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

Mark Pawelek

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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 ...
I going to define the United Way as:
  • pride in yourself, your club, its tradition, and your team-mates
  • mostly playing attacking football which inspires its audience and players
  • focus on improving the art of football
  • not being afraid to try new ideas
  • winning with style
I'm going out on a limb here and calling these things good; The United Way = good stuff.

The problem with "LVG's and Jose's pragmatism in games" is it never really looked like winning centre stage again. It was stuck in a rut; ignoring new developments as if the football of a one or three decades ago was still state-of-the-art. The attacking football of Marcelo Bielsa acolytes, or the new German scientific attacking football always looks likely to win and inspire. I think LvG himself would agree with that. Of course a manager should vary his style to suit circumstances, such as injury crisis, or coming up against a technically superior team, playing away in tough cup matches. That's why I'd prefer one of these German coaches with a proper education in sport and football - both intellectually and at the coal-face. Nagelsmann next summer please. Caretaker till then.
 
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Alabaster Codify7

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The United Way is just an excuse for why we are doing shit.

It absolves our board of blame for periods of severe under investment, neglect and poor appointments.

None of these are the reason we are shit, even though the manager appointed and players signed or not signed make or break a team's success.

It's because the manager just "didn't get the club" enough.
 

roonster09

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fecking hell, people live in their own bubble where they read just the things they want.
 

Grande

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- It’s vain cowardice to refrain from doing something just to avoid becoming a cliché. Clichés are only a problem when you talk the talk and walk the walk without understanding why.

- The notion that something needs to be ‘exclusive’ to be a part of ones basic values or identity is also misunderstood. Most of my real core values, I share with millions of people.

- The United Way is not a category that can be defined by a set of rules. On the contrary, it’s a family likeness with a group of cherished people and cultures that we’ve come to love and associate with Manchester United. Railwaymen, The Outcasts, The Busby Babes, The Doc, Alex Ferguson are intrinsically built into this ‘we know what it is when we see it’. So are tricksters like Meredith, Best, Giggs, Cantona and Ronaldo (the first year). So are grafters like Nobby Stiles and Roy Keane. All this doesn’t make a checklist to cross out.

But we know when we see something that clearly isn’t. Anyone will tell you the fourth places we got under Atkinson was a lot more like United than both the 2nd and 8th place Dave Sexton gave us. You can try to describe why, but it’s as easy to see as the difference between a bee and a fly.
 

sparx99

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There has never been an overarching philosophy at Utd.

At the same time we’ve had 6 years of really poor quality football. If we had been an amazing defensive team in that time like 90’s Milan or Simeone’s teams people would have wanted more excitement but nobody would’ve been calling for the manager to be sacked.

Mourinho successfully did that his first year at the club. LVG had mixed success with one 4th place and a trophy. It’s when the performances are boring and not successful (enough) that fans have cried The United Way and called for the sack.
 
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Our problem is we think we're better than other clubs. It's our arrogance and complacency that has held us back. The "United Way" is one of many examples of our arrogance.

We seem to be chasing an outdated and quite frankly impossible dream, the academy lads all starting while winning titles. The problem is the league is far stronger now than it was back in the 1990s. Our academy boys are not going to compete with top teams bringing in the best talent in the world into the league, a lot of our fans can't seem to grasp that.
 

Kemizee

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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.
Of course there is no matter how we pretend it doesn't exist and it is partly why we are in this big mess today.

Some will say the United way is about fast wing play, transitions and goals (this is not unique to United btw, most if not all top clubs aim to play this way).

The United way is why we are so obsessed with signing British players at the expense of their foreign counterparts despite it being clear they are more expensive and barely better than the latter.

The United way is why we field and keep playing homegrown, local lads who are not up to scratch simply because we hope to recreate another class of 92

The United way is why we keep backing instead of sacking out of depth, underperforming managers because 'we always give our managers time and we are not a sacking club' . Even when we do, we normally leave it too late compared to other top clubs who act swiftly.

