The United way

Roane

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Morning all.

Just wanted to have a discussion on the phrase " the United way". Its something I hear a lot and even when discussing players who have come up in our youth set up/academy and/or indeed Ole, I hear they've been bought up the United way.

Well what is the United way? In your opinion.

Also do people think that maybe this is hindering us? Do we not maybe need to look beyond that? So Pep or Klopp are now implementing their own philosophy rather than what maybe the City or Liverpool way. To be fair it probably applies more to Klopp and Liverpool.

But it's a new era and the Liverpool method of ex players and internal promotions didn't take them to the promised land. It was "outsiders" implementing their own philosophy that got them to where they are now. So likes of Rafa and Klopp and possibly Houllier and Rodgers.

Without trying to be controversial it wasn't likes of Carra and Gerrard that have taken Liverpool to the next level but, taking the current crop, VVD and Mane and Salah. Potentially Suarez and and even Torres?

Do we need to maybe need to look beyond the United way and look to establishing a new "way" with managers and players?

We always point to likes of Neville, Becks, Giggs and Scholes as United through and through yet arguably the most influential player for us was Cantona. A short sharp tenure that had more of an impact on the team and the players mentioned than previously.

I could go on to metion Evra and Vidic and Rio as players bought in who had that passion and winning mentality but were not youth/academy products. That was about SAF imo so the SAF way if you will. Players who were bought in and bought in to the managers philosophy. You can see this with Pep and Klopp too.

Football changes as do systems. So do we need to too? Do we need to find the next system or "way" rather than trying to stick to or revert to "the United way", whatever folk think that was/is?

Thoughts?
 
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It’s sentimental old fashioned bollocks, used to kill any discussion about new ideas at the football club. Of course it hinders us.

“Poch? He doesn’t know the United way”

Theres no such thing as the United way. Fergie had his habits, like buying from domestic rivals & blooding youth players, but he was also very flexible & changed his style several times.
 
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Bobcat

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Its developing your own players, but its a bit of a cliche really and (largely) based on the class of 92, which was a once in a century occurence.

Of course we should focus on bringing through the very best in our academy, but unfortantly it wont be enough in this age of oil clubs
 

andersj

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But it's a new era and the Liverpool method of ex players and internal promotions didn't take them to the promised land. It was "outsiders" implementing their own philosophy that got them to where they are now.
But this is the United Way. At least the United Way by Ferguson. He was always looking to adapt new methodes and approaches. Remember, when he hired Queiroz before anyone of us had heard of MourinhoQueiroz was Mourinhos teacher at some point. And both Queiroz and Mourinho (and Benitez) was early adopters of «tactical periodization» (today everyone use that approach).

That is just one example. There is countless others. Including how he tried using statistics more after he heard how Wenger used it.

Ferguson was really good at picking up on and adopting new trends. That kept him and Man Utd at top for so long. The biggest mistake of the past decade was probably missing out on how important data use would become.
 

Adam-Utd

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The only United way i'm proud of is using our youth academy to full effect.

Keeping youngsters flowing through the club, we definiely do that well. We have a great crop of Shoretire, Diallo, Mejbri and soon Hugill and possibly Laird to join them.

Tactics shouldn't be set in stone for any club, you have to evolve with the times. Our fascination on quick counter attacks can be detrimental at times.
 
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Its developing your own players, but its a bit of a cliche really and (largely) based on the class of 92, which was a once in a century occurence.

Of course we should focus on bringing through the very best in our academy, but unfortantly it wont be enough in this age of oil clubs
Yup, for the rest of Fergie's reign it really was a rare occurrence.

All clubs use their academy when they can in fairness, but not at the cost of the first team and as you say, it's harder than ever now but even the super rich use it if players are good enough. Foden had to wait, but he's first choice now and it is a very very difficult place to be "good enough". Liverpool have always done it, CHO & Mason Mount are Chelsea first teamers.

I'd argue we have too often used it to our detriment.
 

Roane

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The only United way i'm proud of is using our youth academy to full effect.

Keeping youngsters flowing through the club, we definiely do that well. We have a great crop of Shoretire, Diallo, Mejbri and soon Hugill and possibly Laird to join them.

