Manchester United's Disastrous Season Cannot End Soon Enough

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Manchester United's Disastrous Season Cannot End Soon Enough
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER—The most damning indictment of Manchester United's dire performance against Sunderland at Old Trafford was that it was in-keeping with the rest of the season.

Sunderland became the eighth side to win at United's home this season.

They repeated what West Bromwich Albion, Everton, Newcastle, Tottenham, Swansea, Liverpool and Manchester City have already done.

On the roads surrounding Old Trafford, there were signs for the X-Factor auditions being held close by.

And before the game there was still a nagging feeling Giggs might yet be interviewing for the top job.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It had disappeared by the final whistle.

Privately, the board have been steadfast in their view that United need a manager who is experienced. It is the one thing Giggs hasn't got.

And if there was any danger the Giggs' bandwagon causing a problem for Ed Woodward, it ground to a halt against Gus Poyet's inventive, enthusiastic Sunderland.

The Welshman used his programme notes to insist he was now "totally comfortable" in his new role.

My first week as interim manager, I must say, took me totally out of my comfort zone, but I didn't really have time to think about anything.

It was preparing the team, sorting out paperwork with younger players, organising pre-season and a lot more besides.

I really was straight in at the deep end, so there wasn't too much time to sit down and think about it.

As I've said elsewhere, I didn't get much sleep last Friday night because of the thought of leaving players out against Norwich, and then on Saturday night I was still on a massive high, so it wasn't until Sunday that I slept properly.

But then, when I came in on Monday morning, it was as if everything had changed.

I came into the training ground and just felt totally comfortable in the role.

But it was far from a comfortable afternoon.

Sunderland could have easily won 3-0 had they not hit the post and then the crossbar in the second half.

At the other end, you could count United's half chances on one hand. They didn't create anything clear-cut.

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After the initial excitement of Giggs' appointment added to the 4-0 win over Norwich last weekend, United threatened to end the season with a flourish.

But they have again been reduced to limping, bloodied and bruised, over the line. Hoping that the summer will bring a managerial appointment and an influx of new players that can change the club's fortunes.

If Norwich had seen a release of frustration after 10 months under David Moyes, Sunderland provided a reality check.

Giggs insisted afterwards he still believes there is “quality in the dressing room.” And while that's true, they haven't shown it enough this season.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It was also a reminder that this most disastrous season is not all of Moyes' making.

Even with Giggs patrolling the touchline, many of the same problems were still there. United got in plenty of good positions but had nothing to show for it by the end. They huffed and puffed but were deservedly beaten.

They still have games against Hull and Southampton left. But even with Giggs and his band of Class of '92 coaches in charge, and with a Europa League place to play for, this season cannot end soon enough.

The only hope is that United can use this summer to make sure the same isn't true this time next year.

Quotes obtained first-hand.

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