It is not in the DNA of this column to usually delve into matters of foreign football leagues, let alone the Barclays English Premier League (EPL). But, in life there are exceptions.
As the most-watched, overrated and technically boring league hit our ‘screens’, I have a word (s) for those with a big weakness for Manchester United.
My unsolicited advice is: Never repeat the expensive mistake of turning new manager Louis Van Gaal into another monster.
Van Gaal should be the agent of change, but not the change himself. Listening to many Manchester United faithful, it is abundantly clear that the Dutchman is the biggest reason they believe the good old days are back.
That is where my concern starts.
Last season will best be forgotten for the Red Devils’ struggles in the aftermath of Sir Alex Ferguson’s shock departure.
What followed during the reign of the Chosen One David Moyes was a cock-tail of defeats and naive displays that deservedly earned him an outpouring of anger which, I think, was misplaced.
My take is that Sir Ferguson was the source of United’s struggles for his reign, hugely successful as it was, was more about him than what the institution stands for. It was about playing for Ferguson and not United.
This must not be entertained again. The Red Devils must reflect on what the club stands for and ensure that the whole production chain has the human resource that advances this cause.
Financial Fair Play or not, it is unthinkable that after the departure of Ferguson, that system had no succession plan. This could happen after Van Gaal’s exit.
A succession plan of players and coaches ought to start from the reserves where people learn a club’s philosophy. It is such a shame that a big club like United does not draw its spine of players, including captains, from its own production factory.
In contrast, clubs with an established football philosophy will always get their own sons as captains such as Phillip Lahm (Bayern Munich), Xavi Hernandes (Barcelona) and Iker Cassilas (Real Madrid).