99-05 why didn't we win the champions league again?

Green_Red

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In fairness we did a couple of SF finishes in those years and got knocked out by very very good opposition. That's the thing about a cup competition, you have to perform on the night and a couple of times we were out performed. But our overall record in Europe during those years is outstanding. We went a couple of years without losing a tie at Old Trafford and when we did lose it was usually against outstanding opposition. No trophies but still an incredible European record in those years.
 

Kag

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The transfer windows between 99 and 2001 were an absolute shambles, instead of strengthening we became weaker, I have no idea what were they thinking.

Europe was there for the taking at the time.
Nail on head.

Mind, the Leverkusen tie stills fecks me off. I was young but I can remember it well.
 

Luffy

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One time Cantona gauged the English United players and said if one knew how to pass the ball and link with the attackers that was enough. He was not completely right. The Real team who beat us 3-2 at home had unplayable midfielders with Redondo doing that turn...the same that Berbatov assisted Ronaldo...Real Madrid and Bayern were simply more technical than our midfielders.

While I also agree that Schmeichel was not replaced properly, Bosnich still produced save after save and kept the away leg at Real nil nil.
 

caid

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The team was immediately broken up after '99. Irwin and Schmeichel retired. Stam was sold a year or so after. Johnson never contributed as much after that season and was injured more often than not after that point. Yorke kicked back and didn't contribute as much in following seasons. Beckham became predictable. None of their replacements were particularly good. Most took years to replace. A lot of the following team was made up of youth players that took a couple years to come good. Same with the 08 team really. It was Scholes last great year, Hargreaves basically retired, Anderson never had as good a year. We broke up the attack by bringing in Berbatov and later selling Tevez and Ronaldo.
 

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There's a lot of talk now that the Zidane Real Madrid treble CL winning team is better than that 08 Pep team. I'd like to hear what people here think about that.
Not even close. Honestly I consider our 08 team to be better than two of Real's three winning teams (15/16 and 17/18). Their 16/17 vs our 08 would have been a great match, with them probably having a slight edge.

Peak Barca would have made mincemeat out of them in much the same way they did to us.
 

Billy Blaggs

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The year we lost to Dortmund with Cantona where the ball just wouldn't go in its another year that I think we'd have won the final against a not great Juventus team. We were all over Dortmund and they beat Juventus 3-1.
 

Irwin99

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One time Cantona gauged the English United players and said if one knew how to pass the ball and link with the attackers that was enough. He was not completely right. The Real team who beat us 3-2 at home had unplayable midfielders with Redondo doing that turn...the same that Berbatov assisted Ronaldo...Real Madrid and Bayern were simply more technical than our midfielders.

While I also agree that Schmeichel was not replaced properly, Bosnich still produced save after save and kept the away leg at Real nil nil.
Bosnich was good but we could have won that away game if Cole had scored a pretty easy header. With the early own goal in the home leg it was always an uphill battle but we wasted a lot of good chances. As i said, we never disgraced ourselves in Europe with this team apart from the Real Madrid game in 03.

I think our midfield had good technique. As Sir Alex said, keeping the ball and controlling possession was never a problem with Keane in the side. Scholes and Becks were very good in that respect too. Looking back at the highlights of those games it just seemed we were nervous in defence and lacked a spark when teams parked the bus.
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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Nail on head.

Mind, the Leverkusen tie stills fecks me off. I was young but I can remember it well.
Same.

We should have progressed to the final.

The final vs Real at Hampden park would have been incredible.
 

madzo2007

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If van Nistelrooy didn't do his ligaments and signed for United in the summer of 2000, instead of a year later, I think we would've been in with a shot for the 2001 CL
 

Bobski

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We weren't good enough defensively, relied far too much on the attacking talent to pull us out of holes. Even with Peak Stam in the treble season we gave up chances far too easily. Brown didn't develop, injuries probably, Silvestre was too erratic, the goal keeping situation. Really only between 06-11 that we had a defensive unit you could fully rely on at that level. Even before the 99-05 period we had the same issue,Bruce and Pallister were a great domestic pairing but were fairly average at CL level.
 

Lay

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We've never kicked on after winning the CL. We should have gone out and bought the best but we didn't.
 

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2000, 2003 - Galacticos
2002 - No luck, but Galacticos would have won the final anyway
2001, 2003 - United in a bit of a transition
2004 - refereeing
Slightly off topic but 2009 - refereeing
2010 - refereeing
2013 - refereeing

Never understood how any United fans can be against VAR.
 
