Controversial - chasing "The United Way" is holding us back as a club.

Jamie Shawcross

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I am well aware that I might take a ton of flack for this, but I have been thinking it for a while and what can I lose by sharing it? Its not like things can be worse for the club right now so here goes...

I think as a club and as a fan base we have lost sight of what it means to compete at the highest level against the best teams in modern football, because we have become obsessed with "The United way". What is the United way exactly? Pacy, relentlessly attacking football? Bringing youth through? Beyond that, what is it? I am pretty certain that every football club on the planet wants to play exciting football, win every game and give local lads a platform. No? Is it really truly unique to Manchester United?

LVG's and Jose's pragmatism in games was met with genuine disdain from us fans, and a lot of us believed for some reason that these managers were "going against the united way" intentionally?? In reality, these managers were grinding out results with the resources (players) they had available, in the way they saw possible. I am damn sure neither had any interest in getting on the wrong side of the fan base. I think we severely misread the situation, and hugely underappreciated both at the time, in hindsight of course.

We are putting too much pressure on ourselves as a club, and far too much pressure on the players to PLAY A CERTAIN WAY, and our performances are constantly judged against this expectation that we ourselves have set. We have set a bar, and when the players inevitably don't meet our expectations it's doom and gloom, and "we have fallen so far from grace" and "united are not the same as they were" cries grow ever louder.

Our appetite to play this "way" has resulted in us hiring a worryingly unproven manager at the biggest club on the earth, to appease the fans demands of this "United way", failing to foresee the pitfalls. What did we expect from Solskjaer, really? I will be honest, the kid in me saw him winning everything in sight and this all being a big romantic roller coaster and us all telling the scousers and the noisy neighbours to stuff it, but this is the real world.

We NEED to drop this immediate expectation of a certain playing style whilst the club finds its feet. Once we have the bones of a decent squad, then we can progress and start playing with more freedom. Until then, if we keep on demanding it (in my opinion demanding the near impossible) with these players we have and the board we have, then we are going to be forever disappointed, and we will never stop sacking managers.

First, we need to focus on how to be hard to beat. Second we need to learn how to grind out results. Then we use the confidence from our progression as a springboard to go out and be more expressive on the ball. We are nowhere near that, a long way off. Years.

If we keep "The United way" as a requirement for incoming managers, we limit ourselves and hold ourselves back, and we get left behind.

The club needs serious, serious work before we even think about our playing style.
 

VP89

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I don't think many people give a shit about the United way anymore. They just want to see us win and win well.
 

Chairman Steve

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I’m gonna say it. This “The *insert team here* Way” schtick is dumb and meaningless. Pretty sure everyone’s way is they want to see lots and lots of goals, have local boys score them and win most games. I don’t think anyone sets out to do anything differently like “Let’s be boring as feck, clatter the opposition, just score one goal and sit on it.
 

Greck

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Because everyone interprets it how they want to. Listening to Neville and Keane make me realise this. It's very subjective.
 

Revaulx

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I firmly believe that "the United way" or absence of it got our last 2 managers the sack.
Well I’ve seen absolutely nothing since his first three or so games in charge to suggest that Ole is remotely capable of providing the attacking football part of the United Way.

LvG certainly didn’t stint on the promoting youth part.
 

AshRK

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The united way was always about winning and scoring goals. Sir alex was a winner and so was Busby. That's what United way will and should always be.
 

Adam-Utd

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I don’t care what you want to call it.

playing good football, scoring goals and not conceding goals = happy fans.

whatever is the best formula for this is what we need.

I personally don’t think ole is trying too hard to reach the United way, if anything we don’t use the wings enough.
 

adexkola

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I'm not sure why people find it so hard to come to terms with the idea that there is a tradition at United. It's not unique, but many successful clubs and businesses in general claim to have some sort of way or ethos.

To what extent should that guide daily operations and decisions is open for debate, but denying it's existence outright is erroneous.
 

Dwazza Gunnar Solskjær

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The club shouldn't have to find its fecking feet.

We were on top of the pile when Fergie retired and the board has screwed it up massively.
 

Nick7

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There’s no such thing as the United Way imo. That was media narrative more than anything. There was the Fergie way, going forward we need a manager with his own ideas and the competency to execute them. Not just the manager but the owners and the board too.
 

sullydnl

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I don't believe in "the United way" either really as it doesn't actually mean much.

I do believe that proactive, attack-minded, modern football is the best route to winning through, as demonstrated by the two dominant teams in the league atm. And, crucially, when the managers who introduced that style of football to those clubs first arrived they started on that approach from the beginning, even with whatever flaws they had in their squad. Because if that's the right way to play then that's the right way to play.

