George Best and the death of the Manchester United culture

November 25th, Manchester United supporters across the world celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the passing of club legend, George Best.

Best personified everything great about United, with his youth, majestic flair, precision passing, dribbling and all round ability symbolic to the Manchester United culture.

With this in mind, the celebrations for Best could also be seen as a celebration

for everything great about Manchester United and everything that has been lost under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal.

For three years now, Manchester United have had little to cheer about at Old Trafford. The attacking runs down the wing by a dashing winger has been replaced by slow, sideways build up with little to no penetration of the opposition’s defence.

The distaste of the United faithful can be seen or heard by the deafening silence around Old Trafford, which is only ever replaced by agitated boo’s.

When Bobby Charlton heralded the stadium as ‘The Theatre of Dreams’ I’m sure he wasn’t referring to the boring football, which makes fans float upstream.

But under Louis Van Gaal, that has been the case, with his philosophy consisting of little to no attacking play and excessive amounts of possession.

Fans and media alike are quick to criticise Memphis Depay and Wayne Rooney this year and Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria last year, but how are these players ever going to perform at their best in a system, which does not cater for fast ball movement and opening up defences?

One thing Van Gaal must be given credit for is his decision to give academy players an opportunity to pull on the famous red shirt. Fans always appreciate the appearance of young players and by the look of the talent pull, United seem to have a bright future.

However, how will these players ever fulfil their potential under the Van Gaal system?

Adnan Januzaj and James Wilson were two academy products who excelled prior to Van Gaal appointment, with Januzaj considered one of the best young talents in Europe and Wilson scoring two goals on debut. Since then, both have struggled for game time and both have been sent out on loan. Worrying signs are ahead for these two and so to for the supporters, who struggle to keep faith in the Van Gaal philosophy.

Ryan Giggs seems certain to become the next Manchester United coach and with his knowledge of the club and support for attractive, attacking play and home-grown talent, fans will hope to see the return of the Manchester United of old.

Though there will never be another George Best, United fans will always hope to see the flair exemplified by Best in future United teams.

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