People have been saying the sacking of Mixu Paatelainen was inevitable.
I might be in the minority, but my opinion is that it wasn’t.
It could well be that the job he was asked to do was an impossible one.
Let’s face it, the club was in a mess – still is – in a number of areas.
They all need to be addressed. There are a lot of home truths that need to be faced up to by a lot of people. That’s in every part of the club.
Are they good enough? Are they working hard enough at their jobs?
Changing the first team manager won’t sort all that out.
My personal feeling is that Mixu should have been given another year.
Whoever is making the decisions to change the manager needs to know the reasons for doing it.
He has to have a plan. That plan will have to involve bringing through a multitude of young players into the first team.
That has to happen next season.
Whoever takes over is still going to have an incredibly difficult job to get United back up.
When I was relegated with United we came back by keeping the nucleus of the team and making sure we were fitter and more focused. Relegation had crept up on us.
But that isn’t the case this time.
Players coming through the ranks have to be the backbone of the team going forward.
It underpins everything at Tannadice. United fans understand that. It’s fundamental to who the club are.
People have said the conveyor belt of talent isn’t the same but I think there are still players who can emerge.
There are boys in the under-20s who haven’t been involved in the first team.
That has to change.
It isn’t only the responsibility of the management, though. The boys themselves have to show the right dedication.
They need to see this as their opportunity. If you’re in your late teens at United you need to be playing in the first team. Regularly. They have to show they’re conditioned and tough enough mentally.
This is a time when everybody at United needs to take responsibility for the standard of their work.
I was flicking between the derby and the Chelsea v Spurs game.
I was a bit shocked by how much it clearly meant to stop another team from winning, as opposed to winning for yourself.
It’s a wee bit sad.
Chelsea required the motivation of stopping a rival winning the league to get their fingers out.
Eden Hazard was doing things he hasn’t all season. That says a lot about him as player and Chelsea as a team.
It’s a bit different in Dundee’s case. Their players have actually had a reasonable season.
Mind you, I did think that a bit more class after the game wouldn’t have gone amiss.
I can understand the fans wanting to rub the United supporters’ noses in it. They’ve had more than their share of derby disappointments and that’s what local rivalry is all about.
But on the pitch is different.
I think there should be an appreciation that livelihoods are at stake. Shake hands, get off the pitch and then celebrate. That’s what the top sides do.
Foxes seize moment
Like everybody else it would seem I’ve loved the Leicester story that has unfolded.
All the way up until last night you were always worried that there would be a twist in the tale.
What Leicester have managed to do is make themselves different to all the other teams.
Whether Claudio Ranieri has meant it or not, only he will know, but there’s no doubt he’s taken advantage of a lack of knowledge from other managers in that division.
It’s only in the last couple of months that other sides have matched up to Leicester tactically, rather than just dismissing them as a flash in the pan.
They have fundamentally changed the way managers should look at a player and look at building a team.
It’s now up to the rest to react. And that includes Guardiola and Mourinho, if he’s here next season.
The nearest equivalent in my own career was when I was at Derby. We didn’t scale the heights of Leicester (we finished mid-table) but we took a lot of people by surprise and always felt we were a match for the big clubs.
There was a togetherness, athleticism and belief that I can see in this Leicester side.
But it also makes you look back with frustrations.
My biggest one was West Ham.
It isn’t just a case of hindsight. I knew at the time that we had enough quality to be a top four side but there were too many players who couldn’t wait to get out of the place.
It was a case of “Man United are looking at me” or “Arsenal are looking at me” rather than thinking about what we could achieve as a group.
That’s why Leicester have been so refreshing. Their players have seized the moment.