As a Man Utd fan, especially in the last decade or so we are all well used to clouds of doom hovering over Old Trafford but even by United standards these last seven days have been truly torturous. This last week is a testament to the inaptitude of those making decisions at Man United, right from the Owners to those in the boardroom. Like everything else in life, Time perhaps will do justice to these leeches but until that moment arrives they can be rest assured that they will never be forgotten nor forgiven.
The jeopardy started with that disappointing result and performance against Spurs on Saturday, the result one could have still accepted but the way this United side folded in the second half does not bode well for tougher tests ahead. Then came the whole Mason Greenwood fiasco. Man Utd board, already a laughing stock in the footballing world for the way they run things at United somehow outdid themselves by handling the Greenwood situation in the worst way possible. Athletic’s detailed report made them look even bigger fools than they already are. As if it wasn’t enough, so to further dampen the mood came the news of Mason Mount’s injury which could keep him out for 4 to 6 weeks. Mount hasn’t exactly started the season on fire and is still feeling his way into his United career but the way this news was almost celebrated in some sections of United fans on Twitter is truly shameful. Unfortunately in this day & age of instant gratification, it appears that supporting your players through thick and thin seems lost on some fans.
As thoughts were finally shifting towards some outgoings and possible new signings came the dreadful news of Luke Shaw’s injury keeping him out for an extended period. Luke Shaw has had his critics but no one can deny the fact that he has been one of the most crucial and consistent players under Ten Hag. His overlapping runs on the left and the relationship with Rashford keeps United in good stead, both in attack and defence. He will undoubtedly be a huge miss in our upcoming games. In what can only be described as adding insult to injury, the rumour mill is heating up with the disastrous news of Glazers potentially staying put at Man United. The dream of getting rid of these terrible owners is slowly turning into ashes and that for me is the biggest disappointment of the week. The club is in desperate need of a fresh start and with these leeches in charge it can never be achieved. Another manager has been hung out to dry and if the opening two games are any indicator, United will again be battling for Champions League places this season with the gap to the top increasing even further.
The weekend however is fast approaching and thoughts are finally turning towards the home game against Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Amid the dark clouds of doom there are a few silver linings as well, Rasmus Højlund has returned to full team training and Arsenal away could be his debut for United. Manchester United have created the second most chances (32) in the opening two games in the Premier league only behind Brighton (38), but have one solitary goal to show for it. The need for a proper number 9 can’t be stated enough and the possibility of Højlund making his debut is most certainly a welcome prospect. Martial too was involved in the closing stages against Tottenham so one can hope that he would start against Forest. This alone is a huge positive as it means that Rashford can go back to his favoured position on the left where he has always been very effective. Bruno – Eriksen – Casemiro was our most successful midfield combination last season and with the unfortunate injury to Mason Mount, it’s almost certain that this combination will be preferred over anything else. A sense of familiarity in the middle of the park is not a bad thing in current circumstances and has the potential for things to kick on again in terms of ball progression and creating chances from open play. Onana has made a solid start and it’s only a matter of time before the team makes use of his incredible passing skills to manufacture a goal.
Above all I believe in Erik Ten Hag, last season the situation at this stage was even more dire, the club, the manager and everything associated with Man Utd had been written off. It was under these difficult conditions that Ten Hag rallied his troops to deliver that statement performance against Liverpool, a win which changed the course of United’s season and helped us secure a trophy and Champions League football. A season further on, Ten Hag knows the league and also the capabilities of his players, so I fully trust him to get it right this time around as well. We need a win on Saturday & a solid performance to justify the result and I fully expect Ten Hag to deliver it.
When everyone and everything around Manchester United seems doomed it’s only football that can come to the rescue. Saturday simply cannot come soon enough.
Written by Akash Khare