Well, that revival didn’t last long! The much-lauded comeback against Aston Villa was much less about United’s brilliance, but more about half a dozen Villa players deciding to switch off and chugg on their Xmas cigars! When you’re close to the summit the harsh lessons come thick and fast.
However, being a Manchester United player at this awful moment in time must surely feel like you’re not actually a footballer at all, but a narcissistic construction worker! How much longer are United’s rag-tag band of overpaid and underachieving players going to be told to dig deep, and take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror? This has now become the usual refrain as the team slips once more into recidivism. Another abject display. Another capitulation, and surely another step for Ten Hag towards the nearest taxi rank.
The team’s recent defeat to West Ham United signified their worst run before Xmas day in ninety-three years. And their defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest was their twenty-first in a calendar year. Their worst tally since 1989! United’s fans aren’t, it is safe to say, feeling much of a happy new year.
Alas, the pantomime needs a new director lest it set to continue, and as Xmas pantomimes go, Manchester United must surely be the hottest ticket in town. A cast littered with clowns, villains, bad actors, and at the very centre a man who has not only lost the plot but isn’t reading the script!
But as we all know Pantomime runs eventually come to an end. Maybe this particular pantomime’s run is unlikely to be extended beyond the first two weeks of January. Moreover, one must certainly begin to question the condition of Ten Hag’s eyesight. Defeat after defeat is met with stupifying self-denial.
Seeing each loss as against the run of play. Large amounts of domination squandered, and or momentary lapses of concentration. Injuries and inconsistencies and whatever you're having yourself. He rarely congratulates his conqueror. The end for this manager must surely be nigh.
The January transfer window has opened for business, and Ten Hag contemplates the outlay of millions of pounds that might save his skin. Yes, the club needs new players all over the pitch but is the new saviour in the form of Sir Jim Radcliffe going to slip the bones of £150m into Ten Hag’s pocket?
And speaking of Sir Jim. United supporters should be reminded that this is the same 'lifelong' United fan who tried to buy Chelsea and Barcelona, and that’s before we even get to the ‘INEOS curse’ where its involvement in the All Blacks and the America's Cup didn’t actually result in eye-watering success.
Sir Jim might just be about to turn more wine into water. However, as the new year gets underway his inbox consists of three imperatives. Fix the leaking stadium roof. Fix the leaking defense or fix the dugout! Surely it is the latter that must be addressed first because since a certain Mr Ferguson hung up his stopwatch, this has proven to be the sorriest area of recruitment of all.