The United way is why we turn our noses at quality players who would improve us massively because they don't have 'a certain temperament and attitude, don't work hard enough and don't get the club'

The United way is the reason why a Paul Pogba for instance is not much appreciated but Jesse Lingard and Rashford are because they run around a lot compared to Pogba who may not but delivers killer passes and racks up good assists.

The United way is the reason we feel everyone who ever played for us is entitled to become a good manager, coach or DOF. After all they played with Fergie and know what the club is all about.

The United way is why we keep hold of players like Young, Jones etc for instance because they play for the shirt and have been here for a while and actually reward them with new contracts.

The United way is why certain supporters against all the evidence right before them keep backing a manager becuase 'if we give him time, he will automatically become a tactical genius'
 

Johan07

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The "United Way" has always been a more philosophical thing than anything else. We have never had the structure at the club as an Ajax or Barcelona. It might be changing now with all the money spent on the youth setup and the scouting network. But it needs time to settle now.
 

AshRK

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And that could be used to describe any team. It's nonsense.
So you are saying winning is nonsense. There would not have been any united way or sir alex way if we were not winning. The club is/was built on foundation to win games by never giving up till the final whistle. That's what sir Alex made this club to be and that's what Matt Busby made this club to be.
 

davidmichael

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None of Moyes, LVG or Jose set up to play anything like Sir Alex and even though Ole knows ‘The United Way’ far better than those three did he’s nowhere near good enough tactically or coach wise to implement it.

I’m too young to remember the 70’s and early to mid 80’s but from what my Dad says we still played a certain way even if it didn’t result in anything other than a few FA Cups, we’ve always played attacking football with pace out wide and scored goals.

We’ve moved further and further away from everything Sir Alex built, he may have left with a few things needing to be strengthened and upgraded but Sir Alex left us as the biggest team in the country and league champions so the foundations we very much in place to build on.

We’ve literally seen the club of stripped of everything that was considered ‘The United Way’ so if anything it’s the fact we moved away from it so rapidly that’s put us where we are. Moyes tried to put his stamp on us so much he got rid of everyone that worked with Sir Alex and decided that Rio and Vidic needed to watch tapes of Phil fecking Jagielka on the art of defending despite being world class players.

LVG then changed everything from how it was under Moyes but further away from how it was only a year or so before by implementing his own “philosophy” that he had used at Ajax and Barca. Then we had Jose who very much has his own way which is his way or the highway with lots of money thrown at it but a revolving door of players and drama which alienated the whole club.

What was needed was a continuation of Sir Alex’s work with the right mentality and characters and but a few fresh ideas, what we got was a complete 180 and overhaul carried out by clueless people in the boardroom that aren’t football people and managers that had no idea about the club so thought they could come in and just be successful doing what they wanted mixed with how successful we’d been.
 

Hammondo

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So you are saying winning is nonsense. There would not have been any united way or sir alex way if we were not winning. The club is/was built on foundation to win games by never giving up till the final whistle. That's what sir Alex made this club to be and that's what Matt Busby made this club to be.
That's basically standard managing.
 

Thaila-X

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Whatever the "United Way" is, it's not prioritizing profits and business success off the field at the expense of winning trophies and success on the pitch.

We need a manager/head coach with clearly defined principles of how he wants his teams to play and the ability to coach the current squad to play his way. I bang on about Graham Potter on here all the time, purely because he has began to implement the style of football he believes in at Brighton since being appointed in the summer. Have we seen signs that Ole has the ability to do the same? Perhaps in flashes, but whatever he's doing in training needs to be supported by efficient investment in players that will fit into the system (whatever that is), not just signing big names who might be available then trying to shoe horn them into the side.

Putting the United Way to oneside, whatever system we/Ole plays, it really doesn't matter if it's not successful. I mean, if we won the league playing Route One next season would we be sat around moaning about it not being the United Way? No, we'd just be glad to be competing again. Okay, maybe two/three years of sustained success we might get a bit bored of it but still, at the end of the day it's a results business and we all crave success.
 

Skills

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There's nothing wrong with expecting attacking football. Real Madrid have sacked league winning managers because the football wasn't good enough, so it's not just something exclusive to United.

Barcelona and Ajax have a famed culture of bringing young players through.