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One time Cantona gauged the English United players and said if one knew how to pass the ball and link with the attackers that was enough. He was not completely right. The Real team who beat us 3-2 at home had unplayable midfielders with Redondo doing that turn...the same that Berbatov assisted Ronaldo...Real Madrid and Bayern were simply more technical than our midfielders.

While I also agree that Schmeichel was not replaced properly, Bosnich still produced save after save and kept the away leg at Real nil nil.
Redondo's and Berbatovs assists both great but not the same at all
 

Luffy

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Bosnich was good but we could have won that away game if Cole had scored a pretty easy header. With the early own goal in the home leg it was always an uphill battle but we wasted a lot of good chances. As i said, we never disgraced ourselves in Europe with this team apart from the Real Madrid game in 03.

I think our midfield had good technique. As Sir Alex said, keeping the ball and controlling possession was never a problem with Keane in the side. Scholes and Becks were very good in that respect too. Looking back at the highlights of those games it just seemed we were nervous in defence and lacked a spark when teams parked the bus.
I agree with you but that United team wasn't used to being bossed when they lost possession. Guti and his pals were the better team. That fact was bitter to me, but I accept it. We were outclassed.
 

Infordin

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We've never kicked on after winning the CL. We should have gone out and bought the best but we didn't.
Is that statement as true about 2008 as it is for 1999?
 

deafepl

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Unlucky to meet one of the best team ever we seen in 2009 and 2011. Got fecked by the ref in 2004 and 2010, and Kaka had his best performance ever against us in 3-0.

in 1996, we could have won UCL but for Blackburn to steal our spots in UCL through winning the league in 1995 and embarrassed themselves in Europe. We should have beaten Dortmund in the semifinal to reach the final. Monaco went through the quarter-final on away goal, we always get knocked out by away goals. PSG game is the first time we won on away goals in decades if I recall, we were a very underwhelming team when it comes to away goals rule.

Bosman changed the footballing in the mid-90s, Ajax and United had plenty of their domestic player and academy player in the team. A team like Real, Juve, Milan and other team were lucky they could get world class from other countries for insane fees, that's why they performed better than us, if it wasn't for Bosman's rule, I reckon United could have dominated Europe alongside with Ajax.
 
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One time Cantona gauged the English United players and said if one knew how to pass the ball and link with the attackers that was enough. He was not completely right. The Real team who beat us 3-2 at home had unplayable midfielders with Redondo doing that turn...the same that Berbatov assisted Ronaldo...Real Madrid and Bayern were simply more technical than our midfielders.

While I also agree that Schmeichel was not replaced properly, Bosnich still produced save after save and kept the away leg at Real nil nil.
One of the best goalkeeping performances I've seen from a United player. Bosnich was outstanding in that match and yet we couldn't build on that decent result away in the return home leg.We seemed to be in awe of Madrid in the home leg,much like we were in 03.Though granted we had more of a up-hill challenge in 03 what with our 3-1 first leg away defeat.
 

Amir

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Unlucky to meet one of the best team ever we seen in 2009 and 2011. Got fecked by the ref in 2004 and 2010, and Kaka had his best performance ever against us in 3-0.

in 1996, we could have won UCL but for Blackburn to steal our spots in UCL through winning the league in 1995 and embarrassed themselves in Europe. We should have beaten Dortmund in the semifinal to reach the final. Monaco went through the quarter-final on away goal, we always get knocked out by away goals. PSG game is the first time we won on away goals in decades if I recall, we were a very underwhelming team when it comes to away goals rule.
Probably because our main idea for away fixtures was to play for 0-0.
 

Amir

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One of the best goalkeeping performances I've seen from a United player. Bosnich was outstanding in that match and yet we couldn't build on that decent result away in the return home leg.We seemed to be in awe of Madrid in the home leg,much like we were in 03.Though granted we had more of a up-hill challenge in 03 what with our 3-1 first leg away defeat.
I actually thought it was the opposite. We played well and actually attacked so much after going 0-1 down, we left ourselves open to concede two quick goals, and that was that.,
 

