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

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Irwin99, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Jun 11, 2019

    BringKlebersonBack New Member

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    I don’t think we were always tactically disciplined, or sophisticated enough, to win consistently. The pre-99 side was learning and improving for 3/4 years, and each season brought a gradual improvement in the side - and even in the final, we were lucky to win it.

    Post-99, I think we had to start adjusting to a new wave of tactical innovations in Europe, and Ferguson needed to try to make the team more innovative on the ball, with more technical quality - certainly his interest in the likes of Figo, his signing of Veron, demonstrated his knowledge that we needed more ball-players in the side. It’s part of his unheralded genius that despite the oft-repeated “Ferguson was no tactician”, he recognised the change in European tactics and tried to adapt our side to play well, consistently, against European rivals.

    Let’s not forget the fact too that the UCL is a cup competition. Luck always plays a part. We’ve had some good, some bad.

    I’d love an answer to the “why are Liverpool so good in Europe” though. Is it a cultural thing? Is it the mythos of the club?
  2. Jun 11, 2019

    Irwin99 Full Member

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    Silvestre was actually a decent and very quick player who could get a very good amount of assists but there was always a mistake in him I felt- League cup final in 03 for example, and you could argue in the tie against Bayern Munich in 2001. A bit like Smalling perhaps in the sense that for all the good he did you had more than a fair share of those 'what the hell was he doing there' moments.
  3. Jun 11, 2019

    Irwin99 Full Member

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    Really REALLY hate to say it but the Anfield factor is a massive reason. Teams tend to crap their pants when visiting especially if the second leg is at Anfield, Dortmund and Barca are recent examples. Old Trafford can be like that but it's just not as often. I think Maradona said recently that OT was deafening when he went there in the 80s and Barca 08 and Chelsea in the league in 05 are good examples as well of how a rocking OT atmosphere can really help.
  4. Jun 11, 2019

    RedorDead21 Full Member

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    How he wasn't shown the door the next day by SAF for that I'll never know. Allowing a player to say that! He's the only player he ever had who would get away with it once! He was 100% right but still it was ballsy.
  5. Jun 11, 2019

    SiRed Full Member

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    I imagine he was warned about it the day after. I miss that passion. Theres a lot of players we have now that need calling out and nobody with the cojonies to do it.
  6. Jun 11, 2019

    TheRedDevil'sAdvocate Full Member

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    You are absolutely right, we weren't. That first sentence nails it. We always seemed very set on our ways in a time when tactics which favoured an extra midfielder (usually at the expense of a forward) were becoming very dominant. Going into knock-out ties against sides that can match your attacking prowess with a 2v3 disadvantage in the midfield can prove costly even if these two midfielders are Keane and Scholes. You're right about the other thing too although i wouldn't call it an innovation. It was the exact opposite of what's happening now: The tendency of most big clubs to focus on the defensive aspect of the game in their half of the pitch and eventually win their matches more with the quality of their chances and less with the quantity. Just as we watch now teams that thrive with the ball at their feet, the norm (if you want to call it that) was to create a team that would feel most comfortable without the ball. These tactics helped Greece win the Euro and Liverpool the CL. It was the time when Mourinho was the undisputed number 1 manager in the world.

    Fergie always knew that, he just didn't like to use such tactics and he always tried to win by producing attacking football. He started experimenting (with Veron as you mentioned) in the mid-'00s and he finally made the concession (with Carrick, Scholes/Giggs and Hargreaves we basically played with three in the midfield) in 2008 simply because he wanted to win another CL. Sadly, Barcelona happened and he didn't get the chance to add another CL trophy. I believe he even mentions it in his book that he wasn't very fond of the tactical changes he made but he thought of them as necessary at the time.

    As for Liverpool, i don't believe it's a cultural thing. 5/6 times they won it, they were among the best teams in the world (both in terms of quality and tactics) and the one time they definitely didn't possess the quality they had Benitez who was a master tactician in the defensive aspect of the game and probably the only one back then who could beat Mourinho in his own game.
  7. Jun 11, 2019

    CognitiveNeuro New Member

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    Isn't it odd that you had more or less had the same results with SAF, your greatest manager and with your greatest teams? While it's been mostly average Liverpool teams always in transition periods?

    Not sure about the gung-ho thing. United even under SAF surely weren't gung-ho, especially away from home. Maybe only in certain games they were.

