On the eve of the new season kicking off, this should be a positive moment for Manchester United.
The transfer window is a big distraction, and it has been a frustrating summer.
After a seemingly inactive August, United kicked off September by signing Donny van de Beek, but the club did not continue this momentum.
One day ahead of the season, United have signed just one player, who arguably does not improve the starting XI.
The blame game
This has been an busy week at other Premier League clubs which has seen Sergio Reguilon, Gareth Bale and Thiago Alcantara moving elsewhere.
United had reasons not to move for each of these players, but the fact is, the club are not visibly pushing forward with an alternative plan of their own.
Now a report from ESPN is suggesting United are blaming fans for creating negativity.
It claims: “Manchester United are growing increasingly frustrated at the social media frenzy around their transfer activity and believe it is creating a cloud of negativity ahead of their start to the new Premier League season.
“The online whirlwind around transfers, coupled with clubs and agents using United’s name to create a stir around a player, has, the club believe, led to their recruitment team coming under a skewed spotlight.”
To blame supporters for negativity is wrong from United. It is the club’s own fault the mood is this way.
United are engaged in a long pursuit of Jadon Sancho. ESPN report this chase has hit an ‘impasse’ with United refusing to meet Dortmund’s asking price.
This situation has remained the same since August, and United are no further forward, with the chances of a deal diminishing with every wasted day.
Sancho is a player United fans have coveted for 18 months, believing a deal would finally be done this summer. It has not happened.
There is no viable alternative plan in the works either. And the club wonder why there is negativity?
We try to be positive. Look around this website and you will see articles looking for reasons to be optimistic, from Teden Mengi’s rise, to Donny van de Beek’s excitement at being at United, to picking out the positives from last week’s friendly defeat to Aston Villa.
On Saturday transfers will be forgotten as we get behind the team and focus on seeing the team back in action competitively for the first time in a month.
But what we want to see also is direction in the transfer market, and right now it feels like United are lost.
A late move for Sancho will and can lift the mood. After seeing Liverpool win the title last season, the response from United has not been good enough.
There is still time, and we are sure United have not given up on Sancho.
But for the club to turn around and blame the fans is wrong. They have done this to themselves.
Seven years without a title has made supporters more impatient than ever. Ed Woodward and the recruitment team have made a rod for their own backs with a woeful track record, fuelled by apathy from club owners the Glazers.
Each time it appears United are taking a step forward, the club loses intensity. The summer of 2018 was a damaging one, and fans fear the same is set to happen again, after securing Champions League football.
One of the reasons supporters were so pleased to land a top four place last season was because we hoped it would be the start of something special. The step forward does not appear to have been taken, and this is beginning to already feel like a lost opportunity.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has asked for new signings, and with just one new face, it feels like he is not being backed.
United fans want the club to be chasing titles, and not to simply be content with a top four place.
For the club to blame fans for being frustrated is naive, and shows a lack of awareness for their own failings.
It is not too late to turn it around, but the club will not achieve anything by pointing the finger at their own support.
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