Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Throwing Money At Manchester United's Issues


Manchester United's home loss to Swansea on the opening day of the season underscores just how many commentators continue to misdiagnose current issues at one of the World's most famous Club sides.

Immediately after Loius van Gaal was appointed, commentators went into a frenzy about how the Dutch trainer would not tolerate egos in the dressing room; and how players would have to work extra hard. Then during the recently concluded FIFA World cup, as Holland Coach, he switched to a 3-5-2 formation, blitzed Spain 5-1 in their opening group game, and took the Oranje to the semi-finals. That seemed  to set the seal on his universal approval as the right man to restore the glory days at Old Trafford

Amid the cacophony of adulation, Brendan Rogers was right to caution that the Premier League is a tough one, and the lesser teams do not roll over that easily. Yes, the same rabble rousers who made Jose Mourinho's Chelsea champions last season, even before a ball was kicked.

The Paul Scholes-Alan Shearer School of Thought infer United need to go out and make expensive signings. Implicit in their theory is that Man United lack quality in certain areas, and like some pre-fabricated construct, all that is required is to get a customised accessories, and all will be well and good again for the Red Devils.

I reckon everyone knew Alex Fergusson to be a phenomenon, but also quickly forgot after he retired, that the level of success he created at United was an aberration. The dynamic he had set in place was going to be an albatross around the neck of his successor.

More to the point, it took time for Alex Fergusson to wake up the sleeping giant United were when he joined. At the time of his abrupt departure, many of the stalwarts of the team had reached the sunset of their career. Ryan Giggs, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic,  Nani, Anderson. The team was effectively in need of redefinition in Fergie's last season.

In the past, the Legend, Alex Fergusson could rebuild, no problem. He had been there long enough. He had authority, respect, charisma, successes, and the fans on his side. So much so, he could pull a rabbit out of a hat. He had created a fibre, an ethos, and a dynamic that weaved all the congruent parts into what they needed to be. United were a well oiled machine.

Folks must stop kidding themselves into thinking Manchester United's problems is a lack of big names. United's issues is one linked to transition and rebuilding. The absence of the man who had over seen such milestones for 25 years cannot be taken for granted

It would take time. How much time? no one knows. Louis van Gaal is an experienced manager, and an ideologue.  I am sure he realises he has to build a team, hone it tactically, create an ambience, and this takes some time. Building a team is a science. A number of variables need to interact to arrive at a state.

I must say I am surprised at the likes of Paul Scholes; formerly reticent, now transforming himself into a media pit-bull. I read his column a couple of week ago in which he was quite disparaging of  Young Players. Insinuating there is not enough English talent coming through, because Youngsters get paid a lot too early. 

It's that worn-out argument that money makes Young players lose focus. Scholes and his ilk should return pitch side, take-up the job coaching the youngsters at Club or National level, and create paradigms, rather posturing in the media. Only then can I take their opinions seriously. Talk is cheap!!!  

Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal have all managed to advance their squads from last season, while United try to find their feet. If LVG can nick a Champions League place, or win a cup competition in this transition season, he would have done marvellously well. There are no magic wands in football.