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Germans know joy of United malaise

GERMANY gets a very bad press, on both sides of the Irish Sea. Our Anglo-Saxon friends can never forgive them for penalty shootouts, never mind Adolf, whereas we can never forgive Angela for austerity.

But Curve Ball reckons it's high time we saluted all the wunderbar creations that Germany has bequeathed us. Such as all their succulent sausages. And the Munich Beer Festival. Their uber-efficient vehicles – Vorsprung durch Technik, I hear you say. Voller's spittle and the Klinsmann dive. Lidl and Aldi. The delectable Nena and her 99 red balloons (oops, showing our age now).

But above all else, we must thank you, Deutschland, for giving us the word schadenfreude. Its literal meaning? "Harm-Joy", aka "pleasure derived from another person's misfortune". Which brings us straight onto the current woes besetting Man United.

When they needed some silken German technique last summer (Ozil, anyone?) they got a Belgian Afro instead. When they needed a manager with that rare mix of ruthlessness and vision, one who could emerge from the overbearing shadow of the Govan gum-chewer, they got Glasgow-lite.

This column, given its own affiliation to habitual Premier League flunkies from north London, is really in no position to take the gypsies out of the Manchester monolith. Except, well, this may be the only season ever when such a glorious opportunity presents itself.

Thus, let us present some painstakingly researched reasons why Man U are now officially in crisis...

(1) Because they are six points behind a team (come on Spurs!) that has already sacked its manager for underperformance.

(2) Because Fergie keeps appearing in the director's box, hovering over Macbeth/Moyes like the ghost of Banquo/Busby. The words "kindly" and "piss off" surely spring to mind.

(3) Because according to journalist Duncan Castles, from oneworldsports.com,

the players are "unhappy" with Moyes. God

love them.

(4) Because, according to "well-placed sources" of Mr Castles, these players were "horrified" following the 3-1 weekend loss to Chelsea when Moyes repeated his press conference stance (that the team had "played quite well") to them in the dressing-room. Seemingly, these pampered souls are really masochists at heart and missing a certain over-heating hairdryer.

(5) Because – and this is where we struggle to understand either Castle's thesis or else the mindset of an EPL prima donna – among the disgruntled players' chief complaint is the manager's supposed "special treatment" of Wayne Rooney – aka United's standout performer amid the morass of mediocrity. To quote his article: "Some remember the Rooney who spent much of last season overweight, turned up late for training, broke disciplinary rules, and who has twice attempted to force a financially lucrative exit from the club. Moyes' de facto reinstatement of him as the team's most important figure is cited as another example of the new manager's failure to understand 'the United way'." So there you have it, the revitalised Rooney's floundering teammates were more inclined to strut their stuff when Wayne was fat and unfocused.

(6) Because when Moyes engages in post-match rants about the referee, he ends up with a misconduct rap. Fergie simply bullied them all (refs, blazers, hacks) into submission.

(7) Because the club spent £71m during 2012-13 financing the cost of the Glazer family's takeover, bringing to £680m the total cost in interest, fees, bank charges and debt repayments of the 2005 deal. Conclusion: United need a Russian oligarch or a sheikh even more than Chelsea or Man City.

(8) Ageing warriors whose legs are creaking.

(9) Young pretenders who can't play very Cleverley.

(10) Marouane Fellaini.


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