“King” Cantona will not be strutting out of the Old Trafford tunnel with all his confidence and swagger this season. David Beckham will not be unleashing one of his trademark free kicks at opposing goalkeepers. Roy Keane will not be leading Manchester United to victory after being down 2-0 like he did against Juventus in 1999. And Sir Alex Ferguson will not be unleashing his “hairdryer treatment” on players when their effort just isn’t good enough.
Those days are gone. Every day is a new day and every match is a new match. It’s that simple.
This current Manchester United squad needs to start forging its own history before this season is a thing of the past. And after early returns (albeit, very early returns), this season could be one of the worst in the recent club’s history.
United are the reigning champions of England. They built up a sizeable lead last season and waltzed through the finish line well ahead of Manchester City and the rest of the Premier League.
But since April 8 2013, United have played 14 matches in the Premier League. Out of a potential 42 points, United have taken 19. Over that span of time, they have lost to Manchester City twice (home and away), drawn and lost to Chelsea (both matches at Old Trafford), lost to Liverpool (away), drawn with Arsenal (away), and lost to West Bromwich Albion (home).
If you believe the press and most English football experts, Manchester United have a team full of veterans with championship pedigrees and they will right the ship well before the end of the season. But United have failed to address inherent weaknesses in their squad (midfield and defense) and have had significant losses over the past six months.
The truth is that United need to start making decisions and playing to their potential every second they are on a field, or this season will be one to remember. And not in a good way.
Mistakes have been made at the club while personnel losses have been monumental.
Manchester United lost arguably the greatest manager in the history of the sport. Sir Alex Ferguson was the individual who envisioned and engineered the Manchester United revival that the world was witness to. He stood in front of the press and proclaimed: “My greatest challenge is not what’s happening at the moment, my greatest challenge is knocking Liverpool right off their f**king perch. And you can print that.” He then proceeded to build a club in his image while also paying respect to United teams of the past. His teams and players grinded out matches. It may not have always been pretty, but United never gave up until the final whistle was blown. And Ferguson was the one pushing them to play to their maximum.
The other huge loss has been former Manchester United chief executive David Gill. Many people may argue this, but Gill was the man working behind the scenes for Ferguson, and Gill had his hand in most of United’s success.