I completely disagree with this. 2003-2005 was a period of transition after the class92/treble era. The defence was being rebuilt around Rio Ferdinand, slowly settling when Vidic, Evra, VDS were slotting in. Keane was being phased out, and a suitable partner for Scholes was at last found and developed in Carrick. Up front the wise decision was made to drop a brilliant Van Nistelrooy and give time to two of the best prospects around in Ronaldo and Rooney. As this took place, we were weaker for a few years, but the team from 2005/6 to 2009 was the best United team in history, I’d say one of the best teams in football history. Ronaldo was a worldie, but the team was absolutely magnificent in every department, and the age of players was nicely varied. Ferguson himself has described well the need for transitioning periods for great teams, but unfortunately, he didn’t manage to transition from that team in the same way.Ronaldo papered over a lot of cracks, the rot started much earlier.
We were slow to react to Chelsea's dominance in the early stages of the Roman era - they were beating us to signings, scoring amazing goals, and defending incredibly too.
They built a formiddable team instantly.
Their scouting was better, they bought much better players, their tactics seemed like a breath of fresh air - and every time we faced them I genuinely thought we would lose.
If we didn't have Ronaldo then I think we would have struggled to compete in the way we did.
By the time we left we were already far behind the likes of Bayern & Barcelona, it just compounded.
Since then we've made a few quick fixes (RvP for example) but we still seemingly don't have a long term plan in place, or any real strategy.