Manchester United: Allergic to Progress

Three years ago this month, Manchester United got battered 4-0 by Everton at Goodison Park.

Fast forward to 2022, and they lost 1-0 to Everton at Goodison Park.

Sounds like progress… This loss is worse.

Everton, before this fixture, had lost 17 of their last 22 Premier League matches – winning just THREE of them.

They’ve fallen so, so far from the days where they had Carlo Ancelotti running the gaff, where they were signing players such as Real Madrid‘s James Rodriguez, Napoli‘s Allan, and Barcelona‘s Lucas Digne, as well as having several international players in their squad.

You wouldn’t have been able to tell, though.

Everton looked like the better team today by FAR. It baffles me how you can pull up to someone elses ground with Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba & David de Gea and get convincingly played off the park by a side who can barely keep themselves in the league at the moment.

Granted, the goal they scored can be viewed as a lucky one; but that is NO excuse for the lack of fight, desire, passion for wanting the win. Those words are sometimes used in a mocking sense – for example calling players “pashun” merchants – but for all the jokes made about fans wanting to see some passion, its passion that drives the fans’ love for Manchester United, and its passion that should drive these players every single moment of every single day.

Today, Everton ran 10 kilometers further than Manchester United today. They only had 33% possession.

Today, Everton’s players showed the Manchester United superstars how to play a game of football for your club. They looked so down and out heading into the final 10 games of the season, however a few positive results have completely turned their season around. If the United players bothered to get their head up and fight their way to a win, they would notice.

“They [Everton] played Wednesday and they were tired but they had more desire than us, that is not acceptable,” David de Gea told BT Sport after the defeat – and he is spot on.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, the club have contantly talked about progressing in to a new era. In 2017, it looked like United finally started to pick up on their promises by winning trophies in Jose Mourinho‘s first season at the club, but that quickly fell apart as the club started to go back on promises they made to the Portugese, and as a result of those broken promises, Jose turned toxic and was eventually let go.

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the promise of progress was once again championed across his tenure, however once again the club refused to make the changes needed and Solskjaer was let go from his job.

There has been manay changes ‘upstairs’ in recent months, with Ed Woodward stepping down as CEO of the club and John Murtough, Darran Fletcher, Richard Arnold and others assuming new roles in the club that will hopefully split the monopoly of power within certain roles in the board… but only time will tell.

Erik ten Hag looks to be the man coming in to shake up and re-build this embarassment of a football club. I wish him luck, because god knows he needs it.

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