What other clubs don't have is a set belief that you must do this under one manager. One manager if you give enough time, they will be good enough to keep for eternity. Now that's just fecking dumb, and it's exclusive to Man Utd.
 

meamth

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The United way for me is always been stand by your manager and your team. Like Sir Alex's last words before he retires, like those times after Munich, always support your team.

There's a good reason why our supporters are the most patient compared to others.
 

He'sRaldo

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It's our legacy.


For instance, clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Liverpool, Juventus, Milan, Inter, Ajax, etc all have undeniable legacies that shaped the clubs they became, and most of these clubs are mindful of them, and continue to make decisions based on them.


Additionally, a lot of these legacies were formed due to what the clubs were doing when they were succeeding, which is similar to ourselves. That's not a bad thing, it's just how it works.


I don't get the need to constantly deny this just because we're not succeeding currently.
 

VP89

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It's our legacy.


For instance, clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Liverpool, Juventus, Milan, Inter, Ajax, etc all have undeniable legacies that shaped the clubs they became, and most of these clubs are mindful of them, and continue to make decisions based on them.


Additionally, a lot of these legacies were formed due to what the clubs were doing when they were succeeding, which is similar to ourselves. That's not a bad thing, it's just how it works.


I don't get the need to constantly deny this just because we're not succeeding currently.
What is our legacy?
 

Inigo Montoya

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BS!

What’s held us up is a structural weakness that begins with the ownership through to the CEO and flitters down to the coaches and players. Winning philosophies come in many forms and SAF didn’t stick to one dogmatically. Successful teams are pragmatic unless you’re Barca of recent years and their team was built round several of the greatest players to have graced the game.

Feck this isn’t even controversial. It’s just another view in an era that’s going south.
 

He'sRaldo

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What is our legacy?
Good question. A lot of it is the things we did which the world knows us for (a lot of which was while we were winning), or the things we did to overcome adversity.


For instance,

i) Giving a manager time made us one of the most successful clubs in the world, so that invariably is etched in our legacy, for better or for worse.

ii) Having youth who come through the academy and view us as the pinnacle, and thus spend their entire career with us, is something we've done to great success and thus is solidified in our legacy.

iii) Never giving up in the face of adversity is a big one that originated off the field, showed up in our play, and eventually became a staple for quite a while.

iv) Never being boring, even when pragmatic, is something we've entertained the world with, and people have become associated with us.



And that's just off the top of my head, there's a few more I could write. In any case, things like that I would say are the legacy we've left as a club thus far.
 

Josep Dowling

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There is no such thing as the United way. It was the way Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Matt Busby set up their teams.

If there really was the United way we would have a distinct style and hire a manager to implement and continue that style. The fact we haven't done this merely proves further there is no such thing as the United way.
 

VP89

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Good question. A lot of it is the things we did which the world knows us for (a lot of which was while we were winning), or the things we did to overcome adversity.


For instance,

i) Giving a manager time made us one of the most successful clubs in the world, so that invariably is etched in our legacy, for better or for worse.

ii) Having youth who come through the academy and view us as the pinnacle, and thus spend their entire career with us, is something we've done to great success and thus is solidified in our legacy.

iii) Never giving up in the face of adversity is a big one that originated off the field, showed up in our play, and eventually became a staple for quite a while.

iv) Never being boring, even when pragmatic, is something we've entertained the world with, and people have become associated with us.



And that's just off the top of my head, there's a few more I could write. In any case, things like that I would say are the legacy we've left as a club thus far.
None of these are exclusive us. It's a nice to have for most clubs. This belief of a United way is overcooked and over romanticised.
 

frookydinho

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There is no such thing as the United way. It was the way Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Matt Busby set up their teams.

If there really was the United way we would have a distinct style and hire a manager to implement and continue that style. The fact we haven't done this merely proves further there is no such thing as the United way.
Absolutely agree.

The United Way was the mentality. The mentality of the Managers/Coaches/Players. Win games at all costs.
Be relentless in getting wins. Managers to be completely ruthless. Look at SAF - he got rid of players who had given their all once they became of no use to the team. His sole mission was to make United win at all costs. We will only start to be successful once we get that mentality back.

