Is Manchester United really back?

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Manchester United’s start to the 2017/18 Premier League season has inspired their supporters to indulge in overconfidence and shout to anyone that’ll listen that the Red Devils are back.

Three games, three victories, 10 goals scored and zero against are impressive numbers. But is it enough to categorically say “they’re back?”

I’m not a ManU supporter. In fact, I thought Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1999 treble-winning squad and those before it represented the evil empire of world football.

You know what I mean. Every sport has a bad guy or a villain whose success and trophy-lifting arrogance get under your skin.

But Manchester United’s dominant class of 1992 and their supporting cast were a necessary evil that commanded respect in ways that today’s world-beaters simply don’t.

The Manchester United teams that I remember could win with sheer intimidation. Old Trafford was a hotbed of fervent support that few visitors could manage psychologically.

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Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole made scoring in the Premier League look easy. Peter Schmeichel was and still is the standard at GK. And guys like Jaap Stam, Roy Keane and Gary Neville played with such a high level of intensity and passion, that you wouldn’t be surprised if they slide tackled their own kids in the backyard.

They had skill and precision on the wings in Giggs and Beckham, a legendary presence in Eric Cantona and a quiet leader in Paul Scholes. Not to mention an incomparable mix of role players like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Nicky Butt and Teddy Sheringham.

They won the Champions League with a core group of ex-academy players, a feat that only Barcelona can claim in today’s modern game. But now like so many other “big clubs”, Manchester United is being forced to play moneyball.

And I don’t mean the analytical and data-driven kind of moneyball.

I’m talking about world-record transfer fees and buying big stars instead of nurturing their young academy talent. Marcus Rashford’s success notwithstanding.

A club like Manchester United is no longer willing to risk it with the kids. I don’t blame them either. It’s the only way to keep up with the Joneses.

And honestly, after David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, Manchester United supporters will sell their souls if it leads to titles. I will say this: Manchester United is going to be very successful under Jose Mourinho. I have no doubt about that.

However, after just three EPL matches, it’s way too early to hand them the League title and expect them to dominate in Europe.

But what do you think? Are they back? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Is Manchester United really back?

  1. Hi
    10 goals in 3 games…wow.
    I hate my self I missed that.
    I agree it is to early to say they are back, anyway I hope they are. I have o hidden love MU but I am not always a faithfull fan.
    What about Messi going to ManCity ?
    It would be great to see a Manchester Derby with Messi and a healed Slatan.

    Like

    • Hey Nestor. Don’t hide your love for ManU. Be yourself. Go buy a $90USD authentic Zlatan jersey.
      Messi to ManCity? Well, Pep’s success will always be linked to Messi. He’s Pep’s golden ticket and paying a $300M transfer fee seems very possible in today’s market. It could happen.

      Like

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