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Adrift & Sinking

Adrift & Sinking

Late comebacks, while enjoyable in the moment, serve only to highlight the problems United have when viewed in the cold light of day. Even pulling two back against Southampton to level the score was fun in the moment. What followed in the second half was decidedly not. 

Why are we conceding goals to teams like Southampton anyway (no disrespect to them)? Aren't we working under the ultra-defensive, hugely pragmatic José Mourinho? The one thing we shouldn't be doing is conceding goals against teams who fail to hit the back of the net in almost all their other games. If we're going to draw, it should be 0-0, not 2-2, surely!

Yet here we are. Adrift between the distant shores of Defensively Sound and Outright Attack, seemingly rowing in circles. 

The discontent amongst the fans is growing game by game and is rapidly turning to anger. For this writer, watching that second half at the weekend was painful and, though I've tried HARD to support Mourinho, the anger I felt was directed at him. Because he is the one supposed to be steering the Good Ship Manchester United but it's pretty clear that his hand is well and truly OFF the tiller. 

Instead of guiding us to calmer waters he is instead squabbling with his crew, pissing off his first mate and is in serious danger of causing a mutiny. 

No matter what you think of Paul Pogba at the minute - or even if you agree with José's assessment of him as a "virus" - it's no way to motivate your team. Especially when you quite clearly have a leak in the dressing room, one that is slowly but surely sinking the ship.

It's just the latest in a litany of ongoing criticism of players quite clearly down on confidence, bereft of ideas and in desperate need of leadership. From anywhere. It's starting to feel like Mourinho is happy to lay the blame for United's poor performances and league position any place but his own doorstep. Deflecting is a must-have skill for a manager. Ferguson used it to great effect, shielding his team from criticism, even when it was deserved, by clouding the issue and laying blame elsewhere. But he never used the team as a shield for himself. I repeat, it feels like that is just what Mourinho is doing. 

Something has to give and give soon. 

Sadly, the lack of leadership and direction extends to board level. Their entire focus is on revenue and whilst Mourinho's failure to bring success on the pitch doesn't affect success off it, they aren't likely to look up from the accounts and see what's going on. Mourinho, for now, is safe for no other reason than he isn't affecting the bottom line. Yet.

All of which leaves us, the supporters, angry, frustrated, clinging to the driftwood of nostalgia and watching on as Manchester United drifts from one reef to another, gradually sinking deeper and deeper into mid table obscurity. All whilst Captain Guardiola is steering the fucking paddle steamer that is Manchester City towards yet another title winning port and who may just eventually accidentally stumble upon a Champions League like some kind of footballing Christopher Columbus.

Makes you want to let go and drown, doesn't it.

Who is going to toss us a lifeline? Unfortunately I can't see a man out there with the skills or desire to want to take on the task of turning this tanker around. Except maybe this guy, whose trawler is standing idle right now...