Why it is difficult to enjoy watching Manchester United right now
Neutrals are left wondering what happened to the Manchester United Way of football
As in life and in economics, ebbs and flows in football are frequent. They are expected. Manchester United had their dizzy highs and now they are plateauing, even plummeting to embarrassing lows. People are naturally drawn to success. A successful team attracts admirers. A lot of their fans today are either unhappy or are switching allegiances.
For Manchester United, this has nothing to with statistics. It is to do with something intangible - the feeling a club side gives to neutrals. United is emanating a vibe of a sluggish, uninspired, and negative brand of football. Football viewers sense it, football lovers lament it.
There are a lot of things to admire at the club. In this inflated player market artificially propelled by limitless oil money, Manchester United still has the pulling power to attract top-notch talent. The club still notches record-breaking operating profit.
However, they now can't claim to be any different from the other top clubs who have the backing of oil oligarchs. The answer to any footballing problem is not to throw money at it. This has been a disappointing turn of events, arm twisted be it may, because of the influx of a deluge of dirhams and roubles into the English Premier League.
Football needs different philosophies to thrive. Right now, it runs the risk of going the way a famed quote goes "A game created by the poor, stolen by the rich." Manchester United are more in the spotlight because more is expected from a club of such pedigree. Here are 4 reasons why it's becoming difficult to enjoy them play right now.
#4 The fear factor has disappeared
Once a team scored against them, they were actually afraid of the famed United backlash. It was seen as an insult, a slight. They would come in waves of attack, one after the another, battering the opponents into submission. It was relentless. In fact, the thrill was in seeing them come from behind to win. It made for a great spectacle.
The 'theatre of dreams' was a fort. It was breached during David Moyes. Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho have shored it up, but Old Trafford is no more a place where visiting sides are apprehensive.
They know there's a way to silence the crowd, there's a way to win. The cocksure confidence of a United side on the lush blades of its hallowed turf is gone. When was the last time United made Fergie Time count?