It’s been a turbulent few years for the Red Devils. Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, the three-time European Cup winners have been on a downward spiral. Manchester United are no longer considered to be one of the best teams in Europe. What’s more, frustration is creeping in at Old Trafford.
David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have all led the club since Fergie’s departure. However, none of them have had any long-term success. The same cracks continue to appear time and time again. The biggest issue is the subpar performances and attitude of some players.
Today, we’re going to analyze what went wrong. We’ll also map out a potential route back to the top. Is the club going through a transitional period or has the giant finally fallen?
The Moyes Era
The first man to replace Alex Ferguson was David Moyes. Some fans and pundits said that this was an impossible job. How could anyone possibly fill the void left by one of the world’s most successful managers? The Glaswegian had his work cut out from the beginning. His tenure was short-lived and things never got going.
Despite winning the FA Community Shield in his first game in charge, Moyes never won the fans over. The former Everton boss had a win record of just 52.94%. Manchester United spent most of the season in 7th place. This led to Moyes being sacked after just 11 months in charge.
The Van Gaal Era
The Manchester Utd hierarchy thought that Louis van Gaal could turn the club’s fortunes around. The former Ajax and Barcelona manager had tons of experience and had all the credentials. However, things didn’t quite go to plan. He was in charge of 103 games and managed to win just 54 of them.
The Dutch manager led the Red Devils to their twelfth FA Cup title in 2016, but this wasn’t deemed to be enough for a club steeped in success. Louis van Gaal was sacked just two days after the final. Jose Mourinho was brought in to replace him.
The Mourinho Era
Mourinho was one of the most successful managers in the world when he took the helm at Old Trafford. However, his negative tactics split opinion among the Utd faithful. Some fans argued that they didn’t care as long as the team was winning. Others argued that a team of Utd’s stature shouldn’t play so negatively.
Halfway through his third season in charge, Mourinho was relieved of his managerial duties. They were 19 points behind the league leaders at the time. The fans demanded change.
The Solskjaer Era
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a phenomenal start when he first took over the club. Since he was awarded a permanent contract, things haven’t gone exactly to plan. Utd are no longer feared by their rivals, but there’s still plenty of time for him to turn it around. It’s clear that there’s no quick fix and Utd will need to spend some time rebuilding their squad.
The Norwegian isn’t expected to make it to the end of the season, with Utd tipped to finish outside of the top four, this season is expected to be just as challenging for the Norweigan as it was for his predecessors. The previous six years show us that Man Utd don’t hang around when things aren’t going their way.