Date: 23rd March 2011 at 12:08am
Written by:
Chicharito celebrates

Time for United fans to take a leaf out of Chicharito's book?

I recently asked people on twitter who they wanted to get in the Champions League draw for the Quarter and Semi Finals.

One response reminded me what being a fan should be about. “I want either Barcelona or Real Madrid, because the only time we’ve ever played them is when I’m Spurs on PS3”

I mean this in the most genuine way possible, and I’m not being patronising when I say that I almost miss the naivety of just wanting to draw the biggest teams in the World to have a ding dong battle of a football match.

A few years ago being top of the League with 8 games to go, being in the Semi Final of the FA Cup and the Quarter Finals of the Champions League would be the cause of irrepressible optimism, now it’s a cause for concern that Michael Carrick isn’t in the top 10 players of all time, that in a league where Chelsea have been spanked 3-0 at home by Sunderland we haven’t romped to the title with 8 games to spare and a record number of points.

I’m not saying that this team represents the best that United have ever assembled. It doesn’t stand up against the squad of 99, or the 2008 European Cup winning side that did all a United team could to honour the 50th anniversary of Munich, and the glory that those who died would have gone on to achieve.

But if you gave any team in the top flight the injury problems that United have faced then they’d struggle. In fact, that’s exactly what has happened. Arsenal have lost key personnel and lost games, Chelsea have lost key personnel and lost games, Liverpool lost key personnel and worried that they’d get relegated, whilst City spend another £200m and still won one in seven against teams from the top 5 last year.

So, we come to one of my favourite words, perspective. Being a football fan isn’t necessarily about seeing things with perspective or objectivity, at least not in the heat of the moment. But when words so quickly become “facts” it’s important to try and give it a go. Having played a game more than their rivals United are 5 points clear, have a goal difference 4 better than that of 2nd placed Arsenal and have won 43 out of 45 points at home. Hardly the stuff of nightmares, the season of transitional failure, or even the underachieving melancholy that some would have you believe. This is after narrowly missing out on a fourth title in a row last year. United could be about to win a fourth title in five years. That’s incredible. That’s not the stuff of nightmares. That’s incredible.

United aren’t perfect right now. When Giggs and Scholes leave there are going to be two massive, massive gaps, not just in levels of performance but in the hearts of the fans. But all the doom and glooming about what happens next is hardly living in the moment. United are going to need to do something about it, sure. But no matter who they sign, they’ll never mean as much as Giggs and Scholes, they came through the academy and have spent the last two decades doing not much other than winning things. And I think it’s the near constant winning of things that’s maybe made United fans a bit too complacent, and, dare I say it ungrateful. Now I’m guilty of it too.

Continued on page two.

5 responses to “Top of The League, Why Can’t we Just Enjoy it?”

  1. Michael says:

    I am with you on this. Well said. Some fans are too demanding and expects the world from the team. They are human as well and as long as they always have the desire to win things, they go out there on the field to win! They are also very charitable by being involved in UNICEF, other non-profit charitable activities. That’s what makes Man U great!

  2. wiuru says:

    Down to ten men against Bolton we played like the United of old .We went for everything with belief and assurance . Im 60 and remember the 2nd division . Sent there by Citeh . Ive never minded losing as long as we battled .Now we are amongst the Elite we pay wages that reflect that ! so i expect us to challenge Barca , RM etc with no fear.But i also expect Bottle when the chips are down .

    • Hayden says:

      Totally agree on the bottle side of things. I think some of the comebacks over the last few seasons, even when things have gone against them have shown that bottle. As far as Barca goes, 2 CL finals in 3 seasons isn’t bad work. Yes United lost 1 final to them but this is an out of this World Barca team, who are being compared to some of the best ever, and yet you’d still give United a pretty good chance of beating them, because if Arsenal can beat them at the Emirates, you’d fancy United to defend better than Arsenal did and show more fight at the Nou Camp.

  3. Jacob says:

    I agree on some points. Some fans just love to bitch about every little thing.

    Although I have to say that we are not Arsenal, Liverpool or City; we’re not just satisfied with coming 2nd, 3rd or fourth best. We can’t allow ourselves to be like them and only aim and be satisfied for achieving a champions league spot.

    We can’t really enjoy till we win the trophy. That’s the United tradition especially this season when we can go one up over Liverpool’s league trophy haul.

    • Hayd says:

      Completely agree that we shouldn’t be happy to settle for 2nd or 3rd or play for CL spot. But given money invested by other clubs, and just the way things work in football, winning 4 out of 5 is an amazing achievement. I really think they’ll do it now. With the fixtures coming thick and fast they’ll get by on adreneline.