There's a reason we were the most hated team on the land, and we had reason for that arrogance.

To many nice guys at the club now, we don't win by being nice.
 

He'sRaldo

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None of these are exclusive us. It's a nice to have for most clubs. This belief of a United way is overcooked and over romanticised.
Perhaps. It may not be exclusive, but when people talk about United of old, that's most likely what they will mention. Exclusive or not, it is our identity.

And isn't that what happens to most good things of the past? They get romanticized? It's a normal feature, a consequence of those periods being our most successful ever.
 

Shamana

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Mourinho and LVG didn't really grind out results and win us big trophies. They made top 4 both just once each and won us the mighty europa leauge and Fa cup while spending pretty big. It's not like they had us geniuenly challenging for the title.
 

VP89

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Perhaps. It may not be exclusive, but when people talk about United of old, that's most likely what they will mention. Exclusive or not, it is our identity.

And isn't that what happens to most good things of the past? They get romanticized? It's a normal feature, a consequence of those periods being our most successful ever.
But how is changing managers when they are shite going against the United way?
 

Forevergiggs1

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Of course there's a United way. It's not even about arrogance but we have a philosophy to play a certain way which stems back from Sir Matt. One of his famous speeches was talking to his players about factory workers having boring jobs and that the least United could do was give them something to enjoy at the weekend.

Since then United have tried to implement that philosophy even when we weren't winning titles. Of course we've had our ups and downs but the aim was always to entertain. The Busby babes speaks for itself which is why we've been credited with bringing youth through till this day. Call it the United way or our philosophy. They're both the same thing and if people deny this exists then I'm basically stunned.

The Glazers are not only sucking our club dry but are taking away our identity and if people choose to believe that our club isn't based on an identity or "the United way" or our philosophy, call it what you want then we really are fecked.
 

He'sRaldo

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But how is changing managers when they are shite going against the United way?
I don't think it is.

Managers are given time but that is relative to the times and circumstances. If after a while there's no progress in any area then, of course, we'll have to make a change.
 

tomaldinho1

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There is a gap between the buzzwords thrown around, and the assumption that one of Britain's most successful and followed clubs does not have some sort of ethos.

People in this thread shit on the idea of bringing through youth but it's been an indelible part of our identity for the better. Ditto for attacking football. Every top club wins, that's not enough to establish an ethos or philosophy. United still had a brand in between Busby and Ferguson, an era of our history many people brush over like it's irrelevant.

If you go on the investor page of the club, littered through the prospectus are mentions to our legacy not only as a winning side.

Finally (because this thread is a circlejerk), every top business has a brand, or "way" if you will. Common folk may dismiss such terms as nonsense but ask senior folk and they will tell you the key importance of establishing a unique identity that drives strategic planning. It impacts your bottom line in a way that just making money or just winning trophies doesn't.

Is it holding us back? I don't see how it is. Incompetent leadership driven by a lack of vision is holding us back. We've hired 1 manager who couldn't have been more anti-United way and that got us nowhere. Is it possible to win and be successful otherwise? Of course. But that's not enough to make the term "United Way" a scapegoat.
Of course the club talks about legacy and of course there's some idea of how we should play but my point is I just don't think it's actually tangible/justified. For balance, this is true of most football clubs because managerial changes and ownership changes inevitably disrupt any long term ethos building. It's not even a negative that we don't have a 'United way', Chelsea are the most decorated PL side of the last decade and they chop and change like there's no tomorrow but it is harmful to fall back on an ideal that doesn't really exist because it's just words without meaning.

Our managerial appointments are proof that there isn't really a style - you couldn't pick 3 more different managers than Moyes, LVG and Mou. Then the issue with Ole is this 'United way' is what's keeping him in the job because he 'knows the club' whatever that means. It's only since things have been going badly that people have been harking back to our past successes and thinking that's how things should be done but it's inaccurate. I'd say we hold onto a slightly romantic idea of being one of the best at bring youth through and consequently overrate a number of our youth prospects because of the effect the class of '92 had on football. In reality though, we haven't really produced any top level players since then (bar arguably Pogba) and that's 20 odd years ago - are we actually that good at doing it?

