THE CHOSEN ONE DOES ONE
Mickey Blue Eyes
There could be no better example of the chauvinist, bilious nonsense of professional sport than the sacking of David Moyes after just ten months as manager of Manchester United. It also shows how sports fortunes can fluctuate quite suddenly. All told, it is a sad, sorry story.
At a personal level I feel sympathy for him in the way I feel sympathy for anybody who hits difficult moments. After all, he did help rescue our club from disaster, which is the main reason for my passing interest. Apart from that I feel nothing for him or Manchester United: he made his choice, he knew it was a gamble, now it has come unstuck. So live with it, David. It is scarcely the end of the world. The same goes for the owners and fans (which, of course, includes a large slice of British media) of the Stretford Brand, who, like Arsenal, seem to have acquired a not-so-vague sense of entitlement during the lamentable Premier League era.
For what it is worth, from a distance I thought he could resolve their obvious playing problems......if he was given time. Like the previous manager Ferguson he would have enough money to mop up transfer mistakes. But it takes time for new players to adjust, which he was simply not allowed. In fact there are uncanny echoes of the retirement of Matt Busby in this, the same one-dimensional self-delusion that saw that club end up in the old Second Division. That they have not qualified for any European competition may be a breathing space they need; however, the loss of it can apparently run up to £50 million, and that is what, typically, the American owners seemed to decide was a loss too far. If he can take any consolation it is in the notion that he can use the experience to step back and reassess how he deals with sports management. I wish him good luck.
The best things football lovers can take from this are just how necessary is a sense of proportion, how utterly absurd is the unthinking mindless chase for "success," how thoroughly sickening are personality hatreds, how certifiably insane are some of the perpetrators. The sheer pettiness of it only gives more ammunition to the many enemies of the game. But that is wishful thinking. The paranoid hate-filled ale house loonies and cheap opportunists have always been with us and always will be. Those who talk of "building dynasties," those who want little more than chauvinist sports domination, those riddled with envy......these are not only enemies of the game, they are enemies of common sense. They are the kind of insensate brutes who would sneer at Andrew Murray's public moment of humanity yesterday.
In our case it was a football disaster when David Moyes left. Few of us, me included, thought Roberto Martinez would be able to build on his achievements. Well, we were wrong. He too has plaited sawdust, however tenuously. We recovered, got better in fact. And therein lies the reality of sports "glory": it can come and go in a flash. The sooner that notion becomes dominant in the game the better.
I can dream. Again.