expressed their appreciation for the support given by the club’s match-going fans. Before and after poor performances they vowed to improve and promised the next game would be better. Then the next match would come around, optimism was abound with the manager and players; only to be negated shortly thereafter at the first sign of adversity on the pitch.

Media reports suggest that David Moyes job is in jeopardy. The tabloids are having a daily go at the club and its manager with stories surfacing of “secret meetings” between United’s owners and possible replacements for Moyes. Other reports from “unnamed sources” are telling tales of player unrest and a loss of institutional control by David Moyes.

At every other club, these stories are a nail in the coffin for a manager.

But Manchester United is not any club. The club doesn’t react to speculation in the media and it won’t cede control to the players.

The last part is something Sir Alex Ferguson brought during his tenure and it is something the current leadership holds in high regard.

“You can never lose control- not when you are dealing with 30 top professionals who are all millionaires,” Ferguson told the Harvard Review. “And if any players want to take me on, to challenge my authority and control, I deal with them.”

That meant if players were undermining the team’s performance or violating the club’s standards, they were let go or their contracts were terminated.

One thing for sure, there will be a number of players leaving Old Trafford this summer because they haven’t been living up to the most basic values of the club.

David Moyes’ leadership, poor man-management and/or tactics could very well be the reason for the players capitulation this season. But regardless of any reported disagreements the players may have with United’s new leader, it is still their job to do what is being asked of them and play with passion for the club.

Prior to the start of the season, it was determined that the club’s roster was in need of an overhaul. So regardless of United’s current position in the league table, the players will be the first ones to face the firing squad.

Another part of the ‘United Way’ is the club’s belief in continuity at the leadership position.

When United hired Moyes, they did so knowing that the state of the club was not a quick fix. The understanding inside of the club was that the situation at Manchester United was going to be at least a two-year project.

While no one can be happy at the club’s position, the signs coming from United are that the owners are pleased with Moyes work behind the scenes in rebuilding scouting networks and in player analysis. All signs are pointing towards a number of arrivals to the Theatre of Dreams this summer.

A growing section of Manchester United fans will not want to hear this, but David Moyes will have two years to get Manchester United moving in the right direction, with the coming transfer window being the single-most important time of his early career at the club.

Should Moyes suffer through another disappointing summer and have the club languishing in the middle of the Premier League table while playing uninspired football at this time next season, Manchester United will undoubtedly be arranging for his replacement.

But for now, his job is safe.

The ‘United Way’ will endure. Which means a number of players will be on their way out.

22 thoughts on “The ‘United Way’ Will Endure, That Means Changes Will Be Made In Manchester”

  1. Every other teams supporters are so much amused at what he’s doing at our club and that’s how it will stay unless the clueless gose and takes Fellaini,Phil(Gary) and Bould with him :(

    1. Who cares what other supporters are amused at! Grow a pair.

      If Moyes and his staff don’t turn things around next year it will be dealt with.

  2. Reports going around this afternoon that Moyes could be out of a job shortly. Giggs to take over until the end of the season.

  3. Well, reports are gathering steam in England. Looks like Moyes is going to be sacked as early as today.

    I’m disappointed in all involved. Moyes for his failure to man-manage and inspire the team. And upset that the players, who were always counted on the respond as “champions”, have not done their jobs and played for the shirt.

    All involved have let the fans down.

    If the rumors are true, United need to act fast and find a replacement well before the transfer window. The club will face a similar league fate if they have this squad for another season.

    1. I think the lawyers are talking now. That’s why it hasn’t been denied, but also hasn’t been confirmed by United yet.

    2. The person who really let your club down was Fergie for jumping ship and finding a replacement who had no previous history of managing a top, top side. The job was always too big for Moyes, it didn’t take a brain surgeon to see that!

      IF these reports are true then there’s no question of the club acting fast – they’re floated on the stock market so they have to have a replacement ready to come in the moment Moyes steps out the picture or the stock will plummet. You’ll get Giggs in as caretaker no doubt and then you’ll have a saga over a new manager in the summer when in reality it should be focussed on the squad instead.

      It’s very dangerous territory for Man Utd now because they don’t play this inch perfect and they could face a long period out in the cold. My club has been there – it’s a fate that will happen to any club no matter how special you or anybody else may think that club is.

      1. I agree they need to have the replacement ready to take over as soon as his season is over.No taking July off like Moyes.It will be hell you have to figure out who is dealt and how we get quality players with no Europe.

      2. I basically agree with everything you said, but I think Moyes was just tactically the wrong choice and it was there for all to see.