"Pragmatic" football (which in reality is often dogmatic) fundamentally has more limitations imo. You don't need to believe in the United way to believe the club should have principles and an approach it sticks to.
 

r3idy

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I have no problem with the Utd way. What is it ? Principles on how to play football. Each good club have this. They dont always deliver alarm Liverpool.under Souness or Hodgson, both periods conveniently airbrushed from their illustrious history.

The Issue we have had is that publicly Woodward will always eulogise about Youth, Attacking Football and the Utd way. The three previous managers were never good fits for this. The pressure to deliver results first and foremost before swashbuckling attacking football.

Under different circumstances, no problem with bold, risky, attacking football to try and win some silverware. They are not mutually exclusive nor doni think it's a pipe dream to demand it. Conditions are not there to deliver it.
 

adexkola

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And there should be a daily raffle that allows the maximum of one user per day to make these fecking football existential threads. We're a football club underperforming, you would think the world's ending reading some posts on here.
 

tomaldinho1

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It doesn't exist, it's like the West Ham way... no one can actually say what it is other than the loose idea of 'attacking football, young players etc'

Since SAF we've had long ball 4-4-2 with Moyes, fanatical possession based football with LVG, Mourinho's tour bus and now out-of-his-depth Ole's counter until death. It's been a shambles.
 

adexkola

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It doesn't exist, it's like the West Ham way... no one can actually say what it is other than the loose idea of 'attacking football, young players etc'

Since SAF we've had long ball 4-4-2 with Moyes, fanatical possession based football with LVG, Mourinho's tour bus and now out-of-his-depth Ole's counter until death. It's been a shambles.
Of course it exists. Has it been adhered to? No, but that doesn't mean it's absent. It's more an indication of a lack of strategic leadership that we've swung from extreme to extreme without any success.

It's easy to say no ethos exists when all your CEO is good for is getting noodle sponsorship deals in Taiwan.
 

tomaldinho1

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Of course it exists. Has it been adhered to? No, but that doesn't mean it's absent. It's more an indication of a lack of strategic leadership that we've swung from extreme to extreme without any success.

It's easy to say no ethos exists when all your CEO is good for is getting noodle sponsorship deals in Taiwan.
Define it then.
 

hobbers

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It doesn't exist and it never existed.

It's just a convenient way to dodge the fact that we had two incredible managers. Take those periods out and what are we left with?
 

Amir

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United's tradition, or the United way, is very basic the way I see it. It's not like Barcelona's style of play, for instance. It's about developing youth and attacking football - and there are different ways to play attacking football, which means different managers can instill their own style.

Problem is we've appointed managers who are either not good enough or over the hill.

The United Way is not an issue, really.
 

Robbie Boy

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Controversial - Ole is a thoroughly shit manager and easily one of the worst in the league, if not the worst.
 

berbasloth4

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nice post. i for one just want to see us winning in anyway possible. most important thing in sport is winning. if we do it playing good football its a bonus.
 

Eckers99

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Investment in youth, passion, drama, late goals, a certain arrogance, flair players, pace, exciting wingers, resilience...are the things we all want. They're what, at our best, we're known for. And what we should aspire to have in every team we put out.
 

hn4manunited

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Ole is trying to chase the United Way as it was defined and implemented during a time where managers either had the luxury of time, conditions to play young players, conditions/luck of a great group of young players coming through the academy. The times have moved on. We are no longer in a time where we can implement the same thing with the current conditions. The United Way has to evolve and adapt to the current footballing era.
 

tomaldinho1

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You want an MBA 101 prospectus?
Just you said it exists so am interested to see what you think it is. Usually posters just peddle the whole 'youth, attacking football, flying wingers' buzzwords but intrigued because I think it's just become a buzzword of it's own and our fans have latched onto it.
 

Robbie Boy

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Just you said it exists so am interested to see what you think it is. Usually posters just peddle the whole 'youth, attacking football, flying wingers' buzzwords but intrigued because I think it's just become a buzzword of it's own and our fans have latched onto it.
Yeah it’s pure bollox, to be fair. Most on here just use the Fergie era as a reference point to the so called “United way”. It’s like the person in the office that loves buzz words but when you question them on what they mean, they come back with silly phrases or more buzz words.
 

Rendezvous with Ronaldo

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It doesn't exist and it never existed.

