Following is a work of fiction and completely imagined by the author.
I understand how difficult this season has been for you all; the ignominy of watching your favorite club turn into a struggling mid table side has been a very trying and exhausting experience.
When Sir Alex walked in through the front door proudly announcing ‘You are going to be the next Manchester United manager’, I was still managing a club who had not won a trophy since I took over. In honesty, Sir Alex never offered me the job, an offer generally comes with two choices or more. This was more of a summoning, almost a dare for a football manager with a modest managerial history.
For every football manager, there comes this one opportunity which shapes his entire managerial career; for better or worse. The one that presented itself at my doorstep was big, so much so that I had to question myself of my preparedness to take the giant leap forward. Did I want to manage Manchester United? Yes, I wanted to. Was I ready for the job? I had been at Goodison for 11 years, helped them qualify for the Champions League once and steadied them as a top half premier league side. I knew little about contesting for silverware, or nothing. Will I take up the job? It never came to that, I had said yes already.
Such was the enormity of the man’s confidence that it almost rubbed off on everyone around him. The conviction with which he insisted how I, one with inconsequential European experience and no silverware would be the ideal person to take Manchester United forward started making sense. However, what didn’t made sense was his public outcry against Wayne Rooney and his demands for a move away.
However looking back at Rooney’s brace against West Ham a couple of weeks back, it gives me immense pleasure of having done at least one thing right since July last summer.
My dear fans, you have always been proud of your team, the manager, the players and everything distantly related to the club; the same pride which has been assaulted repeatedly by our fiercest rivals as well as low rung teams this season, leaving you all humbled. So when some of you made their way towards the dugout to express their dismay towards me, I understood. Of all the things you don’t deserve, the most is your manager cutting a very sorry figure of him on the field and off it.
Yes, I accept responsibility for the team’s current situation and also to put that in order. But I face a race against time, a steep one and which I daresay, might end up losing. I have had campaigns started against me, ones to finance my firing and to strong-arm the owners into doing the same. I have had articles published about me and my puny past achievements, how I would suck the club down further below. I have had planes flown over my head, mocking my appointment as the manager of Manchester United. I understand, because I am one of you.
But today I write, not to chart down reasons of our poor showing this season and my agenda for the next. As I sit writing, in quiet contemplation of what fate beholds tomorrow night against the European champions, I am asking you to watch your favorite team play and not expect anything else in return. Is it asking too much given how much you pay for a gate ticket during a European match? Possibly, yes. But just for once, let the guys in red know you are not here to judge them but to egg them on till they lose out on all the gas covering every blade of grass on the field.
Tomorrow night, let’s just sing, chant and Believe!