Football

Eric Cantona and Sir Alex Ferguson had a highly successful time together..

Eric Cantona explains what made Sir Alex Ferguson 'a master' as Manchester United boss

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It's safe to say that things haven't quite been the same at Manchester United since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

The Scot bowed out with a Premier League title but none of the three permanent managers since have even come close.

Current boss Jose Mourinho came closest with a second place finish last season, although he was some way off runaway champions Manchester City.

Ferguson was always going to be a lot to live up to, however - possibly too much for anyone, although the pressure is always growing for improvement.

David Moyes couldn't last a season after Ferguson, while Louis van Gaal's two years and an FA Cup wasn't deemed good enough.

Now all the pressure is firmly on Mourinho to return United to the top of English football - although that pressure does seem to be taking its toll.

The former Porto, Chelsea, Internazionale, and Real Madrid boss has come under criticism for his style as well as his attitude throughout his United tenure - and hasn't quite had the success to make up for it yet.

It's certainly all enough for people to reminisce about the good times under Ferguson and United legend Eric Cantona has done just that, with his comments highlighting a huge difference between then and now.

Sir Alex Ferguson won the Premier League in his final season.

"People want some kind of complex answer [for why Ferguson's teams were so good]," he wrote in the Players' Tribune. "They want some kind of secret, I think, but the answer is very simple.

"Sir Alex Ferguson was the master of one thing: Whenever we took the pitch for a match, after hours and hours of work, we were allowed to be free. We felt total freedom to move where we wanted, to play how we wanted.

"I could tolerate football no other way. What is football if it is not about freedom?"

Eric Cantona was the centre of Manchester United's side in the 1990's.

Considering the heavily structured, arguably stifling football of Mourinho's United, that quote really hits home the difference.

A return to that way of playing would clearly only work under the right coach, although one thing is certain - this United side is very different from the one under Ferguson.

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Topics:
Alex Ferguson
Eric Cantona
Football
Jose Mourinho
David Moyes
Premier League

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