Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Bubz27, Jun 2, 2019.
Yeah, interesting that that's come up since we've dropped in the league.
I think its entirely relevent don't you? A well-constructed team should challenge for cups and the league like we used to and like our rivals currently are. It isn't a moan if it it's reality.
We’ve always been a good cup team and that’s continued post Fergie. We were still a good cup team this season, taking the scalps of Chelsea, Arsenal and PSG, right up to that game against Wolves when everything was starting to go wrong.
Problem is, there’s only one cup anyone really cares about now so being a good cup team next year won’t count for much.
Belief. Pure and simple. Also the club reflects the city. Underdogs. They love to punch above their weight.
A lack of consistency in the league for one. When we turned it on, we were a match for anyone, but we just didn't seem to be able to grind out results when things weren't going so well. Liverpool were rightly called a machine because they pretty much were.
Yes, because we never play as a team and learn the importance of a cohesive style of play. It's the team which wins you top honours not individual flair players pulling off magnificent stuff on the pitch.
Yes but im not talking about leagues. Liverpool have consistently challenged for cups over the years whilst only ever flirting with the league (bar this year).
Interestingly, since we've become less well constructed, post Fergie, we've been more consistent in getting to finals.
Ok to your wider point, I think there is a lot to be said about Liverpool's European pedigree. I just find it hard to ignore the fact that despite having not won a Premier League title in thirty years, over the same period they have somehow managed to reach four Champions League finals and win two (the same as United, and better than both Chelsea and Arsenal over the same period). Actually, if you consider the win rate Liverpool's achievement is actually better than United's, because over the past 30 years, they have qualified for the Champions League on fewer occasions than United have. Somehow, the Champions League in particular, seems to be deep in the DNA of that club in a way that other major trophies do not seem to be.
Therefore, if your point is about United's performance relative to Liverpool in the Champions League, then you are absolutely right. Liverpool have done better and are more efficient than United, to the extent that they have achieved the same number of final wins with fewer attempts.
This is interesting as well. Don't think w
Yes, I agree with this.
Do you think there's a reasonable explanation as to why? Why have Liverpool been so good (relatively) in Europe, compared to us and other English teams?
I really do not and I do not think that anyone at Liverpool does either? Let's not forget, United's Champions League successes are attributable to two managers. Liverpool's are attributable to four.
The thing I would say is that everyone even opponents, seem to say there Anfield is a scary place to go on European nights. They seem to be able to create an unique atmosphere for Europe that carries their team along. By itself that does not explain it, but I am sure that it must contribute significantly towards it. There are also players who have experienced it first hand who are around and about the club, but the same can be said of United. So that by itself cannot explain it. Whilst United are undoubtedly English football's most successful domestic team, Liverpool are the top English team in Europe. It makes no sense at all.
I believe Fergie's stubbornness played a part even though stubbornness might be a harsh word because the great man created an empire at OT. Times were different, the market was different and domestic leagues still had tactical idiosyncrasies and little particularities which had to be respected to a certain degree, if someone wanted to succeed. In this sense, i don't think that money was really ever an issue. But questions about adaptability were always prominent. This led Ferguson to two things: a) cement the 442-ish tactics and b) go after PL proven talent in most cases.
And it worked a treat because we became the best team in England in the early '90s by playing some wonderful football on the way. Then we were absolutely blessed with the class of '92 emerging through the academy ranks. It truly was a sight to behold, breathtaking end-to-end stuff from a side that thrived in the chaos of transitions. But it was also against the norm of continental football which leaned more towards solid organization & security in the defensive third of the pitch and favoured tactics with enough bodies in the midfield. We had a great side but we almost always set ourselves to play with a 2v3 disadvantage in the midfield and we put too much faith in our attacking prowess in order to win matches. Which was the best way to win a marathon like the PL but not exactly the smartest thing to do when we were facing teams that could match our attacking abilities (like RM with Ronaldo, Raul Zidane and co.) or surpass them.
