After a series of poor performances by United including five losses in the last seven games, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at the wrong end of the fans’ emotions and is feeling quite the stick at the moment.
Today’s football fans are split into three categories:
The Die Hard’s:- Regardless of form or the weather, they’ll travel far and wide to be present and will give their all.
The Glory Hunters:- Those fans picked up during successful periods, but which melt away in hard times. The one’s you see in shirts when their team are in a final but which are then placed in a drawer when they lose.
And finally, the Floating Fan:- The one that complains endlessly and changes their mind like most of us change our socks. Cheering one minute, booing the next, like driftwood on an ocean, going this way and that, rolling with the motion.
Most clubs have these, but some have also appeared to be above such things such as Manchester United.
Ole Gunner Solskjaer has turned things around at Old Trafford and although Manchester United lost to Barcelona and are now out of the Champions League, they acquitted themselves extremely well in the competition.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 16, 2019
The turnaround against PSG said everything about the desire and energy Ole has instilled in the team, but they unsurprisingly fell short to the magnificent Lionel Messi and Barcelona last night.
Incidentally, a quarter final place is worth €10,500,000. Not too shabby !
They are still in the chase for a Champions League qualification slot and currently sit in 6th, only 3 points behind Spurs who currently hold that position.
If they finish the season 3rd to 6th, they will earn between £34m or £28m, it’s not a trophy but it will help with the rebuild.
So, all’s not lost.
Let’s cast our minds back to when United sacked Jose Mourinho, it was a very different story. They were 6th in the Premier League, had lost five games in 17 matches and were a whopping 19 points behind high flying Liverpool and 11 points behind 4th placed Chelsea but the Die Hards still sang his name and carried on believing.
Fast forward to today and I’m disturbed to read a number of negative comments on social media. It appears that even a club legend like Ole isn’t exempt from blanket criticism, with fans now bleating on about results.
One pointed out that United have lost 5 out of their last 7 but without noting that 2 of those defeats were to Barcelona.
“Daley Blind is in a semi-final of the Champions League with Ajax. What a decision from him to leave Man United. Huge improvement.”
Well good for him but so what !
Then, we had one that wanted to appreciate and worship Jose even though he was leading them at breakneck speed to a mid table finish and complete mediocrity
“Jose Mourinho finished second in the Premier League last season and won against Ajax in the Europa League final with this current Manchester United side. Even if you hated his tactics during his time at Manchester United, Jose deserves some credit.”
Don’t worry about Jose, he’s currently counting the cash from another settlement for not fulfilling his contract because of managerial instability whilst in his post.
Another brave soul added:
“Scored: 6 (2 pens), Conceded: 12. Gone out of the FA Cup Gone out of the Champions League Already the end of the RevOLEution at Man Utd?”
Ok, enough. Ole Gunnar has been in his post since December and if Mourinho had stayed, they wouldn’t have reached the quarter finals of the Champions League and would be 20 points behind Spurs and 30 behind Liverpool.
The introduction of a new manager tends to have a positive impact almost immediately, but then there comes an inevitable blip.
United are having their blip at a time they can ill afford, but it’s all still to play for and regardless of the outcome this season, Solskjaer needs time and money.
A renewed attitude and spirit will only take a club so far, then it’s down to the personnel and the team. This summer will see players in and out as the baby faced manager with a disturbing crop of grey hair, plots for success.
Don’t rule it out, United have the bones of a side but need to upgrade the heart and engine. They still have the ability to attract the top names in football and probably always will, even if they were mid table but it won’t come to that.
Let’s hope the Die Hards cancel out the whining voices of the transient and transparent fans who will probably just traipse off to follow who ever wins the league.
Get real and get lost !