The Problem with Manchester United by Fr Paul Ali

It is surprising that one will be asking this question towards the end of this current season. This is because Manchester united had started the season with a lot of hope enthusiasm and optimism. They made huge acquisition of world class players at the beginning of the season. Manchester United had a wonderful summer and made maximum use of the transfer season. Jordan Sancho was one of the world best young talents. His acquisition brought so much hope to the old Trafford. Rafeal Verane is not just a world cup winner with France but a serial champion’s league winner with real Madrid. He had seen it all and has all the experiences needed to play at the top level. The return of the legend, the GOAT in football, the grand master himself, Otooto C. Ronaldo simply brought fears and cold chills into the spines of the rival premier league teams. Everyone thought that Man U will simply bully their way to the top of the premier league. It is therefore surprising that not only that this has not been the case, this has never been close the case. Manchester united has not bullied anyone as expected and has been themselves victims of bullying from both small and big teams. The three marquee signings seem to have been bitten by the Man u bug that seem to reduce even the best player in the whole to just an ordinary player. We have seen neither the Verane effect on the defense nor the Sancho effect on the attack. Only Ronaldo has shown flashes of brilliance in the attack. However, his show of brilliance has not been enough to stop anyone from asking the question, what is the problem with Manchester United.?

The next thing now to ask is, is anything really wrong with Manchester united, why would anyone think that something is wrong with Manchester United. let’s look at the reasons for this question.

Manchester United has one of the best histories of back to back success. 20 premier league trophies and eleven FA cup success no be beans. It is no mean achievements at all. Apart from the history of trophies won, Man U has outspent every other clubs in the league. Manchester united is one of the richest clubs in the whole world. They have a galaxy of very talented players in their ranks. Not only that, most players seem to find their rhythm only after leaving Manchester United. Angel Di Maria came to United as a star but failed to live out his star status at old Trafford, but regained this star status when he went to PSG. Man u gave up on Lukaku and sold him to Inter milan. He went there and became not only the best strikers in the league but also one of the best strikers in Europe. We have not forgotten Menphis depay who become a hot player after leaving Man U. Barcelona has to pay through their nose to buy a player that was sold by man U almost as a noboby. The football career of Pogba is simply food for thought as long as Man u is concerned. So why would you blame anyone who asks the question what is wrong with Manchester United. The Man U goal keeper himself David De Gea had in a recent interview jokingly suggested that someone may have placed a curse on Manchester united, as he cannot just pinpoint what exactly the problem is. They have changed coaches more than every other premier league rival yet the same story all the time. So what then is the problem with Manchester United?

I think I have an idea. It is the cameras; it is the retirement of Haward Webb. It is just the modern football. Don’t get me wrong, Manchester United has always been a top team playing at very high level especially when Ferguson was the manager. But then, they were not the only top team in contention for the premier league trophy, Arsenal was a top team, Liverpool was a top team, Chelsea became a top team with the arrival of the Russian owner. Man city started chilling with the big boys when oil money came in. However, the truth remains that there were times when they had this twelfth man in the field while they are playing against big teams. Haward webb was one of the best referees of the game but it was difficult to deny that he was a Manchester United fan. Any person familiar with the round leather game knows that there are 50, 50 situations where the referee can give favourable decision to any of the sides without necessarily being at fault. Webb did not mind to consistently give those decisions in favour of Man u.

Again prior to the introduction of the video assisted referees (VAR) penalties sometimes depended on your ability to simulate a fowl and deceive the referee. Man U players were not bad at those kinds of diving and it worked perfectly well in their favour. With the introduction of many VAR and many cameras, the game of football has become a different thing all together.

The hard truth is that if Var is to be applied retrospectively many teams will have to return their trophies. Trust me a number of those trophies will be harvested from old Trafford trophy cabinet. No disrespect to man u fans. Man u still remains a great team capable of achieving great things when the players and coaches do the needful. Don’t forget that man U came second in the league last season even though they had the highest number of penalties in the league. The penalties have dried up this season so with the goals. So what I am saying in earnest is that the problem with Manchester united is that there is no problem with Manchester united. They are where they deserve to be, and just like any other team; they are capable of achieving greater things next season.