    Then even if your peak coincided with the move to the CL format and it's harder to win, Liverpool still equalled your record with 2 CLs and haven't won the league in 3 decades.

    Basically I gather from your post, the real reasons being passionate support and a cup competition which doesn't really mean the better team has won. It's interesting though because I always thought this passionate support thing about Liverpool being bullshit. In any case, I didn't expect a team's support to make that much difference.
  8. Jun 11, 2019

    Gary_Walsh_Nou_Camp_Hell New Member

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    Surely the Leverkusen semi final was comparable to these

    Remember Neville saying it was simply complacency that cost us
  9. Jun 11, 2019

    soaphroniscuss New Member

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    In which CL final years were Liverpool mostly average?
    2005 W and which other ones? 2007 L?

    In which EL winning years?
    2001 W, 2016 L and what else?

    Please list them.
  10. Jun 11, 2019

    Ooge_ New Member

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    I can´t judge ManUtd but Bayern. They had a phase between 2010 and 2016 where they should have won the cl one more time. Especially in 2016 when they dropped out in the semifinal against Atlético. Simeone said afterwards that this Bayern team was the strongest opponent he faced as a coach. In hindsight Bayern won the CL as often as Inter and Chelsea since 2010. Pretty disappointing if you ask me.
  11. Jun 11, 2019

    Irwin99 Full Member

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    His aggression really intensified at times after the Treble. I think it was against Middlesborough away in 2000 (not the home game where he chased the referee) where he went absolutely ballistic at his teammates on the pitch. The next year he said after the Bayern defeat that 'it was the end of the road for this team, we've tried but we're just not good enough' and the following year he threatens to quit football after a 4-3 loss against Newcastle after being sent off. The guy had massive standards and issues with failure and SAF tolerated it for as long as he was still useful.

    I kind of miss that in a way too. You're never quite sure if players hurt as much as the fans or if they're just happy to pick up their pay at the end of the week. With Keane it was all there to see.
  12. Jun 11, 2019

    MrMarcello Full Member

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    2000 - agreed
    2001 - had United not slipped in the second group stage they would have drawn the other bracket - Galatasary and Leeds - and most likely into the Final against Bayern.
    2002 - couldn't finish
    2003 - Brown was just as much at fault
    2004 - officiating as well, and had O'Shea/et al not been sleeping that dropped ball could have been cleared
    2005 - inches from a shock Fortune goal (think it was him off the post), may have turned the tide
  13. Jun 12, 2019

    CognitiveNeuro New Member

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    I said it's it's been mostly average Liverpool teams always in transition periods.
    Liverpool were in transition in 2005 as it was Benitez's first season he just brought a group of players. 2007 was another sort of transition period as Hicks and Gillette bought the club this season.

    I don't even have to explain how average they were in 2005

    In 2007, they finished 21 points behind you yet still made the Champions League Final. Imagine finishing 21 points behind the leaders and making the CL final.

    In 2016, they finished 8th in the table, just above Stoke but made the Europa League Final. So yes, they had average teams in those seasons. If you want to dispute this then I'd really like to hear it.
  14. Jun 12, 2019

    CognitiveNeuro New Member

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    Is Anfield really that loud and intimidating? I think it's really exaggerated. People used to say that it's so loud you can't ever hear the CL anthem but that's just not true. Do you really believe that is the major factor to them reaching so many finals?
  15. Jun 12, 2019

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    That year in 99 we traded our luck for the next 10 years for the treble.

    But feck it. It's worth it.
  16. Jun 12, 2019

    Infordin Full Member

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    Even in 2017 and 2018 they would have probably won it if they had gone through against Madrid. 2017 was controversial but Madrid was probably better. In 2018 Bayern was better but shat the bed.
  17. Jun 12, 2019

    VorZakone What would Kenny G do?

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    I mean, noise or no noise, the results speak for themselves. Liverpool are a different beast at home compared to away.
  18. Jun 12, 2019

    JDoe Full Member

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    We were the better cup team in 16/17 and 17/18 than under Pep despite having way worse squads. Atletico was by far the "worst" big club we played against and we still lost deservedly. At least in 16/17 and especially 17/18 we were competitive against the best in the world.