Tactics shouldn't be set in stone for any club, you have to evolve with the times. Our fascination on quick counter attacks can be detrimental at times.
Yeah I like the youth aspect, although looking back bar the class of 92 many of our youth prospects moved on to have careers.

With regards to the counter attacks currently it's our plan A, B and C.
 

Sparky Rhiwabon

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I think the United way has a few different facets to it:
  • Playing entertaining, attacking football
  • Promoting young players into the first team
  • Winning trophies
  • Doing all of the above whilst the club, its players, staff and fans contribute to the community and beyond
 

stw2022

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It's meaningless. There isn't a United Way. How we played under Ferugson in the early to mid 90s is different to how we played in the late 90s and early 2000s, which was different to how we played from mid 2000s to late 2000s, which again was different to how we played under him in the early 2010s. It's revisionism to pretend otherwise.

I think in terms of it being this 'never give up' spirit, it is actually quite corrosive in a way because we were able to do that when needed under Ferguson because for 20+ years we were an exceptional side who used to dominate the majority of matches. Now starting games badly and asthmatically struggling to claw it back against poor opposition is being heralded as the 'United way'. It's awful and almost as if poor preparation and constantly starting games badly is something to be proud of.
 

Lentwood

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It’s sentimental old fashioned bollocks, used to kill any discussion about new ideas at the football club. Of course it hinders us.

“Poch? He doesn’t know the United way”

Theres no such thing as the United way. Fergie had his habits, like buying from domestic rivals & blooding youth players, but he was also very flexible & changed his style several times.
I completely disagree with this.

Every individual, group, team, society, business, nation, organisation etc...has to have a clear vision and philosophy in order to be successful. It's what motivates individuals and brings people together for the common good. Individuals that know what they are striving for perform better and work harder. Organisations that have a shared identity and common goals pull together in the same direction.

It's not about enforcing inflexible or ultimately pointless rules that dictate 'we must buy mainly British players' or 'we must have an average age equal to or less than 25'...it's an underlying belief in certain principles that will help ensure the club progresses in a sustainable and consistent manner.

In fact, you could argue that the evidence is right in-front of your eyes as to why we lost our way so badly. SAF had many strong belief, even if in those days nobody would take about 'philosophies' in relation to football. He believed in higher ideas over and above just thinking about the next game or even the next season. It's why clubs appoint Sporting Directors...so that individuals can come and go but the principles and philosophies don't go with them. SAF was basically our Manager but also our Sporting Director for 25 years.

After SAF, we had literally no idea what we wanted to do as a club. We had no strategic direction or vision. We had Ed Woodward coming out and talking about 'Adult Disneyland' and us having the resources to outbid any team in the transfer market. Every transfer window was a mad dash at the last-minute to bring in 'names' who might shift a few shirts. We were a laughing stock amongst agents and other clubs who time and time again used our reckless naivety to drive up the salaries and values of their players. We let good, hard-working players leave the club on a pittance and replaced them with overpaid mercenary players who don't give two hoots about what shirt they are wearing as long as there are enough zero's on their pay cheque. We handed out contracts like they where sweets, long-standing squad players who had served the club well were suddenly on less than half the salary of player's who had been here 5 minutes and contributed nothing. We went through three managers in no time, all with completely juxtaposed footballing ideas and philosophies and this led to a FrankenSquad made up of Moyes' panic buys, LvGs flexible footballers and Jose's Space Jam-style monster mash of 6ft+ players and workhorses.

Ole is the first manager we have had post-SAF with a vision. He is the first manager we have had who is willing to put the long-term interests of the club above his own. He is the only manager we have had since SAF who recognises that it's not about him, that the club existed a long-time before he did and will go on a long time after he leaves. I know you don't like Solskjaer because your one million threads on the matter demonstrate that very clearly...and to be honest I would tend to agree that he probably isn't the very best TACTICIAN or COACH that Manchester United football club could employ right now. However, what Ole has done is start to lay the foundations for future success by giving the club purposes, ideas and values again.

No longer do players just get handed huge contracts. They have to earn them. No longer are we toyed with in the transfer market. We move to distance ourselves from the circus of big name signings. No longer do we bring in players for the sake of it, rather we look to use what we have or promote players from within and only sign players if they bring definite qualities to the club. Suddenly, the squad is starting to take shape again. Yes, there are a few holes, you can't fix everything overnight unless you're a Sheikh's plaything, but now more than ever you can see we're getting closer and are possibly only one or two top signings away from being really competitive and in the shake up for major trophies.

