Manchester United's Marcus Rashford battles for the ball with Aston Villa's Matt Targett, left, and Jack Grealish. The Red Devils went on to draw the game, which wasn't a result the team wanted. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA via AP
Manchester United’s reputation as giants of world football is fast getting eroded and there’s no sign that they will be back at the pinnacle any time soon.

The Red Devils are enduring a rotten domestic season in England, and to be honest, life has not been the same for United without the services of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Under the Scotsman’s leadership, they were a force to be reckoned with. They won titles at such an alarming rate that the rest of the Premier League - and Europe, to some extent - got tired of hearing “Glory, Glory Man United”.

United enjoyed a trophy-laden period under Ferguson as he delivered 13 league titles and five continental trophies. Incredibly, the club has not tasted league success since Ferguson retired.

David Moyes came in but failed to restore United to the pinnacle of world football. Louis van Gaal also tried but did not last long. He was replaced by José Mourinho, who also struggled.

The Portuguese made way for the club’s legendary supersub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He enjoyed a good start to his tenure but the honeymoon period has ended and United are struggling again.

Coaches are not the main reason for the fall of the Red Devils. The club signed top players such as Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba but none of these megastars have lived up to expectations.

Solskjaer has come under widespread criticism but he can’t fix it on his own. United have now become an average side. Their recovery will take time. Solskjaer has done well in terms of harnessing the youngsters in his attempt to catapult the Red Devils back to their glory days.

But United need to give Solskjaer time. The Norwegian is investing in young players and therefore should be afforded more time to lay a solid foundation.

The problem is that the United faithful can’t seem to handle the truth. Their team is no longer a force to be reckoned with so they shouldn’t expect them to challenge for major titles. They are nowhere near the level where they can challenge for the league in England or any of the continental titles.

Manchester United are not the same anymore. That’s the reality whether you like it or not.

They should perhaps take a leaf out of their bitter rivals’ book.

Liverpool invested in youngsters. They were patient. The Reds accepted that they were no longer a force in the past decade. As a result they took their time to build. They are now reaping the rewards of their perseverance.

Champions of Europe and runners-up in England last season, Liverpool are currently setting the pace in England and could well go on to win the title if they remain consistent.

It is even hard to predict where United will finish in this season. But I really don’t see them finishing in the top four. The Red Devils are 22 points behind the log leaders, the Reds, who are on 40 points. United are ninth on the log. They are eight points behind Chelsea, who are fourth. Obviously they won’t catch Liverpool. Their only hope in the league this season is to finish in the top four. Even that task is daunting.

They should put more effort into laying a solid foundation. It will really take time for United to get back to their glory days. The quicker they admit that, the better they will become because they are an average team right now.

@minenhlecr7


The Star

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