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United fall for oldest error in showbiz: the ropey remake

Declan Lynch


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United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær is stuck on repeat. Picture by Mike Egerton

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær is stuck on repeat. Picture by Mike Egerton

Jon Williams, the managing director of RTÉ News

Jon Williams, the managing director of RTÉ News

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United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær is stuck on repeat. Picture by Mike Egerton

At times I have felt the condemnation of Manchester United after their 5-0 annihilation by Liverpool a week ago has been harsh. Indeed, the battering they have been receiving for some years about their inexorable decline has tended to lose sight of one mitigating factor — they are only doing what almost everyone else across the industry of human happiness tends to do in these situations: following an old playbook that might broadly be called “trying to find the next U2”.

Those of us who lived through the horrors of those years when A&R people were coming from London to Dublin in large numbers trying to find the next U2 have a wintry eye for this sort of thing — essentially, it involves an enormous effort, often carried out at great expense, to recreate some phenomenal success which, by its very nature, would never have happened in the first place if they had tried to do it this way.


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