It's symptomatic of the modern game for fans and chairmen to want to have their cake and eat it...well I am afraid there are very few shortcuts for 99% of clubs in world football and a little bit of patience is required.
 

Adnan

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The United way was playing high tempo, fast transition football for me. Liverpool under Klopp have been playing the United way and I hope we can get back to playing that way again soon.
 

stw2022

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It's symptomatic of the modern game for fans and chairmen to want to have their cake and eat it...well I am afraid there are very few shortcuts for 99% of clubs in world football and a little bit of patience is required.

Apologies for just snipping this bit off the end but patience for patience sake is meaningless. It annoys me when people cite the first few years of Ferguson's reign as a reason why everyone should be gifted a three or four year grace period. I'm not saying this is what you're arguing but those who cite patience often do. Ferguson came into a club riled with problems, a drinking culture and worked to transform the club from the bottom up. He was also already a proven, exceptional football manager. This doesn't mean everyone deserves, or should get, the same level of patience and support.

That's a far cry from giving a manager three years based simply on the fact he played for us once. I see that as fairly insulting to what Ferguson did at the club in the early years; he earned the patience it wasn't just granted to him because it was assumed you could give any ex-player three or four years and he'd stand a decent chance of getting it right. I think this mindset is symptomatic of how low we value managers in this country.
 

Bilbo

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The United Way has more of a meaning, if indeed it has any meaning at all, off the pitch rather than on it.

On the surface it sounds sentimental, but I've worked for a lot of different companies and every single one of them had a unique culture, or set of core values, which tend to stick even through changes in leadership. In my experiences leaders who understood and embraced that culture were more successful. No reason why a football club should be any different.

From a fans perspective we should all be proud of our record with youth. We've had a home grown player in every single matchday squad since 1937. Thats incredible. If anything represents a United Way, it would be that, and that comes from a long standing culture within the club that believes in that and encourages it.

Every club wants to blood youth, and every club will field one if they are special, but our record suggests we have provided a better platform for that, consistently, over a long period of time.
 

AkaAkuma

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Having an ethos is important, It doesnt need to be inflexible.

When I saw the thread i thought it woild be about how little its now mentioned, go back a few years and it was a dominant topic.
 

Roane

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Having an ethos is important, It doesnt need to be inflexible.

When I saw the thread i thought it woild be about how little its now mentioned, go back a few years and it was a dominant topic.

I still see it mentioned a lot tbf.

One thing that I will say that often occurs to me is the mindset of managers. Especially likes of sir Matt a SAF. But also likes of Shankly et al. And maybe even Pep with his football ideals. They are uncompromising and ruthless to a degree.

Maybe the UTD way is having a manager with that mindset over some of the other things mentioned?
 

Spaghetti

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I don’t think “the United way” is particularly about a style of play or tactics. More about attitude, togetherness, playing youth players etc.

I might be wrong though.
 

The holy trinity 68

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Yup, for the rest of Fergie's reign it really was a rare occurrence.
That is a load of rubbish. It is a rare occurrence in football history for any club to bring through talents as good as the CO92 all at the same time. No club can expect to bring through players as good as Becks, Scholes, Giggs and Gary Neville in most years never mind from the same youth team.

SAF brought through many youth team players that were incorporated into the first team squad, they don't always have to become a world-beater for it to be the United way, squad players are also the United way. Brown, Butt, Phil Neville, O'Shea, Fletcher, and Evans were very good squad players. Other squad players that won the league while having a decent amount of apps were Welbeck, Cleverley and Gibson.

The United Way is to also give youth players a chance to hopefully become squad players but unfortunately many were not good enough in the end, such as; Eagles, Drinkwater, Simpson, Bardsley, Shawcross, Spector, Chadwick etc. Most of them went on to have great careers elsewhere.

I would prefer we keep to the United Way/tradition as it separates this club and it's identity from other clubs.
 

Jeppers7

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Its developing your own players, but its a bit of a cliche really and (largely) based on the class of 92, which was a once in a century occurence.

