Full Circle?

For the last decade or so, Liverpool fans have been telling ourselves that the time will come when Liverpool will ascend the heights of greatness once again and Man Utd will lose their grip on the English scene.

Personally, I didn’t think it was gonna happen this season. But with Chelsea and Arsenal eclipsing MU in the league and FA Cup, Liverpool triumphing in the Champions League, and the whole Glazer saga, Liverpool fans could be forgiven for preparing a eulogy for the end of the Red Devils’ dominating era.

However, I still didn’t think Man Utd would suffer too much despite the Glazer debt hanging over their heads – until I read this article in the Telegraph.

Nike, the global sportswear giant, is threatening to abandon its record-breaking £303m sponsorship deal with Manchester United unless the team can prove next season that it can consistently challenge for top honours.

Whoa. While I suspect that Man Utd will be able to placate Nike, this confirms that worries over Glazer’s takeover extends beyond the supporters to Man Utd’s corporate sponsors as well.

With some MU supporters claiming that they’ll boycott the club’s sponsors including Nike and Vodafone, it’s natural for the companies to feel a little worried. No doubt they’re hoping that the only way for the club to retain fan loyalty is to continue to be successful on and off the field.

This then translates to greater pressure on Sir Alex to deliver a major trophy next season, at least. While he would be hoping for some time to build a truly outstanding team (and I have to admit, he does have a good base to build on with Rooney and Ronaldo), he may no longer be afforded that luxury, especially with Chelsea ready to take on the mantle of Britain’s biggest team.

Truth is, I will be surprised if Sir Alex remains manager of Manchester United beyond the summer of 2006 – ESPECIALLY if they end next season with no major trophies again.

Unless Man Utd decide to settle for the 2005/06 League Cup…

5 thoughts on “Full Circle?”

  1. I think it’s too early to say there’s a power shift from the North of England. It’s still way too early and that old man still has a lot of kick in him. MaNure is still a force to be reckoned with when they are in form.

    Next year will be interesting as we all know how good chelski can be, Arsenal’s ability to make other teams look like kindergarden teams, MaNure’s Roo, Ro and Rio and hopefully Rafa’s red troop of never say die heroes.

    The only real thing I’m worried about now is how I’m going to pass my time. Three whole months without Football!!!

  2. I think Sir alex’s time is up. he should retire soon before MU start doing worse than this season. With Chelsea chasing 4 titles next season, i doubt MU can win the League Cup if they really wanted to.

  3. Man Utd’s success has been their downfall this past two seasons. EVERY TEAM wants to beat Man Utd, and the other teams ALWAYS lift their game when playing them.

    they’re a little more vulnerable than before, but when on form, they are still a huge threat and a good team.

    But i think Ferguson has probalby taken the team as far as he can already. I’d be alot more scared if Martin O’Neil takes over at Man Utd than if Ferguson stayed on.

  4. Football is such that success makes people deluded. Manyoo’s FA cup win last season satisfied the fans, but shrouded their view from the bigger problems they had – which was blown wide open this season.

    Arsenal? Their attacking football is great, but they are a defensive joke. Lauren and Kolo Toure are rubbish and Manyoo exposed all of it during the FA Cup final….just that they couldn’t finish it.

    And Liverpool?? Haha. Say what you like, but this is EXACTLY how it was after Houllier won the treble. Houllier didn’t play good football, but winning some cups made Liverpool look good and people worshipped him then. A few seasons later, their style of play still remained the same, but the same fans that idolised him before kicked him out. Yes, Liverpool won the Champions League, but did you guys not cringe everytime you saw them play in the league this season? Is that not the same team? Have the problems magically dissapeared just because you beat Milan?

    Say what you like about Chelsea, but at least the delusions have not gotten to them. Yet.

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