The truth – like it or not – is often the downfall of men.
We often try to make the truth an ally, and look for times when it reflects our sense of status and aspiration. We seek solace in the truth, as often as we try and seek shelter from it.
When it sides with us we spare no effort in ensuring our adversaries are made well aware of it. When it exposes us, we hang on to its trailing coat-tails for the slightest shade against the harsh sun.
The plain truth about Manchester United
... is that we’re in for a long season, perhaps even a very long decade of feeding on footballing scraps. A Worthington Cup here. A UEFA Cup qualification there. Perhaps one or two FA Cup semi-finals along the way. Klebersons, Djemba-Djembas and Dongs aplenty.
It’s all starting to look like 1986 to me vis-à-vis Liverpool. Curse the scouser bastards!
Tessio (re: The Godfather), simply doesn’t have the wit, cunning and venom he generously deployed in commanding the troops these past two decades. Time and success have eroded his enthusiasm. The loss of his authority inside the Old Trafford dressing room is inevitable.
The truth is that Carlos Queiroz simply isn’t Steve McLaren circa 1998/99, or Brian Kidd, circa whenever.
The truth is that try all he may, Gary Neville simply isn’t half the captain Roy Keane or the great Bryan Robson was. In fact, he isn’t even close to Steve Bruce.
The truth is that players like Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Park Ji-Sung and Gabriel Heinze (for all his ability and single-minded determination) simply do not have the maturity or discipline to sustain a winning campaign in any competition, much less the increasingly competitive EPL.
The truth is that while there is no substitute for class, there certainly is little that the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and the venerable Ole-Gunnar Solksjaer could do to this end. Alan Smith, I won’t even mention.
The truth – as evident during the pre-season game against the Orlando Pirates - is that John O’Shea, Darren Fletcher, Patrice Evra and Keiran Richardson are at best, mid-table material.
And here’s the truth about Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Liam Miller (Oi! There's only one Keano!).
And we all know hope simply isn’t truth. Not when it comes to Patrick Vieira, nor Genarro Gatusso, and probably not for a player like Javier Mascherano.
I am a Manchester United fan, and while I won’t be dishing out the hard-earned Ringgit for the new AIGgly strip, I will still be cheering them on from the comforts of my living room and the occasional pub this season.
But the truth is, they look like they’re headed back to where they were when I first started supporting them: 1986, mid-table rubbish!