A journey of thousand miles must begin with a single step. In Man United’s case, a few might be needed. After relinquishing their crown at virtually the last second, Ferguson and the club will look to bounce straight back. Coming back stronger and fiercer from disappointments has been ingrained in the DNA of the club from the era of the great Busby to the empire of the wily Scot.
Despite gathering results on the way and almost coming away with the crowned jewel – the league title – United were well below par and even the staunchest Red would agree with that assessment. Ergo, there is a need to set things right with minor tweaks here and there to get the Red bus back on the rampage once again.
What could the club do to go one better this season? Here’s a wish list for the season ahead, what United fan’s heart desires:
Rapturous Home Support: Singing section
Last season was a nadir of sorts as far as the home support was concerned. Decreasing decibel levels and increasing anxiety among the fan base was obvious, especially for the lesser occasions and more astoundingly, for European nights. It wasn’t a mere coincidence that Ferguson’s side couldn’t make it past the group stages as the players and the fans let each other down.
Thankfully though, the club had recognized the issue and Fans’ demands for a singing section to lift the decibel levels have coincided with the club relocating away supporters to tier three of Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. Many of the hard core Reds’ and vocal fans’ common complaint is that the acoustics in the second tier of the Stretford End is far from ideal and the noise doesn’t spread like it should, making it a very dull environment, which is not a true indicator of how things really are.
K stand can be brilliant at times but only for the derbies and end of the season do or die encounters. The real challenge however is to make Old Trafford a coliseum of noise, making the opposition quake in their boots.
But just as we were all getting giddy, the proposed fans’ singing section was put on hold until 2013-14. The club issued a statement saying “Unfortunately there is not the time for the Club to do that work, conduct a ST (season ticket) renewal process, submit the proposals for approval and potentially implement the section for the start of next season.”
It came as a real kick in the teeth for the supporters harbouring dreams of an improved atmosphere. Nevertheless, what the club couldn’t bring to life, the fans must. Every supporter should take it upon himself to contribute 10% more and the results would be noteworthy. It’s easy for those to comment who aren’t going themselves, but not everyone can live the dream.
Famous United comebacks
One goal down, not an issue; two goals down, can be retrieved; three down, still possible. That is how fans of this great club been brought up to believe. Uncharacteristically though, last season United failed to live up to their never say die attitude with the game against Chelsea at the Bridge being the exception to the rule.
Fergie’s sides always fight till the last whistle, till the fat lady sings and all, but last season Man United didn’t turn up after going a goal or two down. Although the fans would obviously never want to be behind and chase games, but that can’t always happen in such a competitive league. Ergo, this season hopefully, Man United will find their fighting spirit and the knack of coming back from the dead if the need be. It’s in the tradition, it’s the United way. Evolution is inevitable but some things should never change.
Breakthrough season from United’s youth system
After the Ravel Morrison fiasco and now the Pogba-gate, the youth policy has hit a brick wall. The two most outstanding talents from the system have been lost due to greed and sheer stupidity from the youth. Young left back Ezekiel Fryers could be the next in line to say good bye. The club however, cannot afford to wait and stand still, the next crop of talent must come through.
Will Keane was perhaps the man for this season, but his long term injury will sideline him for this season. Tom Cleverley has already shown glimpses of what he can achieve if he stays fit and this could be his season to really make it big at the Theatre of Dreams. Ryan Tunnicliffe has returned from his loan spell and if given the chance could provide that energy and bite to United’s floundering midfield.
Others in line include the new acquisition from Crewe – the highly rated Nick Powell and the likes of Davide Petrucci and Jesse Lingard, although this season could be too soon for these youngsters to make the grade. But at Old Trafford, there is nothing more than that the fans appreciate than a young home grown prodigy making it to the top and getting them out of their seats in anticipation.
Pressing High Up The Pitch
Pressing opposition and forcing them into submission is an art. Some may say, necessary in modern day football. Barcelona are obviously the masters of this discipline and even Portugal, in the European Cup semi final against the mighty Spaniards, displayed how a team should press as a unit. It works like a charm if all the ten outfield players know their roles and carry it out to perfection.
In big games the Red Devils have often started with the right intent, harrying and forcing the opposition, but strangely reverting to type just after opening 15-20 minutes. Consequentially the opposition weathers the storm and as United get deeper and deeper into their half, the roles get reversed.
Ferguson knows every trick of the trade, it’s foolish to suggest otherwise. Strangely though, his sides have failed to carry out the instruction – the Champions League finals are a clear case in point and even the duels against City last season. United have invariably handed the advantage to the opposition after bright starts.
The four point wish list as u may call it, requires the fans, the players, the club and the manger to come together and play their part in revitalizing United’s fortunes. Summer signings will be taken care of and so far the manger has done well to capture the likes of Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell.
Next season though is going to be pivotal with City finally tasting sweet taste of success and Chelsea basking in European glory. On the continent, Jose Mourinho’s Madrid, Lionel Messi lead Barcelona and the likes of Bayern Munich will challenge for top honours. Hence Manchester United must reaffirm their dominance both on the domestic stage and the European front after the debacle of the season gone by.