        Weren’t the haters saying, “He’s not big enough,” about Rodgers, too? How’d that work out for you? 😉

        1. He was never my first choice but I understood his selection and continued to back him. I’m not a fan of his style of play (and after 11 months, I’m not even sure what his style of play is anymore) but I do believe that if a manager can get players to buy into his philosophy, they can have success.

          Moyes tactics aside, his biggest failure has been man-management. No one expected him to turn Tom Cleverley into David Silva, but no expected him to lose the entire dressing room.

          Yesterday was painful to watch. He had to sit there while the majority of the team just stopped playing for him in what had to be an emotional day.

          If there were any day that the players would have shown fight for him, it was yesterday.

          It reminded me of watching Real Madrid last season under Mourinho. When all involved had had enough of each other.

          Btw, I’ll take my hits for the article. I thought the club would at least give him the window. But I don’t blame them for pulling the plug.

          They need to get someone in the position as soon as they can before the window. The timing couldn’t be worse for a change with the World Cup coming this summer.

          1. Peter
            Is this setting up to be like the Spurs.Bring in 7/8 new players and their is no flow.Like you said with the WC this year that adds another variable and not a positive.

          1. Curious to see the fate of Kagawa. He is a good player, but probably not suitable for United. I would give him another season so hopefully we can see his proper development. Hopefully he doesn’t end up like Veron, who is a good player but not suitable for United.
            Cleverly probably needs to go – he doesn’t develop very well. Sad, considering he and Anderson was really good at 2011 Charity Shield.
            Nani, Young and Valencia need to go.
            Buttner – I can’t blame Buttner. He’s a cheap backup for Evra.

        2. We weren’t defending champions though – we were the once famous Liverpool who only ever babbled on about our history. We didn’t have a manager in place for over 20 years who took the club to the pinnacle in Europe and won 13 Premier League titles.

          There’s a huge difference between the Rodgers appointment and the Moyes appointment IMO. Rodgers was a stab in the dark because we weren’t on a road to anywhere at the time.

          Fergie passed the baton on at one of the biggest most successful clubs of recent times to somebody with zero experience of what a job of that magnitude takes and it’s shown week in week out. Rodgers has been able to focus on building it his way because there was no major expectation on his shoulders to keep the winning ways going… because we weren’t winning trophies anyway.

          Moyes on the other hand had it piled on him because he reminded Fergie of himself… and the weight of the role is crushing him.

          If Moyes isn’t sacked this week, he’ll be gone by Christmas.

  4. How does SAF explain this colossal error of judgement? If moyes is gone I don’t know how SAF comes out looking good. His last official duty at MUFC has to leave a stain on his record. Let the record show i was as wrong as SAF I thought Moyes was the right pick long before it was announced.

    Go Forest beat Dirty Leeds!

    1. I think SAF’s guilty to a certain degree.
      I also don’t think SAF expected Moyes to sack all the backroom staff (Meulensteen, Harris, Phelan) and replace them with Round and Lumsden as well as Neville and Giggs.
      Neville and Giggs are good guys but they should start coaching U-18 or youth teams before going to the first team. That’s always SAF’s philosophy: they have to pay their dues.

  5. A fantasy wish list does not equal, “All signs are pointing towards a number of arrivals to the Theatre of Dreams this summer.”

    If it is true that “…there will be a number of players leaving Old Trafford this summer,” how on earth will new ones be molded into an effective squad by next season? I don’t see top notch players wanting to come into this side with this manager, which leaves United searching for hidden gems who don’t care that CL football isn’t on tap. A daunting task and one that I’m not sure Moyes is up to.

    I feel sorry for Moyes. That “The Chosen One” banner must feel like a millstone around his neck. I bet he’d burn it if he could. Even if he starts next season as the manager, I don’t think he’ll finish it.

    “We’d like to thank David for his outstanding service to the club, but….”

  6. I think it’s pretty well known that there will be a change in personnel this summer. Vidic is already leaving, Rio is likely retiring (especially if moyes somehow survives), Evra is most likely on his way out. RVP will be sold, if they can get a good price, and the same with kagawa. While Kagawa is a great player, there are already several other players that play his same position (rooney, mata, and januzaj).

    If moyes stays then I believe Valencia and Young stay as well. They are wingers who track back and that is the part of the moyes way.

    The thing about the possibility of moyes leaving is that if it happens, several players could turn around their attitudes. The loss of RVP was perhaps the biggest mis-man-management of them all. RVP had a career season last year because of how SAF managed him and he has had the season he has this year, because of moyes.

    I feel bad for moyes, but only to a point. he is a person and i feel bad for any person who loses their job. however, he is not (and never has been) the man for this job. To be fair, SAF and the board are the ones that should shoulder the blame for this season. Not, that anyone else is blameless, they are ALL to blame.

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