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Class of ’92 return is gift to suffering fans

If 1999 never happened and you watched a film that told the same story, you would spend the duration rolling your eyes and tutting. As if that could happen. As if you could get a group of local lads, playing for one of the biggest teams in the world, go on to achieve something no English team had before. As if United would be a goal down to their hated rivals Liverpool on 88 minutes in the FA Cup, only to win the game 2-1. As if Ryan Giggs would have scored that goal against Arsenal. As if United would come back from 2-0 down to beat Juventus 3-2 in the semi-finals of the European Cup. As if United would won the league by one point. As if United would be 1-0 down on 90 minutes in the European Cup final, only to win the game 2-1. It’s just ridiculous. What a ridiculous fairytale. But it is a ridiculous story that we got to live and breathe. Whatever any club achieves, even if it is the Treble, they will never win it the way we did and they will never win it with a core group of players who have grown up supporting that team.

If I hadn’t seen such riches, I could live with being poor.

When Sir Alex Ferguson first got the United job, finishing 7th and winning nothing would have been a decent season. The fact that things could be so much worse than they have been this season means we are labelled spoilt for being so angry about what has happened with David Moyes as manager. It’s hard to argue that we’re not spoilt, given that we haven’t finished outside the top three since 1990 and haven’t gone longer than a season without a trophy since then. But when you’re the champions of England and one of the most profitable “franchises” in the world, surely there’s nothing wrong with saying that 7th in the league isn’t anywhere near good enough.

So, this season has been awful. The only silver lining is the fact defeats don’t ruin my weekend anymore, so accustomed have I become to seeing the team lose. I could walk up to the ground for games against the likes of City and Liverpool without a care in the world. There were no nerves. We were obviously going to lose and, even when we did, it would make no difference to our season anyway.

But things are different now. The grey clouds that loomed large when Moyes were in charge have shifted. It’s nothing to do with the results though, as United may well stumble against Norwich today, but everything to do with the approach to the game. We’ve got a United man in charge now and there’s no way we will play the football that Moyes employed.

It’s hard to avoid sounding cheesy when talking about Ryan Giggs’ appointment as our temporary manager but I’m genuinely over the moon he’s got the job. Not just that, but that his mates get to join him. I went to the Class of ’92 premiere in Manchester last year and it gave an even greater insight to the bond between these players. Nicky Butt put it pretty well yesterday when reflecting on it all.

“It will be massive for us, a proud moment for us all. To be there together is a bit of a surreal thing. We walked in here together when we were 12 and to be here now – I’m not 40 yet but Giggsy is, and myself and Scholes are nearly there too. So for us and Phil to be there together is a very proud moment.”

Giggs has revealed how this situation even came about in the first place, with him making the calls to his former team mates.

“Nicky was with the Reserves so I asked him to come up and help with the first team which he was more than happy to do. Then I phoned Scholesy because I know how much the club means to these people. They feel the same way I do about the club and I know in the short space of time we have they’ll give it everything to make it a success.”

‘Not arrogant – just better’ was our banner which has gone missing this season. It’s hard to brag when you win fuck all, get outplayed by your rivals, and don’t even hold a place in the table that will see you qualify for Europa.

But what our fans are experiencing now is better than anyone else can imagine. It’s cheesy to talk about it and rival fans can dismiss it as desperation or anything else they like, but this, right now, is incredible. These next four games rank amongst some of the most highly anticipated games I’ve experienced as a United fan. Not because I think they count or make any difference to our season though. Liverpool will probably win the league and nothing we can say or do will make that feel any better. But because we get to celebrate our heroes, our legends, the former players who love the club just like we do, and no other English fans get to experience anything close to that.

“I’ve got to say it’s the proudest moment of my life,” said Giggs. “I’ve supported Manchester United all my life, it’s been the biggest part of my life since I was 14.”

Who else has a manager who can talk about the club like that? I’m not even just talking about England now, but worldwide football. Giggs is a lifelong red, he’s spent his entire career at United, he’s won 13 league titles, he’s played almost 1,000 games for the club, and he’s our manager.

Our coaching staff is made up of other proper reds, who also joined the club when they were kids, who are best mates, who came through the ranks together, and who went on to enjoy the most successful season any club in English football has ever experienced. No other fans in English football can come close to comprehending what that feels like.

Roy Keane released his autobiography in 2002 and talked about the group of players who will now take charge of our remaining games this season.

“They form the core of the team, on and off the field and are bonded in a way that excludes the rest of us. At the heart of our club there is something solid, something real, something identifiably Mancunian, an attitude created by the Six Amigos, that is fundamental to the team and its success. When players join United, however much they cost, wherever they come from, it is this attitude they must plug into.”

This is it. This is what separates us from everyone else. I’m not being arrogant, we are just better, and I’m not being flippant when I say that.

These remaining weeks are golden and however spoilt we may be, and however shit it will be to see another team lift our trophy, let’s not to be too spoilt to appreciate just how fortunate we are to be reds.

