Alex Ferguson — remember him? — has been chatting to Sky Sports about the general state of the world. Well, Manchester United; we don't know what he thinks about climate change. Presumably he wouldn't sell it to Real Madrid. We've rather drifted from the point here. Try and focus, please. We'll start again.
Alex Ferguson reckons that Louis van Gaal — trying to forget him? — deserves "credit". In an interview with Sky Sports, which has been helpfully summarised by TeamTalk, Ferg points out that:
It is dead easy to be critical. You have to be realistic about some things - the number of injuries he has had: Phil Jones has played only seven games this season, Ashley Young, Valencia, Shaw, these are big losses. It doesn't matter which team you are, if you have players missing of that calibre it has to have an impact on the team.
Yes, that does say Phil Jones. More generally, Ferg urges patience ...
The other aspect which is always easy to forget there are also five new players in their first season at United, and two are young players in Martial and Memphis and their promise is good. You have to have some patience being a Manchester United fan and they have shown that over the years; in Matt Busby's time, in my time. For 150 years of history it is worth having a couple of years on the quiet side of success because they will always come back and come back strong.
... and reckons Marcus Rashford is "a sensation" and "one of the best in years".
Obviously, this being Ferguson, it's incumbent upon us all to look between the lines for extra meaning. Is that a faint hint of PLEASE GOD DON'T APPOINT JOSE MOURINHO I'VE GOT A POWER BASE TO PROTECT peeking through there? Or are we just being overly suspicious?