Defeat this week to Atletico Madrid means United have now gone 5 years with out profitable a trophy. AFP Picture
There’s no hiding from the truth that Manchester United remains to be one among, if not the largest soccer golf equipment on the earth.
So to see them drop out of the Champions League with a whimper this week was actually a tragic day for soccer followers all over the place, myself included.
United had been as soon as a tour de pressure in English and European soccer, and the day they get again to the place they belong can’t come fast sufficient. Soccer wants Manchester United firing on all cylinders.
Wait, what? Nah… I’m solely joking!
Watching United fall additional and additional behind right into a distant shadow of their former selves is kind of merely a fantastic factor.
So lovely, I really wished I lived in India, Indonesia or Nigeria, so I might gloat to my coronary heart’s content material within the locations the place essentially the most United followers dwell. (Google it, it’s true. The UK is tenth on the record of nations with essentially the most United followers).
With their season ending in March, and now solely fourth place to play for, means United have gone 5 years with out profitable a trophy. The final time that occurred was 1977-82.
Their newish supervisor, Ralf Rangnick, was lauded earlier than he arrived as the person prepared to show their fortunes round. I’d argue they’ve gotten worse, not higher, than they had been earlier than.
Their second-half efficiency towards Atletico Madrid was gutless, clueless and an terrible lot lower than the requirements seen at Previous Trafford in days (years) passed by.
However I consider the issues are far larger than many predict.
After the sport on Tuesday, Marcus Rashford acquired right into a verbal spat together with his personal supporters, Atletico supervisor Diego Simeone was pelted with missiles thrown from a small part of house followers as he left the pitch, and that is now 10 years that United have did not get previous the final 16 within the Champion’s League.
They’re imploding, and I don’t actually see any means again for a really very long time.
But in addition this week I observed one thing else that made me suppose. United’s Previous Trafford stadium was as soon as one among, if not the best grounds in Europe.
I’ve been there many, many occasions, and it actually was a sight to behold. An ideal environment was generated inside such an imposing, spectacular floor. At present, slightly just like the staff, it’s falling to bits.
United this week mentioned concepts to revamp their iconic, however fading, stadium. One proposal was to utterly demolish it and rebuild.
If there have been to do this, or certainly prolong their current South Stand, it gained’t come low cost. Tottenham’s new stadium, the most recent within the Premier League, price someplace within the ballpark of $1.3 billion.
Everton FC are additionally within the means of a whole rebuild, that has a price ticket of round $600 million and when full its capability shall be 23,000 lower than Previous Trafford at present holds.
A brand new stadium would price United most likely greater than $1 billion, and if they’re to spend that, the place would the cash come from to rebuild the staff?
And who could be the individual tasked with that job?
Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag have each been linked, but it surely’s vital to level out, they too each did not get previous the Champions League final 16 this yr with PSG and Ajax, respectively.
Worrying occasions forward for United, each on and off the pitch.
I’ve been in that place myself, when Liverpool struggled in United’s shadow for many years and I used to joke that we had been only a sleeping big ready to be woken up.
United aren’t sleeping, they’re in a coma, on life help, and I’m can’t see how and when they may ever be introduced again to life. VNS