Manchester United lag behind domestic rivals
The post-Sir Alex Ferguson era has been – at least on paper – hardly the absolute disaster that it could have been. In the eight full seasons since the legendary Scotsman hung up his hairdryer at Old Trafford, Manchester United have finished in the top-six on seven occasions, competed in Europe for the same amount of years, while winning the Europa league (2016-17) as well as an FA Cup (2015-16), and a Carabao Cup (2016-17).
But while their status as a continued participant in Europe has remained, their domestic gravitas has taken a complete nosedive.
Man United have yet to take bag a Premier League trophy since Ferguson departed the Theatre of Dreams, and have only placed as “best of the rest” on two occasions – in 2017-18 as well as last term.
Perhaps even more frustrating, not only have the Red Devils finished a minimum of 12-points adrift of top spot when they managed to nip 2nd place, their overall trophy drought is now over 4-years old.
Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea have moved well clear of Man United when it comes to trophy success in just about the last half-decade, while even Leicester City and Arsenal have bagged FA Cups in that period.
Bitter rivals Liverpool have netted four major honors of their own as well, and the reality that United are falling well and truly behind the standards set by their period of dominance under Sir Alex is impossible to ignore.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær must deliver this season to end trophy drought
Climbing up the table would normally be enough for the vast majority of managers in the professional game, but former Manchester United forward Ole Gunnar Solskjær continues to fall short of the mark as he goes into his third full season at the club after taking over from José Mourinho in December 2018.
A third place finish in 2019-20 and runner-up last term is a sign of domestic progress, while reaching the final of the Europa League last season to rebound from Champions League group stage disaster showed determination in a competition (EL) the club reached the semi-finals of the year before.
But with the amount of money United continue to spend in the transfer window, and in the wake of a summer reinforcement period that saw all of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo arrive at Old Trafford, failure to net any silverware should be – and perhaps will be – grounds for immediate dismissal.
Unlike their rivals, United have not crafted their spending habits into trophy success. And with the rapid improvement Chelsea have undertaken since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel, there are no excuses left for the former Norwegian international.
With United joint-top of the table and level on points with both Chelsea and Liverpool in what is shaping up to be yet another nail-biting affair at the Premier League summit, it is time for the Red Devils to deliver and re-establish their flag-bearing credentials.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
Manchester United betting odds, next game:
Manchester United's latest videos
Manchester United latest news
Premier League table
|4||West Ham United||9||6||17|
|5||Brighton & Hove Albion||9||0||15|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||10|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||7|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||6|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||5|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||4|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||4|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||4|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||4|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||4|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||4|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion||4|
|Hwang, Hee-chan||Wolverhampton Wanderers||4|
|Sarr, Ismaila||Watford FC||4|
|Greenwood, Mason||Manchester United||4|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||3|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||3|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||3|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||3|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||3|
|Gray, Demarai||Everton FC||3|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||1||4|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||5|
|Veltman, Joel||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||4|
|Mings, Tyrone||Aston Villa||0||4|
|Skipp, Oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||0||2|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||0||3|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa||0||3|
|Westwood, Ashley||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||3|
|Cooper, Liam||Leeds United||0||3|
|Ritchie, Matt||Newcastle United||0||3|
|Duffy, Shane||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||3|
|Moreno, Rodrigo||Leeds United||0||3|
|Norgaard, Christian||Brentford FC||0||3|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||3|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||0||3|
|Saiss, Romain||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||3|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||5|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||5|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||5|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||3|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||3|
|Saint-Maximin, Allan||Newcastle United||3|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||3|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||2|
|Townsend, Andros||Everton FC||2|
|King, Joshua||Watford FC||2|
|Ings, Danny||Aston Villa||2|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||2|
|Gray, Demarai||Everton FC||2|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||2|
|Toney, Ivan||Brentford FC||2|
|Smith-Rowe, Emile||Arsenal FC||2|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||2|
|Grealish, Jack||Manchester City||2|