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The year is 2014 - Unbelievably, Manchester United, the most dominant club in the history of English League football, are in 7th position, out of the FA Cup, out of The League Cup and have almost certainly blown any chance of finishing in the top four in the BPL.
The one man that personified everything about the modern day Manchester United is gone, retired, relegated himself to the stands. No longer do rival teams and fans fear the Fergie Factor, they don't have to and boy are they relieved.
The phenomenon of driving a squad beyond its own capabilities, with sheer belief and determination and a will to win, that phenomenon belonged to SAF alone. No other manager could or ever will replicate it.
Everyone knows that the Manchester United team that won the league in 2012/2013 had a weaker squad than its main competitors, yet, they won the league at a canter. Its obvious that SAF was main reason behind that success. The players had ultimate belief in their manager and as a consequence ultimate belief in themselves .
A year on, the same squad, with some costly additions, is a mere shadow of itself. All belief and confidence is gone. The new manager, although having the hardest job in football it must be said, has struggled badly to adapt to his surroundings and the players, who's loyalty is still with SAF, have let him down for the most part.
You can tell that without their supreme ruler, the army has all but given up the battle and the new general can do little to rouse some fight out of his men.
The squad is getting used to a new manager, new tactics, new training methods and a new coaching staff and it shows. They are reluctant to deviate from the formula that made them so successful in the past and maybe not giving the new man his place or trying that 100%, like they did under SAF.
What they might fail to realise is that the way SAF managed the club could only be done by him and him alone. His methods though hugely successful are now totally outdated and would never ever work for another manager.
So now we have a squad that have just lost the greatest manager ever, who seem reluctant to adapt to the new manager's philosophy and the result has been almost catastrophic. No swagger, no belief, no determination and no fight from the players, coupled with poor team selections and tactics from the new manager have seen us slip down the table and its been a season of 2 steps forward, 3 steps back.
Our rivals are loving it, the media is loving it, the footballing world are all having a nice little chuckle at our current predicament. For years they've waited for this moment, the apparent downfall of our empire and the end of our dominance. They sense that now, without the pure genius of SAF that we are ripe for the picking. The world and his wife are having a dig at any given opportunity. "United are finished" that is the message that is what everyone thinks.........or so they'd have you believe.
For the fear, it isn't gone, its there bubbling under the surface, they try not to think about it, they try to rationalise it with logic, they point to the loss of SAF, the poor results, the lack of Champions League football next season and they pretend to themselves that it spells the end for United.
However they don't really believe it. Deep down they know that this is just a lull, a settling in period, a period of change and upheaval. They look at the history of the club and they see that after every setback, we come back stronger than ever before and they know that this time will be no different.
Every single period of our history that seen a possible downfall has instead seen a major revival. As you go through the years, the crisis periods get shorter and the revival is bigger and better each time.
These clowns that mock our club know in their hearts that they have to make the most of it while they can. They know that in the next couple of years we are going to embark on another period of dominance and that this one might just be the most powerful resurgence yet. Whether it happens under David Moyes, is yet to be seen but either way, its going to happen. David Moyes deserves our patience and I have the belief that he will carry the club forward, through this mini crisis and back to where we belong. If not, if it isn't to be, thanks for trying David but somebody else will be brought in and we'll rebuild again.
These people know that Manchester United have the financial muscle and global appeal to rival any club in the world and that any apparent failing will be put right, by any means necessary.
Success is in this club's blood. It has just always been that way and always will. For everything SAF done for this club and the new levels he took us to, we must remember that the club made him just as much as he made us and we'll do it again with another manager.
We'll reinvest in youth and bring in the big guns needed to improve the squad and over time, just like we've always done have a team that will be feared by everyone.
The lesson to be learned here, for anyone stupid enough not to know it, is that;
Man United will never die.
The fear - Is it gone?.....Is it fuck!
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