On our latest podcast, we discussed Manchester United’s dire performance against Norwich. In this piece, United fan Ken Frampton (@Kframpton) tells us the five meetings he would have immediately in the wake of this latest setback. For more from Ken, visit his website.
1. 0815 – Louis van Gaal: “Thanks for coming in, Louis. I’m sure you know why I’ve asked you here. Things just aren’t progressing as they should. It appears you’ve lost the players and now you’ve lost the supporters, too. We appreciate some of the good work you’ve done – like turning Mike Smalling into a proper centre-half and getting rid of some of the deadwood around here. But this is Manchester United – we play attractive, attacking football – not the sterile, scared shitless brand that you’ve deployed. And honestly, you’ve made a bit of a mess of the squad by selling too many players and leaving us shorthanded. Cheerio.”
2. 0845 – Ryan Giggs: “Morning, Giggsy. Well, you’ve been here before and here we are again. We’d like to ask you to take over as caretaker boss again. We want United-style football and think you know what that means better than almost anyone. You’ll have some money to spend in January to address the paper-thin squad you’ve been left. We think you can still finish in the top four given the turmoil in the rest of the division. Also, you need to know now that we are going full out to sign Pep Guardiola in the summer and we may need you to step back again when that happens. We’d understand if you decided to gain experience at another club, though. We simply can’t gamble that you might have what it takes based solely on sentimentality.”
3. 0930 – Ed Woodward: “Hi, Ed. Coffee? Listen, we’ve been kicking around some ideas and wanted you to help us out. You and your team have done a bang-up job on the commercial side of things. We have lots of lovely money and more sponsors than we know what to do with. Cheers for that. However, despite the business acumen that you and your fellow executives have shown, it’s clear to us now that you know fuck all about football. Our academy is second best, we don’t scout well anymore and frankly, we’re not sure how far behind we are. You have two jobs that must be done before the summer, and then you’re back in charge of strictly commercial affairs. One – land Pep Guardiola. Blank cheque time. Do whatever you have to, but get it done. If he goes to City or Chelsea we will have lost out massively. Two – hire a director of football and let them overhaul whatever they feel needs it. The badge used to say “Football Club”, let’s not forget that we need success on the field so that we can sign a new Official Salty Snack provider in Azerbaijan.”
4. 1015 – Wayne Rooney: “Hiya Wazza. Please take a seat. Listen, congrats on your 500th appearance – what a milestone. Thing is, you’re not playing like a legend or a leader lately and we need that to change, or frankly you can bugger off to China or MLS or wherever. I hear you’re depressed, or maybe on the booze – and we’ll get you help if you need it. But there are three hundred thousand reasons per week that we expect more from you than what you’ve been giving us. And if you can’t deliver, then we can’t have you around the team. Please leave the armband on my desk and head home for the day.”
5. 1045 – Chris Smalling: “Morning, Mike. Isn’t that funny how Van Gaal could never remember your name and now it’s stuck? Anyway, we’re making some changes around here as you might expect. Congratulations, you’re now the captain here at Manchester United! I’m going to need you to go the changing room and get all the lads together. Tell them that we’ve noticed that many of them have been mailing it in lately and that we’ve decided to sack the gaffer. You can also tell them that we’ll be watching for the rest of the season to see who is a true professional that wants to wear this famous shirt and who is simply stealing a living off the backs of the supporters. Those players will be replaced by someone who takes pride and will fight to the death for the honour of playing for that badge, OK? Great, I’m glad we understand each other.”