Had David Moyes showed signs of progress during his first season as Manchester United manager it is likely that the board and fans would have shown more patience.
The club were determined not to become a "sacking club" so persevered with Moyes longer than any club would. To drop six places after spending £60m is an awful return and despite Moyes' claims today that the squad needed "fundamental rebuilding", these players were good enough to win the league weeks before the end of the season last year.
Following his sacking yesterday, David Moyes has given a statement which has been released by the League Managers Association, which reads: "To have been appointed as manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, was and remains something of which I will always be incredibly proud.
David Moyes has often been criticised this season for having the wrong mentality to be the Manchester United manager. Maybe it was when, ahead of Newcastle's trip to Old Trafford, he vowed we would make it as difficult for them as we possibly could, that did it. Or maybe it was, after getting thrashed by City, his assertion that we were striving to be as good as them.
Yet another dreadful result for Tottenham Hotspur today, showing that some clubs even manage to be worse than us in the big games this season, but they still remain above us in the league.
They've played against Arsenal on three occasions and have lost all three of them. They lost 4-0 to Chelsea, 6-0 to City away, 5-1 to City at home, 5-0 to Liverpool at home and today, 4-0 to Liverpool today.
Manchester United fans stuck with David Moyes for longer than they probably should for fear of "doing a Chelsea". The west London club have regularly sacked their manager and this has been widely criticised. I wrote at length about this at the beginning of the month, pointing to the fact Chelsea have hardly struggled for success over the past decade, despite getting rid of the manager at least every couple of years.
When Manchester United appointed David Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor, most supporters were fairly surprised, given that the former Everton manager hadn't won a single trophy and had never managed a side in the Champions League.
Whilst finding a manager with a CV that matched Ferguson's was impossible, the difference in quality between the two men was incredible, despite claims from some sections of the press that they were "cut from the same cloth".
Robin van Persie gave the best years of his career to Arsenal, his boyhood club, but even when he was the Premier League's top scorer, winner of PFA and Football Writer of the Year awards, he had no medal to show for it.
The only trophy he won in his time with the North London club was the FA Cup at the end of his first season when he came on as a sub when United were robbed at Cardiff.
You hear it a lot, and will probably hear it a lot more, but managing Manchester United is not the "impossible job". It's a difficult one, of course, exclusive to those who have learned, then earned. It's the pinnacle for a lot of people, but, it's only the pinnacle, only something to work to because, well, it's not impossible.
I have spent my life as a football fan, bathing in a river of negativity... Self imposed, I might add. Every match that I attend, I put myself through an excruciating ritual of superstitious nonsense, purely so United will not lose. What doesn't help is I have convinced myself over this thirty year period of being a Red, that it makes a difference.
Last month The Mirror served as a mouthpiece for Wayne Rooney in his "transfer saga" with him looking for a move away from Manchester United again. With a few weeks having gone by and United rejecting an offer from Chelsea, Paul Stretford has been a busy bee and has briefed the newspaper yet again.
A couple of months ago stories started circulating in the papers that Wayne Rooney wanted to leave Manchester United. The claim was he was fed up with being subbed off and not starting every game. You had to laugh, given that the last time Rooney wanted to leave it was because he didn't think the squad was good enough.
Gareth Barry was charged by the FA yesterday for verbally abusing fourth official Mark Clattenburg following City's 3-2 defeat against Manchester United. The result could have been a lot worse for the blues if the linesman didn't incorrectly rule out Ashley Young's goal, which would have put us 3-0, and if the referee didn't miss Kolo Toure fouling Patrice Evra in the box.
You would think that by now we would be used to it. Dramatic last gasp wins have been commonplace for Manchester United fans during Sir Alex Ferguson's reign. It doesn't seem to matter how often we do it though, it feels fucking fantastic every single time. That realisation, a second or so before the ball hits the net, when you're deep in to injury time, is one of the greatest feelings you'll ever experience, and as United fans, we get to experience it more than most.
