2011/12. We’d been knocked out by Real Madrid in the Quarter finals of the Champions league during our first season within the competition. Pundits and professionals was singing our praises due to our style, attacking threat and do or die attitude which we took when we travel across Europe to the elite of the football world. Where we happy? Of course not. We’d missed out on the top 4 in the league, and yet again ended the season without a trophy. Manager, at the time, Harry Redknapp responded to these criticisms by saying, ‘They’ve never had it so good.’
And how right he was.
Two seasons and two managers later and we’ve become a laughing stock. Sacking Harry Redknapp due to ‘non footballing reasons’, despite securing a top four finish, knocking Chelsea down into Sixth, replacing him with the man responsible for Chelsea’s sixth place finish. Now wasn’t that clever?
At the beginning of the season, everybody was oh so optimistic, ‘selling Elvis and buying the Beetles’ was a phrase thrown around, following the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, to be replaced by a whole raft of summer signings from all over the globe, in a fashion which wasn’t too far from what would have been seen on ‘Supermarket Sweep’ back in the sixties.
Yet not once did Daniel Levy stop and realise that he was bringing in seven new players without a single minute of premier league experience between them. He then became frustrated with Andre Villas Boas, as the Portuguese man was struggling to fit seven new players into a system which none had played before, whilst they were attempting to get used to this new league and new country. So what happened next? Why not sack AVB and bring in a man with zero managerial experience to steady the boat, help the new player’s bed in, make the team play entertaining football and win every game by five or six goals, taking the title by storm? Once again, wasn’t that clever?
This season has been an accumulation of mislead priorities and hypocrites. From Tim Sherwood claiming in January that we didn’t need to sign anybody as we were strong enough for top four, yet then in April claiming he’s done the best with the players that he had. Tim claiming when he took over in December that top four was everything for him and the club, yet then saying that the board has to ‘wake up’, suggesting top four wasn’t ever realistic this term.
Regardless of what has happened with Daniel Levy and Tim Sherwood, one factor has disappointed myself and many other fans this season. The lack of communication from the club itself. Throughout the summer, nothing was said about Gareth Bale until we sold him, the StubHub crisis, ‘our’ new stadium, Sherwoods position going into next season, the potential of a new manager, players injuries and the biggest of all, where in the world is Erik Lamela?!
Frankly we should be thankful that Manchester United have completed imploded this season, as they’ve taken the spotlight away from our mare. The void in the Premier league between the top and bottom sides is clearly becoming greater judging by how we are only three points off fifth, despite having such a horrendous season.
The only problem we have now, is that if a new manager does come into the club, brings a couple of new quality players in, gets the current squad motivated and playing well and we succeed next season, what are we going to moan about then?