In the end, Ferguson was the greatest team builder in the history of football and probably in the history of all sports. And like all managers of this category, he lived and died by his principles. He had a fetish for tactics with two forwards, he always believed that the best way to create chances was when you had the ball in the wide areas and, despite all the moaning on the Caf, his midfield combos were never about control & domination. They were about transitions. That is until he woke up one day and realised that a single CL trophy would not be enough for his legacy. This admission led to tactical alterations which he, later on, mentioned that he didn't like but thought of them as necessary and, subsequently, to the two most solid consecutive European campaigns this club has enjoyed in its history.
Then Barcelona happened...
The answer to your question OP is, for me, a deafening yes. Throughout the CL era (which coincides with our rise to prominence in England) and until 2008, in 13 campaigns from 93/94 up to 06/07, we won a grand total of 7 knock-out ties (93/94 Honvend, 96/97 Porto, 98/99 Inter, Juventus, 01/02 La Coruna, 06/07 Lille, Roma). After winning the treble, we won one KO game in 7 years. Let that sink in for a moment. That is when we arguably had one of the best squads of our entire history.
The counter-argument to this is that the astonishing longevity Fergie achieved may have not been possible if he had been willing to make concessions to his beliefs. After all, he shaped the club in his own image, he set the standards everyone else had to follow and he was pretty adamant about how football should be played. Now, because i've seen others mention it, i don't believe in DNA-malarkey or any other metaphysical nonsense. Liverpool went to the 04/05 final because in the age of "snuff out all spaces in your third, let the opponent self-destruct on the ball and hit on the counter", Benitez set his team to defend a one-goal lead with 8/9 men in their box in Turin and then, in the SF, he beat Mourinho in his own game by turning 180 minutes of football into a "whoever gets one goal will win the tie" deal. For better or worse, Ferguson would rather lose a hand than do the same in his prime. And so would Pep nowadays. I can't think of any other manager in 2019 who has lost so many KO games simply because he never adjusts his tactics to his opponent. But the quality of the football he produces is really something else. Same thing with Fergie.
We put our all into the cups in the 70s 80s as the team were miles away from winning the league. Since Fergie we used to play kids or second string in the league cup and sometimes in the FA cup as well (finals apart) when we were regularly winning the league.
Odd thread. Under Mourinho Man. United won league and europa and made FA cup final over two seasons.
You've just declined massively in CL that's all, even in last two seasons of Fergie if you look closely enough (group exit in 11/12 and last 16 (unlucky) defeat to Real Madrid).
I would say though there are a couple of clutch teams who make finals you never think are ever going to lose. Man. City in recent years domestically, Chelsea in many finals in last 15 years and Barca, Liverpool and Real Madrid all got great records in CL finals when not facing each other.
Don’t forget we had to abide by a stupid rule that stipulated we could only play so many foreign players.
And yes Giggs and Keane Irwin Hughes were all classed as foreign.
Fergie had to play these games with half a team, it was shocking and bloody ridiculous.
Should’ve won another one or two CL’s between 2000 and 2003, it was there to be taken.
Absolutely zero investment in the team following the treble, the 99 transfer window was ridiculous, even as a 14 year old it seemed absurd to me, we just won it all let’s try and do it again next year, we’ve got something special going on but it’s not perfect.
Instead we became weaker.
Pretty much the same thing happened after the next one, but we can’t complain that’s for sure, we had it good.
I find you guilty of reading only the title of the thread and not the op.
We're a bit cursed in Europe. We could, and perhaps should, have added a few more European Cups after Camp Nou and before Moscow. Leverkusen away in 2002 being the most painful of them all.
I’ll let you off with three hail fergies and two our Matt busbys
WE ARE A BAD TEAM.
I'm going to write something that is definitely not the only reason we struggle sometimes in cups - but I do feel that to some degree our fans and stadium are not very good at creating an atmosphere.
Liverpool, Dortmund, Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax & Real Madrid are some teams I view as creating a fantastic Wednesday night atmosphere where a group of 11 players feels like 12.
The question really is: Why are we shit in the Champions League?
