Manchester United are in the gutter right now. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in the process of clearing out the deadwood at Old Trafford but, with only three Premier League wins since 6 March, the future isn’t looking bright for United.
This transfer window saw an Alexis Sanchez loan move to Inter Milan, a move that bares striking parallels with Liverpool’s recent history.
United haven’t been the same club since Alex Ferguson retired. Since Fergie left, the once all conquering side have failed to win the Premier League. To understand the root of the problem we have to go way back to 1993. Liverpool’s domestic and European domination was down to The Boot Room. This small room was a philosophy as much as a place, managers were trained in there – the last Boot Room product being Ronnie Moran (our last gaffer to win the league). The Boot Room was demolished in ’93 and Liverpool’s downfall began.
When you disappear dynasty – like Liverpool did with their manager’s academy and United did with Fergie’s retirement – a period of adjustment is unavoidable. Liverpool had an identity crisis, the crescendo being the January mega-bucks panic buy of Andy Carroll. Carroll (six goals in 44 league games) lasted just two seasons before being moved to West Ham. Sanchez (five goals in 45 appearances) was also signed in January and after just 18 months United have cut their losses; the Sanchez loan to Inter went through last week.
The parallels between Carroll and Sanchez are stark. Both mark the height of desperation for two great clubs struggling to return to former glory.
Carroll was our low point, a wake-up call. Manchester United have a long way to go.