Poll: has the campaign been a success?

April 10, 2013 Tags: , Polls 22 comments

Despite Manchester City’s victory at Old Trafford on Monday night it will still take something of a shocking slump for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side not to take the Premier League crown this season. Indeed, with the campaign winding down, it has by any count been a “successful” year. After last season’s disappointment, the Blue half of Manchester is now firmly in its box.

Yet, there have been huge disappointments too. Defeat to Chelsea on both Carling and FA Cups stings, while Sir Alex’ side has seemingly not yet recovered from Real Madrid’s victory in the Champions League.

The campaign’s narrative has also turned – from boisterous attacking flair in the autumn, to a far more conservative outlook post-Christmas. Neither do the stats lie: United is just a single point better off than at this stage last season, while Ferguson’s team has scored less and conceded more in the Premier League.

So, with the season almost over, do you consider it to have been a success?

Has the campaign been a success?

View Results

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Ben Hulston - April 10, 2013 Reply

The bottle job is on, and so it will be a mess of a season.

Darren M - April 10, 2013 Reply

The title has been taken back, success. Anything else would have been a bonus. Hopefully a building block for next season.

RobDiablo - April 10, 2013 Reply

It is too soon to give a definitive answer, but, assuming that United don’t throw it away, winning the league would have to be considered as the culmination of a successful campaign. Whether United hold on or not, however, this campaign has been a massive disappointment in terms of signings, the quality of the football, and, most especially, the amount of bullshit disseminated by the manager.

I admit that my reactions to the signing were exactly backwards: I didn’t think we needed RvP, but he has been the difference between battling for third and winning the league. I rejoiced at the signing of Kagawa, but realized almost immediately afterward that there was no place for him in the side. He can neither replace nor partner Carrick in a 4-4-2 midfield, he can’t play as a “10” in a 4-4-1-1 without displacing Rooney, and he doesn’t defend well enough to play on the left in front of Evra. A very skilled player gone entirely to waste because there was never a role for him to play at United.

While Ranters will disagree about the exact number of good performances United have delivered this season, most of us will be in total agreement about them being few and far between. The league results have been deceptively good, but the football has been hugely disappointing, to say the least.

The manager has always talked shite to the press, usually for two good reasons: to save players from a back-page roasting after a poor performance, or to bolster spirits ahead of a difficult task. I have no problem with this. What I do have a problem with, is the way the players seem to accept that protection as a right and, rather than coming back in the next match determined to make amends, they just keep putting in lackluster performances. Virtually no one accepts responsibility, steps up to the plate, and raises their game. As for the BS meant to inspire, I found my intelligence particularly insulted by the “this squad is stronger than the Treble-winners” nonsense. Positive support that inspires real confidence can bring a side’s performance up a level or two, but not four or five, and it didn’t take very long for this outrageous claim to be debunked.

All in all, I’d classify this season as the last papering over the cracks. I don’t believe that there will be enough money made available this summer to buy the three or four quality players United will need to compete at the top level next season. So, if United do win the league this season, we had better savor it; it could be some time before it happens again.

Eric the King - April 10, 2013 Reply

Well I’ve voted because Im still (fairly now…) confident that we’ll still win the title, so i guess id be happy with that any year.
Of course, if that dramatically blew up on us again, then it would have to be a failure, to throw it away twice in a row would be simply criminal.
I will always wonder though just how much damage the nature of the Madrid defeat has inflicted on the players. It must have sapped away that feeling of being invincible & took away that bit of momentum that can sometimes carry you through a match even when you’re under the cosh.
Results & performances have been on the slide since then, badly.
Also, now RVP’s goals have dried up, they are not glossing over the eternal neglect of the centre midfield. The only saving grace there is Carrick returning not just to form, but his best form since joining the club. He’s been incredible when you bear in mind he’s carried 3 shocking sets of seasons from all of our once flying wingers.

Damian Garside - April 10, 2013 Reply

A short while ago I mentioned “worst case scenaro” pointing to implosion and City winning the double. But maybe this is worse: we implode, but on the last day City falter too and we take the title by a point or on goal difference. City outplay their opponents in the Cup Final but lose to a bad referee call and end up empty handed. Cause for rejoicing? It would be but for the obvious: Ferguson because we shall hear the following 
(a) great victory which we deserved
(b) still best team in Manchester

and worst of all:

(c) happy with the squad, no new players, may off-load a couple of midfielders 

(d) United veterans can play into the 40s

(e) no retirement until 2020

marlon - April 10, 2013 Reply

The season will be a success if we win the title and it convinces Fergie to sort the team out in the summer.

