Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has every reason to be unhappy these days. His team are two points behind Arsenal in the English Premier League and his players are hitting the headlines for unenviable reasons (read party, booze and rape). And now the Old Trafford crowd too appears to have taken the cue.
Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over relegation threatened Birmingham City at Old Trafford was a hard earned one with more steel than silk. Carlos Tevez was once more on the score sheet but the manager was worried after the Argentine international was carried down the tunnel at the final whistle. As if that weren’t enough to round off a tough day at the job, that the Old Trafford faithful were unusually quite and not in the least buoyant did spark some annoyance in Sir Alex.
Sir Alex blasted the Manchester United supporters at the match in the interview to SkySports. He said:
The atmosphere was not very good. It was like a funeral out there and we needed them (the crowd) to lift us a bit. We needed that today. It was the quietest I have heard here for some time and the atmosphere today did not help us. There have been periods like that in the past. Some years ago, when we were dominant, the crowd came to be entertained. Sometimes we need them to get behind us. They can help produce the right performance but we did not get that today.
Maybe the crowd didn’t enjoy the humdrum display of the Man United players against a Birmingham side that came back strongly as the match unfolded. Man United at home usually demolish weaker oppositions but they were somewhat edgy against the Blues. They also looked short of ideas and imagination. Perhaps the players wanted to celebrate New Year and didn’t want to play.