Four minutes in to Manchester United's 4-0 win over Wigan, the Stretford End starting singing the Luis Suarez "racist bastard" chant. The chant that followed was "always the victims, it's never their fault". This is a standard occurrence at Old Trafford and United's away games, dating back to almost a year ago following Liverpool FC's refusal to accept that Luis Suarez was guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra.
After one of the most tense matches in our recent history, Arsenal are in the FA Cup Final. Sounds good, doesn't it? However laborious the match was, however close we came to being added to Wigan's long list of cup scalps, we became the first team in two years to knock them out, and as a result find ourselves up against Hull in our first return to the annual showpiece since Vieira's spot kick won us the trophy in 2005 (or started our trophy drought, depending on who you listen to).
Having waited for Sir Alex Ferguson to retire first, Arsene Wenger has claimed that our former manager influenced the referees to give us favourable decisions. It would be ridiculous to argue that United don't get the rub of the green at times but that is a luxury all clubs at the top tend to enjoy.
Firstly, Happy New Year to one and all. You are seeing one of my resolutions in action by reading this having not posted anything on here since mid November (and a thumping 5-2 win over Spurs) I'm starting 2013 by making an attempt to return to writing. It is, however, something of a rant-driven return.
The ever growing saga of the present day Arsenal "fan" runs along the lines of "Wenger out!" When I recently polled a group of Arsenal supporters during the half of a match, the consensus was the following:
- How long have you been an Arsenal fan? Most answered with a date range of when Wenger was already on board.
I genuinely wanted to support whoever replaced Sir Alex Ferguson until the bitter end. I've always enjoyed the siege mentality that our former manager instilled in us and was ready to back his replacement.
When David de Gea replaced Edwin Van der Sar, the press ate him up for breakfast. That first game against City in the Charity Shield was a nightmare.
Following United's dismal 2-2 draw with Fulham, yet another occasion when points have been dropped against one of the worst teams in the league, David Moyes claimed they were mentally soft.
"Today was as bad as it gets," he said. "How we didn't win, I have no idea. It's goals that count.
With just minutes to go in in last night's 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich, Bastian Schweinsteiger was sent off for a second yellow card for a foul on Wayne Rooney.
Pep Guardiola immediately made a 'diving' gesture on the touchlines but this didn't stop the referee from sending off the German's goalscorer.
In October 2010, Wayne Rooney claimed that he would not be staying at the club because he feared that it didn't match his ambition. Have just missed out on the title but one point the season before, following three successive Premier League crowns, he sounded more than a little foolish.
By the end of the season, United were champions again and Rooney even scored a goal in the Champion League final, again illustrating how premature he had been to write the club off.
Manchester United fans rightly don't want the reputation of being an unsupportive club that sacks the manager at the drop of a hat. One of the arguments that is regularly put forward for keeping hold of David Moyes is that "we don't want to become like Chelsea". Whilst I'd argue that Chelsea's policy of sacking the manager hasn't prevented them from being successful, with them winning plenty of trophies with the eight different managers they've had in the past six years, it certainly has limited their success.
Judging on his performances so far this season, Wayne Rooney has justified the club's decision to keep hold of him in the summer after some interest from Chelsea and Arsenal. Both Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho confirmed their desire to sign the player but in the end the most either club were prepared to offer was Â£24m.
When Wayne Rooney confirmed that he was not prepared to sign a contract extension in 2010 it appeared as though there was no way back for him at United. Whilst some fans don't want to believe it, Rooney, through the work of his agent Paul Stretford, had been in talks with Manchester City and planned to sign the biggest contract of his career with them.
Most transfer windows have been fairly disappointing occasions for United fans since the Glazers bought the club and we have become used to this. More often than not, if we do dip in to the transfer market, we buy the sensible player. A player that makes sense and has the potential to be good enough but who doesn't get you too excited.