Of course we should focus on bringing through the very best in our academy, but unfortantly it wont be enough in this age of oil clubs
Because Matt Busby never existed? :rolleyes:
 

wolvored

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There was the Fergie ways and this is what's looked at as the utd way. I said ways as Fergie didn't play the same all the way through his tenure. Things evolve and we need to as well. You haven't got time to persevere with a Fletcher year on year until he becomes average to decent. Ole is stuck in a rose tinted view that he needs to be a Fergie clone without having the skillset.
 

Roane

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That is a load of rubbish. It is a rare occurrence in football history for any club to bring through talents as good as the CO92 all at the same time. No club can expect to bring through players as good as Becks, Scholes, Giggs and Gary Neville in most years never mind from the same youth team.

SAF brought through many youth team players that were incorporated into the first team squad, they don't always have to become a world-beater for it to be the United way, squad players are also the United way. Brown, Butt, Phil Neville, O'Shea, Fletcher, and Evans were very good squad players. Other squad players that won the league while having a decent amount of apps were Welbeck, Cleverley and Gibson.

The United Way is to also give youth players a chance to hopefully become squad players but unfortunately many were not good enough in the end, such as; Eagles, Drinkwater, Simpson, Bardsley, Shawcross, Spector, Chadwick etc. Most of them went on to have great careers elsewhere.

I would prefer we keep to the United Way/tradition as it separates this club and it's identity from other clubs.
Just playing DA here

But isn't bringing through academy players something all clubs do? Arguably the lower clubs would need this more due to limited funds etc. Obviously where big clubs can keep certain players, lower clubs often get raided for any success stories.

similarly playing a certain way is more associated with Sam Allardyce type teams than those who want to win and achieve trophy success. The bigger teams need to evolve and keep up with times. From total football to tika taka to our wingers, it brings success in cycles no?

So ultimately is it about likes of Busby, Ferguson, Shankly, and now Pep and Klopp that is the ultimate difference? Their drive, mindset, determination?
 

The holy trinity 68

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There was the Fergie ways and this is what's looked at as the utd way. I said ways as Fergie didn't play the same all the way through his tenure. Things evolve and we need to as well. You haven't got time to persevere with a Fletcher year on year until he becomes average to decent. Ole is stuck in a rose tinted view that he needs to be a Fergie clone without having the skillset.
Sorry but how is he stuck in a rose tinted view?
 

GlasgowCeltic

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I think the United way has a few different facets to it:
  • Playing entertaining, attacking football
  • Promoting young players into the first team
  • Winning trophies
  • Doing all of the above whilst the club, its players, staff and fans contribute to the community and beyond
Sounds about the same as Barca's "mes que un club" rhetoric (or West Ham's "West Ham way" minus the trophies)
 

The holy trinity 68

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Just playing DA here

But isn't bringing through academy players something all clubs do? Arguably the lower clubs would need this more due to limited funds etc. Obviously where big clubs can keep certain players, lower clubs often get raided for any success stories.

similarly playing a certain way is more associated with Sam Allardyce type teams than those who want to win and achieve trophy success. The bigger teams need to evolve and keep up with times. From total football to tika taka to our wingers, it brings success in cycles no?

So ultimately is it about likes of Busby, Ferguson, Shankly, and now Pep and Klopp that is the ultimate difference? Their drive, mindset, determination?
Yes but the likes of United do it far more than others, especially when the club has always been one of the richest and could have just bought every player and never used the academy. Klopp (at Liverpool) has only done it because he has mainly had to due to injuries. Barcelona have always brought through youth players extensively, that is the Barca way nothing to do with Pep. How many youth players has he brought through at City?
 

FrankDrebin

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I don’t think “the United way” is particularly about a style of play or tactics. More about attitude, togetherness, playing youth players etc.

I might be wrong though.
This is how I've always viewed it.

Recently though its become a figure of fun for certain United "fans" to bash the club with.
 

AltiUn

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Yup, for the rest of Fergie's reign it really was a rare occurrence.

All clubs use their academy when they can in fairness, but not at the cost of the first team and as you say, it's harder than ever now but even the super rich use it if players are good enough. Foden had to wait, but he's first choice now and it is a very very difficult place to be "good enough". Liverpool have always done it, CHO & Mason Mount are Chelsea first teamers.

I'd argue we have too often used it to our detriment.
Not really the point but Liverpool actually rank really low compared to other top 6 teams for using their academy, not so much this season.
 

