Since the day he retired, there was perhaps a sense that things may not be so rosy without the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson.
The ‘blip’ which has followed however has been somewhat more extreme than most analysts would have thought. A hand-picked manager in David Moyes didn’t scream immediate success, but he certainly looked like an ideal long-term fit. The reality was that after a few months in the role neither immediate nor long-term goals looked achievable under the former Everton boss.
Since Moyes left, Louis van Gaal has at least provided some semblance of positivity with his side hitting the top of the table for the first time in over two years back in September. However, the clouds have darkened once again over Old Trafford with a Champions League-ending defeat to Wolfsburg in midweek followed by an unexpected 2-1 loss to Bournemouth on Saturday.
Taylor writes that Leicester City have now, incredibly, spent more time at the Premier League’s summit (17 days) than United have (10 days) since Ferguson retired.
While this makes for fairly grim reading for United fans, credit must go to sides like Leicester who have a fraction of the money United have at their disposal to buy big in Europe, and beyond.
According to the CIES Football Observatory, Leicester were 17th in terms of summer spending out of all Premier League clubs, forking out €72 million while United were only bettered by neighbours Manchester City and Real Madrid in terms of fees paid out across Europe’s top five leagues over the summer transfer window.
Accumulated expenditure for Van Gaal’s side added up to an eye-watering €533 million, which must beg the question, are United really getting value for money?
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena