All good things come to an end

Feeling the heat at Manchester United

Starting a new job is never easy. It is not unknown for people to still be using the Sat Nav to find their way to their new place of work well into their second week. It can be nerve wracking, having to impress a new set of people and to build an identity for yourself. Now imagine that feeling times a hundred.

You now may be starting to understand the pressure that David Moyes is under at Old Trafford. Defeat to Swansea on Sunday saw Manchester United crash out of the FA  Cup. This was a second home defeat in a row following United’s New Year’s Day defeat at the hands of Spurs. The Red Devils have now lost six home games this season. Under Alex Ferguson this would be almost unthinkable. United fans are finding life post Ferguson very tough. Supporters at Old Trafford are used to seeing opposition teams turn up already half beaten, and the first goal would usually be enough to secure the win. This season however Moyes’s boys have struggled and some fans are already wanting the Scot out.

It is understandable, United fans are not used to finding themselves as low as seventh in the league in January and out of the FA Cup after a home defeat. They have been used to more and expect more. But should they?

For fans of most clubs in the Premier League this sort of disappointment is common place. Moreover there are at least 10 clubs that if you offered them Manchester United’s current points total league position they would bite your hand off. The irony of this of course is that many of these same fans will also be rejoicing in United’s current ‘demise’.

For over twenty years United have ruled the Premier League and been the team to beat. A lot like Liverpool were before them. The truth is nothing can last forever. Eventually all empires crumble. Rome fell, Liverpool fell and now it would appear Manchester United have. Without the presence of Sir Alex in the dugout they have lost the physiological edge they had over opposing teams and indeed the referees. For years the joke has been that Howard Webb was a United fan yet David Moyes had him as the villain of the piece against Spurs when he turned down Ashley Young’s penalty appeal. Then against Swansea, United suffered the indignity of having a man sent off and playing the remainder of the game with ten men. Would these decisions have been different if Ferguson had been manager? It is surely this edge provided by Alex Ferguson that was the difference between United of last season and the United of this season.

Ultimately, it is time for Manchester United fans to experience football as the majority have always experienced it. The good news is that in the long run it is a lot more fun.

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