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  • 4-4-2 with pacey, touchline-hugging wingers
  • Academy products in every XI
  • Winning, often late on ('never say die' team ethos)

That's about it really. It's not really replicable because a) there aren't really any wingers in football anymore and b) you need a lot of luck to stumble across a group of players like the CO92 - we may never see a crop like that again. Winning football games consistently is something we've been unable to do since 2013 - that will only come when you have the right combination of top class players and a top class coach, regardless of whether they are reminiscent of "the United way" or not.
 

Zen86

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For me, it’s about developing exciting young players and playing entertaining football. It’s rooted in the Busby era which largely made this club. It’s a bit of romanticism sure, but it’s well needed considering how soulless football has become.
 

GueRed

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On the pitch I think it is vague but along the lines of to play the game with courage and no fear.

The academy players are always instructed by coaches to express themselves on the pitch.
 

Xaviesta

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From an outsiders perspective, I hadn't really heard much about the ''United way'' until David Moyes and his horror spell at United. I'd say the ''United Way'' means winning with a home grown core and playing attractive football but not at the expense of winning.
 

tomaldinho1

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It’s a made up phrase. People try and describe it and end up just talking about youth and attacking football, as if United has a monopoly on them.

The West Ham way, To dare is to do, mes que un club etc.

I think people forget how much of an innovator SAF was, not tactically but in how he allowed the club to grow and evolve without letting his ego get in the way. The United way (if you have to define it) isn’t on the pitch, it isn’t about flying wingers or promoting youth, it’s about constant and relentless innovation. An absolute and iron clad belief that you can always do more.
 

GoldTrafford99

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The United Way


..and no other club does this with the amount of success we have done it.

We have only ever had two periods of success in our 140-years as a football club.

It just happens that those two period lasted nigh on 40 years between them.

Sir Matt's success was from 1950 - 1968

Sir Alex's success was from 1993-2013

Both dominant periods were built the same way; from the ground up.

Both managers put in place a long-term strategy that would see us not only competing in teh transfer market for top players, but moreso breathing our own...

Matt brought 6 players into the first team from the academy after the Munich Air disaster and totally rebuilt the club from the ground up... those six players would go on to win league and European titles.

Alex brought 6 players into the first team from the academy through the early 90s (most fans couldn't wait for this to come to fruition and wanted him sacked) and totally rebuilt the club from the ground up after we turned into a joke in the 70s & 80s... those six players would go on to win league and European titles.

Now Ole is trying to do the exact same after we lost our way post 2013.

But lots of 'fans' on here don't wanna know about it.

They want Allegri in and they want Manchester United to be the red version of Chelsea. Which is a joke. They are clearly supporting the wrong football club.

The Manchester United way is all about breathing from within... creating League and European Cup contenders with a bulk of the team built from our underage academy.... There are clubs such as Ajax who like to build their team from within, which is great - I LOVE AJAX and their 'way' has to be applauded, in fact IS applauded - but United are on their own in terms of producing for themselves, in that Ajax sell once the player becomes of age... United don't have to sell.. We produce and the players stay with us for the best of their career.

We all know this. Or we should all know this, what with us being United fans.

Which is why it is baffling that while Ole is trying to do the exact same thing, building from within, some United 'fans' would rather have Allegri or somesuch hotshot European manager.

They want our club to adopt the Chelsea way. Not the Manchester United way.
 

GoldTrafford99

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Just playing DA here

But isn't bringing through academy players something all clubs do? Arguably the lower clubs would need this more due to limited funds etc. Obviously where big clubs can keep certain players, lower clubs often get raided for any success stories.

similarly playing a certain way is more associated with Sam Allardyce type teams than those who want to win and achieve trophy success. The bigger teams need to evolve and keep up with times. From total football to tika taka to our wingers, it brings success in cycles no?

So ultimately is it about likes of Busby, Ferguson, Shankly, and now Pep and Klopp that is the ultimate difference? Their drive, mindset, determination?

No other club on the planet has named an academy graduate in their first team for 4,100 games in a row. So no, not all clubs do this; certainly nowhere near a par with Manchester United.
 

Caesar2290

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A bit controversial but there is no United way. The United way is a myth.