Our squad is one of the deepest in Europe and probably our strongest ever, but the first XI is flawed. We could do with a similar set of signings to Bayern’s last year. They bought a CB (Dante), CM (Martinez), ST (Mandzukic) and LW (Shaqiri).

At CB, we still don’t know if Rio will stay and both his and Vidic’s presence make it very difficult to play an aggressive pressing game with a high line. They’re part of the reason we can’t keep a clean sheet without the whole team playing defensively. Jones and Smalling aren’t quite ready to join Evans in the 1st XI.

Need for (possibly multiple) CMs is obvious.

A ST, because Rooney may well leave and Fergie obviously doesn’t trust Hernandez to get it done when RVP is off form. There’s also his age and injury record to consider. If you don’t like Lewandowski for some reason here’s another rumour – http://www.marca.com/2013/04/10/en/football/spanish_football/1365576620.html

A LW because we don’t have one.

All the anti-climax of the season aside, there are positives from this season. Evra, Rafael and De Gea have all had excellent seasons. Carrick and Evans have built on last seasons’ performances to become important pieces of the squad. Lots of negatives too though. Cleverley and Welbeck haven’t made much progress and neither have Smalling and Jones although thy have the excuse of injuries. The United careers of Fletcher, Anderson and Scholes should all end this summer. Kagawa and Rooney have had disappointing seasons for different reasons although I find it harder to criticise our 10s, when they’re playing in front of half a midfield and going forward only have one real option. Wingers have been biggest disappointment and perhaps the key to why this team has been poor (more than CM). Our go to move in attack for the last two decades has been non-existent. It’s his own fault though. He replaced Ronaldo with Valencia and Giggs with Young.

Alfonso Bedoya - April 10, 2013 Reply

When the season started, we all would have settled for the title…

The problem for me isn’t the titles we win, or even how competetive we are… it’s the steady erosion of the clubs character… we’ve become an ugly team to watch, and our manager has turned into a caricature of himself.

Some will compare us to the Renties and the Bitters and say, they are even worse… I don’t give a shit what other clubs do with their heritage… I only care about United, and United has become a very frustrating club to support.

Ferguson may be a legend, but I can’t wait to see the back of him.

Glazers OUT!… Ferguson OUT!

Spudiator - April 10, 2013 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
When the season started, we all would have settled for the title…

The problem for me isn’t the titles we win, or even how competetive we are… it’s the steady erosion of the clubs character… we’ve become an ugly team to watch, and our manager has turned into a caricature of himself.

Some will compare us to the Renties and the Bitters and say, they are even worse… I don’t give a shit what other clubs do with their heritage… I only care about United, and United has become a very frustrating club to support.

Ferguson may be a legend, but I can’t wait to see the back of him.

Glazers OUT!… Ferguson OUT!

Agree with most of this, however I think Fergie can only take a certain amount of the blame. His hands have been tied by the financial situation brought on from the Glazers’ ownership, to the extent that now United’s very survival depends on continued Champions League participation and Premier League success. Fergie’s always been a bit of a gambler with his team selections, and he’s never previously been afraid to put his faith in the emerging youngsters, but maybe, just maybe, he’s taking the conservative route in terms of team selections because he’s savvy enough to know that if he gambles and it backfires, he could potentially destroy his entire legacy and financially cripple the club.

Don’t get me wrong, I get frustrated at the tepid performances we’ve seen in the last couple of years too, football barely ever engrosses me the way it used to, and I’m not defending Fergie completely, there’s no doubt the buck stops with him and his occasionally mind-boggling selections, but I do think there’s more to this than meets the eye.

Regarding the original question. I’m not sure. Like Alf I would’ve been delighted to end the season as champions before it began, but there is a sense that we’ve let ourselves down in the manner of our exits from the FA Cup and the Champions League. The league performance, despite our position, has been poor, but I think there’s a good reason for that. Historically, United have always played better when we’re fiercely competing for everything in front of us and being forced to raise our game. This season, the level of opposition has been very poor and we’ve been able to get away with doing *just* enough to win most games. Unfortunately there’s nothing we can really do about that, it depends on the rest of the league to raise their game against, but I do believe a stronger all-round league will bring the best out of us.

Scott - April 10, 2013 Reply

If the league were tighter it would feel like more of an achievement to win it, even with fewer points. None of the other teams have been any good this year. City are well off last years pace, far fewer goals and too many draws as a consequence.

