Winless in their last three games in the Premier League (five in all competitions) and quickly sliding out of the top-four — something is clearly not right with Manchester United, once, very recently, the long-time, undisputed kings of England.
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There is, of course, an infinite number of theories being thrown around in an attempt to explain what was not long ago entirely unthinkable: that Man United are no longer relevant.
These theories ranger all the way from “Louis Van Gaal is a buffoon and has no idea what he’s doing, to “Wayne Rooney has severely regressed and is no long good,” to “the owners and executives haven’t a clue and they’re running the club into the ground.” The correct answer: a little bit of all of the above, as always.
What if, though, we, the Premier League-watching public, are the ones to blame for United “underperforming” the last two and a half seasons? Not directly, of course, but what if our expectations of United are still clouded with memories of better days — you know, the Sir Alex Ferguson days, when they won the league title in 13 of his 26 seasons in charge?
It’s a thought that NBC Sports’ 2 Robbies, Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, debated on Sunday (above video), with the two coming to something of an agreement that, yes, the expectations were too high considering the team that Louis van Gaal inherited and the widespread rebuild that’s taking place.
“Expectations are crazy-high,” says Mustoe. “The top teams have so much money now that you’re not going to see United dominate an era like they did [under Ferguson].”
Message received loud and clear, Mr. Mustoe. In conclusion, United fans, adjust your expectations accordingly.