I understand your view and where your coming from because United are associated with certain things but I think when you analyse it, most of the buzzwords will be found in prospectuses, on 'Premier League years' or on the caf from nostalgic posters. Very little will be grounded in the reality of what we see and have seen on the pitch and that's why it's dangerous. We are striving to be something that isn't real.
 

Maticmaker

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"The United way" is a term often referred to simply how the game is played at the club, but I think its much more than that, for me it is (or was) the spirit within the club to overcome adversity.

From the rebuilding of a bombed-out OT stadium after the war, to the courage to enter European football when the English League was opposed, to the bravery and survival instincts after Munich and of course to winning the famous treble with two late, late, 'Fergie-time' goals. This for me is the United way; however you can add other things, like; winning and playing attractive football, and the theatre of dreams and the world class players who have worn the shirt, and having the largest capacity stadium of any PL club (albeit due for a face-lift) with a sell-out of tickets for almost every home game, having been managed by two of the most successful managers in football in this country, possibly in the world, both knighted for their services to football, etc. etc.

We are Manchester United and everybody in the world of football and beyond has something to say/ or has an opinion, about this club, love us or hate us, we are never ignored... that is the United way
 

steffyr2

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Mourinho and LVG didn't really grind out results and win us big trophies. They made top 4 both just once each and won us the mighty europa leauge and Fa cup while spending pretty big. It's not like they had us geniuenly challenging for the title.
To be fair, LVG won 50% of the FA cups he competed in, and Jose was top 4 in 50% of the year's he competed (and 100% in cl qualification). "The United Way" is the excuse used to pretend those things don't matter, that Utd is above such petty results.
 

devilish

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The United way, the way Gaz/Ole sees it never existed. Sir Alex bought success (he bought 11 players between 1988 and 1989), he changed systems from hardworking (double side) to creative/youth based (treble) to one build around a foreign star (3rd treble) right to a cautious side built around ageing players (his last league title). Sure, if United were lucky to have top kids waiting at the academy then he would play them. If there were top young players available then Sir Alex would buy them up. But nothing was bigger then the club. That included the manager's philosophy.
 

Bobcat

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It's not particular style of football, rather it's a mentality.

"The United way" means that everyone from the guys at the top to the tea lady are United through and through. I dont know about the tea lady, but its pretty evident that the owners, that balloon faced shit Ed and too many of the players dont have that attitude.

We used to have players like Vidic, Scholes, Keane and even Ole (though his stock on here has fallen quite a bit) that not only were talented, but were proud to play here and would give 100% for the club. Not so much the case with the current squad
 

Eckers99

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There is no Utd way. No one used this term when Sir Alex was here. No one said when he got the job...hey you better do it the Utd way. And it certainly wasn't used prior to that.
Even if there was this famed Utd Way that people keep going on about and it's youth, fast attacking football blah blah blah. Do you base the next 10, 50, 100 years on this? Or do you move with the times. Adapt, revolutionize. If anything can be learnt from the glory days it's winning. Sir Alex above a was a winner. At all costs.
When we get a manager we should say. You have to play the Utd Way. What's that? Winning.
With winning you get all the other things we want. Goals, able to introduce youngsters in a productive way not just throwing them in, flair, arrogance, entertainment etc. All come from winning first.
You've got it totally wrong. Winning comes last, when you've got everything else right. You don't just suddenly start winning games, everything else has to be in place first. That was the case with pretty much every successful manager ever, from Fergie to Guardiola to Klopp.
 

Shamana

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To be fair, LVG won 50% of the FA cups he competed in, and Jose was top 4 in 50% of the year's he competed (and 100% in cl qualification). "The United Way" is the excuse used to pretend those things don't matter, that Utd is above such petty results.
It's not that it doesnt matter. It's that we spent huge money under Lvg and Mourinho. Wenger consistently finished in the top 4 and winning Fa cups without hardly spending any money. No united for fans for pining for that and we've only finished in the top 4 twice since Fergie.