Did Sir Alex Ferguson paper over the cracks made at Old Trafford caused by their owners the Glazers?
Amassing 38 major trophies in his glorious twenty-six and half-years at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson will never be forgotten.
Taking account of the impact he had on the club, from it's dark days United laboured in on his arrival from Aberdeen, to point the finger at Ferguson and his magnificent achievements could be considered heinous rebellion.
Sir Alex Ferguson was a range of many traits but above anything else he was a born winner. In season 2012/13 it could be argued that Manchester United had a squad compared to the other traditional top-clubs and pretenders.
Did Manchester United buckle under this perceived restriction? No, they won the Barclays Premier League by 11 points, done and dusted with four games still to play. Fergie always concocted a scheme to protect the club his players and in doing so the owners for United to come out at the pinnacle. Last season alone recovering from losing positions on 11 occasions, to record nine wins and two draws, magnificent comebacks, the never-say-die attitude Sir Alex demanded of his players, the club and the fans.
During his over a quarter of century at United, Ferguson thwarted challenges from Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers to quench his persistent thirst for success, providing victory with silverware of 38 major trophies.
Clearly the demi-God has departed the Manchester United hot-seat and new boss David Moyes has commenced extremely awkwardly on a variety of fronts. David Moyes is not a novice manager, and yes he has not managed at a world-wide football institution were his every move is analysed, picked over magnified, particularly with the current form of the club, the 12th place league position does not lie.
But, Moyes is not a magician to seamlessly take up the reigns of Ferguson in adjusting to the multitude of facets that are involved in managing the football club in a mere 14 weeks.
Not least evaluating all the squad in real-game situations, identifying his key 11 players who will fight through thick and thin for him, display to the boss the spirit that Ferguson demanded from all his troops on the field of battle.
The siege mentality when the club was under external attack for perceived weakness is the fabric of Manchester United, Mr Moyes is going to have to up the ante and bring to the forefront his strength and personality to avoid the club and himself being drowned by defeatism.
However David Moyes is a mere mortal not a genius he in the meantime has to live with some of the weakness' left by Sir Alex. As the overly honest Moyes endeavour's to navigate the club out of the choppy waters, to a safe harbour - the January transfer window.
The black hole-chasm that for several years that has been United's Achilles-heel the midfield was not addressed by Ferguson, in what oft felt like defiance, as the fans could see the weakness, but a stubbornness in signing attacking players still netted trophies nonetheless.
David Moyes has recruited Marouane Fellaini, who he hopes one day to mould into a player as dominant as Roy Keane, a tough ask on opening evidence.
Michael Carrick is a Rolls-Royce footballer a with fabulous pedigree in passing and retention of the football, is he a bruiser that wins the ball back with crunching tackles to intimidate the opposition team? Is Tom Cleverley just too light-weight, while relatively young, would Cleverley put fear into any other team with his midfield prowess, how many times could anybody highlight Cleverley as the MOM since his time at Old Trafford?
Anderson..... what does he provide to the team the club, how many times in all his years at United has the Brazilian lasted 90 complete minutes of a match? He is an attacking midfielder with almost zero potency for finding the back of the net, he has totally lost his way from the exciting player we watched at FC Porto command the midfield and inspire Sir Alex to shell out over £20m for his services Yet the club did not go hell-bent to sign Mesut Ozil from Werder Bremen in 2010 for £13m.
Are fans waiting in the vain hope that our midfield's lack of quality is going to be solved by the current crop of players to be talented enough to compete in Europe? The Glazers need to invest serious money in the midfield to control games and provide Mr Moyes a fighting chance to win football matches. Sell Ronaldo buy Antonio Valencia, lose Carlos Tevez promote young Danny Welbeck.
Manchester United is renowned for swift concise counter-attacking on the flanks the football club and Ferguson's teams were awesome in cutting moves into the wings to expose the opposition. This must also be an existing problem for Moyes as Valencia, Nani and the serial diver Ashley Young have all failed to reach expectation in consistency of performance, being injury free.
Ferguson clearly thought he had unearthed a gem from Crystal Palace; Wilfried Zaha the Championship Player of the year, but Moyes saw the devastating ability on the AON Summer Tour, but does not recognise the potential leaves him on the bench or not even making the squad.
Why are the club spending £17m on an exciting talent to not expose him to the big matches to assess if he can cut the mustard at the top. Possibly because of the recent lacklustre performances, results, the tried and tested is the Moyes safety route. What on earth can Wilf Zaha be thinking now?
Adnan Januzaj is a beacon for Moyes displaying a fearless willingness to attack the opposition defence, with no shortage of trickery, if an 18-year-old can display this courage why can't the more seasoned United pro's. The chicken and egg however to throw the youngster into a continually losing team struggling with self-belief could crush the young wingers confidence also.
Until the club rekindle their mojo, the spark of quality Mr Moyes highlighted recently. This comes at a significant price the world class 'spark' that will address the apparent missing elements to make United feared again.
Sir Alex Ferguson other than his parting shot; "Get behind your new manager" advised the eager press that our No 10 striker was dissatisfied at the club and Rooney wanted out of the club. After a summer saga of will-he-wont-he leave Manchester United, Moyes always insisting "Not for sale" the situation appears to have been resolved meantime. However lurking in the background is Sir Alex Ferguson in his director role, so while Rooney is getting back to his best slowly, while still not fully match fit (having missed the whole pre-season) the bite-back from Rooney's counter statement to Ferguson's has not fully gone away.
All though Moyes managed the debacle in the clubs best interest, in not selling the clubs fourth top goal scorer to 'any' domestic rival.
How long are United going to be providing significant game time to Rio Ferdinand (3 games in one week) and the fabulous club servant Ryan Giggs?
This surely must be their final season swansong. Both have provided tremendous unwavering professionalism in their duties to Manchester United but at 35 years old and Giggs turning 40 in November it must be thanks for the memories to, two players who have had their heyday. More investment needed by the Glazers.
In the left-back position Patrice Evra is ageing, plays far too many games per-season (42 last season) and has no top-class competition for his nailed on starting berth. Alexander Buttner is a reliable standby but does he possess the quality to take on the role?
Sir Alex Ferguson was a football genius his charisma knowledge and winning mentality pulled the club through. Often papering over the cracks that existed with the parsimony of the Glazer ownership as his back-drop to the club's investment in the team.
He was not however beyond making mistakes in player purchases, the slavish support of the Glazers who are seriously under-funding the football club in attracting world class players to the club, in comparison to Man City, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, or Real Madrid to name just a few. But Ferguson knew how to win, both mind games and football matches with his driven thirst for success.
Now it should be new exciting period with David Moyes at the helm, he needs to be provided time and the funds to rectify the weakness's in the squad that Sir Alex Ferguson managed to balance with experience.
Fans should get behind David Moyes and the ire of wanting retribution after a few bad results should be directed at the Glazers, not a man who is trying his level best at a new highly pressured job, after 12 weeks!
image: © brostad