Yes, folks, you did read that correctly. Manchester United are actually looking for ways to improve the atmosphere at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ after Jose Mourinho has spent most of the season having a pop at the fans for being too quiet.
They are going to do a survey and everything folks, so trust me, they are serious.
Head of venue operations Dan Schofield said:
“As you will most likely be aware, the atmosphere at Old Trafford is something which has been frequently commented on of late, both in the media and across social networks, and is a subject the club takes very seriously.
“To this end, senior management plan to further discuss this topic with fan groups and other interested parties and stakeholders to listen to concerns, ideas, etc and then to put forward recommendations to help facilitate positive change. However, our view is that ideally initiatives should be fan-driven.”
Their ‘view’ that it needs to be fan-driven smacks of a club not being prepared to look the devil in the eye to solve the problem to me, but hey. It is good to see that chatter across social networks is something that ‘the club takes very seriously’.
So United want to improve the atmosphere, do they?
I have a slightly off-the-wall suggestion. Brace yourselves.
Sack the sodding manager.
A couple of years ago Manchester United fans were, rightly, bored to tears over the football served up by Louis Van Gaal – another manager from another era it has to be said – and right now they are equally bored to tears by Jose Mourinho and you can kind of understand why.
It’s all very well Jose getting a little narked that the Old Trafford stands were not singing his name when they beat Liverpool, look at what had come before (and then, after). Out of the Premier League race playing anti-football. Watching Pep lead City to the title playing the kind of football United kind of expect. Out of the Champions League losing, at home, to Sevilla by sitting deep and hoping to nick a goal. At home! Sevilla then went on to ship a few the following weekend in La Liga to a team that were prepared to go on the attack. And that Brighton game wasn’t exactly high on the entertainment list now, was it?
It is clear that the way the atmosphere within Old Trafford will improve is not by giving the fans song sheets, giving them things to make noise with, banning mobile phones or whatever. It is about delivering football on the pitch that excites people again. That United squad is not lacking in creative talent – Pogba can play a bit if you let him, can’t he? Rashford is hardly dull. Anthony Martial’s pace is electric. Blimey, even Romelu Lukaku can get fans off their seat if you give him a chance to. And Juan Mata is a little Spanish genius. The problem is, the manager doesn’t want them to entertain. He barely wants them to go out of their own half just in case the concede a goal.
It would cost a lot of money to sack Jose. He knows this. He wants it too though, I reckon.
Just imagine what Old Trafford might sound like right now if the Liverpool manager was in charge, let alone the Manchester City one.
Jose has blamed the players and the fans regularly this season. And, frankly, they are the two groups of people who can (and probably will) get him sacked.
Time to go Jose, and then you can save the admin team the job of counting up the results of the survey.