We should got to the Champions League final in 2002 and 2010. Apart from those years we didn’t play well enough and I don’t think you can say we were unlucky. We were just never lucky unlike other teams in England. We had to be the best team in the Europe to win it both times.
We’ve done ok winning the FA Cup, League Cup & Europa League recently & reaching FA Cup final so I think we’re a pretty decent cup team
Garrincha surely? Pele got injured in the first match and didn't play again in 1962.
Could be BBF. Maybe he meant the 1958 WC. The Pele comment was mine, not his, and I have no memory of that competition at all. The first WC I have an abiding memory of was 1966 and even some memories of that are a bit fuzzy (got Bulgaria confused with Hungary).
Just because Liverpool won a Cup? Or may be 2 CL in past decade? How many CL, Europa, FA, League Cups have we won?
This has been elaborated on in the thread.
I agree that it's more about the CL. But in general for us, to win the big trophies we've had to be one of the best teams. We don't and never have seemed capable of an underdog run. Liverpool in 05 and 07 weren't close to being the best team in England, but got to 2 finals.
Even last season, not even close but get to a CL final. We've only ever got there if we won the league. These last 6 years where we've been shite, we haven't even got close to putting together a CL run.
Yes. Modern-era Liverpool is basically a Cup team. "Just" 13-8 matches to win the title (6 being knock-out games and then a final). There's the Anfield factor, as well. Any other club would have capitulated after that 3-0 at Camp Nou.
They could have won 3 leagues in the last 10 years but Utd and City (twice) prevented it.
As I've said in a thread that got locked, Liverpool could win their 7th UCL a lot sooner than Bayern, AC Milan, Inter, Ajax or Utd (19-20 Barça remains an enigma, in fact, I'd say that the 19-20 UCL favorites are Liverpool, Barça, City and Juve, in that order). If Pool win their 7th, in my opinion they would become the 2nd most important football club of all time, surpassing AC Milan (leagues-continental trophies-most seasons at the 1st division-most seasons playing in Europe ratio) with only Madrid at the top. Damn. Dark times.
Maybe because when you aren't good in the league you can focus on a few cup finals every season?
I think you're over thinking this.
See I'd say that's an oversimplification. If you're good, you're good. In cups or leagues. City this year won the league and 2 cups. We've done similar in the past.
You can be good and not do well in cups.
You can't be bad and do well in the league.
You can be bad and do well in cups.
Yes, absolutely. And what I've asked is why the bolded can be true.
Luck of the draw definitely comes into it. But there has to be more than that.
Think we lack good tactical abilities and do not thrive with the underdog mentality. Too many selfish ego players in our teams and less tactical selfless ones. Fletcher was one though and we played great in Europe with him.
You've got to be in CL first to be able to put a run together in it. We've failed to qualify in 3 of the last 6 seasons.
The points that have been made about the anfield atmosphere on European nights compared to Old Trafford are interesting. For me, I think it's down to the way each club defines success. In my lifetime at least the priority was the knocking Liverpool off their perch domestically so the league always took priority whilst Liverpool have always been able to fall back on their European success as no other English club, really, is going to get close to 6 wins any time soon. I guess that mentality then translates through to the atmosphere.
As for cups in general, I think as teams become more inconsistent, they become better cup teams. So whilst they might be able to raise their performances for one off games every few weeks in the cups, they're not necessarily able to do it week in week out so don't really compete in the league - unless you're Man City with an unbelievable squad.
We were the great Man United until 2013, teams always brought their A game against us, and dreamed of knocking us out. However, with Liverpool I guess opponents took it a little easy and underestimated them but when they realised "they're actually decent" it was too late for them.
Mind you, we used to be the underdogs against Liverpool, especially in 1977, 1979, and 1985. We always seemed to get a cup result against them, though they did beat us at Wembley in 1983.
We sure were, then the 90's arrived and SAF just completely flipped the script. Not sure why we didn't kick on after 1999 and win atleast one more CLwith that squad. Apart from the fact teams were desperate to beat the big dogs as they still are to this day, hence why Barca have fecked up badly since 2015 also.
Are we good at anything? We have no redeeming quality.
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