It has been a while since the world has seen a dominant Manchester United side, both in domestic and European competitions. The club were once placed among the elites of European giants and were a consistent threat in English Premier League. Had it not been the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, the godfather of Manchester United, and arguably the greatest ever manager to have graced the English Premier League, things would have been different for the Red Devils.
But things took a turn when their elegant mentor decided to step off as the manager and to go up the hierarchy and give his fellow countryman, David Moyes a chance to be the head at the club.
Sir Alex Ferguson the Godfather of Manchester United
Sir Alex Ferguson’s accolades speak for themselves and he was the reason behind the change in Manchester United’s destiny.
He took over the club when it was completely in shambles and things were barely in order. There was not even a feeble hope that the club would recover and be England’s most decorated club domestically. In 1986 the club signed Sir Alex and the fate of Red Devils changed forever.
Sir Alex was an enigma. He had a charming personality and his instinct coupled with his coaching skills made Manchester United into the club they are today. He brought some of the world’s most decorated players in his team and thus he rebuilt the club from ashes.
There is no doubt that Sir Alex was the best thing that ever happened to Manchester United because he believed in his players and in himself and thus he showed the world that success is directly proportional to hard work and dedication.
Manchester United were a brand when Sir Alex was at the helm. He brought his own legacy despite having limited resources. He had an ornate trophy cabinet which was filled with 13 Premier League trophies, 5 FA Cups, 2 Champions Leagues along with Carling Cups, Club World Cup, and Community Shields.
His biggest triumph at the club was in 1999 when Manchester United won English Premier League, FA Cup, and a mouthwatering Champions League final against one of Europe’s elite powerhouses, Bayern Munich.
It was evident from Manchester United’s ferocious presence under the supervision of Sir Alex that the club would continue to dominate especially in England’s domestic title but things were completely different when in 2013 Sir Alex Ferguson, the most laudable personality at Old Trafford, decided to step down as the manager of Manchester United and to give someone else the chance to be the boss of England’s most domestically decorated football club.
His club created a record in 2011 when they won their 20th league title to surpass their old and bitter Anfield rivals, Liverpool. And in 2013 they set reached another milestone by winning their 21st league title and their 13th league title under the fiery leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Limited Era of David Moyes
David Moyes came at the club when Manchester United were the defending English champions. Sir Alex had left and it not known whether the new Scot would be a promising figure at the club or not.
He brought Marouane Fellaini with him to Manchester United from his previous club, Everton. Unfortunately, things did not work as planned for David Moyes and Manchester United as the team lost against Liverpool and Manchester City in the very first month of Moyes’ job.
Furthermore, Manchester United had a very ordinary season under David Moyes’ management when the club finished 7th which was one of their worst endings in more than a decade. The club fired David Moyes even before the campaign finished and Ryan Giggs took over the club as the interim manager. The ten-month period of David Moyes brought no exceptional achievement to Manchester United apart from a Community Shield title which United won against Wigan in the start of the season.
Louis Van Gaal – the Dutch Era at United
Louis Van Gaal came to Manchester after his heroic performance at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. His team had reached the semi-final of football’s biggest competition. He previously had managed Bayern Munich and was one of the popular managers in football.
He brought quite a number of players into the club i.e. Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Falcao, Daley Blind etc. He stayed at Manchester United for two complete seasons when his team finished 4th in the 2014-2015 season and 5th in the 2015-2016 season.
Apparently the Dutch seemed to be the right man for United when he won the FA Cup in 2016 at Wembley after the nail-biting final against Crystal Palace. But his fate did not last long with Red Devils when he was asked to leave immediately after Manchester United’s memorable FA Cup success which came after 12 long years. The Dutchman left the club without having any opposing comments and then came the famous Portuguese and the media’s darling, Jose Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho – United’s Last Hope?
Jose Mourinho is the two sides of a coin. Some may label him a successor at United and some may call him a failure at the club but the three trophies he has won at the club speaks for themselves.
He took Manchester United back into Champions League in 2017 when his side won the Europa League and undoubtedly became Manchester United’s best manager since Sir Alex, not that the bar was set high by his predecessors.
Jose Mourinho has already gotten his side’s first three points of the 2018/19 season in a 2-1 victory over Leicester City on Friday night. But the thing is can Manchester United carry forward their legacy which was set by Sir Alex Ferguson? The circumstances do not look favorable to Red Devils at the moment and Jose Mourinho really needs to change his style of play and tactics because the Manchester United’s supporters have always enjoyed a more expansive brand of football that is currently on display at Old Trafford.