Time for Manchester United to hit reset button?
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Manchester United's 4-0 drubbing at Everton's hands this weekend is as bad as it has ever been since Sir Alex Ferguson decided to call time on an illustrious managerial career. Since 2013, four have tried, three have failed, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now knows just how monumental the task is to return the Red Devils to their former glories.
The Baby Faced Assassin, without doubt, is the least equipped manager (on paper at least) United have had over the last half-decade or so. However, the club had no choice but to hand him the job permanently. Since that unforgettable night in Paris, it has all been downhill. Two wins from eight just doesn't cut it. A case can be made that the Old Trafford club could have lost both those games, too.
Remarkably, United still have a shot to finish in the Premier League's top-four but continue to play like this and it's just a pipedream rather than a realistic possibility. Manchester City and Chelsea visit Old Trafford over the next five days. Both must be won by Solskjaer's boys to give themselves a chance. Is that going to happen? Based on recent performances, probably not.
Simply put, this problem has been brewing for years. It all stems down from the very top. The Glazer family and their puppetmaster Edward Woodward only have eyes for lining their pockets rather than what's unfolding out on the field. With the money that's in today's game, it's understandable from their perspective but for the fans, it's mightily painful. At the end of the day, does the crowd that flocks to the Theatre of Dreams care about profit and loss...?
We see Woodward looking all happy with himself after sorting out United's official tractor partner, then you see him at the financial results summit beaming from ear-to-ear because the Red Devils enjoyed huge social media growth, it just knocks the everyday fan sick to their stomach. Herein lies the underlining issues.
Money hasn't been spent on the squad. You can sort of understand that if the club is investing in other areas. The Old Trafford stadium has had some minor upgrades but that's about it. They have no excuses. You look at what unfolded over the summer. Jose Mourinho was granted two signings; Diogo Dalot and Fred. Neither has made a meaningful impact nor should they be expected to drag United back out of the mire. There are still gaping holes all over this squad.
You look at Manchester City spending £100million on two shiny new full-backs while the back five of the team that were beaten 3-0 by FC Barcelona last week contained four players who were dumped out of the Champions League at the group stage back in 2011. That's just not good enough. Slowly but surely, this squad has been overrun by mediocre players stealing a living. Is it any wonder the likes of Phil Jones and Ashley Young are ready to sign new deals at the first possible opportunity, while your better players like David de Gea, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba are unwilling to commit?
The dressing room is full of toxicity and problems. There needs to be a major cull of both sub-par performers and superstars with attitude. The reset button has to be hit. If that means sacrificing short-term success in order to formulate a plan to achieve a long-term goal then so be it. For too long have United tried to hang on to their 'elite club' nametag, right now, they're far from it, but they do need a total rework and it's best to start that sooner rather than later.