    Those were pretty much empty phrases to talk the opponent up which you've defeated. It's not like we battered them and lost due to some minor miracle like against Chelsea in 11/12. That was an even match chances-wise.
  19. Jun 12, 2019

    Ooge_ New Member

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    Empty phrases? Even match chance-wise? I disagree.

    Shots
    Bayern: 33
    Atletico: 7

    Shots on Target
    Bayern: 11
    Atletico: 4

    Shot Zones
    Bayern: 6 % (6 Yards Box), 45 % (18 Yard Box), 49 % (Outside of the box)
    Atletico: 0 % (6 Yards Box), 29 % (18 Yard Box), 71 % (Outside of the box)

    Passes
    Bayern: 693
    Atletico: 261

    Pass Success
    Bayern: 85 %
    Atletico: 56 %

    Action Zones
    Home Third: 15 %
    Middle Third: 42 %
    Away Third: 43 %

    https://www.whoscored.com/Matches/1...eague-2015-2016-Bayern-Munich-Atletico-Madrid
  20. Jun 12, 2019

    Gio ★★★★★★★★

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    Solid points. I'd draw a parallel between mid-to-late 90s United and mid-to-late 10s City in their approach to Europe - overflowing, relentless attacking football which by its nature contained periods of exposed vulnerability that the top players punished at the business end of the Champions League.

    Post the Madrid awakening in 2000, the only one that stands out for me would be Leverkusen in 2001/02. That looked like a missed opportunity as the final appeared to be a collision course between Real and United at Hampden. But fundamentally that back line - young Brown/Silvestre, old Johnsen and Blanc, backed up by Barthez - wasn't strong enough to be guaranteeing CL final appearances. After then I don't think United were good enough to be genuine contenders and the one CL over the 1999-2005 period seems a fair reflection. Valencia reached 2 finals and were trophyless, while Deportivo, Leverkusen and Juventus all came away with zero too, yet have similar or stronger cases to feel hard done by.
  21. Jun 12, 2019

    Irwin99 Full Member

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    Sadly, it really is a factor I think, not at all in the league but definitely in Europe. It's not just the noise but when you see all the flags and banners and that odious anthem it does feel special even when you hear/see it on the telly. Home players react better, referees feel under pressure, away players get nervous. Far better teams in Europe have gone there down the years and crapped their pants in a second leg at Anfield.
  22. Jun 12, 2019

    Skills Snitch

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    After the treble winning season we signed Fortune, Taibi, Bosnich and Silvestre.

    That's a pretty poor summer. Should've invested big time that summer to consolidate our spot at the top. Should've bought a top quality keeper that summer & another great CB.

    We then bought feck all the season after as well, when we probably should've started rethinking the attack (tbf we would've signed RVN if it weren't for his injury) and maybe another CM. We tried to correct this the next summer by buying Veron and Ruud.

    The worst thing you can do is stand still once you've reached the top. You need to refresh, inject some change.
  23. Jun 12, 2019

    Schneckerl Full Member

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    They happened to be the best club in England at the right time, different competition back then. English teams won it 7 times in 8 years from '77 - '84. In the modern CL it's 2-2 in terms of wins.
  24. Jun 12, 2019

    Amir Full Member

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    Fergie himself mentioned over the years to how important it is to strengthen from a position of power. Thing is, it might have been a PLC budget thing. I remember Fergie writing that in the summer of 1998 we only had money for the Stam and Blomqvist deals. We got Yorke by getting it done late and putting it onto next year's budget. Then next year arrived...
  25. Jun 12, 2019

    JDoe Full Member

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    Stats, especially shots and possession mean relatively little without context when you are a team that is trimmed for possession. As far as I can remember, the xG stats were very even if you include the missed pen for us and the two missed pens for Atletico. I'm not denying that we were the better team and probably should have advanced, but it definitely wasn't as clear cut and we certainly weren't the best team they ever faced. PSG against United was much, much more of a freak result for instance. But we digress.
  26. Jun 12, 2019

    CognitiveNeuro New Member

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    So doesn't United have flags and banners? Can't other teams get an anthem? I'm shocked that even United fans are admitting Anfield is special.
  27. Jun 12, 2019

    Charlie Foley Full Member

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    not to be a pedant, but we won the FA Cup Final handily enough if I recall correctly (though the semi final was mental)
  28. Jun 12, 2019

    Inter Yer Nan Full Member

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    A number of things. I think we were often a little too attacking at times in those days. Maybe if Fergie took his 2007-2011 champions league approach to certain games we'd have won another one. We were probably too open in some of the away games and arguably too complacent in certain homes games.