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For such a massive football club, it's fair to say we haven't achieved as much in Europe as we could have done down the years. Along with the likes of Juventus and Inter we're not alone in being a giant club that's underachieved in this respect, but if we look back over the past 25 years or so the Treble team in particular sticks out in my mind as the team could have won more. The 1994 side was stymied by that stupid foreigner restriction rule and the fact that the team was broken up pretty quickly, whilst the 08 team had the misfortune to come up against possibly the greatest team ever assembled in Pep's Barcelona. Why then didn't the Treble team go on to conquer Europe again? The following two seasons were almost embarrassingly easy domestically but we got knocked out of the champions league stage at the quarter finals on each occasion. We never disgraced ourselves (alright, maybe Real Madrid first leg in 03 aside) but we never got close enough. A few possible reasons spring to mind

1. Our transfer policy wasn't as good as it should have been and our defence and squad quality gradually worsened. It's easy to forget that Ronny Johnson played just 39 times in 3 years after the Treble season while we had to rely on Wes Brown, Berg, Silvestre to partner Jaap Stam. Good squad players but hardly world class starters. We never properly replaced Denis Irwin at left back who was 33 when we won the Treble and we never had a settled goalkeeper until we signed VDS. In hindsight, Silvestre was a decent squad signing but we desperately needed a better centre back and left back. Giggs and Beckham never really had a challenge for their positions either as Blomquist never played for us again after 99. The squad option for that role became Luke Chadwick if i remember rightly.

2. English teams were lacking tactical nous in big European games. This one is more contentious but Arsenal's record in Europe was utterly abysmal during this time and there was a feeling that English teams didn't really control games that well in Europe. I'm not entirely sure this is true in our case as we had a lot of players that could keep the ball well and recycle possession but i think we struggled to break teams down. I would have liked to have seen another dynamic winger like Figo and another quick striker like Owen at the club at this time. If you look at the games we went out in it's just dumb defensive errors that cost us and then we couldn't break teams down when they defended deep. Keeping possession was never a problem, neither was workrate or fitness.

3. Bad luck or small margins. Against Leverkusen (02) and Porto (04) we missed glorious chances or were the victim of stupid decisions (Scholes disallowed goal for instance).

Anyone want to offer their argument for why we didn't do better? A mixture of 1 and 3 is my personal opinion. The 99 team with a new centre back, goalkeeper and another winger would have gone a long way to getting us another CL title.
People moan about the Glazers and rightly so, but the Plc were properly stingy too. In 99 we had the chance to forge ahead and build on the amazing crop of young players we had, but we only signed Bosnich (on a free) and Fortune if memory serves. Had we been ruthless that summer we could easily have won another CL.
 
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I think questions should be asked about our transfer business during 09 after Ronaldo's departure but I'm having a hard time coming up with that question with regards to our 1999 treble winning team.That team was as perfectly balanced as you could get. The only real question mark ,you could argue, was in the keeping and centre back position. Bosnich was a very good keeper on his day but we never found the right foil for Stam when Johnson was inevitably out injured.

I remember us being strongly linked with various centre backs at the time who could've easily complimented Stam. The best one arguably being Blanc who we eventually signed later down the years as Stam's replacement.
 

JohnnyKills

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I think questions should be asked about our transfer business during 09 after Ronaldo's departure but I'm having a hard time coming up with that question with regards to our 1999 treble winning team.That team was as perfectly balanced as you could get. The only real question mark ,you could argue, was in the keeping and centre back position. Bosnich was a very good keeper on his day but we never found the right foil for Stam when Johnson was inevitably out injured.

I remember us being strongly linked with various centre backs at the time who could've easily complimented Stam. The best one arguably being Blanc who we eventually signed later down the years as Stam's replacement.
Think we tried to get Campbell to didn't we?
 

RedDevilCanuck

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We should have won more CLs in the 2007 to 2013 era.

Even though it turned out great for Ronnie he really screwed us by leaving after 2009. You just cant replace that quality.

I know Barca were incredible but fergie would have learned after that final. With Ronaldo you always have a chance.

With Ronaldo we were better than Inter, Bayern, Chelsea and all the other challengers at the time.
 

FootballHQ

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2000, 2003 - Galacticos
2002 - No luck, but Galacticos would have won the final anyway
2001, 2003 - United in a bit of a transition
2004 - refereeing
Slightly off topic but 2009 - refereeing
2010 - refereeing
2013 - refereeing

Never understood how any United fans can be against VAR.
The 2000 game was actually considered a formality (by British press). Real Madrid were in poor domestic form at the time and back then 0-0 away from home was still seen as very good result so everyone expect Man. United to win second leg but Roberto Carlos, Raul and Redondo were sensational on the night while only really Beckham of your big players at the time turned up (he scored a lovely goal which probably first got Madrid's attention). I actually watched highlights of that game recently and Karanka actually handled on the line at 0-1 but nothing was seen so that would be red card nowadays.

