In Gladiatorial terms the recent clash at Anfield had all the promise of a Spartacus VS Maximus Decimus Meridius main event. It had been built up for weeks, the biggest fight of the year, I like many thousands of other reds look for this fixture first every season and couldn’t wait to play at Anfield to exact some revenge for the garrotting’s we’ve had there in the last 3 years. What actually happened was the equivalent to both men coming out and calling each other names and playing patty cake.
No, no I am not entertained.
Playing for a draw against a team that we absolutely have the quality and ability to beat home and away goes against everything I have ever been led to believe Manchester United stood for. If it was the Champions League Final and we were playing Barcelona, then, yeah, maybe.
It got me thinking back to when I first started supporting Manchester United, around the 1992-1993 Season, they attracted me over other clubs for one reason; they were the most entertaining to watch. Whether it was captain marvel lung busting his way through games or the wing wizardry of Giggs & Kanchelskis giving full backs headaches and dizzy spells, they were so much fun to watch.
This brand of exciting football catapulted a big club into a worldwide brand and after all, despite the infamous chants of “do you come from Manchester” without this wide scale recognition and following we wouldn’t have been able to build the empire that we have today.
When looking at last season’s performances, even the most ignorant of fans can see that we were way below the standards expected of Manchester United as far as performances go. On many occasions having our midfield overrun by supposed lesser teams.
This season in the league, with the exception of the Arsenal game we’ve looked poor. The fact we’re winning games is papering over the cracks, Norwich came to Old Trafford and if we’re honest had enough good chances to at the very least get a draw.
Tuesday brought a chance for us to go out and beat a poor side well, and show the rest of Europe how fucking good Manchester United are and yet after about 60 minutes into the game I found myself actually saying out loud “I’m bored”. We beat Oteleleleul Galilleo by 2 penalties, not by free flowing, attacking football, even at pub league standard, good sides slaughter poor sides and no matter which way you look at it, they were a poor side. It’s as though we don’t force our game onto the opponents anymore and instead drop to their level.
If football is just about winning then I’ll lose interest, it has been what has set Manchester United apart from every other football club in this country, you don’t just win, you win well. Playing for Manchester United is more than just playing football; there should be a clause in every player’s contract that reads “You are under obligation to entertain” and if they don’t want to sign it, f*ck off to City.