The dust is beginning to settle after Manchester United’s latest inept performance. A 2-0 defeat to West Ham was entirely predicatable because that’s the level they are at right now.
Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became permanent manager, United have won five times, drawn four times and suffered 10 defeats in all competitions. In the Premier League it’s won four, drawn four lost seven – 16 points from 15 games. That’s a little over 40 points across a whole season. Practically relegation form.
The previous day, at a football stadium not a million miles from Old Trafford, another Manchester team won 8-0, having been 5-0 up in the first 15 minutes, almost beating United’s Premier League record score.
In March 1995, United beat Ipswich Town 9-0 at Old Trafford. In that season, they beat City 5-0 at Old Trafford. City finished 17th, four points ahead of Crystal Palace, who were relegated. It was a disappointing season for United by their own high standards, finishing runners-up to Blackburn (yes, really) and beaten 1-0 by Everton in the FA Cup Final.
The following season United did a League and FA Cup double. City were relegated.
Fast forward 25 years, and the team which was once a joke is now one of the best in the country and one of the best in Europe. The team which was once the best in England and one of the best in Europe is now a joke.
Is it any wonder? The chief executive is a banker who has no experience of running a football club. The manager has limited experience of managing a football club.
Now United legend Patrice Evra, who has been working with United’s youth teams while completing his UEFA coaching badges and is desperate to see the club return to the top, has offered to help.
— Patrice Evra (@Evra) September 22, 2019
So can he save Manchester United? The answer is, of course, no.
Appointing legends with no coaching experience is clearly not the way. Being a club legend doesn’t mean you’re going to be a decent coach or manager.
Would United have appointed Solskjaer had he not been a club legend? Clearly not.
But sacking him isn’t the answer.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired six years ago, the club has spent nearly £1 billion on players and had four different managers but made zero progress in that time.
This ship is sinking. It needs more than a patch-up. It needs major work starting at the very top. Anything else is just moving deckchairs on the Titanic.
It needs people in charge who care about the club and its supporters, not just about commercial success. Because that’s how the club has been run since the Glazers took over – and it shows.
It’s a club clearly that doesn’t care about success on the field, just making money for its owners.
So despite his good intentions, Patrice Evra can’t save Manchester United. Not even Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp doing a job share, with the Class of 92 and The X Men on the coaching staff and Roy Keane in charge of the youth team could rescue this club.
The only thing that can save Manchester United, apart from a miracle, is a change of ownership.