Manchester United suffered their latest blow in a particularly terrible season when they lost the first leg of their Capital Cup semi final against Sunderland 2-1.
It's the kind of result that you wouldn't expect of a United team of past years. However this season it has become a worryingly common occurrence for fans of the Red Devils. Previous manager and general Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson may appear disappointed at results for his old club this season as he now watches on from the stands in Old Trafford, but inside he cannot be too upset with the way things are turning out.
There are two reasons for this, firstly if people thought Ferguson did a good job with Manchester United before Moyes came in, then that general assessment has been amplified greatly by his successor's failures. The myth of Ferguson working wonders to achieve glory with an average team especially in recent years appears to be solid fact now as results this season support this and as David Moyes points out himself when he said his side needs world class players.
The second reason Ferguson cannot be upset, is that he must surely have seen this coming. When Manchester United failed in their title challenge on the final dramatic day of the 2011/12 season, Ferguson must have been livid. He must have been desperate to avenge the humbling defeat to his side's greatest rivals in Manchester City.
But did Ferguson try to repair a squad with many holes in it so as to bring stability to his beloved team. Not really. Ferguson's greatest signing that season was Robin Van Persie, the powerful and ruthless striker that had previously belonged to rivals Arsenal. Sure Ferguson did buy Shinji Kagawa also, but the Japanese international never really had that much of an impact on his debut season. It was all about the Van Persie show, and because of that, many long term flaws in the Manchester United side were again covered up. Did he really believe Cleverley, Welbeck and Smalling would be part of United's successful future, I do not believe so.
It is not inconceivable to assume that Ferguson knew in the summer of 2012 that the 2012/13 season was going to be his last, perhaps he was sure even earlier. So instead of building for the future, Ferguson decided to have one final hurrah and one final attempt to win the Premier League before he hung up his coaching gloves. He indeed won the Premier League with relative ease, with many observing how Van Persie dragged them to the title with great performance after performance.
Fast forward to January 2014 and the glory and success of last season seems an age ago for United fans. With David Moyes in charge it is a win-win situation for Ferguson and his legacy. If his fellow Scot fails, (a manager that has not won any managerial titles bar the Football League Second Division for Preston North End in 2000) Ferguson will be even further immortalised as a Manchester United God. If his fellow Scot somehow succeeds, then it is just another masterstroke by Ferguson to recommend Moyes to be his successor.
The future of Manchester United on the world stage and David Moyes as United manager is unclear, but what is more than clear is Ferguson's grand stature at the Manchester club. It will take at least several seasons before United can ever try to make a team with players like the golden generation of Scholes, Giggs, Beckham, Neville etc and by that time Ferguson will never be eclipsed, which will suit the ruthless Scot down to the ground.
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