By Andy Jones
- What do Manchester United’s board want?
- To be one of the top business’s in the world or best football team in the world?
Louis Van Gaal appears to have survived a troublesome festive period with his job in tact, amassing a measly 9 points from a possible 24, in what many saw as a favourable run of fixtures.
A much needed win against a relegation threatened Swansea is nothing to shout about, and many reds fans have lost faith in the Dutchman, after he successfully steadied the ship in his first season after the Moyes disaster.
A lack of goals, and a stagnant, almost robotic style of football, has even led to criticism from the CEO of Adidas, who despite huge shirt sales, described the style of football as “not what we want to see”
Had Van Gaal lost against either Chelsea or Swansea, many feel he would have lost his job, with the shadow of Jose Mourinho looming, many felt it was the right time to bring the “special One” to Old Trafford. Many fans, myself included thought he should have been the one to replace Ferguson, rather than the ill fated David Moyes.
As one of the richest football clubs in the world, behind Barcelona and Real Madrid, should we not be setting our sights a little higher than Champions league qualification?
The Premier league Title is there for the taking, in one of the most evenly fought title races ever. With no team being able to open up a gap on their rivals. With the right man in charge, and some additions to the playing staff, most noticeably up front, we’d have a real shot at the title.
But there lies the problem, we are not like Real Madrid or Barcelona, we are a business, not a football club. The only major signings the club makes on a regular basis are Noodle partners and official tyre suppliers.
Profitability seems to be more important than points or the style of football. Rafa Benitez was a Spanish “David Moyes” appointment, they couldn’t have done any worse if they’d poached the real one from Real Sociedad. But unlike United, the fans and the board quickly saw the error of their ways, and Rafa was gone, a mere 25 games into his reign.
The two Spanish giants have had 5 managers each since 2008, in that time Real have won 6 trophies, and Barcelona an incredible 17 both at home and abroad.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, United have won nothing, no cup finals, not beyond the first Champions league knockout stage.
It could be argued that the rot, or lack of investment had started to set in even before the retirement of Sir Alex, no FA cup win since 2004, no League cup since 2010 and no Champions league success since 2008.
Would a change in manager at this stage make any difference? Or is the real problem much deeper within the club, that is no longer the football club I grew up supporting, but now a global business focused on sales and profit.
Until there is a shift to the football pitch, we’ll continue to be in the shadow of the Spanish giants, and probably the top teams in Germany too.