Manchester United sit seventh in the Premier League table, three points behind a club that already sacked their manager for underperforming this season. On Tuesday, they lost 2-1 in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semifinal against Sunderland. They now have three losses in a row for the first time in 13 years and after the most recent defeat, manager David Moyes expressed his laughable belief that referees are against the club. Clearly Moyes's reign at Manchester United is a jarring test of faith.
For more than two decades, the club enjoyed a record-setting level of success under Sir Alex Ferguson. They monopolized good fortune, stockpiling trophies, benefitting from favorable decisions from match officials, getting all the right bounces and signing an unprecedented list of corporate sponsors. Life was undeniably good for all associated parties, so faith in the club was easy. But then Ferguson retired. And being the fickle, all-powerful force that he is, he decided to see if the devoted were only there for the prosperity he consistently delivered or if they were truly faithful servants of the club.
According to Moyes, Ferguson told him he would be Manchester United's next manager instead of asking him if he would like to be. Ferguson inflicted the calamities the club now endures in the form of Moyes and the uncertainty he embodies and now the old Scot watches from high in the stands as the mortals below suffer these unfamiliar curses that the supporters of other clubs have always understood to be a part of the game.
On Tuesday, the traveling support made a point of singing Moyes' name in spite of the poor results, but this is still early on in the test. A few losses, the laughter of others and the possibility of missing out on the least important trophy on offer are mere scratches. The destruction and theft and painful boils are yet to come. The players who just last season won the Premier League title already seem to have lost interest and the official noodle partners might eventually flee for greener pastures, but if faith is strengthened in the face of these hardships, the plagues of David Moyes could give way to a resumption of prosperity.
This is the only explanation and prescription for what is going on at Manchester United right now. The omni-present Ferguson is the big man in the sky and Moyes is a lingering cloud of maladies. To Man United, it is pure torture with no end in sight. To everyone else it's a long overdue comedy.
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