There is only the Sir Alex Ferguson way which became synonymous with the United way. And it was only about 1 thing:

WINNING WITH SWAGGER

When I bring up Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Ryan Gigs, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand, Peter Schmeichel, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo or Robin van Persie, what's the first thing that comes to your mind. In my case it's winners, but also swagger. They just oozed it.

There is also a reason why most of the fans never warmed up to Jose or LVG, despite the fact that both of them won us trophies. There was no swagger. No arrogance as if we already own the pitch.

And I think that's also another reason why a lot of our fans aren't warming up to Ole. There simply is no swagger nor in the way we play, nor in his leadership.

It looks like the moment Fergie retired, he took that with him...
 

Jeppers7

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The Busby Babes are one of the most iconic teams in football history, how can anyone forget to mention them? :houllier:
God knows...I could imagine a non united fan perhaps...but any united fan who thinks Man Uniteds history began with Sir Alex and the Co92 shouldn’t be writing posts about what the club stands for.

The list you could write of youth players that have come through at the club would be near endless, our run of having an academy graduate in our squad for over 4000 consecutive games spanning over 80 years certainly cements itself as a foundation on which the club is built.

when you list the ten greatest players to have played for the club, potentially half of the list could be made up of academy graduates

Duncan Edwards, Johnny Carey, Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes,

in the tier below perhaps youd place:-

Bill Foulkes, Nobby Stiles, Norman Whiteside, Mark Hughes, Gary Neville

Without mentioning the likes of Roger Byrne, Eddie Coleman, Liam Whelan, Tommy Taylor and where they might fit in to a conversation.

Beyond this there would be countless examples of really good players and servants of the club such as John Aston, David Sadler, David Pegg, Will Mcguiness, Arthur Albiston, Clayton Blackmore, Fergies fledglings who helped us move from the drink culture to the 90s and the Co92, then Butt, Phil, Wes, O’Shea, Evans etc etc.

For a club to have Best, Charlton, Edwards, Giggs, Scholes and Beckham come through its academy.....sets it apart. It’s history and tradition that we mustn’t throw away.
 

amolbhatia50k

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Its overplayed and more often than not used as an excuse for being successful /achieving excellent. The whole "changing the culture" nonsense.

Manchester United already has an excellent base to work with. Were rich as feck and have an enormous fan base. The only relevant aspects of our "way" are youth development and attacking football and the only time it wasn't adhered to was probably under Mourinho who came across as the opposite of our ethos.

But beyond that, feck it. Anyone who fits the bill is fine, any team who can meet the mark should be fine. We shouldn't need to play like SAF teams or need to have many British players. Attack and youth is about as far as I'd go. Everything else is pretentious excuse making
 

GoldTrafford99

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There was the Fergie ways and this is what's looked at as the utd way. I said ways as Fergie didn't play the same all the way through his tenure. Things evolve and we need to as well. You haven't got time to persevere with a Fletcher year on year until he becomes average to decent. Ole is stuck in a rose tinted view that he needs to be a Fergie clone without having the skillset.

Ole is WAAAAAY ahead of where Sir Alex was in his rebuild after 2.5 years. Let's not forget that Sir Alex finished 11th in his third season, then 13th.

Sir Alex didn't progress year on year like Ole has. Nor did Sir Matt whose first seasons were 11th, 2nd, 11th again...

Saying "Ole is stuck in a rose tinted view that he needs to be a Fergie clone without having the skillset" is like saying in 1989 that "Fergie is isstuck in a rose tinted view that he needs to be a Busby clone without having the skillset."

It makes no sense, and is narrow-minded in the extreme...
 

Jeppers7

Full Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
2,657
Come on. Back then it was hardly a unique practice as viritually everyone did that. In the rare occurances there was transfers, the players cost 5£ and a packet of crisps
Where are you getting that transfers were a rare occurrence? We signed Tommy Taylor for £30k (£1 short) a near British record, hardly £5 and a packet of crisps and were offered £65k for him from inter Milan a near world record. Perhaps you’re thinking about the early 1900’s?

But if you want to believe there was nothing special about the Busby babes and that it didn’t inspire Sir Alex to recognise the need to recreate our youth set up....then in my opinion you’re very disrespectful to Sir Matt and Manchester United.
 

b20times

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
177
The United Way is something that hasn't happened since Sir Alex retired.