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Au Revoir, Auf Weidersehen, Tatty Bye…

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    Au Revoir, Auf Weidersehen, Tatty Bye…

    By: Meatbag Manifesto

    I may have mentioned him before but there was this lad that lived in our street when I was growing up who was a Liverpool fan. Everybody else in the street supported United apart from this spoilt little twat. He was the sort who had all the best stuff – the latest kit the day it came out, floodlights and stands for his Subutteo and brand new Adidas Kick or Arrow Avanti every two weeks. It was the 1980s and he was the typical Liverpool fan – smug as fuck and mouthing off at every opportunity. With the team he’d chosen to support, he had plenty of scope for exercising his vocal chords too. But the rest of us knew. We’d made the right choice and we were playing the long game. We’d get this fucker in the long grass and thanks to Alexander Chapman Ferguson, as you’ll hear him referred to a million times by earnest meatbags the world over in the next few days, we did.
    We all knew this day would come. And yet none of us ever thought that this day would come.

    I certainly didn’t. Anytime anyone asked me about Fergie and the succession, I’d roll my eyes (metaphorically, if not literally) and say ‘I reckon it’ll be Beyonce’. What I really meant by that was ‘I don’t give a fuck as I’m not interested in anyone except Alex Ferguson and he isn’t going anywhere so what does it matter?’ I’ve a feeling I’ll be using the phrase ‘I reckon it’ll be Beyonce’ with increasing regularity in the coming weeks as the media frenzy goes into hyperdrive and the phrase ‘bookies have stopped taking bets on…’ becomes the most used phrase in sports broadcasting history.

    Ferguson has clearly known all season. We wrote in UWS in April that his reaction to the Madrid defeat coupled with the departure of Gill and the wholly un-United like signing of Van Persie – a sort of going away present – all added up to one thing. Mourinho’s arse-licking exercise while in Manchester backed that up as he was clearly touting himself for the job, and his statement that ‘something that nobody thought would happen could be about to happen’ – whilst it could have meant anything – was construed by many of us as to mean Ferguson’s imminent retirement. There has been that much hearsay and theorising about his future over the years though that you didn’t even want to entertain the prospect until it happened. But now it has.

    It’s inevitable that you feel like I feel now. Devastated that he’s gone. But we shouldn’t. We’ve been blessed to bear witness to our team turn into the sort of ruthless, all conquering machine that it seemed our club DNA would just not support during the 80s. Although it’s a shock, the next few days leading up to Swansea match should be spent reflecting on the many, many wonderful scenes we’ve seen and the feelings and memories that we owe to one man. As a kid in our street, I dreamed of seeing United win one league title. Just one. 25 years later, I’ve seen us win 13. I’ve seen us win two European Cups as well – a trophy that just seemed like it was competed for in an entirely different sport to the one MUFC took part in in the late 80s. Remember when the Milan team of Gullit, Van Basten, Baresi et al came to Old Trafford in 1988? Remember the inferiority complex that you had about them? Well, at various points in the succeeding 20 years, teams all over the world have felt that way about your Manchester United. That’s all down to one man.

    I can just about remember a time when someone else was manager of Manchester United but anyone a couple of years younger than me probably can’t. Even those who remember the 60s or 70s have probably become so Fergustitutionalised that they’ve forgotten how it feels to have a different manager. Most clubs go through changes of manager regularly and ‘call for managers’ heads’ and the like. That was never something I’ve ever been able to empathise with. Imagine being unhappy with your team’s manager!? That’s just fucked up. Well things might well be very different for Manchester United now. Old Trafford has become more and more knobhead central over the successful Ferguson years – most people would agree on that – but slating the team at the match or feeling anything but total confidence in the manager has never been on the agenda. How will that pan out now? If we drop a few points in the first few games of the new season how will this bell end quotient react? Will Old Trafford become like the Emirates with regular outbreaks of boos if the team aren’t 4 – 0 up at half time? I fear the answer to that question.

    What happens to United now is debate that everyone will be having. It’s my contention that the current United champions and the champions of 2011 would not have won the league were it not for the knowhow and sheer force of personality of the manager. I think our squad is suffused with an unhealthy amount of mediocrity. We have 4 or 5 top quality performers, too, but most of them are 30 or above. The manager has been the biggest reason we’ve been successful in the latter part of the Glazer era. It could go to shit in a big way, much like the Liverpool dynasty did after Dalglish left. That’s the reality. Look back at the last of Dalglish’s squads at Anfield and you’ll see David Speedie, David Burrows and Jimmy Carter with championship medals. The Ashley Young, Alex Buttner and Tom Cleverley of their time? Harsh maybe – only time will tell and there isn’t really any point doom-mongering at this time. The next two games should be all about saying ‘thank you’ to the man with the plan.

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    david moyes hahaha