As Manchester United drew 3-3 with FC Basle in Tuesday night’s Champions League clash it was hard to miss the similarities with Leeds United’s 3-3 draw away to Brighton & Hove Albion the previous Friday.

Not only were the freakishly high scorelines the same, but both Leeds and Manchester United raced into two goal leads before capitulating completely and finding themselves 3-2 down, only to be spared total humiliation by injury time equalisers. Even the timing of the goals was pretty similar.

But there were a couple of differences. Aside from the quality of players on display and the level at which the games were contested the biggest difference was that Manchester United were at home to inferior opposition. Leeds meanwhile were away, playing a side who had it not been for Ross McCormack’s injury time equaliser, would now be level on points with the Championship leaders.

With that in mind, it’s fair to say the fans of Manchester United have a greater right to complain than the fans of Leeds United do. Drawing away from home to opposition who, at this moment in time, are technically better than us is a strange thing to be moaning about really, isn’t it?

But the Leeds United faithful didn’t just moan, they went much further than that. In standard Leeds United knee-jerk fashion – as covered brilliantly here by Gary – Whites fans demanded Simon Grayson be sacked for the mistakes made by our defence.

A cursory glance through the Manchester United blogs out there will reveal similar complaints to ours. Namely, that the defence is shuffled around too much and given no time to settle, that injuries have been a running theme which hasn’t helped matters, that lapses in concentration cost us dearly and that certain individuals look somewhat¬†lethargic.

But you’ll be hard-pressed to find any Manchester United fan, anywhere in the world that’s appealing for Alex Ferguson to be shown the door. You can knock the fans of our bitter rivals for many things, but a lack of faith is not one of them – particularly when it comes to Alex Ferguson.

I know comparing Simon Grayson with arguably the most successful manager of all time is laughable, but both these men have records of success. In his two and a half seasons with the club, Grayson has stopped the rot at Elland Road, brought us the promotion we were all so desperate for and improved our overall position year-on-year.

Like Alex Ferguson, the journey has been a bumpy one with plenty of twists, turns and set-backs along the way. How many times has the press claimed Manchester United’s reign of dominance was coming to an end, only for Alex Ferguson to annoy us all again by securing another title? How many dodgy defences, rubbish goalkeepers, overrated midfielders and injury-plagued strikers has he gone through along the way?

But through all those bad patches and dodgy signings, Manchester United fans have not once called for the head of their manager. In fact, if anything, they’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to defend him when the rest of the world has decided he’s lost his touch.

No football team gets an easy ride in any league, every team has bumpy patches, dodgy signings and moments of total humiliation, but the best teams are built upon stability – most importantly, a stable manager who has to be the one constant. He has to be bulletproof if you expect success, he has to be bigger than the overpaid players who can lose faith just as quickly as the supporters if they sense weakness, and he needs the unreserved backing of the fans.

At this moment in time, our defence might be a little suspect. But let’s not forget that Simon Grayson got us promoted with the best defensive record in the league. Since then he’s had constant injury problems, very little success/support in the transfer market and had to rely on a constantly changing back-line propped up by loanees to try and secure points each week – which he’s still somehow managed to do (7 out of the last 9!)

And whilst he may not have been able to plug the holes with the frees and loanees he’s having to make do with (for whatever reason) he has managed to find a workaround to the problem – ¬†goals, and plenty of them. 3-3’s and 3-2’s might be an easier viewing experience for the neutral, but we’re still racking up the points. At the end of the season, that’s all that really matters.

Dealing with a shortage of funds, or an abundance of out-of-form/confidence-lacking players is not dissimilar to overcoming an injury crisis. When you can’t fix a weakness in one position, a good manager will make up for it in another. And that’s exactly what Leeds’ defence-defying formation and tactics have provided us with – a solution that still brings us points. It might not be pretty, but the best managers find ways to accumulate points despite obvious weaknesses. Alex Ferguson has done it for years, and Simon Grayson is doing exactly the same thing.

So let’s accept we have our flaws like every other team, concentrate on the positives for once rather than constantly highlighting obvious negatives and stop trying to undermine a manager who has only taken Leeds United forward since arriving in 2008.

On and on…