The Weakness of the Manchester United Way

31 Oct 2018 19:13:58
{Ed's Note - Timbo has posted a new article entitled, The Weakness of the Manchester United Way

1.) 31 Oct 2018
31 Oct 2018 20:13:27
Well, where to start. Your premise that the United way has a fundamental weakness is complete balderdash. Docherty understood the United way, Atkinson understood the United way, it’s not just Busby and SAF who got it. They may not have enjoyed the same success but they understood what being a Manager of Manchester United was about. It’s about style and approach, a way of playing the game, hopefully supported by local talent, but in this day and age it is about ethos, approach, culture, and soul.

There are so many holes in your argument that I can’t be bothered addressing them all. I accept that there is much less time for a Manager to deliver nowadays, and growing talent is far harder than it perhaps was. However, United are 2nd in terms of home grown players currently playing in the top 2 leagues so we clearly still know what we are doing. The issue for most of us traditionalists is the style and approach of the current Manager; a narcissist for whom winning at all costs is all that matters.

The key issue which I think you did highlight (I’m going to paraphrase), is that the owners are more interested the balance sheet than the soul of the club and I do agree with that: our club generates more revenue than any other so the ownership could be an issue for some time. Having said that, if we had appointed a Klopp, or a Pep then we would be seeing football that reflects the United way, so to blame the owners is perhaps misguided. There are plenty of Managers who get it, who would give their right arm to manage our club, and who understand what is required. It’s really not rocket science.

2.) 31 Oct 2018
31 Oct 2018 22:01:55
How many of atkinsons players came through the academy?
Not a league challenge between him and Docherty both were sacked despite their care free attitude to winning. Neither had any real success anywhere.
Atkinson did ok at west brom he was the eddie howe of his day if you like but he wasnt a winner.
Our huge growth came from our success with busby and fergie not from our style of play. Winning and success is what gives the platform for growth not tradition and free flowing football.
I agree that both together can and should be the ideal but let's not kid ourselves or anyone else the club grew to be as big as it is because we were winning not because we were great to watch and finished 5th every season. I grew up in the same era as you AJH so we know the pain of going to school every monday after another 2 points to liverpool due to watching hanson back pass 30 times a game and a 1 nil victory thanks to a king kenny dive and penalty and a heroic 3 2 defeat for united but playing attractive stuff.
So for me the doc and big ron didn't get united at all. Because attractive football and no titles got them fired. United managers have to win titles first amd foremost.
Now our owners seem happy to be just in the top 4 so maybe its them that just don't get it and don't get the united way.

3.) 31 Oct 2018
31 Oct 2018 22:05:03
Good post Timbo not sure I agree with everything you've written but I enjoyed reading it nevertheless!

4.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 05:32:03
Ken, the Doc got United. There may not have been a lot of Academy players but he built a young exciting team who played football the right way. He got us promoted, won the FA Cup and looked like he was building something and then he was sacked for entirely non-footballing reasons.

Big Ron won a couple of cups and had the opportunity to win the League when we stormed away in ‘85 but fell off a cliff after Christmas. That was a great team that deserved to win the League but it didn’t happen.

Winning is what matters, but winning the right way matters to me. Do we won first and then try and play in the right style, or do we play in the right style first and try to win. Pep seems to manage to do it, not sure why it has to be win first. We used to be the club who showed others how to play but nowadays, we have bee overtaken and the majority of successful clubs play the game the way it should be played.

My reply was a little harsh (sorry Timbo) but more and more people are suggesting or inferring that winning is what counts, irrespective of how you do it.

5.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 06:49:01
Unfortunately AJH that's the way it is now. Fans are the equivalent of 'fair weather saiors' now - only interested when the going is good. The 'sing when you're winning' mentality, if you like. It's not just football though, it's the way of the world.
Reading some of the things posted on here are quite frankly embarrassing at times, especially after a loss. Social media is even worse. There is no balance either, because when we win it all goes quite. Just the way it is.

Money has of course always been a part of football, but over the last few years the game has changed so much that it is now almost unrecognisable to those eras such as Big Ron and The Doc. Times have changed, clubs have changes, fans have changed and certainly players have changed. It's all about the money and image for most of them now. It's all changed, and not for the better.

{Ed025's Note - im with you betty..

