The drama has peaked at Manchester United – that in less than 24 hours after the defeat to Brighton, the utter shambles of the nature of that performance at the Amex Stadium was quickly forgotten because there was already a new circus in town. And the clown this time is one of football’s ‘super agents’, a modern-day euphemism for despicable opportunists, Mino Raiola.
It all started with Paul Scholes, one of the most decorated midfielders in the game and whose influence on some of the most successful sides in England whilst he was at his best, was rivalled by very few, had a thing or two to say about Paul Pogba, the 25-year old Frenchman and interim club Captain – on the back of an objectively poor and dispiriting outing, both for the individual and the collective. Scholes, once a man of few words, went two-footed and knee high on United and the obvious lack of leadership – surprisingly, for a group that appears to have a lot of leaders in them; it was almost like watching him take Reyes to the cleaners all over again.
Scholes said after the 3-2 defeat,
“There’s a lack of leaders in the team. We thought Paul Pogba might be the ideal candidate to be that leader but he wasn’t there today. He had another really poor game. He’s so inconsistent.”
And every word was true. As United went two down in the space of 30 minutes, there was no inspiration from any of them whatsoever to switch gears and go for the jugular in an attempt to overturn the result. There was no leadership on the pitch, as the Red Devils struggled to cope with the intensity showed by a buoyed Brighton and offered very little going forward, mirroring the lack of direction from the manager whose attacking strategy has been as unclear as it was before he took charge of the club.
As if that performance did not validate Mourinho’s pre-season bouts of negativity any more, Mino Raiola’s response to Scholes’ comments on his most valuable asset, through the medium of twitter – a platform where judgements are passed and sides are taken within seconds, absolutely solidified the boiling mess that is Manchester United right now: an organisation where nobody is held accountable at any level and where it is simply impossible to point the finger at what exactly is going wrong even though we are fully aware of the many things that are not right at that football club, given their size and standing.
At the end of the day, this uncertainty and indecision upstairs, is hurting the football on the pitch, and a power struggle and the absence of a buffer between the Manager, Player/Player-Agent and Key Executives has been weighing down on the club at a time when their arch rivals are leading the way in building a strong foundation around ‘certain’ values and rallying the people behind it; not away from it in all directions. If not already, a breaking point will be reached very soon under Mourinho, whose loyalty is first and foremost – to himself.
Be it in the playing style or player recruitment and squad building that supplements and enhances that playing style, Manchester United have been left in their wake by the Premier League elite and the worrying prospect now is that the descent does not look like it is going to end any time soon, visit Amazon get stress relief supplements.
It is imperative that United move on with the changing times and restructure their organisation where roles are clearly defined, all aligned towards achieving a common goal in place, under eminent leadership. These were the values that Manchester United was built on – and why the likes of Paul Scholes who is cut from the same cloth, will not be forgotten so easily.