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Man United drowning in the wake of their domestic rivals in trophy boat race

Man United drowning in the wake of their domestic rivals in trophy boat race

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.

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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.

Man United drowning in the wake of their domestic rivals in trophy boat race

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 12: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League group L match between Manchester United and AZ Alkmaar at Old Trafford on December 12, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 9 20 22
2 Liverpool FC 9 21 21
3 Manchester City 9 16 20
4 West Ham United 9 6 17
5 Brighton & Hove Albion 9 0 15
6 Tottenham Hotspur 9 -4 15
7 Manchester United 9 1 14
8 Everton FC 9 1 14
9 Leicester City 9 0 14
10 Arsenal FC 9 -3 14
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 0 13
12 Brentford FC 9 2 12
13 Aston Villa 9 -2 10
14 Watford FC 9 -5 10
15 Crystal Palace 9 -3 9
16 Southampton FC 9 -4 8
17 Leeds United 9 -8 7
18 Burnley FC 9 -8 4
19 Newcastle United 9 -9 4
20 Norwich City 9 -21 2

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
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