04 Oct 2021 17:07:01
Reality hurts, it destroys all hope and without wanting to sound over dramatic, as a football fan sometimes hope is all we have. We dare to dream but when reality bites the dream dies.

When SAF retired in 2013 and was replaced by David Moyes reality struck. We no longer had one of the most successful managers in modern times but replaced him with a man completely devoid of a winning pedigree. Moyes had no footballing philosophy and in over 10 years at Everton he never won a single trophy. He finished 4th just once and they were eliminated from the Champions League in the qualifying round. His record against the traditional top 4 at the time (Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool) was horrific never winning a league game at Old Trafford, The Emirates Anfield or Stamford Bridge during his tenure as Everton boss. Moyes had arguably done a fine job at Everton managing respectable premier league finishes on a tight budget but this was Manchester United. His win percentage as Everton boss was just 42%. His pragmatic, predominantly defensive, direct style of play was a million miles away from the football served up by his predecessor. His success at Everton had been achieved by having a well organised team and playing percentage football. Some argued at the time he'd play more expansive, attacking football with better, more talented players. Some argued he'd grow into the role and needed time to stamp his authority on the team. Sound familiar?! If his record wasn't troubling enough, he signed Fellaini and rather than playing him as a target man where he had built his reputation, Moyes understood such primitive and archaic tactics would never be tolerated at Old Trafford so used him as a defensive midfielder and expected him to dictate a game. Square pegs in round holes. Sound familiar?!

Fast forward a few years and Utd appointed another manager without a winning pedigree in Ole Gunnar Solksjaer! Ole came in and talked of modern attacking football, pressing from the front, working hard, he talked of mobility, of rotation after all he knew the Utd way. He replaced the immobile and statuesque Fellaini and Lukaku with an exciting front three of Rashford, Martial and Lingard. They all pressed energetically and enthusiastically from the front supported by the equally hard working Herrera in midfield. Pogba was given licence to roam forward and influence the game higher up the pitch whilst Matic anchored the midfield. He talked about building the team around the precocious Pogba, utilising his attacking instincts and setting him free. The full backs went forward and for a few short months it appeared we had our Utd back. He was appointed manager in a wave of optimism, then injuries struck and results suffered badly.

When Ole was appointed interim manager I was disappointed. It felt that we had written the season off at Christmas but for a few short months he played the kind of football we had been craving. I admit I got carried away in a euphoria of hope and optimism but in reality Ole never had the pedigree to be Utd boss and breathing new life into a dead season, without pressure or expectation was completely different to getting the job full time. His remit as interim boss was simply to make the players happy, to lift spirits, to heal a toxic dressing room. Nothing more, nothing less.

The point of this long, rambling, predominantly cathartic post is that reality has finally struck. As Red man would say Ole really is the failed ex Cardiff, Molde coach. The dream of modern, attacking football, pressing from the front and playing on the front foot is dead. He gave us a small glimpse, he gave us hope but reality has struck. Ole won the transfer window but it's obvious he has no idea how to use the array of attacking talent at his disposal. For some reason Ole abandoned the principles that got him the full time job in the first place for pragmatic, percentage, safe football. Like Moyes the reality was staring us in the face the whole time. Some might argue why did it take me so long. Reality sucks.

{Ed0666's Note - Not gonna lie didnt read you’re post mate as I have better things to do with an hour but kudos for taking the time to write it. I hope you haven’t written anything that’s racist, homophobic or anti LFC.

1.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 17:28:40
I read it because I have an attention span longer than that of a four year old's. Good post DLIB, keep them coming.

{Ed001's Note - Ed666 lives in the US, you are not allowed to have an attention span longer than 7 seconds there.

I have held DLIB's reply for Ed666 but just wanted to say my best wishes to you DLIB. My best friend had the same and made a full recovery from that so I hope you do the same and avoid any later problems mate. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.}

2.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 18:04:19
Good post DLIB. Enjoyable as always.

3.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 18:06:52
I had Kanchelskis on the back of my jersey when I was kid who was my favourite player. Solskjaer was then numero uno in my eyes until I realised Scholes was one greatest players to play for us.

I have probably been one of Oles harshed critics on here and that's simply because I havnt seen anything from him that's impressed me all that much. He ebs and flows like Rocky without having that Hollywood magic. He'll have an extended run of good results, and equally extended run of poor results, and when Rocky usually comes back against all odds to win, Ole doesn't possess this killer instinct.

There have been a handful of times I would assume he'd have been a loss or two away from the sack but has managed to turn things around. But when he's a win or two away from a trophy he's choked.