It's just a convenient way to dodge the fact that we had two incredible managers. Take those periods out and what are we left with?
Exactly. A point I've made several times on here.
 

Fosu-Mens

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I am well aware that I might take a ton of flack for this, but I have been thinking it for a while and what can I lose by sharing it? Its not like things can be worse for the club right now so here goes...

I think as a club and as a fan base we have lost sight of what it means to compete at the highest level against the best teams in modern football, because we have become obsessed with "The United way". What is the United way exactly? Pacy, relentlessly attacking football? Bringing youth through? Beyond that, what is it? I am pretty certain that every football club on the planet wants to play exciting football, win every game and give local lads a platform. No? Is it really truly unique to Manchester United?

LVG's and Jose's pragmatism in games was met with genuine disdain from us fans, and a lot of us believed for some reason that these managers were "going against the united way" intentionally?? In reality, these managers were grinding out results with the resources (players) they had available, in the way they saw possible. I am damn sure neither had any interest in getting on the wrong side of the fan base. I think we severely misread the situation, and hugely underappreciated both at the time, in hindsight of course.

We are putting too much pressure on ourselves as a club, and far too much pressure on the players to PLAY A CERTAIN WAY, and our performances are constantly judged against this expectation that we ourselves have set. We have set a bar, and when the players inevitably don't meet our expectations it's doom and gloom, and "we have fallen so far from grace" and "united are not the same as they were" cries grow ever louder.

Our appetite to play this "way" has resulted in us hiring a worryingly unproven manager at the biggest club on the earth, to appease the fans demands of this "United way", failing to foresee the pitfalls. What did we expect from Solskjaer, really? I will be honest, the kid in me saw him winning everything in sight and this all being a big romantic roller coaster and us all telling the scousers and the noisy neighbours to stuff it, but this is the real world.

We NEED to drop this immediate expectation of a certain playing style whilst the club finds its feet. Once we have the bones of a decent squad, then we can progress and start playing with more freedom. Until then, if we keep on demanding it (in my opinion demanding the near impossible) with these players we have and the board we have, then we are going to be forever disappointed, and we will never stop sacking managers.

First, we need to focus on how to be hard to beat. Second we need to learn how to grind out results. Then we use the confidence from our progression as a springboard to go out and be more expressive on the ball. We are nowhere near that, a long way off. Years.

If we keep "The United way" as a requirement for incoming managers, we limit ourselves and hold ourselves back, and we get left behind.

The club needs serious, serious work before we even think about our playing style.
SAF was fairly pragmatic in away games during his last seasons as a manager.

The two rootcauses that holds us back as a club are:
1. Our core business as a footballclub is $$$ and not football.
2. We have a board and upper structure full of people either incompetent or lacking any understanding of football or with the viewpoint that one cannot perform on the pitch while being financial productive.

Glazers and/or Woodward are responsible for these problems having occured over a number of years. Short term it is fair to put some blame on the 4 different managers shortcomings and our players. One will never fix the short term problems without fixing the long term problems i.e. Glazers/Woodward.
 
Last edited:

MoskvaRed

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I have no idea what “the United Way” is and I had never heard the phrase until about 10 years ago. Basically we need to hire the best manager we can get and support him financially and, probably, structurally through a Director of Football. Other interpretations are basically Ferguson nostalgia, which is why around 47% of people on here are voting to keep a manager who would not make Sunderland’s shortlist for manager.
 

Blueman

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Been saying that for years. "The United Way" was SAF. Given that team, that squad, those times, even the same inspired purchases, I dont think any other manager would have achieved what SAF did. He got the most out of individuals, a leader of men, and that's such an important attribute.

The manager is THE most important catalyst for any successful club imo.
 

arthurka

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We haven't been close to the United way for years, that has had an hand in us really sucking.
 

el3mel

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"The United way" has just become a pure cliche phrase to be totally honest. You ask someone about what that means and they say "playing youth and attacking football" as if this has been exclusive for United or something. Barca also play attacking football and many of their recent legends are from their academy, does that mean it can be also called "the Barca way" ? It has just become an overused cliche.
 

711

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"The United way" has just become a pure cliche phrase to be totally honest. You ask someone about what that means and they say "playing youth and attacking football" as if this has been exclusive for United or something. Barca also play attacking football and many of their recent legends are from their academy, does that mean it can be also called "the Barca way" ? It has just become an overused cliche.
So the Busby babes, Docherty's revolution, the class of 92, all built on youth and pace, count for nothing? By all means support Barca if you want, but we have our history too, and ancestor worship is an inbuilt human condition, you won't change that.