THE BLOG

Manchester United's 'Loyal' Fans Ought to Be Ashamed of Themselves

10/04/2015 22:53 BST | Updated 10/06/2015 10:59 BST

When Sir Alex Ferguson addressed the Manchester United fans at the end of his last ever game in charge at Old Trafford, he spoke about his great memories and experiences, wished the players the best of luck in the future, and most importantly, delivered a crucial message about supporting his successor.

"When we had bad times here, everyone stood by me and your job now is to stand by your new manager," the legendary Scot said as he bade an emotional farewell.

At that time it was already known that David Moyes would be making the step up from Everton to replace Ferguson - hand-picked as the 'Chosen One'.

Every fan, even without the need for reminder, should have instantly known it was their duty to get behind Moyes right from the off, but unfortunately that never happened. Before he had stepped through the door for his first day one of the most respected managers in the Premier League was already fighting for approval from some sections of his new fans.

In the end, it may well have been a step too far for Moyes, sacked just 10 months later. Results on the pitch hadn't been ideal, but he thought he deserved more time and would have acted differently if he knew his position wasn't up for debate so soon. High profile figures, including Roy Keane have also made similar points since.

When Louis van Gaal arrived there was a definite renewed excitement among the United support once more. This is a man who has won everything there is to win at club level, across several different countries and in Europe.

Pre-season was very promising, but as soon as it became clear that there was to be no quick fix and seamless transition back to the good old days, the dissent from some sections of the support inexplicably surfaced once more.

The majority of supporters are genuinely loyal and are sensible enough to see the reality of the situation.

Unfortunately, United have almost been a victim of their own success of the last 20 years. Such dominance in the exploding Premier League years, an age where football media is consumed like never before, has brought with it an army of bandwagon fans, many of whom care not for the club itself at all - interested only in boasting to friends when 'their' team wins.

After an inauspicious start to the season, fans on social media were calling for van Gaal's head. Despite wins over Arsenal and Liverpool, other disappointing results in November and December led to more of the same. United then struggled against several lower league teams in the FA Cup.

Dropped points against West Ham and Swansea, followed by an unconvincing win against Newcastle and FA Cup elimination left plenty of 'fans' in no doubt that van Gaal had to go.

Just a few weeks later, however, United have comfortably dispatched Tottenham and Liverpool in crucial games, cruised to a comfortable win against Aston Villa and are well placed in the battle to finish as high as second in the Premier League table.

As a result, the #LVGout trolls have hastily retreated into their caves, but if United aren't able to keep up their current level of form they will be quickly out once more.

What has separated United from Chelsea since Roman Abramovich's money propelled them to the elite level and more recently Manchester City since Sheikh Manour's takeover, is a stability and a strength in judgement to avoid knee-jerk dismissals. The price of perceived failure at both clubs is impossibly high.

Chelsea have burned their way through countless managers in the last 11 years. City's Abu-Dhabi regime is currently on its third in six years, with Manuel Pellegrini not expected to even see out the season. Do United fans really want their club to turn into that?

There is a process still ongoing at Old Trafford. It took some time for van Gaal to figure things out and to imprint his own style on the squad, but it's now starting to pay off and further improvement will continue to follow. What would have happened in the unlikely event that the club hierarchy had listened to the ridiculous calls to swing the axe?

Supporting a football club is not about winning at all costs. It's about winning with the right people in the right places and taking the time to build properly. That is what Manchester United has always been about and the success that follows always means more as a result.

Any 'loyal' United fan who thinks any differently ought to be ashamed of themselves.

For more fan views or to join the conversation visit www.90min.com