Paul Parker

United glory hunters who turned on Fergie have no place at Old Trafford

Paul Parker

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It is time for some of the disgruntled United fans to get real, the ones who apparently turned their attention to Sir Alex Ferguson last night.

I look at fans who are critical of Ferguson for his role in appointing David Moyes as 'new-age' fans, supporters who grew up with the mindset that United were always going to be in contention to win the Premier League and the Champions League.

If those people are around my age, they will remember a United side who won 10 games on the bounce but then fell away badly in the old Football League. That is what got big Ron Atkinson the sack before Sir Alex arrived.

David Moyes has walked into what was supposed to a ready-made team, but those players haven't got it. For the past three years, those players have been scraping by. Two years they almost won the Premier League when City should have won it by a landslide. They won it by 11 points last year, but that margin was disrespectful to Manchester City. United were never that good. Only Sir Alex lifted them.

There is not the same fight in them as before. They are not giving their all. The weaker characters will blame the manager, like those weak fans. A lot of those fans only know 26 years of success, but they haven't known about crisis.

When you are having a go at Sir Alex Ferguson and blaming him, that shows a weak mentality. These are people who shouldn't be allowed back into the ground until they read up on football, and read up on what Manchester United are all about.

They have to read up on the history, and what Sir Alex has brought to the club. How he can be blamed is beyond me. All those players under Sir Alex and fans who followed in the good times have been spoiled. I was spoiled. It was all about winning, and basking in success.

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Now all of a sudden, it is not there for some people who were used to it. All they wanted to do was talk about United, but you don't hear or see them any more. They've all disappeared. When things get tough, certain people go missing. I think they have gone missing.

A lot of those supporters can only live in a happy world. They are probably taking stick from their mates about United personally, and want to blame somebody. Every Tom, Dick and Harry want to talk about a rapid decline. What United are having at the moment is a small blip, but it is about how they deal with it is the main issue.

Ask Manchester City fans or Liverpool followers what a rapid decline is? They will soon fill you in. It is only one bad season after almost three decades of good ones. Those people must remember what goes around, comes around. United continue to be respected for what they have achieved. This is a massive football club that will soon return to the summit.

This happened to Liverpool in the early 1990s. People back then were wondering what was going on. The difference was that there wasn't the same media coverage. There are new-age Liverpool fans who haven't seen their side win the title. Ferguson created a phenomenon. Most teams have a cycle, a natural lifespan of 10 years. But Fergie kept it going for over 10 years.

David Moyes has worked in crisis situations at Preston and Everton. He led Preston to promotion, and kept Everton in the top six most of the time with little money. He needs an opportunity to go and get players in that he wants. If his style is not going to suit, then he can move on. But at least United will have started the rebuilding work that was needing to be done.

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Football can change quickly. Liverpool fans are gloating at the moment. But if they don't win the title this season, it is going to be a while longer because City and Chelsea will strengthen. You watch what United bring in this summer. It will be massive.

Most of these United players now have to play for their integrity and professionalism. Guys like Rio Ferdinand are obviously struggling, but he must look to finish the season strongly before he leaves the club with a few others.

I think Manchester City's win was a fairly predictable outcome on the night. Nobody really felt that Manchester United were going to beat City. Not with what has gone on this season, and 3-0 in the end probably sums up the gap in quality between the two sides.

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United had won their last two games - and one they really should be winning against Olympiacos in the Champions League. Meanwhile, Upton Park has been a bit of a graveyard for United sides, but they produced one of their better performances to beat a poor West Ham side in the Premier League.

You can't really say that United went into the match against City on the up. Most of the season has been down. Two wins didn't paper over the cracks for me.

Most serious United fans can't have expected a win from this match. They weren't let down in the end. United didn't embarrass themselves like they did against Liverpool, but they were still outplayed. United looked better in the second half of the first half, but you were never convinced about their ability to score goals.

United have Tottenham at home and Everton away in the run-in. Those look to be their most difficult games, but hopefully they can finish off the season in some sort of unbeaten style, and look to improve next season.

You can't look at the match against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last eight with any optimism. They just can't. As much as people might say I'm being unfair or negative, it is difficult to be positive. There is nothing to suggest Manchester United can take on Bayern over two games. Especially for a side who have lost at home to West Bromwich, Newcastle United and Everton. There is nothing to suggest United can beat Bayern. The fear factor at Old Trafford has gone.

That ground has overwhelmed them because they don't have the right personnel. With Pep Guardiola in charge at Bayern Munich, there is no way his side are going to just coast through it. Munich have given their better performances in the Champions League away from home, and I expect them to revel in Old Trafford just like Liverpool and Manchester City.

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