In terms of progression there hasn’t been any. The team started the same as last season, lots of goals at both ends and have tightened up towards the end of the season. A few players have gone backwards, Nani, Valencia, and some of the squad can’t go on much longer. Don’t know if Rio will sign a new contract but can the club afford to have two established centre backs who can’t play every game on those wages? If one was sold it would allow for a new signing that can play consistently and with Evans form this season I think they can look at it seriously.

No left sided player that you’d put down as a definite for crucial games and not even a specialist in that position. Unfortunately no one of the right either.

It has been a success in terms of Evans, Rafael and De Gea who all had some doubters but have been excellent when available. Kagawa also looks promising.

I wouldn’t have expected this squad to win the champions league and fa cup and wasn’t really optimistic about the league especially after the opening day, so that is a success but I would have looked more to progression of the team as a marker of success in what it is a transitional period and there haven’t been many great performances.

Anantax - April 10, 2013 Reply

IF we win the league (still not yet confirmed) then a definite success in my book

1) we win back the title despite high spending of City
2) Rafa DDG has had good seasons and looks to be the future (personally less certain of DDG still but has had a good season and definitely potential)
3) Kagawa and Jones, while less scintillating as the two above, also looks like solid buys. jones was fantastic in the last few games,
4) this despite the many injuries we (continue to) have…

UCL to me has always been a long shot, FA Cup is nice but really a consolation prize….

Some concerns on manner and style of play, but I am confident that’s solvable

Damian Garside - April 10, 2013 Reply

My answer was a “maybe”. My “yes” will depend on them finishing in style, not flopping about all over the place like last year.

madmax - April 10, 2013 Reply

We started the season with a shite central midfield and have finisdhed with shit wingers And central midfield. Remarkable season indeed

uncleknobheadffs - April 10, 2013 Reply

its been crap

the win at city was good, but now thats been cancelled out

the footballs been mish mash clueless shite, and now we’re back to aimless crossing dross

Count_Dante - April 10, 2013 Reply

Agree with Uncle, aside from a couple of periods in a few games, the football’s been dogshit.

Other than some last minute equalisers that we all buzz off, this United side bore me rigid. Not been so bored with the football since Dave Sexton’s side.

Shame really. MUFC shouldn’t be like this.

sheesh - April 11, 2013 Reply

The overall standard of football in the Premier League has been pretty shocking this season tbf. We’ve excelled because we have the experience of putting together a good run of wins. We’ve been helped by lethargy, complacency and internal strife at our rivals.

A technical success if we win the league but the football we have played this season has been functional rather than entertaining. It need not be this way.

Edpayasugo - April 12, 2013 Reply

League is considered success, but I can’t help but think what might have been.

chocolatteballs - April 13, 2013 Reply

Dosn’t feel like a success.

Has to be the most forgettable league win ever.

DamnedUnited - April 13, 2013 Reply

I’m tired of watching United’s matches and I didn’t even tune into the derby because I knew the awful football that was going to be on display after watching the two FA Cup matches against Chelsea and the game against Sunderland. It’s not just this period, this lack of entertaining football and making do with squad players has resulted in unremarkable football for the past few seasons. That old adage about United kicking on after Christmas has also now been put to rest.

The most obvious trend in United’s game this season has been that the team lacks the nerve to finish teams off, especially rivals. They squandered leads against Chelsea THREE times this season, once against Manchester City and TWICE against Real Madrid. This is not an attribute of a team with strong character. It is predictable that the team will pull the boot off the pedal after gaining a lead against a rival.

Set plays have improved, I’ll give them that.

Lastly, I am sick of hearing about ‘injustice’ being done to the team by referees or whatever. If the team wasn’t strong enough to clearly defeat a team, then it is no use to cry about refereeing decisions. I used to hate on referees or opposition players or the governing bodies but that only makes United look like Liverpool. So no, enough of blaming others and have the balls to admit that the team wasn’t good enough on the day.

dozer - April 13, 2013 Reply

I’m not convinced United will win the season yet tbh.

whythewhinging - April 21, 2013 Reply

On the verge of winning the league…and still finding a way to whinge.You are all the same people who gets on players and managers backs when things are going wrong,instead of supporting them.The same people who were calling for Fergies head pre 1990….the same people who booed Giggsy coming on when he had had a bad run a few seasons back….the same people singing anti Rooney songs within hours of Rooney supposingly leaving…only for you all to soon sing his name again…..UNITED !!!

han - April 21, 2013 Reply

oh dear…prepare to be sodomised now
you have probably unleashed armageddon on here

uncleknobheadffs - April 22, 2013 Reply

another top red fuckwit

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