Everything was going well… very well.
I was at home sprawled on the sofa when the PSG game at Parc des Princes came on TV and I knew all we had to do was minimize the damage.
We were going out, but we were going out with our heads held high. The ignominy of shipping goals by the bucketload to superior opposition in the Champions League is something that we are not known for. That dubious distinction belongs to a team from North London.
Then the miracle of Paris happened and we couldn’t stop replaying that Rashford penalty and singing “Ole is at the Wheel” for a whole week. The Man United of old was back! Or so we thought.
Every Man United fan was shocked by the damage the team had suffered under Jose Mourinho. After analyzing the events of Paris, we shook our heads at how easy a bad manager can destroy a team.
Man United had gone to the dogs but luckily Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was now at the wheel and those disgraceful days were firmly behind us. All is well now, we agreed. Ole is at wheel, we added, as we looked forward to the next game.
The next game happened to be one against that North London team.
Surely, there was no way Arsenal were going beat us after that performance against PSG. But beat us they did, and we were left scrambling for excuses.
Luckily for us, Ole had the result summed up to a T.
“It has been fantastic so far but today is the lowest we have been because we lost and missed the chance to put pressure on Spurs. We have won games we have not deserved to win and today we lost a game we did not deserve to lose,” he said after the match.
Then Wolverhampton Wanderers happened and were out of the FA Cup. And just like we were no longer in contention for the only trophy that seemed feasible and the metallic taste of defeat was becoming harder and harder to wash off my mouth.
We won against Watford next but that victory had echoes of Louis van Gaal’s and Mourinho’s eras. It was a laboured performance lacking in urgency and passion. There was no cohesion and Paul Pogba and Co. were running around the pitch like headless chickens.
But hope springs eternal and by time were meeting Wolves on Tuesday again we were sure we would be sitting pretty at position three on the log for the first time this season.
But Wolves managed to humiliate us AGAIN after ANOTHER spiritless display that had me kicking and cursing like a maniac.
This was our only chance of putting a stranglehold on the top four but we blew it away with an incompetent performance that must have had Nuno Espirito Santo thinking what did I do to deserve this.
Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea, by contrast, had no such problems dispatching lower sides when they needed to and they have all overtaken us and condemned us to sixth place. THE SIXTH PLACE.
So where did it all go wrong?
Ole’s purple patch has definitely run out, but can we say he is out of his depth? Our nemeses have been having a field day with memes, saying we told you so. Ole can, however, still kick them where it hurts in the remaining games. Fingers crossed.
As for the players, something has to change. Except for the bright spot that is Scott McTominay, most of our players do not have it in them to fight for the cause. Their attitude stinks and they couldn’t care less if we lost key games or not (perhaps Mourinho was right after all).
This, and the mediocrity that the Man United hierarchy has allowed to fester since Sir Alex Ferguson left, has contributed to the current ruin.
Next up is Barcelona and this game should mark the beginning of the end of the nonsense Man United fans have been treated to in the post-Ferguson era.