When Wayne Rooney released a statement last week denying the story that he had changed his Twitter bio to omit "Manchester United player", you knew he wanted to leave. That week the press had also reported that Rooney had met with Sir Alex a fortnight ago to tell him he wanted to leave, but Rooney made no comment to deny that.
Sir Alex Ferguson has changed my life. Some of the best feelings I've ever experienced are a result of the brilliant teams he has built and the success he has inspired. Whilst I'm not blinded to his mistakes or personal flaws, it is rare that I would publicly criticise him. However, I think the handling of Rio Ferdinand in response to him not wearing a "Kick It Out" t-shirt ahead of Saturday's win over Stoke has been fairly embarrassing for the club.
Just after Chelsea had fallen behind to Basle in the Champions League last night, the Sky Sports commentator asked whether Chelsea's youngsters truly had it in them to drag themselves back into the game.
I thought it seemed a fairly astonishing thing to say given the experience within the Stamford Bridge team's first x11, and it is an obvious example of the media swallowing whatever baloney their beloved â€˜Special One' tosses out to them in his press conferences, hook, line, and sinker.
"We don't need to give away stupid plastic flags to our fans to wave, our supporters are always there with their hearts and that is all we need. Its the passion of the fans that helps us to win matches, not flags. Chelsea fans lack passion."
I'm sure at the time these words raised his legend status amongst his own fans, with Liverpool supporters despising the moden day Chelsea, as the two clubs repeatedly came to blows in the Champions League.
Earlier this season, Manchester United beat Chelsea 3-2 at Stamford Bridge, with the blues reduced to nine men. United had gone 2-0 up early on only to see Chelsea claw two goals back. With quarter of an hour remaining, Javier Hernandez scored the winning goal.
Our Mexican isn't very popular with Chelsea fans because of how regularly he scores against them.
I had a number of versions of this written and ready to publish but wasn't sure which one would be most entertaining or enjoyable for the average Republik of Mancunia reader. I did, in fact, send two of these versions to Scott and if you're reading this one (Version 2) he has decided that Version 1 didn't deserve a place on his website.
FIFA Law 12: "Reckless" means that the player has acted with complete disregard of the danger to, or consequences for, his opponent. A player who plays in a reckless manner shall be cautioned.
This seems to sum up fairly well the two incidents above. Both Diego LÃ³pez and Nani were trying to win the ball but both of them went in without considering the consequences for their opponent.
Following our 1-0 win over Galatasaray last night, Sir Alex Ferguson claimed he thought Robin van Persie should have taken the second half penalty that Nani missed.
United have had three penalties this season, taken by Van Persie, Chicharito and now Nani, and all three of them have missed. Whilst that is a concern in itself, I can't believe that United are going in to Champions League games with no instruction from the manager on penalty taking duties.
This morning, ahead of United's game against Crystal Palace, Phil Neville posted a picture of Eric Cantona on Instagram. What's the link? Cantona attacked a Palace fan who verbally abused him, calling him a "motherfucker" and telling him to "fuck off back to France".
Turns out Simmons had been on BNP and National Front rallies, and had attacked Sri Lankan-born Lewis Rajanayagam with a three-foot spanner.
"The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." â€“ Malcolm X.
We're witnessing the sort of sanctimonious, manipulative whitewash that occurred after the death of Princess Diana.
The referee from last night's game, Cuneyt Cakir, follows 38 people on Twitter. The vast majority of Turkish football teams and TV stations which is fair enough. But he also follows Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid and their biased newspaper, Marca. Biased? Paid off? There's got to be some explanation for that bent decision to send off Nani last night.
"Didn't Get A City Ticket? Here's Why..." was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.
You remember our run in with Sachin Nakrani a few months ago. He posted that well known picture
from years ago of a Chelsea fan doing the Nazi salute with his daughter in his arms and claimed
that it was from Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final game against Spurs that day. Nakrani is a Liverpool
fan and obviously had taken offence to Chelsea fans singing "murderers" during the minute's silence
for Hillsborough, and fair enough.