Ryan Giggs’ red and white army.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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33 Comments

  1. m09538061 says:

    Giggs reported he can consult with Ferguson saying, “it’s good to know I can turn to the manager”, that last sentence should tell us all we need to know about this season.It was Fergies rule that no one should become bigger than the club,does not apply to himself. Giggs said that he sat in “Ferguson’s chair”.
    If after almost a year the players are still referring to Fergie as “the manager” then I
    hope United’s problems are solved by ‘The CHOSEN VAN’

  2. tejasgoradia says:

    What is the Manchester United Way? An explanation.

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/27163758

  3. Paschal Agwunobi says:

    m09538061
    You are spot on mate. I hate it, Fergie allows sentiments cloud his judgements.I don’t like him still there at the board influencing things and getting it all wrong like his moyes AKA ‘chosen one’. He chose so wrongly, he shouldn’t be allowed to choose again. If I were him I would shut my mouth and go into hiding, cos his Moyes’ mistake and Pogba mistake has costed the club so much. He should take his fuckin mouth out of utd affairs at times, his decisions can be great at times and sometimes terrible like the 2 characters I sited above.

  4. Jackie Spain says:

    I’m never in favour of a previous manager hanging around a club as their influence is still there. Look a the Busby and O’Farrell debacle.

  5. Ifeanyi Ujah says:

    spot on mate,if it were to be dis class of 92 dat was our manager all season,i think dey deserve some patience cos dey’v won all as far as club futbol is concerend,as giggs earlier said ‘if u dnt perform,u are off’ dat discipline dat hv been lacking. Legends pls no prefferential treatment to anyone. i wish d team of managers gudluck

  6. m09538061 says:

    This season I just think ferguson left the player’s mentally worn out from the previous season playing the way we did to win. Dont think any player must have enjoyed playing this way. He’s never going away unless a big name comes and he knows it.

  7. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    Fergie’s a great manager and motivator and one of the biggest influences not just in European football but world football as well. But judging from the Moyes debacle it’s pretty clear that Sir Alex CANNOT put aside personal bias to make certain critical decisions.

    I’ve now heard that he’s recommending Giggs, a man even more unqualified than moyes, for the permanent job. In my opinion, the board should just completely disregard what Fergie says on this matter and appoint only the most QUALIFIED man for the job. End of story.

  8. Paschal Agwunobi says:

    dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT

    Spot on, exactly what I meant, he should be ignored totally. He’s so biased.

  9. m09538061 says:

    Giggs wants us to play like the United of past, so carrick cant be on the team sheet, hope Gggs remembers our back four we were good at attacking, always strong at the back though.
    Anyway I’m off to the game now.
    PS I hope Fellani sticks close to Giggs..He might be future captin..Of Salford FC that is.

  10. Redfrog says:

    Great post Scott. No matter what is going to happen the next 4 games, having Giggs, Scholes, Butt at the helm and hearing Giggs speaking about attacking football is a real boost.
    Even if it sounds like a fairy tell, I’m sure every fan would dream about this born and bread United heroes to win a lot of trophies as coaches and manager with us.

  11. Amanda Saleh says:

    Interviewer: “Are you inspired by Liverpool this season”
    Evra: “Manchester United are only inspired by Manchester United”
    David Moyes:”We aspire to be like City”.

  12. NBI Red 21 says:

    You are probably more sentimental than me Scott, I love that Giggsy is the manager, but I don;t want to get to carried away in case it goes badly and we all get upset, its given me a huge lift but I think the management team needs more experience. But I would love it if Giggs caned it last 4 games.

    @ m09538061 – I disagree, SAF being around the Club had nothing to do with the results. Look at Bayern they still have the old guard hanging around as do other Clubs. If a manager is so weak he can’t exclude authority as a 72 year old man who is the former manager is sitting in the stands watching a game than that person is far too weak to be manager at United. SAF was intimidated by no one and was his own man, it is only weak people that hide in shadows, the strong step out and make their own.

    Let us have some respect for SAF, yes he got Moyes appointment wrong but did anyone honestly see it being this bad. I don;t remember anyone on this blog or any other United site predicting this, 99% had us still in top 4 year one and challenging year 2, also SAF did tell him to keep on and be guided by the old backroom team, he could not have forseen Moyes would ignore him, shaft them and veto the transfer targets lined up.

    SAF is a United fan, he can attend what he wants and say what he wants, if a manager is too small time to deal with that they are not United class. The next manager must be able to step out and create his own shadow. Regardless of SAF Moyes always looked overwhelmed by the job, even in pre-season and start of season when SAF was not around.

  13. Amanda Saleh says:

    David Moyes thanks the “real United fans” ie the fans who thought he was the right man for the job.
    Classless twat.

  14. NBI Red 21 says:

    @ Paschal – its a bit unfair to call SAF biased, those are his opinions and on Giggs who knows yet and on Moyes no one saw such a big mess, so give the guy a break, I am sure the board will make up their own mind this time and maybe judging managers is not SAF’s strength but stop abusing the guy because he got one managerial appointment wrong, he was not the only one on the board, SBC and everyone else backed Moyes at the time much as Woodward is trying to distance himself from it since. If United was properly organised and managed the board would have had a proper critiera and process ages ago, that lack of proper system is not SAF’s fault it is Gill and Woodwards fault.

