So, the season for United finished today with the end of the game at Stamford against the team bought off a shelf at Tesco. We still have two games to play, at the time of writing against Middlesboro and Charton and we need to consolidate second place in order to automatically qualify for the Champions League.
Champions League? I have always been of the opinion that it was for Champions. Worthy national champions and champions only. I do not place Chelski in that category nor do I place either Liverpool, Arsenal or Spurs who may take up the other two entrant positions. I do not place second place Man Utd in the category either, we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t win it! This year none are worthy.
When Bill Shankly took over Liverpool in the early early 60s, they were a shambles, lower league cannon fodder heading for the big drop into oblivion. Bill Shankly was manager of a reasonably successful Huddersfield containing such players as a little sprogg called Denis Law. They had recently stuffed Liverpool something like 5-0. Bill was approached and asked to take on Liverpool and he spoke to Matt Busby, who was doing the same at Man Utd, and asked him for his advice. It went along the lines of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Go into the meeting and tell them that you will, on condition that it is you and you alone who will decide team matters and run the teamÃ¢â‚¬Â. The Board agreed and the rest is history. Bill took a bunch of no mark failures, and began to REBUILD a team into the force it became ever since. Failure for Liverpool is not finishing half way but to go back to where it was before Shankly got his hands on it.
Leeds United last won the title with Eric Cantona in their team, a team that was BUILT up again by a manager from almost the ground up. Wilkinson had the bonus of having quite a few decent players in his team but he was to meld and blend that team into one that was feared and could play football too. Eric won Leeds the title, he was the final piece of the jigsaw that season, next year he came into a team that Alex Ferguson was putting the final pieces of mortar in his rebuilding program. Ferguson rebuilt a team he inherited from Ron Atkinson, a team that had reached some semi finals but always fell away in the race for the title; the one thing that had eluded United for 26 years. Bridesmaids but never the bride. Fergie in his REBUILDING programme got rid of a lot of deadwood from Old Trafford, good players who were past sell by dates, brought kids and experienced in alongside each other and the fruits of his YOUTH POLICY began to show on the tree of victory, with minor league wins and FA Cup Youth victories.
He then began to blend these HOME GROWN youngsters into an already successful team and, as they say, the rest speaks for itself. Teams that win titles by BUILDING successful teams over a period of time deserve all they get. Since the Premiership began only one team has won the title by BUILDING a team Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Manchester United. In fact, Fergie has built three of four DIFFERENT teams since 1986
Blackburn pipped us by a point to win the title Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a team team BOUGHT by Jack Walker, they millionaire chairman. Arsenal, our closest rivals, had managed a couple of titles but Wenger BOUGHT in 80% of his team in order to challenge us. Percentage wise, Arsenal won it with more home grown players than any other team, except United. But at least Arsenal used home grown.
Chelski had a half decent team, produced by Gullit and then Hoddle and were well on their way to being contenders when Vialli got the hoof. But they were buying in much much more than they were producing.
The Mafiaski arrived and BOUGHT, off the shelf in Tesco, an entire team, including Lampard from West Ham, and threw out all the old Ã¢â‚¬Å“nearlyÃ¢â‚¬Â men of the previous three managers. They have only one player in their squad who has never been anywhere else, John Terry, an exceptional player admittedly. There may be one or two on the peripherals but do not come into my mind.
The Season looks like this
2. Man Utd
Chelski fans can celebrate in style and good luck to them, even the thousands of prawns that flocked to hero worship at the feet of Emperor Roman and Peter the Great. But for the club I hold nothing but contempt, its not a club anymore but a business emipre and as such the beautiful game of ours is dead. Buried under a "team" containing 99.9% foreigners. This will only get worse. Scotland is already suffering from the lack of home grown stars, we are next. RIP Football.