6.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 06:59:16
Stood in the ground when the initial verve had started to wane we knew that we had to get two early goals to win because of the way we played. When we didn’t the team started to fizzle out as the game got to the latter stages. We became a good cup team as was proved but at the time despite what some thought we never really had a league winning team, very nice attacking football but fragile.
Loved himself, played nice football, had a bit more steel than The Docs team but when it got to February every year and Liverpool were out of sight, we all used to sing we have won x all again Atkinson
Did they get United, partly, but I watched the Scousers hoover up all the titles whilst for 20+ years we talked a good game. Stood on the Stretford End, we wanted titles more than fancy football, the United way was not what mattered as much as winning the major prizes and being relevant. I remember trying to defend our attacking football and the Scouse supporting mates just trotted out the list of trophies. Winning is what matters, second is first loser I think was a Scouse term but right. I don’t sit and regale the great football, but the wins, just like the 96 cup final, awful football but we won, the double and that is what is important.

7.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 10:41:27
I don't find too much linkage one way or the other as to whether playing in an exciting way means teams will be successful or unsuccessful, people will be able to quote lots of examples of both .
We all want a smoking gun why we are so many points behind the winners since saf left . Many blame the manager, for many the tactics and for many the owners or ew.
The manager we have has been successful all his career and he must have confidence in his tactics and the owners have made up for a lack of investment in the later fergie years by ploughing vast sums in since fergie left .
I find why we have been so many points off the pace for so long is other teams player recruitment has been so much better than ours, this isn't just in Jose's time but the last two aswell, when we bought players others have bought better .
I won't do an endless list of names but when we have been buying players since fergie left, look at who our rivals bought instead, it's not that we didn't spend it's others have done it better.

8.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 12:07:11
I’m not suggesting winning at all costs at all AJH. Quite the opposite. I’ve given up on Jose because he’s not the United way - I hoped in time he would be. That our values would rub off on him. I stuck by him because the United way also involves an unwavering level of support from the board, which I felt was needed to stamp down on the ego of certain players.

I’m just asking a question AJH about our desired values in particular relating to youth. My issue is that football as a whole has lost its soul. Up and down the country match day has changed so much for the worse. It’s not a community embracing activity any more it’s now a TV driven social media event, and that the “United way” as we know it will struggle to survive in it. I’d love to think one day the bubble bursts and it somehow re-embraces its roots.

I agree that Ron built a great team. It suffered through cruel circumstances that prevented a nailed on league title. Hughes leaving and Robson’s injuries key within that. We should have one the 10 in a row at the beginning we’re it not for Luton’s appalling pitch. I cried all the way home as a child that day.

But it was not the Sir Matt or Sir Alex example of the “United way” involving a spine of youth. Whiteside was maybe the limited youth product to some extent. m? Don’t recall many others off top of my head. Also Pep is the worst investor in youth. Phil Foden. He’d be playing now under Sir Alex. Sane rarely appears now. Pep is arguably worse than Jose.

The fact is that football for me becomes pointless with this merry-go round of players and managers. It just comes down to investor funds. Make football interesting again by capping transfer fees and salaries at a level that truly restricts club spending, brings back a sense of club community and the focus of competition returns to the pitch from the bank account. Then we’ll see who the truly great managers are and be able to embrace the United way again.

I obviously know this won’t happen. but I can dream.

9.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 18:11:39
Ajh i agree with you and said it above the ideal is the win playing great football. The doc and big ron couldn't do that in the lwague decent managers but not top notch they only did half the job. They played nice football but count sustain a title challenge despite big ron being the league's biggest spender. Jose has also only done half the job but the other way around. Won a couple of cups lost a final runners up in the league is decent results but with poor football.
I don't think we will win the league now but for me all that matters between now and the end of this season is winning results because that will give us a better platfoem for next season in terms of attracting players coaches or owners.
At the outset of this season we had to close a significant gap to city and hold off a resugent liverpool and everybody knew chelsea and arsenal would improve. Success usually helps breed further sustained success at the big clubs so i'm not fussed how we get our next title because even if that is jose winning it ugly it will give us a better platform to build upon going forward. I think he will leave in the summer i hope he can squeeze enough out the players to finish top 4 and maybe qualify for cl last 16 and a good fa cup run.

