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Bayern Munich will be hosting Manchester United in the first game week of the UEFA Champions League this Wednesday, September 20. However, regardless of the outcome of this match, there is no denying that the English club has been in a tough situation for the past decade.

Once a feared and respected opponent, Man Utd represented excellence as well as teamwork and a strong conviction to always come out as winners. The performances of the club undoubtedly peaked during Sir Alex Ferguson’s time as the manager. He helped the team win 2 Champions Leagues alongside 13 Premier League titles, thus making them the most popular team in the world. Nevertheless, since Sir Alex’s departure, it seems like Man Utd has only experienced disappointment after disappointment.

From David Moyes’ anticipated inheritance in 2013 to Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Erik ten Hag, Man Utd has known many managers but did not meet the standards set by Sir Alex, nor the expectations of the fans. Since 2013, the team has only won the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, which leaves people wondering what went wrong with this club.

During the 2021/22 season, Man Utd lost to Liverpool 7-0, which is their lowest ever finish since 2013/14. These are the consequences of a club run by greed, immaturity and selfishness. There are many reasons to justify why Man Utd is in this specific situation, one of them being the owners: the Glazers family. It is still surprising how a club which is so famous, generating billions in revenue, is run by incompetent businessmen who invested in a field that requires commitment; yet, none of it was seen. The Glazers, who were requested to leave on several occasions by Man Utd fans, still hold firm, even after putting the club on the market.

By employing non-qualified people for important jobs, and by taking loans in the name of Manchester United, the owners used the club as a business, rather than a team that symbolizes life to its fans. However, the Glazers are not to blame when it comes to team performances, as they financed every transfer since they took over in 2005.

In the past decade, Man Utd have had the highest net spend in world football, a staggering $1.1 billion. However, they almost always bought unproved players for a fee that was double what they were actually worth. Some players had bad performances such as Harry Maguire, others had disciplinary issues (Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho), and others were involved in unique cases (Mason Greenwood). These kinds of players did not embody what Manchester United had been representing since its inception. Therefore, they did not deserve to wear the badge, seeing as they essentially did not know what it meant. This is why players like Bruno Fernandes have been praised, as fans noticed his work rate and desire to win on the pitch.

On one hand, some players have been mismanaged through the years such as Marcus Rashford, a player that has everything to be one of the best players in the world. On the other hand, the mistreatment of some players has gone under the radar: the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo in the start of the year 2023 has shown a rupture between a player who used to be the best player in the world, and a club deeming him as a “problem,” even though Ronaldo was United’s top scorer the previous year.

Erik ten Hag’s start at Man Utd promised a lot of excitement for the season 2022/23, as he finshed 3rd in the Premier League, won a Carabao Cup, and only lost by one goal against Manchester City in the FA cup final. However, this season will also be remembered as the one during which Man Utd lost to Liverpool 7-0 at Anfield, highlighting a big problem in the team’s attitude, but also signaling an end to what fans call the “honeymoon phase” with Ten Hag.

In this context, Man Utd, as a club, team and organization, has disappointed fans at the start of the seasons or after a run in form. The fans are now accustomed to these regular ups and downs.

This start of the season has not been kind to Man Utd, as the team lost 3 of its 5 opening games, and now sits at the middle of the rankings in the Premier League, a sight fans would like to forget. It could not get any worse for United, as the team is set to face German giants Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena during its next match.

This downward spiral has shown that there are flaws and weaknesses within Man Utd on all levels, from top to bottom, from the offices to the pitch. Moreover, Man Utd fans no longer feel like they are even contenders for the Premier League or the Champions League, which is understandable. These feelings have shown a big change in the expectations of the fans who are now seemingly used to losing, which completely goes against the DNA of the club.