    I also think the competition was stronger and it was much harder to repeat back then. Bayern had a golden generation, Barca were excellent, Real Madrid were great and the Italian sides were brilliant, all of them. Then you had teams like Valencia and Deportivo who were brilliant sides that won major titles and picked big scalps in Europe.
  29. Jun 12, 2019

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    Support and atmosphere probably is only 5 percent extra. You need the beef of the skills and players before atmosphere matters. Probably that tiny little extra bit to get you to the finish line
  30. Jun 13, 2019

    ryansgirl Full Member

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    Sorry, while Anfield undoubtedly is a special place and Liverpool one of the iconic football clubs in Britain and the world, saying 'teams crap their pants' there is silly.

    In the days of the great Emlyn Hughes and later with their other European Cup winning sides, the atmosphere was far more intense especially given the huge number of bodies that used to be packed on the terraces of football clubs. Fans could also be intimidating in Britain as in other countries - that hasn't been permitted for some time in the Premier League.

    Ask Sir Alex which ground was intimidating and he would tell you about Leeds where United under him ran the gauntlet of some threatening Leeds fans and a wife of one of United's Directors, I think, had a cup of tea thrown over her.

    I know we're talking about the Champions League but no, teams from Europe wouldn't feel scared as you suggest by Liverpool's home ground. Flags and chants are normal in football especially on the European nights.

    Many European grounds are far more intense and intimidating especially at the Italian clubs like Roma and Lazzio, and the Spanish grounds. Liverpool also haven't won an English title for years and while they're clearly ahead in terms of winning the European Cup, it is more down to the foreign managers they've had and the type of players they've bought.

    Until recently those kinds of foreign players weren't exactly setting the Premier League alight with a few exceptions and their lack of titles shows. They are more suited to European games.

    As for the noise factor - I remember watching European ties under Sir Alex, especially the key games, on big screens at pubs. You couldn't hear the commentary very well and the noise invaded the room. I forget which commentator one time but the awe in his voice remains as he raised his voice, 'And Old Trafford IS ROCKING!'.
  31. Jun 13, 2019

    Ooge_ New Member

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    Sadly the Tweet about the xG stats i remember is not longer available (see at the end of the article https://spielverlagerung.com/2016/0...ing_wp_cron=1560417589.0526120662689208984375), but here is the conclusion from spielverlagerung:

    "Despite getting a goal back, Bayern were unable to find the winner as Atlético held on impressively. Whilst Simeone’s team were extremely stable in the quarter final match against Barcelona, their stability was not seen at similar levels in the semi-finals. Quite often relying on poor finishing from Bayern and some heroics by Oblak, the Spanish side rode their luck on a number of occasions. They controlled the first half of the match at the Calderon, which was in many ways a result of Bayern’s poor possession game, whilst they were dominated for large spells of the second leg. Expected goals is a strong barometer of performances and in every model, Bayern were shown to be the superior team over the two legs."

    But nevertheless the more important question is: Why are xG Stats so hard to find? whoscored does not show them in their match reports as far as i could figure out.

    Does somebody know a free database for xG Stats?
  32. Jun 13, 2019

    Schmeichel's Cartwheel Full Member

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    99-00 - Beaten by the better team in Madrid
    00-01 - Beaten by the better team in Bayern
    01-02 - Should have made the final against Madrid
    02-03 - Beaten by the better team in Madrid
    03-04 - Should have won the competition
    04-05 - Beaten by the better team in Milan
  33. Jun 18, 2019

    BringKlebersonBack New Member

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    Absolutely spot on about the change into the 2v3 midfield issue, and the movement into teams that “camped” if you like, and then hit hard on the counter-attack. In fact, this was a reaction to the possession-heavy and ultimately inefficient style that teams were trying to play - and Ferguson ended up adjusting his tactics as his growing European experience taught him that his own tactical sophistication was limited. I still believe that Lippi, Van Gaal and Heyneckes were the absolute best.

    It is somewhat of a concern when you consider that our current manager has not evidenced any really insight into tactical principles.