2002 was surely the one? Considering how Deportivo outplayed you in the group stages to win 2-0 in La Coruna was fantastic result. You really should've taken out Leverkusen but guess they were that surprise package like Ajax this season, you completely dominanted the away leg anyway. At least that annoying "United are going to Glasgow, follow" chant died a death all of a sudden.;)

2003-06 was when you were in transition. Even if you'd won v Porto in 04 doubt you'd have reached the final.
 
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I actually thought it was the opposite. We played well and actually attacked so much after going 0-1 down, we left ourselves open to concede two quick goals, and that was that.,
You possibly have a better memory than me here.We were definitely in awe in the 03 tie and I dont blame them.
The football Madrid played,more so in the first match,was out of this world. Zidane,Figo,Raul were just continually moving around the pitch with Makélélé having a field day controlling the middle of the park.
I remember Scholes being stuck out of the left in the first tie and,naturally,he was bad. Zidane schooled him that night,as he did with everybody when he was on his A-game.
 

FootballHQ

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We should have won more CLs in the 2007 to 2013 era.

Even though it turned out great for Ronnie he really screwed us by leaving after 2009. You just cant replace that quality.

I know Barca were incredible but fergie would have learned after that final. With Ronaldo you always have a chance.

With Ronaldo we were better than Inter, Bayern, Chelsea and all the other challengers at the time.
Yes had a ridiculous good defence in those years, certainly should've ahead another CL in next 3-4 years after 2008 although arguably 2011 was overachievement in getting to the final.
 

matherto

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We should have won more CLs in the 2007 to 2013 era.

Even though it turned out great for Ronnie he really screwed us by leaving after 2009. You just cant replace that quality.

I know Barca were incredible but fergie would have learned after that final. With Ronaldo you always have a chance.

With Ronaldo we were better than Inter, Bayern, Chelsea and all the other challengers at the time.
The 2011 approach suggested SAF didn't learn from 2009.

Even with Ronaldo we were nowhere near that Barça team by 2011 so likely he would've gotten as frustrated as he did in 2009 and then we'd have fared even worse. Barça still would've scored 3 in all honesty.

We played the same way in both finals with a worse team in 2011 hence we got schooled worse than 2009.
 

Canagel

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We should have won more CLs in the 2007 to 2013 era.

Even though it turned out great for Ronnie he really screwed us by leaving after 2009. You just cant replace that quality.

I know Barca were incredible but fergie would have learned after that final. With Ronaldo you always have a chance.

With Ronaldo we were better than Inter, Bayern, Chelsea and all the other challengers at the time.
No we didn't really do anything extra to win more than 1 CL in that period. Our run in 2011 was quite lucky and papered over the cracks of declining team.
 
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The 2011 campaign as a whole was abit bizarre.
We won the title and got to another CL final but I wouldn't say we were particularly brilliant that season.

We were lucky domestically as our only true competitors,that being Chelsea,shot themselves in the foot that season and minor Barca ,who would eventually swipe us aside in the CL final, the majority of the other top CL sides were either hopelessly erratic or just outright appalling.
 

Lay

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Is that statement as true about 2008 as it is for 1999?
Yes. We weren't ruthless enough. After we lost to Barcelona in the final, we went out to sign players to compete with them (Paraphrasing SAF here) and we signed Ashley Young, who even then was merely a decent/good winger with one trick.
 

jesperjaap

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For such a massive football club, it's fair to say we haven't achieved as much in Europe as we could have done down the years. Along with the likes of Juventus and Inter we're not alone in being a giant club that's underachieved in this respect, but if we look back over the past 25 years or so the Treble team in particular sticks out in my mind as the team could have won more. The 1994 side was stymied by that stupid foreigner restriction rule and the fact that the team was broken up pretty quickly, whilst the 08 team had the misfortune to come up against possibly the greatest team ever assembled in Pep's Barcelona. Why then didn't the Treble team go on to conquer Europe again? The following two seasons were almost embarrassingly easy domestically but we got knocked out of the champions league stage at the quarter finals on each occasion. We never disgraced ourselves (alright, maybe Real Madrid first leg in 03 aside) but we never got close enough. A few possible reasons spring to mind

