Good Things Come To Those Who Wait...So Sorry Mate.

raam shankerContributor ISeptember 20, 2008

I am not a beer drinker. However, I do appreciate the punchlines that define the major beer brands. The Guinness punchline "Good Things Come To Those Who Wait" has more than a touch of philosophy embedded in it. It is a one-line advice to impatient, spoilt, haughty, rich owners of Newcastle United. Greame Souness, Glenn Roeder, Sam Allardyce and now Kevin Keegan.
Four managers in what? A little over two seasons? In a normal office job, that would be the probation period for a manager, after which his skills would be analysed, targets set and performance monitored. But the hiring and firing policy adopted my Mike Ashley would make Sir Alan Sugar and Donald Trump swell with pride, but no son, this is not how you run a football club. When a team loses, its the manager who gets bollocked. Then why not give the manager, the desired freedom to do his job?
Money can buy you players, but it cannot win the hearts of supporters.

When Sir Alex Ferguson took over United, he had to wait for four years before tasting any success, in the form of an FA Cup win against Palace. Then in 1991, United defeated Barcelona in the Cup Winners' Cup but the title still evaded Sir Alex, till The Premiership was born. So it took 7 seasons for the first title to arrive at Old Trafford. We have 22 years at the helm and 10 titles, 5 FA Cups and 2 European Cups. Not to mention the numerous bits and bobs.

Arsene Wenger took over as Arsenal manager in 1996 and tasted instant success in 1997-98 when Arsenal overcame a 12 point deficit to snatch the crown away from United. After that his reign was barren till The Gunners won it again in 2000-01 and in 2003-04 their most successful season ever, in which they were unbeaten throughout. So thats 12 years as manager with 3 titles and 4 cup wins amongst the less significant trophies like Charity/Community Shield.

These are two prime examples of managers who have moulded teams and made champions out of ordinary players. It was Alex Ferguson who took a bunch of "kids" and contrary to Alan Hanson's remarks, won the double in 1996-97. The board gave them enough time and was patient enough to get results. Thats why Arsenal and United have won 41 trophies between them under the reign of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex, respectively.

What has changed today?
Nothing much apart from the fact that a few filthy rich, spoilt brats who want to show off their wealths and make a statement that money can do anything for them have started to own football clubs. One of the earliest victims of this generation of arrogant, irresponsible owners was Claudio Ranieri, the former Chelsea manager. He was sacked in the second year of the "Roman Empire" after he successfully managed to mould Chelsea into a formidable side. Ranieri brought in players like Joe Cole, Wayne Bridge, Makelele ,Lampard, Zenden and Gallas and was responsible for development of youth talent like John Terry. After he built a good team, he was sacked in just four years for Jose Mourinho. This is one reason why my sympathies are always with Ranieri and I've grown to dislike Mourinho.

Coming back to my question of what has changed today? Nothing at all. Well people argue that there is so much more competition these days. Hang on, what competition are we excatly talking about? In sixteen seasons of its existence, four clubs have won The Premiership. Manchester United a whopping 10 times, which is 62.5%. Next come Arsenal with 3 titles, 18.75%, Chelsea with 2 titles, 12.5% and Blackburn Rovers once, 6.25%. So what about the other 16 teams? What does the fact that Manchester United have won it 10 times under one manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, over the "changing times" from early 90s to late 2000s tell you? What kind of competition are we talking about? I do not understand, someone please put these figures before the other owners, maybe, just maybe it will give them some sense.

I would like to end my arguement on the relatively happy note that the 1-1 draw against Chelsea was a lot better than the 2-1 loss at Anfield. With this we have completed two of the three toughest away games and retrieved a solitary point. This should be the start of United's season and truly Glory Glory Glory Man United and I hope the Reds go marching up up up!