He's been backed better than all his predecessors, had been giving more time yet all we get is excuses. Like so many times when he was a player he grasped the small opportunities from the bench yo make a difference, after 3 years now he's let this slip through his fingers. He was gifted this job without being deserved of it and unless he can pull a comeback reminiscent of 99 he'll be remembered as a failure in the dugout.

I completely agree with DLIB, without hope there is nothing and I don't know one fan who thinks we could win the league this year under him.

4.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 18:03:13
Much appreciated Ed001 and thanks for your discretion and best wishes I think I was having a moment about facing up to reality. I’m glad your friend made a full recovery and thanks for the positivity and best wishes.

{Ed001's Note - I am sure you will too mate, I will certainly be wishing for you.}

5.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 18:53:07
Nice post DLIB.
I too wanted Ole to succeed badly as he was a club legend and there were glimpses of quality football.
Unfortunately he hasn't learnt on the job or evolved to take our team forward.

6.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 19:03:27
Thanks RWWD and Angel. Many thanks as always Ed001.

Mumbles - I thought you made a very good point the other day when you said Ole’s best runs of form have coincided when he predominantly uses the same team but form invariably suffers when they either get burnt out or injured. Then when he has to rely on other players we struggle because they haven’t been used and ignored. He’s now like a kid in a sweet shop with too much choice. He has absolutely no idea how to manage the squad. Ronaldo, Varane and Sancho have actually destabilised the squad rather than improved it in my opinion. I don’t think he knows how to adapt our game to get the best out of Ronaldo, he’s doesn’t know how to integrate Sancho, answers on a post card if anyone can tell what he’s doing with Pogba and he seemingly can’t wait to drop Varane to give Lindelof a game.

Despite everything I like Ole and I give him credit for stabilising the club and whether by luck or design building a better squad. He gave me a glimpse of the attacking, modern football I was hoping for but our footballing this season has been anything but modern or attacking. He hasn't delivered on his promises or built on the foundations that actually got him the full time job in the first place. He certainly didn’t get it playing Mctominay and Fred.
In reality he’s achieved exactly what he was initially appointed for. To make the players happy, heal the dressing room and lift spirits. Nothing more, nothing less.

7.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 20:55:31
You're right DLIB, he's ticked the boxes for the owners but hasn't got the qualities to satiate the fans hunger to win the top prizes.

I hope whatever difficulties you're going through mate, you come out strong on the other side. Your posts are always great to read, honest, no punches pulled. Keep your head up!

8.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 21:35:52

Sorry if I missed something, my thoughts and best wishes are with you in whatever the issue is.

9.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 21:15:40

I read your post with a wry smile. I was on here before SAF even retired saying what a disaster Moyes would be, then consistently called all sorts for not toeing the line. It was a clear and obvious error. I was delighted when he was sacked. I was then underwhelmed at the appointment of LVG, the only rationale would be to build a structure to later appoint Pep. I posted on here that we should do everything to get Pep, when City were said to be interested, I was begging us to get it sorted. Tellingly we “had a manager” so ignored Pep or it was too late. Fast forward to Ole. I begged us not to appoint Ole permanently. I look back on the points I made on other media about what we would get and what we were getting from Ole, how it would not work. Now here we are, the same problems recurring time and again, it’s heartbreaking to see the self induced mess and now we are compounding it by not getting rid of Ole, then giving Phelan a new contract. Heartbreaking to see the constant destruction of everything United have stood for, everything SAF rebuilt in 26 years.

10.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 22:29:09
Thanks Mumbles/ Red Man! I’ve got some health problems which I’m fighting hard to over come. I don’t know why I decided to disclose them on a banter site and Ed001 probably recognised I was having a moment and kindly kept my reply to Ed0666 private. Hope everyone keeps posting, love reading all the differing opinions and it’s a welcome distraction.

11.) 04 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 23:10:15
Thoughts are with you DLIB.

If anyone want to find a fan that still believes we can win the league with Ole at the wheel and this squad then look no further. I still believe.

12.) 05 Oct 2021
04 Oct 2021 23:31:39
All the best DLIB, get well soon buddy.

13.) 05 Oct 2021
05 Oct 2021 06:04:20
Get well soon DLIB, I really enjoy reading your posts. Hopefully Ole can go on one of those out of nowhere good runs and lift all our spirits.

14.) 05 Oct 2021
05 Oct 2021 12:28:17
Get well soon DLIB. All the best buddy.