A lot can change in 12 months, especially in football. Players, managers, staff, fans, anything you can name can change in that period. Unfortunately, at Manchester United, one big thing hasn’t changed and that is the attitude of the fans.
This isn’t a new thing for the modern United – and at least for now things haven’t sunk to the laughable lows of scarf sellers advertising merchandise with the desired managers face on and ‘Manchester United’ – as every manager since Sir Alex Ferguson has had the obligatory ‘January meltdown’ supporters seem to be making a habit of. Apparently, success is only measured by 6-0 wins and being 40 points clear by November. This time around though it is more pathetic, ridiculous and laughable than ever as the ones now unhappy with Jose Mourinho most likely own one of the aforementioned scarves.
Thankfully the hilarious ‘Jose Out’ brigade is a very small minority of people as it stands. Reasonable fans are obviously disappointed with sixth place in the league and six draws in the last nine home games, and with just cause as regardless of the recent slump in fortunes that simply isn’t good enough for United, but can see the light at the end of the tunnel as certain aspects of the football has improved tenfold. Chance creation is improved, more goals have been scored and players that have previously disappointed are suddenly focal points. The manager even stands on the touchline during the game!
Of course one cannot pretend all is rosy. Where the side is unbeaten in the league for some time now, the vast majority of the results have been drawn. Sixth is nowhere near the absolute minimum requirement of fourth, and finishing below the scousers this season is a fate worse than death. Chances being created but not being finished is another huge obstacle – where would the side be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic? – but this is surely in the hands of the players? What can a manager do if the players aren’t putting the round thing in the back of the rectangle thing? The players are again being given a free pass.
Football is a fickle game, it always has been and it always will be, but the constant and regular tantrums fans are throwing is taking it above and beyond the reasonable. Foresight is now something totally extinct in football if the success isn’t there to be seen from the first game then all of a sudden the manager needs replacing. For the fourth season running the pride fans have for the traditions of Manchester United can be called into question. Whether you hold the EFL Cup, FA Cup or Europa League in any regard or not they are still trophies and still count as successes.
As I have said already it isn’t perfect and there are still areas desperately in need of improvement, but nothing major can be done now until the summer so it isn’t worth getting all too flustered about. And though it has been mainly drawn matches, Mourinho has at least made United hard to beat once more. Just have a bit of patience and remember, sacking isn’t always the answer. And at the end of the day, Mourinho is the name you were chanting last January.