Manchester United’s Magic Of Balance

Everyone knows that it’s impossible to keep everyone happy. No one would argue with this. Life teaches us this at every turn. But someone who has far more varied choices with far more reaching consequences may beg to differ. A feisty Scotsman better known as Fergie should be completely oblivious to this. Each match that Manchester United plays, be it a Champions League final or a relatively low priority encounter like a match against Blackburn, a glance at the Manchester United bench would show a glittering of world-class talent biding their time. Move your eyes a bit more off the bench and you may see a season top scorer not even making the squad. Anyone remember poor Dimitar Berbatov and the 2011 Champions League final?

Now move over to a few miles further across the city, there lies a club with finances deeper than the deepest oil wells. The vast amount of money has meant vast number of world class players, but of course only 11 can play. The first signs of frustration are already visible. Transfer requests, indifference, training ground fights. Now I am not saying that this a sign of things to come. These are all signs of an institution struggling to make a profit (win) and keep everyone happy (everyone playing). This may come to pass. The manager may find ways of squad rotation. But just pause a moment and imagine a situation like this at Manchester United. Of course, there are exceptions. Ronaldo wanted to leave, Rooney wanted a bigger package. But these are off-the-road incidents. The road has been smooth so far.

Anyone wonder why?
Here are some pointers:

Autocracy – One person makes the decisions. One person makes the moves. One person rules. Sir Alex is Manchester United. Gary Neville is often called Mr. United. But Sir Alex is the real deal. No questions, no doubts just blind faith. Now this is not power borne out of money or ownership. This is power borne out of results, development and pure trust. Where the fan is in complete trust, there can be no questions. The gaffer is prone to being petty. Refusing to speak to BBC because of poor coverage on his son, or calling players back from loan when his son is sacked by some club. These things hardly rub the gloss off the man’s aura. And looking at his record, no one can deny him that too.

‘Glory Glory Man Utd’ – Man Utd is not a club, it is a tradition. It is a longing and a source of envy for other clubs and players. This magnetism is often enough for players to choose the club. This is not to say Man Utd are not rich. They offer the best pay, but Sir Alex believes in youth and big signings are rare for a club with of such proportions.

Rotation – Man Utd is not a team. It is a squad in every sense of the word. Everyone rotates. Everyone gets a chance. Age is not a barrier. In fact in Sir Alex’s book it is an advantage. Everyone gets a chance, so everyone remains happy. Big players are satisfied with big trophies and a role however small in it.

Trophies, Trophies and more trophies – Winning mentality is not a concept, it is a way of life in United. Oppositions fear them. There are very few frightful sights than United chasing a game. Fergie time is now legendary and it adds to their aura and the player’s confidence and it also builds a desire for the player to stay at the club.