For Man United fans across the globe, the time has come where they no longer want to harp on about past glories: there is certainly much to be remembered and celebrated but no football club wants to live in the past. We all remember the jokes at Liverpool’s expense (how many years was it before they won the title again?), and no one wants Man United going down the same path.
The future may be bright, but recent history, and indeed the present, may leave fans feeling a little on edge. After all, it’s now been 7 years since Man Utd lifted the Premier League trophy, and you need to go back another 5 on top of that before you can look at Champions League success. So, to put the question simply, what is going on, and can Man united correct its course and become champions of Europe once more?
The glory days
There’s no denying that the Busby Babes were a golden age for the club, but to understand what has changed we need to start looking at more recent successes. It was the reign of Alex Ferguson that ushered in the glory days of Man United.
Appointed as Man United manager in November 1986, Ferguson was at the helm for an astonishing 26 years. During that time, he oversaw the club winning 13 Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, and, more relevantly, 2 Champion Leagues. Prior to the success of Ferguson’s side in 1999, you’d have to go all the way back to 1968 to see Man United lift the crown.
Ferguson didn’t just do it once though, he was back with his team as kings of Europe again in 2008 after the all-English final against Chelsea. With the 1999 and 2008 squads being made of greats such as Beckham, Schmeichel, Giggs, Ronaldo, and Scholes, were these the dream teams and as such something that there is no hope of recreating today?
The Man Utd of today
7 years and 5 managers since the departure of Ferguson, and not even the special one, Mourinho, was able to recreate the magic at Man United. With Solskjaer being in the second year of his stewardship, his successes so far seem a million miles away from he played for the club back in 1996.
Currently sat at 8th in the league, it is fair to say that 11 games in, Solskjaer’s squad are experiencing inconsistency in their battle for the top. With the likes of Fernandes and Rashford in the team, there is plenty to be positive about, but more is needed if Man United are hoping to be back as Champions League winners anytime soon: the final day victory over Leicester last season saw them qualify by the skin of their teeth.
If you were to use a Sportsbet bet builder
Even the most passionate Man United fan has their doubts right now: if you were to use a Sportsbet bet builder, it’s arguable as to whether you’d get better odds on European success or the survival of Solskjaer.
Pressure is mounting on Solskjaer to deliver. Having now been the man in charge for 108 games, his win rate of 55.5 percent is lower than that of Mourinho who he replaced. With the team’s inability to defend against set pieces, the team may do well to feature in the top 5 of the Premiership, and dreams of Champion League success may be a dream too far. For now at least.
If the truth is told, what fans and the board alike need right now is patience. Under Solskjaer there is reportedly a much better atmosphere at the training ground. He is working hard to nurture young talent and push them forward into the first team. What Solskjaer has achieved is to return Man United’s playing style back to that of a fast and attacking club.
Man United is a team undergoing change. Allowing Solskjaer to continue with his plan means that Champions League success has a chance to return to Old Trafford.