It was in the year 2013 that Manchester United said goodbye to its most successful manager – Sir Alex Ferguson. Even in his last year, Manchester United managed to steal the Premier League title once more, bringing the tally to 20, two more than its closest rival Liverpool FC. But since, then the sheen and charisma of that time has diminished, with the club not even managing a spot in Champions League last year.
Ever since Sir Alex left Old Trafford, the club has not been able to cement its way back, the biggest reason being the legacy left by the great man. It has seen three different managers in as many years. David Moyes, who came to Manchester United from Everton FC, could never really get into the groove right from the start. Even the legendary Louis Van Gaal just could not line the troops and kept on misfiring. Even though he raked up quite the stats for possession, the same number could never be achieved in goals. Now, the ‘special one’ Jose Mourinho has been given the reigns of one of the most popular club on this planet. Even though it has only been a few months since his arrival, the prospects look promising.
When Mourinho arrived at Manchester United in summer of 2016, he went shopping. And boy oh boy did he shop – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and of course the eye popping deal for Paul Pogba. He brought stardom back to Manchester United, but was it enough to bring back the wins and the goals? Well, initially the situation did look grim as Manchester United was losing more matches than it could afford. And very quickly, saw itself pushed out of the top 4. Everyone feared the worst, that someone has jinxed Manchester United and even the ‘special one’ is no more special.
But as the festive season arrived, there has been a shift in the tides and Manchester United seems to go back to its winning days. The seasoned Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the gritty Henrikh Mkhitaryan have shown character and are delivering on their promises. Even though Paul Pogba is always at the right places, he needs to perform out of the box for the immense price tag he was brought in. With more than half a season to go, it will be interesting to see if Manchester United can fathom its past glories or do the lights in Old Trafford go out with Christmas? Time will tell.