Report details the inside story of what went wrong at Manchester United after 2013

Norwich City v Manchester United - Premier League

Manchester United have been here before. 

The year is 1969 and Matt Busby has just stepped down. A wave of managers will follow meekly in his footsteps and none will come close to emulating the great Scotsman's standards. 

The above could also be a post-script to the club's tumultuous years since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement. 

This time, the only difference is we don't know how the story ends. 

Last night's victory over Tottenham aside, it has rarely looked as though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be the answer. 

While solutions are still at a premium, problems have been plenty and they've been detailed in a fantastic behind-the-scenes report from ESPN. 

In hindsight, it was clear that Moyes' spell in charge was pretty disastrous from start to finish - but it all started to go wrong in his very first few months before the season had even started. 

Ferguson's successor and Ed Woodward began to "point the finger" at one another having failed to agree on transfers. While Moyes wanted Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini from his former club Everton (and got the latter), he also knew he needed a big name to win the squad over. Woodward didn't deliver. 

A former United midfielder is also quoted being fairly disparaging about Moyes' tactics:

"Before games, [David Moyes] would say, 'We need to make 500 passes today.' What is all that about? 500 passes? We never had that kind of thing under Sir Alex [Ferguson]. Before we played Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinal at the Allianz Arena, he told us to try to win corners by kicking the ball off Bayern players' shins. It was laughable really."


The players were underwhelmed by the signings of Fellaini and Juan Mata, who it wasn't felt was needed. Other off-field decisions went down badly too, like Moyes' ban on eating chips the night before games. 

Moyes was ultimately ditched after less than a year and the club turned to Louis van Gaal.

The squad were once again disappointed by the arrivals of Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin and Matteo Darmian, as well as other mistake signings such as Memphis Depay. 

Van Gaal also made one more fatal error in the transfer market. Sadio Mane refused to join from Southampton because he didn't want to play under the Dutchman, and we all know how he's turned out not so far away in the north-west. 

Things didn't get much better in the market for Jose Mourinho. He quickly became disillusioned with United's strategy - though he did not allow them to appoint a director of football. He wanted Jerome Boateng in spite of his injury record, while the decision to sign Alexis Sanchez was met with bewilderment due to the Chilean's attitude. 

Manchester United v Valencia - UEFA Champions League Group H

Even after ending up with 60 scouts, Mourinho was furious and eventually there were tensions with players and other staff. It got so bad that Solskjaer became known as the "anti-venom" when he arrived. 

The one thing all these managers have in common is a frustration with the board. 

Until that changes, it's hard to see much improvement at United unless Solskjaer achieves something miraculous. 

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