The Chronicle Gambia

The Fall Of Manchester United

By Batou Saidy
Following the retirement of the great Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United has never been that same club it used to be. Fergie, the most decorated manager in the Premier League has transformed Old Trafford into a Temple during his trophy-laden stint at the club. The Theater Of Dreams – the home of Manchester United – used to be one of the most revered and feared grounds in the UK and across Europe. Transforming Wayne Rooney from being a ruthless midfielder to becoming a lethal striker, and transforming Cristiano Ronaldo from being an entertaining winger to a seriously-scoring winger were some of the great things he’s done amongst many at The Theater Of Dreams. Such was the Fergie effect. Remember the Fergie Man Utd?


     Sir Alex Ferguson former Man United Coach







Sadly, ever since he’s retired in 2013, things started falling apart. The evergreen United success started drying. The breaking down of cemented decade-long records followed suit. The Old Trafford spirit and fanfare hit the ground. Even dogs began to defecate at where used to be one-time exceptionally-feared Old Trafford. This was the time when Manchester United began to fall down from grace.
From the appointment of The Chosen One to the employment of The Special One; nothing could be redeemed. The club that hasn’t sacked a manager in 26 years, going on to employ and sack three different managers in five years, with the fourth one ( who took the team in 2018 ) currently there since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson; and yet none of them was even able to win the EPL with the club – clearly corroborates that things are amiss at The Theater Of Dreams.
The departure of David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy wasn’t a problem. United have been winning trophies even after this, and they’ve even went on to win the coveted UCL crown alongside many EPL crowns. Losing Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid wasn’t a problem either. After his then-world-record transfer, the club won two additional EPL titles and returned to the UCL final once again before eventually bidding farewell to success and glory. This farewell was the farewell Fergie bid to the club after guiding them to their last domestic success. Apparently, the retirement of Fergie was the problem. He’s retired barely with every success, spirit, glory and trophy United has been associated with. Since then, it’s the same sad struggle –  the same sad story at the very Theater Of Dreams.


Struggling to finish in the top four becomes the norm every other season. And anytime the team plays in Europe, mediocrity and under-par quality becomes apparent. We’ve hardly seen The Red Devils on Thursday and Friday nights European action until recently. And seeing the team playing in that Europa League becomes even sadder because the big men play in the Champions League. Average teams that don’t have the muscles and quality to finish in the top four are the ones that play in the Europa League.

Sadly, the Red Devils have been fluctuating between the unpopular Europa League and the coveted Champions League, managing just a single success in the former back in 2016 under The Special One. Recently this year, Sevilla, the specialist in this inferior European competition, eliminated the Red Devils that unceremoniously, exposing we the fans to the very abysmal nightmare of the season.


        Paul Pogba, One of United’s best players






Apart from the unprecedented success and glory United enjoyed, watching them play was a great delight. They’ve always been a great force to be reckoned with. Lethal striking partnership of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, were more than fun to watch. Anytime David Beckham and Ryan Giggs play wide in the flanks, with their mesmerizing displays down the opposition defences, delivering great passes and assists, the Old Trafford fire gets ignited.
You couldn’t have a better man to anchor your midfield and protect your backline than Paul Scholes. And for aggression, hunger for success and leadership, you’d need Roy Keane in your ranks. Of course Cantona has to be the boss. He was so Eric. Coming down to the latter years, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand defensive partnership was just out of this world, with Patrice Evra and Gary Neville assisting them widely at the back, until when the Brazilian twins paved their way into the United defence.
Fergie never lacked mad dogs in midfield. Park Ji-sung was the most recent one. Anderson, big-butt Anderson, remember him? He was just so good as an organizer. You’d not want to talk about Fergie strikers without remembering the Berbatovs, the van Persies, the Chicharitos, the Louis Sahas, the Tevezs and the Wazzas! That was the competitive and challenging Man Utd for you.
A highly organized, compacted and consolidated side that opponent players find it a lifetime honor to score against. Ask Steven Gerrard how he’d behave anytime he scores against United. Such desperation and accomplishment in him tells you a lot about the quality of a team that transformed its stadium into a perfect slaughterhouse for visitors. Nani was too good a winger. For assisting Rooney’s overhead kick goal against fellow noisemakers in the other part of Manchester, he’s forced his love into the hearts of Red Devils.
For that little boy from that small countryside village who started watching football on Black & White TV sets, barely knowing all the first team players of Manchester United at the time, and would often say I support the Reds when asked; certainly has a Manchester United blood his veins. Sultan, Talib, how about that?
Coming to the most recent Manchester United team that boast an abysmally low firepower and clinicality, continually depending on spot kicks from 12-yards to grab draws and narrow victories, it’s indeed very sad to see them play, actually. Sadly, that Manchester United days of glory have largely gone moribund despite the occasional good performances the team has.






If Ole will actually bring the magic like he did in Barcelona in ’99 against Bayern, then it’s high time he brought that magic to redeem Manchester United, rekindle the Old Trafford fire, restore the familiar Old Trafford glory, and eventually ignite the lost spirit of the Red Devils – by taking us back to the very heights of success we duly and rightfully deserve to be. With that, when Fergie eventually dies, he could rest in perfect peace of his perfect legacy.


Batou Saidy is a Public Health officer and writer. He’s studied Public and Environmental Health at the University of The Gambia. He’s a football fanatic who integrates his profession with writing. 

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  1. […] post The Fall Of Manchester United appeared first on The Chronicle […]

  2. Buba Gaye says

    A robust display of masterclass dexterity. Keep writing Marco, we are proud of you!

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