10.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 20:22:41
Not all about winning for me loved following United in the 80s .
I'm not sure the club was built on success either, 26 years with out a title but still had a huge support . it was built on a tragedy and 1 great era that still defines the United way .

Madrid have a way Munich do Barcelona do so do United.

No god given right to win and it's not as easy as many seem to think.

11.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 21:12:35
My favourite players still come from that era, jred. Hill and Coppell. I certainly didn't start supporting them because of their success.

12.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 21:12:40
Absolutly jred nobody has a god given right to win. you have to earn that right every year season after season.
This club was not built on a tragedy imo it was built on the way the club responded to tragedy and came back to win and dominate .

13.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 21:28:40
Ken if it was built on the way it responded to tragedy it's still built on tragedy.
We didn't really dominate anything until the late 90s and fergy .
Why did you start supporting the club .

Olsen, Hughes, Robson you could go on and on . You didn't support the club back then because we won things, but you did support them , it was a bit deeper .

14.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 22:08:29
My first live match was 77 cup final. I supported them from as long before that as i can remember. Hughes robson and scholes are my 3 fav all time players.
I never said i support the club because we win.
I said the mist important thing for any club is to win and be successful. Its professional sport and business. So results come before style. I don't feel any realy affinity with the players they come and go and usually do so to suit themselves.
I love the clyb just as much when losing as when winning. But i want the club to be competing to win the best titles every year. Its not always possible but it never would affect my loyalty to the club as a supporter.
I don't care who owns the club who coaches the club or who plays for the club i just want them all to do well whoever it is.
I don't think there is 1 way to play or to win . But i would enjoy a back to the wall robbery like the cl cup final win in 99 a lot more than a swashbuckling 3 all draw .
I want the club to win i want it to be done with style but i'd take an ugly win before a pretty silver medal everytime.

15.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 22:20:21
Good thread enjoyed reading all the posts.

16.) 01 Nov 2018
01 Nov 2018 22:52:03
No real affinity for the players but you mention Hughes and Robson from 30 years ago .
As a supporter why did you follow United tho .

I want style and titles why wouldn't any supporter?
For the club it might be all about winning, when I was playing it was all about winning but supporting a club is more about enjoyment .

I loved the history of the club, supported the players not just the name of the club .
You look after your own imo, and very few fans are lucky enough to support a team that wins things . The vast majority don't but they follow there teams are the country anyhow .
So for me as a fan winning things is just a nice to have.

17.) 02 Nov 2018
02 Nov 2018 06:40:12
The game has changed so much and the challenge after such a long run of success is that in some respects you can only be disappointed. Through the ‘80’s you never knew what might happen. I remember a couple of 5-0 home wins and the sheer delight we got from such a big win. I used to go week in, week out, even when we were struggling, we had some great players but never delivered consistency. My favourite game was the FA Cup semi final in ‘83, conceding a goal to Arsenal before Robson and Whiteside scored screamers to take us to Wembley.

In some respects I wish I didn’t care as much as I do, the game is not the game I fell in love with. Money is king, players are taking over, cheating is rife, win at all costs, obscene salaries, corrupt governing body. I want us to win things but I want us to retain our soul of who we are. I’m not sure the Glazers get that or even care about it and God knows who they will eventually sell to. It’s all a bit sad.

18.) 02 Nov 2018
02 Nov 2018 16:53:56
Ajh how disjointed where you after the 99 cl final win?

19.) 02 Nov 2018
02 Nov 2018 18:35:16
Ken, I was delighted. We had rampaged through Europe that year and played some scintillating football. The final was a let down, we were outplayed and didn’t deserve to win.

If we had played defensively and snuck 1-0 wins through the group I would have been less than happy. You could tick a box that we had won the cup but so what?

20.) 02 Nov 2018
02 Nov 2018 20:05:01
I know mate the final was a let down but considering we were missing 2 of our most influential players coming out with a win was fantastic.

21.) 02 Nov 2018
02 Nov 2018 21:05:54
Phil Neville and Becks in central midfield. For me it was the game that said Becks could not dominate a game.

22.) 03 Nov 2018
02 Nov 2018 23:56:16
Neville was on the bench it was but n becks.
We did miss beckham on the right that night.

23.) 03 Nov 2018
03 Nov 2018 05:42:32
So it was. For years I’ve thought it was Neville, I wonder what else my memory has forgotten!