1. Our transfer policy wasn't as good as it should have been and our defence and squad quality gradually worsened. It's easy to forget that Ronny Johnson played just 39 times in 3 years after the Treble season while we had to rely on Wes Brown, Berg, Silvestre to partner Jaap Stam. Good squad players but hardly world class starters. We never properly replaced Denis Irwin at left back who was 33 when we won the Treble and we never had a settled goalkeeper until we signed VDS. In hindsight, Silvestre was a decent squad signing but we desperately needed a better centre back and left back. Giggs and Beckham never really had a challenge for their positions either as Blomquist never played for us again after 99. The squad option for that role became Luke Chadwick if i remember rightly.

2. English teams were lacking tactical nous in big European games. This one is more contentious but Arsenal's record in Europe was utterly abysmal during this time and there was a feeling that English teams didn't really control games that well in Europe. I'm not entirely sure this is true in our case as we had a lot of players that could keep the ball well and recycle possession but i think we struggled to break teams down. I would have liked to have seen another dynamic winger like Figo and another quick striker like Owen at the club at this time. If you look at the games we went out in it's just dumb defensive errors that cost us and then we couldn't break teams down when they defended deep. Keeping possession was never a problem, neither was workrate or fitness.

3. Bad luck or small margins. Against Leverkusen (02) and Porto (04) we missed glorious chances or were the victim of stupid decisions (Scholes disallowed goal for instance).

Anyone want to offer their argument for why we didn't do better? A mixture of 1 and 3 is my personal opinion. The 99 team with a new centre back, goalkeeper and another winger would have gone a long way to getting us another CL title.
As others have said, retaining the trophy wasnt a feat achieved until recently. Really think we blew it a few times though. The year after the treble season I think we played the best football I can remember, absolutely battered Real Madrid and managed to lose. We had similar games after that too against Leverkusen, Dortmund and others. We wpuld have won further cl trophies too if one of our best sides hadnt coincided with the great Barcelona side and as you mention we were hampered from being out of EUrope as a country so long and the three foreigners rule as we had so many British players counted as foreigners in the mid 90s. Saying that, at the elite level I dont think Bruce and Pallister were good enough in Europe, as showed when Stoichkov and Romario made fools out of them, what a great yet short lived partnership that was!
It is sad that the last year or two our awfully poor side has coincided with what I believe post Zidanes Madrid is actually a really weak period in European football. Alwyas thought the current Barcelona side was average, as is Madrid hence the spending, Bayern too. Outside the premiership big guns I only think Juve are top quality at the moment and they were battered by Ajax. There are quite a few huge sides really need to rebuild at the moment, mainly due to ages of players....for us sadly that isnt the case, its the ability of them
 

jesperjaap

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Yes. We weren't ruthless enough. After we lost to Barcelona in the final, we went out to sign players to compete with them (Paraphrasing SAF here) and we signed Ashley Young, who even then was merely a decent/good winger with one trick.
Sadly bar the odd short term purchase like Van Persie and Ibrahimovic, plus DeGea I actually think since we sold Ronaldo, the majority of our summer transfer business hasnt been great in most senses...wrong type of players, not enough players, over rated players, average players.....and that is aimed at incoming and outgoing business. Think we have only had two decent windows in that whole time, considering that is a decade and over 350 Ronaldo goals.....it says so much about why we are where we are now
 

MrMarcello

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We could have done with another direct winger and maybe have the option to put Beckham centrally. But yeah, defensively it took years before we got a great backline again.

I wonder which left back would have improved us after 99?
Silvestre was fine at left back, and was pretty good at setting up chances whipping in crosses/passes out wide. The problem I had was after the defensive problems that had showed regularly from 98-00, it was obvious that a top tier defender was needed to solidify the back four and partner Stam. The likes of Berg, Brown, and Johnsen were simply crocks and could not be counted on going forward even with their quality. Ship Berg off (they actually did that coming season), keep Brown and Johnsen as backup, and bring in a top tier defender.

SAF should have signed Rio in the summer 2000 window. And if not him should have ponied up for Campbell or Thuram.
 

CognitiveNeuro

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It's just amazing that the greatest Man Utd teams under SAF reached 4 European finals, winning 2 CLs and losing 2 in 26 years while an average Liverpool reached to 7 European finals in roughly the same period of time winning 2 CLs as well (and a Uefa Cup).

Why is Liverpool so good in Europe?