Living in California is great. There’s sunshine, ocean, ski resorts, deserts and vineyards. It’s an amazing place to live, and we’re totally spoiled with the TV coverage of the Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A, as well as football from South America. Getting up at 4.30am on Saturday to watch our lifeless performance at Sunday, however, I didn’t feel like a lucky man.
It’s difficult to recall such a poor Manchester United team, with no leadership on or off the pitch. Other than a little bit of class from Martial, United were pretty pathetic, and looked more like a mid-table outfit than one challenging weakly for a top 4 finish.
The decision to sack Moyes was probably the right one, but watching us stumble from game to game after wasting many millions has not only left me disliking Van Gaal, but really angry with the way United is currently being run. The fans used to get on Martin Edwards’ back, although I really have no idea why, as he and his family were great owners of the club – United blood through and through. Whilst they didn’t always make the right decisions (who does?!) they only ever wanted the best for our club. Sure, they made plenty of money in the process, but why shouldn’t they? They deserve to earn well when overseeing and financing such an important concern.
Today we have a man who is an ex-banker running our club. He obviously knows nothing about football, hasn’t a clue how to deal with agents or other clubs, and his only concern is how many sponsors can he get signed up around the world. Most people probably don’t follow United’s share price, but around £100 million has been wiped off the value of the club just since November, and that is predominantly due to the realization that top 4 won’t happen. At the same time, City’s value has quadrupled, with Chinese investors recently buying in at a valuation of over £2 billion. Who would have ever thought this could happen? As recently as 33 months ago, no one would have forecasted such a huge change of fortunes for both clubs.
Manchester United seems to be in crisis both on and off the pitch – the club structure seems to be all wrong, and whereas Ed Woodward is obviously capable on the commercial side, he has never got to grips with the football side of the operation.
As far as Van Gaal is concerned, there’s only one word needed to describe his time at United – disastrous. I could go on and on, but what’s the point? It’s all been said a million times by millions of people around the globe, experts and fans alike .
One thing I will say is that I have been going on about Pochettino on this blog for well over a year, and I still believe he’s the best manager in the league, whether he wins the title with Spurs or not, and if we don’t appoint Jose in the next few days then we should go all out to get Pochettino in May. Personally I would prefer to see Poch at United rather than Jose in the long-term – I think they can both do a great job of winning, but Poch could do it in style, whereas Jose may give us negative football and more adversity overall.
Right now, though, considering how poorly City are playing and with their ill-timed announcement of Pep coming in, my own belief is that if Woodward should get off the pot and hire Jose immediately. We would not only beat Arsenal in 2 weeks’ time, we would most likely finish above City and Pep would be taking over a Europa League side next season whilst Jose is leading us to glories again in the Champions League.
The fundamental problem is Woodward. He needs to grow some balls, admit he made a major blunder installing Van Gaal, and do what’s necessary whilst the season is still salvageable. I doubt he will do anything, though, because Van Gaal should have been gone at Christmas, and maybe it needs the supporters to fly another banner over the stadium, not only to get the manager out, but Woodward as well.