Man United’s recent poor run of results has seen the club fall from first to fourth in the Premier League. Fans are up in arms and have taken their frustrations out on the owners, who they believe should be removed completely before Man Utd can properly rebuild.
The “the glazers” are the owners of Manchester United. They have been under fire for not spending money on rebuilding the team and not listening to fans’ opinions. The protests suggest that it will be difficult for them to rebuild until they leave.
1:53 p.m. Eastern
Dawson, Rob Correspondent
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Cristiano Ronaldo kept Manchester United’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League next season alive on the field on Saturday, but the 3-2 triumph against Norwich City was marred by further fan unrest off it.
Ronaldo’s hat trick — his 19th, 20th, and 21st goals of the season — and losses for both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal brought United three points closer to the top four. While Antonio Conte and Mikel Arteta were busy shooting themselves in the foot, United supporters chanted “We want Glazers out” and “Sack the Board” outside the directors’ box at Old Trafford. “Stand up if you detest Glazers,” and other variations with harsher expletives, blared throughout the day.
In a statement on the demonstrations, a United representative stated, “We are working hard to create the circumstances for fresh success on the field, while expanding our interaction with supporters.” “We appreciate supporters’ right to peacefully express their ideas, and we will continue to listen to them in order to work together to bring the club back to where we all want it: fighting for trophies.”
Fans who chose to remain outside for the first 17 minutes (one minute for each year of Glazer ownership) missed Ronaldo’s first goal after seven minutes, but saw his stunning free kick crash in off the post midway through the second half, ensuring Ralf Rangnick’s side just about took advantage of their opponents’ mistakes. It’s more of a sluggish crawl than a sprint to finish in the top four.
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Rangnick later added, “We shouldn’t have to depend on Ronaldo.” “Defensively, I was not pleased. Although the outcomes elsewhere were positive, it is pointless to compare them. We have to step up our game.
“It was critical that we win, but our performance was insufficient. It’s all about physicality and ferocity. Ronaldo was vital, just as he was against Tottenham. It wasn’t simple to score those goals; they were just spectacular.”
United will travel to Liverpool and Arsenal in their next two games.
“We have to improve our level and play our best in those games if we want to gain points,” Rangnick remarked.
Before Manchester United’s close victory against Norwich, supporters protested the Glazer family’s ownership of the club. Getty Images/Jacob King/PA Images
Whatever happens between now and the conclusion of the season, this summer promises a new era with the arrival of a new manager — most likely Erik ten Hag — and more money injected into the team, but for the majority of fans, there can be no new period until the Glazers go.
David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have all attempted and failed to re-establish the club as a major power in the Premier League and Champions League in the nine years after Sir Alex Ferguson resigned. The danger is that Ten Hag will run into the same issues as before, and Joel Glazer will be seeking for a new coach in a year or two. Mourinho, in contrast, came with a much more outstanding resume than Ten Hag yet was still unable to make the job work.
The reason for hiring the Ajax manager over, say, Mauricio Pochettino is that he is considered as having the potential to become one of the greatest in the world, but that potential is unlikely to be realized if he is hampered by a club that does not run properly behind the scenes. On the field, he’ll have enough issues to cope with.
Norwich’s two goals, scored by Kieran Dowell and Teemu Pukki, were so soft that they just added to the racial tensions already present at Old Trafford. “You’re not fit to wear the jersey,” several spectators sang after Pukki’s score tied the game at 2-2.
The choice to use Paul Pogba as a replacement was greeted with tremendous applause at first, but then boos as the Frenchman started to walk away. Fans started screaming “F—- off Pogba” as he took his position on the bench, and you can understand their dissatisfaction with a player who has said repeatedly that he wants to leave and is six weeks away from leaving on a free transfer. He made matters worse at full-time by cupping his ear towards the Stretford End.
“I didn’t hear it personally,” Rangnick added, “but I was told after the game.” “I understand the fans’ dissatisfaction; we are as well, but I don’t believe they should target individual players. That doesn’t seem appropriate or correct to me.”
Rangnick’s choice to start Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, and Jesse Lingard revealed the huge vacuum in United’s midfield. Pogba and Lingard’s contracts expire in the summer, while Nemanja Matic, who came in in the second half, revealed on Friday that he would leave the club at the end of the season.
In the summer, Ten Hag will want at least one midfielder, but he will also require centre-back, full-back, and center-forward. It won’t be simple to rebuild, and the journey back to the top will be lengthy. Meanwhile, the majority of supporters think that the trip will not begin until the owners are gone.
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