  15. Mav says:

    http://www.espnfc.com/blog/_/name/thefootballwriter/id/207?cc=5901

    Mitten is the best. His inside perspectives are worth gold.

    Good read

  16. NBI Red 21 says:

    @ Amanda – that is why Moyes should stop speaking for his own good. You forget how much nonsense he talks and then he pipes up again like a jack in the box stepping out of la la land.

  17. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Fergie is one of the best managers of all time, his influence is littered around the world game, his every comment are scrambled over…. He’ll always generate authority and with spending vast majority of his career at united, is it a suprise he still feels attached to the football club? It will take time for fergie to get used to being out of power, it will take understanding for him to see those days are not anymore. His shadows will be around, he has a statue and a stand named after him.. His history is tied in knots with that football club, it is a strong bond that won’t just be broken.

    It is up to whoever the manager may be to have his identity and ingrain it into the football club.. It is up to the new man to believe he belongs there whilst also earning the confidence of people and to do that, they have to do everything right that is required by a manager at the highest level. Presence, authority and the right identity. Fergie’s shadow is going no where, whoever it is will just have to showcase mentaliy to handle it all..

  18. NBI Red 21 says:

    There are reports Moyes was unhappy with the level of contact with Woodward. Woodward being in London this lack of daily oversight and relationship with the CE and next manager could be a problem. I strongly believe we need a board member/football director based in Manchester for the new manager to be able to deal with on a daily basis. he has to have a local boss. We will run into problems if we have half our management team in London and a new manager all on his own in Manchester struggling to get a meeting into Woodwards busy calender. Giggs may not have that issue as its short term and he’s not new, but United need to really start thinking about structure. All top 4 teams have local football directors or transfer teams, even Liverpool.

  19. The_red_devils says:

    Rene Meulensteen says he is open to united return if the next manager wants him.
    He also says united would be near the top if we had jose or pep.

    http://www.goal.com/en-india/news/137/england/2014/04/26/4776778/pep-or-jose-would-have-united-at-the-top-says-meulensteen

  20. ashtheking says:

    Happy to see this bunch of 92 running wild. Let’s have some fun guys in the remaining games.

  21. ashtheking says:

    Lol some fools are still obsessed with moyes, get a life.

  22. ashtheking says:

    There are some reports that say van gaal has been signed but sky reporting it has not been done. I think van gaal will become our next manager. Good choice if you ask me for 2 -3 years. Will give chances to youth and they will develope under him.

  23. The_red_devils says:

    Ash the king
    They are saying van gaal has agreed terms with united, but not signed yet.
    And united denying the report,

  24. NBI Red 21 says:

    ashwin – you’re the fool, changing your mind every five minutes and thinking you can dictate to people what to think and say, phooey to you you big curry.

  25. ashtheking says:

    NBI

    Lol you are not obsessed with moyes but also with my name. Lol where did I dictate you. I didn’t even address you but you as usual come and badmouthed everyone. Keep your negativity on.

    Hey one more thing

    Moyes >>>>>>>> NBI

  26. ashtheking says:

    The_red_devils

    I think it’s a done deal. They are just delaying. Van gaal for 2-3 years would be cool for me.

  27. NBI Red 21 says:

    ashwin, such a silly silly boy.

  28. wayne barker says:

    The way Sir Alex was taking in an article I read figured Giggs/Scholes/class of 92 would be a good choice to takeover

  29. oohahhrom says:

    “The way Sir Alex was taking in an article I read figured Giggs/Scholes/class of 92 would be a good choice to takeover”

    Thing is, Fergie was wrong about Moyes. But most importantly, if wayne barker thinks it’s a good idea – it isn’t.

    You wanted Moyes.
    You wanted Fellaini.
    You wanted crosses and more crosses, the only man on Earth to back Moyes to break the crosses record in that match against Fulham. No stretching or breaking through a defence, no, your simple fucking plan could only see balls hoofed into the mass of defenders. No stretching, nor creativity, just lumping balls in.

    Now you want Giggs. Fergie – the most successful manager ever & you wanted Moyes, who’d won nothing to replace him. Now someone with no experience can do it?

    Listen, if you rate it, it’s shit. Simple equation.

  30. wayne barker says:

    listen you stupid fucking troll your only aim is to come on here and wind me up seen about 4 posts of yours nothing constructive just to take shots.You’re clearly some loser who has changed his user name which just makes you a pathetic sad cunt,so fuck off

  31. denislawking says:

    Great blog, Scott. Well said.

  32. denislawking says:

    Indeed, this situation is unique – four ex players running the show. Simply exciting too

  33. Tommy says:

    I will enjoy the rest of the season who United managed by true proper reds even if it is only for 4 games I will enjoy it, and those questioning Fergie being at the club, fucking hell all he does is attend games (He dosent even attend them all), Hes far too busy hanging out with stars of hollywood and has his new job at Harvard so wont be interfeering get a fucking grip guys

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