United: Love It Or Leave It

I AM becoming less and less concerned with Gabriel Heinze and whether he will stay at Manchester United. The player was a breath of fresh air when he first joined the club and his playing style earned him that ‘fan favourite’ tag that newspapers throw around. Recently, injuries and the emergence of Evra have left Heinze frustrated with his lack of first team chances and this is something I understand. It seems that throughout the summer someone has been trying to engineer him a move away from our club. Messages are mixed as to whether this is Gaby himself or his agent’s handy work.

While his style of play endeared him to the United faithful, this whole episode has had the opposite effect. When I first heard he wanted to leave, my first reaction was that I hoped he stayed. He is, after all a quality player and United are not in the habit of giving those away unless they choose to. The noises coming from Old Trafford suggested that they had little to do with this and it was coming from the player himself through his agent. I then heard that Gaby had gone on record and pledged his future to Manchester United and had also said that if he was to leave it would be against his wishes, at which point the story goes he would have some interesting comments to make about the club if he was to exit.

Days after that my boss comes running up to me at work and shows me the newspaper, the Liverpool Echo are reporting Heinze’s link to Liverpool and how he is extremely ‘proud’ to be linked to a club like this. Now, I’m sorry Gaby but this is not done. Bad form, lad, extremely bad form.

This player has chosen Argentina over Manchester United time and time again, through gritted teeth we let it go. He wanted to delay his arrival in Manchester when he first signed for the club, and United agreed. He had a long injury, and United were there for him. Now our player, a Manchester United player who has said before that he is extremely proud of the reaction he gets from the home crowd, reportedly makes comments about how happy he would be to switch to Liverpool? No, no, no! Adding insult to injury, some Liverpool fans don’t even think he is good enough for them!

No club, whoever they are, wants to lose players to their rivals. No club’s fans want to hear how great it would be to appear for a rival team. Okay you can move players to Everton, Sunderland, whoever, but there is a reason that only a few players have gone between rival clubs directly. Whether Gaby himself made those comments or his agent got a bit creative, time will tell when the man himself returns next week. I would love to be a fly on the wall in Sir Alex’s office when that meeting occurs. As the manager says, however, there may be no problem with his position at this club, all may be well. He would still be interested in the source of those Liverpool comments though, or at least he should be.

Gaby’s reported comments have displayed a fundamental lack of appreciation for the history of the ‘relationship’ between Liverpool and Manchester United and if he pursues the move to Anfield he runs the risk of losing whatever good feeling he had amongst United fans. On one hand, we shouldn’t be surprised, players will play for whoever pays them and guarantees them first team football. Maybe Gaby just wants to defend but comments about leaving the club if there are no guarantees of first team action are hard to take, and comments glorifying Liverpool are even harder. He is a good player and one that I want to see at Old Trafford for many years to come because he gives us options and because in my opinion, playing for Manchester United is the dogs bollocks. Anyone who doesn’t understand that or throws a strop when he
isn’t selected week in week out, can leave.

No-one cares about the club as much as the fans do. Well, actually, after this amount of time I’m thinking that the manager does, but how many clubs can claim that? The players are our representatives on that pitch every week; the way I have always looked at it is that the fans put their hopes and dreams on a set of players to achieve the best for their club because the fans don’t usually have the skill to make it. You get very few players who are fans. We are lucky, in Neville, Giggs and Scholes we have them. You hope that others buy into that belief and that the manager will get rid of the ones that don’t want to hang around.

I have enjoyed watching Gabriel Heinze over his Manchester United career but if he wants first team football and doesn’t want to hang around then he knows where the door is, and if his belief in Liverpool Football Club is as strong as his desire to leave us then I will personally turn up at Carrington and send him packing myself.

“Ninety percent of players would love to play for Manchester United. The other ten percent are liars.” (Gordon McQueen)

I don’t know if this is true. I do believe that certain players are suited to one club over another, through birthplace for instance and I understand that it’s everyone’s dream to make the grade at United when they do get here. Some try and fail, some don’t even try and get their P45 almost as soon as they arrive. Others should never have been purchased. Most players will not love the club as much as the fans do and we should accept that. If players try with all their might while they are in the United shirt, that will do, if it doesn’t work out, go with our best wishes, you gave it your best shot.

Some players want to stay even if the odds are stacked against them and these players can teach others a lesson. I will have no problem if Gaby goes to Juve, if he wants to cut and run then we should let him. I do have a problem with his comments about Liverpool, they fly in the face of the special bond he said he had with our fans. If he had such an understanding of what it meant to be a Manchester United player there is no way he would have said those things.

United fans want 11 players who will die for the cause, not spit their dummy when things aren’t going right. It’s all any club wants I guess. If they think the grass is greener they have every right to go and kick a ball on it, because we love our club and so should the players in that team. Manchester United, love it or leave it. GTS

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Author: SM

I am a writer of words. I write for Man United publications such as Red News, Its Round and Its White and I am the founder of Given to Score and the Sportmonkey Blog. I have written for many music websites.

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